MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — State wildlife officials say “several hundred” dead birds were found near the Murray State University campus last week. They say grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings were among the dead animals.
Authorities near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are investigating the mysterious death of scores of fish in a lake. Environmental officials are testing samples, while the government tries to allay fears that it is linked to a deadly cholera epidemic. Michel Chancy, the Haitian Agriculture Minister, said: “At this time we cannot connect this problem with cholera. Cholera affects people, not fish. The fish don’t have anything to do with cholera. Something else caused this problem. It could be something toxic, a disease.”
LONDON: Over 40,000 dead crabs have washed up along the coast in Britain, and environmental experts say the cold weather is to blame. The Velvet swimming crabs - also called devil crabs - were found dead in beaches around Thanet in Kent along with smaller numbers of whelks, sponges and anemones, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
DONG THAP - More than 150 tonnes of red tilapias have died en masse in the past week in Cao Lanh District in the southern province of Dong Thap, resulting in losses of VND35 billion (S$2.2 million) for aquaculture farmers. Red tilapias are the world's most popular farmed fish. They are fast growing and low in mercury. The dead fish were being raised by 41 households along the Can Lo River. It was the first time such a disaster has occurred.
Environment Agency Wales can confirm that what could be hundreds of dead fish, mostly bream, carp and roach, have been found in the marina on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Goytre Wharf near Abergavenny earlier today. A 30cm drop in the water level at the marina by work upstream could be a contributory factor, but more than likely the cold weather, ice and lack of oxygen are to blame. Initial investigations reveal there is no pollution detectable but no conclusion has been drawn as officers continue their work.
Japanese bird sanctuaries, poultry farms and zoos went on high alert last month after several species of migratory birds in different regions were found dead of what appeared to be H5N1 avian influenza. The virus frightened flu specialists when it resurfaced in Hong Kong in 2003 and quickly spread throughout Asia and along bird migratory routes to Europe and Africa. It has not mutated to spread among humans, though it still kills them occasionally — Egypt reported its 38th death last month.
Now, more that 100 dead birds were recently found in Wilson County, causing the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to investigate. A resident notified the agency Tuesday afternoon after he spotted dozens of dead birds along Highway 70 north in Lebanon a few days ago. “It’s kind of a strange, odd thing. It plays into some of the things that have been happening in other places,” said Lt. Jim Hooper of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. TWRA officials found 120 dead blackbirds in the Spring Creek area when they investigated the situation on Wednesday. “We searched the adjoining fields and everywhere else, and there are no other birds except in this one very localized area,” said Hooper. “The birds have definitely been dead 5 or 6 days."
GEAPRESS - There are certainly many hundreds, probably thousands, the collared dove who are dying at this moment in Faenza. They are in heaps in the flower beds, crushed by machinery in the streets, horribly hung from trees like Christmas balls. Many, many more, say the property information in the fenced land for industrial use. The WWF has other collections, not all already dead. A dozen, in fact, have been sent to the Center of Recovery The Robin of Modena, where those arriving are still alive but died shortly after. Inside the beak, in some animals, the staining was of a strange blue.
At least three children have died in a measles outbreak that hit two towns in southern Philippines, local authorities on Wednesday said. The measles epidemic that hit Talaingod and Kapalong towns in Mindanao's Davao del Norte province came as the region is still reeling from rain-induced flooding and landslides that have already killed at least 15 people. Over thirty people are also hospitalized due to the viral disease, and eight of them were confirmed to have contracted the disease, according to Basilio Libayao, mayor of the upland Talaingod town. "What alarmed us was that even our town physician was not spared from the disease although he was lucky to have recovered from it," Libayao said. The continuous rains and landslides hampered medical teams from reaching far-flung communities of this landlocked town, where most of the 20,000 inhabitants belonging to the Ata-Manobo tribe rely on crude farming and occasional hunting for subsistence, according to municipal health officer James Ian dela Cruz. "We are expecting this number to increase as our medical teams reach other far-flung affected areas," Doctor Dela Cruz said. Libayao said he has declared the town under state of calamity so funds from the local and provincial government could be used to buy more vaccines and other medical supplies for the victims. A similar outbreak of the disease was also reported in nearby Kapalong town, but according to Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol, only about five patients are still undergoing treatment at the local hospital.
Ecuadorian officials are denying they are facing a H1N1, swine flu, epidemic in spite of eight deaths and 35 confirmed cases reported in December 2010. The country’s national director of epidemiology, Juan Moreira, has stated the number of cases is “within an expected range.” International fears about an outbreak occurring are high in light of what is happening in England and Wales. Flu cases have more than doubled in the past couple of weeks in that region, and include the H1N1 strain. The World Health Organization is monitoring hot spots to ensure that another outbreak similar to the deadly 2009 doesn’t take hold globally. The 2009 outbreak started in a rural region of Mexico.
Texans are observing hundreds of dead birds on an East Texas bridge, according to a breaking report by KLTV in Tyler. This latest discovery compounds the mystery of recent reported discoveries of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of dead birds and fish documented in the southern United States as well as dead wildlife reports in other parts of the world this week. Around 200 birds were found dead on a Hwy 155 bridge over the Lake O' the Pines, this morning. The cause of death of the birds identified as American Coots is unknown. Lake O' the Pines is located on Big Cypress Creek in the Cypress River Basin, 25 miles northeast of Longview. Experts initially contacted by KLTV considered the large number of dead birds spotted on an east Texas bridge to most probably be a natural occurrence in the area. KLTV updated their report with information from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Media Communication Director, Tom Harvey, who says it is not uncommon to see dozens of dead birds on this bridge. The Corps of Engineers office at Lake O' the Pines reports that they are not sure why kills like this happen, but they think it likely that the birds get hit and killed by motor vehicles while walking, roosting or flying on and around the bridge. Greg Conley, from the Corp of Engineers, recalls seeing a similar situation involving multiple dead birds on bridges and roadways around Lake Fork. He considers this incident to be unrelated to the Arkansas situation.
It seemed like a quiet flu season this year, but the risk is growing rapidly. New York is showing a dramatic increase in the number of serious infections and emergency room visits, and doctors are trying to figure out the reason. New York City’s Health Department has released some startling numbers. There were about 200 flu cases a day in October and some 300 cases in November, with similar numbers in early December. Right around Christmas, however, flu cases spiked to about 500 cases a day. Around the New Year, save for a brief dip, the flu in the city is widespread.
THE WINTER flu virus and stomach bugs have reached epidemic levels in France in the past week, new GP figures reveal. The research by the Sentinelles-Inserm network, which represents thousands of doctors around the country, found 275,000 new cases of flu reported nationwide last week. To be considered an epidemic, the flu bug must affect at least 177 people in every 100,000. The figure currently stands at 438 per 100,000 and is expected to remain high for at least another week.
Swine flu levels in Switzerland have hit epidemic levels, leading some experts to call for all health professionals to be vaccinated against the virus. One of them is Professor Andreas Widmer, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Basel. Widmer says that when it comes to swine flu, the most at-risk people are not the elderly, but people aged between between 15 and 40—especially pregnant women, new mothers and people who are seriously overweight.
More and more people are calling for help with bed bugs as the infestation spreads to new locations like movie theaters, retail stores, hospitals, day care facilities and libraries, Rosenberg said. "The results of the 2010 comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study suggest that we are on the threshold of a bed bug pandemic, not just in the United States, but around the world," said Missy Henriksen, spokeswoman for NPMA.
Thousands of dead fish are washing up on Folly Beach Thursday. The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the fish is called menhaden they likely died as a result of the cold water. Biology crews are out on Folly Beach collecting samples. The menhaden are a schooling fish and there does not seem to be any unusual circumstances other than a cold kill, according to DHEC. The large amount of dead fish could be easily seen from the Folly Beach pier, extending great distances in both directions.
Mystery deepened over the death of 2 children at Ragimuddenahalli of Mandya district on Monday [3 Jan 2011] with doctors not confirming the cause of deaths. The children died after vomiting blood on Sunday. Meanwhile, the 3 children admitted to Cheluvamba Hospital here on Sunday [2 Jan 2011] with similar symptoms are said to be out of danger. Ruling out viral infection or encephalitis as suspected earlier, Dr Krishnamurthy, hospital superintendent, attributed the deaths to delay in blood clotting. "Their blood clotting time was 90-120 seconds against the normal 15-20 seconds," he said. He said blood clotting is normally delayed in cases of people consuming rat poison or in haemorrhages. "The 3 children who are being treated now are below 3 years. They could have eaten bondas mixed with rat poison. But this is a distant possibility as the 5 children might not have chanced upon the same bondas," Krishnamurthy felt. According to the parents, they all had dinner at their respective homes. "This makes the things more complicated for us to arrive at a conclusion and identify the reason," he said. He has directed the doctors to send blood samples to the forensic laboratory in Bangalore where experts can trace the chemical that slows down blood clotting. "Only after receiving the report from Bangalore we can arrive at a conclusion," he added. Meanwhile, health officials from Mandya Dr Arvindappa said he visited Cheluvamba Hospital and felt that children might have died of acute gastritis.
It's not enough that birds are dropping from the skies and fish are washing up on our shores...now we've got disappearing bumblebees to contend with. Some American bumblebee species saw a massive 96% population drop in the last 20 years. The United States is home to fifty bumblebee species, and researchers at the University of Illinois examined eight of them. They discovered that half of the species they examined declined an average of 96% in total abundance, and now occupy just 13% of their previous geographic range. The bumblebee deaths may or may not be related to the ongoing colony collapse phenomenon that is affecting honeybees. Whatever is going on, this could affect our crops very soon, as lead researcher Sydney Cameron explains: "That certainly could impact the efficiency of our food production for many crops, such as cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes. Bumble bees are especially good pollinators of these types of crops."
Three people have died, 14 in critical condition as deadly flu spreads mainly through central Israel. Hospitals were swamped Wednesday morning with patients seeking treatment for the swine flu, which hit Israel for the second sequential winter. The Health Ministry announced Wednesday morning that 14 people had been hospitalized in critical condition, among them six children. Three people have already died from the flu this year, including a 15-year old boy who appeared healthy but succumbed to the disease within a single day. Idan Levy's death was said to have sparked a panic, and Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv bore the brunt of it late Tuesday night. Patients arrived in droves, carrying children displaying flu symptoms, and many found themselves waiting for a spare bed for up to four hours. Central Israel was hit hardest this year, according to the ministry's data, with 3,043 people seeking treatment, while Jerusalem was least affected, with just 457 people seeking medical assistance. More than 8,000 people altogether have had symptoms, the ministry said.
Louisiana's state wildlife veterinarian says at least some of an estimated 450 birds that died near Baton Rouge may have flown into a power line. Jim LaCour said Tuesday [4 Jan 2011] the grackles, starlings, brown-headed cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds had broken beaks and backs. He says some live birds had broken wings but ran too fast to catch. The bird deaths Monday came a few days after about 3000 blackbirds fell from the sky in central Arkansas. Scientists there say celebratory fireworks on New Year's Eve likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths. Officials say such massive wildlife kills are not uncommon.
More than 80 pigeons have keeled over and died at a farm near Quebec City for unknown reasons, the latest in a string of mysterious animal deaths around the world. Environmental officials in the province say there’s no connection to a similar case in Arkansas, but Sylvain Turmel is wondering why he’s been picking up dead pigeons for more than two weeks on his farm in Saint-Augustine-de-Desmaures. The first dead bird was found on Dec. 18. He’s since found more bodies on his roof and inside the barn. “I was stunned,” he said. “I went to see my tenant to ask whether he’d been feeding them poison. He ended helping me pick up 25 corpses. In the time it took us to collect them, five more had fallen. Authorities thought it might be gas. But that’s not possible.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said tests are currently being performed at the animal pathology lab in the provincial capital. “The cause right now isn’t known,” said Nicolas Begin. “It’s not related to what happened in the U.S. (But) we don’t see this sort of thing every day and we’re treating this as a serious matter.” About 5,000 birds fell from the sky in Arkansas over the New Year’s weekend. That incident is part of a string of fish and animal deaths seen in the U.S. and Europe, including a case in Maryland where two million fish washed up on the shores of Chesapeake Bay earlier this month, blamed on a rapid drop in temperature. In Quebec, firefighters and police visited Turmel’s property to check for fumes or criminal activity. Wildlife officials assured him the birds weren’t killed by the avian flu or the West Nile virus, but he’s been wary about touching them without gloves. He said wildlife officials took seven of the dead birds for analysis and told him not to speak with the media. Still, the feisty landowner called a local radio station to recount the incident. There’s something going on,” he said. “This is not normal.”
Health authorities have played down the threat of flu pandemic in Ireland even as they reported a doubling up of human swine flu cases in the past week. But they denied Department of Health and HSE claims that increasing numbers of swine flu cases were to blame for overcrowding in hospital emergency departments. Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE head of health protection, also reassured journalists that the country had enough stockpiles of swine flu vaccines to cover up to a million people, even without reverting to orders previously cancelled. Stocks were within their use before date, as independently verified by the Irish Medicines Board, he said. GPs have diagnosed around 5,400 new cases this week — double the number of cases found in the previous week, and 26 patients were being treated yesterday in intensive care units (ICUs) for influenza, according to official figures. This represents a rate of more than 120 new cases for every 100,000 people compared to over 200 new cases for every 100,000 people at the height of the pandemic in 2009.
At least 31 children with swine flu are fighting for their lives in hospitals across Britain, nine of them in paediatric intensive care units in London. Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital have four children on ventilation machines, the highest number in any one intensive care unit. Bob Winter, president of the Intensive Care Society said the system was “coping” but special measures had been put in place in case of an epidemic. He said operations could be cancelled and theatre recovery areas could be used as makeshift intensive care units to cope with demand. Children and teenagers are being worst hit in the flu outbreak, with the H1N1 swine flu virus responsible for the majority of deaths so far this winter. Thirteen patients under 14 have died, including five under the age of five. Flu has killed 50 people across the UK — 45 succumbed to swine flu — including 11 this week.Leftover swine flu vaccine from last year's pandemic is to be rushed out to GP surgeries. About 13 million doses are being released to combat local shortages. A handful of London surgeries are among those that have run out of stock.
A whooping cough epidemic continues to sweep along the east coast of Australia. In the past two years, there have been four deaths nationally due to the condition. Health experts are attributing some of the cases to new tests that are picking up milder cases of the disease. After an explosion in the number of cases, parents and carers are being warned to update their immunisations with a booster to prevent the spread.
16 new cases of hepatitis A have been registered in the hospital in the southern town of Haskovo. The patients are from the towns of Haskovo, Dimitrovgrad, Lyubimets, Simeonovgrad and Svilengrad and the village of Dobrich, the regional health inspectorate told FOCUS News Agency. The hospital released 23 patients and is now taking care of 102. Since the beginning of December 2010 the hospital has registered 208 cases of hepatitis A.
Halstead Hospital has also had to be deep cleaned following an outbreak of swine flu and seasonal flu over Christmas. The hospital was unable to take any new admissions until Tuesday this week because of attempts to contain the outbreak. Halstead schools are poised for a flu outbreak after youngsters returned following the festive break. Headteacher David Iles of Richard de Clare Primary School said: “We have had another look at our policy in the case of an epidemic.
PORT-AU-PRINCE – The death toll in the cholera epidemic that broke out in mid-October in Haiti now stands at 3,651, and a total of 171,304 people have been infected with the disease, according to a bulletin made public on Thursday by the Public Health and Population Ministry.
TUSCALOOSA | Although this flu season does not appear to be as bad as the H1N1 epidemic of 2009, the season is just getting started, according to state officials. Over the last two weeks, cases of influenza have been considered “widespread,” meaning they are in almost every county in Alabama. “Right now it’s definitely picking up statewide,” said Sherri Davidson, state influenza coordinator at the Alabama Department of Public Health. “We don’t know if it will continue to increase for several weeks or not. We’ll have to wait and see.”
TWELVE people have died after contracting flu in Wales, the Assembly Government said last night. And flu was a contributory factor in a further 45 deaths since October, the figures revealed. But experts believe the true number of people who have died as a result of flu this winter in Wales will be far higher. The figures – the first to be issued by the Assembly Government since the end of the swine flu pandemic – come as doctors in Wales have been given permission to use the 2009 swine flu jab to vaccinate patients. It follows shortages of the seasonal flu vaccine in parts of Wales, including the nation’s largest hospital – the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The figures also show there are 71 people with flu being treated in critical care beds in Wales – 21 of whom are aged between six and 15. The flu death toll in the rest of the UK stood at 50, up 11 on last week’s figures. This includes reports of 12 flu-related deaths in Scotland. The majority of these deaths were people who had contracted the H1N1 swine flu virus.
There is a major outbreak of the flu in Central Florida and even doctors said they were astounded by the number of people getting sick. This week, doctors at Florida Hospital Centra Care saw 17 times their usual number of flu patients. The flu is spreading and people are suffering and walk-in clinics like Centra Care have been busy. "I had mine for about 10 days, body aches, headaches, sore throat, little bit of fever," said patient Natalie Diaz. "At Centra Care we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of flu cases," Dr. Tim Hendrix of Centra Care said. Dr. Hendrix said in early December, Centra Care was seeing about 20 flu cases a week, and the past 7 days they've seen 340 people with the flu. "It's been a substantial increase. I'd say we're pretty much into an epidemic type of flu scenario now," Hendrix said.
Five thousand blackbirds in Arkansas. One hundred pelicans near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Three hundred doves in Italy. Seventy bats in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands of fish in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and the United States. Google is now hosting a map of incidents of mass animal deaths around the world. Google Maps' distinctive blue balloons indicate where the deaths took place. Click on a balloon, and the map provides you with a link to a news report on the incident.
Around 30 swine flu cases have been registered in Sindh, mainly in Karachi, during the first week of new year. The mysteriously spreading influenza virus of swine flue (H1N1) has taken lives of two persons and affected 30 other people in the province. The first victim was Iftikharullah, 28, who died on New Year night. The second victim, a married woman named Rafia Aslam, died on Tuesday in one of the leading private hospitals in the city. Swine Flu Surveillance Cell Focal Person Dr Shakeel Malik told Business Recorder that about 30 victims of the influenza virus swine flue (H1N1) have been registered, out of 80 blood samplings. Some of them are from medical attendants, and a doctor. About the areas of the affected people, he said that many of them belonged to New Karachi, North Karachi & Liaquatabad. He said that the situation was under control. It is the normal influenza and these registered cases are positive. He said that on Saturday inauguration ceremony would be held in connection with regular opening of Influenza Lab in Civil Hospital, Karachi. He said there are no charges for testing the sampling, while a leading private hospital charges Rs 6,500. Shakeel said that the results of sampling are available in 72 hours. Experts have advised people to avoid public gathering, wash hands after passage of some time, take care of cleanliness, and use handkerchief while sneezing, because the virus can affect people to people through influenza.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has announced a chickenpox (varicella) outbreak at Hill Creek Elementary School. Five students have been diagnosed, one ten-year-old and four 8-year-olds in different classes. One child was immunized, another was unimmunized, and three others had taken the recommended doses of the varicella vaccine. Hill Creek has sent out letters informing parents, students, and staff about the outbreak. “We want to remind residents that chickenpox is a preventable disease. By getting both doses of the vaccine, parents can help their children avoid chickenpox or have a milder form of the disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. Last year there were 22 cases of chickenpox in four school clusters, and in 2009 there were 69 cases in 10 outbreaks. This is the first outbreak of the year, according to the HHSA. The highly contagious virus is spread by coughing, sneezing or contact with chickenpox blisters and results in rash and blisters and usually involves a fever. The incubation period after exposure is about two weeks, and the disease lasts about five days. There is a risk of complications in post-pubescent victims. The incubation period usually takes 14-16 days from exposure.
Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in the Yamuna river in Mathura in the past couple of days, causing alarm among the devout and the environmentalists in the Hindu holy city. Priests at the ghats said the deaths were due to the highly toxic water and decreasing oxygen levels. 'The cold wave has further compounded the problem as the sun's rays are no longer proving effective,' director of NGO Friends of Vrindavan Jagan Nath Poddar said. The Gokul barrage in Mathura has 'become a huge storage of sewage, industrial effluents coming from upstream towns, requiring urgent clean up measures and release of fresh water to dilute the toxins,' Poddar added. Locals said authorities were not running the sewer pumping stations effectively. 'So many open drains discharge the city's waste into the river but nothing has been done to stop this,' a priest at Rameshwar ghat said. 'So many religious gurus and activists have been demanding proper maintenance of the ghats and tapping of the nullahs in Vrindavan and Mathura, but the district authorities have yet to draw up a plan of action. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board officials too have not bothered to ensure that the silver refineries which use all kinds of toxic chemicals are forced to treat the waste effluents,' an activist in Mathura said on condition of anonymity.
Public health officials say the number of new syphilis cases — especially among gay men — has increased at such an alarming rate in the past year they are calling it an epidemic. Early-stage cases of syphilis increased by 25 percent in 2010 compared with the year before, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. From January 2010 through November 2010, the number of early cases of syphilis reported was 582 — an all-time high in The City. At the height of the last syphilis epidemic in 2004, San Francisco had 552 reported cases, officials said. “We’ve got one month left to calculate 2010 and we’ve already surpassed our most reported. It’s troubling,” said Kyle Bernstein, an epidemiologist for The City’s health department.
David Cameron was yesterday forced to deny that spending cuts had made Britain vulnerable to swine flu as he warned that the country faced ‘significant outbreaks’ of flu for years to come. But the Prime Minister said lessons must be learned from the vaccine shortages that have seen GP surgeries turning away vulnerable people seeking the flu shot in recent days. His comments came as Labour accused the Coalition of putting pregnant women at risk by failing to promote the flu jab. The official death toll from the flu outbreak since October has now risen to 50. Most were victims of swine flu, the dominant strain of influenza in circulation. The latest Department of Health figures show that more people are going to their GPs in England and Wales with winter flu symptoms than at any time since the epidemic of 1999-2000 in which 20,000 died.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Bernama) -- A total of 16,061 confirmed Influenza A(H1N1) cases, including seven deaths, were reported last year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said. "The epidemic can now be controlled, especially because we have the vaccine and we have given the vaccination to all the front liners, including those in the high-risk group. "However, the public, especially those in the high-risk group, should be cautious and to get the vaccination at the government or private hospitals and clinics, for those who have not done so" he added. Liow told this to reporters after opening the De Homebiz Gallery at the Great Eastern Mall shopping centre here Sunday. This year, he said, 37 H1N1 positive cases had been reported nationwide during the first week. They included 11 cases in the Intensive Care Unit and nine of them were with risk factors, he added.
More than 16,000 doctors, nurses and NHS workers were off with flu-related illnesses yesterday in a staff crisis that is costing the NHS £12million a week. And 71,900 sick days were lost in the past week alone. The figures from First Data emerged as it was revealed that just one in five nurses opted for the flu jab this winter. The low uptake has led to further criticism of the Government's handling of the swine-flu epidemic which has killed 50 people. Read more: www.mirror.co.uk... Go Camping for 95p! Vouchers collectable in the Daily and Sunday Mirror until 11th August . Click here for more information
In South Carolina, deadly whooping cough cases have dramatically surged up after last summer’s outbreak in several parts of the state. The respiratory infection has widely affected people in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, health officials exposed. In Victoria’s Barwon area, an 800 percent rise in whooping cough cases in last two years has stunned health analysts. From 89 cases two years back, certainly before last summer’s outbreak of the disease, in 2010 December, the healthy disorder has scaled up to more than 700 cases
THEY are tiny, helpless and abandoned, and Trish Wimberley has 160 of them in her care. Trish, an environmental philanthropist who, with her husband Terry, founded Advancetown's Australian Bat Clinic, has devoted her life to saving baby bats. Torrential rain across Queensland has caused thousands of mother fruit bats to abandon their babies. Many have perished but thanks to Trish, her little ones are in with a fighting chance.
An outbreak of human trichinellosis has been registered in the village of Novoselitse in Chernovitskaya oblast [Chernivtsi region] according to the state service of veterinary medicine. An outbreak investigation team has been established by the regional authority of veterinary services. The team is in place now to clarify the source of infection and measures for control. The outbreak investigation team has been reinforced by staff from the State Research Institute of Veterinary-Sanitary Diagnostics and Expertise and the Police Forces for Veterinary Quarantine Measures.
Beachgoers in Sydney are being warned about swarms of blue-bottle jellyfish along the coast. Hundreds of swimmers needed medical treatment on the weekend after being stung. Five northern beaches had to be closed because of the threat. A strong north-easterly wind and current, and warmer waters are bringing the bluebottles to shore.
An emergency situation has been announced in one of the farms of the Gorodovikskoe rayon of Kalmykia because of anthrax. Tests on the samples from one of the slaughtered cows confirmed the presence of anthrax. 12 contact persons are in the hospital now. A similar outbreak occurred in the village of Uspenskaya of Beloglinskaya rayon during the fall , when 3 cows fell ill because of anthrax, and 19 other cows were culled. As of 29 Sep 2010, 8 people had been admitted to the hospital with the skin form of anthrax. However, none of the human cases were laboratory confirmed.
RABBIT colonies are being decimated by a highly contagious virus which could wipe out more than eight million of the animals, experts have warned. Outbreaks of rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) have been reported across the country, from the Borders to Aberdeen. Both wild and pet rabbits are at risk. Most die within 12 hours of catching the disease. Conservationists want more done to monitor the spread of the disease, amid fears it could be as deadly as the myxomatosis scourge of the 1950s and 1960s.
MORE than 1,500 people sought medical help for flu in the past week as the virus spread rapidly across Coventry and Warwickshire. There are also 78 flu victims in critical care units across the West Midlands – a quarter of whom are in Coventry and Warwickshire. In the last week, nearly 450 patients have been treated for flu-like illnesses at Coventry’s walk-in centre. And more than 1,000 people called the out-of -hours GP service in Warwickshire complaining of flu.
Korea has ordered the culling of 1.34 million livestock since late November to stem its severest foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in history, the government said Monday. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said quarantine officials ordered the culling of 107,500 heads of cattle, just under 1.23 million pigs and over 3,700 goats and deer on 3,300 farms in the past 40 days. The exact cost of losses cannot be calculated properly, but compensation to farmers, the cost of vaccinations and other expenses may run past the 1.3 trillion won mark, although numbers can go up if the outbreaks do not come under control soon, the ministry said.
Industry and Investment New South Wales is advising Tweed farmers to remain vigilant and monitor for mice after heavy rain and floods. Continuous rainfall generates high-protein feed for mice and causes them to breed rapidly. Industry and Investment NSW invasive species program manager John Tracey said mice could reach plague levels if they were not monitored correctly.
GLADSTONE has been identified as a diabetes hotspot. It is estimated that more than five per cent of the population over the age of 25 have diabetes. In the Gladstone region, this equates to more than 2200 people. Gladstone Diabetes Association president Brian Wilkie said in past year, there were two new cases of diabetes on average diagnosed daily in Queensland.
ALGAE levels in the Swan and Canning rivers are under close watch from the Swan River Trust with concerns that recent hot weather and last week’s storm could trigger algal blooms. Trust officers tested various sites yesterday as part of a monitoring program that aims to pinpoint areas where algae could affect fish health. Areas of the river in Guildford and between Middle Swan Bridge and Caversham have given the Trust cause for concern in the past, with fish deaths reported last year. The Trust has an oxygenation plant at the Guildford Road Bridge to help increase oxygen levels in the river during summer, and another at Caversham Avenue is due to start operating within weeks. Trust principal scientist Jeff Cosgrove said algal growth had been increasing in recent weeks due to hot weather.
South Korea confirmed its first bird flu outbreak in the Gyeonggi region near Seoul on Monday, raising concerns that the highly contagious disease is spreading across the country despite quarantine efforts. The farm ministry said a duck farm in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, tested positive for the virulent strain of the H5N1 avian influenza after birds started dying off over the weekend. The case is the first to be reported in the province surrounding the capital city in nearly three years. Avian influenza is an airborne disease that can be transmitted to humans, although there has never been a case of a South Korean getting sick.
Thousands of fish were found dead on the shores of the Yamuna River at a holy site on the riverbanks in Mathura City, India. Priests and locals have blamed the fish deaths on the dumping of industrial waste and chemicals that flow into the river. [Rakish Babul Tiara, Priest]: “The chemical effluent from factories printing saris and processing silver is discharged towards the Yamane River, and animals are dying.”
Thousands of dead gizzard shad have been spotted in Chicago harbors, the Sun-Times reports. The shad, members of the herring family, appear to have frozen in the ice of the habors. They're floating in open patches of water and are being gulped down by Canada geese and mallard ducks. If it sounds familiar, it should. This comes about a week after the strange mass deaths of birds and fish in Arkansas. The major die-off in Chicago was first spotted by a local fisherman who noticed the geese and mallards eating dying shad in DuSable and Diversey harbors, according to the Sun-Times.
Nearly 2.2 million of children risk of contracting cholera in Haiti because of lack of clean water and sanitation in schools, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The agency said that the prevention activities, including training of teachers and distribution of equipment for washing hands are not sufficient to stop the spread of the disease in schools. The OCHA report in its latest report that over 3,700 people died of cholera in Haiti and cases of cholera continue to be reported in child care centers and orphanages in spite of investments in education programs and training.
Fiji's Fisheries Department has warned people to ensure they store fish properly to avoid food poisoning. The warning follows a surge in the number of food poisoning cases in the past two months, including the death last week of a 21-year-old woman from suspected poisoning in Lau. Fisheries Officer, Nanise Kuridrani, says urging fishermen and consumers need to keep fish on ice from the moment they're caught. She's told Radio Australia some fish are particularly risky to eat if they're not constantly refrigerated, such as snapper, the long-nosed emperor and barracuda. "Most of the fishermen go out into other islands, and most of them are not using ice and also people...do not understand which fish to buy.", she said.
The Ministry of Health is warning passengers on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Auckland last week to watch for symptoms of measles after one passenger was found to have the illness. Emirates flight EK406 departed Dubai on Monday last week, January 3, flying via Melbourne to Auckland on January 4. A passenger who disembarked in Melbourne has been confirmed as a case of measles. Many other passengers on the flight continued on to Auckland. People sitting in a row close to the affected passenger are potentially at risk as measles is easily spread through the air, the Ministry said today. The Ministry has sent information about the Emirates flight to public health units around the country. However there are still around 20 people who sat in the rows nearest the infected passenger whose current locations in New Zealand were not known. Dr John Holmes of the Ministry of Health said the symptoms those passengers need to watch out for are fever, runny nose and sore eyes followed about two days later by a red blotchy rash. Some people develop further complications such as diarrhoea or a middle ear infection. Any passengers on the flight who feel unwell should call Healthline on 0800-611-116. But Holmes said they should not go directly to a doctor's office or to an emergency department, because they might infect other people. Holmes said measles is now rare in New Zealand, thanks to vaccination. New Zealand had three outbreaks in 2009/2010, each started by people who were infected overseas. "People tend to underestimate measles - the reality is it can be a nasty disease. One in 10 people who catch measles will need to be hospitalised, which tells you this isn't by any means a mild illness," said Holmes. "Measles can't be easily treated once you get it, so the best way to prevent the disease is through immunisation." The Ministry recommends that anyone aged under 40 who has not had measles in the past, should ensure they have been vaccinated. If they did not receive two doses of MMR vaccine when they were younger, they should contact their doctor to get free immunisation against measles.
According to a report in the Cebu Daily News, 5 people in Catmon town have tested positive for the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas (RESU-7) chief, Renan Cimafranca says the patients range in age from seven to 60. He goes on to say the water system may have caused the infection since it was contaminated after several days of rainfall. Cimafranca advises Catmon residents to boil water before use. Catmon is a 5th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippine. It is located 57 kilometers from the Cebu City. Cholera is an acute bacterial intestinal disease characterized by sudden onset, profuse watery stools (given the appearance as rice water stools because of flecks of mucus in water) due to a very potent enterotoxin. The enterotoxin leads to an extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes in the production of diarrhea. It has been noted that an untreated patient can lose his bodyweight in fluids in hours resulting in shock and death. It is caused by the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. Serogroups O1 and O139 are the types associated with the epidemiological characteristics of cholera (outbreaks). The bacteria are acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or food through a number of mechanisms. Water is usually contaminated by the feces of infected individuals. Drinking water can be contaminated at the source, during transport or during storage at home. Food can get contaminated by soiled hands, during preparation or while eating. Beverages and ice prepared with contaminated water and fruits and vegetables washed with this water are other examples. Some outbreaks are linked to raw or undercooked seafood. The incubation for cholera can be from a few hours to 5 days. As long as the stools are positive, the person is infective. Some patients may become carriers of the organism which can last for months. Cholera is diagnosed by growing the bacteria in culture. Treatment consists of replacement of fluids lost, intravenous replacement in severe cases. Doxycycline or tetracycline antibiotic therapy can shorten the course of severe disease.
Swimmers dog dog owners are warned to be cautious around two North Canterbury river spots, which are among several areas in Canterbury affected by a toxic algal bloom. The algae Phormidium can poison dogs if they eat it, and cause skin rashes, eye irritation, allergic reactions, and stomach upsets in people. It has flourished in this summer's hot weather. An ECan survey of Canterbury rivers last week confirmed Phormidium in the Ashley River at State Highway 1, and in the Waipara River at Stringers bridge. Small amounts have also been found at Teviotdale and near the Boys Brigade camp at Waipara, but not enough to be a concern at present. Popular Ashley gorge is not affected. Several other Canterbury rivers including the Selwyn and Waiau are also affected. Phormidium needs warm weather and a stable flow to flourish. "And we've certainly had that all through December," said ECan surface water resources and ecosystems manager Dr Tim Davie. "We hoped the Christmas-New Year floods would clean it out, but not enough came down the smaller rivers. "All we can do is wait for a flood to clear it out." ECan has not heard of any cases of people or dogs affected so far. However, Dr Davie said it could be a major issue for dogs, which are attracted by the musty odour of the algae mats and can lick and eat it, and a hazard to small children. Phormidium is found in rivers throughout New Zealand but only forms thick brown-black blooms on stones under the right flow conditions. When the algae mats break away, particularly after a downpour, they accumulate at the river's edge. Scientists know little about Phormidium, but it is not always toxic, and ECan's warnings are precautionary. It has teams out every week in the holidays checking rivers.
A total of 151 people were treated for food poisoning in Cape Town over the weekend, the city’s Disaster Risk Management Centre said. Residents of Lwandle became ill after eating expired food that had been dumped, spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said. After an initial investigation, authorities found the items came from the Simply Value Factory Food shop. A complaint was expected to be lodged with the city’s health department as the expired items should have been disposed at a proper dump site. Health inspectors had taken samples of the food for testing. Shop manager Santa Kotze was not immediately available for comment.
WILD pigs, rabbits, foxes and mice are set to reach plague proportions in the wake of the floods, adding to the damage inflicted on farms. Steven Lapidge, program leader at the Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre, said wild pig populations had exploded in western NSW after last year's Bourke floods and would do the same in Queensland. "Right throughout Queensland and NSW, we're going to see a massive eruption in feral pig numbers over the next couple of years," Professor Lapidge said. He said mice were also emerging as a problem, particularly for southern states. "In places like South Australia and Victoria, which have had reasonable rains and good vegetation growth, then potentially we'll see plagues there," he said.
GEYSERVILLE, Calif. – California wildlife officials are trying to figure out what caused the death of more than 100 birds found clustered together just off Highway 101. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that California Highway Patrol officers found the dead birds near the roadway on Saturday and called in the state Department of Fish and Game to investigate. The officers who found the birds described them as small with brown and black feathers. They were intact and had not been shot.
Dozens of starlings were found dead in the town of Constanta, a small village located 160 miles east of Bucharest, Romania. After local veterinary ran tests on the birds' livers, they discovered that the birds had drank themselves to death. The birds had eaten leftover grapes left from local wine makers who were making the wine and failed to cleanup the mess in a timely manner. Residents of the small town alerted authorities after they discovered the dead birds on the outskirt of town. The locals were worried that it could be a case of avian flu, but the local DSVSA ruled out that possibility quickly.
Two cases of a potentially deadly form of meningitis have been confirmed in Edmonton. Alberta Health Services said the cases of bacterial meningitis, also known as invasive meningoccoccal disease, were both confirmed in the city over the past two weeks. A Grade 9 student at an Edmonton Catholic school is one of the two Edmontonians who have contracted the disease. "He's quite sick," said Lori Nagy, spokesperson with Edmonton Catholic Schools. "He will be in hospital for some time." But Nagy said the student is recovering and because he contracted the disease over the Christmas break, the risk of infecting other students is very low. Letters have also been sent home to notify parents about the case. Bacterial meningitis is spread through direct contact with the bacteria from the nose or throat of someone who is infected. It can be passed along by sharing food, drinks, lipstick, water bottles and kissing. Symptoms like headache, fever, and nausea can quickly progress to a severe headache, a stiff neck and skin rash. "Most people do recover but certainly it is a serious infection, in some cases it can be fatal," said Dr. Gerry Predy with Alberta Health Services. "It can progress quickly, that's why again we wanted to give physicians the heads up so if they are suspicious if they see someone that might have it." Predy is reminding Albertans to wash their hands often, don't share food or drinks, and stay at home if feeling sick. He added that while it isn't uncommon for the province to have two confirmed cases around this time of year, it is enough to prompt an advisory.
Doctors of Bandra's Bhabha Hospital told TOI that stool samples of 12 children sent for the Hanging Drop (HD) test have confirmed the presence of cholera bacteria. Cholera is an infectious intestinal disease caused by the intake of water or food contaminated by the bacterium vibrio cholerae and can take epidemic proportions if not controlled in time. The bacterium has an incubation period of up to five days during which the patient shows symptoms of diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration and can die if not treated on time. Incidentally, there has been a spurt in diarrhoea cases in the city in the past two weeks with nearly 200 patients seeking treatment. However, civic health officials consider the Hanging Drop test as 'presumptive' and insist that the samples have to be subjected to a culture test for confirmation. When asked about the "positive" cases, executive health officer of BMC Dr Guirish Ambe said that he was unaware of the test reports. "There were some cases last week and they were referred to Kasturba Hospital. One or two had tested positive in the HD test," he said. "Those patients had gone home after being cured. They were mainly cases of diarrhoea," he added.
However, doctors of Bhabha Hospital said that they had treated more than 100 diarrhoea patients in the last 10 days. "All had come with complaints of severe loose motions, fever, dehydration and weakness," said a doctor adding that both adults as well as kids were equally affected by the disease. The doctors also claimed that senior medical officers were immediately informed after it looked like an "epidemic". "Many were brought in a very serious condition. We referred them to the Kasturba Hospital after stabilizing their condition by administering fluids," said the doctor. He also added that the hospital is treating around 5-7 cases of diarrhoea every day. All stool samples of children are being sent to Holy Family Hospital for the HD test. The situation was similar at Parel's KEM Hospital. Here too the doctors claimed to have treated close to 100 cases in the last two weeks. "There is definitely an outbreak of the disease and the commonest complaints seem to be stomachache, loose motions and fever," said a doctor from the medicine department, who said that they are still treating 20 patients every day. Incidentally, even south Mumbai is reeling under a diarrhoea attack. "One-third of my patients have been suffering from severe diarrhoea," said Dr Krishnakant Dhebri, a family physician from Girgaum. City doctors are also worried about the dangerous manifestations of diarrhoea. At least seven patients of diarrhoea who came to the emergency ward of KEM Hospital on Saturday had a renal failure. "Their kidneys had stopped working due to severe dehydration," said a doctorwho treated the patients.
The Regional Secretariat of Health confirmed that the death of a patient this past Tuesday - 4 Jan 2011 - in the Puerto Montt Base Hospital was due to a hantavirus infection. The man was a 43 year old farmer who was cutting firewood with his 55 year old brother in the rural area of Caracol, Los Muermos. According to the El Llanquihue newspaper, confirmation of this case was received trough the Epidemiological Bulletin on Hantavirus infection of the Ministry of Health, which reports the situation as of 7 Jan 2011.
HELSINKI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- A middle-aged Finnish man died of A/H1N1 influenza Tuesday, marking the country's first fatal case of the disease in the new flu season, local media reported Wednesday. The patient, in his 40s, had not been vaccinated against the A/H1N1 flu virus before being taken to a hospital in the southern city of Kotka for treatment, according to the report. Two other men suffering from the epidemic are receiving intensive care in the same hospital, the report said.
SCORES OF people in the county have contracted swine flu in the past two weeks, as the numbers contracting the virus increase nationwide. It is now feared that the numbers who are suffering from swine fl u could double in the coming weeks, following the return of schools. In a statement to The Nationalist, the HSE indicated that influenza data is not published in relation to particular locations or counties but encompassed in an overall south-east figure. “Influenza activity in the south-east (including the Carlow area) continues to increase, in line with the nationally observed trend. As had been expected, this year the predominant flu virus is the H1N1 virus (also known as swine flu),” the statement read.
No fewer than eight persons have been killed following a fresh outbreak of Cholera in Edati and Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State. THISDAY gathered that the epidemic was first noticed in Tama-Nku village in Edati Local Government area which led to the death of 7 persons from the village while another one died in the neighbouring village. It was further gathered that the cholera spread to Danchitagi, Saachi and Egagi villages in Lavun Local Government Council where Aishetu Ndagi of Danchitagi was confirmed to have died as a result of cholera.
THE swine flu epidemic has claimed a North East bus driver as its latest victim as concern grows that thousands of businesses could be hit by the flu outbreak. Heartfelt tributes have been made to 40-year-old Peter Bladen who died in County Durham where he lived with his wife Sharon. It is unknown how quickly the killer virus took hold of Mr Bladen’s system before his sudden death on January 4.
MUMBAI: If the initial test results are anything to go by, cholera seems to be rearing its ugly head in the city. Doctors of Bandra's Bhabha Hospital told TOI that stool samples of 12 children sent for the Hanging Drop (HD) test have confirmed the presence of cholera bacteria. Cholera is an infectious intestinal disease caused by the intake of water or food contaminated by the bacterium vibrio cholerae and can take epidemic proportions if not controlled in time. The bacterium has an incubation period of up to five days during which the patient shows symptoms of diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration and can die if not treated on time. Incidentally, there has been a spurt in diarrhoea cases in the city in the past two weeks with nearly 200 patients seeking treatment.
The epidemic threshold for acute respiratory infections has currently only been exceeded in Dnipropetrovsk region, the press service of the Health Ministry has reported. "At present [the epidemic threshold] has still only been exceeded in one region - Dnipropetrovsk region. It has only just been exceeded, at 20%," Serhiy Ryzhenko, the head of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service at the Ukrainian Health Ministry, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday. According to the Health Ministry, since the start of the epidemic season of 2010-2011, a total of 5% of the population have fallen ill with acute respiratory infections, 101,000 people have been hospitalized, and eight people died from complications, Ryzhenko said.
Across the state, flood-related health challenges include access to safe drinking water, medicine and hygienic food. Rockhampton is managing an outbreak of food poisoning due to food and water contamination, compounded by the sub-tropical climate and power interruption. For 24 hours Toowoomba residents boiled water while repairs were made. Of the diarrhoeal diseases, the most dreaded are staphylococcal endotoxins, leading to severe food poisoning, toxic shock or lung disease if inspired. Relief workers may require respirators, given that endotoxins reached 20 times normal levels in homes after Hurricane Katrina. Cholera can also cause fatal dehydration. None of this is helped by the fact that rural people are notoriously stoic and reluctant to trouble others with their problems.
(Reuters) - Thousands of dead gizzard shad, a small fish of the herring family, are frozen in ice or floating in open patches of water along the Chicago lakefront in what could be a weather related die-off. A local lake fish expert said on Tuesday that while it's unusual to see so many of the fish along the lakefront, it's hard to say if the size of the die-off is unusual, or just more visible because of a thaw December 31 that brought them to the surface.
Hundreds of fish have been found dead in a pond. Experts say the freezing weather caused the deaths. Nature lover Stuart Hall, 60, spotted the fish in the pond on Chudleigh Close, Stockport, during a walk near his home. The 500 fish – many thought to be large bream and pike – were set in the ice on the pond. Mr Hall, of Mostyn Road, Hazel Grove, said he was worried the water may be poisoned. He said: “I was shocked, it was awful to see all that life just gone. It’s like the ‘birds dropping from the trees’ scenario, but on a much larger scale. “When you love nature and the countryside it’s heartbreaking. There is no sign of life here whatsoever - not one duck.”
PORT ALLEN, La. — A virus has killed millions of crickets raised to feed pet reptiles and those kept in zoos. The cricket paralysis virus has disrupted supplies to pet shops across North America as a handful of operators have seen millions of their insects killed. Some operations have gone bankrupt and others have closed indefinitely until they can rid their facilities of the virus. Cricket farms started in the 1940s as a source of fish bait, but the bulk of sales now are to pet supply companies, reptile owners and zoos, although people also eat some. Most U.S. farms are in the South, but suppliers from Pennsylvania to California also raise crickets. The virus had swept through European cricket farms in 2002. It was first noticed in 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. The virus marks the latest in a recent series of mass animal deaths.
Dead and dying fish are not what people expect to see when the River Murray is in flood, but that is exactly what can happen when a flood leads to a blackwater event. Rob Freeman, Chief Executive of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority said; ‘The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is co-ordinating a monitoring program of blackwater to improve our understanding of the causes of blackwater and its effects’. ‘The water flows in the Murray–Darling Basin are complex and while flood waters can bring life back to a parched region, they sometimes bring undesirable consequences.’ ‘Unfortunately these floods have caused a number of fish deaths, including in areas upstream and downstream of Robinvale’, said Mr. Freeman. These fish deaths appear to be associated with blackwater events occurring in the waters of the River Murray, in the Edward and Wakool river system and most recently in the Goulburn-Broken, Lower Darling Anabranch and Loddon rivers.
Plummeting sea temperatures during this winter’s Arctic weather caused the death of thousands of sea creatures. Fish, velvet swimming crabs, also known as devil crabs, and starfish suffered hypothermia and froze to death, according to the Environment Agency. At the weekend the marine life was washed up on Brighton beach and seen by dozens of weekend walkers. It is believed the bodies of other sea creatures will have been washed up on beaches across Sussex.
Sulllivan, Mo. (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — Dozens of dead birds are discovered near Sullivan, Missouri about an hour southwest of St. Louis. People in and around Sullivan are calling the whole thing a little weird. The scene is just east of Sullivan along the I-44 south service road at Winsel Creek. The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking into the situation. It was discovered on Monday. Experts there and with the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park say the dead birds are Starlings. Starlings are among the dead birds that have been found in several other states recently.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A fatal disease that is contagious for birds, but virtually harmless to humans, was found at a bird sanctuary on the Gulf Coast. Florida wildlife officials said Tuesday that they are monitoring the spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease, after it was found in a cormorant at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary last week. Officials say the cormorant is the only bird so far to be diagnosed with the disease. It causes minor skin irritation in humans but can be spread from infected birds to domestic poultry and pet birds. Symptoms for infected birds include coughing, muscular tremors, drooping wings, paralysis, eye-swelling and neck and eye or beak discharge.
ATHENS, AL — Wednesday morning, we got a handful of emails and phone calls from viewers who said there appeared to be a massive bird kill on the side of Interstate 65 in Limestone County. That's exactly what we found when we got there. Just south of Athens, near mile marker 347, there were around 300 dead blackbirds just off the side of the northbound lanes.
A week after around 30 birds, mostly of the common variety including pelicans and egrets, died in mysterious circumstances in its enclosures, authorities of the Aringnar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur have decided to stop procuring small fishes and rely on big fishes to feed birds. According to zoo officials, the decision was taken because most of the birds that died recently were fed with small fishes. The preliminary autopsy report by the Madras Veterinary College indicated that the feed supplied to these birds was mixed with some toxic substance. As these small fishes, which are caught in local ponds and lakes, are difficult to be caught in the net, it is likely that fishermen had used some chemical substance to make them immobile. Private contractors, who procure the fish on behalf of the zoo, seem to be unaware of the practice. Birds are usually fed on fresh water fishes from nearby ponds and lakes."Some kind of poisoning, perhaps with the use of a neuro toxic, might have been reason for the death of these birds. However, any final conclusion can be made only after we receive the final report from the Madras Veterinary College, which is expected in two weeks. This is the first time such an incident has happened in our premises," zoo director KSVPP Reddy, who is also the chief conservator of forests, told The Times Of India on Wednesday. Every day, on an average, around 130 kg of fish (both small and big) is procured as feed for 700 birds in its enclosures at the zoo. Following the deaths, the zoo has taken a series of precautionary steps. Zoo officials including veterinarians were given clear instructions to thoroughly check feed provided to the species in the zoo. They have been asked to first give a few fish to the common variety of birds, and wait for about an half-an-hour to check whether they fell sick, and only then provide the feed to all the birds in the enclosures. "For the time being, we stopped procuring small fishes and also asked the contractor to procure fishes from different sources. Since we don't know whether the fishes procured are poisioned or not, we came up with that idea," Reddy said. Officials at the Madras Veterinary College told TOI that the samples sent by the zoo were under investigation. Meanwhile, zoo authorities have also sought the help of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. "The zoo staff informed us about the incident and we expect the carcasses and other samples to arrive in our laboratories soon," an official at the centre said.
The Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Co-ordinating Committee today issued a red level warning for blue-green algae in Burrinjuck Dam. High numbers of potentially toxic algae have been recorded. Blue-green algae can cause gastroenteritis as well as skin and eye irritations. The committee advises visitors to the popular recreation spot not to enter the waters of Burrinjuck Dam and not to drink untreated water. It said boiling the water does not make algal toxins inactive.
That's what officials believe was responsible for the deaths of up to 20,000 grizzard shad last week at Lake Meredith. Charlie Munger, a district supervisor for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said golden algae, a water-dwelling organism that can release a toxin fatal to fish, is likely the reason behind the mass fish kill. Munger said low water levels at Lake Meredith likely increased salinity and PH levels in the lake, where water levels are dwindling. That chemical imbalance, along with cold temperatures, likely was enough to affect the algae's ability to survive and trigger its defense mechanism - releasing toxin to kill other organisms to provide nutrients. The toxin damages the gills of fish but is not believed to be hazardous to humans or other animals, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal quoted officials as saying. While the fish kill prompted Lubbock officials to add powdered-activated charcoal to that city's water supply to help prevent a possible fishy odor, something they'll continue for the next 2-3 weeks, Plainview officials did not have to consider treating water here since no Lake Meredith water was being received at the time. Brian Gallaway, the city's well field and lab technician, said this morning that Plainview cut off its Meredith supply Dec. 28, a day or two before the fish die-off. "We usually shut down at the end of the year anyway to do general maintenance," Gallaway said, adding that when they do that the city receives water exclusively from local wells. Gallaway isn't sure when Plainview will begin receiving lake water again. "We're kind of waiting on them," he said, adding, "Sometime this month they're not going to be sending us lake water any more, just well water in Roberts County" as officials work to restore the lake level. In recent years Lake Meredith, a major source of water for Plainview, Lubbock, Amarillo and other Panhandle-South Plains communities, has seen some of its lowest water levels on record. According to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, on Thursday the lake was at a record-low level of 38.31 feet - more than 60 feet below its record depth of 101.85 feet set in April 1973.
The Netherlands is on the verge of a flu epidemic following sharp rise in suspected cases since the New Year, according to health service research institute Nivel. Nivel says there are now 87 people per 100,000 suffering flu-like symptoms, up from 36 a week ago. If the figure tops 51 per 100,000 for more than two weeks, it is officially an epidemic. In two-thirds of cases, the flu is thought to be H1NI, or swine flu. By last week, 52 people had been hospitalised with swine flu and three had died.
A sudden rise in the cases of Norovirus caused panic in St. Paul's hospital when as many as 37 people were found positive for it. Out of these, 18 were reported to be patients while others were staff members. An RNA virus, which affects people from all age groups, is highly contagious and causes nearly 90% of all epidemic non-bacterial outbreaks all over the world. Its main symptom is acute gastroenteritis. The disease caused is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste and abdominal pain. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may occur as well. As a precautionary measure, authorities at St. Paul's hospital have restricted the movement of people inside the premises.
371 dead birds fell from the sky over Los Angeles, California, and hit the pavement at Sunset and Cahuenga. In the great shadow of the CNN building laid scattered hundreds of pigeons, most of them dead. This is another incident of dead birds falling from the sky, as has been seen in California, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Sweden, Italy, and other places around the world. If today's dead bird incident had been a singular event, we could have blamed Los Angeles smog. 371 birds could no longer take the poor air quality and decided to choke and fall. The bird drop happened just after noon, and word of mouth passed quickly. I heard about the horrific event from my neighbor, who happens to whistle when he talks and has a goiter on his neck. By the time I arrived at Sunset and Cahuenga, confusion was in full swing and the homelesses were busy picking up the dead birds and stuffing them into their dirty jacket pockets.
The disease known as monkeypox, also known as monkey variola, has raged in the north and south of Equateur province. At least 3 health zones are affected. For example, in the Bikoro health zone, 114 people have contracted the disease and 5 have died. According to the WHO Equateur provincial branch, the Bikoro health zone has broken the record with 114 cases. Most of the cases have been reported in the Mooto health area, about 82 kilometers from Mbandaka. Two weeks ago, medical authorities suspected the presence of a similar disease in the Gbadolite health zone. According to the WHO/Equateur regional medical officer, Louis Pia, laboratory tests on specimens from patients that were sent to the INRB (National Institute for Biomedical Research) in Kinshasa, confirmed that the cause was monkeypox virus. The disease has been reported also in Boende health zone. The same confirmation has been made on specimens taken from patients in Boende. It is still unclear how many have been infected overall in Equateur. To deal with this epidemic, medical advice is for observation of hygiene rules. The medical officer also asked farmers in the affected health zones not pick up dead animals in the forest, including monkeys, squirrels, and pangolins that transmit this disease to humans.
In Kot Hebat Busti Doom Wala a measles outbreak has affected hundreds of people. A total of 11 children are currently suffering from the disease. One of the children died from measles on Tue 11 Jan 2011 and 2 are in critical condition. Locals in the area have complained about the unavailability of medical aid. "There are no health teams that visit this area and the closest THQ [hospital/aid centre] is miles away," said a local resident. A team of doctors confirmed that there was a measles outbreak in the village. "Many of the villagers think this is cholera or chickenpox but it is clearly a case of measles," Dr Fazal said. The team said that all the patients would be provided with basic health facilities. A parent said: "These are just words. My son had to die for the doctors to even show up here and they will [not return] until someone else dies." The villagers said that not a single medical team had visited the area since the floods and there were no medicines at the local THQ. The villager said that his entire family [of 11 children] had been affected by the measles outbreak. "We were forced to visit quacks as no vaccine was available at the BHU [hospital/aid centre] and my 6-year-old son died yesterday," he said. His mother said that her other children were suffering from "cholera" and the authorities had done nothing to help them. "It isn't cholera but they want to say it is because they think that will make the medical authorities take the case more seriously," Dr Fazal said.
14.01.2011 - Around 3% of the country are believed to currently have flu, with more in the east affected. At a school in Consdorf, 22 students have been diagnosed with flu while 50 remain absent from studies. Indeed, there are enough people affected by the deadly cold to call it an "epidemic" - though it is not nearly as bad as the pandemic in 2009. Particularly affected are chronically ill, children, pregnant women and people over 65 years.
Two people have died in Oklahoma from the flu. In the past 2 weeks the number of people being sent to the hospital has doubled. Tulsa's flu rate is also starting to spike. 77 people were hospitalized in Oklahoma in the past 2 weeks. Seeing a spike in the flu in mid-January not exactly alarming news. "What's even more concerning is that 50% of those hospitalizations are in children," says Melanie Christian with the Tulsa County Health Department.
Across the Earth, fish populations are at risk from a new threat -- enormous blooms of jellyfish taking over the oceans. Jellyfish blooms are thought to occur seasonally, when water is warmer and when there's more availability of their natural prey -- small fish, zooplankton and sometimes other jellies. While bloom formation is not fully understood, it's thought to be a combination of ocean currents, nutrients, temperature, predation and oxygen concentrations. Although there's little population data recorded for jellyfish, anecdotal evidence suggests that jellyfish blooms during the last century were relatively rare. In more recent years, however, the number has increased significantly, with some theorising that overfishing and sea temperature rises due to climate change may be the cause. In 2002, jellyfish researcher Marsh Youngbluth told the Washington Post that "jellyfish feed on the same kinds of prey as adult and young fish, so if fish are removed from the equation, jellyfish are likely to move in". In the past, it's thought that fish and jellies shared a complex relationship, predating on each other but also helping each other out -- some fish are known to live within jellyfish tentacles, eating parasites. However, when a region is overfished, that balance is thrown out of whack -- jellyfish numbers increase, and eat more fish eggs, reducing fish numbers further. Ecologist Sun Song, director of the Institute of Oceanology in Qingdao, China, told Yale's Environment360: "When an ecosystem is dominated by jellyfish, fish will mostly disappear. Once that happens there is almost no method to deal with it." Anthony Richardson, an ecologist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Cleveland, Australia, likens the jellyfish to a cockroach of the sea, which grows fast, eats anything, can withstand poor water quality, and reproduces like crazy.
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Dozens of dead black birds litter the snowy roadside of I-65 in Limestone County near Tanner. Groups of dead birds have been making headlines since thousands of lifeless red-winged blackbirds were discovered in an Arkansas town Dec. 31. The dead birds found in Alabama show clear signs of trauma, according to Bill Gates, a biologist with the area's national wildlife refure. He theorizes that the flock could have flown into a passing truck and perished. "If something happened to scare them up, and they tried to fly across the road in a flock and a semi or something like that could've hit them," Gates said. The bodies of the birds will be sent to Wisconsin for examination. Results should be available after one to two months.
There are reports of dozens of dead birds in the Boonie Doon area. "I can't believe there's so many dead birds out here," resident Peter Hoscin tells Global Edmonton. "I don't know what's going on. I've never seen anything like this." About two dozen small birds were found in the area of 92 Street and 93 Avenue. According to a spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife it appears that the birds died from blunt force trauma. The birds were likely roosting and eating berries. Something likely startled them, putting them into the path of a large truck. Some of the birds still had berries in their mouths.
Volcanic eruptions, giant squid and sea lice have all been invoked to explain the wild swings in British Columbia's famed Fraser River sockeye-salmon runs. Now scientists are raising the possibility that a mysterious virus is responsible for killing huge numbers of Pacific salmon before they reach their spawning grounds. "The mortality-related signature reflects a viral infection," a team of federal and university researchers reported Thursday in a study that tagged and tracked wild adult sockeye salmon, then biopsied their gill tissues. The compromised salmon, which appeared to have a viral infection at sea -- a phenomenon study co-author Scott Hinch at the University of B.C. describes as "dead fish swimming" -- were 13.5 times more likely to die before spawning than healthy fish. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, does not identify a microbial culprit, but suggests the virus may be associated with leukemia and lymphoma. "There is no doubt there is some form of pathogen involved," Hinch said.
HUNDREDS of dead fish found in a marina near Abergavenny last week died because of the cold weather. The Environment Agency has confirmed that the fish died as a result of the frozen Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Goytre Wharf on New Years Eve. An investigation found that a possible reason for the death of the fish, mostly bream, carp and roach was the 30cm drop in the water level at the marina caused by work upstream, but ice and a lack of oxygen are more likely to have killed the fish. Smaller fish were found alive in the marina but tests found no pollutants in the canal that could have caused the fatalities.