SuperStrain Blog-Source

Biological and chemical danger awaits, bioweapons and government black ops falseflag operations are an added threat to the broad spectrum of bioterrorism and biodefense. The germs are all around us, what we need is biosecurity!

Monday, April 24, 2006

College, a petri dish for mumps

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Health officials focus on vaccinating young adults after an outbreak among students.

By Melissa Healy, Times Staff Writer
April 24, 2006

When Iowa college students early this year began turning up in doctors' offices with puffy necks, headaches, fevers and, among some young men, swollen testicles, many physicians missed a diagnosis most doctors could have made in their sleep 25 years ago.

These patients had the mumps — as do at least 1,100 in eight Midwestern states as of Friday. The outbreak is still unfolding, spreading east and west, and beyond the 18- to 25-year-old set.

Their affliction was missed by many physicians unaccustomed to seeing — especially in college students — a childhood disease largely quashed by widespread vaccination in the 1980s.

Now public health officials are trying to understand how this disease, which in rare cases can cause deafness, encephalitis and male sterility, could have regained a foothold in the U.S. after so many years.

The Midwest mumps outbreak has been all the more surprising because it has largely affected the first generation of young adults to have commonly had not one, but two doses of the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Double vaccinations, widespread since a 1989 outbreak of measles, were thought to confer complete mumps immunity to about 90% of recipients.

Experts suspect two factors: spotty vaccination coverage among college-aged kids and the unique bacterial and viral mixing bowl that is dorm life.

The virus that causes mumps appears to have found its perfect home in the college scene — with multiple kids lolling on beds in great heaving groups, swigging drinks in common, kissing and cruising the bars even when they're sick, and — oh, yes — attending classes en masse.

"They eat after each other, drink after each other, share other personal items — we know that living under those settings, people run higher risks of infection," says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Assn.

Health experts say the outbreak should help focus new attention on the need to vaccinate adolescents against a growing variety of diseases before they leave the nest and dive into this unique germ pool. "

Friday, April 21, 2006

WHO Updates Latest H5N1 Stats

The WHO's Cumulative Numbers on Bird Flu got updated today...

Total Reported Cases: 204
Total Reported Deaths: 113

That's a 55% mortality rate. Not very good odds...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Is Iowa Mumps a Bioweapons Test?

Xymphora has the scoop, with many informing quotes pulled from various sources:

"Mumps is highly contagious, but not too dangerous, and might be the perfect biowarfare test agent. Did some UK biolab come up with a new strain which is being spread around the UK and, now, the American Midwest? Iowa seems to be ground zero (see also here):

"The state of Iowa has established the Iowa Laboratory Alert Network (ILRN), as part of a national bioterrorism preparedness and response network of public health and clinical laboratories for the purpose of disease surveillance and emergency response to possible acts of bioterrorism. If one of the participating state laboratories suspects it has discovered a biological agent, they are advised to contact the UI Hygienic Laboratory, which serves as a reference laboratory for the state."

The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory was set up over one hundred years ago to study communicable diseases, and also now has expertise in bioterrorism. It is actively engaged in studying the mumps case."

Mumps Outbreak Spreads Quickly

From the Mercury News:

"Federal health authorities said Wednesday that they are rushing 25,000 doses of mumps vaccine to the Midwest to control the largest mumps outbreak in 20 years.

Since the first cases were detected in Iowa in December, mumps has infected 1,165 people in at least eight Midwestern states, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

``We're not going to be surprised to see more cases in more states,'' she said at a news conference in Atlanta.

Officials still are collecting data from the other states, but many of the people in Iowa who have contracted mumps were 17 to 24 years old.

The relative youth of those infected could explain why there have been no deaths so far, Gerberding said. Still, 20 people have been hospitalized for more serious conditions that developed from their mumps infections, including meningitis.

Gerberding said a program has begun in the affected areas to vaccinate vulnerable populations, particularly college-age students and health care workers.

Mumps is a virus that can be spread by close contact through mucus or coughs and sneezes. The disease generally causes fever, headaches and tiredness, with a special tendency to puff up the saliva glands. Most people get over mumps in about 10 days. About 20 percent of people who catch mumps can have no symptoms.

Mumps usually affects about 265 people a year in the United States.

Since a vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella became available in 1967, nearly everyone has gotten the shot.

Jane Seward, acting deputy director of the CDC's division of viral diseases, said the latest outbreak might have been sparked by someone coming from overseas.

Health officials said the mumps strain is the same as one circulating in the United Kingdom, which has seen 100,000 cases since 2004."


Jane Seward, you are wrong!! The latest outbreak started in Iowa this winter, and the UK mumps strain has to have been hanging out in the US since at least 2004. What set it off? Probably not another one of the hundreds of British mumps carriers who must visit this country on a monthly basis... Look for novel vectors you dumb ass --- this thing is being carried through college kids visiting eachother, so you have to find out what Iowa university this started in, and what makes the college unique in whatever way that could jumpstart an outbreak.

I am seriously so pissed at these lazy scientists throwing out platitidudes instead of a reasoned, thoughtful discussion. Don't you care about your field, Dr. Seward? Don't you want to actually know how this thing got started? Or are you just an administration power-suit corporate hack who just doesn't know shit? I'm calling you out, explain what you think happened here Dr. Seward.

Eh, I've called out "experts" on this blog before and not one has ever come to defend themselves. It's as if no one searches for their own names on blog listings or something...

Case of Bubonic Plague in California

From ProMedMail:

"A Los Angeles woman is being treated for bubonic plague, the 1st case of the age-old pestilence in the county since 1984, health officials
announced Tue 18 Apr 2006.

The infected patient, whose identity was withheld, came down with symptoms last week and continues to be treated in a hospital for the disease, which is characterized by swollen lymph nodes, officials said. She may have contracted the disease from fleas in the area around her Country Club Park neighborhood.

Although the disease is "rare, it is important to remember that this still can happen," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Traps have been set out for squirrels and other wild animals in the area to determine the extent of exposure, officials said. Neighbors are being warned to avoid contact with dead animals and fleas from rodents and pets.

Although human cases of the plague are uncommon, it is endemic to ground squirrels and some rodents in parts of the Angeles National Forest, Tehachapi, Lake Isabella and Frazier Park.

The last major urban epidemic in the USA occurred in Los Angeles in 1924, resulting in dozens of deaths. On average, about 5 to 15 people get the plague annually around the country, mostly in rural areas, according to the CDC."


Amazing! Reported right on the heels of the plague episode of House MD last night!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Iowa Mumps Epidemic: Potential to Spread

Oh, you didn't know about it? I didn't either until today... Here's the story from AxcessNews:

"US health officials are investigating an outbreak of Mumps in Iowa that has spread to several mid-western states which is the largest outbreak of the viral infection in 20 years.

In Iowa where 605 confirmed cases of Mumps have been reported, mostly amongst university students between December and April 13th, Iowa health officials said the Mumps outbreak was is the highest number of confirmed cases across those mid-west states where other cases were found.

Normally, Iowa has 5 cases of Mumps throughout a given year.

The US department of health is also investigating dozens more cases of the Mumps in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. So far, health officials are at a loss as to where the viral infection originated.

What concerns federal health officials most are two Mumps-infected individuals who took flights throughout the mid-west, spreading the highly contagious infection across multiple states. The Iowa Department of Public Health identified two persons diagnosed with mumps who were potentially infectious during travel on nine different commercial flights involving two airlines between March 26, 2006 and April 2, 2006. The origin and arrival cities for these flights include Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, IA; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Lafayette, AR; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; Tucson, AZ; and Washington, D.C.

Friday, the US health department's Centers for Disease Control Sand Prevention issued a "Multi-state Health Advisory" after Iowa confirmed two of the individuals that were infected traveled to various states by air."


Hope all the college-bound readers had your mumps shots as a kid, cause it looks like it's coming your way!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Anolyte may kill H5N1

From VNA:

Hanoi (VNA) - "The electrochemically activated solution anolyte is likely to kill H5N1 virus, said Vietnamese experts from the Veterinary Diagnosis Centre and the Institute of Environmental Technology.

After successfully conducting experiments on anolyte's ability to destroy the H5N1 virus, these experts also found out that the antimicrobial solution, which has no toxic byproducts and no acute or chronic toxicity when diluted in water, can be safely used as a strong disinfectant agent in breeding farms.

Anolyte, they added, is more effective after breeding tools are scrubbed with soap.

Additionally, anolyte can be produced at lower cost than other kinds of antimicrobial substances such as Virkon-S 0.5 percent.

The Institute has succeeded in manufacturing equipment to produce anolyte since 2001 thanks to technology transferred from Russia.

To date, more than 200 devices have been used in many localities to make the solution, which has been widely used in water treatment, farm produce preservation, aquatic processing and breeding."


This seems to be more of a preventative measure than an antiviral drug, however, it's always a pleasant surpise to find that some cheap old disinfectant takes care of fancy new viruses. Anyone know how bleach stacks up against H5N1? Anolyte sounds far less noxious, I'd much rather be wiping my stuff down with it than a bleach solution in the event of a pandemic.

I doubt drinking it will do anything if you get the bird flu, but the web site I got the header graphic from pushes it pretty hard as a dietary supplement. It kills a lot of free radicals, too, apparently.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Typhoid Outbreak in New Guinea

From Radio New Zealand International:

"A World Health Organisation official in Papua New Guinea says the agency and the Ministry of Health will send a team to the Southern Highlands province to investigate a possible typhoid outbreak.

The newspaper, The National, says a severe typhoid outbreak in the province has affected more than 1000 people, with six confirmed deaths.

A WHO official, Dr Luo Depeng, says they have not received an official report and their information about the outbreak is solely based on the newspaper report.

He says it may not be typhoid - it could be malaria or another disease:

“We are going to work with the health office to confirm if it is typhoid. We don’t know what a capacity it has and if the cases are properly diagnosed.�

Dr Depeng says they will inform the population about measures to control the disease and will take antibiotics supplies with them.

He says a typhoid vaccine is not available in PNG."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

White House Admits Lag in Bioterror Effort

From the Washington Post:

"The Bush administration acknowledged yesterday that it still lacks a strategic plan for countering bioterror threats two years after Congress created a special program and appropriated billions of dollars for the purpose, and it pledged fresh efforts to speed up and streamline the troubled Project BioShield.

Under sharp questioning on Capitol Hill from members of both parties, the administration conceded many of the criticisms that have been leveled against Project BioShield by the drug and biotechnology industries in recent months. That $5.6 billion program is meant to build an elaborate national stockpile of drugs and other measures to counter biological and radioactive weapons, but corporate executives have complained of delays, bureaucratic inertia, and other problems in the way the program is being run.

"I think what's lacking in all this is a real sense of urgency," said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat representing much of Silicon Valley. "I can't help but think we are not prepared if, God forbid, any of these catastrophes were to be visited upon the United States."

While declaring that BioShield is indeed a high priority of the government, Alex M. Azar II, a deputy secretary at the Health and Human Services Department, conceded that the lack of a strategic plan has left industry guessing about the government's priorities. Corporate executives warned that they do not know what kind of research to launch, and cannot raise private money to help finance the work, without a clearer set of marching orders."


Project BioSheild, eh? Sounds like a typical Bush administration program. Bad-ass sounding name, but with little funding, initiative, direction or leadership to back it up. Although I must say I'd rather be wasting tax dollars on the Regan-esque folly of Star Wars for Germs than spending 8 billion a day to kill Iraqi peasants.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Iceland on Alert for Bird Flu

From IcelandReview:

"Morgunbladid reports today that Iceland has raised its level of preparedness from Stage I to Stage II after the birdflu virus H5N1 was detected in a dead swan in Scotland earlier this week.

According to the chief veterinarian, Halldór Runólfsson, his office has given instructions to farmers to keep their birds indoors and take measures to prevent them from interacting with wild birds. "Most large farms already keep their birds indoors, and we are main targeting smaller farms," said Halldór to Morgunbladid.

The chief vet's office's instructions include specific measures concerning how to close off ventilation shafts, windows and other openings of buildings where farmed birds are kept. They also include instructions to notify the chief vet's office if two are more wild birds are found dead in the same area."


I mainly posted this cause I'm a big Icelandic geek. Maybe it's because all the best music is comming out of Iceland or what, I am obsessed with the country and language.

Incidently, Morgunbladid is a great online paper to read whilst trying to learn Icelandic.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

24th Indonesian H5N1 Death Confirmed

Indonesia has been getting especially hard, accounting for almost a full 1/4th of total H5N1 deaths worldwide. The BBC Asia-Pacific has more:

Indonesian health officials say an eight-year-old girl who died last July had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

A spokesman for the Indonesian health ministry, Runizar Ruesin, said the virus was confirmed in tests by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The result brings to 24 the number of deaths from bird flu in Indonesia.

The girl's father and sister were confirmed last year to have died from the H5N1 strain of the virus, but further tests had been delayed.

The government had problems getting adequate specimens of the girl's blood, which delayed shipment to a WHO-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong, Mr Ruesin told Reuters news agency."


That's at least one entire family wiped out by avian influenza. Of course the news media is very bad about reporting the particular details involved in the patients who are dying - but a whole family contracting it reeks of H2H transmission.

Three New "Cases" of Bird Flu in Burkina Faso

From behind the iron firewall, People's Daily Online reported:

"Burkina Faso has detected three cases of deadly H5N1 bird flu virus on a farm near its capital Ouagadougou, Burkinese Ministry of Animal Resources announced late Monday.

Test in the Italian lab of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the flu virus on three samples collected on a farm in Gampela, a suburb of Ouagadougou,said Tiemoko Konate, the Burkinese minister of animal resources.

According to Konate, a total of 65 samples had been collected across the country.

The Burkinese government has put the affected farm under quarantine and had all the poultry there culled, said the minister, noting that the public had been asked to report any suspected cases.

With the confirmation of the three cases, Burkina Faso becomes the fifth African country hit by H5N1 bird flu after Nigeria, Niger, Egypt and Cameroon.

Source: Xinhua"


We'd better hope the whole farm hasn't already come down sick - and I mean all mammals. Pigs, dogs, cats, sheep, humans.

Looks like H5N1 is well settled in Africa, spreading, and no doubt mutating.