Category Archives: Public Health/Safety

November 12, 2017

Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after Legionnaires’ disease sickens park visitors

The county health agency has also alerted healthcare providers to look out for Legionnaires’ disease in anyone who may have become ill after visiting Anaheim or Disneyland before Nov. 7.

Disneyland has shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after Orange County health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in people who had visited the Anaheim theme park, authorities said.

Twelve cases of the bacteria-caused illness were discovered about three weeks ago among people who had spent time in Anaheim and included nine people who had visited Disneyland in September before developing the illness, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Their ages ranged from 52 to 94.

The remaining three were Orange County residents who did not visit the park but lived or traveled in Anaheim.

Ten were hospitalized and one person “with additional health issues” died, according to health officials. That person did not visit Disneyland.

Legionnaires’ is a severe lung infection caused by exposure to contaminated water or mist. Authorities said they have not tied any other cases of Legionnaires’ to Anaheim since September.

“There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak,” the healthcare agency said in a statement.

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October 19, 2017

FBI Investigates Puerto Rican Officials Distributing FEMA Aid Based On ‘Loyalty’ (Video)

The FBI San Juan Field Office announced Oct. 13 it had received “numerous” complaints that FEMA aid packages were mishandled and fraudulently distributed. The agency is investigating charges in six of the island’s 78 municipalities.

The FBI is investigating allegations that Puerto Rican officials are passing out Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supplies based on “political loyalty,” according to Congressional letters sent to the head of each department.

Three GOP representatives and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico sent letters Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FEMA Administrator William Long requesting a briefing on Puerto Rican aid and recovery efforts by Oct. 23.

“With so many residents still in grave need of basic supplies, it is essential that assistance from the federal government is provided in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” the letters said. “The public’s confidence in the integrity of FEMA’s distribution of emergency supplies is also imperative.”

“Allegations that local elected officials are distributing life-sustaining FEMA emergency supplies based on political loyalty is deeply disturbing,” the representatives added. “Any persons misappropriating FEMA emergency supplies should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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October 15, 2017

California declares state of emergency over deadly hepatitis A outbreak

Federal health officials said last week that, even with the ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the disease, California’s outbreak could last years.

California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency Friday because of a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed at least 18 people in the state.

The declaration allows state health officials to buy additional doses of the hepatitis A vaccine to try to halt the outbreak, which is already the nation’s second largest in more than two decades.

“We have the capacity to use as much vaccine as we can get our hands on,” said Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health.

The outbreak began in San Diego’s homeless community late last year, but has since spread outside the region. Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties are also now experiencing outbreaks.

So far, 581 people in California have been sickened with the liver virus, more than half of whom have ended up in the hospital. The virus is particularly dangerous, and can be fatal, for people who already have other liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C.

Federal health officials said last week that, even with the ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the disease, California’s outbreak could last years.

“Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis A,” said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith.

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October 9, 2017

California Hepatitis A Outbreak on Verge of Statewide Epidemic

The California hepatitis A outbreak is on the verge of reaching statewide epidemic status, as cases have spread through homeless tent cities from San Diego north to Sacramento.

California health officials have reported that at least 569 people have been infected with the hepatitis A liver disease and 17 have died since a San Diego County outbreak was first identified in November. Cases have migrated north to homeless populations in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Sacramento over the last 11 months.

Although local and state authorities have tried to underplay the risks and severity of the outbreak, the most recent annual totals for cases of hepatitis A in the United States was 1,390 in 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). California only reported 179 cases during the same year.

The highly-contagious hepatitis A outbreak may have taken root because of the City of San Diego’s efforts in the run-up to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game held at Petco Park in July 2016 to push the homeless, and the rampant drug and prostitution trade among them, out of the downtown tourist venues. Those effort included locking public bathrooms and essentially relocating the homeless to the congested tent city encampments that stretch for blocks east of downtown near freeway onramps.

Another explanation may be the city’s decision to ban plastic bags, which deprived homeless people of an alternative means of disposing of human waste when bathrooms were not available.

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September 14, 2017

San Diego awash with ‘fecal matter’ due to lack of public toilets and surging rates of homeless people, health officials warn as they try to control hepatitis A outbreak

The outbreak has killed 15 people and close to 400 people have been infected. San Diego is now implementing street washing every other week and extending public restroom hours. The homeless and ‘illicit drug users’ are most impacted by the outbreak. Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver disease in those who are infected. It can spread from ingesting food or water that contains feces from someone with the deadly virus.

San Diego is covered with fecal matter due to a rising homeless population and lack of public restrooms, which is said to have contributed to the hepatitis A outbreak.

Officials declared a public health emergency in the city after the outbreak killed 15 and infected close to 400 people.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can spread through ingesting food and drinks that have come in contact with feces from people who are already infected.

County health officials told the city that they needed to come up with a plan to fix the ‘fecally contaminated environment’ that is in the downtown area.

Officials first attempted to contain the outbreak by providing vaccinations to people and improving educational methods, but the virus continues to spread.

The city is now implementing street washing every other week and an extension on public restroom hours to stop the spread of the virus that has affected the homeless population the most.

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September 10, 2017

Banned Pesticides Showing Up in California Water

The chemicals have turned thousands of acres of forest into waste dumps so toxic that law enforcement officers have been hospitalized after inadvertently touching plants and equipment, and scores of animals have died.

Toxic chemicals from illegal marijuana farms hidden deep in California’s forests are showing up in rivers and streams that feed the state’s water supply, prompting fears that humans and animals may be at risk, data reviewed by Reuters show.

The presence of potentially deadly pollutants in eight Northern and Central California watersheds is the latest sign of damage to the environment from thousands of illegal cannabis plantations, many of them run by drug cartels serving customers in other states, according to law enforcement.

“I don’t drink out of the creeks – and I used to,” said Sergeant Nathaniel Trujillo, a narcotics expert with the sheriff’s department of Trinity County, about 200 miles north of San Francisco. “I grew up drinking out of them.”

California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming. There are as many as 50,000 marijuana farms in California according to state estimates, and even though voters legalized the drug last November, only about 16,000 growers are expected to seek licenses when commercial cultivation becomes legal next year.

Many of the illegal growers use fertilizers and pesticides long restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide.

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June 12, 2017

Syrian Refugees Spreading Flesh-Eating Disease, Polio, Measles, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis

The Syrian refugee crisis has precipitated a “catastrophic outbreak” of a flesh-eating disease that is spreading across the Middle East and North Africa, according to research published on Thursday in the scientific journal PLOS.

Largely missing from news media coverage is that the same news-making scientific report warned the ongoing violence in Syria has “created a setting in which we have seen the re-emergence of polio and measles, as well as tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and other infections in Syria and among displaced Syrian refugees.”

Indeed, in 2013 the World Health Organization documented new cases of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, reporting that year alone the number of confirmed measles cases in Syria reached 139, as compared to no documented cases in 2010 and 2011.

The WHO reported that 2013 saw Syria’s first outbreak of polio since 1999. According to an April 2015 WHO report, 35 children were subsequently paralysed by polio before the start of a new vaccine campaign.

In November, 2014 PLOS documented the spread of measles from among the Syrian refugee population:

Measles has swept through Syria, including Aleppo and the northern regions, with over 7,000 confirmed cases. This epidemic has not spared refugees in neighboring countries, even among highly vaccinated populations. In Jordan, 24 cases of measles were reported in 2012, while over 200 cases were reported in 2013. In Lebanon, nine reported cases of measles in 2012 increased to 1,760 cases in 2013, only 13.2% of which were among Syrian refugees.

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June 1, 2017

Navy SEALs Cancel Beach Training After Shore Became Tainted With Mexican Sewage

“As crude and nasty as this sounds, this is not American sewage, this is Third World sewage,” said Border Patrol agent Christopher Harris. “There’s whole areas now that are biologically and chemically impacted, just like if you had a biological or chemical attack. There are areas that are no-go zones.”

Thanks to President Donald Trump, Mexico has been at the forefront of American political discussion for over a year now, ever since then-candidate Trump announced his presidential run. While most of the debate surrounding Mexico has revolved around immigration and trade, that may be about to change.

In yet another despicable occurrence ignored by the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents and U.S. Navy SEALs have been adversely affected by massive sewage spills in Mexico that have spread to U.S. waters, the Washington Times reported.

The sewage spills have been so bad, and have gone on for so long, there are now “no go” zones on U.S. soil (primarily in California) where SEALs can’t train for risk of being infected, diseased or worse, because of the sewage.

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May 14, 2017

Casey’s Employee Tampers With Pizza For Police Chief, Which He Fed To His Daughters, Pissed Off Chief Ready To Sue

Chief Marlon Walker Is Ready To Sue Casey’s General Store After They Tampered With His Pizza.

When Chief Marlon Walker ordered a pizza from Casey’s General Store, he didn’t expect it to be tainted. Unfortunately, the chief didn’t find out about the incident until after he had shared the pizza with his two daughters.

At the end of December or early January, a Hermann police officer working the night shift had ordered a pizza from Casey’s general store. The store manager told him that an officer had his pizza “spat” on, but the manager refused to tell him which officer’s pizza was affected, according to KRCG.

Weeks later, Chief Marlon Walker confronted the store manager about the unidentified officer having their pizza spat on. The store manager then told the chief that it was his pizza that had been tampered with. Not only that, but employee Daniel Robinson had thrown his pizza toppings on the floor as well as spitting on the pizza.

The chief reported the incident to Gasconade County Health Department who confirmed that Robinson had been fired after the incident. Two other employees who witnessed the food tampering and refused to stop Robinson were also suspended and then later terminated.

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March 24, 2017

New research identifies a ‘sea of despair’ among white, working-class Americans

Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case continue to report on sickness and early death among white, middle-aged, working-class Americans.

Sickness and early death in the white working class could be rooted in poor job prospects for less-educated young people as they first enter the labor market, a situation that compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity and other pathologies, according to a study published Thursday by two prominent economists.

Anne Case and Angus Deaton garnered national headlines in 2015 when they reported that the death rate of midlife non-Hispanic white Americans had risen steadily since 1999 in contrast with the death rates of blacks, Hispanics and Europeans. Their new study extends the data by two years and shows that whatever is driving the mortality spike is not easing up.

The two Princeton professors say the trend affects whites of both sexes and is happening nearly everywhere in the country. Education level is significant: People with a college degree report better health and happiness than those with only some college, who in turn are doing much better than those who never went.

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