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6 children dead after outbreak of life-threatening virus strain at New Jersey health facility - UPDATE: death toll now at 11

© Public Health Image Library
Adenovirus cells seen through an electron microscope
Six children have died and multiple others have been infected after a "severe outbreak" of a life-threatening adenovirus at a New Jersey health facility.

The children were infected with the virus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, which houses a rehabilitation center, a nursing home for elderly people and a pediatrics unit.

Adenoviruses are the cause of everyday infections like the common cold, bronchitis, pink eye and respiratory tract infections, but the highly contagious viruses can be much more dangerous to people with already compromised immune systems.

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed 18 cases of the virus on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the strain of the virus has been "particularly associated with disease in communal living facilities."

Comment: Other notable outbreaks in the last year: For more on the possible causes, see: And check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Syphilitic Superpower: The rise of STDs

Update: The Daily Mail reports:
New Jersey officials announced on Friday that an 11th child has died and another 23 children have become stricken with adenovirus at a New Jersey center for severely disabled children.

State officials have been forced to admit they are struggling to contain the outbreak at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Pediatric Center, in Haskell, New Jersey.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, told CNN on Friday that the inability to separate those who are sick from those without symptoms has led to the outbreak.

'Up until this week, it has not been possible to completely separate those patients,' Elnahal said.

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect the linings of the eyes, lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system. A strong strain of the virus has killed 11 children

'But now, due to decreasing census at the facility, it is.'

The state put out a call for volunteers from New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps to help separate patients at the facility.

The lethal outbreak at the Wanaque Center began in late September, spreading among children with weakened immune systems.

An investigation of Wanaque indicated that the staff's poor hand washing practices might be fueling the viral spread.

The most recent outbreak at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, where five cases of a weaker strand of adenovirus have been reported, is also affecting immunocompromised children, and milder cases of the virus among the general public may be more common this season due to the warmer, wetter autumn.


'We see a cooling trend' says NASA scientist

Abnormally cold weather in Moscow
© Sputnik/Maksim Blinov
Abnormally cold weather in Moscow.
The sun is headed towards its solar minimum, a time of far less energy output. That could mean cold winters are on their way, according to officials from NASA, the US space agency.

"We see a cooling trend," Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center said in late September. "High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold."

NASA's SABER [Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry] instrument aboard the TIMED [Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics] satellite has been tracking the upper parts of the Earth's atmosphere - those most affected by the sun's rays - since 2001 and is detecting signs that solar output is nearing a low-point.

"The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It's one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet," Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER, told Space Weather.


US: 1 Dead, 164 sickened in ongoing turkey salmonella outbreak, 35 states affected


Just two weeks out from the biggest turkey-focused day of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 164 people across 35 states have fallen ill from Salmonella-tainted raw turkey.

The CDC said that 74 more people were reported sick in the ongoing outbreak since its last report in July, and the outbreak has been linked to one death in California. Lab tests showed that raw turkey products contaminated with Salmonella had multiple sources of origin, and the outbreak strain was identified in raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys. While the CDC says it believes the sources of the outbreak strain show it could be "widespread," no products or brands have yet been recalled. The National Turkey Federation said it is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

"Our members have individually reviewed their Salmonella control programs in all phases of turkey production and are working collectively through NTF to address this and all strains of Salmonella," it said in a statement on Thursday. "The intense focus of our membership on this issue has allowed the industry to further strengthen guidelines for biosecurity and food safety."

Comment: Reports of contaminated products and infectious diseases are in the news with increasing regularity these days: And for clues on the possible causes: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Syphilitic Superpower: The rise of STDs


UK pre-school children hit by wave of highly contagious hand, foot and mouth virus

hand foot mouth somerset
PARENTS are being urged to look for the signs of hand, foot and mouth disease after a reported rise in the number of cases in the UK.

Several pre-schools in Somerset say they've seen an increase in the number of cases.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is an infection caused by a virus and begins with a high temperature, loss of appetite, a cough and a sore throat and mouth.

Around two days later red, flat, discoloured bumps appear on the hands, feel, inside the mouth and sometimes the bum.

These spots can start to blister.

Painful ulcers can also develop, which can put kids off eating and drinking.

Comment: It would appear that unusual contagions and sickness are on the rise these days: 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 See also: More on the spread of hand, foot and mouth: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Syphilitic Superpower: The rise of STDs


'No need to panic': Mad cow disease found on farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

cow field

Inspectors work to establish source of fatal disease, which has not been seen in Scotland for a decade
More cows will need to be destroyed after a new case of BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease, was detected on a farm in Scotland.

Scotland's chief veterinary officer has insisted there is "no need to panic" after the disease was identified at the unnamed farm in Aberdeenshire.

A quarantine area has been put in place around the farm while inspectors work to establish the source of the fatal disease, known in full as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

Medical experts have stressed that the case poses no harm to human health. Any farmers with concerns have been advised to seek immediate veterinary advice.

Comment: It would appear that viruses and diseases are on the increase: For more on the possible causes, see: And check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Syphilitic Superpower: The rise of STDs


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.


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

© 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:


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.


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?


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