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Crof
North Vancouver, BC Canada
Retired college teacher, SF & fantasy novelist, an accidental journalist since the 1970s.
Interests: history, writing, politics, teaching & learning, environment, online communication.
Recent Activity
Via Hakai Magazine, an article by Tom Hawthorn: The Guardian Angel of Swimming Children. Excerpt: At precisely 10:40 a.m. on February 7, 1922, work stopped in every classroom in every public school in Vancouver, British Columbia. The day’s lessons were... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pioneers
I've just spent some time rummaging through Venezuelan websites, including MPPS, the ministry of health, and some of the major media. The absence of news on Zika (not to mention dengue and chikungunya) is not just alarming. It's creepy. Let's... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via The Washington Post: The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S. Excerpt: For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Thanks to Matt Watson and Greg Folkers for alerting me to this article in PLOS Currents Outbreaks: Genetically Modified (GM) Mosquito Use to Reduce Mosquito-Transmitted Disease in the US: A Community Opinion Survey. The abstract: Introduction: Mosquito-borne infectious diseases such... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
WHO has published its Yellow fever situation report for May 26. Click or tap through to download the full document. Excerpt: Emergency Committee regarding yellow fever An Emergency Committee (EC) regarding yellow fever was convened by WHO’s Director-General under the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
WHO has published its weekly Zika situation report. The summary: • As of 25 May 2016, 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission of which: • 46 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via this week's Eurosurveillance, an editorial: Dengue and other Aedes-borne viruses: A threat to Europe? Excerpt: At the beginning of the 20th century, dengue outbreaks were rather common in the Mediterranean basin. The last major epidemic on the European continent... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
On her Germination blog at National Geographic, Maryn McKenna writes: Africa’s Yellow Fever Outbreak is a Glimpse of Our Connected Future. Excerpt from a must-read: Zika virus has been earning all the headlines, because it is already affecting Americans—including 300... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via allAfrica.com, a report from the Daily Nation: Kenya: 540 Admitted in Mandera Following Chikungunya Outbreak. Excerpt: Health officials in Mandera County have raised alarm after 540 residents were on Wednesday reported to have been admitted in various hospitals following... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via Vaccine: Zika vaccine misconceptions: A social media analysis. Click or tap through for the full report plus a figure and documentation. Excerpt: Development of the Zika virus vaccine is in its early stages, but there is already cause for... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via NPR's Goats and Soda blog: WHO Is Making Changes To Fight The Next Pandemic, But Critics Say It Isn't Going Far EnoughIs. Excerpt: For the past decade or so, WHO has been crippled, says Lawrence Gostin, a professor of... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
On his Zika Diaries blog, Dr. Vincent Racaniello writes: Zika Virus Inside Cells. Excerpt: While the plaque assay that we developed for Zika virus is invaluable for determining the amount of infectious virus in a sample, we would also like... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via Thomson Reuters: Nearly 1,000 killed in attacks on health workers in 2014-15: WHO. Excerpt: Nearly 1,000 people were killed in attacks on health centres worldwide over the past two years, almost 40 percent of them in Syria, the World... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via MSF.org: MSF calls on G7 leaders to urgently address the critical gaps in global response to public health emergencies and unite to lower the price of live-saving medicines. Excerpt: Two years since the first signs of the West Africa... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via the Centre for Health Protection: CHP notified of additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong. Excerpt: The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (May 26) received notification of an additional human... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via TODAY.ng: Panic as bird flu outbreak kills 15,000 birds in Cameroon. Authorities in Cameroon have confirmed a bird flu outbreak in the country. Already, an estimated 15,000 birds have died in the government owned Mvog-Betsi poultry complex of Yaoundé,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at H5N1
Via The New Yorker: Dilma Rousseff and Brazil’s Horrible Year. Excerpt and then a comment: This year was supposed to be Brazil’s big début party, with the rest of the world as guests; instead, it’s been an annus horribilis. On... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Via France24, an AFP report: Belize detects first Zika case in pregnant woman. I don't find anything about this in the local media. Excerpt: Belize's government said it has detected the first case of Zika in a pregnant woman, bringing... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
When you're halfway through your eighth decade, reports like this one, by Gina Kolata in The New York Times, grab your attention: Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say. Excerpt: Could it be that Alzheimer’s disease stems... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this bioRxiv report: Zika in Rio de Janeiro: Assessment of basic reproductive number and its comparison with dengue. The abstract: Zika virus infection was declared a public health emergency of international... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Via the South China Morning Post: 5 more women say newborns left Hong Kong private hospital with potentially fatal bug. Excerpt: Five more women say their babies, delivered at a private hospital in Hong Kong, had the same potentially fatal... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Via ReliefWeb, a report from the UN Country Team in Haiti: Haiti Cholera Response Fact Sheet - April 2016. Click or tap through to download the PDF. The summary and then a comment: ‐13.859 SUSPECTED CHOLERA CASES FROM 1 JANUARY... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Oh boy. This new report in Nature is going to further aggravate Canada's controversy over developing the oil sands and pumping the products to tidewater for sale overseas: Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols. The... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Via The New York Review of Books, Dr. Annie Sparrow reviews Sonia Shah's Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond: The Awful Diseases on the Way by Annie Sparrow. It's a wonderful review by a knowledgeable writer. Excerpt:... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1
Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this NEJM report: Zika and the Risk of Microcephaly. Excerpt: In the current outbreak, thousands of cases of infants with suspected microcephaly or other developmental anomalies of the central nervous system... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at H5N1