Germ warfare: Record heat, lack of rain causing explosion of infection cases

August 13, 2011ORLANDO (CBS Tampa) — A Brevard County teen was hospitalized after an amoeba is believed to have infected her brain while she was swimming in a local river. The young girl, identified in numerous reports as 16-year-old Courtney Nash, is currently listed in critical condition, officials said. Barry Inman, an epidemiologist with the Brevard County Health Department, told CBS Tampa that the very rare infection, known as amoebic meningoencephalitis, has not yet been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control, but that officials believe a positive test will be returned any day. “We got a result from the hospital in Orlando and they did a spinal tap on her, and they looked on the cerebral spinal fluid and they saw the amoeba. So we’re confident that this is a hospital that has some experience with this organism, and we’re confident about what the diagnosis is,” he said. Inman said there are typically fewer than five cases a year in the entire country, and that only one person has survived the infection since the 1970s. Doctors treat it with anti-fungal medications and antibiotics. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s last confirmed case came in 2009. “We have like one or two maybe a year. Sometimes we go a few years without having any cases in the United States, so it’s rare when it occurs, but when it occurs it’s not good,” Inman said. Amoebic meningoencephalitis occurs often during very hot weather and is contracted in stagnant freshwater. “The water, because of jumping or swimming or whatever may occur, has to go up the nose into the nasal passages, into the sinuses, and into the brain,” Inman said. “In the brain you’ve got a lot of cerebral spinal fluid, you’ve got glucose, you’ve got protein, it’s just the perfect environment to proliferate and grow.” –CBS News

Dallas, Tx: Often called carbuncles or sebaceous cysts, doctors are seeing a rise in skin infections during this heat-wave—as if the weather itself isn’t making us miserable enough. “It can go on for days or even weeks, looking okay and then all of a sudden for whatever reason—sit for a long time, you get sweaty, you start exercising, and overnight it can turn south on us, “ said Dr. Jeff Goudreau, a Dallas internal medicine physician. Patients sometimes complain of fever, fatigue, or just a general discomfort. Itching can occur before the carbuncle develops, and then the knot will turn painful and irritated with a white or yellow center. As the infection worsens, the cyst will ‘weep’ and be filled with pus, and form a crust. The infection is highly contagious and patients must take precautions to prevent the spread to other parts of the body , or to family members. And be especially vigilant, doctors say, at the gym. “You go to the gym, you do some reps on the weight machines and you get up without cleaning it, “said Goudreau, “somebody else can lay down, sit down there, and have the same problem.” Goudreau says the cysts must be drained—a process which is typically very painful—and are usually treated with antibiotics. Otherwise healthy patients typically won’t suffer any long term health effects, he says… but, that’s not to say that the skin infections aren’t nasty and downright painful until they heal. –CBS News

Bahamas: The Bahamas has now broken its record for the number of dengue fever cases reported during the yearly seasonal outbreaks, with more than 1,500 confirmed cases, according to Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis. Minnis, speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Health yesterday afternoon, added that the inordinate number of cases this year has stretched the public health care system to the limit, as hundreds of people have been showing up at public clinics across the island with symptoms of dengue fever. “The cases of dengue fever continue at our medical facilities,” he said. “For the last five days we have seen an average of approximately 100 cases per day from all reporting sites, including public and private facilities.” As the public health clinics continue to be inundated with reported cases of dengue fever, Minnis said health officials have extended clinic hours and weekend coverage to meet the needs of the public. Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour joined Minnis at the press conference yesterday to assure the public that the Department of Environmental Health Services is doing everything it can to control the spread of the dengue virus. “We have completely fogged the entire island of New Providence twice in the last two weeks,” he said. He added that the rainy season and the heat factor have promoted optimal conditions for the Aedes aegypti mosquito to breed. –The Nassau Guardian

Painful diseases will continue to spread like wildfire:

Revelation 16:10, 11 “The Fifth Bowl
The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues from pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.”