Doctors in the story argue that West Nile may have mutated because they have found harsher symptoms, or attacks on the brain. The CDC, of course,
tried to argue a different angle on this and said the virus isn’t a new one, but said that the doctors are only seeing harsher symptoms because
there are more cases. So, one side said it’s a mutated virus while the other side said it is more widespread. Either way, the disease is on the
Here are several key phrases used in the article on the West Nile Virus’
“More aggressive than in the past”
“The worst in a decade”
“Brain dysfunction very much worse”
“Something he has never observed before”
“Something’s different, something’s changed”
These are all the same tunes heard throughout this disease chapter, and actually, the same tune that echoes throughout this entire book on all the
Regardless of all the arguments with each disease I’ve mentioned in this chapter, the same acknowledgment rings throughout, they are all rising in
numbers at an alarming rate, as is stated in the first paragraph of this story that states the World Health Organization worries Dengue Fever could
become a global epidemic.
Dengue showing global ‘epidemic potential’: WHO
Terradaily.com, Jan. 16, 2013
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever
was spreading at an alarming rate.
"In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase
in disease incidence over the past 50 years," the Geneva-based UN agency said in a report.
The increased transmission rate of the deadly mosquito-borne disease was due to climate change and a greater movement of people, the agency said.
An annual two million cases of dengue fever were reported over the last two years by 100 countries, with between 5,000 to 6,000 of them resulting in
Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne illness that causes fever, headaches, itching and joint pains. The advanced stage of the disease has hemorrhaging and
death. In the story, it is said that 100 countries has the disease with 2 million cases a year in the last two years, but one person from the WHO
believes that there are most likely up to 50 million cases worldwide because of underreporting.
Here is a link to a thread at AboveTopSecret.com started in early 2013 about a sars-like disease that made its initial appearance and claimed 10
lives, two in the UK, up to that point. The latest victim returned to the UK from a trip to the Middle East.
On a side note, I’d like to share news about a fungi spreading not to humans, but to the Central American coffee industry. Farmers are in a
desperate race to stop the spread of a coffee-eating fungus that has invaded a third of the crops. Keep in mind this is an impoverished region that
depends on the coffee exports and this fungus threatens to cost them hundreds of millions in lost crop. The story clearly states that they believe
this is from the warming temperatures and droughts.
From phys.org, Jan. 18, 2013
The parasite has latched on to 35 percent of the 958,000 hectares of sown crops, which will mean a loss of two million coffee bean bags of 46
kilograms (100 pounds) each, industry officials told AFP. This would represent a loss of $300 million at the current price of $150 per bag, the
But in September, two months before the annual harvest, the fungus known as roya began to spread due to a lack of preventive measures and the effects
of climate change, including high temperatures and drought, according to experts, government officials and industry sources.
After all that I’ve discussed in this chapter, some theorize that it may not all be bad. A story from Fox News published in 2007 stated that
methane-eating microbes may save the world because they eat the methane before it’s released which is stabilizing the levels in the atmosphere,
which, in turn, will keep the heating of our planet at sustainable levels.
Earlier in this chapter I discussed all the different forms of methane-eating microbes that live in the mud of rivers and lakes, deep underground,
high in the atmosphere, in the oceans, landfills, rice paddies and volcanoes. In all these situations, you’ll find these little bugs feasting on the
hydrates still held under pressure in the earth, or released as a plume of gas into the air. Although I do believe that these microbes are feasting on
the methane, I just don’t think they are having the effect that was originally expected when this story came out.
The article stated that the specialized bacteria could help climate change by sucking up the methane from the Earth’s crust before it has a chance
to spew into the atmosphere. Two separate papers were published in the journal Nature describing these mud-loving microbes.
Methane-eating microbes could save the world
Foxnews.com, November 14, 2007
By Jeanna Bryner, Live Science
The hellish temperature and pressure conditions beneath the Earth's surface can turn rock into goopy mud, which along with a soup of gases
(including methane) and other chemicals, can stream gently (or eject violently) from surface vents called fumaroles.
These "mud volcanoes" support a range of conditions, with some areas reaching temperatures of 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) and pH's
close to that of battery acid.
Mike Jetten of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and his colleagues discovered a bacterium dubbed Acidimethylosilex fumarolicum in a
fuming vent in the Solfatara volcanic area near Naples, Italy.
Lab experiments revealed A. fumarolicum could grow at a very acidic pH, as low as 0.8, and at a temperature of about 130 degrees F (55 degrees C),
consuming methane for energy.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, from acidic to basic with water having a neutral pH of 7, while battery acid has pH below 1, and pH of household
bleach can reach about 12.5.
The article stated that bacteria can use oxygen too, but their muddy habitat is nearly devoid of such luxuries, making for a stressful life.
"The only oxygen the bacteria get is from the bubbling of the volcano, which puts air into the liquid," Jetten told LiveScience. "They are always
stressed for air, so they're always living under oxygen limitation. The ecosystems themselves are completely devoid of oxygen, so every molecule that
enters is immediately consumed."
Researchers in New Zealand also discovered a methane-munching bacteria, Methylokorus infernorum. The bacteria could thrive at a pH as low as 1.5 and
temperatures of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).
Up to this point, the lowest pH found to support methanotrophs was in peat bogs, where bacteria thrived down to a pH of about 4.