Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 17 Oct 2018
The World for People who Think

Plagues


Bug

Supersized mosquitoes besiege North Carolina in wake of Hurricane Florence floods

Psorophora ciliata, gallinippers, hurricane Florence
© Getty
While not known to transmit human disease, the supersize skeeters are quick to mob any mammal they can find, any time, day or night, and deliver a fearsome bite.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolinas, unleashing six months of rain in a matter of hours. In inland Cumberland County, the Cape Fear River rose 40 feet1, inundating Fayetteville with the worst flooding the city has seen since 1945. But as the waters receded and citizens returned to their ruined homes, a new plague was just beginning to descend.

Drive through Fayetteville today and you'll pass house after house emptied of belongings, the mud-stained detritus piled high on curbs across the county. But you'll have a hard time seeing the storm's aftermath through the clouds of monstrous, hyperaggressive mosquitoes spattering across your windshield. Twenty-seven counties in North Carolina, including Cumberland, are in the midst of a mega-mosquito outbreak. On September 26, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper ordered $4 million in relief funds to combat invading swarms of the nickel-sized bloodsuckers, known to scientists as Psorophora ciliata and to everyone else as gallinippers.

Biohazard

African swine fever outbreak in Eastern Europe has now spread to Western Europe

pigs
© RIA Novosti/Igor Zarembo
The highly contagious disease, which has severely afflicted the agriculture business in Eastern Europe over the last several years, has now been found in the western parts of the EU, potentially threatening a ban on meat exports being imposed on local firms.

At least two cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been registered in Belgium, as pigs infected with the virus have been found there. It is unclear so far how the disease made its way to Western Europe, after having hurt the agricultural sector in the eastern part of the EU.

The ASF virus poses little threat to humans, but is deadly for pig populations on farms and, since to it is highly contagious, could lead to mass culling of pigs and boars in the region to prevent the disease from spreading. In Romania alone it cost local farms 230,000 pigs, bringing huge losses, according to some estimates reaching almost $12 million. Moreover, the virus outbreak could prompt the government to impose a ban on pork exports, further increasing losses for the agricultural sector, even for farms that are unaffected.

Comment: This comes after a summer where drought devastated many farms in Europe: And it appears that it's not just animals suffering contagions:


Biohazard

More British tourists fall ill: 7 year old fights for life after food poisoning in Egypt, 8 guests at Italian wedding struck with mystery illness

Luay Mohammed
© Mirrorpix
Luay Mohammed, seven, pictured receiving treatment at an intensive care unit for complications arising from a salmonella infection
A seven-year-old British boy has been left fighting for his life after getting food poisoning while on holiday at a five-star resort in Egypt.

Luay Mohammed has spent more than three weeks in intensive care with complications including sepsis and a stroke after contracting salmonella in the Tia Heights at Makadi Bay in Hurghada.

The hotel is near the resort where British couple John and Susan Cooper died last month after falling ill in mysterious circumstances.

According to reports Mohammed fell ill while on holiday but his condition deteriorated when he returned home.

On Thursday this week, Luay suffered a series of seizures and a stroke while in hospital and his condition is said to be critical but stable.

Attention

Rabid beaver attacking father and daughter on kayak caught on video in Adams County, Pennsylvania

father daughter rabid beaver attack
© (Dan Wherley/ Facebook)
A Pennsylvania man and his daughter said they were attacked by a large beaver while they were kayaking in Adams County.
A Pennsylvania man and his daughter said they were attacked by a large beaver while they were kayaking in Adams County on Aug. 5.

Dan Wherley and Layla, 7, were kakaying down Conewago Creek when the beaver came close to them.

"I looked, and it was a beaver scratching at it, and I thought 'Wow, that's pretty cool-a beaver came up to us!' It wouldn't stop, so I used my paddle tried to hit it to get it away, and it just wouldn't stop, wouldn't stop," Wherley told WPMT-TV in a report on Aug. 9.

"The beaver came up to the kayak, and tried to get in the kayak," said Layla.

"I jumped out of my kayak and ran to her. I got to her kayak the same time the beaver did, it climbed up on the back of her kayak, started to, and I had to punch it to get it off, cause I didn't have anything with me," added Wherley in the report.

Comment: Are we seeing a rise in the spread of infectious diseases as well as animal attacks? And are they in some way connected?


Biohazard

Worst red tide in more than a decade killing sea life along Florida coast

red tide turtle florida
© Matt @VisualPersist
Kemp's Ridley
Worst red tide since 2006 leaves 'unprecedented' number of dead sea turtles, Florida

Unprecedented numbers of sea turtles have been collected across Florida's Lee and Collier counties over the past week, and hundreds are thought to have died as the worst red tide algae bloom event since 2006 plagues southwest Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is monitoring the current bloom since November 2017.

The FWC has documented 287 sea turtle deaths in Gulf of Mexico waters along the southwest Florida coast since the toxic bloom started late last year.

According to Allen Foley of the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, that's about double the average number of turtle deaths in those waters every year.

Foley said turtles living in the area become sick and die when their food gets contaminated by the toxins.

Comment: Algae blooms and dead zones have quadrupled since 1950 with Oman and the Baltic sea as some other recent examples. But what's causing them? Surely industrial agriculture will have contributed to their rise, but when we factor in the discovery of thousands of underwater volcanoes, the increasingly unstable methane deposits and the slowdown in the Gulf Stream, which all appear to be linked to a slowdown in the Sun and Earth's rotation, clearly there are other more significant drivers to take into consideration.

See also: Worldwide ocean anoxia driven by global cooling was possible factor in previous mass extinctions


Biohazard

Mysterious, massive and deadly algae bloom 'whirlpool' discovered in the Baltic Sea

baltic algae whirlpool

On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired a natural-color image (above) of a swirling green phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Finland, a section of the Baltic Sea. Note how the phytoplankton trace the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this ocean eddy is pumping up nutrients from the depths. For scale, a ship is shown. The swirling bloom is at least 15 miles across, which means New York City's Manhattan Island could fit inside it with a little room to spare.
The mysterious algae bloom 'whirlpool' in the Baltic Sea so big it could cover Manhattan

NASA has revealed an incredible image of a gigantic 'whirlpool' of algae in the Baltic sea.

Every summer, phytoplankton spread across the northern basins of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, with blooms spanning hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometers.

Blooms this summer off of Scandinavia seem to be particularly intense, NASA said.

The swirling bloom is at least 15 miles across, which means New York City's Manhattan Island could fit inside it with a little room to spare.

Researchers are unsure what is causing the strange pattern.

Comment: Every year there are more dead zones, the gulf stream becomes more sluggish, the jet stream meanders more erratically, storms increase and our climate becomes cooler - and it seems our planet has been through all of this before: Worldwide ocean anoxia driven by global cooling was possible factor in previous mass extinctions

See also:


Attention

9 dead following listeria outbreak - UK supermarkets recall potentially tainted frozen vegetables

frozen veg

The recall includes bags of frozen sweetcorn and frozen mixed vegetables
Six of the UK's most popular supermarkets have been forced to recall various frozen vegetable products due to concerns over possible listeria contamination.

Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose have all recalled frozen veg, including packets of sweetcorn and mixed vegetables, because they could contain Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis.

Health organisations recently warned that an outbreak of the bacterial infection across Europe had been linked to frozen vegetables that were not cooked properly.

Comment: Bacterial and viral outbreaks appear to be on the increase: Be sure to check out:


Sun

Severe drought affecting 40% of Inner Mongolia, China - Plague of rats take over 4 million hectares

Mongolian township.
© Reuters
File photo of a Mongolian township.
Persistent drought in the remote northwestern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia has caused a rat plague now affecting more than 4 million hectares of grassland, an area the size of the Netherlands, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rodents are a common problem throughout Inner Mongolia's huge and sprawling prairies, and adapt relatively well to dry weather.

Comment: This follows extremely harsh winters in Inner Mongolia which have resulted in mass deaths of cattle. And we're seeing similar erratic patterns all over the planet so, while the overall trend is towards global cooling, there's also an increase in droughts, wildfires, heatwaves, and violent storms bringing increased wave heights, microbursts, deadly hail and epic flooding: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made? as well as SOTTs' monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - May 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Microscope 2

Giant viruses invent genes found no where else on Earth

Pandoravirus quercus virus
© IGS-CNRS/AMU
Pandoravirus quercus, as viewed through an electron microscope. The scale bar equals 100 nanometers.
Giant viruses may invent genes and proteins found nowhere else on Earth, new research suggests.

As their name implies, giant viruses are big - as big as bacteria, and more than twice the size of typical viruses, scientists have previously reported. Giant viruses have more complex genomes than some simple microbial organisms, and many of their genes code for proteins found only in giant viruses, according to past studies.

These so-called orphan genes puzzled scientists, but a new study may suggest where they come from. In three new species of Pandoraviruses - a family of giant viruses described in 2013 - these genes originated in the viruses themselves. The giant viruses were like factories, churning out novel genes and proteins - though the origin and purpose of this prolific gene creation is still a mystery, the study authors wrote.

Even before the discovery of giant viruses, viruses occupied a questionable position on the tree of life: They contain much of the cellular material found in living organisms, including DNA or RNA, but they lack cell structure and cannot replicate outside a host - two key criteria for defining life.

Comet 2

Deadly Nipah virus has no cure, little is known about its transmission, and it has re-emerged in India

nipah virus
At least nine people in southern India have died in cases linked to an outbreak of the rare and extremely deadly Nipah virus, according to a report by the BBC.

Nipah is considered a newly emerging deadly virus - scientists only found out that it could jump from bats to other species, including humans, within the past 20 years.

The disease is currently incurable and can be transmitted from person to person. It has killed between 40 percent and 75 percent of infected people in most outbreaks.

Comment: There seems to be an increase in the spread of infectious diseases so one would do well to look to past plagues for clues: For more on the outbreak of plagues and planetary upheaval, check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Who was Jesus? Examining the evidence that Christ may in fact have been Caesar!