EV71, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, the SARS Virus, Bird Flu, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), H1N1 Virus. All deadly and all seeing a resurgence of reported cases Worldwide.
And there’s more: Small Pox, Polio, Bubonic Plague, Marburg Disease virus, Hepatitis, Anthrax, Human Monkey Pox, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Cholera. There are too many to name all of them here, but these diseases have been multiplying and spreading the world over in the last few years.
Has the Ice Melt of recent years, caused by Global Warming, released these diseases from their frozen hibernation?
With ancient ice melting rapidly in Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Ocean, can ancient mosquito eggs, and the associated viruses and parasites they may carry, be responsible for the obvious worldwide disease outbreaks of the last few years?
Glaciers in the European Alps have been melting as well, and this can’t be good either, as the Black/Bubonic Plague outbreaks of the 14th, 17th and 18th centuries were centered in Europe and Asia, and of Pandemic proportions.
Could the melting Ancient ice be releasing mosquitoes and fleas from another century, insects carrying parasites and viruses from another time and place in world history?
The answer is yes and it may be happening even as we speak.
Let’s take a look at some of these Viruses and Viral Diseases.
West Nile Virus:
According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been 5,207 cases of West Nile Virus reported in 48 out of 50 states in the U.S. this year, with 234 deaths attributed to the virus.
There are 2 different types of the virus, and of the 5,207 reported cases, 49%, or 2,564 were classified as a non-neuroinvasive disease, with the other 51%, or 2,643 were classified as a more virulent neuroinvasive disorder along the lines of meningitis or encephalitis.
The estimate of cases of West Nile Globally is over 100,000 annually.
This is the greatest number of cases of West Nile Virus reported to the CDC since calendar year 2003, and fully 80% of these reported cases were in 13 states, California, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, Arizona, South Dakota and New York State.
80 % of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all.
20 % of the people who become infected with West Nile Virus will have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back.
1 in 150 people infected with the West Nile Virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
EV71, the Virus that causes Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Outbreaks of EV71 Occur all over the world, but have occurred more frequently in Asia. Asian countries with large recent outbreaks are: China, Hong Kong , Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
China had by far the highest incidence of the disease, with a total of 2,992,349 cases reported in 2001 and 2012, with Vietnam a distant second place, with 251,347 cases reported from Feb. 2011-Nov. 2012.
EV71 is a common viral illness that affects infants and children under 5 years of age, but can affect adults as well. Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include fever, herpangina, which are blister-like mouth sores, and a skin rash and blisters on the hands, feet and buttocks.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with hoof-and-mouth disease, a disease of cattle, sheep, and pigs. The two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related to one and other.
EV71 Is generally mild in nature, with a recovery time of 7 to 10 days. Dehydration is a common complication, if hydration is minimalized due to mouth sore.
Initially, EV71 presents with flu-like symptoms, fever, sore throat poor appetite and an overall feeling of discomfort or uneasiness. This progress in a day or two , and painful sores appear in the mouth, starting as small red spots on the tongue, gums and the inside of the cheeks, and becoming blisters and then mouth ulcers. At the same time, the rash develops and flat or raised red spots appear, with blistering.
In a small number of cases, children may experience a brief illness, present with mixed neurological and respiratory symptoms and succumb rapidly to the disease. In these rare cases, the patient can incur Encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain.
The Dengue Fever Virus
Reports of Dengue Fever have been in the news in the last two weeks, as travelers from many European countries have reported acquiring the disease after return from vacation from a group of islands off the western coast of Africa.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that The Portuguese Health Ministry had reported over 1,300 confirmed cases of the disease, with 600 more probable cases additionally. Portugal, France, Britain, Sweden and Germany reported that vacationers had been diagnosed with the virus upon returning from the Portuguese Island of Madeira.
Similar outbreaks have been reported in the Canary Islands and on the Island of Cape Verde, all archipelago’s off the western African coast.
Dengue Fever is an infectious tropical disease, caused by a virus of the same name. In 80 percent of cases, the affected patient encounters only a minor fever and flu-like symptoms, muscle and joint pain, and a skin rash akin to Measles, generally dismissing these symptoms, and recovering in about 10 days to 2 weeks.
The other 20 percent are not so lucky. These patients develop Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, which can result in bleeding, blood plasma discharge, and dangerously low blood platelet levels. And stage 2 puts the patient into shock, were a major blood pressure drop occurs, and is usually fatal.
The Ebola Virus
The Ebola Virus has inundated the Continent of Africa, and appears to be centered in Uganda. As reported today by WHO, The World Health Organization, there have been 10 new cases of Ebola reported in the Leweero region of Uganda, with 5 deaths. This, after an outbreak in September of this year, with 3 cases and 2 deaths. There had been no reported outbreaks since August of this year, with 17 known deadly cases reported in July.
The Ebola virus is a member of the filoviridae family of viral infections. Marburg was first recognized in 1967 as causing an outbreak among staff at a laboratory in Marburg, Germany, as a result of handling a recently arrived shipment of African green monkeys from Uganda. There were also cases in the former Yugoslavia as a result of exposure to monkeys from the same shipment. The next outbreaks were of Ebola virus infection. These occurred in southern Sudan and in what was then Zaire in 1976; despite the similar temporal occurrence these outbreaks were caused by different strains of the same virus. Subsequently there have been outbreaks in Sudan, Gabon, Cote d’lvoire and aire. There were also outbreaks of disease in non-human primates.
The Ebola Virus comes on abruptly and is recognized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, bloodshot eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding is evident in some patients. Scientists do not understand why some people are able to recover from Ebola while others are not. However, it is known that patients who die usually haven’t developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death. The incubation period for Ebola ranges from 2 to 21 days.
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
SARS is a viral respiratory illness, first acknowledged as a global threat in 2003 after first appearing in China in late 2002. SARS is caused by a coronavirus, referred to as SARS-CoV. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a crown-like appearance when viewed under a microscope. These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness in humans and are associated with respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and neurologic disease in animals.
SARS presents itself with a fever greater than 100.4 F (38 C) with associated chills and other symptoms, including headache, a general feeling of discomfort, and body aches and pains. Some people also have mild respiratory symptoms at first, and about 10 percent to 20 percent of patients have diarrhea. After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry, nonproductive cough and have shortness of breath. These symptoms might be accompanied by or progress to a condition in which the oxygen levels in the blood are low. Most patients develop pneumonia.
Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world.
Bird Flu or Avian Influenza
Bird Flu/Avian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds, often causing no apparent signs of illness. These viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious infection. Some of these viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease and infections in humans.
Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans; however some, such as H5N1, have caused serious infections in people. Outbreaks of Bird Flu in poultry may raise global public health concerns due to their effect on poultry populations, their potential to cause serious disease in people, and the potential for pandemic. Reports of highly pathogenic Bird Flu epidemics in poultry can seriously impact local and global economies and international trade markets. The majority of human cases of H5N1 infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with live or dead poultry that have been previously infected. The disease cannot be spread to people through properly cooked food.
Symptoms include high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums have also been reported as early symptoms in some patients. A lower respiratory tract infection may present early in the illness, and difficulty in breathing develops around five days following the first symptoms. Respiratory distress, a hoarse voice, and a crackling sound when inhaling are commonly symptoms.
H1N1 or Swine Flu
H1N1/Swine Flu symptoms include, fever, sore throat, headache, runny or stuffy nose, cough, chills, body aches and pains, fatigue and on occasion, diarrhea and vomiting.
High risk categories include children younger than 5 and especially children younger than 2 years of age, Senior citizens 65 or older and women who are pregnant, or may become pregnant.
Additionally, people with other health conditions may be predisposed to catching this virus. Those conditions include, asthma, COPD and Cystic Fibrosis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, hemophiliacs, diabetics, liver or kidney diseases, cancer and people living with the HIV/AIDS virus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) routinely tracks influenza activity here in the United States with a system that determines when and where influenza activity is occurring, what influenza viruses are currently circulating, and detects changes in the different influenza viruses. The system also measures the burden of influenza disease in the United States, including tracking flu-related illness, hospitalizations and deaths.
Pertussis or Whooping Cough
Pertussis, known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which makes it hard to breathe. After coughing spells, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.
A pertussis epidemic was declared in Washington State this year, with 4,527 cases reported statewide through November 17, 2012, compared to 655 reported cases in 2011 during the same time period. there have been 4,105 cases reported in Minnesota this year, with only 661 cases reported in 2011.
High rates are being reported in Wisconsin, with 5,163 cases of pertussis have been reported so far in 2012, while only 1,192 confirmed cases were reported in 2011. Colorado describes its increases in pertussis cases as epidemic this year, and as of November 19, 2012, 1,251 cases have been reported, compared to a 2007-2011 average of 158 cases for the same time period.
So there you have it, viruses and viral diseases, some long forgotten, are being spread the world over, and it may be coming to light from ancient frozen snow and ice melting. We don’t know for sure if this is the case, but one thing we know for sure is these deadly diseases are proliferating worldwide, with seemingly no end in sight.
Article by Jim Donahue