Archive | May 21, 2015

Hundreds of dead fish found floating on a lake in Pennsylvania, USA

Fish Kill Alert

Hundreds of dead fish have been found floating along the surface of Italian Lake, and city officials are unsure how they got there.
The fish are American Shad, a species which live in lakes. Italian Lake is a pond, and the fish were unable to adapt to the conditions.
“This kind of fish can’t survive in a pond like Italian Lake,” Aaron Johnson, Harrisburg’s Director of Public Works, said in a statement. “I’m not sure who put then in or when.”
Over the weekend, city crews began to remove approximately 200 to 300 dead fish. As of Monday afternoon, some still remained. They apparently died after Italian Lake froze during the winter.
Harrisburg officials will begin their annual cleaning and treatment of Italian Lake on Monday. The city says they will continue to remove the fish during that time.
Courtesy of

27,000 Chickens to be killed due to avian flu in Oxford County, Ontario, Canada

Bird Flu

The Canadian Food Inspection agency will be euthanizing 27,000 chickens on an Oxford County farm after confirming the presence of H5 avian influenza, the second case this month.
The inspection agency confirmed Saturday that it had placed a broiler breeder chicken farm in Oxford County under quarantine, to control the spread of the disease.
According to the CFIA, initial tests were done at the University of Guelph on Friday, after birds on the farm suddenly died over several days. The agency could not confirm the exact number of birds that had died from the virus.
All of the birds on the farm will be humanely destroyed and disposed of, the agency said.
The CFIA will also perform further tests to determine the subtype and strain of the virus. Tests will also be performed to confirm the severity of the disease, the agency said in a statement.
Earlier this month, 29 Ontario poultry farms were put under quarantine after the CFIA confirmed it had found H5 avian influenza on a turkey farm in Woodstock, Ont.
Approximately 10,000 turkeys on that farm had died of the disease, and CFIA officials euthanized 35,000 birds to stop the virus from spreading.
After putting the turkey farm under quarantine, the agency expanded the control zone to include a 10-kilometre radius from the infected area.
Avian flu rarely affects humans that do not come into close contact with infected birds. It also does not pose a risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked, according to the CFIA.
Courtesy of

Large die off of fish in a harbor, ‘a disaster’ in Omsk, Russia

Катастрофа в омской Птичьей гавани – всё усеяно мертвой рыбой
The editorial board of the portal received a message from the witness – in the area of ​​Bird harbor there is a large flock of birds – all strewn with dead fish (preliminary information!): 
“On the” bird haven “gulls and crows eat up the remains of the fish! The lakes Bird Harbour was a real plague, all strewn with dead fish, the fish most likely simply suffocated because of untimely and low-quality aeration. May have been reset to the water [harmful] substance, nearby is sewage pumping station. “
On the serious situation in the waters of the Omsk region, associated with abnormally snowy winter, and, as a consequence of this, more than the usual thickness of the ice cover of rivers and lakes, according to the portal experts associated with fish farming. On the many lakes of the Omsk region observed the same pattern – fish mortality. This was soon to be published article. 
As for Bird Omsk harbor, it is not the first time that witnesses fix a similar situation with a dead fish. Two years ago, in social networks ( in April was published photo essay about the mass death of fish.
Then the witnesses felt that the environmental disaster happened because of the new dam, which curbed runoff from the harbor at Bird River Zamarayku. The second reason – besides the lack of adequate aeration.
What happened in the harbor Bird in April 2015 – will be announced in the near future.
Courtesy of

New Rabies Strain Found in New Mexico, USA

Rabies Alert

A new strain of rabies has been discovered in southern New Mexico, federal and state health officials confirmed Tuesday.
While it doesn’t present any more of a public health threat than the known strains of the potentially fatal disease, it’s the first new strain to be found in the United States in several years.
The new rabies strain was found in a 78-year-old woman bitten by a rabid fox in April. Genetic testing at a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta confirmed the strain was one that never before had been identified.
State officials suspect the rabid fox came in contact with an infected bat that was carrying the strain. “It has probably been out there for some time. We just haven’t looked that hard for it and by chance we found it,” said state public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad.
“It’s exciting. It’s related to another bat strain. It’s similar but unique, so the question is what’s the reservoir for this strain,” he added.
A reservoir refers to animals that carry and spread the virus. In many cases, that can be bats, skunks or raccoons. Those animals usually aren’t tested because it’s assumed they have known strains of rabies.
Rabies evolves to match the animals it infects. Dog rabies — the strain most specific to dogs — has not been seen anywhere in the United States since 2004.
Rabies kills more than 50,000 people a year globally, according to the World Health Organization. It is easily prevented with a vaccine, but many people do not realize they have been infected and once symptoms begin to show, it is almost impossible to treat. There are only a couple of cases a year in the U.S.
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South Korea confirms third case of MERS Virus; 64 isolated

MERS Virus Alert

South Korean health officials confirmed the country’s third case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, with the two latest cases found in people who had been in contact with the first patient after he returned from the Middle East.
Authorities have isolated as a precaution another 64 people who are family members or medical workers treating those three patients, said Yang Byung-guk, director of the health ministry’s Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Test results came back positive for a 63-year-old woman, the wife of the first proven case, as well as for a 76-year-old man who shared a hospital room with him, the ministry said.
The first man was diagnosed with the disease on Wednesday after a trip to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where the disease broke out, Yang told a briefing.
Shin Hyoung-shik, an infectious disease specialist in charge of treating the patients, said the latest two confirmed cases had fevers but no sign of breathing difficulties.
“The first patient has been recovering, with less difficulty in breathing,” Shin said.
The ministry said on Wednesday it saw no chance of the disease spreading into the wider population because those who had been in contact with the first patient had been isolated.
The disease’s fatality rate is 30-40 percent and its incubation period is two to 14 days, experts say.
“The 40 percent death rate is quite high,” Choi Jun-yong, an associate professor at the infectious diseases division of Severance Hospital, told Reuters by telephone.
“If infected, patients in many cases need to have artificial respiration treatments for respiratory failures.”
First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a coronavirus, from the same family as the one that caused a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in China in 2003. There is no cure or vaccine.
South Korea’s health ministry said 23 countries had a combined 1,142 cases of MERS and 465 deaths had been reported, as of May 16. Of the total, 1,117 cases, or 97.8 percent, were in the Middle East.
There is usually a surge of cases in the northern spring and most cases have come from hospital transmission.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 704 km N of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 13:54:10.7 2015-05-21
162 km W of Copiapó, Chile / pop: 129,280 / local time: 13:54:10.7 2015-05-21

Global viewRegional view


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 56km (35mi) SE of Honiara, Solomon Islands
659km (409mi) SE of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
978km (608mi) NW of Luganville, Vanuatu
1073km (667mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
56km (35mi) SE of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Map showing extent (w,s,e,n) = (155.3296, -14.7761, 165.3296, -4.7761)