Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for November, 2018

11/17/1471: 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.


San Francisco’s air quality index hits 271


Here’s the full list, with each city’s Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) reading within the last hour (11/16/18):

1. Stockton, CA (157.4)

2. San Francisco, CA (137.9)

3. Oakland, CA (135.6)

4. Patna, India (132.6)

5. Sacramento, CA (129.4)

6. Varanasi, India (116.2)

7. Muzaffarpur, India (114.7)

8. San Jose, CA (113.4)

9. Turpan, China (109.2)

10. Darbhanga, India (106.4)

The list of people who are unaccounted for as a result of the Camp Fire in Northern California has 1,011 entries.


Ebola response in DRC: Stuck in first gear


“…..Dr. Pierre Rollin is an expert on Ebola with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…..Rollin has been visiting for more than 20 years to respond to periodic Ebola outbreaks. And he says there’s a pattern to these eruptions.

“Usually you have one or two months before you detect it,” explains Rollin. By then enough cases start cropping up that one of them reaches a health worker who recognizes that it might be Ebola and orders up a test.

As soon as the case is identified as Ebola, response teams flood into the outbreak zone. They isolate those who are already sick and identify anyone who has had contact with them — and any contacts of those contacts – so they can be monitored and, if necessary, isolated in turn. Within a short time the outbreak is quashed. “Three, four months maximum,” says Rollin.

But that’s how long the current outbreak has been spreading through DRC. And Rollin says by many measures this time around it’s as if they’re stuck at square one.

“It’s as if we’re just starting now when in fact we started three months ago,” says Rollin. “We’re not making any progress.”…..”

Eight United Nations peacekeepers and at least 12 Congolese soldiers were killed in a joint military operation against rebels in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is facing a deadly Ebola outbreak.


“……Rebel attacks have forced suspension of efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in some areas.

Dr. Peter Salama, the emergencies chief for the World Health Organization, predicted Tuesday that Congo’s Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 200 people, will last at least six more months.

The outbreak is “arguably the most difficult context that we’ve ever encountered,” Dr. Salama said, pointing to activities of the armed rebel groups in the region……”


A plan to begin repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar stalled on Thursday.


‘……Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Abul Kalam told Reuters on Thursday that his government had left no stone unturned.

“We made all preparations. Everything was ready: the transit camp, buses to carry them to border, medical facilities, rations for three days for the returnees,” said Kalam. “How they can say we are weak in physical arrangements? If Rohingya don’t want to return what can we do? We will not send them forcefully.”

Kalam called on the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to accept “some logical and acceptable demands,” in order for any repatriation to take place……’


When the GWB comes to a halt……

Restaurant Inspection Letter Grades and Salmonella Infections in NYC


“Rates of Salmonella infection in the United States have not changed over the past 20 years. Restaurants are frequent settings for Salmonella outbreaks and sporadic infections. Few studies have examined the effect of posting letter grades for restaurant inspections on the incidence of foodborne illness. We compared Salmonella infection rates in New York, New York, USA (NYC), with those in the rest of New York state before and after implementation of a letter grade system for restaurant inspections in NYC. We calculated a segmented regression model for interrupted time series data. After implementation of letter grading, the rate of Salmonella infections decreased 5.3% per year in NYC versus the rest of New York state during 2011–2015, compared with the period before implementation, 2006–2010. Posting restaurant inspection results as letter grades at the point of service was associated with a decline in Salmonella infections in NYC and warrants consideration for broader use.

Firestone MJ, Hedberg CW. Restaurant inspection letter grades and Salmonella infections, New York, New York, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Dec [date cited].

Camp Fire: 63 dead, 631 deemed missing

Mercury News


Gaja across India



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