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Attention

Two-thirds of UK chickens contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria - major supermarkets launch inquiries

chicken
© Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic
Two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK could be contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria.
A Guardian investigation has revealed alleged widespread hygiene failings in Britain's poultry industry, prompting three major UK supermarkets to launch emergency inquiries into their chicken suppliers.

Undercover film footage, photographic evidence, and allegations from whistleblowers indicate the UK's strict hygiene standards to avoid the contamination of chicken by a potentially lethal "campylobacter" bug can be easily flouted on British factory floors and farms.

In the last month, an array of hygiene breaches were uncovered that could contribute to the spread of this dangerous bug - including a factory floor littered with chicken guts and instances of chicken carcasses being ferried to factory production lines by workers' footwear. Other worrying practices concerning the processing of retail chicken and increased risks of contamination were also revealed by the investigation.

Comment: Whether it's the FSA or the FDA, they're both so far into the pockets of big business you couldn't pry them out with a greased crowbar. Buy local whenever possible.

Health

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher suffering symptoms of Chikungunya virus

© J. Meric/Getty Images
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta is suffering from symptoms that resemble those of the Chikungunya virus and expects the team to put him on the disabled list.

Peralta went home to the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break and explained that he began feeling sick on Friday.

"I've had a fever and pain in my joints," Peralta said by telephone on Monday to MLB.com. "Feels like all my joints are sore. That's how I feel."

The Chikungunya virus has become more common in Caribbean countries and is spread through mosquitoes. The veteran reliever shared that he remembers coming into contact with some while he was in the Dominican Republic.

"I think so," Peralta told MLB.com. "I kind of remember getting bit by a mosquito. One or two times."

He explained that the only treatment has been Advil and Tylenol for his fever.
USA

The ten plagues that are hitting America right now

Plagues
© The End of American Dream
Why are so many plagues hitting the United States all of a sudden? Yes, one can always point out bad stuff that is happening somewhere in the country, but right now we are facing a nightmarish combination of crippling drought, devastating wildfires, disastrous viruses, dying crops and superbugs that scientists don't know how to kill.

And as you will see, we even have a plague of flies down in Mississippi. So what in the world is going on? Is this just a case of bad luck, or is something else happening?

At the conclusion of this article, please feel free to tell me what you think. The following are ten plagues that are hitting America right now...
Nuke

China seals off city and sets up quarantines after inhabitant dies of bubonic plague

© MichaelTaylor/Shutterstock
30,000 residents of Yumen are not being allowed to leave and 151 people have been placed in quarantine after man's death

A Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said.

The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said.

A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday, the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported.
Health

Ebola spreads to health workers as Liberian nurses contract the virus

Ebola nurses
© AFP/WHO
Nurses take care of a patient with Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
Four Liberian health workers have been admitted after contracting the Ebola virus while treating patients.

The health workers, all nurses, were working at Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County when they contracted the virus.

This comes three weeks after a Ugandan senior surgeon succumbed to the Ebola in Liberia where he had been working for three years as a specialist.

Dr. Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro died at the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre, Liberia's biggest hospital in Monrovia where he was being treated.

The West Africa countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are currently battling an outbreak of Ebola which is highly contagious with a high fatality rate.

Comment: See also:

Battling Ebola in West Africa
Ebola outbreak killed at least 337 people in Africa this year
Fear of the ebola virus: outbreak or epidemic?

Health

Mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya found in Kentucky; 9 possible cases

© Wkyufm.org
The Kentucky Department for Public Health recently provided local health departments with the following media confirming Kentucky's first case of mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, also called CHIKV.

Although this illness is not a concern for most Kentuckians at the present time, it is always a wise decision to stay abreast of public health occurrences.

The department has received lab results confirming the first case of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus in an Anderson County resident who recently traveled to Haiti. Results for nine possible cases in other individuals who recently traveled to the same region are still pending, but are expected to be positive.

"We have been testing our first potential cases of Chikungunya virus in Kentucky residents who recently traveled to areas where the disease is present, and have received confirmation of one positive result so far," said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, state epidemiologist and DPH deputy commissioner.

Comment:
  • Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe
  • 4,600 affected by untreatable virus spreading through Caribbean islands
  • Incurable mosquito-borne chikungunya virus now found in six US states
  • Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida
  • Malaysia: Health ministry keeping a tab on Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean virus infections climb in Mauritius
  • Puerto Rico declares epidemic of mosquito-borne virus chikungunya; 200 confirmed cases


Bug

Deadly mosquito virus, eastern equine encephalitis, reported in Massachusetts

© Flaglerlive.com
While Saturday wasn't too hot or humid, like most of our summer has been, 22News found that our recent weather conditions have contributed to the arrival of a potentially deadly disease in the Bay State.

For the first time this year mosquitoes in Massachusetts have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, or triple E.

The Massachusetts Department of Health just confirmed that a July 15th laboratory test in Plymouth County has tested positive for EEE, a dangerous virus that can cause inflammation of the brain and in one third of cases, death.

Even though the only reported case of EEE in Massachusetts was more than 80 miles to our east, our chances in western Massachusetts of getting it just went up. But it probably wouldn't be the mosquitoes bringing it here.

Birds are typically the long-range carrier of EEE, taking the disease over many miles. Mosquitoes then bite the birds and become the local source for infection when they bite a human.
Health

Three more cases of life-threatening plague found in Colorado

© Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID/NIH
Scanning electron micrograph depicting a mass of Yersinia pestis bacteria.
Three more plague cases were found in Colorado, a week after the first infection of the deadliest form of the disease was reported in the state in a decade.

The man initially reported with pneumonic plague on July 11 is hospitalized. Two of the new cases also had pneumonic plague, while the third had a milder form. All four cases may be linked to the original man's dog, which died from the illness, state health officials said.

The people newly-found to be infected were treated with antibiotics, recovered, and are no longer contagious. Health officials suspect the dog that died may been exposed to plague-infected fleas from a prairie dog or rabbit, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment department.

"We've had quite a number of cases this year," House said in a telephone interview. "We do believe the outbreak itself to be over."

Comment: See also:
  • 7-year-old Colorado girl contracts "black death" plague
  • Precursor? Rare and deadly form of plague contracted by Denver man


Footprints

Puerto Rico declares epidemic of mosquito-borne virus chikungunya; 200 confirmed cases

© Reuters/Ricardo Rojas
Puerto Rican health officials declared Thursday an epidemic of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has shown up in more than 200 confirmed cases across the island as of late last month.

Health Secretary Ana Rius said the majority of those cases were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas.

The virus was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year, according to AP. The first chase of chikungunya in Puerto Rico was reported in late May.

Meanwhile, Jamaican health officials reported the nation's first confirmed case on Thursday. Dr. Kevin Harvey, chief medical officer for Jamaica, said chikungunya was found in someone who had recently traveled to a country where the virus has been transmitted locally.

Health officials in Florida also reported the first domestically acquired chikungunya infections in the United States. Both cases involved persons infected with the virus following visits to the Caribbean, then both were bitten by uninfected mosquitoes in Florida, which then transmitted the virus further.

Comment: This virus is making it's way around the globe...
  • Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe
  • 4,600 affected by untreatable virus spreading through Caribbean islands
  • Incurable mosquito-borne chikungunya virus now found in six US states
  • Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida
  • Malaysia: Health ministry keeping a tab on Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean virus infections climb in Mauritius


Fireball

Death toll from Ebola in West Africa rises to 603 since February

© Reuters/Umaru Fofana
The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 603 since February, with at least 68 deaths reported from three countries in the region in the last week alone, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

WHO said there were 85 new cases between July 8-12, highlighting continued high levels of transmission. International and local medics were struggling to get access to communities as many residents feared outsiders were spreading rather than fighting Ebola.

"It's very difficult for us to get into communities where there is hostility to outsiders," WHO spokesman Dan Epstein told a news briefing in Geneva. "We still face rumours, and suspicion and hostility. ... People are isolated, they're afraid, they're scared."

Sierra Leone recorded the highest number of deaths, which include confirmed, probable and suspect cases of Ebola, with 52. Liberia reported 13 and Guinea 3, according to the WHO figures.

Comment:
Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus
Finally catching up - Could the Black Death actually have been an Ebola-like virus?
Ebola outbreak 'most challenging' ever: 90% fatality, no vaccine, cure or treatment
Rats and fleas myth laid to rest as researchers conclude Black Death plague was spread by air-borne pathogens
New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection

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