The mosquito virus killing one-quarter of its victims

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “A deadly mosquito-borne virus that has no cure and no vaccination, has claimed the lives of two Australians.

Both the Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) and the closely-related Kunjin viruses cause a serious inflammation of the brain, and have already hospitalised six West Australians. The Health Department is continuing to investigate reports that more people have been infected.

Department entomologist Sue Harrington said while there was no suggestion the MVE virus would reach Perth, the fact it had already hit the Wheatbelt and mid-west regions was of a concern.

‘It seems to have activated independently this season,’ she said.

‘There has been an extension of that area, so a large proportion of West Australia is now affected by MVE.’

The death of a man in the north-west of the state last month, and a South Australian man two weeks ago led the Department to issue another stern warning about the virus.

‘It causes inflammation of the brain,’ she said.

‘People have suffered paralysis and brain damage of varying degrees.

‘Every case is very significant, because about one-quarter of all cases die, and of those that survive they’re left with severe nerve damage that can result in paralysis.’

There is not yet a cure for the virus, nor a vaccine to prevent infection, said Ms Harrington.

‘Often people in the north just accept that mosquitoes are a fact of life,’ she said.

‘A lot of people might have been bitten and have developed the antibodies…” (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:7, 8. See also the next two reports.)

E. coli outbreak is ‘new strain’

BBC News reports: “The World Health Organization says the E. coli outbreak in Germany is a completely new strain of the bacteria.

The infection can cause the deadly complication – haemolytic-uraemic syndrome – affecting the blood and kidneys.

More than 1,500 people have been infected and 17 have died: 16 in Germany and one in Sweden.

In the UK, three British nationals have been infected, according to the Health Protection Agency.

The strain suspected in this outbreak is O104, which is rare.

Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a WHO spokesperson, is reported as saying: ‘This strain has never been seen in an outbreak situation before.’

Scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, in China, are also reported as saying: ‘This E.coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic.’

Researchers in Germany say preliminary genetic analysis of the outbreak suggests the bacteria is unique.

They say it has genes from two distinct groups of E. coli: enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).

The Health Protection Agency told the BBC that we were at the beginning of the learning curve in terms of understanding what this means…”

Death Toll Rises in Europe E. Coli Outbreak, Now At 22

Voice of America News reports: “The death toll in Europe from the outbreak of a virulent strain of E. coli bacteria rose to 22.

European health authorities reported the deaths of an additional three people in Germany. Except for one woman who died in Sweden after a visit to Germany, all of the fatalities have been within German borders.

Experts are still searching for the source of the highly contagious bacteria, which can cause acute kidney failure. German officials told reporters that the culprit may be locally grown bean sprouts.

Health authorities say about 2,000 people, most of them in Germany, have been infected. Ten other European nations and the United States have reported 90 infected people, nearly all of whom have recently been in northern Germany.

Germany’s health agency advised against eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuces.

The outbreak is the deadliest in modern history to involve E. coli, and appears to be the second- or third-largest in terms of the number of people who have become ill. Scientists say the bacteria is a previously unknown genetic recombination of two different E. coli strains…”