Alerts: Biological Hazards

2015-06-25 03:45:52 – Biological Hazard – USA

EDIS Code: BH-20150625-48822-USA
Date&Time: 2015-06-25 03:45:52 [UTC]
Continent: North-America
Country: USA
State/Prov.: State of New Mexico,
Location: East Mountain,
City: Tramway

Description:
Two confirmed cases of tularemia in dogs in the East Mountains have the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department issuing a warning to residents east of Tramway. “It is a bacteria that causes disease in rodents, rabbits, dogs and cats,” said Albuquerque Environmental Health Manager Dr. Paul Smith. It’s very similar to the plague, and on top of that, the plague is also a concern in the East Mountains as well and is transmitted through fleas. Recent rains and heat are the culprits. “So there’s a lot more food and shelter for those rodents’ increasing populations, increasing incidents of disease as well,” said Smith. Here’s how the plague and tularemia can go from all those rodents to you. Free-roaming pets hunting or eating infected rodents can contract the disease and bring it directly into your home. It’ll make your pet and you extremely ill very suddenly. “You’re almost completely incapacitated with the high fever, muscle aches and pains that go along with that,” said Dr. Smith. Dr. Paul Smith recommends some simple steps to reduce your risk of contracting disease. Keep your pets from roaming freely and hunting rodents. Clean up your yard near your house, especially areas where rodents could live, such as wood and brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles. Also, do not handle sick or dead wildlife – they could be infected. Avoid mowing over dead animals because this could potentially aerosolize the bacteria. If you or your pet become infected, get medical help immediately. “Both diseases can be life-threatening if they are left untreated,” said Dr. Smith.

The name of Hazard: Tularemia (dogs)
Species: Animal
Status: Confirmed

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2015-06-25 03:43:21 – Biological Hazard – USA

EDIS Code: BH-20150625-48821-USA
Date&Time: 2015-06-25 03:43:21 [UTC]
Continent: North-America
Country: USA
State/Prov.: State of North Carolina,
Location: Coastal region,
City: Surf City
Number of injured people: 1


Description:
An 8-year-old boy was attacked by a shark on Wednesday in Surf City, North Carolina. He suffered minor leg and foot injuries from what appeared to be a small bite and was taken to the hospital by his parents, the Surf City Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE. Not even two weeks ago, 12-year-old Kiersten Yow and 16-year-old Hunter Treschl were attacked by sharks in Oak Island, North Carolina, within 90 minutes of each other. The Oak Island incident happened about 60 miles away from today’s attack. Yow, who lost her arm below her elbow, is improving with each day at the hospital. Treschl has since been released from the hospital after he lost his arm below the shoulder. Shark expert Larry Cahoon told PEOPLE that despite the recent shark attacks, beachgoers shouldn’t avoid the ocean. “You have a higher chance of getting into a car accident driving to the beach than you do getting attacked by a shark when you get there,” Cahoon, professor of biology and marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, says. “The fact is that sharks have millions of contact hours with humans on beaches every year, yet attacks are really rare. Just be smart.” “Sharks are frightened of us,” he adds. “They normally will only attack us if they mistake us for their typical prey, like skate and rays.” But when they do attack, just swim back to shore as fast as you can, he advises. “People say to swim slowly back to shore, but what is that going to do? Swim to shore as fast as you can – a shark that means to eat you will keep coming. You need to call for help. People who survive all but the least damaging shark attacks got immediate help from others,” he says. “Basically, don’t swim alone in shark waters.” And when it comes to fending off a shark, Cahoon says punching it in the nose, gills or eyes won’t do much good. “A 10-foot bull shark will weigh close to 500 pounds and is essentially all muscle. What chance would anyone have?” says Cahoon. “You won’t be thinking rationally even if you have the opportunity to punch it, so just focus on getting back to land.”

The name of Hazard: Shark attack (non-fatal)

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ENENews

ENENews:

(Photo Courtesty AP News)
US Gov’t Contractor: Fukushima so fragile it can turn globally catastrophic at any moment — Concern about impact to West Coast from another meltdown — Danger of something “far worse” than initial event — “Substantial risk to stability of Asia-Pacific” — National Lab: Fukushima already a global disaster
http://enenews.com/govt-contractor-fukushima-fragile-turn-globally-catastrophic-moment-concern-about-another-meltdown-affecting-west-coast-poses-substantial-risk-stability-asia-pacific-national-lab-fukushima-al


NOAA: Beaches full of dead baby sea lions off California, many aborted fetuses — Garbage bags filled with animals along coast — Carts in freezer overflowing with bodies — Official: Pollution may well have had an effect… We deliberately didn’t test for it
http://enenews.com/noaa-beaches-full-dead-babies-california-many-aborted-fetuses-lot-death-scent-rotting-sea-lion-along-coast-garbage-bags-filled-dead-animals-govt-official-pollution-effect-deliberately-didnt-test

ENENews: TV: “Canadian gov’t detected airborne elements of radioactive pollutants” from Fukushima — “Radioactive materials are still gushing” from plant

TV: “Canadian gov’t detected airborne elements of radioactive pollutants” from Fukushima — “Radioactive materials are still gushing” from plant — “Unexpected difficulties preventing escape of airborne radioactive contaminants” (VIDEO)
Published: June 18th, 2015 at 1:12 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/tv-canadian-govt-detected-airborne-elements-radioactive-pollutants-fukushima-radioactive-materials-gushing-plant-unexpected-difficulties-preventing-escape-airborne-radioactive-contaminants-video

Asahi Shimbun, Jun 17, 2015 (emphasis added):EDITORIAL: No more half-baked plans for decommissioning Fukushima reactors.
The government [and TEPCO] announced… removal of spent nuclear fuel from storage pools… will be delayed by up to three years… due to their new policy of “risk reduction over speed.” This delay, right from the start, must mean that the old road map was poorly planned. Are [they] really able to now foretell that the delay will be three years at most? And why was risk reduction not their top priority until now?… In autumn 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared… the situation was “under control.”… it has become abundantly clear that the situation is anything but under control, and that the previous decommissioning road map failed to accurately assess the high level and extensive spread of radiation contamination. Removing debris releases radioactive substances into the atmosphere…
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201506170050

Mainichi Daily News, Jun 15, 2015: The delay is due to unexpected difficulties preventing the escape of airborne radioactive contaminants during decontamination and wreckage clearing work. Decommissioning reactors at the heart of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters is of course bound to be extremely difficult, and this reality is coming into sharp relief…
http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20150615p2a00m0na007000c.html

Asahi Shimbun, Jun 13, 2015: … because of the unprecedented scale and nature of the decommissioning project resulting from the triple meltdown… the rush to move on resulted in only more problems… One of the biggest problems has been… stopping leaks of radiation-contaminated water and dealing with radioactive materials that are still gushing…
INSIGHT: Success of revised decommissioning plan for Fukushima far from a done deal
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201506130054

The Weather Channel transcript, Apr 8 2015: “Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is now washing up on the shores of Canada’s Vancouver Island… In November, the Canadian government detected airborne elements of radioactive pollutants in sea water vegetation further off the shores of British Columbia.”
http://www.weather.com/series/great-outdoors/video/radiation-from-the-fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-has-reached-north

Watch the broadcast here

ENENews: Gov’t: “This is unprecedented in extent and magnitude”


Gov’t: “This is unprecedented in extent and magnitude”… toxic bloom may stretch from Calif. to Alaska — Largest event ever recorded? — Official: “It’s new territory… we’ve never had to close essentially half our coast” — Fish washing up “extremely poisonous” — “Serious concern for coastal communities”
Published: June 16th, 2015 at 2:47 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/govt-unprecedented-toxic-bloom-west-coast-largest-event-recorded

NOAA Fisheries (pdf), Jun 15, 2015 (emphasis added): NOAA Fisheries mobilizes to gauge unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom [that] spans much of the West Coast and has triggered numerous closures of important shellfish fisheries… The bloom stretches from the Central California Coast north to Washington and possibly Alaska…


Seattle Times, Jun 15, 2015: Toxic algae bloom might be largest ever — Scientists onboard a NOAA research vessel are beginning a survey of what could be the largest toxic algae bloom ever recorded off the West Coast… At the same time, two other types of toxins rarely seen in combination are turning up,,, along the Washington coast… the toxin has never hit so hard in the spring, or required such widespread closures for crabs… concentrations in California anchovies this year [are] as high as any ever measured… [Dan Ayres with Washington’s Dept. of Fish & Wildlife] recently spotted a sea lion wracked by seizures… collapsed into a fetal position and quivered… Domoic-acid contamination is rare in Puget Sound, but several beds have been closed this year because of… paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and a relatively new threat called diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). The first confirmed case of DSP poisoning in the United States occurred in 2011 [in Washington]… 2015 is the first time regulators have detected dangerous levels of PSP, DSP and domoic acid in the state at the same time — and in some cases, in the same places…

USA Today, Jun 15, 2015: Toxic algae bloom closes fisheries from Calif. to Washington
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/15/west-coast-algae-bloom-red-tide/28782405/

USA Today, Jun 15, 2015: Toxic algae bloom may stretch from California to Alaska
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/06/15/west-coast-toxic-algae-bloom/71264756/

Half Moon Bay Review, Jun 11, 2015: Potentially toxic fish wash ashore… “the event sounds similar to what I’ve experienced in Moss Landing Harbor,” said Chris Scholin, president of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. “And the level of poison in the fish here is the highest concentration ever recorded… since the issue was first discovered… We don’t know if the fish have actually succumbed to the toxins but have found that the fish are extremely poisonous“… Scholin’s team in Monterey has observed dead birds.

Vera Trainer, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center (pdf): “This is unprecedented in terms of the extent and magnitude.”
More from Trainer: “We’re seeing multiple toxins at the same time… high levels of domoic acid [and] a coastwide bloom — those are indications that this is unprecedented.”
Eileen Sobeck, NOAA (pdf): “[It’s] a serious concern for coastal communities… The better we understand what’s happening… the better we can address the impacts.”
Raphael Kudela, UCSC ocean scientist: “By collecting data over the full West Coast… we will have a much better idea of… what is causing it, and why this year… This is possibly the largest event spatially that we’ve ever recorded.”
Jerry Borchert, Washington’s marine biotoxin coordinator: “It all really started early this year… This has been a really bad year overall for biotoxins.”
Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: “This is new territory for us… We’ve never had to close essentially half our coast.”
See also: California cientists warning of mass die-off — Official: Seafloor littered with dead fish, washing up “far as I could see” — Toxin spreading all up and down West Coast (VIDEO)