US: UCSanDiego team develops diabetes drug that could completely reverse the disease (Reblogged from Sparkonit)

A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, is developing a pill that restores insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body’s response to insulin – a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood – gets weaker. Commercially available drugs so far only remove excess glucose…

via Team Develops Diabetes Drug That Could Completely Reverse The Disease — Sparkonit

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Afghanistan: 9 MSF staff killed, 37 people injured (19 were staff) in hospital US airstrike in Kunduz – Published 03 Oct 2015 1000z (GMT/UTC)

UPDATED 03 Oct 2015 10:55 GMT

Air strike kills MSF medical staff in Afghanistan

Nine Doctors Without Borders staff killed in bombing of hospital in Kunduz, as NATO admits it may have been involved.

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says at least nine of its staff have been killed in an overnight bombing of a hospital in the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 people were wounded in the attack, including 19 MSF staff, the medical charity organisation told Al Jazeera.

NATO said on Friday that a US air strike “may have” hit the hospital, which is run by the medical charity, adding that the attack may have resulted in collateral damage.

An MSF spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the death toll is likely to rise, as the “fluid situation at the clinic hampered information gathering.

“The bombing struck the dormitories of the hospital, which explains why we – so far – have only seen deaths among our staff and not among patients,” MSF spokesperson Dalila Mahdawi said.

The MSF hospital is seen as a key medical lifeline in the region, which has been running “beyond capacity” in recent days of fighting which saw the Taliban seize control of the provincial capital for several days.

“At 2:10 am (20:40 GMT) local time … the MSF trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged,” MSF said in a statement on Friday.

At the time of the bombing, 105 patients and their caretakers and more than 80 MSF international and national staff were present in the hospital, the charity said.

NATO investigation

NATO said in a statement that US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz at 2:15am local time “against individuals threatening the force”.

“The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation,” the statement said.

MSF said it gave the coordinates of the hospital to Afghan and US forces several times to avoid being caught in crossfire.

“As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September,” according to MSF Afghanistan representatives.

The bombing reportedly continued for more than 30 minutes after US and Afghan military offices in Kabul and Washington were first informed.

Residents tell of suffering as battle for Kunduz rages

“MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened,” MSF said.

The MSF trauma centre in Kunduz is the only medical facility in the region that can deal with major injuries.

Following the attack, the medical charity urged all parties involved in the violence to respect the safety of health facilities, patients and staff.

Speaking to Al Jazeera after the attack, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that no Taliban fighters were present in the hospital at the time of the air strike.

“We condemn the bombing on the hospital. It was an attack carried out on innocent people.” Zabiullah told Al Jazeera.

“Our mujahedeen (fighters) were not treated at the MSF trauma center due to prevailing military conditions. Such attacks by the US forces have taken place in Afghanistan for years now. This very attack has once again exposed the ruthless colors of the invaders to the Afghans,” he added.

MSF’s hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan [MSF]

However, Sediq Sediqqi, an Afghan interior ministry spokesperson, claimed the fighters were attacking security forces with gunfire and grenades from an area near the hospital.

“According to our information, the Taliban were hiding in the hospital building and the area around it while attacking the forces,” Sediqqi said.

“We are assessing and evaluating the collateral damage to the medical facility. However, in any case, the safety of the civilians comes first,” he added.

A caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic’s medical staff did not favour any side the conflict.

“We are here to help and treat civilians,” Abdul Manar said.

“Several women and children are also killed in the strike. I could hear them screaming for help inside the hospital while it was set ablaze by the bombing. We are terrified and speechless.”

Battle for Kunduz

The development came a day after the Afghan government claimed it had successfully retaken parts of Kunduz from Taliban fighters who had controlled the strategic city since Monday.

The Taliban, however, claimed it remained in control of most of Kunduz, our correspondent said.

Kunduz is facing a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces and Taliban fighters.

Precise losses in the fighting were not known, but health authorities said on Friday that at least 60 people have been killed and 400 wounded.

As fighting spreads in neighbouring Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan provinces, concerns are mounting that the seizure of Kunduz was merely the opening gambit in a new, bolder Taliban strategy to tighten the grip across northern Afghanistan.

Afghan forces, backed by NATO special forces and US air strikes, have been going from house to house in Kunduz in a bid to flush Taliban fighters out of the city.

Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri, about 130km from Kunduz, said heavy fighting was ongoing in the centre of Kunduz.

“Sources inside the city are reporting heavy clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan army. There is no set frontline between the two sides so the fighting is from street to street at the moment.

“People inside the city are suffering. There is a shortage of food, water and electricity,” our correspondent said.

The Taliban’s offensive in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a major blow for Afghanistan’s Western-trained forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since last December.

Civilian and military casualties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the 14-year campaign against the Taliban, provoking harsh public and government criticism.

US-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan last December, though a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counterterrorism operations.

But there has been an escalation in air strikes by NATO forces in recent months despite the drawdown.

Additional reporting by Shereena Qazi. Follow her on Twitter @ShereenaQazi

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Jordan: MSF Reconstructive Surgery Hospital for War Victims Opens in Amman – Published 08 Sept 2015 1820z (GMT/UTC)

(Image: Enass Abu Khalaf-Tuffaha/MSF)

September 08, 2015


Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) officially opened a newly upgraded reconstructive surgery hospital today in Amman to provide improved treatment to war-wounded patients from across the region.

MSF first established a specialized surgery project in Amman in 2006 to care for victims of the war in Iraq, which it later expanded to receive patients from Iraq, Gaza, Yemen, and Syria. This year, MSF enhanced the project by moving into another hospital structure and renovating it.

“In this new and expanded facility, our highly trained and specialized medical teams from the region are able to improve the quality of care provided to our patients,” said Marc Schakal, MSF head of mission in Amman. “Our highest patient numbers are currently from Syria, followed by Yemen and Iraq. The people of these countries have already witnessed and experienced so much suffering.”

The MSF Specialized Hospital for Reconstructive Surgery provides a comprehensive care package for its patients, which includes physiotherapy and psychosocial support alongside surgical interventions. Patients are also given accommodation, now available on site in the new location, and financial travel assistance to reach the hospital and return home after or in between treatments, if their care plan is staggered over time. Patients often arrive with a family member to assist their care and recovery if needed.

Since 2006, MSF has admitted more than 3,700 patients and conducted over 8,238 surgeries at its project in Amman. Cases are identified by a network of medical liaison officers in the patients’ countries of origin. However, these numbers represent only a very small fraction of the needs for specialized surgery in the region.

“While they may receive initial care for their wounds, our patients do not usually have access to such specialized surgical procedures in their home countries, which are mostly at war,” said Dr. Ashraf Al Bostanji, head surgeon. “These hard-to-reach services include orthopedic, maxillofacial, and plastic reconstructive surgery, which we provide at no cost to the patients and lower running costs than the private sector.”

The hospital is staffed by local and international experts in their fields.

“The surgical techniques adopted in this project are world-class,” said Dr. Ashraf. “For instance, our team conducts microsurgeries, which involves three main types of surgeries: free flaps, nerve grafting, and hand surgery. What makes this project stand out is implementing such a high level of technical expertise for war victims in the humanitarian medical field.”

MSF has conducted more than 134,620 physiotherapy procedures and 45,660 psychosocial sessions in Amman since 2006. Nahla Fadel, a patient from Iraq, arrived in 2013 and underwent 24 surgeries.

“When I arrived, the mobility of my severely burned hands was so limited that I couldn’t comb the hair of my child or even feed him,” she said. “Now, after two years of surgeries with MSF, my hand mobility is almost back to normal.”

MSF has been present in Jordan since 2006. In 2013 it set up a mother and child health care project in Irbid, which also offers mental health support, and an emergency trauma project in Ramtha close to the Syrian border.

MSF also runs clinics in Irbid for noncommunicable diseases and a step-down unit in Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees. For the past two years it has been sending medical donations including surgical kits to health care facilities in the South of Syria.

MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation. (Source: MSF)

Ebola Pandemic Reports – A Possible World Nightmare



By Ken Jorgustin

Since last week when we wrote about the Ebola outbreak in context of a biololgical weapon – as well as the nightmare scenario it could bring upon the world given our criss-crossing global airlines system, Ebola Biological Warfare – A Pandemic Nightmare, the deadly virus appears to be expanding even more out of control while even the mainstream media is now widely reporting on it.

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The Jolly Good News

2B6529A2-C255-4CC9-A5D8-2194F052659D_w268_r1Researchers have designed a synthetic molecule that tricks the AIDS virus into destroying itself. The compound, called DAVEI, was developed by researchers at Philadelphia’s Drexel University and causes the deadly pathogen to eject its contents before it can infect human cells.

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Russia: Emergency declared as Tularemia epidemic cases rise to 900 in Khanty-Mansiysky Autonomous Region – 190913 1735z

According to the Department of healthcare of Khanty-Mansiysky Autonomous Region, 900 inhabitants have contracted tularemia.

Ticks (Image:

Among them, 858 people are residents of Khanty-Mansiysk; 33 live in Khanty-Mansiysk district; the remaining cases were recorded in Nizhnevartovsk.

It is established that several of the patients in Nizhnevartovsk are employees of the oil industry and contracted tularemia in the field.

In Khanty-Mansiysk and Khanty-Mansiysk district, work on measures against rodents and mosquitoes, which are the sources and carriers of disease, is continuing.

According to the Department of Rospotrebnadzor [The Federal Service for Protection of Consumers’ Rights and Well-Being] in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, the 1st cases were reported on 19 Aug 2013.

Due to the significant deterioration of the epidemiological situation regarding the incidence of tularemia in Khanty-Mansiysk, an emergency situation has been declared.
Thursday, 19 September, 2013 at 15:42 (03:42 PM) UTC RSOE


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

“Tularemia (also known as Pahvant Valley plague,[1]rabbit fever,[1]deer fly fever, and Ohara’s fever[2]) is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacteriumFrancisella tularensis.[3] A gram-negative, nonmotilecoccobacillus, the bacterium has several subspecies with varying degrees of virulence. The most important of those is F. tularensis tularensis (Type A), which is found in lagomorphs (rabbits and similar animals) in North America, and it is highly virulent in humans and domestic rabbits. F. tularensis palaearctica (Type B) occurs mainly in aquatic rodents (beavers, muskrats) in North America and in hares and small rodents in northern Eurasia. It is less virulent for humans and rabbits.[4] The primary vectors are ticks and deer flies, but the disease can also be spread through other arthropods.[3] The disease is named after Tulare County, California.” – wikipediaMore about Tularemia at wikipedia

Classification and external resources
Tularemia lesion.jpg

A tularemia lesion on the dorsal skin of the right hand


Highlighting the dangers from tick-bourne diseases as man dies from killer fever Updated 0610121420Z


The Jolly Good News

Woman with back acheUp to 40% of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize.

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Russia: At least 36 dead in fire in psychiatric hospital nr Moscow, 3 survive (named) – 260413 1150z

At least 38 people have been killed in a fire at a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Moscow that housed as many as 41 people, including medical staff.

The fire started around 2:30 am Moscow Time (22:30 GMT) in Psychiatric Hospital 14 in Ramenskoe.By the time fire rescue arrived, the entire one-story building was engulfed in flames. The fire started in a wing for special treatment patients. One nurse managed to escape the blaze, bringing two patients out of the building to safety, where they were found by firefighters. The nurse told reporters that she was woken up by the fire alarm, and ran into the hallway where she saw a chair burning. She remembers seeing a flash. Firefighters found the bodies of 12 dead people, according to ITAR-TASS. Four were found near the exit of the hospital, while eight others were found in the wards.

The hospital had bars on its windows, preventing people from escaping. Most of the bodies were found still in their beds. “The fire started when they were asleep,” a law enforcement source told TASS, adding that people had little chance to escape. “Some of them tried to escape but were poisoned by the products of combustion,” he said. The fire, meanwhile, has now been fully extinguished but the building “burned down almost completely.” “Some windows had bars, some did not,” doctor-in-chief of the facility, Murat Shahov told lifenews. He said that only two patients in the facility could not walk, the rest suffered severe psychological illnesses. “There were patients with acute psychosis, alcoholics and one drug addict. We also had patients with schizophrenia.”

Authorities point to faulty electric wiring and a short circuit as the possible cause. Forty five police have cordoned off the area and are investigating the cause of the fire. Currently there are 120 people working at the site of the tragedy, including 30 pieces of machinery. According to the Ministry of Health 18 ambulances were on site. The Emergencies Ministry has published a list of 41 patients and medical staff who were inside the facility when the fire started (full list in Russian). The patients ranged in age from 20 to 76. The two medical staff listed as “to be verified” are believed to be dead.

Friday, 26 April, 2013 at 04:39 UTC RSOE

Other Reports

Dozens dead in fire in psych ward near Moscow, 3 survive

(Video credit:RTGlobalReport)

RUSSIA TODAY Published time: April 26, 2013 00:50

Edited time: April 26, 2013 10:48

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the fire, reporting that 36 people died, including two nurses. However, the Emergency Ministry has said that 38 died in the blaze.

Authorities point to faulty electric wiring and a short circuit as the possible cause. But, the investigators are looking into all possible causes of the fire, śincluding careless use of fire”, Investigative Committee representative Irina Gumennaya told the media.

The fire started around 2:30 am Moscow Time (22:30 GMT) in Psychiatric Hospital 14 in Ramenskoe in a wing for special treatment patients. By the time fire rescue arrived, the entire one-story building was engulfed in flames. The fire burned an area of about 420 square meters.

One nurse managed to escape the blaze, bringing two patients out of the building to safety, where they were found by firefighters.

The nurse told reporters that she was woken up by the fire alarm, and ran into the hallway where she saw a couch burning. She remembers seeing a flash.

Emergency response team eliminates fire at Mental Hospital No. 14 in the village of Ramensky of the Dmitrovsky District in the Moscow Region (RIA Novosti/Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry)

Emergency response team eliminates fire at Mental Hospital No. 14 in the village of Ramensky of the Dmitrovsky District in the Moscow Region (RIA Novosti/Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry)

Authorities have recovered 36 bodies at the scene. “Seven died from carbon monoxide poisoning, while others perished from burns”, Gumennaya said.

Experts have begun to identify the dead bodies at a local hospital, the Emergency Ministry reported.

Rescuers found eight of the dead bodies by the exit inside the psychiatric hospital, suggesting that they were trying to escape but were prevented by the effects of carbon monoxide, RIA Novosti reported, quoting a source close to the investigation. 

Firefighters were delayed getting to the scene because of a closed river crossing – the trip took an hour instead of the expected 20 minutes, local media reported.

The hospital had bars on its windows, preventing people from escaping. Most of the bodies were found still in their beds.

śThe fire started when they were asleep,ť a law enforcement source told TASS, adding that people had little chance to escape. śSome of them tried to escape but were poisoned by the products of combustion,” he said. The fire, meanwhile, has now been fully extinguished but the building “burned down almost completely.ť

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

śSome windows had bars, some did not,ť doctor-in-chief of the facility, Murat Shakhov told LifeNews tabloid. He said that only two patients in the facility could not walk, the rest suffered severe psychological illnesses.

śThere were patients with acute psychosis, alcoholics and one drug addict. We also had patients with schizophrenia.ť

Forty five police have cordoned off the area and are investigating the cause of the fire. Currently there are 120 people working at the site of the tragedy, including 30 pieces of machinery. According to the Ministry of Health 18 ambulances were on site.

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

A half-meter-long tunnel was discovered dug out under the burned hospital, suggesting that one of the patients may have been planning an escape, according to Interfax.

Investigators reported that the fire started in the hospital’s common room.

“One of the patients who survived the fire told investigators that when he woke up, the blaze had already begun and a couch in a common room was burning. He added that a new patient was recently admitted who suffered from drug addiction and constantly smoked, disregarding safety rules”, Gumennaya added.

Another eyewitnesses described how firefighters could not extinguish the blaze due to a lack of water: śThe first car arrived without water. Then another came – also empty. It was only the third car that had water,ť local resident Yefim Volkov told the media.

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

Emergency response team working on the fire scene at a mental hospital in the village of Ramensky. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

Some sources claimed that the patients were unable to escape the building in time because they were sedated by powerful drugs, reported.

śThe chief psychiatrist of the hospital told the investigative team that there were special headgear available in case of a fire, but none of them were used,ť an investigator told the media.

One of the firefighters at the scene told reporters that the “building itself was all wooden, which made it easier for the fire to spreadť. 

The Emergencies Ministry has published a list of 41 patients and medical staff who were inside the facility when the fire started (full list in Russian). The patients ranged in age from 20 to 76. The two medical staff listed as śto be verifiedť are believed to be dead.

Fire inspectors made two visits to the hospital in 2012. During the first visit, a number of fire safety violations were found that were later fixed in time for the second inspection in August that same year.

Relatives of those killed in the fire will be paid 500,000 rubles ($16,000) in compensation, RIA Novosti quoted Moscow regional governor Andrey Vorobyov as saying.

Moscow declared April 27 to be a day of mourning for those killed in the psychiatric hospital fire.

Tragic history of fires in medical facilities

Tragic blazes in medical facilities are common in Russia, with at least 18 cases in the past seven years.

Among the most notable was in 2009 in the Russian Republic of Komi, where a blaze in an old people’s home in the region took the lives of 23 people. Only three were saved in the incident.

23 people died in a fire at a wooden care home in the village of Podyelsk, Republic of Komi (RIA Novosti)

23 people died in a fire at a wooden care home in the village of Podyelsk, Republic of Komi (RIA Novosti)

Two years earlier, a fire in the city of Tula, again in a home for the elderly, resulted in 32 victims. 247 patients, including medical staff were saved.

That same year, in 2007, another inferno in a care home claimed the lives 61 of victims. Only 35 people were saved.

Over 20 psychologists providing information and psychological support

Today 13:09
Over 20 psychologists of the Center of emergency psychological aid of the the Russian Emergencies Ministry, the Central Regional Centre and the Main Directorate of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in the Moscow region are working with the relatives of victims in a fire at a psychiatric hospital №14, Ramenskoye, Dmitrovsky district, Moscow region.
Psychological help is being provided by hot line 8 (800) 775-17-17, which has already received 114 calls.

LIST of administrative staff and patients the mental health facility №14of Moscow Region, Dmitrovsky Municipal district, Kulikovsky rural settlment, Ramenskoye settlement,

Bolnichnaya St.6(as of06.0026.04.2013)

Specified = feared dead


Last, first and middle names Date of birth Location Annotation
1 Gladkikh Dmitry Andreevich 1987 evacuated patient
2 Kulikova Diana Vladimirovna 1945 evacuated patient
3 Volkova Victoria Viktorovna 1983 evacuated administrative staff
4 Ambramenkov Vladimir Nikolaevich 1949 specified patient
5 Arkhipova Valentina Aleksandrovna 1957 specified patient
6 Gertsev Grigory Nikolaevich 1965 specified patient
7 Glinkin Denis Anatolievich 1976 specified patient
8 Gluboko Vyacheslav Nikolaevich 1951 specified patient
9 Grishin Igor Vladimirovich 1963 specified patient
10 Grushin Aleksandr Mikhailovich 1988 specified patient
11 Yegorushkin Vladimir Yurievich 1988 specified patient
12 Zhivotkov Aleksey Stepanovich 1941 specified patient
13 Ivanova Lubov Viktorovna 1993 specified patient
14 Isktin Nikolay Alekseevich 1956 specified patient
15 Kosachev Mikhail Nikolaevich 1972 specified patient
16 Kocheshkov Anatoly Viktorivich 1953 specified patient
17 Kruglyakov Igor Nikolaevich 1969 specified patient
18 Krylov Yuriy Vladimirovich 1957 specified patient
19 Kutyanin Yuriy Grigorievich 1941 specified patient
20 Lobzev Aleksandr Evgenievich 1954 specified patient
21 Maksman Boris Avgustovich 1960 specified patient
22 Medvedev Kiril Andreevich 1987 specified patient
23 Mensitova Marina Rustamovna 1963 specified patient
24 Netryakhin Evgeny Mikhailovich 1945 specified patient
25 Mikhailenko Olga Aleksandrovna 1977 specified patient
26 Sergey (Last and middle name was not determined) presumably 1979 specified patient
27 Noskov Yuriy Mikhailovich 1961 specified patient
28 Peskov Aleksandr Vladimirovich 1977 specified patient
29 Podshibyakina Alevtina Vladimirovna 1974 specified patient
30 Prokhin Yuriy Aleksandrovich 1981 specified patient
31 Pchelkin Andrey Vladimirovich 1960 specified patient
32 Smartseva Valentina Vasilievna 1950 specified patient
33 Sokolova Maria Georgievna 1972 specified patient
34 Stepanova Svetlana Gurievna 1937 specified patient
35 Stroganov Boris Semenovich 1948 specified patient
36 Tomin Sergeevich 1960 specified patient
37 Frolov Genadiy Yurievich 1955 specified patient
38 Salimov Yuriy Leonidovich 1939 specified patient
39 Shchyukin Aleksandr Ivanivich 1979 specified patient
40 Popova Tamara Sergeevna 1941 specified administrative staff
41 Mayorova Tatiana Anatolievna

Finally, A Genetically Modified Bacteria that Can Kill Cancer Cells by 90%


American Cancer Society‘s official YouTube channel! ACS is working every day to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The ACS combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.

ACS save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or finding it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking research; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and communities worldwide to join the fight.

As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, ACS turn what they know about cancer into what they do.

ACS are available day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or by visiting

India: Mystery viral disease strikes village in Jammu and Kashmir, 130 mostly young children ill – 100413 2115z


A viral disease is believed to have hit Kambar village in the Rafiabad area ofBaramulla_district (Jammu and Kashmir) after around 130 people most of them children in the age group of 2-12 years fell sick during the past 3 days.


These patients had been diagnosed with fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and even some had redness in eyes.”The symptoms seem of some viral disease, however, actual cause of the sickness can be determined only through various investigations,” said a medical officer on the spot. Around 12 patients in the age group of 5-10 were admitted in the Baramulla district hospital for specialized treatment and their condition is stated to be stable. “We have received 12 patients with fever some of them also complaining of abdominal pain and few had redness in eyes. They are all stable now,” said Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo, Medical Superintendent, District Hospital Baramulla. The incident has caused panic not only in Kamber village where around 130 people are diagnosed with the disease but also in several adjacent villages.


The entire village of Kamber is worried over the sickness of children. The locals claim that if it is a viral disease why most of the patients are children. According to reports around 50 sick children are studying in Government Middle School Kamber, while some of the children belong to the local ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) Centre. Locals claim that the mid-day meals provided in the school were adulterated (contaminated) and can be the cause of sickness of their children. However, chief education officer termed the allegation baseless. “If mid-day meals is the cause then why entire village is in the grip of disease. Not only children attending government schools but scores of other children in the village have also fallen sick,” said Rouf Ahmad, Chief Education Officer Baramulla. Meanwhile, medical teams from directorate of health services and district hospital Baramulla rushed to the spot to provide medical aid to the patients. “A team of integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) has also reached the spot and collected water samples to determine the cause of disease. The department of food safety has also collected food samples from the local ICDS centre and school,” said chief medical officer Baramulla, Dr Abdul Rashid. Senior PDP (People’s Democratic Party) leader and former minister Muhammad Dillawar Mir has demanded an enquiry into the outbreak of the viral disease and fixing responsibility for the same.


Wednesday, 10 April, 2013 at 15:40 (03:40 PM) UTC RSOE

Doctor accused in 300 deaths

(CNN) — A Brazilian doctor who appeared in court for allegedly killing seven patients, could be responsible for up to 300 deaths to free up hospital beds in the southeast city of Curitiba, multiple media reports suggest.

Virginia Helena Soares de Souza recruited a group of doctors to help administer lethal doses of anesthetics, sedatives and painkillers, according to authorities.

In addition, the group allegedly altered oxygen levels for patients, leading to deaths by asphyxiation, police said.

Seven other health care professionals have been charged in the case.

Prosecutors allege de Souza pulled the plug on victims against the wishes of patients and their families, and in so doing broke the law. She did that to free up beds in the ICU and clear up the “clutter” the patients were causing, according to police.

De Souza was arrested in February, but was later released until trial. Her court appearance Wednesday…

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World Health Organization Warns Of Drug Resistant ‘Global’ Flu



H1N1 Swine flu is thought to have killed 200,000 people globally and Australian experts are concerned that the disease now has much more potent pandemic potential than it had before.

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is now powerless against the strain  H1N1pdm09 that has been found in people in the community rather than sick patients with serious underlying conditions and weak immune systems. Zanamivir (Relenza) still has some effect but it is not widely held in stock in the community or in hospitals.

Lead investigator Dr Aeron Hurt, from the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, said:

“The greatest concern is that these resistant viruses could spread globally, similar to that seen in 2008 when the former seasonal H1N1 virus developed oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance and spread worldwide in less than 12 months.”

The new strain is emerging in people who have never been treated with…

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Microbial Biological Warfare: Antibiotic Resistance


Did you know we might be moving into an era where antibiotics are obsolete? Just earlier this week there was an article in the U.S. News describing an outbreak of ‘Totally Drug-Resistant’ Tuberculosis in South Africa. In light of this increasingly urgent problem, this post is dedicated to antibiotic resistance!


What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that arises through biological and chemical warfare between microbes. DNA analyses have found proof of antibiotic resistance in 30,000 year old sediment samples, but it’s likely that the battle between antibiotics and resistance has been going on for millions of years [7]. Bacteria and other such organisms are constantly competing for resources (or eating each other), turning the world around us into a slaughterhouse of biological warfare. It’s all very exciting, but most of us humans are completely oblivious to it.

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Research on the Use of Sugar in Medical Treatment

Shaun's World Humanities Blog

A nurse is researching whether or not sugar can be used to effectively treat wounds, as is said in a family remedy. The idea behind this hypothesis is that sugar draws water away from wounds which in turn prevents bacteria from multiplying, preventing or helping prevent infection. The sample size of the research is not large enough yet to be able to consider it a success, but the results so far from 35 patients hint towards it being effective.

In the article it mentions a man, Alan Bayliss, who had his right leg amputated from above the knee. The procedure involved removing a vein from his left leg which resulted in wound that would not heal properly. The treatment involved using a good amount of sugar at first, with the first dressing using almost a whole pot of sugar, but it needed less as the treatment went on, only need 4…

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The Search for New Antibiotics

Shaun's World Humanities Blog

In the past few years there has been a growing search for new kinds of antibiotics. This is a result of many bacterial illnesses becoming resistant to current antibiotics. I recently read an article that said a resistant strain of tuberculosis was causing deaths in South Africa, and that if it spread to the rest of the world there would be little ways to stop it. I can’t find the article, unfortunately, and to be honest it seemed to be written with a bit media glamorization in attempts to get more views, but glamorization aside the spread of a resistant TB strain is a topic worthy of discussion. TB isn’t the only illness that has become resistant to antibiotics though, it’s just the most recent example I’ve seen, the search for new antibiotics is a pretty important search to be taking place because things we thought we had beaten, such…

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Syria: Hepatitis A and other poor hygiene disease spread aggravated by lack of safe water, health service meltdown problem for refugees, says WHO – 060213 1230z

Outbreaks of hepatitis A and other diseases spread by poor hygiene are now becoming problems among Syrians displaced by the civil war, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

(Photo: Syrian refugees

It is one of at least four United Nations agencies seeking to add a new sense of urgency to the humanitarian crisis afflicting the country.

Further aggravating the health of Syrians, the organization said, is a breakdown in the delivery of safe water throughout the country; the closing of at least one-third of Syria’s public hospitals; an exodus of doctors; and an acute shortage of ambulances, many of them damaged by fighting or impounded by the military or insurgent forces for use in combat.

The warning was delivered in a telephone briefing by Elizabeth Hoff, the health organization’s representative in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

It came a day after another United Nations organization, Unicef, announced an ambitious program to provide chlorination supplies to treat water for more than 10 million people in Syria, about half the population – another indication of the magnitude of the water problem.

The spread of hepatitis A, a serious and highly contagious liver disease, can be prevented with a vaccine. The virus is spread by close personal contact and sharing food and drinking water. Ms. Hoff and other officials said the problem was the worst in the crowded communal shelters for people displaced by the conflict.

A third United Nations agency, the World Food Program, announced at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, that it was accelerating food delivery to as many as 2.5 million people in government- and rebel-held areas of Syria.

But the agency acknowledged that its ability to distribute the food was becoming increasingly tenuous.

“There is a security issue,” Etienne Labonde, an agency representative, told reporters in Beirut.

“We have to protect our staff on the ground, but the team in Syria is doing everything it can to deliver aid to all areas. Of course, there will always be pockets they can’t reach.”

The developments came as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that manages the administering of aid in Syria, warned that “the catastrophic humanitarian situation continues to deepen,” and that violence threatened to increase the number of Syrians dependent on international aid.

Wednesday, 06 February, 2013 at 04:21 (04:21 AM) UTC RSOE


The Jolly Good News

_65065334_m1320895-t_lymphocytes_and_cancer_cell,_sem-splVast numbers of cells that can attack cancer and HIV have been grown in the lab, and could potentially be used to fight disease. The cells naturally occur in small numbers, but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.

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UK: Historic change at the General Medical Council (GMC) – 231112 1315z

The General Medical Council (GMC) (See*1) has today confirmed the make-up of its new smaller Council (See*2) in an historic move for the 154-year old organisation.

The appointments are part of a series of reforms to the GMC’s Council which was 104-strong just over 10 years ago and marks a major milestone in reforming medical regulation in the UK.

In 2003, the Council was reduced from 104 to 35 members and was reduced again to 24 members in 2009.

The current Council of 24 established the principles of independent appointment and having an equal number of medical and non-medical (lay) members.

From January 2013, the Council will be reduced in size to 12 members and will be led by its Chair Professor Sir Peter Rubin, who himself became the GMC’s first appointed Chair since the regulator was established in 1858.

The new appointments were made after a robust selection process led by Sir Peter and three other experienced assessors, independent of both the GMC and government.

The GMC is the independent regulator of the UK’s 250,000 doctors.

The GMC controls entry to the Medical Register; regulates all stages of medical education; sets standards of practice and takes firm but fair action where those high standards have not been met. The role of the Council is to set high level strategy and hold the executive to account for delivering that strategy.

Professor Sir Peter Rubin said: ‘The move to a smaller Council is an historic change and will play a critical role in setting out a clear vision and direction for the GMC at a time of great change for doctors and patients.’

‘The current Council has delivered a range of major initiatives to protect patients and improve the quality of healthcare, including major reforms to our fitness to practice work, the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and perhaps most significantly, the introduction of revalidation, which starts in December.’

‘I am really looking forward to working with my new colleagues as we continue to make our contribution to improving medical education and practice across the UK.’

The GMC’s Council appointments have been confirmed by the Privy Council:

The Privy Council has approved the following appointments, recommended by the selection panel chaired by Professor Sir Peter Rubin:

  • Dr Shree Datta
  • Lady Christine Eames
  • Professor Michael Farthing
  • Baroness Helene Hayman
  • Lord Ajay Kakkar
  • Professor Jim McKillop
  • Professor Deirdre Kelly
  • Dame Suzi Leather
  • Dame Denise Platt
  • Mrs Enid Rowlands
  • Dr Hamish Wilson

The new Council will start its term of office on 1 January 2013.


*1. The General Medical Council registers and licenses doctors to practise medicine in the UK. The law gives us four main functions:

  • Keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
  • Fostering good medical practice
  • Promoting high standards of medical education and training
  • Dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt

*2. The Council is the governing body of the GMC. It is responsible for the overall control of the organisation. It ensures that the GMC is properly managed and that the organisation fulfils its statutory and charitable purposes to protect and promote the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. It has an equal number of medical and non-medical (lay) members and includes at least one person who lives or works wholly or mainly in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


General Medical Council (link to wikipedia)

Scotland: Legionella Outbreak in South West Edinburgh 1 dead, 37 confirmed, 45 suspected cases – Updated 11 June 2012

NHS Lothian is now investigating 17* confirmed cases and 15* suspected cases of Legionnaires’ disease. (*See update below)


One patient, a man in his 50s with under lying health conditions, has died while being treated at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Thirteen men and two women aged between 33 and 74 are in a critical condition with the disease and are being treated in intensive care in hospitals in Lothian. One man has recovered and has been discharged.

Although unconfirmed, 15 other cases, ten men and five women are also being investigated. All of these patients are being treated in hospitals in Lothian.

The majority of the confirmed cases are linked geographically to the Dalry, Gorgie and Saughton areas of Edinburgh. Investigations into the other cases and possible links with the area are on-going.

The source of the outbreak continues to be investigated by officials from the City of Edinburgh Council’s Environmental Health Service and Scientific Service and the Health and Safety Executive.

Industrial cooling towers have been identified as a potential source of the infection and the cooling systems at four facilities in the area have been subject to an additional chemical treatment.

North British Distillery is being investigated among other sources

Further inspections of these facilities will be carried out by the Environmental Health Service and the Health and Safety Executive over the coming days to ensure control measures continue to be effective.

Samples have been taken from these four facilities but, legionella is a difficult bacteria to culture and it may take up to ten days before results of the samples are available.

Other possible sources are not being ruled out.

Dr Duncan McCormick, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Chair of the Incident Management Team, said:

“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the patient that died.

Investigations into the possible source of this outbreak are on-going. Meanwhile, medical staff have been actively identifying possible cases to allow us to ascertain the full extent of this outbreak.

I would like to reassure the public that household water supplies are safe and that Legionnaire’s disease cannot be contracted by drinking water.

Older people, particularly men, heavy smokers and those with other health conditions are at greater risk of contracting the disease.

I would urge anyone who develops symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease to contact NHS 24 or their GP.”

BBC: Industrial water cooling towers in the south west of Edinburgh have been treated in an attempt to stop an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

A man in his 50s has died as the number of confirmed and suspected cases in Edinburgh continues to rise.

NHS Lothian’s Dr Duncan McCormick said medical staff were identifying possible cases in an attempt to discover the full extent of the outbreak.

About Legionnaires’ disease

The first case was identified on Thursday 28 May. The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can begin anytime from between 2-14 days after exposure to the bacteria.

Legionella bacteria sometimes find their way into artificial water supply systems, such as air conditioning systems, hot water services, and cooling towers. Given the right conditions, legionella bacteria can contaminate these water systems.

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water. However, the condition is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. It cannot be contracted through drinking water.

There are strict regulations regarding the maintenance and control of water supply systems, such as either keeping the water cooled below 20C (68F), or heated above 60C (140F), in order to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Symptoms usually begin with an initial phase lasting 1-2 days, in which you experience mild headaches and muscle pain. This is followed by the onset of more severe symptoms including, high fever, usually a temperature of 40C (104F) or above, more severe muscle pain and chills.

Once the bacteria begin to infect your lungs, you may also experience a persistent cough, which is usually dry at first but as the infection develops you may start coughing up mucus or possibly blood, shortness of breath and chest pains.

About 30% of people with Legionnaires’ disease will also experience gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and
loss of appetite.

About half of those with Legionnaires’ disease will also experience changes to their mental state, such as confusion.

STV: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon says it is important not to point fingers as the number of Legionnaires cases continues to rise.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Sturgeon said there was a strong working assumption the source of the outbreak had been traced.

She said: Health Protection Scotland are taking the appropriate steps to identify the source as quickly as possible.

Theres the strong working assumption surrounding cooling towers in the south west of Edinburgh and those towers have been chemically treated.

While the source is being investigated it is important not to point fingers at individual companies.

New ITV blog worth a visit

Update 6 June 2012 1940 BST:

There are now 21 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 19 suspected cases in Scotland, the country’s health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.- Sky News

Update – 08/06/2012 15:30 BST

NHS Lothian advise that…

Number of cases stands at 74

The latest reports from the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) on the Edinburgh Legionnaires’ disease outbreak show that there are now 28 confirmed cases and 46 suspected cases. This is an increase of 13 on the total numbers of confirmed and suspected cases.

As at 12pm today, of those cases being treated in hospital, 14 were in intensive care and 30 are on general wards.

A total of 15 cases are being treated in the community, ten have been discharged from hospital and one person has sadly died.

Four cases are being treated outside of the NHS Lothian area. A patient who was yesterday being treated in NHS Highland has now been transferred to Glasgow, one patient is being treated in the north of England, one in NHS Tayside and one in NHS Lanarkshire. At this stage all these cases are considered to be linked to the south west Edinburgh outbreak.

The ages of the confirmed cases ranges between 33 and 76, with more males than females affected.

As of 10pm yesterday, NHS 24 had received 492 calls to the dedicated helpline for Legionnaires’ disease.

The Health and Safety Executive and Edinburgh City Council are continuing their investigations into the possible source of the outbreak. The HSE has today served an Improvement Notice on one of the companies responsible for one of the cooling towers which is being investigated, although this does not mean that this tower has been identified as the source of the outbreak.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “As we expected, we have seen a rise in the number of cases associated with this outbreak today. It is reassuring to see that ten people have now been discharged from hospital.

“NHS Lothian continues to be very busy and contact has been made with other health boards in case capacity at other hospitals is required.

“The fact remains that the risk to the general public remains low but anyone with concerns should contact their GP or NHS 24’s dedicated hotline on 0800 0858 531.

“I want to stress that this bacteria is not passed on person to person or by drinking water.

“Investigations into the source of this outbreak are continuing. It is important to note that in issuing an Improvement Notice, the HSE does not believe there is an immediate risk to workers or members of the public. Nor can it be assumed that this tower is the source of the outbreak.

“Investigations into all of the other towers in the area are continuing.”

Dr Duncan McCormick, Chair of the IMT and Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lothian, said: “The number of patients with confirmed or suspected Legionnaires’ disease has increased since yesterday. This is exactly in line with what we expected and what we have predicted so far, based on the first presentation of patients and the incubation period of Legionnaires’ disease which is between two and 14 days, but usually has an average of five to six days.

“We expect that the numbers of patients affected will peak over the weekend and then begin to fall as we move into the beginning of next week.

“The majority of patients who are presenting now are also on the lower end of the sickness scale and are therefore more likely to be treated in the community with appropriate care than be admitted into hospital, meaning that they are also unlikely to have underlying health conditions.”

Update – 11/06/2012 1417 BST

This is the latest at this time

Outbreak of Legionella in South West Edinburgh. Update – 10/06/2012 16:00

Legionnaires’ outbreak update

Number of cases stands at 82

The latest reports from the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) on the Edinburgh Legionnaires’ disease outbreak show that there are now 37 confirmed cases and 45 suspected cases. This is an increase of one in the total number of confirmed cases and an increase of one suspected case.

As at noon today, of those cases being treated in hospital, 15 are in intensive care and 26 are on general wards.

A total of 16 cases are being treated in the community, 19 have been discharged from hospital and one person has died.

Five cases are being treated outwith the NHS Lothian area. One patient is being treated in the north of England, two in NHS Tayside, one in NHS Lanarkshire and one patient from NHS Highland is now being treated in Glasgow. At this stage all these cases are considered to be linked to the south west Edinburgh outbreak.

The ages of the confirmed cases ranges between 33 and 76, with more males than females affected.

NHS 24 has received 630 calls to the dedicated helpline for Legionnaires’ disease.

The Health and Safety Executive and Edinburgh City Council are continuing their investigations into the possible source of the outbreak.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “These latest figures are reassuring and in line with expectations, and although it is too early to be definite they do suggest we are now in the later stages of this outbreak. All those involved are responding extremely well: NHS Lothian services are coping with the demands on them and the City of Edinburgh Council and the Health and Safety Executive continue to make significant progress in their investigation to identify the source of this outbreak.”

Dr Duncan McCormick, Chair of the IMT and Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lothian, said: “We are pleased with the slow down in the number of cases presenting and we hope this will continue over the coming days.

“The risk to the general public is low but anyone with concerns should contact their GP or NHS 24’s dedicated hotline on 0800 0858 531.”

Legionnaire’s disease symptoms

UK: #Doctors to take industrial action on 21 June, 2012 over pensions dispute. Non-urgent cases may be postponed – 30 May 2012

This is a stock type photo of 'doctors' - none of persons pictured are linked with this story

(Creative Commons photo by Waldo Jaquith)

Doctors will take industrial action for the first time in almost 40 years over major changes to the NHS pension scheme, the BMA confirmed today (Wednesday 30 May, 2012). The first day of action will take place on 21 June 2012 and will see doctors providing all urgent and emergency care, but postponing non-urgent cases.

BMA Council made the decision after considering the results of its ballots on industrial action which closed yesterday. Overall, 50 per cent of the 104,544 doctors eligible to vote took part. Across separate ballots covering six branches of practice, a clear majority of: GPs; consultants; junior doctors; staff, associate specialist and speciality doctors, and public health and community health doctors said they were prepared to take part in both industrial action short of a strike and a strike, while a majority of occupational medicine doctors voted against industrial action.

Although the BMAs planned action does not constitute a strike as the term is normally understood by the public, the two questions were asked in order to provide maximum legal protection. Doctors will still be at their usual workplaces.

The government has begun to implement major changes to the NHS pension scheme, despite widespread criticism of its approach from organisations representing health professionals. In 2008, the BMA, other health unions and the government negotiated a major reform of the NHS scheme, which all agreed made it fair and sustainable well into the future.

The NHS scheme currently delivers a positive cashflow of £2 billion a year to the Treasury, and NHS staff have already accepted responsibility for any future increases in costs due to improved longevity. The latest changes will see doctors paying up to 14.5 per cent of their salaries in pension contributions twice as much as some other public sector staff on a similar salary in order to receive a similar pension. They will also have to work longer to receive their pension up to 68 for younger doctors.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, said:

We are taking this step very reluctantly, and would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution. But this clear mandate for action on a very high turnout reflects just how let down doctors feel by the governments unwillingness to find a fairer approach to the latest pension changes and its refusal to acknowledge the major reforms of 2008 that made the NHS scheme sustainable in the long term.

Non-urgent work will be postponed and, although this will be disruptive to the NHS, doctors will ensure patient safety is protected. All urgent and emergency care will be provided and we will work closely with managers so that anyone whose care is going to be affected can be given as much notice as possible. Patients do not need to do anything now.

We will also run our own publicity campaign to make sure that members of the public understand what the action will involve and how they can find out what it might mean for them and their families.

This is not a step that doctors take lightly this is the first industrial action doctors have taken since 1975. We have consistently argued that the Government should reconsider its position, and even at this stage we would much prefer to negotiate a fairer deal than to take action. We are not seeking preferential treatment but fair treatment. The governments wholesale changes to an already reformed NHS pension scheme cannot be justified.

The BBC says “Doctors will stop providing non-urgent care for a day next month in the first industrial action by the profession for nearly 40 years.

The move comes after a majority of doctors voted in favour of action in a British Medical Association ballot of 104,000 members over pension changes.

The 24-hour day of action will take place on 21 June.”

Vist the BBC – Doctors target non-urgent care in industrial action

97 in US water park parasite epidemic

“97 people have reported cases of cryptosporidiosis since last month’s outbreak at Edgewater Resort and Water Park in Duluth, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

22 of those cases have been confirmed in laboratories. Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) epidemiologist Trisha Robinson said the confirmed cases probably only represent a fraction of people who were actually sickened by the parasite. The investigation of the outbreak is still in progress.

“One different thing with cryptosporidiosis is the time from when a person is exposed to the time when they become sick can be as long as 2 weeks,” Robinsons said. “Pools were closed on 26 March, so we could still have people becoming ill 2 weeks after that, and their symptoms last anywhere from one to 2 weeks.” Another unrelated cryptosporidiosis outbreak in Brainerd [Minnesota] last month resulted in 36 reported cases, with one case being confirmed in a laboratory. The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include stomach cramps, fevers or diarrhea. It can be contracted by swimming in infected water, contact with animals or even drinking raw unpasteurized milk. “The way that cryptosporidiosis is typically introduced into the water park, and which we believe is the instance in both of these cases, is that it comes in from an infected user,” Robinson said.

In 2011, there were 305 laboratory-confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis, according to preliminary MDH numbers. Robinson said one person was hospitalized in each of the Brainerd and Duluth outbreaks. “It certainly can be more dangerous to those who are immune-compromised: the children, the very elderly, pregnant individuals,” Robinson said. “In Minnesota, we can see about 20 percent of individuals that would require hospitalization for this, so it is something that can cause very serious illness.” Robinson said that people who have been sick with diarrhea in the previous 2 weeks should avoid swimming in recreational waters.”

Monday, 23 April, 2012 at 06:04 (06:04 AM) UTC RSOE

Edgewater Resort and Waterpark

Epidemic in China: 4 dead, 11,000 ill with Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD)

Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) has killed four people and sickened more than 11,000 others in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and more people are likely to be affected by the disease as it enters its peak, health authorities said Saturday. During the first quarter this year, a total of 11,757 HFMD cases have been reported in Guangxi, up 38.24 percent from the same period last year, the Guangxi regional health department said in a statement. The infectious disease has plagued other areas in China. Central Hunan province has seen a surge in cases of hand-foot-mouth disease since the beginning of this month, with over 1,000 cases reported over the past week, according to local health authorities. Also 20 children of a kindergarten in Hong Kong have been infected by the disease. Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said the patients, 13 boys and seven girls from two to five years old, started to show symptoms of HFMD since March 23. Children under three years old are especially susceptible to break-outs of HFMD. The disease starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. The HFMD virus is usually transmitted through digestive and respiratory systems or through intimate contact. China’s Ministry of Health on Monday issued a statement, urging local governments of all levels to intensify the prevention and control of HFMD as well as other infectious diseases. Ministry figures showed that, in February, China’s mainland reported over 467,000 cases of infectious disease and 1,246 related deaths, of which 11 people died of HFMD. The Guangxi regional disease control and prevention center has since intensified training among medical workers in handling the disease and strengthened advertisement among the people about the disease. Health authorities in Hunan have ordered measures to closely monitor and prevent cases of the disease, especially at primary schools and kindergartens. South China’s Hainan province also kicked off a one-month campaign on March 20 to inspect prevention and control work of the disease. – RSOE