Category Archives: pandemic

USDA Continues to Prevent African Swine Fever from Entering the U.S. | USDA

Last week, USDA-trained detector dogs played a major role in the seizure of roughly 1 million pounds of pork smuggled from China where there is an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). The highly contagious and deadly disease affects both domestic and feral (wild) pigs and there is no treatment or vaccine available for it.

Source: USDA Continues to Prevent African Swine Fever from Entering the U.S. | USDA

Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

“The invasive Aedes species, which is what we are seeing a lot of, can transmit Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue,”

Source: Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

If a visitor comes to LA with active zika, yellow fever, chikungunya or dengue and is bitten by a local LA Aedes, that mosquito can become ground zero for the spread of those diseases in LA! With modern air travel and global warming, it is inevitable that those diseases get a foothold in LA unless LA has a very active and aggressive vector control system.

Inoreader – An Unvaccinated Child in Oregon Recently Had Tetanus

“The boy required 57 days of inpatient acute care, including 47 days in the intensive care unit. The inpatient charges totaled $811,929 (excluding air transportation, inpatient rehabilitation, and ambulatory follow-up costs). One month after inpatient rehabilitation, he returned to all normal activities, including running and bicycling. Despite extensive review of the risks and benefits of tetanus vaccination by physicians, the family declined the second dose of DTaP and any other recommended immunizations.”

Source: Inoreader – An Unvaccinated Child in Oregon Recently Had Tetanus

Avian Flu Diary: Egyptian MOA: Reassorted H5N2 Detected On Duck Farm

#13,905 One of the remarkable, and most worrying, things about influenza is its ability to continually re-in…

Source: Avian Flu Diary: Egyptian MOA: Reassorted H5N2 Detected On Duck Farm

One of the remarkable, and most worrying, things about influenza is its ability to continually re-invent itself, either via a slow process of antigenic drift, or rapidly through antigenic shift (reassortment).

  • Antigenic drift causes small, incremental changes in the virus over time. Drift is the standard evolutionary process of influenza viruses, and often come about due to replication errors that are common with single-strand RNA viruses (see NIAID Video: Antigenic Drift).
  • Shift occurs when one virus swap out chunks of their genetic code with gene segments from another virus.  This is known as reassortment. While far less common than drift, shift can produce abrupt, dramatic, and sometimes pandemic inducing changes to the virus (see NIAID Video: How Influenza Pandemics Occur).

While reassortment can occur with just about any influenza A virus, H5Nx subtypes appear unusually agile in this department, and genetic contributions from LPAI H9N2 can be found inside many avian viruses (see PNAS: Reassortment Potential Of Avian H9N2).

Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook | Technology | The Guardian

Kass is only the latest pro-vaccine health practitioner to be subjected to an online harassment campaign by anti-vaxxers. Networks of closed Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members have become staging grounds for campaigns that victims say are intended to silence and intimidate pro-vaccine voices on social media. The harassment only exacerbates an online ecosystem rife with anti-vaccine misinformation, thanks in part to Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising. “Their goal is to tell my patients what a bad person I am so I lose business,” Kass told the Guardian by phone, five days into his ordeal. “It’s made me reluctant to engage online.”

Source: Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook | Technology | The Guardian

Avian Flu Diary: Nature: Bat Influenza Receptors In Other Mammals (Including Humans) Bats flourish and overpopulate when humans overproduce fruits that bats feed on! Game on! and who knows when we strike out!

#13,894 Exactly 7 years ago today ( Feb 27, 2012 ) we looked at an announcement from scientists from the U.S. CDC and the Universid…

Source: Avian Flu Diary: Nature: Bat Influenza Receptors In Other Mammals (Including Humans)

Unknown forces attack Butembo Ebola treatment center | CIDRAP (Could not be much more stupid and evil – set off massive ebola outbreak that can easily kill the attackers as well.)

“Tonight another deplorable attack on an Ebola treatment facility has taken place, this time in the city of Butembo,” said Hugues Robert, MSF emergency desk manager, in a news release. “This follows the attack last week on another MSF Ebola treatment center in nearby Katwa. This attack has not only put the lives of Ebola patients and their families in danger, but also those of MSF and Ministry of Health staff.”

Source: Unknown forces attack Butembo Ebola treatment center | CIDRAP