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Posts Tagged ‘virus’

African Pathogens Must Be Secured, Lugar Says

April 15, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

A senior U.S. senator highlighted the need to protect deadly pathogen samples housed in African laboratories from hostile actors who might seek to deploy them in a biological attack, Chemical & Engineering News reported on Monday (see GSN, Nov., 23, 2010).

During the Cold War, the former Soviet Union conducted research into the biowarfare uses of African-origin disease agents. While Russia has since shuttered that biological weapons effort, a number of those naturally occurring pathogens are sill being studied in facilities throughout Africa that often have limited defenses.

“Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are active in Africa, and it is imperative that deadly pathogens stored in labs there are secure. This is a threat we cannot ignore,” said Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a co-creator of the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative.

Lugar and a delegation of U.S. defense officials traveled last fall to Uganda and Kenya to assess security at biological research facilities that stored such deadly agents as Ebola and anthrax. While biodefense laboratories in the United States that work with similarly dangerous pathogens have advanced security measures in place, defenses at the African research institutes were more likely to consist of barbed wire, according to the magazine.

At a laboratory in Uganda’s capital, the U.S. delegation observed significant security vulnerabilities including a failure to track Read more…

“Unknown disease” outbreak detected in China HIV/ AIDS

April 1, 2011 2 comments

epochtimes.com

By March 28, 2011 Reuters (Associated Press Chen Yilian report) is a special disease spread in China, doctors detected the virus, the patient has a serious condition. Of these, the majority of people in high risk sexual behavior after the onset of symptoms, some experts that they are “fear of love disease”, but the patient does not recognize. With the increasing number of patients, causing widespread concern in society and the media. Ministry of Health has started investigations six provinces and cities, the basic rule of AIDS experts, but remained open.

“Unknown virus” troubled experts

“Express” reported on March 24, a group of special “patients” – they have suspect are infected with HIV, and some even dozens of times in a few months to detect HIV, all test results are shown to be negative, a lot of people So claiming the “negative infections”; then, they suspect are infected with a knowledge of modern medicine is still not, there are infectious, “unknown virus”, but clinical reports have shown that they are “no organic disease” .

February 23 night, in Beijing, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) across a small hotel, wearing sterile clothing, “Express” 10 journalists from across the country with a special “patient” interviews for three hours. They had suspected their HIV infection, HIV testing several times but had shown negative results; then, they consider themselves infected with a “unknown virus”, but clinical reports have shown “no organic disease”; because of the disease fear, guilt of relatives and friends, the despair of the future, live in deep Read more…

Report warns flu pandemic could kill 200,000 in Britain

March 24, 2011 Comments off

allheadlinenews.com

50 percent of the British population could develop symptoms of the flu pandemic and may cost the British economy $42 million (GBP 28 billion).

A report released Tuesday identifies the outbreak of a new influenza pandemic as one of the greatest threats facing Britain. The U.K. Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011 estimates the number of potential deaths because of a new flu pandemic could be as high as 200,000.

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Aside from the anticipated deaths, the report by the Department of Health said 50 percent of the British population could develop symptoms of the flu pandemic and may cost the British economy Read more…

Scientists deliberately create 127 hybrid viruses from H1N1, then warn they are dangerous

March 11, 2011 Comments off

naturalnews.com

(NaturalNews) Chinese researchers recently warned the world in a study that the H1N1 virus is capable of combining with various other viruses to create “novel pandemic strains.” Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the paper states that with the proper mixing host in place, viruses can swap genes and mutate into new strains — and researchers discovered this by deliberately creating 127 of them in a laboratory.

After concocting these 127 hybrid viruses, researchers found that eight of them were more harmful than their parent viruses when tested in mice, according to a Reuters report. And researchers warn that these deadly mutant strains may one day be a serious threat to public health because they cause pneumonia, edema, and hemorrhaging.

“The main message is that the H1N1 can combine in certain ways with the H9N2 to create reassortants and some of the viruses had an increased Read more…

AP IMPACT: Past medical testing on humans revealed

February 28, 2011 Comments off

In this June 25, 1945 picture, army doctors expose patients to malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the malaria ward at Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill, Ill. Around the time of World War II, prisoners were enlisted to help the war effort by participating in studies that could help the troops. A series of malaria studies at Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois and two other penitentiaries were designed to test antimalarial drugs that could help soldiers fighting in the Pacific. Shocking as it may seem, government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates.

By MIKE STOBBE,

ATLANTA – Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States — studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.

These studies were worse in at least one respect — they violated the Read more…

Poultry farmers on bird flu alert

February 21, 2011 Comments off

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

HYDERABAD: The fear of bird flu has come back to haunt the poultry industry in Andhra Pradesh. With avian influenza being confirmed in Agartala in Tripura, the poultry industry in AP, which is the biggest in the country, has been put on high alert.

 

“We have asked poultry farmers to report any unusual and large-scale deaths so as to take the necessary measures to confirm if there is any outbreak of bird flu here,” said Dr Y Thirupathaiah, additional director, planning, directorate of animal husbandry.

In 2006, bird flu fear led to losses worth crores of rupees in the state as poultry birds had to be culled in large numbers and eggs were also destroyed.

In case of any signs of bird flu in the state, the serum samples will have to be Read more…

Biodefense Scientists Fight Lassa Fever

February 16, 2011 Comments off

Scientists are at work in Sierra Leone studying the rat-carried Lassa fever with the aim of developing a speedy and uncomplicated process for diagnosing the virus in the event of a bioterrorism attack, Reuters reported yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 23, 2010).

A laboratory in Sierra Leone’s southeast is conducting U.S.-funded research on Lassa fever, which is classified as a “category A” pathogen, a designation given to biological agents such as botulism and anthrax that can produce significant health threats.

The disease is found in a particular species of rat that is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and regularly consumed for Read more…

North Korea confirms large-scale foot-and-mouth disease outbreak

February 11, 2011 1 comment

PYONGYANG: North Korean state media on Friday acknowledged for the first time that foot-and-mouth disease has broken out in the Asian country, affecting eight provinces.

Rumors had been circling for several weeks that foot-and-mouth disease had broken out in the Communist country. On Thursday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed that the disease broke out in Pyongyang at the end of 2010 and since spread to eight other provinces.

KCNA said the most seriously affected areas are Pyongyang, North Hwanghae Province and Kangwon Province. Other areas which have been affected are North and South Phyongan Provinces and Jagang Province, although the other three affected provinces were not identified.

“Type O Foot-and-mouth diseases broke out on cooperative farms, diary farms and pig farms in those areas, doing harm to domestic animals,” KCNA said. “More than 10 000 heads of draught oxen, milch cows and pigs have so far been infected with the diseases and thousands of them died.”

The state broadcaster said a national emergency veterinary and anti-epizootic committee has since been established. “An emergency anti-epidemic campaign was Read more…

Red alert in Britain’s forests as Black death sweeps in

February 4, 2011 Comments off

Millions of larches have had to be felled to prevent the spread of a lethal virus from Asia. Christopher Middleton reports from the bleak and bare hillsides of South Wales.

Kill and cure: a disaeased larch forest being cleared at Crymant, near Neath. 

Kill and cure: a diseased larch forest being cleared at Crymant, near Neath. Photo: JAY WILLIAMS
By Christopher Middleton

Just before Christmas, you could stand at the top of Crynant Forest in South Wales and not have a clue that there was a village in the valley below. Today, the view down to the little white houses is uninterrupted. Where in mid-December there were thousands of larch trees, now there is a mass of stumps and branches.

It looks like a photograph from a First World War battlefield. A featureless no-man’s-land, interrupted by the occasional blasted tree trunk, pointing at an unnatural angle.

And that’s just the start of it. Turn your gaze in any direction, and there is a scene of devastation. Bare hillsides as far as the eye can see; slopes that look as if they’re covered in bracken are in fact coated with fallen trees.

Meanwhile, piles of logs as tall as barns are stacked up neatly by the roadside, like casualties awaiting collection from clearing stations.

The force that swept through here was not a hurricane, but an army of tree-felling engines sent in by the Forestry Commission. Already they’ve cleared 380 acres, but there’s more to be done. Much more.

And they’re in a race against time. Across the country, some 1.4 million larches have been cut down in the Read more…

DEADLY SUPERBUG NDM-1 in BRITAIN

February 2, 2011 1 comment
superbugThe bacteria have spread from India and Pakistan and are now being found in hospitals here

Back in 1987 Dr. Robin Cook wrote the medical thriller “Outbreak.” The best-selling novel focused on a team of brilliant medical researchers desperately racing against time to stop a deadly virus from spreading across the United States and potentially killing millions.

Once again fiction becomes reality as England faces its own potentially deadly outbreak with the looming possibility that a superbug from India could bring mass fatalities and spread like wildfire across an unprotected population.

According to the British Health Protection Agency (HPA), a virulent super-bacteria called NDM-1 has invaded the island nation from the Indian sub-continent and Pakistan.

Concerned health professionals have found the bacteria cropping up in hospitals across the country.

Bacteriologists are now burning the midnight oil in a desperate attempt to get a handle on a disease that has the ability to kill thousands.

Superbugs—of which the NDM-1 bacteria is one—are resistant to Read more…