Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for November, 2016

At least 90 people were killed and more than 150 injured when an Indian express train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.



A Presumptive Case of Human Rabies in Rural Ghana

Frontiers in Public Health

Case Report

Front. Public Health, 11 November 2016 |
A Presumptive Case of Human Rabies: A Rare Survived Case in Rural Ghana
Map of the world

November 19 is World Toilet Day.

 World Toilet Day


  • Open defecation, where people have no choice but to go outside, contributes to fecal contamination of the environment which is one of the main causes of diarrhea, which results in the deaths of more than 800,000 children under age 5 every year.
  • 80% of diseases in developing countries are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, which includes inadequate facilities.


World Toilet Day

In August 2015, plague was diagnosed for 2 persons (septicemic and bubonic) who had visited Yosemite National Park in California, USA.

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Human plague cases in the United States, 1970-2012. All naturally occurring cases of human plague occur in the western United States, with a majority of cases clustering in northern New Mexico and Arizona and southern Colorado.

A person wearing a hat, a mask suggestive of a bird beak, goggles or glasses, and a long gown.

A person wearing a hat, a mask suggestive of a bird beak, goggles or glasses, and a long gown. The clothing identifies the person as a “plague doctor” and is intended as protection. Descriptions indicate that the gown was made from heavy fabric or leather and was usually waxed. The beak contained pungent substances like herbs or perfumes, thought at the time to purify the air and helpful in relieving the stench. The person also carries a pointer or rod to keep patients at a distance. (Library of Medicine)

Graph showing human plague cases and deaths in the United States, 2000 to 2014.  There were 6 cases in 2000, 2 in 2001, 2 in 2002, 1 in 2003, 3 in 2004 with 1 death, 17 in 2006 with 2 deaths, 7 in 2007 with 2 deaths, 3 in 2008, 8 in 2009 with 2 deaths, 2 in 2010, 3 in 2011, 4 in 2012, 4 in 2013 with 1 death, and 10 in 2014.


Prevalence of electrolyte and metabolic abnormalities in Ebola patients

Emerging Infectious Disease Journal

  • Abnormalities were common among patients, particularly hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, hyponatremia, raised creatinine, high anion gap, and anemia.
  • Besides age and PCR cycle threshold value, renal dysfunction, low calcium levels, and low hemoglobin levels were independently associated with increased risk for death.


Mozambique: At least 73 died and 110 were injured when a fuel tanker exploded in Tet province

USA Today



Un plat de poisson servi avec de la mayonnaise

Food poisoning among French prisoners

  • A dish of fish served with mayonnaise could be the cause
  • Affected about 100 detainees out of approximately 260

Image result for fish mayonnaise

11/17/1421: A storm in the North Sea batters the European coastline. Over the next several days, approximately 10,000 people in what is now the Netherlands died in the resulting floods.

History Channel

Hospital fires (2012-2014)

US Fire Administration


Data snapshot: Hospital fires (2012-2014)

For each year from 2012 to 2014, an estimated 5,700 medical facility fires were reported to fire departments in the United States. Nearly a fifth of those (1,100 fires) were in hospitals. It is estimated that these fires caused fewer than five deaths, 25 injuries and $5 million in property loss per year. 1Download this snapshot PDF 406 KB

Loss measures for hospitals and all other medical facility fires (three-year average, 2012-2014)

The average number of fatalities per 1,000 hospital fires was lower than the same measure for all other medical facility fires. In addition, the number of injuries was also lower than that of other medical facilities. 2

Loss measure Hospital fires All other medical facility fires
Loss measure

Fatalities/1,000 fires
Hospital fires0.4 All other medical facility fires0.6
Loss measure

Injuries/1,000 fires
Hospital fires17.3 All other medical facility fires19.6
Loss measure

Dollar loss/fire
Hospital fires$6,030 All other medical facility fires$11,290

Hospital fires by incident type (2012-2014)

The majority of hospital fires were fires that were confined to cooking pots (60 percent). Confined fires are smaller fires that rarely result in death, serious injury or large content losses. 3 Fires in trash bins, incinerators or compactors composed 10 percent of hospital fires, while 3 percent were fuel burner or chimney fires.


Nonconfined fires, generally larger structure fires, made up 27 percent of hospital fires. Source: NFIRS 5.0.

Confined fires: 73.0%
Nonconfined fires: 27.0%
Confined fires
Property type: 73.0%

Leading confined fire types

  • Cooking vessel: 60.4%
  • Trash, incinerator or compactor: 9.8%
  • Fuel burner or chimney: 2.9%

Hospital fires by time of alarm (2012-2014)

Hospital fires occurred most frequently from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., accounting for 60 percent of the fires. The fires peaked between the hour of noon and 1 p.m. This period of high fire incidence coincides with lunchtime meal preparations, as cooking is the leading cause of hospital fires. Source: NFIRS 5.0.


Causes of hospital fires (2012-2014)

The leading causes of all hospital fires were:

  • Cooking (68 percent)
  • Electrical malfunction (6 percent)
  • Heating (5 percent)

Source: NFIRS 5.0.

Cooking: 68.5%
Electrical malfunction:6.1%
Heating: 5.0%
Intentional: 3.9%
All other causes: 16.5%

Note: Percentages are adjusted for those fires with unknown values of cause. Ten percent of hospital fires had unknown values of cause.

While cooking was the leading reported cause of hospital fires overall, it only accounted for 6 percent of all nonconfined hospital fires. Nonconfined fires are larger, more serious fires.

The leading causes of nonconfined hospital fires were:

  • Electrical malfunction (22 percent)
  • Appliances (13 percent)
  • Intentional actions (12 percent)
  • Other equipment (11 percent)

Extent of fire spread in hospital fires (2012-2014)

Eighty-four percent of all hospital fires were limited to the object of origin. Only 3 percent extended beyond the room of origin. Source: NFIRS 5.0.

Limited to object of origin 83.7%

Limited to room of origin 13.1%

Limited to floor of origin 1.7%

Limited to building of origin 1.4%

Beyond building of origin 0.0%

83.7% Limited to object of origin

13.1% Limited to room of origin

1.7% Limited to floor of origin

1.4% Limited to building of origin

0.0% Beyond building of origin

Note: Total percentages do not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

For more information on hospitals, including patient experience and quality of care data, please visit:

Sources: NFIRS 5.0 and the National Fire Protection Association.


  1. Medical facilities are defined by Property Use codes 311 to 343. Hospitals are defined by Property Use code 331. Fires are defined as a subset of nonresidential building fires in NFIRS by using Incident Types 111 to 123 (excluding Incident Type 112). For Incident Types 113 to 118, the Structure Type is 1, 2 or null, and for Incident Types 111 and 120 to 123, the Structure Type is 1 or 2. Aid Types 3 (mutual aid given) and 4 (automatic aid given) were excluded to avoid double counting of incidents. Estimates of fires are rounded to the nearest 100, deaths to the nearest five, injuries to the nearest 25, and dollar loss to the nearest million dollars.
  2. The average loss measures computed from the NFIRS data alone in the table differ from the average loss measures computed from national estimates. Average loss for fatalities and injuries is computed per 1,000 fires. Average dollar loss is computed per fire and rounded to the nearest $10. The 2012 and 2013 dollar-loss values were adjusted to 2014 dollars.
  3. In NFIRS, confined fires are defined by Incident Types 113 to 118.

Illinois: An explosion caused by a gas leak in Canton killed one person, and injured another 11 people

ABC News

  • one of the individuals died in the ER

Central Great Lakes sector loop



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