Disease

World’s largest gathering creates perfect storm for infectious disease

A tent city is rising near Allahabad, India, at the confluence of three of the country’s holiest rivers: the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. Complete with running water and sparkling LED lights, the city will accommodate 150 million pilgrims — a crowd equivalent to nearly half the population of the United States — next February for the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest bathing event.

But some experts worry that the iconic religious festival poses a major health concern. The last major gathering in 2015 altered the bacterial population of the Godavari River, increased the risk of waterborne disease outbreak and introduced drug-resistant “superbugs” according to a study published in October in Microbial Ecology.

This is not the first time the festival spurs health concerns. Experts have long recognized it as a major cause of cholera epidemics during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Researchers saw a 130-fold increase in the total number of bacteria following the festival. They also discovered that most of the naturally occurring bacteria in the river were replaced by microbes usually found in human skin and feces. There were also elevated levels of pathogens that cause salmonella, whooping cough, staph infections and tuberculosis.

Water is an open system. If the water is not treated, it goes to different areas, which may lead to bacteria swapping genetic material with one another without reproducing — that process is known to speed the proliferation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. This could lead to antibiotic resistance spreading downstream through the river.

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Disease

Hepatitis A – Tennessee, USA

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Disease

Measles – Thailand

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Dengue Fever – Senegal

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Cholera – Nigeria

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Disease

African swine fever found in animal feed – China

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Disease

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Rabies – Utah, USA

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Measles – Serbia

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Disease

Outbreak of Japanese Encephelatis in Bali

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Japanese Encephelatis is a brain infection and can be deadly. One in four cases prove to be fatal. Symptoms can take up to 15 days to become noticeable, and include fever, headache, neck stiffness, tremors, convulsions in children and even paralysis.

Disease

Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease – Britain

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Disease

Ethiopia yellow fever outbreak

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African Swine Fever – China – Update

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China linked feeding kitchen waste to pigs to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever in recent months, but it has not given a cause of the other cases. Analysts said the country’s feed sector might have been contaminated, suggesting risks were high that the disease would continue to spread quickly.

Disease

Plague – Madagascar

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Disease

Chagas disease reported in dogs working along the U.S.-Mexico border

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Illinois: Hundreds of deer die

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EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that can cause localized die-offs when conditions are favorable for transmission. Infected animals develop a high fever, and dead animals often are found near water sources. The virus is transmitted between deer by a midge that hatches from muddy areas along lakes/ponds and streams/rivers.

Disease

Measles – Israel – Update

In an update on the measles outbreak in Israel, health officials put the outbreak case tally at 1,150, up from nearly 900 cases a week ago. The majority of cases have been reported in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post reported today that a one-and a half year-old baby died from the measles on Thursday.

Ebola – DR Congo – Update

Since the last update (24–30 October), 32 new confirmed EVD cases were reported: 24 from Beni, and seven from Butembo and one from Vuhovi.

As of 30 October 2018, 279 EVD cases (244 confirmed and 35 probable), including 179 deaths (144 confirmed and 35 probable)1, have been reported in eight health zones in North Kivu Province and three health zones in Ituri Province (Figure 2). Over the past week, 14 additional surivours were discharged from Ebola treatment centres (ETCs) and reintegrated into their communities; 81 patients have recovered to date.

Disease

Swine Flu – Nepal

Two children in Kanchanrup Municipality of Saptari district died of an unidentified disease on October 23 and 24 respectively. The victims suffered from a fever, nausea, headache and blood vomiting before they died.

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Disease

Leprosy – Russia

The director of the Research Institute for the Study of Leprosy reports seven Astrakhan patients being treated for leprosy. “Seven new cases have been identified in our region. Six are the sick for the first time, and the seventh is a relapse in a patient who is under observation”. All patients are elderly.

Dengue Fever – Bangladesh

In a follow-up on the record dengue fever season in Bangladesh, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, & Research reported an additional 600+ cases in the past ten days. This brings the total to 8,079, as of Oct. 24.

Disease

Monkeypox – Nigeria – Update

Nigeria health officials reported an additional 10 suspected monkeypox cases during the past month, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The ten new suspected cases of monkeypox were reported from Ebonyi (4), Rivers (2), Bayelsa (4) states. A total of 86 cases have been reported in 2018.