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Posts Tagged ‘cholera’

World-wide cholera pandemic traced to Bangladesh

August 29, 2011 1 comment

rawstory

A cholera pandemic that has swept poor countries in three waves over nearly four decades has been traced to a bacterial strain that first emerged in Bangladesh, scientists reported on Wednesday.

The current pandemic is the seventh since cholera, a water- and food-borne diarrhoeal disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bug, emerged nearly two centuries ago.

Gene sequencing of 154 samples of V. cholerae taken from patients around the world show today’s pandemic can be traced to an initial outbreak of cholera in the Bay of Bengal in 1975, the investigators said.

In 1982, the strain, known as El Tor, acquired genes making it resistant to antibiotics. As a result, successive waves of the disease spread around the world, propagated from the original source.

The new probe, published in the British journal Nature, points to the Read more…

Disease outbreaks, looting hampering relief efforts in Somalia famine

August 17, 2011 Comments off

news-medical

“Outbreaks of measles and cholera are striking down Somali children already weakened by hunger, resulting in dozens of new fatalities,” the Guardian reports (Rice, 8/13). According to the WHO, “181 people have died from suspected cholera cases in a single hospital in Mogadishu, and there have been several other confirmed cholera outbreaks across the country,” the New York Times writes (Gettleman, 8/12). UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado “said Friday that tens of thousands of children have died and countless more are particularly at risk of cholera and other diseases because of drought and violence in East Africa,” the Associated Press/NPR notes (8/12).

The World Food Programme (WFP) “said Saturday that it is Read more…

India objects to ‘smuggling’ superbug samples out to UK

April 8, 2011 Comments off

timesofindia

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday seriously objected to biological samples in the form of “swabs of seepage water and tap water” being carried out of the country “on the sly” by British scientists to test the presence of the multi-drug resistant superbug.

India said it was a signatory to World Health Organization’s International Materiel Transfer Agreement as per which permission is required to carry out any biological material from the country.

“The way scientists carried out samples from India to be tested in UK does not point to a good scientific motive. It is illegal,” said Dr V M Katoch, director general of Indian Council for Medical Research. “Some people want to keep the heat on India,” he added.

According to him, such multi-drug resistant bacteria — like what is being called a superbug caused by the NDM1 gene — exists in environment across the world. “To keep on pressing India as a hotbed of such superbugs is unfair, and its motive is questionable,” Dr Katoch added.

The scientists had collected 171 swabs of seepage water and 50 public tap water samples Read more…

Researchers find superbug gene in New Delhi water

April 7, 2011 Comments off

cosmostv

By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer
LONDON – A gene that can turn many types of bacteria into deadly superbugs was found in about a quarter of water samples taken from drinking supplies and puddles on the streets of New Delhi, according to a new study.
Experts say it’s the latest proof that the new drug-resistance gene, known as NDM-1, named for New Delhi, is widely circulating in the environment — and could potentially spread to the rest of the world.
Bacteria armed with this gene can only be treated with a couple of highly toxic and expensive antibiotics. Since it was first identified in 2008, it has popped up in a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and Sweden.
Most of those infections were in people who had recently traveled to or had medical Read more…

Haiti’s cholera epidemic twice as bad as predicted, say researchers

March 16, 2011 Comments off

globalpost.com

Haiti cholera 2011 3 16 

A woman sits with her sick child at an International Red Cross field hospital for the treatment of cholera in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010. (Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

Haiti’s cholera epidemic may be twice as bad as health officials originally thought.

The number of people affected with the disease may be nearly 800,000, double what U.N. officials predicted, BBC reports.

The bacterial disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can be life-threatening if left untreated as it can lead to severe dehydration. It is spread from person-to-person through contaminated food and water.

About 150,000 people contracted cholera and 3,500 died in Haiti between October and December 2010. U.N. health officials expected the number of infected at this time to be about 400,000. But researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, say the number is likely to be double that.

The new calculations take into consideration factors such as Read more…

Global warming could increase diseases originating from water sources

February 20, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Climate change could increase exposure to water-borne diseases originating in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, US scientists told a conference in Washington on Saturday.

Several studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change make ocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

In one study, NOAA scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,” which can accumulate in shellfish and cause symptoms, including paralysis, and can sometimes be deadly to humans who eat the Read more…

Three Cases of Cholera Confirmed by New York City Officials

February 6, 2011 Comments off
By AL BAKER

The first known cases of cholera in New York since the outbreak of the disease in Haiti last year were confirmed on Saturday by city officials.

A commercial laboratory notified health officials on Friday that three New Yorkers had developed diarrhea and dehydration, classic symptoms of the disease, after returning from a wedding on Jan. 22 and 23 in the Dominican Republic, where the government has been trying to prevent the disease from spreading from neighboring Haiti.

The three who contracted cholera were adults who returned to the city within days of the wedding.

None were hospitalized. Dr. Sharon Balter, a medical epidemiologist for the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said on Saturday that the victims had all recovered.

Officials declined to release the names of the patients or where they lived.

City health officials are now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to determine what the New York victims ate and to see if the strain of the disease they contracted is linked to the cholera epidemic that has ravaged Haiti, killing thousands since October and infecting many more.

“We’re providing support to the state, with lab testing, in determining which strain” is at issue, said Candice Burns Hoffmann, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C. “And I know there is an Read more…