Tag Archives: Bio-Terror

Good News out of Kansas!

KU Med Center says patient admitted for Ebola like symptoms Does Not Have Ebola… it’s probably just Typhoid.

Phew! Well that’s Good new…. wait a minute…

(Bold Italics mine.)

Typhoid Fever

General Information

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 5,700 cases occur annually.  Most cases (up to 75%) are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million persons each year.

Typhoid fever can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics. If you are planning to travel outside the United States, you should know about typhoid fever and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

How is typhoid fever spread?

Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed Salmonella Typhi in their feces (stool).

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding Salmonella Typhi or if sewage contaminated with Salmonella Typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Once Salmonella Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms.

Where in the world do you get typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is common in most parts of the world except in industrialized regions such as the United States, Canada, western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Therefore, if you are traveling to the developing world, you should consider taking precautions. Over the past 10 years, travelers from the United States to Asia, Africa, and Latin America have been especially at risk.

How can you avoid typhoid fever?

Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:

  1. Avoid risky foods and drinks.
  2. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.

It may surprise you, but watching what you eat and drink when you travel is as important as being vaccinated. This is because the vaccines are not completely effective. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

“Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it”
  • If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.
  • Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
  • Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and that are still hot and steaming.
  • Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well.
  • When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.) Do not eat the peelings.
  • Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors. It is difficult for food to be kept clean on the street, and many travelers get sick from food bought from street vendors.

Getting vaccinated

If you are traveling to a country where typhoid is common, you should consider being vaccinated against typhoid. Visit a doctor or travel clinic to discuss your vaccination options.

Remember that you will need to complete your vaccination at least 1-2 weeks (dependent upon vaccine type) before you travel so that the vaccine has time to take effect. Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness after several years; if you were vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor to see if it is time for a booster vaccination. Taking antibiotics will not prevent typhoid fever; they only help treat it.

The chart below provides basic information on typhoid vaccines that are available in the United States.

Table 1: Typhoid Vaccines Available in the United States
Vaccine Name How Given Number of Doses Necessary Time Between Doses Time immunization should be completed by (before possible exposure) Minimum Age For Vaccination Booster Needed Every…
Ty21a (Vivotif Berna, Swiss Serum and Vaccine Institute) 1 capsule by mouth 4 2 days 1 week 6 years 5 years
ViCPS (Typhim Vi, Pasteur Merieux) Injection 1 N/A 2 weeks 2 years 2 years

The parenteral heat-phenol-inactivated vaccine (manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst) has been discontinued.

What are the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever?

Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi.

What do you do if you think you have typhoid fever?

If you have a high fever and feel very ill, see a doctor immediately. If you are traveling in a foreign country, you can usually call the U.S. consulate for a list of recommended doctors.

Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics. Resistance to multiple antibiotics is increasing among Salmonella that cause typhoid fever. Reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) and the emergence of multidrug-resistance has complicated treatment of infections, especially those acquired in South Asia. Antibiotic susceptibility testing may help guide appropriate therapy. Choices for antibiotic therapy include fluoroquinolones (for susceptible infections), ceftriaxone, and azithromycin. Persons who do not get treatment may continue to have fever for weeks or months, and as many as 20% may die from complications of the infection.

Typhoid fever’s danger doesn’t end when symptoms disappear

Even if your symptoms seem to go away, you may still be carrying Salmonella Typhi. If so, the illness could return, or you could pass the disease to other people. In fact, if you work at a job where you handle food or care for small children, you may be barred legally from going back to work until a doctor has determined that you no longer carry any typhoid bacteria.

If you are being treated for typhoid fever, it is important to do the following:

Keep taking the prescribed antibiotics for as long as the doctor has asked you to take them.

Wash your hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom, and do not prepare or serve food for other people. This will lower the chance that you will pass the infection on to someone else.

Have your doctor perform a series of stool cultures to ensure that no Salmonella Typhi bacteria remain in your body.

——

Ummm…. Probably just a ‘Normal’ case.  And Securing our Borders would have no effect one way or the other.

So, Good News!

Just curious, Did your kids get that Typhoid Vaccination before the beginning of the School Year?

I’m not sayin’… I’m just sayin’… may be you oughta’ think ’bout it.


Suspected Ebola Infected are Being Released from Hospitals

This Morning a Hospital in Santa Fe New Mexico released a patient who was exhibiting symptoms of EBOLA.

The reason given for this was the Individual had not traveled, nor been in contact with anyone who had traveled to West Africa (As far as they knew.).

That was the Only Reason given for their release.

Well, no worries then.

Although this assumes one must have traveled to, or been in contact with someone who had traveled to, West Africa recently.

Thus this assumes no intent regarding the spread of this virus or any one of the Hemorrhagic variants.

This assumes Bad Guys, like the myriad of Terrorist A-Holes, are not actively working to kill us. Or… they’re not trying to simply overwhelm our Medical System and/or create General Panic here on US soil.

I am of the camp that Panic is futile. But Concern tempered with a little Fear has no downside.

I also believe that there are people out there who want us dead for no other reason than we are currently not so.

So I ask…

Wouldn’t Prudence dictate that individuals infected with anything close to this disease be watched a little more closely and at least quarantined for the couple of weeks necessary to see what happens? Couldn’t this be set up somewhere outside of the hospital? Make it fun even? Somehow I suspect one’s employer would approve of a couple of weeks AWAY from work to be stationed in a hotel in which you can not leave because YOU MIGHT HAVE A RAPIDLY FATAL COMMUNICABLE DISEASE which Health Professionals are now suspecting is ready to ‘Go Airborne’.

Or may be not.

We all know Rich, Greedy, Self Absorbed Leaders don’t care about those under them. And since they’re always on the Golf Course… they’ll never get it.  And clearly They don’t… get it.

Just a thought.

Oh… and the Borders are still Open with Floods of Medically Unscreened Illegal Immigrants arriving here by the minute. And Children are Dying as I tap this out from the highly communicable disease Enterovirus D68.

Oh… and for some reason this Administration will not decouple Arriving and Departing flights in order to restrict ARRIVING flights from West Africa.  In other words, the idea of allowing the best and brightest Medical Folks to go for the moment, with the understanding they don’t get to come back for a while, is completely out of the question.

It seems to me, just like defending our Diplomats Overseas, all of this appears to have never before been thought about by this current group of Ostriches occupying the highest offices.

As a Reminder,

The country is 238 years old… We have been dealing with Ebola since it was classified in 1976. We have experienced pandemics like the Spanish Flu 100-years ago which killed over 675,000 Americans. And, just like leaving our Diplomats to Die in Benghazi, it’s like we’ve never encountered such dangers and we’re learning as we go.

The Official position to everything over the last 6-years has been “Who knew it could get this Bad?”

I guess you can’t blame them if this is all new.  How Could they know?  Right?

So never mind.

Cheer up, If it goes South it will be your fault.


Think Ebola

Why would “Think Ebola” be appropriate for Health Care Facilities Nation Wide, but not for the General Public?

So, in other words, if you work in a hospital you should be thinking about Ebola.

And if you don’t work in a hospital… no worries.  You’ll be fine as long as you don’t think about Ebola.

If there has ever been an illustration of how Government cannot handle a crisis, this is it.

And I haven’t started on a very real Killer which is approaching epidemic levels called the Enterovirus D68. It’s here and it’s already killed 6… 4 of which were young children.

You must ask “Why?”.

I offer that ramping up the level of concern being experienced by the American Public will lead to obvious questions the current Administration and Political Party in Charge do not want asked.

Such as:

Why have we not secured the borders and continue to allow medically unscreened illegal immigrants into the United States and then fly them where ever they wish while placing the children into public schools across the nation?

Or,

Why have we not simply stopped incoming flights from West Africa?

Or,

Do you think the Terrorist’s are watching this?

And then come the profoundly enlightening if not horribly uncomfortable answers:

The Democrat Party refuses to secure the borders because the future of Socialism in America depends on a brand new class of taxpayer-funded welfare addicts who will always vote for them… damn the health consequences.

The Administration does not want to do anything which could be positioned as ‘racist’, which stopping those who are traveling from West Africa might imply.  But the most obvious result of stopping those flights would be to lead all of us immediately back to the first question regarding our borders, and that cannot be allowed to happen… damn the health consequences.

And, of course the Terrorists are watching… and learning. We are doing nothing because it’s not in the best interest of those who want to control us.

Damn all of the Consequences.

 


Islamic State Militants Advance Despite Airstrikes: ‘Most of the eastern and southern parts of the city have fallen under the ISIS control…the situation is getting worse’

Schlock and Blah revisited… you can’t kill an idea from the air.

pundit from another planet

kobani-smoke-wsj-getty-afp

ISIS Gains Territory Despite Weeks of Bombing by U.S., Allies, Raising Questions About Strategy

For WSJ, Margaret Coker in Erbil, Iraq, Jay Solomon in Cairo and Tamer El-Ghobashy in Baghdad report: Islamic State militants have gained territory in Iraq and Syria despite weeks of bombing by the U.S. and its allies, raising questions about the coalition’s strategy of trying to blunt the jihadists’ advance while local forces are being trained to meet the threat on the ground.

“The strategy’s biggest weakness in Iraq, officials there say, is the glacial pace of cobbling together an Iraqi political alliance between Sunnis willing to join with the Shiite-controlled central government to rebuild a national military force to fight Islamic State more effectively.”

In Syria, fighters from Islamic State, also known as ISIS, have taken large sections of the city of Kobani in recent days, said Ismet Sheikh Hasan, the defense minister of the city’s…

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The Marburg Virus?

FYI…

Courtesy of Wiki… and H/T to Socialism is not the Answer

Marburg virus

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Marburgvirus
Marburg virus.jpg
Transmission electron micrograph of the Marburgvirus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Order: Mononegavirales
Family: Filoviridae
Genus: Marburgvirus
Type species
Marburg virus

Marburgvirus (/ˈmɑrbərɡ ˈvrəs/ MAR-bərg VY-rəs[1]) is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses, first noticed and described during small epidemics in the German cities Marburg and Frankfurt and the Yugoslav capital Belgrade in the 1960s. Workers were accidentally exposed to tissues of infected grivets (Chlorocebus aethiops) at the city’s former main industrial plant, the Behringwerke, then part of Hoechst, and today of CSL Behring. During these outbreaks, 31 people became infected and seven of them died. Marburg virus (MARV) causes severe disease in humans and nonhuman primates in the form of viral hemorrhagic fever. MARV is a Select Agent,[2] WHO Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring biosafety level 4-equivalent containment),[3] NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen,[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agent,[5] and is listed as a biological agent for export control by the Australia Group.[6]

Use of term[edit]

Marburg virus was first described in 1967.[7] Today, the virus is one of two members of the species Marburg marburgvirus, which is included in the genus Marburgvirus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales. The name Marburg virus is derived from Marburg (the city in Hesse, Germany, where the virus was first discovered) and the taxonomic suffix virus.[1]

Note[edit]

According to the rules for taxon naming established by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), the name Marburg virus is always to be capitalized, but is never italicized, and may be abbreviated (with MARV being the official abbreviation).

Previous designations[edit]

Marburg virus was first introduced under this name in 1967.[7] In 2005, the virus name was changed to Lake Victoria marburgvirus, which unfortunately was the same spelling as its species Lake Victoria marburgvirus.[8][9] However, most scientific articles continued to refer to Marburg virus. Consequently, in 2010, the name Marburg virus was reinstated and the species name changed.[1] A previous abbreviation for the virus was MBGV.

Virus inclusion criteria[edit]

A virus that fulfills the criteria for being a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus is a Marburg virus if its genome diverges from that of the prototype Marburg marburgvirus, Marburg virus variant Musoke (MARV/Mus), by <10% at the nucleotide level.[1]

Disease[edit]

Main article: Marburg virus disease

MARV is one of two marburgviruses that causes Marburg virus disease (MVD) in humans (in the literature also often referred to as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, MHF). In the past, MARV has caused the following MVD outbreaks:

Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreaks due to Marburg virus (MARV) infection
Year Geographic location Human Deaths/Cases (case-fatality rate)
1967 Marburg and Frankfurt, West Germany, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia 7/31 (23%)[7][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
1975 Rhodesia and Johannesburg, South Africa 1/3 (33%)[17][18][19]
1980 Kenya 1/2 (50%)[20]
1987 Kenya 1/1 (100%)[21][22]
1988 Koltsovo, Soviet Union 1/1 (100%) [laboratory accident][23]
1990 Koltsovo, Soviet Union 0/1 (0%) [laboratory accident][24]
1998–2000 Durba and Watsa, Democratic Republic of the Congo  ? (A total of 154 cases and 128 deaths of marburgvirus infection were recorded during this outbreak. The case fatality was 83%. Two different marburgviruses, MARV and Ravn virus (RAVV), cocirculated and caused disease. It has never been published how many cases and deaths were due to MARV or RAVV infection)[25][26][27]
2004–2005 Angola 227/252 (90%)[28][29][30][31][32][33][34]
2007 Uganda 1/3 (33%)[35][36]
2008 Uganda, Netherlands 1/1 (100%)[37]
2012 Uganda 9/18 (50%)[38]

Virology[edit]

Genome[edit]

Like all mononegaviruses, marburgvirions contain non-infectious, linear nonsegmented, single-stranded RNA genomes of negative polarity that possesses inverse-complementary 3′ and 5′ termini, do not possess a 5′ cap, are not polyadenylated, and are not covalently linked to a protein.[39] Marburgvirus genomes are approximately 19 kb long and contain seven genes in the order 3′-UTRNPVP35VP40GPVP30VP24L5′-UTR.[40] The genomes of the two different marburgviruses (MARV and RAVV) differ in sequence.

Structure[edit]

CryoEM reconstruction of a section of the Marburg virus nucleocapsid. EMDB entry EMD-1986[41]

Like all filoviruses, marburgvirions are filamentous particles that may appear in the shape of a shepherd’s crook or in the shape of a “U” or a “6”, and they may be coiled, toroid, or branched.[40] Marburgvirions are generally 80 nm in width, but vary somewhat in length. In general, the median particle length of marburgviruses ranges from 795–828 nm (in contrast to ebolavirions, whose median particle length was measured to be 974–1,086 nm ), but particles as long as 14,000 nm have been detected in tissue culture.[42] Marburgvirions consist of seven structural proteins. At the center is the helical ribonucleocapsid, which consists of the genomic RNA wrapped around a polymer of nucleoproteins (NP). Associated with the ribonucleoprotein is the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L) with the polymerase cofactor (VP35) and a transcription activator (VP30). The ribonucleoprotein is embedded in a matrix, formed by the major (VP40) and minor (VP24) matrix proteins. These particles are surrounded by a lipid membrane derived from the host cell membrane. The membrane anchors a glycoprotein (GP1,2) that projects 7 to 10 nm spikes away from its surface. While nearly identical to ebolavirions in structure, marburgvirions are antigenically distinct.

Entry[edit]

Niemann–Pick C1 (NPC1) appears to be essential for Ebola and Marburg virus infection. Two independent studies reported in the same issue of Nature (journal) showed that Ebola virus cell entry and replication requires the cholesterol transporter protein NPC1.[43][44] When cells from patients lacking NPC1 were exposed to Ebola virus in the laboratory, the cells survived and appeared immune to the virus, further indicating that Ebola relies on NPC1 to enter cells. This might imply that genetic mutations in the NPC1 gene in humans could make some people resistant to one of the deadliest known viruses affecting humans. The same studies described similar results with Ebola’s cousin in the filovirus group, Marburg virus, showing that it too needs NPC1 to enter cells.[43][44] Furthermore, NPC1 was shown to be critical to filovirus entry because it mediates infection by binding directly to the viral envelope glycoprotein.[44] A later study confirmed the findings that NPC1 is a critical filovirus receptor that mediates infection by binding directly to the viral envelope glycoprotein and that the second lysosomal domain of NPC1 mediates this binding.[45]

In one of the original studies, a small molecule was shown to inhibit Ebola virus infection by preventing the virus glycoprotein from binding to NPC1.[44][46] In the other study, mice that were heterozygous for NPC1 were shown to be protected from lethal challenge with mouse adapted Ebola virus.[43] Together, these studies suggest NPC1 may be potential therapeutic target for an Ebola anti-viral drug.

Replication[edit]

The marburg virus life cycle begins with virion attachment to specific cell-surface receptors, followed by fusion of the virion envelope with cellular membranes and the concomitant release of the virus nucleocapsid into the cytosol. The virus RdRp partially uncoats the nucleocapsid and transcribes the genes into positive-stranded mRNAs, which are then translated into structural and nonstructural proteins. Marburgvirus L binds to a single promoter located at the 3′ end of the genome. Transcription either terminates after a gene or continues to the next gene downstream. This means that genes close to the 3′ end of the genome are transcribed in the greatest abundance, whereas those toward the 5′ end are least likely to be transcribed. The gene order is therefore a simple but effective form of transcriptional regulation. The most abundant protein produced is the nucleoprotein, whose concentration in the cell determines when L switches from gene transcription to genome replication. Replication results in full-length, positive-stranded antigenomes that are in turn transcribed into negative-stranded virus progeny genome copies. Newly synthesized structural proteins and genomes self-assemble and accumulate near the inside of the cell membrane. Virions bud off from the cell, gaining their envelopes from the cellular membrane they bud from. The mature progeny particles then infect other cells to repeat the cycle.[8]

Ecology[edit]

In 2009, the successful isolation of infectious MARV was reported from caught healthy Egyptian rousettes (Rousettus aegyptiacus).[35] This isolation, together with the isolation of infectious RAVV,[35] strongly suggests that Old World fruit bats are involved in the natural maintenance of marburgviruses. Further studies are necessary to establish whether Egyptian rousettes are the actual hosts of MARV and RAVV or whether they get infected via contact with another animal and therefore serve only as intermediate hosts. Recently the first experimental infection study of Rousettus aegyptiacus with MARV provided further insight into the possible involvement of these bats in MARV ecology.[47] Experimentally infected bats developed relatively low viremia lasting at least 5 days, but remained healthy and didn’t develop any notable gross pathology. The virus also replicated to high titers in major organs (liver and spleen), and organs that might possibly be involved in virus transmission (lung, intestine, reproductive organ, salivary gland, kidney, bladder and mammary gland). The relatively long period of viremia noted in this experiment could possibly also facilitate mechanical transmission by blood sucking arthropods or infection of susceptible vertebrate hosts by direct contact with infected blood.

Weaponization[edit]

The Soviet Union had an extensive offensive and defensive biological weapons program that included MARV.[48] At least three Soviet research institutes had MARV research programs during offensive times: the Virology Center of the Scientific-Research Institute for Microbiology in Zagorsk (today Sergiev Posad), the Scientific-Production Association “Vektor” (today the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vektor”) in Koltsovo, and the Irkutsk Scientific-Research Anti-Plague Institute of Siberia and the Far East in Irkutsk. As most performed research was highly classified, it remains unclear how successful the MARV program was. However, Soviet defector Ken Alibek claimed that a weapon filled with MARV was tested at the Stepnogorsk Scientific Experimental and Production Base in Stepnogorsk, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (today Kazakhstan),[48] suggesting that the development of a MARV biological weapon had reached advanced stages. Independent confirmation for this claim is lacking. At least one laboratory accident with MARV, resulting in the death of Koltsovo researcher Nikolai Ustinov, occurred during offensive times in the Soviet Union and was first described in detail by Alibek.[48] After the end of the Soviet Union, MARV research continued in all three institutes.[citation needed]

Vaccine research[edit]

In 2009, expanded clinical trials of an Ebola and Marburg vaccine began in Africa. No vaccine to date has been approved for use in the US.