Recent Virus Outbreaks

NY officials report whooping cough outbreak

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. — Officials on eastern Long Island are reporting an outbreak of whooping cough, also known as pertussis (per-TUH’-sis).

Thirteen students in three schools in Smithtown have been confirmed with the contagious bacterial infection.

Health officials in Suffolk County said Tuesday they had alerted area pediatricians and had given advice to school officials on how to control the outbreak.

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Measles scare: Utah power plant turns away hundreds of workers

A measles outbreak in northern Utah has spread to a county in the central part of the state, forcing a power plant there to turn away hundreds of employees.

A Millard County resident tested positive for measles late last week, the first confirmed case in the region in many years, say officials at the Central Utah Public Health Department.

The individual is believed to have caught the virus in Logan where the person had traveled to get married, said agency spokeswoman Lisa Taylor. The case is likely connected to a measles outbreak in Cache County, which may or may not be linked to an outbreak that started this spring in the Salt Lake City area.

The Millard County individual worked at the Intermountain Power Agency plant in Delta, which has asked about 100 employees and contractors born after 1957 not to come to work until they can prove they have been fully vaccinated.

Some of the workers were able to find their records, while others could remain on paid leave for up to 21 days, said company spokesman John Ward.

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3 Alaska cruises had norovirus outbreaks

JUNEAU, Alaska—Federal health officials say three Alaska cruises have been hit by norovirus outbreaks so far this year. They say that’s more than usual, but not cause for alarm.

The most recent was the Sea Princess, which sails 10-day tours from San Francisco to Southeast ports

Two cruises, ending May 30 and June 9, each had about 140 people become ill. The numbers included around 6 percent of passengers and 1 percent of crew.

Captain Jaret Ames of the Centers for Disease Control traveled from Atlanta headquarters to San Francisco to help evaluate the consecutive outbreaks.

“I was really trying to look at first whether or not something that was an onboard source for the illness, maybe something in the food safety system, the potable water system, the pools and spas and so forth,” he said.

He did not find anything specific. CDC staff then looked at onboard practices that might have allowed the intestinal illness to spread.

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EHV-1 Outbreak: Confirmed Cases Still Being Reported

Despite a slow in the rate at which confirmed cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) associated with the current outbreak are being reported, new horses are still testing positive for the disease. Believed to stem from a national cutting horse competition held in early May in Utah, the outbreak has now been active for more than a month since the first cases were confirmed in mid-May.

Although it’s not transmissible to humans, EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids, and it is generally passed from horse to horse via aerosol transmission (when affected animals sneeze/cough) and contact with nasal secretions. The disease can cause a variety of ailments in equines, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neurologic form). Myeloencephalopathy is characterized by fever, ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence.

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Germany: 3,408 infected with E.coli

BERLIN (AP) — New sicknesses are still being reported in the European E. coli outbreak that has killed 39, but Germany’s national disease control center said Friday indications are that the crisis is tapering off.

The number of reported infections in Germany, the epicenter of the outbreak, is now up to 3,408, including 798 people who have developed a serious complication that can lead to kidney failure — about 100 more overall cases than the day before — the Robert Koch Institute said.

Still, Robert Koch spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher said all evidence is that the outbreak remains on the decline.

“It sometimes takes days until we get reports about infected persons,” Glasmacher said. “In general we can say that the number of infected persons is continuing to go down.”

Thirty-eight people have died in Germany and one in Sweden in the epidemic, which was traced last week to sprouts from a farm in northern Germany.

According to the World Health Organization more than 100 people have been infected in 13 other European countries, Canada and the U.S.

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E. coli outbreak sends eight kids to hospital

Eight children have been admitted to hospital in northern France after eating beef burgers infected with a strain of E. coli bacteria, health officials said on Thursday, fanning fears of a wider outbreak.

The officials said the bacteria was not related to the lethal strain of E. coli that has killed 39 people and made 3,000 ill, most of them in northern Germany.

“We are now certain that this is not the same strain as the one discovered in Germany,” a health official from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region said on i-Tele television.

Mumps outbreak hits Lower Mainland

The Lower Mainland is experiencing its largest mumps outbreak since 2008, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

There are currently 77 cases of the disease in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities, mostly in young adults, said Dr. Monika Naus, medical director of immunization programs.

“We’re still in the upswing of this outbreak,” she added.

Scarlet fever hits Hong Kong, but will outbreak spread?

(CBS) A scarlet fever outbreak in Hong Kong is causing government officials there to turn up the heat on finding a way to stop the disease’s spread.

At least 400 cases of scarlet fever have been reported in Hong Kong this year, resulting in two deaths: a seven-year-old girl last month, and a five-year-old boy Tuesday morning, Reuters reports. Scarlet fever cases occur each year in Hong Kong, but not in these numbers, leading scientists to believe a genetic mutation is the root of the outbreak.

“It is the first time we have seen this kind of mutation in that particular type of Streptococcus.” Dr. Samson Wong Sai-yin, assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, told Hong Kong’s English daily, The Standard.

If this latest outbreak is a result of a genetic mutation, it’ll be more difficult to control, according to Dr. Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection.

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Deuteronomy 28:59 He will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic sicknesses.

Luke 21:11 There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven.