Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for August, 2018

8/31/1886: Near Charleston, South Carolina, an earthquake, felt as far away as Boston and Cuba, leaves more than 100 people dead and hundreds of buildings destroyed.


USGS document

Seismic Hazard Map

France: 2 families who had never left Europe have developed schistosomiasis


  • Epidemiologists traced the cases to the Cavu River on Corsica.
  • Schistosomiasis infects an estimated 230 million people.
  • The world’s most widespread parasitic disease after malaria.


Schistosomiasis lifecycle

Eggs are eliminated with feces or urine The number 1 . Under optimal conditions the eggs hatch and release miracidia The number 2 , which swim and penetrate specific snail intermediate hosts The number 3 . The stages in the snail include 2 generations of sporocysts The number 4 and the production of cercariae The number 5 . Upon release from the snail, the infective cercariae swim, penetrate the skin of the human host The number 6 , and shed their forked tail, becoming schistosomulae The number 7 . The schistosomulae migrate through several tissues and stages to their residence in the veins ( The number 8 , The number 9 ). Adult worms in humans reside in the mesenteric venules in various locations, which at times seem to be specific for each species The number 10 . For instance, S. japonicum is more frequently found in the superior mesenteric veins draining the small intestine The letter A , and S. mansoni occurs more often in the superior mesenteric veins draining the large intestine The letter B . However, both species can occupy either location, and they are capable of moving between sites, so it is not possible to state unequivocally that one species only occurs in one location. S. haematobium most often occurs in the venous plexus of bladder The letter C , but it can also be found in the rectal venules. The females (size 7 to 20 mm; males slightly smaller) deposit eggs in the small venules of the portal and perivesical systems. The eggs are moved progressively toward the lumen of the intestine (S. mansoni and S. japonicum) and of the bladder and ureters (S. haematobium), and are eliminated with feces or urine, respectively The number 1 . Pathology of S. mansoni and S. japonicum schistosomiasis includes: Katayama fever, hepatic perisinusoidal egg granulomas, Symmers’ pipe stem periportal fibrosis, portal hypertension, and occasional embolic egg granulomas in brain or spinal cord. Pathology of S. haematobium schistosomiasis includes: hematuria, scarring, calcification, squamous cell carcinoma, and occasional embolic egg granulomas in brain or spinal cord.Human contact with water is thus necessary for infection by schistosomes. Various animals, such as dogs, cats, rodents, pigs, hourse and goats, serve as reservoirs for S. japonicum, and dogs for S. mekongi.

World Water Week: 26 – 31 August, 2018

World Water Week

Ebola in DRC: If responders can’t turn the outbreak around over the next 7 to 10 days, the risk of the disease spreading to more dangerous conflict-ridden areas becomes greater, posing more difficult challenges for health teams.


Mardi 28 août 2018
La situation épidémiologique de la Maladie à Virus Ebola en date du 27 août 2018 :

  • Au total, 112 cas de fièvre hémorragique ont été signalés dans la région, dont 84 confirmés et 28 probables.
  • 18 cas suspects sont en cours d’investigation, dont 2 dans la ville de Goma.
  • 1 nouveau cas confirmé à Mandima (contact connu).
  • Aucun nouveau décès.
  • 3 nouvelles personnes guéries.


A new urine diagnostic to detect the parasitic worms that cause river blindness (Onchocerciasis)

Science Daily

Ryan Shirey, Daniel Globisch, Lisa M Eubanks, Mark S Hixon, Kim D Janda. Non-Invasive Urine Biomarker Lateral Flow Immunoassay for Monitoring Active Onchocerciasis. ACS Infectious Diseases, 2018; DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.8b00163

Onchocerca volvulus

Onchocerciasis lifecycle

During a blood meal, an infected blackfly (genus Simulium) introduces third-stage filarial larvae onto the skin of the human host, where they penetrate into the bite wound The number 1 . In subcutaneous tissues the larvae The number 2 develop into adult filariae, which commonly reside in nodules in subcutaneous connective tissues The number 3 . Adults can live in the nodules for approximately 15 years. Some nodules may contain numerous male and female worms. Females measure 33 to 50 cm in length and 270 to 400 μm in diameter, while males measure 19 to 42 mm by 130 to 210 μm. In the subcutaneous nodules, the female worms are capable of producing microfilariae for approximately 9 years. The microfilariae, measuring 220 to 360 µm by 5 to 9 µm and unsheathed, have a life span that may reach 2 years. They are occasionally found in peripheral blood, urine, and sputum but are typically found in the skin and in the lymphatics of connective tissues The number 4 . A blackfly ingests the microfilariae during a blood meal The number 5 . After ingestion, the microfilariae migrate from the blackfly’s midgut through the hemocoel to the thoracic muscles The number 6 . There the microfilariae develop into first-stage larvae The number 7 and subsequently into third-stage infective larvae The number 8 . The third-stage infective larvae migrate to the blackfly’s proboscis The number 9 and can infect another human when the fly takes a blood meal The number 1 .


Miriam and Norman

cone graphic

cone graphic

Puerto Rico: US now estimates that 2,975 people died as a result of the Hurricane Maria and its effects


Document:  Excess Mortality in Puerto Rico After Maria

8/29/2005: Katrina, the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, makes landfall near New Orleans.


UN: The Korean peninsular and Southeast Asia may be next to report outbreaks of African swine fever after the rapid onset of the deadly pig disease in China



Brazil is sending its army to the Venezuelan border to “guarantee law and order” amid an influx of migrants fleeing the crisis-hit country.


“…..Millions of Venezuelans have fled their country due to hyperinflation, and food and medicine shortages.

Brazil’s move follows recent border clashes between locals and Venezuelans…..”

What is happening in Venezuela?

  • Venezuela is in its fourth year of an economic crisis
  • Brought on by a crash in oil prices in 2014.
  • Four in five Venezuelans live in poverty
  • People queue for hours to buy food
  • Others are dying from a lack of medicine.
  • Some 2.3 million citizens have fled the country since 2014,


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