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Tue, 16 Jul 2019
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Plagues

Bug

US: Cicadas Invade South After 13-Year Sleep

cicada
© Unknown
The last cicada swarm in the US was in Virginia in 2004
Another natural phenomenon has hit the Southern States as swarms of cicadas return after 13 years hibernating underground.

Every 13 years the inch-long insects emerge from their underground lairs to plague America's Deep South in a feeding and breeding frenzy.

It adds to the natural phenomena the region has battled with after tornadoes last month and floods in Mississippi this week.

Apart from their intense 120-decibel mating racket and the frustration of finding them in hair, clothes and lunch-boxes, they're completely harmless to humans.

Meteor

New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

This article was first published in issue 13, volume 1 / 2011 of The Dot Connector Magazine, official publication of Sott.net.
"Comets are vile stars. Every time they appear in the south, they wipe out the old and establish the new. Fish grow sick, crops fail, Emperors and common people die, and men go to war. The people hate life and don't even want to speak of it." -Li Ch'un Feng, Director, Chinese Imperial Astronomical Bureau, 648, A.D.
Image
In 2007, a meteorite fell in Puno, Southeastern Perú. José Macharé - scientist of the Geologic, Mining and Metallurgic Institute in Perú - said that the space rock fell near a muddy area by Lake Titicaca, making the water boil for around ten minutes, and mixing with the soil and emanating a gray cloud, the components of which remain unknown. Having discarded radioactive poisons, this toxic cloud is said to have caused headaches and respiratory problems in at least 200 persons from a population of 1500 inhabitants. Other than this event, how often do we hear about people getting sick due to a rock coming from space? How about birds, fish or other animals? Ancient astrologers cite comets as ill omens of death and famine, but are there any other causes other than the ones due to physical/mechanical consequences of comet impact devastation in our fragile environment of which we should be aware?

As a physician, I usually concentrate strictly on medical and health-related issues, not history or catastrophism. However, like so many other people, I see signs of atmospheric changes on our planet which, according to many experts, may well be due to increasing comet dust loading. When I read about increasing reports of fireballs all around the world, and I know that these factors must have an effect on the health of individuals and societies, it motivates me to do the research to find the connections so that I am better prepared for what may lie in our future. If our planet is entering a new cometary bombardment cycle, and if these comets harbor new species of microbes unknown to mankind's collective immunological systems (as may well be the case), then being forewarned is being forearmed.

According to the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe of the University of Wales at Cardiff, viruses can be distributed throughout space by dust in the debris stream of comets. Then as Earth passes though the stream, the dust and viruses load our atmosphere, where they can stay suspended for years until gravity pulls them down. They compare numerous plagues throughout our history which coincide with cometary bodies in our skies. These researchers are certain that germs causing plagues and epidemics come from space.

In a letter to Lancet [1],Wickramasinghe explains that a small amount of a virus introduced into the stratosphere could make a first tentative fallout east of the great mountain range of the Himalayas, where the stratosphere is thinnest, followed by sporadic deposits in neighboring areas. Could this explain why new strains of the influenza virus that are capable of engendering epidemics, and which are caused by radical genetic mutations, usually originate in Asia? Wickramasinghe argues that if the virus is only minimally infective, the subsequent course of its global progress will depend on stratospheric transport and mixing, leading to a fallout continuing seasonally over a few years; even if all reasonable attempts are made to contain an infective spread, the appearance of new foci almost anywhere is a possibility.

Comment: See also:

Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus

New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection

Related:

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Stop

Florida, US: Officials determine 'duck plague' is killing ducks at Crescent Lake

Walking along the edge of Crescent Lake this week, Mike Flanagan found something that has become a concern around this close-knit neighborhood: dead ducks.

In recent weeks, more than 25 Dave Bairam, a St. Petersburg environmental analyst, takes a water sample at Crescent Lake Park on Tuesday. He said tests are measuring the lake's oxygen levels.have died along the shores of the lake just north of downtown. Then on Sunday, fish started floating to the surface. Also dead.

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© Chris Zuppa | Times
A female mallard flies over her ducklings Tuesday at Crescent Lake Park, where residents have found more than 25 dead ducks as well as dead fish. A necropsy found duck virus enteritis, which spreads easily in droppings but not to humans.
"This is not normal," said Flanagan, president of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association. "Obviously our concern is, could we lose all the animals on the lake."

On Tuesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission performed a necropsy on one of the dead ducks.

The culprit: duck virus enteritis. Also known as duck plague.

Bizarro Earth

UK: Outbreak of Toxic Caterpillars in Pangbourne

Moth Caterpillar
© BBC
The oak processionary moth caterpillar feeds on oak tree leaves.
Residents in Pangbourne and parts of west London have been warned to steer clear of a toxic caterpillar.

The Forestry Commission has issued a caution not to touch the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth.

Their hairs contain a toxin that can cause itchy skin rashes as well as eye and throat irritations.

The Forestry Commission's Stewart Snape said residents can report sightings but that the caterpillars should only be removed by pest control operators.

Officials are now dealing with outbreaks of the moth in Pangbourne in West Berkshire and the London boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hounslow, Richmond upon Thames and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Health Protection Agency director Dr Brian McCloskey said: "We strongly advise people not to touch or approach the caterpillars or their nests because of the health risks caused by the toxin-containing hairs.

Question

Caterpillars Swarm Indonesia's Bali

Caterpillars
© Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP
A farmer shows caterpillars crawling over his hand in Denpasar, in Bali.
Swarms of caterpillars which can cause skin rashes have invaded the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, an official said Wednesday, but tourist areas have not been affected so far.

The dark, wriggly insects were first sighted in a village on Friday and the swarms have since spread to six districts, including the provincial capital of Denpasar, Bali agricultural chief Made Putra Suryawan told AFP.

"The situation is under control. Since Friday, workers have been spraying insecticide and burning garbage in affected areas to stop the spread," he said.

"Tourists need not be alarmed. The caterpillars have not spread to tourist areas yet. The threat to tourists is minimal," he added.

Thousands of caterpillars have reportedly descended on parts of neighbouring Java island in the last two weeks, attacking fruit farms and invading residential areas.

Alarm Clock

Pacific salmon may be dying from leukemia-type virus

Washington -- In Canada's Fraser River, a mysterious illness has killed millions of Pacific salmon, and scientists have a new hypothesis about why: The wild salmon are suffering from viral infections similar to those linked to some forms of leukemia and lymphoma.

For 60 years before the early 1990s, an average of nearly 8 million wild salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to the Fraser River each year to spawn.

Now the salmon industry is in a state of collapse, with mortality rates ranging from 40 percent to 95 percent.

The salmon run has been highly variable: The worst year came in 2009, with 1.5 million salmon, followed by the best year in 2010, with 30 million salmon. But the overall trend is downward.

Question

Mysterious equine illness spreads in Australia: Increasing numbers of horses displaying unusual neurological symptoms

Image
© Unknown
Hold your horses. It hasn't arrived in the Clarence Valley - yet but increasing numbers of horses displaying unusual neurological symptoms across three states have prompted the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) to caution all owners.

In NSW alone there have been 87 confirmed cases of the unidentified illness.

While tests conducted by the NSW Department of Industry and Investment have ruled out Hendra virus, AVA president Dr Barry Smyth believes the illness may be the result of a mosquito-borne disease.

"Diseases associated with mosquitoes are very uncommon in normal years," he said.

Blackbox

Australia: Man injured as beetles swarm Gold Coast

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© seablue5
Thousands of beetles invading the Gold Coast have claimed their first victim.

Ken Tomkins, 61, was hospitalized after skidding his bicycle into a mound of dead bugs and shattering his hip, collarbone and ribs, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Tomkins said he noticed the slick as he rode along The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise, but initially thought it was water or leaves.

He will be bedridden for six weeks after hitting the bugs, which were piled to the edge of the road by a council street sweeper, at about 25kph.

The water beetle invasion is a never-before-seen phenomenon that has stumped local scientists.

X

Australia: Mystery horse disease in Victoria

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© Jennifer Ingall
The Victorian Department of Primary Industries wants local vets to help identify a mystery horse disease.

Horses living along the Murray River and near Ballarat have become sick with a virus believed to be spread by mosquitoes.

Acting chief veterinary officer Andrew Cameron says he wants local vets to send samples from any sick horses to the DPI.

"I believe the most common symptom is sort of ataxia or wobbliness, more or less drunken horse like staggering about," he said.

Cow Skull

50 swans killed by mystery virus in Cork, Ireland

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© Unknown
A mystery virus has killed around 50 swans in The Lough area of Cork City over the past few days.

Cork City Council has yet to say how long it has been aware of the problem, but it has been removing the dead swans for the past few days.

The virus is understood to have been introduced by migratory ducks that have settled in the area.

Officials say the illness only affects fowl species and poses no threat to humans.