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PLAGUES AND PESTILENCES


New wave of ‘superbugs’ poses dire threat, says chief medical officer


The Guardian.co.uk reports: “Antibiotic-resistant bacteria with the potential to cause untreatable infections pose ‘a catastrophic threat’ to the population, the chief medical officer for Britain warns in a report calling for urgent action worldwide.

If tough measures are not taken to restrict the use of antibiotics and no new ones are discovered, said Dame Sally Davies, ‘we will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century at some point’.

While antibiotics are failing, new bacterial diseases are on the rise. Although the ‘superbugs’ MRSA and C difficile have been reduced to low numbers in hospitals, there has been an alarming increase in other types of bacteria including new strains of E coli and Klebsiella, which causes pneumonia.

These so-called ‘gram negative’ bacteria, which are found in the gut instead of on the skin, are highly dangerous to older and frailer people and few antibiotics remain effective against drug-resistant strains.

As many as 5,000 patients die each year in the UK of gram negative sepsis – where the bacterium gets into the bloodstream – and in half the cases the bacterium is resistant to drugs…” (There shall be pestilential plagues preceding Christ’s return – Matthew 24:7; Luke 20:11; Revelation 6:8. Death through the beasts of the field and deadly virus attacks kill one fourth of earth’s inhabitants. See the next two reports.)


U.S. warns health officials to be alert for deadly new virus


Reuters reports: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8.

Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report .

The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003. The new virus is not the same as SARS, but like the SARS virus, it is similar to those found in bats.

So far, no cases have been reported in the United States…”


China bird flu: Two men die in Shanghai


BBC News reports: “Two men have died in the Chinese city of Shanghai, after contracting a strain of bird flu not previously known in humans, Chinese officials say.

The men, aged 27 and 87, both fell ill with the H7N9 strain in February and died some weeks later in March, Xinhua news agency reported.

A woman of 35 who caught the virus elsewhere is said to be critically ill.

It is unclear how the strain spread, but the three did not infect each other or any close contacts, officials say.

While both men who died were in Shanghai, the third victim was reported in Chuzhou in the eastern province of Anhui.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, all three became ill with coughs and fevers before developing pneumonia.

Commission experts said the cause had been identified as H7N9, a strain of avian flu not thought to have been transmitted to humans before.

There is no vaccine against the strain, the commission said, adding it was currently testing to assess its ability to infect humans.

Another strain of bird flu, H5N1, has led to more than 360 confirmed human deaths since 2003 and the deaths of tens of millions of birds…”



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