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!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Resistant TB now "Virtually Untreatable"

Found this off of PharmaGossip:

"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed details of a ‘super strain’ of tuberculosis, which is not only resistant to first choice treatment drugs, but also three or more of the six classes of second-line drugs.

The news is a worrying development as the emergence of strains that are resistant to the multitude of drugs has gained significant momentum. TB presently causes about 1.7m deaths a year worldwide.
The WHO also recognised the threat of TB amongst people living with HIV/AIDS.

Treating the two diseases at the same time is difficult because of negative interactions between some ARVs used to treat HIV/AIDS and TB drugs.
Resistance to anti-TB drugs in populations is a phenomenon that occurs primarily due to poorly managed TB care. Problems include incorrect drug prescribing practices by providers, poor quality drugs or erratic supply of drugs, and also patient non-adherence.

MDR-TB (Multidrug Resistant TB) describes strains of tuberculosis that are resistant to at least the two main first-line TB drugs - isoniazid and rifampicin. XDR-TB, or Extensive Drug Resistant TB (also referred to as Extreme Drug Resistance) is MDR-TB that is also resistant to three or more of the six classes of second-line drugs."


Looks like the phthisic is making a big phth-comeback! Mercurial poets worldwide must be rejoicing!

Friday, September 29, 2006

BioCryst Strikes Gold!

BioCryst has apparently come up with the killer app of the biotech industry - a bird flu/seasonal flu combo antiviral that's safe at high doses.

It's too late to ride the bubble for you stock market folks, BioCryst's stock jumped earlier in the week when news of their drug first started comming out. Anyway, here's a little more detail from Reuters:

"A new drug being developed to fight both bird flu and seasonal flu can be given safely to people in very high doses, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Friday.
The drug, called peramivir, is still in experimental trials but is considered the next-line drug to fight influenza of all sorts, after Tamiflu and Relenza.

"We demonstrated that you can go to very high levels of peramivir in humans," Dr. Charles Bugg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BioCryst, said in a telephone interview.

"We did escalating doses -- starting at a low dose and showing it's safe and going until we have a dose way, way above what we think it takes to inhibit the virus. We can go to very high levels," Bugg added.

All doses were well tolerated with no serious adverse effects, researchers independent of the company told a meeting in San Francisco of the American Society for Microbiology. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave peramivir "fast-track status" in January to allow speedy review for approval.

The company has said peramivir has shown broad spectrum activity against various strains of flu, including the H5N1 virus that causes bird flu, in animal trials.


Wow, fast track status huh? They're treating peramivir a little nicer than they did the HPV vaccine or the morning-after pill. Good to know politics still has a place in public health... Project BioShield probably has a bit more sway these days than the Office of Women's Health. I mean, Bioshield's website is just soo kickass, why wouldn't the FDA be sucking its dick??

I wonder how much this super virus killer shits going to cost, anyway? Probably a bit more than your average Sudanese poultry farmer can afford. Probably more than anyone who doesn't have a platinum health insurance program could ever hope to come up with. My guess at the price tag will be $260 for 30 pills.

Good job BioCryst! You're going to make a bundle and save the world (read: rich white people with good jobs) from the bird flu! Maybe if the world's population is lucky the WHO will cut you guys a check for a few million doses.

Sister of Indonesian H5N1 Victim Also Infected

This is the sister of death #51 for Indonesia, who was a 9-year old boy. From AlertNet:

"JAKARTA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - A 21-year-old Indonesian woman, the sister of a boy who died of bird flu earlier this month, is suffering from the same disease, the health ministry said on Friday.

The patient, currently being treated at a hospital in East Java province, had contact with sick and dead fowl, as had her brother, said Runizar Ruesin, the head of the ministry's bird flu information centre.

"She has been declared a bird flu positive case by the ministry lab and NAMRU," he told Reuters, referring to a U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit based in Jakarta.

The Soetomo hospital in East Java capital Surabaya said the woman was also suffering from pneumonia.

"Her condition is stable but her pneumonia has not improved yet. She is still being supported by a respirator," Urip Murtejo, the hospital's deputy director, told Reuters."


Indonesia has a Bird Flu Information Centre? Kind of like Iraq's Minister of Information? This reeks of human to human transmission, and I don't think this Information Centre is anything more than a propoganda and spin machine. Yeah, sure, the whole family was just playin' with dead chickens in the yard! Makes sense!

Indonesia can't keep their little kids from playing with dead birds, this is much is obvious. I didn't realize they had a problem with 20-year-olds picking up dead things they randomly find, as well.

Meanwhile, their death count goes up to 52. And here I thought China was going to be the epicenter...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Current Drugs May Be Useless Against H5N1

According to the WHO, there's a good chance that if (when...) H5N1 mutates to full-blown human-to-human 50% mortality rate influenza, current antivirals such as Tamiflu will not be effective against it.

This is a no-brainer, really, as Tamiflu resistant H5N1 strain already exists (although the post I blogged about it didn't have a link...), but it's pretty scary because it's not exactly easy to just whip up new antivirals. Anyway, here's what the WHO has to say, according to the Herald Tribune:

"New drugs are needed to treat the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has killed at least 148 people, because of the possibility that it could mutate and develop resistance to the most effective anti-viral medicines, a WHO scientist said Thursday.

"We know that there are (H5N1) viruses that are circulating that are resistant to these drugs, and so there is an urgent need to look at other anti-viral avenues," said Mike Perdue, a team leader with WHO's influenza program who took part in a two-day bird flu conference earlier this week sponsored by the U.N. health body.

Oseltamivir and amantadine, sold as Tamiflu and Symmetrel respectively, are the only known effective treatments for people who have contracted the virus. But there have been isolated instances in Asia where infected patients did not respond to the drugs.

"We know from surveillance studies and from hospital clinical studies that resistance to the two primary anti-viral drugs, the Tamiflu and amantadine drugs, has already occurred," said Perdue. The limited number of identified resistant strains, however, are not yet numerous enough to suggest a larger trend in H5N1 resistance.

Another concern for scientists is whether a vaccine can be developed to immunize humans against the virus. No such vaccine yet exists, but there are some promising candidates.

"We've never seen the kinds of human infections with avian influenza viruses that we see with H5N1. We assume there are some unique genetic attributes of this virus that are allowing it to be so pathogenic in humans and to cause such high mortality," said Perdue."


So if it doesn't act like other avian influenza, how do we know it's virulence will drop when it moves to humans? How does highly-pathogenic H5N1 affect birds, it's natural host? According to the CDC it kills 90-100% of the birds infected within a few days, affecting multiple organs.

I've told you all time and time again about how this thing kills birds: blood sweating, pustules, exploding heads...

And our drugs can't stop it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another Week, Another Indonesian H5N1 Death

This a new one, not the one last one I posted about. This brings the total up to 51 for them. Here's the story from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"JAKARTA: A nine-year-old Indonesian has died of bird flu, an official of the health ministry's bird flu information centre said yesterday, taking the country's death toll from the disease to 51.

The boy died on Friday at a hospital in Jakarta, a health spokesman said. He had suffered from fever, cough, runny nose and pneumonia after he began to get sick on September 13, the spokesman said.

The boy was said to have had contact with a sick bird. Most human cases are known to have followed such contacts.

His death comes after the Health Ministry said on Friday that bird flu had last killed an 11-year-old boy from East Java province last week."


Flu season is rapidly approaching, and I fear the death toll this year is going to explode. It's been mutating all summer, and H2H transmission isn't out of the equation now.

FDA Makes Statement on E. Coli Outbreak

You can read the full thing here:

"FDA Statement on Foodborne E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in Spinach

This statement is current as of September 23, 2006. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will continue to provide the public with regular updates on the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak each day until further notice.


To date, 171 cases of illness due to E. coli O157:H7 infection have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 27 cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), 92 hospitalizations and one death.

To date, 25 states have reported cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection.

On September 22, 2006, two (2) more firms initiated voluntary recalls: Triple B Corporation, doing business as S.T. Produce, of Seattle, Washington and Pacific Coast Fruit Company of Portland, Oregon. Triple B is recalling its fresh spinach salad products with a “Use By” date of 8/22/2006 thru 9/20/2006 (see list below). Spinach used in these products may have been supplied from Natural Selections Foods of California. The recalled products were distributed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana to retail stores and delis and sold in a hard plastic clamshell container.

Pacific Coast Fruit Company of Portland, Oregon is recalling products that may include spinach supplied by Natural Selections Foods (see list below). All salad products will have a “USE BY DATE” on or before September 20, 2006. Pizza products will have a “USE BY DATE” on or before September 23, 2006. Pacific Coast Fruit Company stopped making all products with spinach supplied from California on September 14, 2006. The products listed were distributed in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

States Affected:

The 25 affected states are: Arizona (7), California (1), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3) Idaho (4), Illinois (1), Indiana (8), Kentucky (8), Maine (3), Maryland (3), Michigan (4), Minnesota (2), Nebraska (9), Nevada (1), New Mexico (5), New York (11), Ohio (20), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (1), Utah (17), Virginia (2), Washington (3), Wisconsin (43) and Wyoming (1)

Laboratory Findings:

The New Mexico Department of Health announced on September 20 that it had linked a sample from a package of spinach with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The spinach was eaten by one of New Mexico's patients before becoming sick. DNA fingerprinting tests determined that the strain from the spinach matches the strain from patients in the outbreak. The package of spinach that tested positive was "Dole Baby Spinach, Best if Used by August 30."


So far the companies that are totally fucked by this fiasco are:

  • Triple B Inc.
  • RLB Food Distributors
  • Natural Selection Foods, LLC

I look forward to spin-laden press releases soon!

(PS -- Bin Laden probably isn't dead after all, sorry!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bin-Laden Possibly Dead from Typhoid

This is breaking news! I'd been hearing rumours for the past 24-hours but now it seems to be being confirmed that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I would have thought kidney failure would finish the bastard off, but it appears Typhoid fever is the culprit. Here's the story from the Post Chronicle:

"Typhoid Fever kills Osama bin Laden? Typhoid Fever may have killed bin Laden or has made him gravely ill, according to Saudi intelligence sources cited by a French newspaper quoting French intelligence sources. The newspaper says a document was leaked to them by French intelligence.

Time magazine is reporting that Saudi sources have told them that Bin Laden contracted a waterborne illness and is gravely ill and could have already died.
The news of the unconfirmed death of al-Qaeda's No.1 was reported in the Saturday edition of l'Est Republicain.

The world's most wanted terrorist, according to the French newspaper, is believed to have died last August 23.
A Saudi intelligence source told United Press International: "We are not saying he is dead, but there is a lot of truth in the report." The Saudi source, who spoke on condition that his name not be revealed, confirmed that according to Saudi Arabian intelligence "bin Laden was very ill these past few weeks."


So all they really know is that it was a waterborne illness. Well, hell, with any luck he could have gotten Cholera! That's waaay more grisly than Typhoid!

Spinach Frenzy!

Well, as you might imagine, more people are getting sick. No new deaths yet, that I'm aware of, but the death of the spinach industry appears immenint. A Harrisburg, Pennsylvania spinach processing plant laid off a number of its workers, and Canada (prudent as usual) has banned all US spinach imports.

You'd think that with spinach consumption now at an all time low, the cases of E. coli wouldn't still be skyrocketing. The Ethicurean has a few ideas on whats up:

"We’ve been eating leafy greens for thousands of years straight from the fields, but only from special prewashed, gas-infused salad bags for under 30. First of all, when’s the last time you heard about a nationwide E. coli outbreak caused by a farmers market? More importantly, it seems to me, is that when a farmer looks you in the eye and takes your cash for her spinach, she has a personal incentive not to make you sick. Underpaid factory workers who can’t even afford to buy the organic spinach they’re bagging? Less so."

So if he's right, and all this E. coli is comming from a processing plant itself and not from cow shit left on a spinach patch, then the outbreak could be due to any number of other highly-processed vegetable items. Which would explain why it's not slowing down.

Personally, I'd stay away from any bagged vegetable item. Only buy fresh produce, and wash the hell out of it before you eat it. And if you are under 5 or over 75, don't even risk it. Keep eating your mush, or E. coli won't just give you the squirts, it will kill you.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Two More Dead in E. Coli Outbreak

While the FDA thinks they found the source of the contamination, it doesn't help much if contaminated spinach is still out there to be consumed. M&C has the details:

"San Francisco - An E coli outbreak blamed on tainted spinach produce has claimed the lives of two more people, according to news reports Friday.

The victims were an 86-year-old woman from Maryland and a two-year old Idaho boy, who died after eating fresh spinach and becoming infected with E-coli.

The US Food and Drug Administration, in a statement Friday, made no mention of the two reported deaths but said there was an 'ongoing investigation.'

The FDA acknowledged only one death last week related to the E coli outbreak, in which more than 150 people in 23 states have fallen ill."


Personally, I've switched to kale.

Bird Flu Kills One More in Indonesia

Remember Indonesia? You know, the country whose bird flu preperation plan was to completely ignore it? Well, not only do they have the highest fatality rate, it appears more are still dying. From Bloomberg:

"Bird flu killed an 11-year-old boy in Indonesia, a Ministry of Health official said, pushing the country's death toll to 50.

Tests confirmed the child from East Java was infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza when he died on Sept. 18, said I Nyoman Kandun, the health ministry's director general of disease control and environment.

Indonesia, the world's fourth-most-populous country, has recorded at least two new H5N1 cases every month since September last year. Its 65 reported cases account for more than a quarter of human infections worldwide.

The H5N1 virus is known to have infected 247 people in 10 countries, killing 144, since 2003, the World Health Organization said on Sept. 19. Millions could die if the virus mutates to become easily transmissible between people, sparking a lethal pandemic.

Indonesia, with 238 million people, is struggling to control H5N1 in poultry, which are spreading the virus to humans. In the past three years, infected birds have been found in at least 80 percent of the country's 33 provinces."


Riiiight, if by struggling they mean refusing to start culling programs or control outbreaks then I suppose they are struggling -- and they are succeeding -- in doing nothing.

Vietnam has had the least deaths and least outbreaks because they got their shit together and basically turned off the poultry industry (communist countries can do that you know). Meanwhile, the de-facto Theocracy of Indonesia's response is to "trust in Allah."

Now, don't think I hate Indonesia. Personally, I don't have big problem with backwater Islamist shitholes. I'm just saying they have no one to blame for this but themselves, cause Vietnam is just as poor and they kick serious ass.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is the E. Coli Outbreak a Bioterror Attack?

While the main sources (the media, the government, the health orgs) are saying that it is highly unlikely the E. Coli spinach fiasco is a bioterror attack, it is of course still a possibility. I frankly discount it, because no group has come forth to claim responsibility.

Others, of course, have different opinions. The Point Rider Republican blog has a post on "Islamofascist Germ Warfare", where he makes the connection between terrorists comming through our porous southern border and the E. Coli epicenter being located near our said porous borders. It would also make sense that no group would claim responsibility for this, seeing as it would alert the US to the fact that their terrorist cell is present in the country.

Fuzing Horizons also makes the very good point that our nation's agriculture is basically completely unguarded (and would be basically impossible to secure them in any decent way). And, as any good germ warfare scholar knows, the most effective measures are the ones that kill the food supply, not the people. However, since America's GDP isn't largely comprised of spinach exports, I don't really think that this was an attack designed to hurt us financially or cause famine - Hugo Chavez may be crazy but he's not an idiot.

So here's what I think: If it was bioterrorism, they would have put anthrax in a milk truck or something, and if it was germ warfare, we'd have an outbreak of madcow or swine flu. E. Coli and spinach just seem like such a ridiculous poor combo that no potential enemy would employ it.

Or maybe that's just what they want us to think...

H5N1 Carriers Found

So it looks like for some people H5N1 does not produce illness, and like good little carriers have the potential to spread the virus far and wide without knowing it. The scenarios for the global spread of Bird Flu just got a whole lot more grim. CIDRAP has all the dirty details:

"Sep 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – South Korea said last week that five workers who helped cull poultry nearly 3 years ago showed evidence of past infection with H5N1 avian influenza though they had never been ill.
The Sep 15 report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the five workers had tested positive for antibodies to the H5N1 virus but had never had symptoms.

Samples from the workers were tested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a Sep 15 Reuters report.
"The five did not develop major illnesses and have no strain to transmit bird flu," Reuters quoted Korea's Center for Disease Control and Prevention as saying. Four other South Korean poultry workers were previously found to have H5N1 antibodies without having been ill, bringing the total to nine, according to Reuters.

South Korea had outbreaks of H5N1 disease in poultry in December 2003 and early 2004, but no human cases were reported. About 400,000 birds were infected and about 5 million were destroyed to contain the disease, the Reuters report said.

At the time, the government sent samples from 318 poultry industry workers to the US CDC for testing, which identified the four workers who had antibodies, the story said. Korean officials reported last February that the four had never been ill."


It said that they no longer had the strain in their system, so I wonder how long it stays with you if you are a carrier. A month? A week? Depending on how long the virus lays dormant it could have vast implications towards the speed and breadth of a pandemic.

Infected Bag of Spinach Pinpointed

While the Earthbound Organics spinach was a red herring, scientists have conclusively isolated E. Coli from a bag of Dole baby spinach package. The LA Times has further info:

"A New Mexico laboratory was able to isolate potentially deadly bacteria in a bag of spinach that had sickened a resident — a step hailed Wednesday as a significant break in the search for the source of a nationwide E. coli outbreak.

The bag that tested positive was a Dole baby spinach package with a "best if used by" date of Aug. 30. It was one of the brands recalled Friday by Natural Selection, a produce grower and processor based in San Juan Bautista, Calif.

The federal Food and Drug Administration was sure enough that tainted spinach was behind the outbreak to warn consumers last week not to eat any fresh spinach or salad mixes containing it. But until the New Mexico test, its only evidence came from asking patients who fell ill what they had eaten. The New Mexico test confirmed the link to spinach.

It was a genetic match to the E. coli O157:H7 that has sickened 146 people in 23 states, killing one and sending 76 to the hospital. Twenty-three of them have severe kidney complications."


No one knows where the spinach originally came from, but at least people now know which brands to be wary of.

Monday, September 18, 2006

E. Coli Outbreak Reaches 21 States

There's just no stopping it! Here's what Bloomberg has to say:

"Illnesses in five more people in were blamed today on a deadly outbreak of E. coli attributed to fresh spinach, raising the number of cases to 114, U.S. food regulators and health officials said.

Eighteen people have developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome, according to the National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta. Seventy-five percent of the people infected were women.

All the indications are that the implicated brands were grown in the state of California,'' Acheson said. "It's important to emphasize that we're not ruling out the possibility that other spinach from other states may be implicated.''


Poor Governor Ahhrnahld, now he has to explain why his state's produce industry is responsible for the second worst E. Coli outbreak in US history (The first being the Jack-In-The-Box Fiasco).

For those of those interested, hemolytic-uremic syndrome is caused by a toxin that E. coli produces which damages endothelial cells, when these get killed off the kidneys can't function properly, leading to acute renal failure, in which the body accumulates the waste products the kidneys are supposed to take care of.

If left untreated, the patient goes into what is known as End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD), in which the body will die from the build up of wastes and fluids.

Bonus - can any of you doctor types tell me if the death is due to sepsis or toxin poisoning, or both, or something else? The internet is not being very helpful on this point. Thanks!

Popeye Plague hits 109 victims

Youd think people would stop getting the bagged spinach already! From CBS News:

"(AP) The number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak traced to tainted spinach rose to 109 on Sunday, as federal officials announced more brands recalling their products.

"This is unquestionably a significant outbreak in terms of E. coli," said Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer with the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Natural Selection Foods LLC, the world's largest producer of organic produce, has been linked to the infected greens, prompting a recall of 34 brands. Those brands include the company's own labels and those of other companies that had contracts with Natural Selection, based in San Juan Bautista, Calif., to produce or package its spinach.

On Sunday, River Ranch Fresh Foods of Salinas, Calif., added to its recall spring mixes containing spinach that were sold under the labels Hy Vee, Fresh and Easy, and Farmers Market, FDA officials said. All contain spinach purchased from Natural Selection, they said.

The recalls came as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intervened to help in investigate the outbreak, which has killed a 77-year-old Wisconsin woman, officials said.

In Ohio, state health officials said they were investigating the death of a 23-month-old girl who was sickened by E. coli to determine whether the case was related to the outbreak. The girl's mother said she often buys bagged spinach."


Ok, so one eldery death doesn't reallly maket this seat-of-your pants material, but it could get worse! Wouldn't it be something if Sysco Foods end up having the contaminated spinach and everybody in America gets sick?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Spinach recall in full-effect!

Looks like searching for the brands responsible was too time consuming and slow for most of the public to accecpt - bring on the wholesale recalls! Got this from

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nation's largest grower of organic produce said on Friday it had voluntarily recalled fresh spinach products sold in the United States, Mexico and Canada after the U.S. government said they could be linked to a deadly and worsening E. coli outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said one person died, 14 suffered kidney failure and at least 94 in 20 states were ill after eating suspected contaminated pre-packaged spinach, at least some of it packed by California-based Natural Selection Foods LLC/Earthbound Farm."

"The best advice to consumers is, if you don't know if it's pre-packaged or not, avoid it," Dr. David Acheson, the agency's chief officer for food safety, warned consumers.

Wisconsin health authorities said the E. coli fatality was a 77-year-old woman from Manitowoc who died September 7. The FDA said 29 cases of E. coli were reported to the Centers of Disease Control in Wisconsin alone."


Wait wait wait! Last I heard it was the free-range spinach we had to worry about? Now all spiniach is in question?? Or just fresh prepackaged spinach? I'm so confused.

Just a hint - it's a big outbreak so you might want to start your investigation with big suppliers. Ok folks, in the meantime I suggest eating brussel sprouts: they taste equally bad but are actually better for you!

Friday, September 15, 2006

E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Spinach

The "popeye plague" is now deadly as reportedly at least one person has died from what is thought to be tainted spinach harboring the highly virulent E. coli. Central Oregon is on the case:

"Federal health officials are warning people not to eat bagged fresh spinach after an outbreak of E. coli in eight states, including Oregon, has left at least one person dead and 50 others sick. The death occurred in Wisconsin. The cases of people getting sick were reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. F-D-A officials say they do not know the source of the outbreak, other than it appears to be linked to bagged spinach. One official says, "We're advising people not to eat it." Oregon public health officials said Thursday they have joined colleagues in the other states investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157, a foodborne illness that has been identified in at least five people across Oregon.

Epidemiologists in the Oregon Department of Human Services and in Wisconsin have traced the illness to packaged, washed spinach, although they so far have been unable to identify whether the contamination is confined to a single brand.
"We have reports of cases of E. coli O157 illness in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, New Mexico, Connecticut, Indiana and Michigan," DHS epidemiologist Bill Keene said Thursday afternoon. "Although we have identified packaged spinach as the source, people have either varying or no recollection of the brand they purchased."

Keene said that epidemiologists are asking people who have become ill for credit and cash-register receipts they received when they made the purchase. "We're now trying to pin down the brand," he said. Although five persons' illness has been confirmed by the state public health laboratory, he said, state epidemiologists have received reports of illness in several dozen people and are working with them as well.

State public health officials are urging people who develop diarrhea after eating raw spinach to call their local health departments. Those who have bloody diarrhea or are particularly ill should seek medical attention and tell their doctors if they ate uncooked spinach. "Most people who ate the spinach will not get sick," Keene said. "If you ate spinach and aren't ill, there's no need to call your doctor."


Fortunately for me I only eat that frozen spinach shit that you have to microwave in a cup full of water. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that there's some sort of governmental oversight thats supposed to be in place to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen?

Oh well, I guess the FDA was too busy playing politics with the Plan B pill to make sure huge lots of contaminated crops weren't being shipped all across the USA.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Back and so is Bird Flu!

After a long hiatus, I'm pleased to announce SuperStrain has returned! Sorry for the delay folks, it involved me moving and being unable to get internet access for over a month... very aggrevating. Here's the latest, from IOL:

"Juba - Authorities in autonomous southern Sudan said Wednesday they had confirmed an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in poultry, with two other suspected cases of the virus potentially fatal to humans.

The outbreak, confirmed by laboratories in the federal capital, Khartoum, and Britain, has not infected any people, they said, but has prompted an alert in neighbouring Uganda amid fears it could spread to humans.

The tests confirmed that several chickens from a residential backyard in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba had died from H5N1 on August 3, said Louis Morris Kyanga of south Sudan's Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries.

"We received the results of the tests, and unfortunately all the samples have proven to be positive," he told reporters, adding that further tests were being conducted on the carcasses of 18 ducks found in two backyards on September 9.

"Samples from those have been sent again to Khartoum and the United Kingdom, as we do not have the laboratory facilities here, but they are suspected to be avian flu just by the signs," Kyanaga said.

H5N1, which has killed nearly 140 people, mostly in Asia, since 2003, was reported in northern and central Sudan in April but had not spread to the south."


Quick question, is it possible for H5N1 to kill more Sudanese than the Sudanese government? I personally look forward to the art-house blockbuster "Hotel Influenza"...