Articles in Disease
Professor Hualan Chen, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal but not easily transmitted between people, with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans.
The researchers claim the work could help develop a vaccine.
[Source: Daily Mail]
Yep, you heard right. Chinese scientists have deliberately created a bird flu hybrid virus, one that could kill millions of people if it escaped the lab, in order to create a vaccine for it. They have created a vaccine for a virus that doesn’t yet exist in the wild. This opens up the terrifying possibility that someone might, for financial gain, let the virus “escape”.
Meanwhile the mortality rate of the H7N9 bird flu in China has reached 24% – 31 deaths from 130 cases. Fortunately the virus still hasn’t mutated into the type that …
The third member of a UK family to contract the new virus, Novel Coronavirus, has died in hospital. It is similar to pneumonia, but substantially more deadly. So far 50% of twelve people infected worldwide have died.
A patient diagnosed with the Sars-like coronavirus has died at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham it was confirmed today.
The patient died yesterday morning whilst being treated in the hospital’s critical care unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said.
[Source: The Independent]
It appears that those who died already suffered from other conditions, perhaps making them more susceptible.
There’s some fear being spread on the conspiracy boards, but in reality it is too soon to say, because they could have all contracted the disease environmentally:
Can it be transmitted from person to person?
This is not known with certainty at this time. The cases occurring in the same family raises the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission. Alternatively, it is possible …
Ebola is one of the most feared diseases in the history of humankind. Once infected your odds of not dying painfully are only 1-in-3. In Africa there have been numerous outbreaks, the worst of which infected 425 Ugandans, with more than half of them dying.
There are two key reasons why outbreaks have not been much worse:
Victims die within three days, limiting their ability to infect others
Viral transmission requires people to be close and/or touching
Researchers are concerned that an Ebola strain could develop that is airborne. To find out how easily transmitted it currently is, Canadian scientists conducted an experiment:
Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg deliberately infected six piglets with the ebola virus and put them in pens where macaque monkeys were housed in wire cages.
Within eight days all four monkeys caught the virus through indirect contact, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
I found this via Dennis McClung’s blog…
The statistician and skeptic in me says that of all the books ever written about the future, some would have nominated 2012 and some would have got some things right. That isn’t especially meaningful, it’s the same as a million monkeys with typewriters.
Even so, in this instance the author was popular, and science fiction was in its absolute infancy. It could be a genuine prophecy within a novel:
The Scarlet Plague is a post-apocalyptic fiction novel written by Jack London and originally published in London Magazine in 1912. The story takes place in 2073, sixty years after an uncontrollable epidemic, the Red Death, has depopulated the planet.
You could also argue that he chose for the plague to begin in early 2013 because that was one hundred years into the future. But on the other hand Jack London predicted a global population of 8 billion. In 1912 …
This story has been appearing on conspiracy sites this week:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has announced a series of biological tests that they will be conducting in subway systems near Boston. DHS will be releasing bacteria into the MBTA tunnels, in what they say are tests to evaluate sensors installed in the tunnel system.
DHS officials insist that the bacteria release, a dead bacteria called B-subtilis, will have no adverse health risks on healthy individuals. What this means for people with compromised immune systems isn’t known, DHS hasn’t publicly commented on that.
(via Off Grid Survival)
It doesn’t seem too serious to me – according to the Wikipedia page on Bacillus subtilis:
B. subtilis is only known to cause disease in severely immunocompromised patients, and can conversely be used as a probiotic in healthy individuals. It may contaminate food but rarely causes food poisoning.
It was marketed throughout America and Europe from 1946 as …
The peak-to-trough fall in house prices in the 1930s Depression was 31 per cent – and prices took 19 years to recover after that downturn.
The current Global Financial Crisis has surpassed that decline, with a record 33%. But ultimately, whichever way you look at it, humans have collectively brought this upon themselves. Imagine what would happen to house prices if a global disaster meant there were suddenly many fewer people?
There are many theories for what caused the Great Depression, but I found this interesting:
There is evidence lack of demand for housing, and housing loans, started in 1926 and dropping precipitously in the U.S. in early 1929. Lack of demand was partly due to due to a decrease in population growth. This was the result of fewer families being formed, a declining birth rate after 1910, reduced immigration and deaths during WWI, the 1918 flu, and …
Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is the new concern. Carbapenem is an antibiotic, that is losing its powers rapidly, and there is no alternative yet:
Carbapenems are one of the antibiotics of last resort for many bacterial infections, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Recently, alarm has been raised over the spread of drug resistance to carbapenem antibiotics among these coliforms, due to production of an enzyme named NDM-1. There are currently no new antibiotics in the pipeline to combat bacteria resistant to carbapenems, and worldwide spread of the resistance gene is considered a potential nightmare scenario.
Enterobacteriaceae are a family of bacteria. The new resistant strain can cause Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, especially in the elderly. This is a sad example of how antibiotics are no longer effective in saving lives:
A dangerous drug-resistant bacterium has spread to patients in Southern California, according to a study by Los Angeles County public health officials.
More than …
The wonderful Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, England is somehow still succeeding in his mission. The 180ft ancient chalk hill figure looks like a caveman with a club, but the key imagery is his erect penis, which of course proves that the site was used for fertility rituals, according to experts. Well, if more proof was needed, even without many rituals on the hill, local women are having more babies than anywhere else in Britain!
Lancet Infectious Diseases has reported that within a couple of generations we could well be without the modern marvels of antibiotics:
Bacteria are great survivors. The biggest threat now, experts believe, is from multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, such as NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae and an enzyme called KPC which has spread in the US (and in Israel and Greece) which also gives bacteria resistance to the carbapenems, the most powerful group of antibiotics we (once) had.
Add the Aborigines of …
New Scientist said:
It’s emerged that virulent H5N1 bird flu was sent out by accident from an Austrian lab last year and given to ferrets in the Czech Republic before anyone realised. As well as the risk of it escaping into the wild, the H5N1 got mixed with a human strain, which might have spawned a hybrid that could unleash a pandemic.
They only realised this because the ferrets died… This suggests that similar accidents may have occurred undetected.
Regarding the current Swine Flu outbreak, the fact that only Mexicans have died is bizarre, and the media has not provided any possible reasons. I figure it is one of the following:
there is something different about Mexicans – perhaps a lack of a childhood inoculation, or even something that is administered to pigs outside of Mexico than flows on to humans that eat pork… giving them immunity
two different strains -one that is mild …
While most 2012ers concentrate on the big things (supernova, pole shift, everyone shifts to the nth dimension), perhaps a microscopic bug could be the cause of our demise?
Doctors are running out of treatments for trauma victims and critically ill patients because of infections from drug resistant microbes – even after resorting to medicines thrown out 20 years ago because of severe side effects, scientists are reporting.
Soon most, if not all, antibiotics will be ineffective, which is a shame, because modern western medicine depends on them a whole lot.
Unfortunately, our use of antibiotics to cause cattle to gain weight, has back-fired on us. Gordon Gecko was wrong. Greed is not good.
It’s a wacky idea, and I don’t quite get it myself – read here for a long article explaining it. In part it says:
Mike Baillie …is saying that the Black Death, one of the most deadly pandemics in human history, said to have killed possibly two thirds of the entire population of Europe, not to mention millions all over the planet, probably wasn’t Bubonic Plague but was rather Death By Comet(s)!
…In an average year there is one atmospheric explosion with a yield of 100 kilotons or more. The large majority occur in such remote areas, or so high in the atmosphere, that they are not observed. Even if observed, the witnesses may see only a flash of light in the distance, or hear the ‘rumble of distant thunder’ coming from the open oceans. Thus even those that are observed are often not recognized.
What the article does highlight is a number …