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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Hundreds of pigeons mysteriously die in India


PATNA, India - More than five hundred pigeons have dropped dead at a village in Bihar's Bhagalpur district over the last four days, causing residents, some of them pigeon-keepers, to fear that something was amiss. District officials are still to visit the site and conduct an inquiry. “We were shocked, and we cannot understand why it happened,” Subodh Kumar Singh, a keeper of pigeons who lost 250 birds in two days, said. Another pigeon keeper, Mohan Singh, said, “We need some manner of inquiry into this. Why did such a large number of pigeons drop dead in a matter of days?” Other pigeon keepers like Subhit Singh, Radhe Singh and Bhumeshwar Singh said that the government ought to investigate the deaths. While some veterinarians suspected a bird flu or poisoning, others speculated that the deaths could have been caused because of radiation from mobile phone towers. They added that that only an investigation could get to the root of the mystery. Pigeons are valued as pets here, and there is a thriving market for them


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:25 pm 
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Yellow fever outbreak in Darfur kills 67


SUDAN - A yellow fever outbreak in the Darfur region of Sudan has infected 194 people and killed 67 with the number of cases more than doubling since the start of the epidemic in October. The World Health Organization reported that the outbreak is taking place in 17 localities in the north, west, south and central parts of Darfur. The number of cases has risen dramatically from the 84 initial cases reported when the outbreak began. As of November 5, surveillance in the region shows that 83.3 percent of the cases are from central Darfur, 7.2 percent are from south Darfur, 7.2 percent are from west Darfur and 2.3 percent are from the northern part of the region. The WHO is monitoring the outbreak throughout the region, training more than 225 health workers in the region on case management, infection prevention, control and disease surveillance, and working with the Sudanese Ministry of Health to send technical teams to stop the outbreak. The organization recommends that disease surveillance be strengthened in eastern Darfur, a continuation of the laboratory testing of patients from newly affected locations, and finalizing a vaccination plan with available resources and partners to implement it. In February, the U.N. backed a mass vaccination plan in northern Cameroon in an effort to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people and a campaign in Ghana to vaccinate more than 235,000 people. Yellow fever infects an estimated 200,000 people annually. The disease is caused by a mosquito-borne virus and it kills as many as 30,000 people each year. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever and vaccination is the most important preventive measure.


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:55 am 
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Rare algae bloom turns waters near Sydney’s Bondi Beach blood red


November 27, 2012 – AUSTRALIA – Tourists heading for world-famous Bondi Beach were left high and dry today after a rare natural phenomenon turned the water blood red. Bondi was among several popular beaches in and around Sydney, Australia, which had to be closed after a huge algae bloom transformed the sea into something resembling a scene from a Jaws movie. But despite the warnings a number of intrepid beachgoers were seen venturing into the water and swimming through the red surface, Ten News Sydney reported. Known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle it has no toxic effects but people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with discoloured water because the algae, which can be high in ammonia, can cause skin irritation. British tourists were among large groups of visitors who were told by lifeguards not to enter the water until the all-clear was given because the algae can irritate the skin and cause other health problems. Ken Roberts, 23, from Birmingham, England said: ‘Perhaps I’m just in the wrong country – I thought the Red Sea was somewhere in Asia.’ Local lifeguard Bruce Hopkins said: ‘It has quite a fishy smell to it. ‘It makes the water look like it has a coating of tomato-sauce coloured oil.’ The algae has already disappointing thousands who had headed to the coast to cool off as the summer Down Under finally gets under way of a prolonged cold period. The New South Wales (NSW) Office of Water has been carrying out a series of tests to discover what caused the bloom. One theory is that it was caused by an upwelling of colder nutrient-rich water.


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:58 am 
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10 U.S. States Plagued by Exotic Diseases


Arizona: No surprise here. Despite Arizona’s efforts to crack down on illegal border crossings, there’s still a steady influx of undocumented immigrants in this state. West Nile Virus entered the United States in 1999 and quickly spread across the nation. In recent years, Arizona has been hard hit with a virulent strain of this once-exotic-but-now-commonplace virus, and patients have been affected with seizures and nerve damage in some cases.
Arizona citizens will pay a high cost in personal health consequences for the federal government’s hostile and aggressive opposition to the state’s commonsense attempts to curb illegal immigration.

California: It’s also no surprise that California is home to exotic diseases, but even I didn’t realize that typhoid was making a comeback. In 2009, an outbreak of typhoid fever affected 90 Californians. And, they weren’t the only ones… there were 400 cases reported during the year nationwide. Historically, tens of thousands of Americans have died of typhoid fever, including some 81,000 Union soldiers and two First Ladies, Abigail Adams and Mary Todd Lincoln.
The truly scary part is that typhoid has repeatedly evolved to become resistant to more and more antibiotics. There’s no reason to believe that this evolution will not continue, enabling typhoid to reassert its historic role as a major public health threat. Globally, the disease still kills over 200,000 people annually.

Colorado: In Colorado, people are at a higher risk of contracting hantavirus than in other states. Hantavirus can lead to a deadly respiratory infection. It’s spread through rodent waste. Most people get it by drinking from contaminated containers or by inhaling dust in buildings with rodent infestations.

Delaware: Delaware tops the list for Lyme Disease cases, but you may come in contact with infected ticks throughout New England, down through Maryland and as far west as Minnesota.
Bubonic Plague Doctor

Florida: In 2010, more than 66 cases of Dengue fever were reported in the Sunshine State. Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes and until very recently was found most often in more tropical regions like India and the South Pacific.

Illinois: Certain insects typically found in South and Central America transmit Chagas disease. It infects you with a parasite that attacks your organs. It’s difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic heart disease, and because most U.S. doctors have never seen it. Several confirmed cases of Chagas disease have been diagnosed in Illinois as well as California, Texas, Florida, New York, and many other states.
New Mexico: If you thought the plague was a disease of bygone days, think again. While the U.S. only sees a handful of Bubonic Plague cases a year, it is still around… and more often than not, it’s in New Mexico. In 2009, 75% of all reported cases were there.

New York: When was the last time you heard of someone having the measles? How about mumps? Both diseases are on the rise in New York.
Oklahoma: You may have thought that Rocky Mountain spotted fever was a thing of the past – a disease you hear about in old Western movies. But, nearly 2000 people contract this bacterial infection every year. A third of the cases happen in Oklahoma, making it the biggest hot spot for this disease of yore.

Texas: Last, but not least… another border state. In Texas, approximately 150 new cases of leprosy – yes, leprosy – are diagnosed each year. Travelers and illegal immigrants bring in some cases, but in Texas the armadillos also carry the bacteria that triggers the disease. So, if you ever go to Texas, don’t wrestle the wildlife!



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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:07 am 
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Mississippi River could become impassable in two weeks





The Mississippi River could be too shallow for barge traffic between St. Louis and Cairo in two weeks due to decreasing water levels.

According to the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council, the country's busiest inland waterway is nearly too low already for barges loaded with coal, steel and other commerce.

And it is expected to dry up considerably in the next couple of week due to the summer drought and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's move to hold back water from the Missouri River.

"Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows," the agencies said in a joint release. "The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around Dec. 10."

U.S Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said the river is about two feet below normal water levels. He expects it to threaten the all-time low of 6.2 feet below normal in December. The previous low water mark was set in 1940.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a controversial move, last week started to reduce to flow of water from the Missouri River into the Mississippi to make sure areas to the north have adequate water. "Congress and the Administration need to understand the immediate severity of this situation," American Waterways Operators President and CEO Tom Allegrett said. "The Mississippi River is an economic superhighway that efficiently carries hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods for domestic use as well as national export.

"We need to address this situation swiftly, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and prevent the closure of the Mississippi."Fogarty said the Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers are already working to try to keep the Mississippi River traffic flowing."At this point in time the Missouri River has been cut off as we have been expecting since early July," Fogarty said. "The Army Corps of Engineers has begun heavy dredging and the Coast Guard has been moving assets to St. Louis to help in any way it can."

Fogarty said he is not resigned to the idea that the Mississippi will be shut down by low water."We will not speculate when or if the river will be closed," Fogarty said. "We're doing everything we can to ensure river traffic will continue to flow. Despite the fact that we have these low water conditions, we're hopeful to keep traffic moving."

Corps of Engineers spokesperson Sue Casseau said the restrictions on the Missouri are something that happen every year to prevent it from becoming too low over the winter and spring. She said usually it isn't a problem because the Mississippi doesn't often suffer from too little water.

"There are long-term consequences to letting the Missouri get too low" Casseau said. "There are several states involved in this situation and the Corps of Engineers is responsible for serving the nation as a whole.

"Despite the Corps of Engineer's dredging efforts, there is little that can be done to deepen the channel at Thebes, where the bottom of the Mississippi is rock, not clay like it in most of the channel. The river is nine feet deep at Thebes, a town on the Illinois side of the river south of Cape Girardeau.

"Most barges need at least a 9 foot draft," Fogarty said. But oil barges and ones that carry things like anhydrous ammonia don't need as deep of a draft to get through."Fogarty said while some old wrecks have been exposed by the low water, none of them are in the channel or otherwise a threat to navigation. He predicted the low water mark record will be broken about Dec. 15.


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:37 am 
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PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC - There is a mystery along the South Carolina coast. Thousands of dead fish washed up on the beach at the south end of Pawleys Island Tuesday afternoon. The fish are menhaden, and the SC Department of Natural Resources have been notified of the incident. Menhaden fish are a small, oily fish that are used for fish oil and its oil is also an ingredient in lipstick and they are also used for livestock feed.


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:32 am 
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Ebola virus spreading to Asia:

Ebola virus spreading to Asia: fruit bats in Bangladesh test positive for ebola antibodies

BANGLADESH - EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, released new research on Ebola virus in fruit bats in the peer reviewed journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, a monthly publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found Ebola virus antibodies circulating in ~4% of the 276 bats scientists screened in Bangladesh. These results suggest that Rousettus fruit bats are a reservoir for Ebola, or a new Ebola-like virus in South Asia. The study extends the range of this lethal disease further than previously suspected to now include mainland Asia. “Research on Filoviruses in Asia is a new frontier of critical importance to human health, and this study has been vital to better understand the wildlife reservoirs and potential transmission routes for Ebola virus in Bangladesh and the region,” said Dr. Kevin Olival, lead author and Senior Research Scientist at EcoHealth. Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, where it was first recognized causes the disease – Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial detection in 1976. Ebola virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae. Filoviruses are zoonotic pathogens (diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans) that cause lethal hemorrhagic symptoms among humans and non-human primates with case fatality rates up to 80 percent. Natural reservoirs of filoviruses have remained elusive for decades but current literature suggests that bats may be the primary natural hosts of Ebola virus. EcoHealth Alliance works to understand the dynamics of emerging diseases and the ecology of associated wildlife reservoirs to prevent and better control potentially pandemic outbreaks. “Bats tend to have a bad reputation and that's unfortunate since they provide services that are vital for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Increasingly, spillover of viruses from bats and other wildlife occurs due to increased human activities that bring people into closer contact with wildlife, such as land-use change and agricultural practices.


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:26 pm 
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Wild rabbits wreak havoc on parked cars at Denver International Airport

DENVER - Travelers have a warning for drivers who park their cars near Denver International Airport (DIA). Rabbits are chewing the wires under many cars costing owners a lot of money. The rabbits get in and chew the brake lines, the clutch lines and other wiring. Local car repair shops estimates they can do thousands of dollars in damage. “When I had the trouble with the oil light coming on, the dealer told me the wires that controlled the air conditioning were chewed,” said Ken Blum, one car owner who knows all about the not so funny bunny business at DIA. Blum has had to have repairs done on his car twice due to rabbit damage and he estimates the cost at approximately $700. “I saw no signs…nothing to tell me, ‘Hey, beware’,” Blum told CBS4. “My insurance didn’t cover it, the manufacturer didn’t cover it.” This isn’t a new problem at the airport. CBS4 first started covering hungry hares in 1999. They were munching on the wires of de-icing equipment. Now it seems they’ve moved to the outlying parking lots. CBS4 contacted airport officials about the problem. They said that only a small percentage of the people who park out there ever complain of rabbit caused car problems. They also told CBS4 that United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services agents patrol the parking lots and remove rabbits when they see them


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:01 am 
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Mysterious Disease Discovered Locally, Strikes Mainly Young Women

Quote:
What might appear as demon possession can be an auto immune disease called Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. Hence, always the need for spiritual discernment.


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a mysterious, newly discovered disease that strikes mainly young women, and it’s often misdiagnosed. Doctors who discovered it, here in Philadelphia, say it’s like your brain is on fire. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says it starts with personality changes.

Young women dazed, restrained in hospital beds, acting possessed and then becoming catatonic. They’d been so normal, when suddenly their lives went haywire.

“One minute I’d be sobbing, crying hysterically, and the next minute I’d be laughing, said Susannah Cahalan, of New Jersey.

“I was very paranoid and manic. There was something wrong. I thought trucks were following me,” said Emily Gavigan, of Pennsylvania.

And it got worse for Emily Gavigan, who was a sophomore at the University of Scranton. Hospitalized, and out of it, she couldn’t control her arm movements. Then there were seizures, and she needed a ventilator. Her parents were watching their only child slip away.

“It was life and death for weeks,” said Grace Gavigan, Emily’s mom.

“We were losing her. This is something that I couldn’t control,” said Bill Gavigan, Emily’s dad.

Doctors also couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Susannah.

“I had bizarre abnormal movements, would leave my arms out extended, you know, in front of me. I was a relatively normal person, then the next minute I’m hallucinating and insisting that my father had kidnapped me,” said Susannah.

Turns out, Susannah and Emily weren’t mentally ill. They both had an auto immune disease called Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, when antibodies attack the brain, causing swelling.

Susannah says this is how doctors explained it to her parents, “He told them her brain is on fire. He used those words: ‘Her brain is on fire.’”


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 Post subject: Re: NATURE GOES NUTS
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Blizzard: 9 dead, thousands without power


February 10, 2013 – BOSTON, MASS - The Northeast started digging itself out after a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches of snow with hurricane force winds, killing at least nine people and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. By early Sunday, utility companies were reporting roughly 350,000 customers still without electricity across a nine-state region after the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power lines. About half a million had been down as of late Saturday. Air traffic began to return to normal Sunday after some 5,800 flights were canceled Friday and Saturday, according to Flightaware, a flight tracking service. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and Long Island MacArthur Airport reopened on Sunday morning. Both were closed on Saturday. Boston's Logan International Airport reopened late on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Rare travel bans in Connecticut and Massachusetts were lifted but roads throughout the region remained treacherous, according to state transportation departments. As the region recovered, another large winter storm building across the Northern Plains was expected to leave a foot of snow and bring high winds from Colorado to central Minnesota into Monday, the National Weather Service said. South Dakota was expected to be hardest hit, with winds reaching 50 miles per hour, creating white-out conditions. The storm was expected to reach parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin. Friday and Saturday's mammoth storm stretched from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and covered several spots in the Northeast with more than 3 feet of snow. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts took the brunt of the blizzard. Hamden, Connecticut, had 40 inches and nearby Milford 38 inches, the National Weather Service said. Amtrak said it planned to run a limited service between New York and Boston on Sunday and a regular Sunday schedule from New York to the state capital in Albany. However, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and Connecticut Transit said service would remain suspended Sunday. Stratford, Connecticut, Mayor John Harkins told WTNH television on Saturday snow had fallen at a rate of 6 inches an hour and even plows were getting stuck. The storm dropped 31.9 inches of snow on Portland, Maine, breaking a 1979 record, the weather service said. Winds gusted to 83 miles per hour (134 km per hour) at Cuttyhunk, New York, and brought down trees across the region. The storm contributed to at least five deaths in Connecticut and two each in New York state and Boston, authorities said. A motorist in New Hampshire also died when he went off a road but authorities said his health may have been a factor in the crash. The two deaths in Boston were separate incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning in cars, an 11-year-old boy and a man in his early 20s. The boy had climbed into the family car to keep warm while his father cleared snow. The engine was running but the exhaust was blocked, said authorities.


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