Florida monkeys are excreting an infectious disease fatal to humans

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Non-native rhesus macaques in Florida ‘s Silver Springs State Park have tested positive for herpes B, a potentially fatal disease that is spread through bodily fluids and may be transmissible to humans. According to a recent study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases , about 30 percent of the monkeys tested carried the herpes B virus. In response to this public health threat, Florida state wildlife managers are proposing the removal of the macaques from their adopted habitats. Although there have been no documented cases of macaque-to-human transmission of the herpes B virus , we still do not know enough about the potential risks. Policymakers are taking the threat seriously. “Without management action, the presence and continued expansion of non-native rhesus macaques in Florida can result in serious human health and safety risks including human injury and transmission of disease,” said Thomas Eason, assistant executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to the Guardian . Although state officials have not specified exactly how the monkeys would be removed, they have indicated a willingness to fully remove the invasive macaques, creatures native to Asia which have settled in Ocala, Sarasota, and Tallahassee. Related: It’s so cold that frozen iguanas are falling off trees in Florida Of the 50 humans that have known to have contracted the herpes B virus, 21 have died. The high-fatality rate makes extreme precaution necessary. Unsurprisingly, the Florida monkeys are a popular wildlife attraction, though many who see them may not be aware of the risks of close contact. “Human visitors to the park are most likely to be exposed,” wrote the study’s authors, “through contact with saliva from macaque bites and scratches or from contact with virus shed through urine and feces.” While scientists work to uncover whether the virus is transmissible to humans, policymakers are making plans to control the invasive species. In the meantime, it’s probably best to keep your distance from Florida macaques. Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos and Flickr

Original post:
Florida monkeys are excreting an infectious disease fatal to humans

Houston superbug problem has been lurking for years, say researchers

May 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Houston superbug problem has been lurking for years, say researchers

Houston has a superbug problem, and it’s been lurking for years. A particularly virulent strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae , a bacteria that’s resistant to a broad spectrum of antibiotics, has a firm foothold on the Texan city, according to new research published in mBio , an online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology . Using genome sequencing, scientists from the Houston Methodist Research Institute found clone type 307 was responsible for more than one-third of resistant K. pneumoniae infections in their system. “Finding the otherwise uncommon strain in our city was a very surprising discovery,” James M. Musser, senior author of the study and chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital, said in a statement. “Because K. pneumoniae is a common and important cause of human infections, we urgently need to identify potential vaccine targets or other new treatments, and develop new and rapid diagnostic techniques.” K. pneumoniae usually resides in the human intestines, where it doesn’t cause disease. When it migrates to other parts of the body, however, the bacteria can trigger infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, or blood septicity. Related: Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics Musser’s team worked with researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago to analyze the genomes of 1,777 K. pneumoniae strains that caused infections in patients at Houston Methodist between September 2011 and May 2015. Clone type 307 emerged as the most abundant strain. But although the organism has been documented in regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, the study marks the first time it’s been singled out for causing such a broad number of infections in one city. Why this strain is so common in Houston is still a mystery, Musser said. “The faster we can successfully identify which antibiotics this strain is sensitive to, the faster a treating physician can target the appropriate therapy to these ill patients,” said S. Wesley Long, primary author of the study and associate director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Our discoveries also give us the tools to begin to understand how the germ is spreading throughout the Houston area.” Earlier this year, an elderly woman in Nevada died from a K. pneumoniae infection after failing to respond to all 26 antibiotics used in the United States. There’s no approved vaccine for the superbug, but scientists are working on it. “Fortunately, the strain 307 identified in our study remains susceptible to certain antibiotics that can be used to successfully treat infected patients,” said Long. + American Society for Microbiology Via CBS News Photos by Unsplash

See more here: 
Houston superbug problem has been lurking for years, say researchers

Al Gore will now host the climate change event the CDC canceled

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Al Gore will now host the climate change event the CDC canceled

This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called off a Climate and Health Summit – and many suspect it’s because of President Donald Trump’s dubious views on climate change . Fortunately, environmentalist Al Gore stepped in – and he’s planning to lead a one day Climate and Health Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The new conference will convene the American Public Health Association (APHA), Gore’s Climate Reality Project , Dr. Howard Frumkin , the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment , and the Harvard Global Health Institute . They will only be able to meet for a single day (instead of the CDC’s planned three day event) due to the late notice, but they still feel the vital meeting should occur. Related: Al Gore fights climate change with “An Inconvenient Sequel” Gore said in a statement, “They tried to cancel this conference but it is going forward anyway. Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn’t be a political issue. Health professionals urgently need the very best science in order to protect the public, and climate science has increasingly critical implications for their day-to-day work. With more and more hot days, which exacerbate the proliferation of the Zika virus and other public health threats, we cannot afford to waste any time.” APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin said climate change is already impacting health, and the meeting would “strengthen the public response to this growing threat.” The meeting will take place on February 16, 2017, and it will retain the focus of the CDC summit: a working session with information from public health professionals. If you want more information you can sign up for updates from the Climate Reality Project here . Via Vox and The Washington Post Images via COP PARIS on Flickr and Al Gore Facebook

Go here to see the original: 
Al Gore will now host the climate change event the CDC canceled

LEED Platinum GWU building helps people make healthier choices with smart design

October 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on LEED Platinum GWU building helps people make healthier choices with smart design

The 161,100-square-foot Milken Institute School of Public Health was a difficult design challenge given its many programmatic requirements, odd triangular geometry, and restrictive zoning regulations that capped the allowable floor area and imposed a 90-foot maximum height limitation. The architects successfully overcame the unusual site geometry with an exposed post-tensioned cast-in-place concrete structural system and a seven-story atrium that fills the building with natural light and creates a sense of spaciousness without exceeding the allowed building area. Related: University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House targets LEED Silver In addition to centrally located stairs (and the somewhat hidden elevators), other ways the architects engineered public health into the building include the encourage of movement with standing desks and an indoor bicycle rack; clean indoor air with the help of low-light plants, a strong air filtration system, and sustainable low-VOC materials; and access to natural light, views, and a walkable neighborhood. The energy efficient school building earned LEED Platinum certification with eco-friendly elements such as local and recycled materials, a green roof, rainwater collection system, and low-flow plumbing . The project recently won a 2016 AIANY COTE Honor Award. + Payette + Ayers Saint Gross Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Payette , © Robert Benson

Read the original post:
LEED Platinum GWU building helps people make healthier choices with smart design

Residents go nearly two weeks without safe drinking water in this Texas town

May 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Residents go nearly two weeks without safe drinking water in this Texas town

When something goes wrong with a public water supply , utility officials often issue an advisory warning residents to boil water before using it for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Such measures are generally temporary—a brief period of caution while crews repair the source of the problem. However, residents of Corpus Christi, Texas have been living under a boil advisory for nearly two weeks , and it’s the city’s third in 10 months. Nobody knows for sure when locals will have access to safe drinking water again. The current boil advisory was issued May 13, after utility officials reported low levels of chlorine disinfectant in the water supply . Chlorine is being used to kill harmful bacteria, which itself was at the heart of a previous boil alert in July 2015. Prior to that time, the city was using a different method for disinfecting the water, and it wasn’t working. Potentially hazardous levels of E. coli had been detected, and utility managers were unable to combat the bacteria without switching to a chlorine-based disinfectant. Ironically, the disinfectant in the water is now posing a threat to local residents. Related: Florida nuclear power plant is leaking pollutants that threaten drinking water Local news reports say the chlorine was expected to disperse through the water supply quickly after a treatment on May 19, but it’s taking longer than officials thought it should. A final treatment was performed at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, May 24 and needs at least 18 hours before water tests can confirm safe disinfectant levels. The boil alert could be lifted sometime today, Wednesday, but the debacle has left residents frustrated and upset, feeling as though city leaders have let them down. Corpus Christi city manager Ron Olson resigned his position just days after the current boil alert was issued amid claims he mishandled the situation. Some residents are calling for the city’s mayor, Nelda Martinez, to step down as well. Via Huffington Post Images via Steve Johnson/Flickr and Ted Gresham/Flickr

More: 
Residents go nearly two weeks without safe drinking water in this Texas town

Recycled tire traps are seven times more effective than traditional mosquito traps

April 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Recycled tire traps are seven times more effective than traditional mosquito traps

The use of recycled materials  is not only good for the environment . Sometimes, it is simply the best way to get a job done. Such is the case with the ovillanta mosquito traps crafted from old tires and tested in Guatemala. Over the course of ten months, researchers supported by the Guatemala Ministry of Health’s Vector Control Program observed the number of mosquito eggs collected by the simple traps. Based on their pending study, the ovillanta tire traps captured seven times the number of eggs as a standard trap. The ovillanta traps are specifically deployed to capture mosquitoes of the  Aedes genus. These mosquitoes are those notoriously known for transmitting devastating viruses, such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.  Aedes mosquitos can become resistant to pesticides and although adults only live for about two to four weeks, eggs can remain viable for up to a year. This enables populations to mitigate the effects of hazardous weather. Many communities lack the resources to deal with this resilient pest and are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. Related: World’s largest ‘mosquito factory’ in China to release 20 million bugs a week The ovillanta is composed of two 20-inch segments of a used car tire, which is joined together to create a basin. “We decided to use recycled tires – partly because tires already represent up to 29 percent of the breeding sites chosen by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, partly because tires are a universally affordable instrument in low-resource settings, and partly because giving old tires a new use creates an opportunity to clean up the local environment,” says lead researcher Gerardo Ulibarri. The mosquitoes are lured into the tire’s basin with a non-toxic substance that includes a special mosquito pheromone, which signals to pregnant mosquitoes that this is a safe place to lay their eggs. The eggs are then dropped on a small “raft” floating in the solution, which is removed twice a week so that the eggs may be removed and destroyed. This low-tech solution costs only a fraction of traditional techniques and does not harm other animals in the process of catching the mosquitos. A tutorial for constructing an ovillanta can be found here. Via TreeHugger Images via Daniel Pinelo  and Enrique Dans/Flickr

Original post: 
Recycled tire traps are seven times more effective than traditional mosquito traps

New labels would show how long it takes to walk off your favorite food

April 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on New labels would show how long it takes to walk off your favorite food

What if instead of counting calories , you could see how many minutes of running or walking it would take to work off your favorite junk food ? Would you think twice about scarfing down a burger? That’s the idea presented by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) , which suggests “ activity equivalent labeling ” might be a powerful tool to fight obesity . Read the rest of New labels would show how long it takes to walk off your favorite food

Read more from the original source: 
New labels would show how long it takes to walk off your favorite food

Amazon pipeline spill leaks 3,000 barrels of oil into rivers that provide water to indigenous communities

February 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Amazon pipeline spill leaks 3,000 barrels of oil into rivers that provide water to indigenous communities

The wild Amazon jungle is often thought to be one of the most pristine places on Earth—lush with greenery, home to exotic animals, and capable of absorbing carbon pollution. However, those same rainforests have become fragile due to deforestation and now a ruptured oil pipeline in Peru has leaked 3,000 barrels of oil into the already delicate environment. A landslide caused the spill, polluting rivers that provide water to eight different native communities. Read the rest of Amazon pipeline spill leaks 3,000 barrels of oil into rivers that provide water to indigenous communities

See the rest here: 
Amazon pipeline spill leaks 3,000 barrels of oil into rivers that provide water to indigenous communities

Texan resident contracts Zika virus through sexual activity

February 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Texan resident contracts Zika virus through sexual activity

An unsettling discovery was made in Texas this week when a patient was found to have contracted the Zika virus through sexual activity – not a mosquito bite. The infection that has been sweeping its way through Latin America was thought to only be transmitted through specific mosquito species’ bites, yet this new finding changes everything. Read the rest of Texan resident contracts Zika virus through sexual activity

Original post:
Texan resident contracts Zika virus through sexual activity

Zika virus epidemic points to “dystopian future” says Bill McKibben

January 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Zika virus epidemic points to “dystopian future” says Bill McKibben

As the Zika virus continues to spread in Latin American countries, some US residents are worried about the havoc an epidemic could wreak in the States and on the global economy as a whole. The infection’s insidious symptoms and the difficulties in controlling mosquito breeding grounds foreshadow a dystopian future of class segregation and human population control, according to the renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben. Could it really be that bad? Read the rest of Zika virus epidemic points to “dystopian future” says Bill McKibben

Read the original here:
Zika virus epidemic points to “dystopian future” says Bill McKibben

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 858 access attempts in the last 7 days.