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Posts Tagged ‘Infectious disease’

Mosquito awareness week nationwide next week June 18, 2012

In DEET, Dengue Fever, Malaria, West Nile Virus on June 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

From June 24 to June 30, residents and business officials of Fort Myers Beach are asked to be more aware of the five D’s of protection during Mosquito Awareness Week.

The five D’s are: don’t go outdoors at Dusk and Dawn when mosquitos are most active; to protect against bites, Dress so your skin is covered with clothing; empty containers and Drain stagnant water; and protect bare skin and clothing with DEET mosquito repellent.

Controlling mosquitoes is important. Make sure to check standing water or any possible containers holding water. Try to check after rainstorms, for these potential hazards that will attract mosquitoes. Also, wear mosquito repellent and cover up with as much clothing as possible, especially between dusk and dawn, to help prevent being bitten by these pesky bugs.


Rio Declares Dengue Epidemic

In Dengue Fever on April 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue can cause fever, headaches, rashes and bleeding.

By Agence France-PresseWed, Apr 25 2012 at 1:13 PM EST
A boy receives a handout as part of a preventive campaign against dengue fever
AWARENESS: A boy receives a handout as part of a preventive campaign against dengue fever in Brazil in 2011. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio de Janeiro has declared a dengue epidemic after diagnosing more than 50,000 cases of the tropical mosquito-borne infection this year and over 500 in the last week alone.
“We have a plan focused on the epidemic and we continue to be in a state of alert,” Hans Dohmann, the city’s health secretary, said late on April 24, adding that the number of cases had surpassed 300 per 100,000 residents per month.
State-run Agencia Brasil meanwhile reported that 517 people had been struck with the disease last week alone.
The state of Rio de Janeiro has reported a total of 64,423 confirmed cases thus far this year, with 13 deaths, 12 in the city itself.
Last year authorities recorded 168,242 cases and 140 deaths.
Dengue is caused by any one of four viruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, skin rash and mild bleeding. In its advanced stage the disease causes hemorrhages.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 50-100 million dengue infections worldwide each year.
Copyright 2012  AFP Global Edition

“Malaria bednets (should be used) to protect themselves… not as chicken cages or garden fences,”

In Malaria on July 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Malaria Fight Hits Snag

Amos Nyambane | 29 Jun 2011
An NGO yesterday said mosquito nets are being misused in Kisii and Nyamira counties. The organisation said this is hampering the campaign against malaria in the areas. “The misuse of mosquito nets is greatly affecting the malaria campaigns in the regions. People must understand that they are issued with the nets to protect themselves from the disease not as chicken cages or garden fences,” said Douglas Mobasi, Perlin Project manager.

Mobasi said the a rapid assessment survey carried out by the organization in March this year, revealed that some locals avoid using the nets claiming allergy. “Over 80 percent of locals had nets but a section of them never used the gadgets because lacked beds to hang them. Others hid them under the pretext they were uncomfortable thus hindering the fight against the ailment,” he said.

Mobasi said the predominance rate of malaria in the region declined with 86 percent of children below five years and 73 percent of pregnant women sleeping under the nets in that order. Addressing a one day stakeholder’s workshop at Dado Hotel in Kisii, the manager challenged the locals having the nets to use them for the prevention of malaria.

Cambodia launches campaign to mark national day against dengue

In Dengue Fever on June 20, 2011 at 4:49 am

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – Cambodia launched a large-scale campaign here on Monday to mark the national day against dengue fever as the country’s annual rainy season came.

The event was jointly launched by Minister of Health Mam Bunheng and Minister of Education Im Sithy, and participated by government officials, representatives of World Health Organization, relevant stakeholders and some 500 students.

Speaking during the launching, Mam Bunheng said that the celebration was to promote awareness among the public and to encourage them to join together to prevent dengue fever.

“Dengue is caused by mosquitoes, so to prevent the disease, I’d like to appeal to all parents, guardians and students to kill larvae by using the chemical substance known as Abate in water pots and other still water sources,” he said. “Moreover, we have to fill in puddles around houses, which are sources of mosquitoes.”

The minister also encouraged people to sleep under mosquito nets and to raise “seven-colored” fish in their water pots to eat larva.

The outbreak of dengue fever usually begins at the onset of the rainy season from May to October in Cambodia.

The disease causes an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands and rash.

At least 11 Cambodian children have died from the disease so far this year with other 1,924 infected, said Ngan Chantha, Director of Dengue Control at the Ministry of Health. It is “a sharp increase” from last year’s 7 deaths with 1,395 infected cases. More



Rise in Pre-Monsoon Malaria Cases in Mumbai

In Malaria on June 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

PUNE: Even before the onset of the monsoon, Maharashtra has recorded over 28,000 cases of malaria. From January to April this year, 28,400 people were found positive for malarial infection – an increase of over 8,000 cases as compared to the corresponding period last year when 20,091 cases were reported.

With 16,833 positive cases and 11 deaths due to malaria in the last four months,Mumbai continues to bear the highest burden of the disease in the state followed by Thane (709 cases) and Kalyan (182 cases). More

Bedbug Research Poses New Health Concern

In Bed Bugs on May 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Bedbug research poses a new health concern, which may mean a new need for bed bug mattress protection

bed bugs found in Vancouver hospital with MRSA

Bed bugs are spreading across the United States at a rapid pace; infesting homes, office buildings, and evenhospitals! Researchers  in a Vancouver hospital found bed bugs carrying diseases such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci) –  according to reports in the June edition of the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

While past research indicates that bed bugs are not known to spread infectious diseases to humans, these findings may shed doubt on that belief. In fact, the phenotype of MRSA found in the bedbugs matched that found in many Eastside patients. Researchers conclude that it is possible that these critters are responsible for transmitting these diseases in overcrowded and impoverished cities. Just one more reason not to let the bed bugs bite! More

Hawaii Receives 12 More Suspected Cases of Dengue

In Dengue Fever on May 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Twelve more possible cases of dengue fever have been reported by physicians to the Hawaii Department of Health since two confirmed and two unconfirmed cases were announced last week.

The confirmed cases were from two people who live in the same Pearl City neighborhood, and were the first known Hawaii cases of locally contracted dengue fever since a 2001 outbreak in which 153 people were infected with the mosquito-borne viral illness.

The Health Department is awaiting blood sample test results from the Centers for Disease Control on the two suspected cases from Pearl City, as well as the 12 new cases, a spokeswoman for the department said.

The two Pearl City cases involved adults who contracted it in February.

The Health Department issued an alert to Oahu physicians, advising them to consider the potential for dengue infection in patients with compatible symptoms, to request laboratory testing and to report all suspected cases.

Symptoms usually begin five to six days after a patient is bitten by an infected mosquito, but the onset can range from two to 15 days. Symptoms include a sudden fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eye, joint and muscle pain and rash — typically on hands, arms, legs and feet three to four days after the fever starts.

Ticked off: Suffering from Lyme disease

In Lyme Disease on April 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm
None - This image is in the public domain and ...

Image via Wikipedia

The author of this article has suffered for a decade from Lyme disease

Lyme came up the first time in 1996. I visited a rheumatologist, who’d had the disease himself. After hearing my symptoms, he ordered a blood test to look for signs of the Lyme bacterium. “But I’ve never had a bull’s-eye rash,” I said. He explained that only 60 to 70 percent of sufferers develop the telltale redness around their tick bite, and he promised to call with the results.

The test was negative, so the doctor tried to ease my symptoms with treatments, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone used experimentally to treat CFS. But my body aches worsened. After months of no improvement, I quit taking prescription pills—and seeing doctors—altogether. I lost faith in Western medicine. More

Many Ticks Found in Chicagoland

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Research results confirm need for protection against ticks that carry Lyme disease

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The life cycle of the Ixodes scapularis commonly known as the deer tick or the black-legged tick. Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferiwhich is transmitted by…

Click here for more information.

Research on the population of black-legged ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease from host animals to humans, reinforces that it is important to take preventative measures when spending time outdoors.

University of Illinois graduate student Jennifer Rydzewski conducted a four-year survey of black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks), their host animals, and their habitat preferences in Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Piatt Counties. The survey confirmed the presence of ticks in all four counties and ticks carrying Lyme disease in Piatt County. Higher numbers of ticks were found along the Des Plaines River corridor.

“Their small size makes ticks really difficult to see. They’re about the size of a poppy seed,” Rydzewski said.

“Ticks in the nymph stage of their life cycle are responsible for the most human cases of Lyme disease because their peak seasonal activity coincides with increased human activity outdoors during the warmer summer months, so it’s important for people to take extra precautions.”

In humans, early symptoms of Lyme disease are often nondescript, flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and fatigue, making it difficult to diagnose from symptoms alone. In about 70 percent of the cases, people will develop the typical bullseye-shaped rash associated with Lyme disease. If it’s caught in the early stages it can be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics; however, if it’s not treated early, the result can be long-term severe joint pain, arthritis and neurological damage. The disease is named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were identified in 1975.

Rydzewski used a disease triangle to illustrate how Lyme disease is spread. One point of the triangle is the host – in this case, it could be a mouse, deer, or other bird or small mammal. A second point on the triangle is the pathogen Borrelia burgdoferi. Bacteria, in the case of Lyme disease, are spread by a vector, the tick. The third point of the triangle is the environment. “If you remove one of these components, the system fails and the disease can no longer be maintained.

“The natural landscapes of Illinois are continually being fragmented and evolving as urban development and agriculture increase,” Rydzewski said.

“It’s important to understand these host/vector/pathogen interactions in a dynamic landscape. Studying this multi-host pathogen can help us to discover ways to manage either the landscape or the host in order to control the vector and the pathogen.”

The white-footed mouse is a particularly competent host at maintaining the bacteria in the environment. White-tailed deer and migratory birds are important dispersal agents for ticks as they’re capable of traveling long distances and depositing ticks in new areas. Rydzewski believes that deer following the river may account for the increased number of ticks found along the Des Plaines River corridor.

In the Piatt County portion of the survey, from June through October of 2005 to 2009, on approximately 24 nights per year, 200 small mammal traps within four different habitat areas were set, baited with sunflower seeds at night and retrieved the next morning. Once the traps were collected, mammals were identified, sexed and ear-tagged, ticks were removed and an ear punch was taken, which is a 2-millimeter circle biopsy of ear tissue. The ticks and ear punches were tested for presence of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease infection.

A different technique was used for the survey within forest preserves in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties. At 36 sites in the tri-county area in the spring and summer months of 2008 and 2009, tick drag cloths were used. The cloths are made from 1-square-meter corduroy attached to a wooden dowel which is dragged along the trail’s edges. Every 30 seconds, the cloth was checked and ticks were removed and placed in sealed vials to be tested. Using this technique, 296 deer ticks were collected in 2008 and 306 in 2009.

Lake Cook County near Lake Michigan had the highest number of deer ticks found.

There are some fairly easy preventative measures that individuals can take in order to prevent coming into contact with ticks:

  1. Wear light-colored clothing so it’s easy to see the ticks.
  2. Wear long sleeves and pants; tuck pants into socks or tape pants to boots.
  3. Use insect repellent containing DEET.
  4. Stay in the center of maintained trails.
  5. Perform frequent tick checks when you’re outside.
  6. Do a tick check at the end of the day and again the following morning.
  7. Put your clothes in the dryer when you come home to dry out and kill the ticks.

By way of background, in 2007 deer ticks were found within the Chicago region with 32 to 37 percent of the ticks testing positive for the disease.

“This data confirmed an increased chance of contracting Lyme disease in the metropolitan region of Chicago and sparked an interest in conducting further studies,” Rydzewski said.

From the Illinois Department of Public Health, 108 human cases of Lyme disease were reported in Illinois in 2008, compared to only 35 cases in 2000. “Increased surveillance and awareness of Lyme disease may account for a portion of those cases, but there is truly a rise in emergence. And it is possible that the number of Lyme disease cases in Illinois is underreported,” Rydzewski said.


Lexington, VA Lyme Disease Support Group Joins National Capital Lyme Association

In Lyme Disease on February 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm
Erythematous rash in the pattern of a “bull’s-...

Image via Wikipedia


Rockbridge Resident Ellen Douty Appointed To NatCapLyme Board
National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association is pleased to announce that the Lexington Lyme Disease Support Group will be joining our organization and becoming the Lexington Chapter of the Association.

NatCapLyme welcomes this dedicated group into its family of support and advocacy chapters. The Lexington Lyme Disease Support Group meets the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at the The Old Courthouse meeting room, 2 South Main Street, Lexington, VA. The meeting room entrance is at rear of building with handicap accessibility.

The support group is led by Rockbridge residents Ellen Douty and Adrienne Hall-Bodie. Ellen Douty has also been elected as a board member of NatCapLyme. Her background in teaching, marketing and promotion, and as a business owner will serve her well for leading and supporting Lyme patients and caregivers. Having had Lyme for over 15 years, she is passionate about Lyme support. She can be contacted at

Adrienne Hall-Bodie is a former teacher and retired after 20 years as administrative assistant at Washington and Lee University. She is an avid hiker and horseback rider, who recently discovered she has had Lyme for several years. Adrienne can be contacted at Webpage is

Lyme disease has become endemic in Virginia with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell forming a task force on the problem.

Members of the Lexington Lyme Disease Support Group and NatCapLyme will be traveling to Harrisonburg on March 15 to attend the first Public Patient Forum on Lyme Disease at JMU from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to speak on obstacles patients encounter when trying to get treatment. A Public Patient Forum will also be held in Roanoke that evening.

Information on the Virginia Lyme Task Force can be found at this

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