Return to homeAmerican Society for Microbiology: https://www.asm.org/podcasts At least 800 types of bacteria live in the
human gut. The collective genome of these organisms contains 100
times as many genes as the human genome itself.
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.78) 3.77Billion BC Scientists in 2017 reported
that microfossils of tiny tubular structures in ancient Canadian
rocks dated to this time and were believed to be microbes.
(SFC, 3/2/17, p.A6)
2Bil BC A bacterium became symbiotic with the cell
from which animals and plants developed. Chromosomes from this
bacterium’s mitochondria later carried 37 genes in the human body.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.79)
220Mil BC Bacteria and single-celled animals and
plants from this period became encased in tree resin on the northern
edge of the Tethys Ocean. Scientists in 2006 studied the organisms
in amber of this time from a town in the Italian Dolomites. Ciliates
and amoeba in the amber appeared identical to modern examples.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.84)
50,000BC In 2017 scientists in Mexico discovered
microbial life trapped in crystals in caves in Naica that dated to
about this time.
(SSFC, 2/19/17, p.A2)
10000BC The 1st known outbreaks of smallpox
occurred about this time among agricultural settlements in
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
8000BC In 1958 anthropologist Frank Livingstone
proposed that Plasmodium falciprum, the deadliest of 4or 5 parasites
that cause human malaria, hopped from chimps to humans about this
time and human hunter-gatherers began settling on farms.
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.69)
2800BC In 2015 scientists reported DNA evidence of
the plague dating to about this time. It was however a different
strain than the one that caused later pandemics.
(SFC, 10/23/15, p.A6)
1350BCE The 1st recorded smallpox epidemic took
place during an Egyptian-Hittite war. Hittite warriors caught the
disease from Egyptian prisoners. The king and heir were fatally
infected and the empire fell apart.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)(NW, 10/14/02, p.46)
430BC-410BC A mysterious disease killed one-third
of the Athenian population. Thucydides, who was stricken but
recovered, described the plague in Athens (likely an outbreak of
typhus fever) in Book 2 of his History of the Peloponnesian War.
(NH, 6/97, p.11)(WSJ, 9/9/06, p.P8)
412BC Greek physician Hippocrates described the
“Cough of Perinthus." The most notorious episode related to
infectious diseases in the Corpus Hippocraticum is the epidemic
‘Cough of Perinthus’, a winter epidemic of an upper respiratory
tract infection and its consequences, extensively narrated in the
seventh chapter of the sixth book of Epidemics.
(http://tinyurl.com/y74fpqoa)(Econ 5/27/17, p.75)
212BC A suspected influenza epidemic struck during
Rome’s siege of Syracuse.
(Econ 5/27/17, p.75)
180CE A smallpox epidemic hit Rome and killed 3.5
to 7 million people including Emp. Marcus Aurelius. It was dubbed
the Plague of Antonine.
(NW, 10/14/02, p.46)
910 Rhazes, an Arab physician,
wrote the 1st account of smallpox and proposed the earliest theory
(NW, 10/14/02, p.46)
1017 In China a hermit
introduced the prime minister to “variolation," an inoculation using
germs from smallpox survivors.
(NW, 10/14/02, p.47)
1347 Oct, Sailors from Genoa
arrived in Messina, Sicily. Plague had broken out earlier among the
troops of the Kipchak Khan, who was besieging the Black Sea port of
Kaffa. He catapulted dead bodies over the city walls. When Italian
trading vessels in the harbor returned to Genoa, the carried the
plague to Europe. The plague, an infectious fever caused by the
bacillus Yersinia pestis, appears in several varieties: bubonic
(which involves swelling of the lymph glands), pneumonic (which
involves the lungs) and septicemia (which involves severe infection
in the bloodstream).
(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.31)(HNQ, 1/20/01)(SSFC,
1347-1350 The Black Death: A Genoese trading post
in the Crimea was besieged by an army of Kipchaks from Hungary and
Mongols from the East. The latter brought with them a new form of
plague, Yersinia pestis. Infected dead bodies were catapulted into
the Genoese town. One Genoese ship managed to escape and brought the
disease to Messina, Sicily. The disease quickly became an epidemic.
It moved over the next few years to northern Italy, North Africa,
France, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, the Low
countries, England, Scandinavia and the Baltic. There were lesser
outbreaks in many cities for the next twenty years. An estimated 25
million died in Europe and economic depression followed. In 2005
John Kelly authored “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the
Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time."
(NG, 5/88, p.678)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(SSFC,
3/6/05, p.B1)(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A6)
1348 The Black Plague struck
England and wiped out a third of the population.
(Econ 6/17/17, p.67)
1348 The Black Plague struck
the Mediterranean Basin.
(SSFC, 11/13/05, p.F3)
1348 Accused of being a cause
of the plague, the Jews in France were dragged from their houses and
burned. Pogroms occurred throughout Europe. When the plague
subsided, few Jews were left in Germany or the Low Countries.
(NG, 5/88, p.681)
1348 Plague arrived at
Montpellier, France, in the spring and killed an estimated
two-thirds of the 50,000 inhabitants.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)
1348 The population of Siena,
Italy, dropped from 97,000 to 45,000 in a few months due to the
Black Plague. Bernardo Tolomei, nearly blind founder of the
Benedictine Congregation of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto in the
1340s, died along with 82 of his monks after leaving the safety of
his monastery to tend to plague victims in Siena. In 2009 the
Vatican declared him a saint.
(SSFC, 3/6/05, p.B1)(AP, 4/26/09)
1439 Jul 16, Kissing was banned
in England in order to stop germs from spreading.
1519 Mar 13, The Spaniards
under Cortez landed at Veracruz. Cortez landed in Mexico with 10
stallions, 5 mares and a foal. Smallpox was carried to America in
the party of Hernando Cortes.
(SFEC,11/9/97, p.T5)(SFC, 9/2/96, p.A3)(HN,
3/13/98)(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1534 The King of Siam died of
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1553 Bavaria outlawed
summer-made beer because wintertime brews had outstripped them in
quality. In 2011 a yeast from Patagonia, Saccharomyces eubayanus,
was identified as being 99.5% identical to the non-ale half of the
lager yeast genome. It was believed that over time Saccharomyces
eubayanus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae hybridized to form
Saccharomyces pastorianus, used by lager brewers today.
(Econ, 8/27/11, p.71)
1555-1558 England suffered outbreaks of dysentery,
typhus and Influenza all over the country.
1563 Jan 1, A great plague in
London began about this time. From the 1st January to end of
December, 17,404 people died of the plague.
1576 An epidemic of plague
Venice. In 2006 a well-preserved skeleton was found on the
Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of the lagoon city, amid other
corpses buried in a mass grave. Experts said the remains of a
woman with a brick stuck between her jaws indicated that she was
believed to be a vampire.
1604 Agustino Salumbrino, a
Jesuit monk, left Rome for Peru, where he studied native plants for
their healing powers, especially the bark of the cinchona tree used
by the Incas to treat shivering. By 1630 quinine entered the
literature as a treatment. In 2003 Fiammetta Rocco authored "The
Miraculous Fever Tree: Malaria and the Quest for a Cure That Changed
(WUD, 1994, p.1245)(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.8)(WSJ,
1616-1619 An epidemic, possibly viral hepatitis
from contact with Europeans, ravaged the Wampanoag confederacy in
Massachusetts. This helped to make possible the Pilgrim settlement
(Econ, 8/11/07, p.49)
1623 The 1st case of smallpox
in Russia was reported.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1665 In London at least 68,000
people died of the plague this year. In 1722 Daniel Defoe published
his novel “A Journal of the Plague Year." The novel posed as a
historical document covering the London plague. The Lord Mayor of
London exterminated all the city’s cats and dogs, which allowed the
rats, the real transmitters of the disease, to increase
(NG, 5/88, p.684)(WSJ, 9/9/06, p.P8)(WSJ,
1720 May 25, "Le Grand St.
Antoine" reached Marseille, plague killed 80,000.
1721 Apr 26, The smallpox
vaccination was 1st administrated. Lady Mary Wortley Montegu had
returned to England following a stay in Turkey with her ambassador
husband. She had learned of a procedure to inoculate against
smallpox and began a campaign to have the procedure established.
(ON, 9/01, p.1)(MC, 4/26/02)
1721 Jun 26, Dr. Zabdiel
Boylston gave the 1st smallpox inoculation in Boston. The epidemic
had arrived by ship from Barbados.
(ON, 3/05, p.4)
1721 Jul 21, Doctors in Boston
raised objections to a new practice of using live smallpox to
inoculate patients against the disease. A smallpox epidemic had
recently broken out in Boston and Cotton Mather (58), following some
study, encouraged the inoculation technique to prevent death from
(ON, 3/05, p.4)
1721 Oct 6, Deaths from
smallpox in Boston reached 203 with 2,757 people infected.
(ON, 3/05, p.5)
1722 Cotton Mather authored “An
Account of the Method and Success of Inoculating the Small-Pox…"
This followed work in support of inoculation trials in Boston.
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.W11)
1723 Aug 26, Anton van
Leeuwenhoek (b.1632), Dutch biologist, inventor (microscope), died
in Delft, Netherlands. [some sources say Aug 30]
1730 Smallpox returned to
Boston, but by this time inoculation was recognized as a viable
means of preventing death from the disease.
(ON, 3/05, p.5)
1749 May 17, Edward Jenner,
physician, discoverer of vaccination, was born.
1753 Smallpox hit North America
and a 38% infection rate was recorded in Boston. Benjamin Franklin
lobbied for variolation.
(NW, 10/14/02, p.47)
1763 British forces, under
orders from Sir Jeffrey Amherst, distributed smallpox-infected
blankets among American Indians in the 1st known case of its use as
a biological weapon.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)(NW, 10/14/02, p.50)
1775 Dec 9, Lord Dunmore
(1730-1809), governor of Virginia, lost decisively at the American
Revolution Battle of Great Bridge. Following that defeat, Dunmore
loaded his troops, and many Virginia Loyalists, onto British ships.
Smallpox spread in the confined quarters, and some 500 of the 800
members of his Ethiopian Regiment died.
1789 Smallpox was introduced to
Australia and caused devastation among the aborigines.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1793 There was a yellow fever
epidemic in Philadelphia. About 5,000 people were killed. Stephen
Girard risked his life and fortune in stopping the epidemic.
(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.6)(Econ, 5/14/16, p.52)
1796 May 14, English physician
Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox to
his gardener's son, James Phipps (8). A single blister rose up on
the spot, but James later demonstrated immunity to smallpox. Jenner
actually used vaccinia, a close viral relation to smallpox. [see
July 21, 1721]
(Econ, 11/22/03, p.77)(AP, 5/14/08)
1800 Jul 8, Dr. Benjamin
Waterhouse gave the 1st cowpox vaccination to his son to prevent
smallpox. [see May 14, 1796]
1806 In San Francisco an
epidemic of measles and flu killed 343 of the 850 native people at
the Dolores Street mission.
(SSFC, 9/20/15, p.A14)
1806 Napoleon ordered that all
French citizens be vaccinated against smallpox.
(NW, 10/14/02, p.50)
1813 Mar 15, John Snow
(d.1858), obstetrician, was born in York, England. He worked on the
epidemiology of cholera.
1824 Jan 26, Edward Jenner,
discoverer of vaccination, died.
1831 A cholera epidemic broke
out in London.
(ON, 5/05, p.8)
1832 Feb 6, There was an
appearance of cholera at Edinburgh, Scotland.
1832 Feb, A cholera epidemic
ended in Great Britain. Some 800 people died of the disease in
London. Dr. John Snow eventually traced the London epidemic to a
water pump on Broad Street. [see 1849] In 2006 Steven Johnson
authored “The Ghost Map," a history of London’s cholera outbreak.
1832 Aug, In Pennsylvania 57
Irish immigrants died of cholera after traveling there to build a
railroad. In 2009 their bones were found at a woodsy site known as
Duffy's Cut, named after Philip Duffy, who hired the immigrants from
Donegal, Tyrone and Derry to help build the Philadelphia and
Columbia Railroad. In 2010 evidence indicated that at least some of
the men’s remains showed signs of violence.
(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 8/16/10)
1840 The word "tuberculosis"
first appeared in print about this time.
(WP, 1951, p.5)
1841-1912 Gerard H. Hansen, Norwegian physician.
He discovered the leprosy-causing Mycobacterium leprae (aka Hansen’s
(WUD, 1994, p.644)
1843 Dec 11, Robert Koch
(d.1910), German physician, bacteriologist, and medical researcher,
was born. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1905.
1848 A new cholera epidemic
struck in London.
(ON, 5/05, p.8)
1849 John Snow (1813-1858),
English obstetrician, authored his 39-page pamphlet “On the Mode of
Communication of Cholera." He presented evidence that the disease
was spread through contaminated water.
1853 A smallpox epidemic hit
Hawaii and 5-6000 people died.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1853 Yellow Fever broke out New
Orleans. Some 9,000 people were killed.
(Econ, 5/14/16, p.52)
1854 Mar 14, Paul Ehrlich,
German bacteriologist, was born. He later received the Nobel Prize
1854 Italian anatomist Fillipo
Pacini discovered the cholera bacillus, but did not prove that it
caused cholera. His work remained obscure and was not translated to
(ON, 5/05, p.10)
1854 Cholera broke out in
London again. Dr. John Snow traced it to cesspool near a public
water pump on Broad Street.
(ON, 5/05, p.9)
1855 Yellow Fever broke out in
Norfolk, Va., after a steamship carrying mosquitoes in its cisterns
docked from the West Indies.
(SSFC, 5/22/05, Par p.4)
1855 A third pandemic of
bubonic plague broke out in China. It killed 12 million people and
eventually spread to every continent of the world.
(NG, 5/88, p.682)(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C1)
1857 May 13, Ronald Ross,
bacteriologist, was born.
1858 Jun 16, Dr. John Snow
(b.1813), English obstetrician, died of a stroke. He is considered
the father of epidemiology for his efforts in documenting the spread
of cholera in London epidemics.
(ON, 5/05, p.10)
1860 In France the Yonne
Department had almost 99,000 acres of grapevines for wine. Diseases
such as oidium and phylloxera destroyed the Chablis vines in the
late 19th century and the Carmenére grape was wiped out in France.
In 1994 the Carmenére grape was found to be thriving in Chile.
(SFC, 7/16/97, Z1 p.4)(WSJ, 12/28/01, p.A17)
1864 Phylloxera was 1st noted
on grapevines in Roquemaure, France. It ravaged the vineyards there
for nearly 20 years. In 1872 it reached Austria and Portugal. In
1875 it appeared in Australia and in 1886 in South Africa. In 1987
George Ordish authored “The Great Wine Blight." In 2004 Christy
Campbell authored “Phylloxera: How Wine was Saved for the World." In
2011 George Gale authored “Dying on the Vine: How Phylloxera
(SSFC, 3/27/05, p.E3)(Econ, 7/23/11, p.81)
1865 Sep 1, Joseph Lister
performed his 1st antiseptic surgery.
1866 Jul 21, A cholera-epidemic
killed hundreds in London.
1867 There was a yellow-fever
epidemic in the US.
(SSFC, 2/25/01, BR p.5)
1870 Aug 17, Frederick Russell,
developed 1st successful typhoid fever vaccine, was born.
1876 The gladiolus rust,
Uromyces trasversalis, was discovered in South Africa. Some 90 years
later it turned up in the Mediterranean region then spread to
Europe, South America, and Australia. In 2006 it was detected in the
(SSFC, 8/9/09, p.L2)
1877 Arthur Downes and Thomas
P. Blunt of Shrewsbury proved the bactericidal action of light.
Blunt was offered a British knighthood for his achievements in
research, but humbly declined. His partner in research, Arthur
Downes, accepted the title.
1878 Jul 12, A Yellow Fever
epidemic began in New Orleans. It killed 4,500.
1879 Aug 30, John Bell Hood
(b.1831), former confederate general, died of yellow fever in a New
1880 Dec 11, Louis Pasteur
(57), French scientist, began an experiment to identify the microbe
that causes rabies.
(ON, 6/08, p.4)
1881 Aug 6, Alexander Fleming
(d.1955), Scottish bacteriologist who discovered penicillin (1928),
was born. He won the Nobel Prize in 1954. Fleming first observed the
antibiotic properties of the mold that makes penicillin, but it was
Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey who developed it into a
1882 Mar 24, German scientist
Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus
responsible for tuberculosis.
1884 Robert Koch, German
microbiologist, rediscovered, isolated and cultured the cholera
bacillus, Vibrio cholerae. Italian anatomist Fillipo Pacini
discovered the bacillus in 1854, but did not prove that it caused
(ON, 5/05, p.10)
1885 Mar, In Loganville, Pa.,
Dr. George E. Holtzapple (22) saved Fred Gable (16), who was
suffering from pneumonia, by supplying the boy with pure oxygen.
Oxygen therapy became the only effective treatment for pneumonia
until antibiotics became available in the 1940s.
(ON, 4/07, p.10)
1885 Jul 6, French scientist
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) successfully tested an anti-rabies vaccine
on a boy bitten by an infected dog. Thanks to his vaccine the death
rate from rabies dropped to almost zero by 1888.
(AP, 7/6/97)(ON, 6/08, p.6)
1887 Feb 21, The 1st US
bacteriology laboratory opened in Brooklyn.
1890 The tuberculin skin test
(TST or Mantoux) was developed.
(SFC, 3/24/04, p.B9)
1891 Mar 15, Joseph Bazalgette
(b.1819), English civil engineer, died. He built interceptor sewers
along the banks of the Thames and ended cholera outbreaks in London.
1892 Mar 3, 1st cattle
tuberculosis test in US was made at Villa Nova, PA.
1892 Aug 30, The Moravia, a
passenger ship arriving from Germany, brought cholera to the United
1894 The plague in China
reached its port cities and began to circle the globe. In Hong Kong
it killed some 10,000 people. Dr Alexander Yersin, a French
bacteriologist sent to Hong Kong by the Institute Pasteur, found in
the buboes of the plague victims "a swarm of microbes, all similar
in appearance...short bacilli with rounded ends."
(NG, 5/88, p.684)
1895 Sep 28, Louis Pasteur
(b.1822), French chemist (Pasteurization), died at 72. In 1995
Gerald Geison (d.2001) authored “The Private Science of Louis
(SFC, 7/13/01, p.D6)(MC, 9/28/01)
1895 Prof. Emile Pierre van
Ermengem of Belgium identified the bacterium Bacillus botulinus.
(NW, 5/13/02, p.54)
1897 A French scientist at the
Pasteur Institute made the crucial connection between rats and fleas
as carriers of bubonic plague.
(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1897 Albert Ruskin Cook
(1870-1951), British born medical missionary in Uganda, became the
first person to describe buruli ulcers. The disease is primarily an
infection of subcutaneous fat, resulting in a focus of necrotic
(dead) fat containing myriads of the mycobacteria in characteristic
spherules formed within the dead fat cells. Skin ulceration is a
1898 Jun 2, Dr. Paul-Louis
Simond discovered the connections between rats, fleas and humans in
the transmittance of the Plague in Bombay, India.
(NG, 5/88, p.678)
1899 Mar 6, Aspirin was
patented following Felix Hoffman’s discoveries about the properties
of acetylsalicylic acid.
1899 Dr. Charles Wardell
Stiles, a zoologist from Hartford, Connecticut, identified
"progressive pernicious anemia," seen in the southern United States,
as caused by A. duodenale. He also identified the other important
hookworm species: Necator americanus. Stiles had studied medical
zoology in Europe in the late 19th century and learned about
hookworms while helping with animal autopsies and studies. From 1909
to 1914, doctors, public health officials, and northern businessmen
worked to destroy what they called the "germ of laziness." They
believed such a germ caused many of the South's problems, poverty, a
sickly population, and economic underdevelopment. But the germ these
people were attacking wasn't a germ at all. It was a worm, the
9/26/10, DB p.50)
1900 Jan 2, The cargo steamship
Australia arrived in San Francisco at the end of a voyage from
Hawaii. Plague was known to have already hit Honolulu and rats
aboard the ship carried the disease. Wong Chut King became the
city’s first victim when he was found dead at the Globe Hotel at
Jackson and DuPont (later Grant Ave.). A short term rope quarantine
was created around the 6-by-2 block area of Chinatown.
(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1900 Jan 19, In Australia
Arthur Paine (33), a delivery man whose daily work brought him into
contact with Sidney’s Central Wharf, died of Bubonic plague. A
population of black rats had been likely introduced to Australia on
the first fleet of ships carrying white settlers.
1900 May 30, It was reported
that 9 deaths in San Francisco’s Chinatown were caused by Bubonic
plague, the Yersinia pestis bacterium, and that 159 policemen had
set up a quarantine. In 2003 Marilyn Chase authored “The Barbary
Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco."
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W2)(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.M2)(WSJ,
1900 Jun 26, A commission that
included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease
yellow fever. Walter Reed (1851-1902), U.S. Army doctor, went to
Cuba and verified that yellow fever was caused by a mosquito.
(HN, 9/13/98)(WSJ, 10/22/99, p.B1)(AP, 6/26/97)
1901 Feb 20, Rene Dubos,
French-US microbiologist who developed the first commercial
antibiotic, was born in France. He authored “Health & Disease."
(HN, 2/20/01)(MC, 2/20/02)
1901 Aug 27, In Havana, Cuba,
U.S. Army physician James Carroll allowed an infected mosquito to
feed on him in an attempt to isolate the means of transmission of
yellow fever. Days later, Carroll developed a severe case of yellow
fever, helping his colleague, Army Walter Reed, prove that
mosquitoes can transmit the sometimes deadly disease.
(MC, 8/27/02)(ON, 10/01, p.8)
1902 Ronald Ross (1857-1932),
an English physician, won the Nobel Prize for his work on malaria.
His story is part of the 1997 novel "The Calcutta Chromosome: A
Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery" by Amitav Ghosh. In 2003
Fiammetta Rocco authored "The Miraculous Fever Tree: Malaria and the
Quest for a Cure That Changed the World."
(WUD, 1994, p.1245)(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.8)(WSJ,
1903 Apr 14, Dr. Harry Plotz in
NYC discovered a vaccine against typhoid.
1903 Dr. Rupert Blue reported
that the bubonic plague epidemic had been confined to the 24 blocks
of San Francisco’s Chinatown and that the district was now
plague-free and plague-proof. Blue had replaced Joseph Kinyoun as
the federal official charged with fighting the epidemic.
(ON, 1/00, p.6)(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1903 Walter Sutton, American
cytologist, suggested that the Mendelian elements of heredity lay on
(NH, 6/01, p.32)
1904 May 29, Robert Knox,
bacteriologist, was born.
1905 San Francisco’s bubonic
plague appeared to be eradicated following the killing of tens of
thousands of rats and the fumigation of Chinatown. The death toll
(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1905 Nettie Stevens,
geneticist, showed that sex was associated with the X chromosome.
(NH, 6/01, p.32)
1906 Aug 26, Albert Bruce
Sabin, U.S. virologist, born in Poland. In 1955, he developed an
oral vaccine against polio.
1907 May 27, Bubonic Plague
broke out again in San Francisco.
(HN, 5/27/98)(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1907 Sep, By this time some 55
new cases of bubonic plague were identified in San Francisco and the
issue became a national concern.
(ON, 1/00, p.6)
1908 Jan, Dr. Rupert Blue held
a mass meeting and called on the citizens of SF to support his war
against bubonic plague. Gov. James Norris Gillet had warned that the
city faced a general quarantine. In the following rat campaign an
estimated 2 million rats were killed.
(ON, 1/00, p.6,7)
1908 San Francisco managed to
eradicate its 2nd bubonic plague epidemic. By this year some 2
million rats were killed and 190 people left dead in the two
epidemics that had spread over eight years.
(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1909 May 19, San Francisco
Mayor Edward Taylor wrote a letter to Pres. Taft testifying to the
valuable aid of the federal government in the city’s recent campaign
against bubonic plague.
(SSFC, 5/31/09, DB p.50)
1909 Konstantin S. Merezhovsky,
biologist, argued that the chloroplasts in plant cells evolved from
symbionts of foreign origin and coined the term “symbiogenesis" to
describe the merger of different kinds of life forms into new
(NH, 6/01, p.40)
1909 Carlos Chagas (1879-1934),
a Brazilian doctor, described how a fatal infection, that became
known as Chagas disease, was transmitted as a single cell parasite,
Trypanosoma cruzi, carried by insects that typically bite their
sleeping victims on the face. In 1921 Chagas won the Nobel Prize in
Medicine. In 2010 scientists at UC San Francisco reported the
development of a protease inhibitor, K777, which appeared to kill
p.36)(SSFC, 2/14/10, p.A20)
1910 Feb 19, Mary Mallon (aka
Typhoid Mary) was released from 4 years of quarantine on New York’s
North Brother Island. In 1914 she caused a typhus outbreak in the
Sloane Maternity Hospital. She was again arrested and returned to
North Brother Island where she died Nov 11, 1938.
(ON, 7/01, p.12)
1910 May 27, Robert Koch
(b.1843), German bacteriologist (TB, Cholera, Nobel), died.
1910 Jun 22, German
bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich announced a definitive cure for
1910 Dec 18, The first
dispensary for treating hookworm disease opened in Columbia,
1912 Feb 10, Dr. Joseph Lister,
founder of sterile technique in surgical practice, died at age 85.
In 1917 Sir Rickman John Godlee authored “Lord Lister."
(ON, 7/00, p.9)
1912 The steamship Acme became
known as the “Typhoid Ship" after 30 cases of typhoid were
contracted on trips from Humboldt Bay to San Francisco. Crew member
“H.O." was later identified as a carrier of typhus and was isolated
in the Marine Hospital. In 1917 H.O. was reported to still being a
carrier and a menace to public health.
(SSFC, 3/12/17, DB p.54)
1913 The US Virus Serum Toxin
Act gave the USDA authority to ensure that veterinary diagnostic
kits are safe and accurate and to decide where cattle can be tested
and for what.
(WSJ, 3/904, p.A8)(SFC, 4/10/04, p.A3)
1913 New York state passed “the
eight foot sheet law" to ensure that the upper sheet in a hotel was
of sufficient length to cover the face so “that the inhalation by
the occupant of bacteria &c, may be prevented."
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.W8)
1913 Bela Schick devised the
"Schick test," which had a dramatic effect on the incidence of
diphtheria. The skin test determined a patient’s susceptibility to
diphtheria. Mass surveys followed by immunization of Schick-positive
children with inactive toxin resulted in a drastic decrease in the
incidence of the disease.
1915 Sep 19, Elizabeth Stern,
Canadian pathologist, was born. She first published a case report
linking a specific virus to a specific cancer.
1916 Anton Dilger (1884-1918),
an American educated as a surgeon in Germany, set up a basement
laboratory in Washington DC for cultivating anthrax bacteria and
Pseudomonas mallei to infect horses and cattle destined to supply
Allied armies. German saboteurs disseminated the bacteria. Dilger
later moved to Mexico to help goad Mexico into attacking the US. He
died of the Spanish flu in Madrid. In 2007 Robert Koenig authored
“The Fourth Horseman: One Man’s Mission to Wage the Great War in
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.M2)
1918 Mar, The flu epidemic
began at Fort Riley, Kansas, where 48 men died. It was carried by
recruits to Europe where it mutated and returned with a vengeance.
[see May, 1918] The Spanish flu was later found to have been caused
by a genetic fusion of pig and human viruses. In 1997 Dr. Johan
Hultin recovered tissue in Brevig Mission, Alaska, with frozen virus
and submitted it for gene sequencing.
(WSJ, 2/9/98, p.A16)(HNPD, 7/21/98)(SFC, 2/26/01,
p.A9)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.A1)(SFCM, 2/17/02, p.8)
1918 Sep 28, A flu epidemic
began in San Francisco.
(SSFC, 11/18/18, DB p.46)
1918 Oct 17, Anton Dilger
(B.1884), an American saboteur educated as a surgeon in Germany,
died of Spanish flu in Spain. [see 1916] In 2007 Robert Koenig
authored “The Fourth Horseman: One Man’s Mission to Wage the Great
War in America."
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.M2)
1918 Oct 24, San Francisco
reported 1407 new cases of influenza and 82 deaths for the day. The
Board of Supervisors passed an emergency ordnance requiring all
persons to wear gauze masks on the streets or where two or more
people are together until the danger is past.
(SSFC, 10/21/18, DB p.46)
1918 Oct 29, The San Francisco
flu epidemic reached its highest one day mortality toll with 103
(SSFC, 11/18/18, DB p.46)
1918 Oct-1918 Nov, Some 2,021
people in SF died of the flu. San Franciscans wore protective face
masks during the [Spanish] flu epidemic of this year. Researchers in
1997 attempted to isolate the virus from victims buried in the
Arctic and Alaska.
(SFC, 12/24/96, p.E3)(NPR, 9/29/97)(SFEC,
1919 Jan 17, San Francisco
reinstated a mask law after some 600 new cases of the flu were
reported in a single day. The law was rescinded in February and by
the fall the epidemic was over.
(SFC, 9/12/15, p.C2)
1919 Mar 19, A typhoid epidemic
raged in Petrograd, Russia, killing 200 daily.
1920-1929 Medical studies in 2014 confirmed that the common ancestor
of HIV-1 group M virus originated in Kinshasa about this time.
(Econ, 10/4/14, p.88)
1922 Nov 15, It was announced
that Dr. Alexis Carrel discovered white corpuscles.
1925 Dr. Albert C. Barnes
(1872-1951) built a mansion to house his collection of French
impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in Merion,
Pennsylvania. The collection grew to some 2,500 objects and their
setup and access was highly restricted by Dr. Barnes’ trust
indenture. Barnes had made his fortune with a pediatric antibiotic
called Argyrol. By 2000 his foundation was broke. In 2003 John
Anderson authored ""Art Held Hostage," an account of the Barnes
(WSJ, 11/28/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 7/18/03, p.W18)
1925 In debates over the Geneva
Protocol opponents touted poison gas as a "decisive offensive
weapon." A ban on chemical and biological weapons was signed by most
nations, but not the US until much later. The Geneva Convention
outlawed the use of biological warfare, but did not prohibit nations
from continuing the production of biological agents.
(SFC,11/12/97, p.C2)(NH, 10/98, p.18)(AH, 6/03,
1928 Sep 3, Scottish
bacteriologist Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) discovered, by
accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
1930 A computer study in 2000
suggested that the AIDS virus was introduced to the human population
from chimp and monkey variants about this time.
(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A19)(SFC, 1/15/01, p.A11)
1930 Minoru Shirota, a Japanese
researcher, discovered Lactobacillus casei shirota.
(Econ Sp, 12/13/03, p.11)
1932 Apr 28, A yellow fever
vaccine for humans was announced.
1932 Aug 18, Luc Montagnier,
virologist, was born. He discovered the human immunodeficiency virus
1934 Hans Zinsser, Harvard
bacteriologist, wrote "Rats, Lice and History," a biography of the
virus behind typhoid fever.
(NH, 9/98, p.9)(WSJ, 9/9/06, p.P8)
1935 The vollum strain of
anthrax was 1st isolated from a cow in Oxfordshire, U.K. This was
the strain later used on Gruinard Island tests. Hundreds of Bacillus
anthracis strains exist. Other common strains named were Ames,
Sterne and Michigan. The Ames strain was named after a sick cow in
(WSJ, 10/18/01, p.A8)(WSJ, 11/8/01, p.A1)
1937 The West Nile virus was
1st identified in the West Nile District of Uganda. It was able to
cause fatal encephalitis in humans.
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.D6)
1940 Japanese warplanes dropped
plague-infected fleas over southwest China. In 2001 Chinese doctors
testified in a Tokyo trial and said at least 109 people died as a
result. In 2002 a symposium of historians reported that the Japanese
killed at least 440,000 Chinese in the 1930s and 1940s by dropping
disease carrying fleas and cholera-coated flies from planes.
(WSJ, 1/25/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/22/07, p.B12)
1941 Jul 4, Howard Florey &
Norman Heatley met for 1st time, 11 days later they successfully
1941 George Beadle, geneticist,
and Edward Tatum, chemist, identified genetic mutations that
disabled specific steps in the synthesis of a complex molecule. They
thus showed that a gene was a thing on a chromosome that specified
(NH, 6/01, p.33)
1941 Prof. William Reeves
(1916-2004) and William M. Hammon isolated the 2 viruses that caused
western equine and St. Louis encephalitis and proved that they were
carried by a mosquito named Culex tarsalis.
(SFC, 9/21/04, p.B7)
1942 Jul, Dr. Paul Fildes led a
British test of anthrax in a bomb on Gruinard Island in northwest
Scotland. The island became contaminated from tests and Britain
acquired it for £500. Cleanup was undertaken in 1986 and the island
was returned to its original owners in 1990.
(WSJ, 10/18/01, p.A23)(Econ, 5/8/04, p.78)
1942 Sep, More than 400
villagers died of bubonic plague in China’s eastern Zhejiang
province after Japanese warplanes of medical Unit 731 dropped germ
bombs. Unit 731 was stationed on the outskirts of Harbin, China,
until the Soviet Union entered the war. The unit deposited typhus
into the water supply flowing into Manchuria. In 2000 Yoshio
Shinozuka testified to seeing men infected with the plague and then
being dissected while still alive. Harbin had 26 affiliates across
China and its germ bombs (anthrax, cholera, typhus and bubonic
plague) killed an estimated 270,000 people. Biological warfare
activities of Unit 731 were unknown to most Japanese citizens until
1981, when author Seiichi Morimura exposed its dark history in a
book, "The Devil's Gluttony".
(SFEC, 12/8/96, p.C8)(SFC, 8/30/97, p.A12)(SFC,
8/15/98, p.A12)(SFC, 12/22/00, p.D6)(SFC, 6/12/01, p.A8)(AP,
1942 Dec 10, George W. Merck,
former president of Merck Pharmaceutical and head of the War
Research Service, requested the Chemical Warfare Service to develop
a biological warfare program.
(AH, 6/03, p.46)
1942 Dec, Dr. Ira Baldwin
(1896-1999), plant bacteriologist at the Univ. of Wisconsin, was
selected to head US biological warfare.
(AH, 6/03, p.46)
1943 Oct 9, Alexander Fleming
reported in Lancet the 1st successful treatment of streptococcal
meningitis with intramuscular and intrathecal (directly into the
spinal fluid) injections of the just-purified penicillin.
(WSJ, 10/17/02, p.A19)
1943-1965 Members of the Special Operations
Division from Maryland’s Fort Detrick biological weapons program
conducted over 200 tests during this period on the effectiveness of
aerially dispersed pathogens. At least 4 men died during the years
of the project. Some 658,039 animals were killed, including sheep,
ferrets, cats, pigs, white mice and guinea pigs.
(SFEC, 1/11/98, p.A11)(AH, 6/03, p.46)
1943-1986 Building E5625, the “Pilot Plant," at
the US Army Aberdeen Proving Ground was built and used for
experiments and production of agents in chemical and biological
warfare. In 1977 public knowledge of the pathogen experiments caused
(SFEC, 1/11/98, p.A11)
1944 Apr 27, Dr. H. Corwin
Hinshaw (d.2000) first treated 4 tuberculosis-infected guinea pigs
with the newly developed streptomycin antibiotic. The animals were
cured. Hinshaw was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1952 but the
prize went to Dr. Selman a. Waksman of Rutgers, who discovered
(SFC, 1/11/01, p.C16)
1945 Sir Alexander Fleming was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his co-discovery of
penicillin along with Ernst B. Chain (b.1908), German chemist,
bacteriologist, and Dr. Howard Florey, who found Fleming's paper in
1938 and began clinical trials.
(WUD, 1994, p.542)(SFC, 1/19/04, p.B4)
1946-1948 US scientific researchers infected
hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted
diseases. The researchers were trying to determine whether the
antibiotic penicillin could prevent syphilis infection, not just
cure it. The practice only came to light in 2010 thanks to the work
of an academic researcher. On Oct 1, 2010, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius issued a formal apology to Guatemala, and to Guatemalan
residents of the United States. A 2011 report said 2,082 people were
infected with syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. Previous studies had
said about 1,300 people were exposed, including soldiers,
prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients.
1947 The 1st penicillin
resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus were reported.
(NG, 11/04, p.21)
1947 The Zika virus was first
isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda.
(Econ, 1/23/16, p.72)
1949 There was a cholera
outbreak in Philadelphia, Pa.
(SFC, 3/8/14, p.C3)
1949 Lillian Barber died in
Texas in the last reported US case of smallpox.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)(NW, 10/14/02, p.51)
1950 Sep, A secret US Army and
Navy experiment spread Serratia marcescens bacteria, because of its
red pigment, and Bacillus globigii, because of its formed spores
similar to anthrax, off the coast of San Francisco Bay from a mine
laying ship for 6 days. The bacteria was thought to be harmless, but
the germs sent 11 people to hospitals and killed one person. Edward
J. Nevin, from a heart infection. In 1977 Senate subcommittee
hearings the Army revealed that it had staged the mock biological
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A15)(WSJ, 10/22/01, p.A1)(AH,
1950 By this time chestnut
trees were little more than a memory in most parts of North America.
The fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, which causes chestnut blight,
had arrived in infected saplings from Asia in the late 19th century
and began decimating the estimated 4 billion trees.
(Econ, 5/4/13, p.78)
1950-1959 Panama disease in the 1950s obliterated
the Gros Michel variety of bananas. By the 1960s it was close to
extinction. It was replaced by the Cavendish variety. Most edible
bananas do not have seeds and are sprouted from shoots of original
trees that date back 10,000 years.
(SFC, 4/5/04, p.D5)(Econ, 3/1/14, p.62)
1951-1969 In Austria 230 people, including some children at a state
run orphanage, were subjects of an experiment in which they were
injected with the parasite which causes malaria as part of research
for a cure against syphilis, long after penicillin was available.
1951 Dr. Esther Lederberg
(1922-2006) of the Univ. of Wisconsin discovered the lambda phage, a
virus that infects other bacteria with the ability to transfer genes
(SFC, 11/28/06, p.B7)
1953 Mar 26, Dr. Jonas Salk of
the University of Pittsburgh announced that a vaccine against polio
had been successfully tested in a small group of adults and
children. By April 1955, the vaccine had undergone further testing
and gained federal approval for public use. Salk’s polio vaccine was
so successful that by 1961 the incidence of polio had decreased by
95 percent. Dr. Joseph Melnick (d.2001 at 86) was among the first to
have discovered that the polio virus belonged to the larger
enterovirus group and were chiefly transmitted by fecal
(HNPD, 3/26/99)(SFC, 1/23/01, p.C2)
1953 Nov 11, The Polio virus
was identified and photographed for the first time in Cambridge,
1953 Helenor Foerster (d.1998
at 103) was named "Woman of the Year for Science" by the Women’s
National Press Club. She co-authored the "Atlas and Textbook of
Ophthalmic Pathology," and discovered that toxoplasma was the cause
of a widely spread eye disease that led to blindness.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.C2)
1954 Feb 23, The first mass
inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in
Pittsburgh. Jonas Salk created the Salk vaccine against polio. It
used a killed virus to induce immunization. Poliomyelitis is a viral
attack of the central nervous system and can cause paralysis and
death by asphyxiation. [see Apr 26] In 2005 David M. Oshinsky
authored “Polio: An American Story – The Crusade That Mobilized the
Nation Against the 20th Century’s Most Feared Disease."
(SFC, 6/21/96, p.A10)(HN, 2/23/98)(AP,
2/23/98)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.79)
1954 Apr 26, Nationwide test of
Salk anti-polio vaccine began. [see Feb 23]
1954 Jun 7, The 1st
microbiology laboratory was dedicated in New Brunswick, NJ.
1954 Thomas Peebles collected
blood from students sick with measles and used it to isolate the
measles virus. In 1963 a vaccine against measles, crafted by John
Enders, became available.
(Econ, 1/31/15, p.25)
1955 Mar 11, Alexander Fleming
(73), English bacteriologist (penicillin), died.
1955 Apr 12, The Salk Vaccine
was declared safe and effective. Salk vaccine shots for polio began
to be given out to school kids. The March of Dimes accomplished its
mission within 20 years. Research led by Dr. Jonas Salk and
supported by funds (those marching little dimes) raised annually by
thousands of volunteers, resulted in the announcement that the Salk
polio vaccine was "safe, potent and effective." The foundation also
supported the research that led to the Sabin oral vaccine, another
safe, effective polio preventative discovered by Dr. Albert B.
Sabin. Following the victory over infantile paralysis, the March of
Dimes turned its attention to conquering the largest killer and
crippler of children: the mental and physical problems that are
present at birth. Some 100 million people were given the vaccine
during the 1950s and 1960s which was later found to be contaminated
with the SV40 simian virus, a possible carcinogen.
(AP, 4/12/97)(440 Int'l, 1/3/99)(SSFC, 7/15/01,
1955 Apr 25, The 1st cases of
polio in children who received a vaccine were reported. It was later
found that 2 batches of vaccine made by Cutter Laboratories of
Berkeley, Ca., contained live polio virus.
(SFC, 4/25/05, p.A1)
1956 Apr 12, Henrique da
Rocha-Lima (b.1879), Brazilian scientist, died. Working in Germany,
he with Stanislaus von Prowazek (1875-1915) discovered Rickettsia
prowazekii, the pathogen of endemic typhus, which he named after the
1957 Dr. Hilary Koprowski of
the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia developed an oral polio vaccine
and tested it in Africa (Congo). The Wister polio vaccine was given
to some 300,000 people in the Belgian Congo from 1957-1960. A later
theory held that reuse of needles during the immunization program
caused AIDS via “serial passage" that transformed the SIV virus into
HIV. In 1999 Edward Hooper authored “The River," a detailed
hypothesis for the origin of AIDS in Africa. Hooper suspected that
the Wister polio vaccine, produced from monkey kidney cells,
contained SIV virus. In 2000 a computerized study indicated that the
AIDS virus was introduced to humans about 1930.
(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A19)(SFC, 1/15/01, p.A11)(SFC,
1958 Dr. Samuel L. Katz of Duke
Univ. co-developed the Edmonston B vaccine against measles.
(SFC, 11/16/00, p.A19)
1958 The rapid development of
penicillin-resistance by staphylococci led to the compound 05865
(later known as vancomycin) being fast-tracked for approval by
the FDA. It became the best weapon against bacteria that were
no longer vulnerable to other drugs. In 1988 bacteria resistant to
vancomycin began to be detected.
1958 Monkeypox was first
described in Denmark when several monkey imports developed lesions.
The disease emerged in the Congo in 1970 with sporadic outbreaks
over the years, primarily in Central and West Africa. Ten percent of
those infected can die, and there is evidence of person-to-person
1958 David Carr, a British
printer and former sailor for the Royal Navy, was struck with
mysterious symptoms and died a year later. In 1990 his cells tested
positive for AIDS. He had returned to England in 1957 before Wister
polio vaccine was administered in the Belgian Congo. In 1995 it was
reported that his tissue samples had been contaminated.
(SSFC, 1/14/01, p.A14,15)
1959 Researchers in 1998 found
the HIV virus of AIDS in a blood specimen from a Bantu man who died
in Leopoldville, Belgian Congo, later Kinshasa, Congo. This became
the oldest known case and researchers believed that incidents could
go back to the 1940s. Blood specimen ZR59 from the Belgian Congo of
this time, was found in 1998 to be positive for the AIDS HIV virus.
1959 Colistin became available
to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, a category
including the food-poisoning germs E-coli and Salmonella, as well as
Acinetobacter which can cause pneumonia or serious blood and wound
infections. It was abandoned for human use in the 1980s due to high
kidney toxicity, but continued to be widely used in livestock
farming, especially in China. In 2015 a gene, dubbed mcr-1,
resistant to the antibiotic was identified in China.
1959 The Usutu virus, a life
threat to birds, was 1st observed in South African mosquitoes. By
2004 it had spread to Europe and ravaged the blackbird population.
(SFC, 8/21/04, p.B10)
1960 The new antibiotic
methicillin was introduced. In 1961 strains of Staphylococcus aureus
resistant to Methicillin (MRSA) were first reported.
1960 In Nepal malaria was
eradicated. Illiterate tribes on the Terai plains were displaced by
higher-caste hordes streaming down from the hills and became serfs
in their own land.
1961 Strains of Staphylococcus
aureus resistant to Methicillin (MRSA) were first reported.
The antibiotic methicillin had only become available in 1960.
1962-1973 In 2001 the Pentagon began to publicly
release details on the existence of Project SHAD and its umbrella
program, Project 112, which involved distribution of nonlethal
bacteria and occasionally real chemical or biological weapons. In
2008 the US Defense Department said 6,440 service members took part
in 50 tests under Project 112 during this period, including open-air
tests above a half-dozen US states. Defense officials essentially
closed the books on Project 112 in 2003.
1963 A vaccine for measles
became available. In the previous decade some 450,000 cases were
reported in the US with about 450 deaths per year. The vaccine,
based on a measles virus isolated by Thomas Peebles, was crafted by
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.A18)(Econ, 1/31/15, p.25)
1964-1968 The Pentagon reported on May 23, 2002,
that the Defense Dept. sprayed live nerve and biological agents over
Navy ships in 6 six tests between 1964-1968. The Project shipboard
Hazard and Defense (SHAD) experiments included the use of sarin and
VX nerve gases and the staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB).
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A7)
1965 Paul De Kruif authored
(ON, 3/03, p.9)
1965 Chinese military
researchers isolated artemisinin, a compound based on sweet
wormwood, and found to be very effective against malaria.
(SFC, 5/10/04, p.A5)(Econ, 11/20/04, p.81)
1966 In 2007 researchers said
HIV was brought to Haiti by an infected person from central Africa,
and then came to the United States in about 1969. The researchers
think an unknown single infected Haitian immigrant arrived in a
large city like Miami or New York, and the virus circulated for
years, first in the US population and then to other nations.
1967 Jan 14, NY Times reported
that the US Army was conducting secret germ warfare experiments.
1967 In Marburg, Germany, a
disease believed to be caused from African monkeys infected 31
people in a laboratory. The virus came to be called the Marburg
virus. Seven people died in Germany and Yugoslavia from the virus.
It was traced to infected vervet monkeys from Uganda cut up for
(SFC, 5/7/99, p.D2)(Econ, 8/18/07, p.40)
1968 Mar 11, San Francisco
health authorities announced that evidence of bubonic plague was
discovered in an autopsy on a dead rat found in the Marina District.
The city had not experienced any human deaths from bubonic plague
since 1909 and the last animal death from bubonic plague was
reported in 1941.
(SSFC, 3/11/18, DB p.54)
1968 In Venezuela researchers,
Napoleon Chagnon and James V. Neel, reportedly inoculated thousands
of Yanomami Indians with a measles vaccine. Chagnon published
"Yanomamö: The Fierce People," a summation of his 30 years in the
Amazon forest. In 2000 the controversial book "Darkness in El
Dorado" Patrick Tierney blamed the researchers for a major epidemic
that killed hundreds of Indians. At least 30 Indians died from a
measles epidemic that hit Yanomani villages at least one year before
researchers administered the Edmonston B vaccine [see 1967].
(SFC, 11/10/00, p.A4)(SFC, 11/16/00, p.A19)(NH,
Jul, p.28)(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.W8)
1969 Nov 25, Pres. Nixon
announced an unconditional renunciation of biological weapons.
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A14)(http://tinyurl.com/9yy6bc)
1969 Benjamin Volcani
(1915-1999), Palestine-born microbiologist, was the fist to show
that silicon is essential for DNA synthesis in diatoms. He was also
the first to find microorganisms in the Dead Sea in 1936.
1969 In Egypt the construction
on the Aswan High Dam, which expanded irrigation, had led to an
increase in bilharzia infection. In this year the government began
to channel its bilharzia interventions into more comprehensive and
organized control programs and projects. During the 1970’s and 1980s
a campaign of multiple drug injections to combat the parasitic
disease led to a massive spread of hepatitis c.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.54)(http://tinyurl.com/wuwmx)
1971 The 1st vaccine against
meningitis was developed.
(SFC, 4/20/01, p.A19)
1971 Managua, Nicaragua, was
struck by a polio epidemic.
(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.F4)
1971 A Soviet field test of
weaponized smallpox caused an outbreak that killed 2 young children
and a woman at the port of Aralsk in the Kazak Republic. This was
not made public until 2002.
(SFC, 6/15/02, p.A8)
1971 The US ended routine
vaccination against smallpox.
(SSFC, 9/2/07, p.A5)
1972 Jul 25, US health
officials conceded that blacks were used as guinea pigs in the 40
year Tuskegee Syphilis Study in Macon County, Ala. By this time 28
participants had died of syphilis, 100 were dead of related
complications, at least 40 wives had been infected and 19 children
had contracted the disease at birth [see 1932].
(SC, 7/25/02)(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.A27)
1973 Jeff Schell (1935-2003),
Belgian microbiologist, succeeded in altering the genetic structure
of the Agrobacterium. He deleted the genes that governed tumor
(SFC, 5/3/03, p.A20)
1974 A US moratorium on genetic
research ended. It had been feared that such research would lead to
dangerous breeds of microbes.
(SFEC, 9/17/00, p.A16)
1974 In Brazil a meningitis
outbreak killed 4,000 people in a few weeks. 90 million people were
soon inoculated by a new vaccine created by the French Merieux
(SFC, 1/27/01, p.A24)
1975 Smallpox was eradicated in
India and Bangladesh.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1976 Feb, Swine flu broke out
at a US Army base in New Jersey. Pres. Ford announced a National
Swine Flu Immunization Program a month after the virus was
identified. In 1982 Richard E. Neustadt and Harvey V. Fineberg
authored “The Epidemic That Never Was."
(WSJ, 11/28/05, p.B1)
1976 Jul 21, "Legionnaire's
Disease" struck in Philadelphia, Pa. 29 people died from the
disease. The disease was first identified after an outbreak at the
Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. It was identified as
Legionella pneumophila and found to infest water systems in general
and the hotel ventilation system in this case.
(OGA, 11/24/98)(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-17)
1976 Jul 27, Air Force veteran
Ray Brennan became the first person to die of so-called
"Legionnaire’s Disease" following an American Legion convention in
1976 Sep, Scientists in Antwerp
received specimens from a fatally ill nun in Yambuku, Zaire (later
CongoDRC), and soon realized they were dealing with a deadly and
unknown virus. The Ebola virus was named after a river there. The
virus starts with flu-like symptoms but can stop blood from clotting
causing patients to bleed. An outbreak of the Ebola virus killed 280
people, most of whom were infected by reused syringes and needles.
It was later believed that fruit bats served as a host for the
(SFC, 10/27/98, p.A5)(SFC, 1/8/02, p.A6)(Econ,
7/26/14, p.36)(Econ, 10/18/14, p.11)
1976 Dec 16, The US government
halted its swine flu vaccination program following reports of
paralysis apparently linked to the vaccine.
1976 William H. McNeill
authored “Plagues and Peoples," a history of human society with
microscopic agents of disease as the main protagonists.
(WSJ, 9/9/06, p.P8)
1976 Whooping cough, caused by
Bordatella pertussis, reached an all-time low of 1,010 in the US
following universal childhood vaccination programs.
(SFC, 12/15/05, p.B5)
1977 Mar 8, The U.S. Army
announced that they had conducted 239 open-air tests of germ
1977 Dr. Elizabeth Williams of
Fort Collins classified the endemic chronic wasting disease of local
deer as a spongiform disease. It was found to be infectious 2 years
later and then spread across to 8 states and Canada. Research later
suggested that it could infect people.
(WSJ, 5/24/02, p.A1)
1977 The viral disease smallpox
was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The
last case of smallpox, spread by variola virus, was reported in
Somalia. Int’l. immunization ceased by 1978 in most countries. In
1997 the related Monkey virus broke out in Zaire.
(SFC, 4/1/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 10/19/01, p.A9)
1978 Jan 18, Center for Disease
Control (CDC) isolated the cause of Legionnaire's disease.
1978 Feb 9, In Tanzania cholera
broke out and killed 300 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 7, By this date the
CDC had confirmed 496 sporadic cases associated with outbreaks of
Legionnaire's disease in the US.
1979 Mar 30, Anthrax spores
leaked from a secret germ-warfare plant and spread over Sverdlovsk
(Yekaterinburg), Russia. Over the course of 2 months at least 105
people died of anthrax poisoning. [see Apr 2] Reports did not emerge
1979 Apr 2, Anthrax was found
to have leaked from the secret lab of Compound 19 in Sverdlovsk
(later renamed Yekaterinburg) in the Ural Mountains. It caused a
local epidemic that killed at least 64/66 people. Pres. Yeltsin
acknowledged the leak in 1992 and allowed a team of researchers to
investigate the site. In 2000 Jeanne Guillemin authored "Anthrax:
The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak." [see Mar 30]
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A14)(SFEC, 8/13/00, BR p.7)(WSJ,
1979 Dr. J. Robert Warren first
observed an apparent bacterium in the lower part of stomach
biopsies. In 1982 Dr. Barry Marshall managed to grow the
slow-growing Helicobacter pylori bacterium in a culture. In 2005 the
Australian researchers won a Nobel Prize for their work.
(SFC, 8/7/97, p.A11)
1979 AIDS was diagnosed for the
first time. When the first cases of AIDS erupted in 1979 the most
important sign was the occurrence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the
so-called "gay cancer" appearing on the bodies of some homosexuals
dying of the disease.
1980 May 8, The World Health
Organization (WHO) announced that smallpox had been eradicated from
1980 The US Supreme Court ruled
that "live human-made microorganism is patentable matter." This led
to a rush by Genentech, Biogen and others to commercialize
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1980 A global campaign was
begun to eradicate guinea worm, aka dracunculiasis, a disabling
parasitic disease existing in only 4 African countries.
(SFC, 10/5/11, p.A2)
1981 Jun 5, The US Federal
Centers for Disease Control published the first report of a
mysterious outbreak of a sometimes fatal pneumonia among gay men.
Dr. Michael Gottlieb of UCLA and Dr. Joel Weisman (1943-2009)
reported 5 cases of a rare pneumonia among gay men in LA. The
disease was initially called gay related immune deficiency (GRID).
The syndrome was named Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in
1982. Within 10 years the disease killed 110,000 Americans. People
infected with HIV came to be defined as having AIDS when their
immune system became so weak that they got one of 26 specific
illnesses including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pneumonia, brain
infections and some other cancers.
(SFC, 7/21/00, p.B2)(AP, 6/5/02)(SSFC, 6/4/06,
p.A1)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.24)(SFC, 7/24/09, p.D5)
1981 Aug 28, The US national
Centers for Disease Control, noting a high incidence of Kaposi's
sarcoma and pneumocystis in homosexual men, announced a medical task
force had been formed to find out why. It was later determined the
increased number of illnesses was caused by AIDS.
1981 Merck set up the first
human trial of ivermectin for river blindness in Senegal. The drug
had been developed for parasitic infections in animals. The trial
showed the drug was safe in humans and highly effective at killing
the disease vector in its larval state. In 1987 Merck began giving
away the drug in an effort to eliminate the disease.
(Econ, 4/22/17, p.52)
1982 Mar 24, On the
one-hundredth anniversary of a presentation on TB by Dr. Robert
Koch, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
(IUATLD) proposed that March 24 be proclaimed an official World TB
Day. In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) joined with the
IUATLD and a wide range of other concerned organizations to increase
the impact of World TB Day.
1982 Marc Lappe (1942-2004),
toxics expert, authored “Germs That Won’t Die: Medical Consequences
of the Misuse of Antibiotics."
(SFC, 5/18/05, p.B7)
1982 The bacteria E. coli
O157:H7, a renegade strain of the normally harmless group, was first
identified. People in Michigan and Oregon were sickened by the
bacteria that caused bloody diarrhea and devastating kidney failure.
The organism attacks the lining of the colon, exposing blood vessels
and causing them to bleed. It is believed to reside normally in the
stomachs of cattle. It kills an estimated 61 American each year.
(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.B1)(SFC, 11/1/96, p.A4)(SFC,
1982-1989 Marian Elliott Koshland (d.1997 at 76)
held the UC Berkeley chair in the Dept. of Microbiology and
Immunology. She had discovered variations in the amino acid
composition of antibodies that explained how they recognized
invading organisms or other foreign material.
1983 Bayer, a German drug
maker, patented the active ingredient of the antibiotic Cipro.
(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A10)
1984 Feb 22, A 12-year-old
Houston boy known publicly only as "David," died 15 days after being
removed from the bubble for a bone-marrow transplant. He had spent
most his life in a plastic bubble because he had no immunity to
1984 Apr 22, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) said French researchers had discovered that a
virus causes AIDS. Scientists identified a retrovirus named human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A20)(www.avert.org/his81_86.htm)
1984 Apr 23, US Health
Secretary Margaret Heckler said the AIDS-virus was identified as the
cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. [see Apr 21]
1984 Oct 25, The genetic
organization of the Hepatitis B virus was published.
1984 In Oregon members of the
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh cult sprinkled Salmonella typhimurium
bacteria in supermarkets, salad bars and restaurant coffee creamers
near Portland. Over 750 people were sickened.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A9)(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.R1)
1984 Rabbit Calicivirus Disease
was 1st discovered among rabbits in China. It appeared in the US for
the 1st time in 2000.
(WSJ, 7/3/02, p.A1)
1985 Nov, The US FDA approved
imipenem, a penicillin-like drug.
(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A10)(http://tinyurl.com/2px4jy)
1985 In California an outbreak
of listeria was linked to soft cheese made from raw milk produced in
Los Angeles. Of the 142 cases reported, 93 were in pregnant women or
their children. There were 48 deaths, including 20 fetuses.
1985 Listeria monocytogenes
became a major health concern during a contamination of
Mexican-style cheese made by Jalisco Mexican Products. It causes
listeriosis, which produces flu-like symptoms that can be deadly to
fetuses, and patients with compromised immune systems.
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.A17)
1986 The Univ. of Baghdad
purchased anthrax along with other strains of bacteria that cause
botulism and brucellosis from the American Type Culture Collection
of Manassas, Va.
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A6)
1986 The US-based Carter Center
organized a campaign to eradicate Dracunculiasis, a disease caused
by an infection related to Guinea worms. In 2014 the number of
infections was down to 148 people.
(Econ, 1/25/14, p.67)
1987 Mar 20, The Food and Drug
Administration approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the
lives of some AIDS patients. Jerome Horwitz of the Barbara Ann
Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of
Medicine first synthesized AZT in 1964 under a US National
Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. It was developed by
Burroughs-Welcome (later part of GlaxoSmithKline).
1/30/96, p.A-16)(AP, 3/20/97)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)
1987 Oct, The US FDA approved
Cipro, marketed by Bayer, as an antibiotic.
1987 Randy Shilts, a San
Francisco-based writer, authored "The Band Played On," in which he
chronicled the early days of AIDS. Shilts had learned in 1985 that
he had AIDS, but only made it public in 1993.
1987 Some 13,000 people fell
ill in Carrollton, Ga., from the cryptosporidium parasite in
contaminated tap water.
(SFC, 6/24/98, Z1 p.5)
1988 May 26, The New England
Journal of Medicine reported that the 1st NYC cases of Rocky
Mountain Spotted Fever struck 4 people between May and July of 1987.
1988 Dec 1, The first World
Aids Day was held. Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Program
on AIDS (later known as UNAIDS) had approved a concept put forward
by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter in 1987, and agreed with the
recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be
December 1, 1988.
enterococcus (VRE) was first detected in Europe. The vancomycin
antibiotic was developed in 1958.
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.C1,4)
1989 The Group O AIDS virus was
identified in West Africa. It had marked genetic differences from
the more common Group M strains that were responsible for a
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.A5)
1989 The Hepatitis C virus was
first isolated. It causes an infection of the liver that is usually
lifelong and incurable. Scientists in 1999 found evidence of the
virus in frozen blood samples from 1948.
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.A4)(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A3)
1989 Merck Corp. announced the
discovery of the 3-dimensional structure of the enzyme protease. It
was seen as a promising target for attacking the virus that causes
(WSJ, 11/5/96, p.A1)
1989 There was an outbreak of
the deadly Ebola virus among 450 primates in Reston, Va.
(FB, 9/12/96, Neighbors p.1)
1990 Apr, The Aum Shinri Kyo
cult sent three trucks into central Tokyo to spray poisonous botulin
mists. The convoy then attacked US bases at Yokohama and Yokosuka.
The botulin did not work and the cult turned to use anthrax.
(SFC, 5/27/98, p.A12)
1990 The amoeba Balamuthia
mandrillaris was first discovered in a mandrill baboon. In 2001 it
was reported to have destroyed the brain of a 3-year-old girl in the
SF Bay area.
(SFC, 4/20/01, p.A1)(SFC, 4/21/01, p.A1)
1990 The SARII group of
bacteria was first identified. This group constituted about a third
of the single-celled organisms in the ocean.
(Econ, 2/16/13, p.79)
1992 May 1, It was reported in
the WSJ that a new study indicated that peptic ulcers were caused by
a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.
(WSJ, 10/24/05, p.A15)
1993 Jan 7, In San Francisco
the number of people dying from AIDS passed 10,000.
(SSFC, 1/7/18, DB p.53)
1993 Mar, Drinking water in
Milwaukee became contaminated with the cryptosporidium bacterium and
more than 100 people died and some 400,000 got sick.
(SFC, 6/26/96, p.A6)(SFC, 6/24/98, Z1 p.5)(SFC,
1993 Jun, In Japan the Aum
Shinri Kyo cult pumped a slurry of liquid anthrax into a sprayer and
created a cloud that would settle on victims, but it didn’t work.
(SFC, 5/27/98, p.A12)
1993 Jul, The Aum Shinri Kyo
cult again pumped a slurry of liquid anthrax into a sprayer and shot
it near the Imperial Palace and around central Tokyo without
(SFC, 5/27/98, p.A12)
1994 Sep, India’s eastern port
city of Surat, Gujarat state, was hit with pneumonic plague. 52
people lost their lives. From August to October 693 suspected cases
and 56 deaths were reported from the five affected Indian states as
well as the federal district of New Delhi.
1994 Sudden oak disease was
first reported in California. The specific pathogen responsible was
identified in 2000 as the fungus-like Phytophthora ramorum microbe.
Experts believed that it arrived in the state via the nursery trade.
By 2008 it was the world’s most quarantined plant pathogen.
(SFC, 4/17/08, p.A1)
1994 The Hendra virus was first
discovered and named for the Australian suburb where it was found in
an outbreak that killed a horse trainer and 13 horses. It causes
flulike symptoms that can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis. It is
believed to originate in fruit bats in Australia and mainly infects
1995 Mar 17, The federal
government approved the nation's first chicken pox vaccine, Varivax
by Merck & Co.
1995 May 9, Kinshasa, capital
of Zaire, was placed under quarantine after an outbreak of the Ebola
1995 Jul, The Ebola virus
killed 244 people in Kikwit, Zaire.
(WSJ, 12/11/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 5/5/99, p.A11)
1995 Protease inhibitors, a
cocktail drug therapy for AIDS, were first introduced. AIDS became
the leading cause of death among Americans aged 25-44. Hoffman-La
Roche, a Swiss drug firm, launched the first protease inhibitor.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A21)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)
1995-2004 The amoeba called Naegleria fowleri
killed 23 people in the United States during this period. In 2007
health officials noticed a spike with six cases, three in Florida,
two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several
hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the
1960s. the killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the
nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.
1996 May 9, Bacterial
meningitis has infected more than 100,000 people in West Africa over
the last 3 months and more than 10,000 have died. The epidemic has
been most intense in the region just south of the Sahara known as
the Sahel. The 1996 epidemic resulted in some 20,000 deaths. The
“meningitis belt" swept from Senegal to Ethiopia about every 10
(SFC, 5/9/96, p.C-5)(WSJ, 3/17/03, p.B4)
1996 Jun 27, A report from the
World Health Organization said that South Africa has the worst
tuberculosis problem in the world and that drug-resistant forms
(XDR-TB) of the disease were spreading rapidly.
(SFC, 6/27/96, p.A12)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.58)
1996 Aug 8, Food poisoning due
to E. coli bacteria in the city of Sakai, Japan, was attributed to
1996 Aug 21, Today’s issue of
Science reported the 1,738 gene sequence of the organism
Methanococcus jannaschii that oceanographers in 1982 found in an
undersea volcanic vent and later classified as Archaea, distinct
from Prokarya and Eukarya.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A21)
1996 Congress tightened rules
on the distribution of pathogens following a frightening record by
the American Type Culture Collection of Manassas, Va., of selling
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A6)
1996 Scientists discovered
bacteria living in a tank of nuclear waste. The bacteria, later
called extremophiles, had adapted to 15 times the dose that would
kill a human being.
(WSJ, 11/16/04, p.A1)
1997 May 9, In Hong Kong a
3-year-old boy became ill with the flu. He died May 21 and the flu
was identified as subtype H5N1, a bird flu.
(SFC, 2/26/01, p.A9)
1997 May 13, In Burundi an
outbreak of Typhus was reported. Some 20,000 cases in 3 northwest
provinces were reported by March, mostly in Hutu regroupment camps
set up by the Tutsi-led military.
(WSJ, 5/13/97, p.A1)
1997 Aug 5, It was reported
that a Yale Univ. research team led by Sidney Altman discovered a
way to turn off genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotic
drugs. Human testing was thought to be 5 years away.
(SFC, 8/5/97, p.A3)(WSJ, 8/5/97, p.A1)
1997 Aug 6, It was reported
that scientists had created the genetic blueprint for Helicobacter
pylori, a bacterium responsible for stomach ulcers.
(SFC, 8/7/97, p.A11)
1997 Aug 21, A hamburger recall
was extended to cover some 25 million pounds. The Hudson Foods Inc.,
of Rogers, Ark., closed its Nebraska beef-processing facility under
a "non-negotiable" recommendation by Agricultural Sec. Dan Glickman
due to E. coli poisonings in Colorado.
(SFC, 8/22/97, p.A3)(AP, 8/21/98)
1997 Nov 22, From Venezuela it
was reported that 18,000 people were infected in an epidemic of
dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and that 34 had died this year.
Heavy rains allowed Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries anyone
of 4 dengue viruses, to breed in water containers left out in the
open. In 2006 over 500,000 cases of dengue were reported in Latin
America including 14,000 cases of DHF.
(SFC,11/22/97, p.A9)(Econ, 4/21/07, p.42)(Econ,
1997 Dec 26, It was reported
that the US Centers for Disease Control had begun work on a “Bird
Flu" vaccine in response to the 9 confirmed cases and 4 deaths in
1997 Dec 29, In Hong Kong the
government planned to start killing over 1.4 million chickens to
combat the new strain of avian flu. Four people had already died of
(SFC, 12/29/97, p.A1)(AP, 12/29/98)
1997 Dec, In north-eastern
Kenya large numbers of cattle, goats and sheep began dying in
the Garissa district. A month later people began dying as the Rift
Valley Fever infected some 90,000 people. Hundreds died in 5
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.83)
1997 A British team discovered
that pig viruses can infect human cells.
(WSJ, 8/28/00, p.B1)
1997 In Malaysia a virus struck
the village of Nipah and killed 105 people, most of whom were
involved in the hog-farming industry. Some 1.2 million hogs were
destroyed and the Nipah virus epidemic ran its course over 7 months.
The epidemic was later related to burning rain forests and bats
seeking new food sources that passed the virus to pigs that passed
it to humans. Most animals recovered but it was lethal to 40% of
(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A9)(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A4)(WSJ,
1998 Feb 19, In Henderson
federal officials arrested Larry Wayne Harris and William Job
Leavitt for possession of suspected anthrax bacterium. Harris had
earlier published the 131-page book: “Bacteriological Warfare: A
Major Threat to North America." The substance turned out to be a
harmless veterinary vaccine. Harris was later given an additional 6
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A1,8)(SFEC, 2/22/98, p.A11)(SFC,
1998 Mar 10, U.S. Air Force and
Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf received vaccinations against
anthrax. In 2004 a federal judge ordered a halt to anthrax
vaccinations and ruled that the FDA had violated its own rules by
approving the vaccine in 2003.
(AP, 3/10/99)(SFC, 10/28/04, p.A4)
1998 Mar 19, A new product was
approved by the FDA to reduce salmonella in chickens. Preempt or
CF-3 was a mixture of beneficial microbes that would be sprayed onto
newly hatched chicks, and then ingested by the chicks to prevent
(SFC, 3/20/98, p.A4)
1998 Mar, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said sexual diseases such as
chlamydia were epidemic in the US and launched a campaign to raise
public awareness. 4 million new cases a year were being reported.
(SFC, 8/12/98, p.C16)
1998 May 29, I t was reported
that a salmonella strain impervious to 5 antibiotics was rampant in
Britain. Chickens were reported sold in Minnesota that were
contaminated with campylobacter resistant to a powerful antibiotic.
The high use of antibiotics by farmers was adding to the problem of
an increasing number of drug-resistant germs.
(SFC, 5/29/98, p.A8)
1998 May 15, Oysters from
Tomales Bay, Ca., were removed from market shelves due to an unknown
agent causing illness. the symptoms were similar to the Norwalk
virus that caused illnesses around New Orleans during the winter of
1996-1997, that was traced to human sewage.
(SFEC, 5/31/98, p.A7)
1998 Jun 4, In Taiwan it was
reported that an airborne virus had killed 26 children in the last 6
weeks. Another 132 were hospitalized and as many as 9,000 were
infected. Efforts to fight the disease were being centralized.
(WSJ, 6/5/98, p.A1)
1998 Jun 10, It was reported
that scientists had decoded the DNA sequence for Mycobacterium
(SFC, 6/11/98, p.A2)
1998 Jun 23, In Chicago some
4,500 got sick from an outbreak of E. coli possibly due to
contaminated potato salad at Iwan’s Deli in Orland Park.
(SFC, 6/24/98, p.A9)
1998 Jun 23, In Georgia a
virulent E. coli, O157:H7, sickened at least 6 children after
playing in a Marietta water park.
(SFC, 6/24/98, p.A9)
1998 Jul 29-30, In Australia
giardia and cryptosporidium were found throughout the water supply
of Sydney. PM John Howard called the crises an international
(SFC, 8/1/98, p.A11)
1998 Oct 23, Researchers
reported the complete genetic sequence of the bacteria chlamydia
(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A3)
1998 Oct 29, An Oscar Mayer
meat packing plant in Michigan sliced and packaged products that
later killed 9 people and caused 3 stillbirths due to listeria
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.A4)
1998 Dec 17, The CDC reported a
food-poisoning outbreak due to the listeria bacteria that killed 4
people and sickened 35. Hot dogs and cold cuts were suspected.
(WSJ, 12/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 22, The Bil Mar meat
packing plant in Michigan recalled 35 million pounds of hot dogs and
lunch meats following the deaths of 16 people due to the bacteria
Listeria monocytogenes. In Jan. another 30 million pounds were
recalled from the Thorn Apple Valley plant in Arkansas.
(SFC, 2/11/99, p.A7)
1998 The Roll Back Malaria
Partnership was founded by WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank, in
an effort to provide a coordinated global response to the disease.
1998 In Uganda plant breeder
William Wagoira found stem rust on his crops. The fungal wheat rust
(Puccinia graminis) had not been seen since the Green Revolution. By
2010 the fungus had spread as far as Iran and South Africa and
scientists feared further spread.
(Econ, 7/3/10, p.57)
1998 The World Health
Organization (WHO) and America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
published “Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in the
African Health Care Centers." It became the bible on stopping
transmission in poorer countries.
(Econ., 3/7/15, TQ p.7)
1999 Feb 15, Scientists
announced that a new vaccine against malaria would be tested in
(SFC, 2/16/99, p.A3)
1999 Mar 26, In Uganda it was
reported that wheat stem-rust fungus had appeared on a crop. The
fungus killed nearly half the world's crop before the green
revolution of the 1950s. The black rust disease was named Ug99 and
by 2007 had jumped to Yemen. In 2008 it was confirmed in Iran. In
2008 Cornell Univ. received a $26.8 million grant from the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation to help combat the new strains of rust
(WSJ, 3/26/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/3/08, p.A16)
1999 Sep 9, In NYC it was
reported that 3 people had died from mosquito-borne St. Louis
encephalitis in the last few weeks. The virus was later identified
as the West Nile Virus, never before reported in the Western
Hemisphere. 3 years later the virus reached California.
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A3)(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A9)(Econ,
1999 Sep 30, It was reported
that the Western oak beetle, P. pubipennis, and the oak ambrosia
beetle, M. scutellare, were decimating black, tan and coast live oak
trees across northern California. Sudden Oak Death was later
attributed to a fungus of the genus Phytophthora. The pathogen was
later reported to be related to a fungus that was destroying Port
Orford cedars in the Pacific Northwest.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.A21,26)(SFC, 7/15/00,
p.A17)(SFC, 8/1/00, p.A13)(SFC, 9/23/00, p.A1)
1999 Nov 27, It was reported
that at least 26 people had died recently in Phrae province,
Thailand, from leptospirosis, a disease transmitted by rat urine.
Farmers not wearing boots and gloves in their fields were
(SFC, 11/27/99, p.A17)
1999 Jared Diamond authored
“Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies."
1999 The PATH Malaria Vaccine
Initiative was founded with money from the from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation.
1999 The Japanese bubble snail
was first identified in the San Francisco Bay. It carried a
parasite, a microscopic flatworm, that caused swimmer’s itch, i.e.
1999 In NYC crows began dying
in unusual numbers. The culprit was identified as West Nile Virus,
its first appearance in the Western hemisphere.
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.34)
1999 Hepatitis C virus was
believed to have infected some 170 million people worldwide.
(Econ, 11/1/03, p.75)
1999 Researchers began
introducing phorid species in Texas in 1999. As many as 23 phorid
species with pathogens attack fire ants to keep their population and
movements under control. Fire ants cost the Texas economy about $1
billion annually by damaging circuit breakers and other electrical
1999 The fungus Cryptococcus
gattii, normally found in Australia and other tropical zones, was
discovered on Vancouver Island, Canada. By 2007 at least 8 people
had died from infection and another 163 sickened.
(SSFC, 4/8/07, p.A11)
2000 Mar, Health Canada
quarantined the country’s sperm banks after a woman contracted
chlamydia from a donor sample.
(SSFC, 3/25/01, p.C4)
2000 Jun 9, It was reported
that some 5 dozen intravenous drug users in Scotland, Ireland and
England had died since April from a mysterious illness not yet
identified. The culprit was later identified as Clostridium novyi
(SFC, 6/9/00, p.D3)(SFC, 6/15/00, p.A19)
2000 Jul 28, The US FDA
approved Cipro for inhalational anthrax.
2000 Aug 3, It was reported
that scientists had developed the genetic blueprint of the cholera
(SFC, 8/3/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 31, It was reported
that malaria researchers had identified the mechanism by which the
parasite feeds on blood cells.
(WSJ, 8/31/00, p.A1)
2000 Aug, 78 4-man teams in the
Eco-Challenge Sabah encountered flooded rivers over a 2-week race in
Malaysian Borneo. A number later found themselves infected with
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep 19, Researchers
reported for the 1st time that a new vaccine was effective against
(WSJ, 9/20/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 14, In Uganda it was
reported that at least 30 people had died in recent weeks of a
hemorrhagic fever possibly caused by the Ebola or Marburg virus.
(SFC, 10/14/00, p.A16)
2000 Oct 22, Death from the
Ebola fever climbed to 54 In Uganda as health officials continued a
village by village search for people with contact to the virus.
(SFC, 10/23/00, p.A12)
2000 Oct 26, The US FDA planned
to ban 2 fluoroquinolone antibiotics used by poultry farmers due to
fears that humans might become infected with germs that resist
(SFC, 10/27/00, p.A3)
2000 Nov 12, Uganda confirmed a
new case of Ebola in Masindi, the 3rd district to confirm the deadly
(SFC, 11/13/00, p.A14)
2000 Dec 5, Uganda Dr. Matthew
Lokwiya, who diagnosed the Ebola outbreak 2 months earlier, died
from the disease.
(WSJ, 12/6/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 8, The Uganda victims
with Ebola reached 400 including 160 dead.
(SFC, 12/9/00, p.A18)
2000 Wyeth introduced Prevnar,
a vaccine to protect children against 7 strains of bacteria that can
cause ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis. In 2007 researchers
found a strain of bacteria that can cause ear infections, serotype
19A, that was resistance to all antibiotics approved for children.
(WSJ, 10/17/07, p.D8)
2001 Jan 20, Dr. Charles
Merieux, virologist and founder of the Merieux Laboratory, died at
age 94 in Lyon, France. He helped produce the Salk vaccine
cultivated in minced monkey kidney tissue. He also produced a
vaccine against a meningitis strain that killed 4,000 people in
Brazil in 1974.
(SFC, 1/27/01, p.A24)
2001 Feb 19, In Britain an
outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was found in 27 pigs at a
slaughterhouse in Essex. The last outbreak was in 1981. The outbreak
was 1st identified in pigs at Heddon-on-the-Wall.
(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A12)(SFC, 3/31/01, p.D8)
2001 Feb 25, In Northumberland,
England, over 800 pigs were destroyed and burned due to
foot-and-mouth disease. New cases appeared at a cattle and sheep
ranch in the southwest.
(SFC, 2/26/01, p.A10)
2001 Feb 26, In Britain new
cases of hoof-and-mouth disease brought to 12 the number of farms or
slaughterhouses infected. The slaughter of pigs, cows and sheep rose
to some 7,000.
(SFC, 2/27/01, p.A1)
2001 Feb 28, Officials in
Northern Ireland confirmed hoof-and-mouth disease in sheep imported
from England. 8 more cases were confirmed in England and Wales.
(SFC, 3/1/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 3, The foot-and-mouth
scare made its way from Britain to mainland Europe with the
discovery of blisters on the snouts of three pigs in northern
Belgium, sparking drastic measures.
2001 Mar 5, France banned
exports of animals at risk for hoof-and-mouth disease.
(SFC, 3/6/01, p.A11)
2001 Mar 6, The EU ordered all
livestock markets closed for 2 weeks to contain foot-and-mouth
(SFC, 3/7/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 11, In England 25 new
cases of hoof-and-mouth disease were reported with outbreaks in
Scotland, Wales, Devonshire and Kent.
(SFC, 3/12/01, p.A15)
2001 Mar 13, France announced
its first case of foot-and-mouth disease, prompting the U.S.
Department of Agriculture to suspend imports of livestock and fresh
meat from the European Union.
(SFC, 3/14/01, p.A1)(AP, 3/13/02)
2001 Mar 14, Inspectors
tightened U.S. defenses against foot-and-mouth disease a day after a
case was confirmed in France.
2001 Mar 15, Britain announced
plans to slaughter up to 100,000 more animals due to possible
contacts with foot-and-mouth disease virus.
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A15)
2001 Mar 17, Colombia suspended
meat and livestock imports from Argentina for 60 days due to fears
of foot-and-mouth disease. Only Israel and Russia still imported
(SFC, 3/19/01, p.A9)
2001 Mar 20, Britain reported
46 new confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease, the largest daily
number to date.
(SFC, 3/21/01, p.A14)
2001 Mar 22, In Ireland a case
of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in County Louth, on the
border with Northern Ireland. 40,000 cattle were destroyed.
(SFC, 3/23/01, p.D5)(WSJ, 3/23/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 23, In Britain Prime
Minister Blair ordered the creation of 2-square-mile killing zones
around every farm infected with hoof-and-mouth disease as the number
of daily cases escalated.
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.A10)
2001 Apr 8, It was reported
that foot-and-mouth disease was endemic in Asia and that 3,282 cases
were confirmed in Hong Kong over the past year.
(SSFC, 4/7/01, p.C3)
2001 May 6, It was reported
that 1 in every 1000 Russians has tuberculosis.
(SSFC, 5/6/01, p.A15)
2001 May 21, Joerg C. Tiller of
MIT said a new polymer, called hexyl-PVP, could be used as a surface
coating and was able to kill common disease-causing organisms.
(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A6)
2001 May 29, Epidural cortisone
shots at the Sierra SurgiCenter in Walnut Creek, Ca., caused 2
deaths from contamination that led to meningitis. A batch of
betamethasone steroid was contaminated with serratia bacteria.
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.A1)(SFC, 6/9/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 21, Zimbabwe halted
beef exports as foot-and-mouth disease broke out in the latest
series of farm expropriations where militants released quarantined
(WSJ, 8/22/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 18, Letters postmarked
in Trenton, N.J., and later tested positive for anthrax, were sent
to the New York Post and NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw.
2001 Sep 28, Dr. Kenneth M.
Berry of Pittsburgh filed a patent application for a system
responsive to bioterrorism attacks. In 2004 the FBI probed him in
relation to investigations on letters containing anthrax.
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.A9)
2001 Oct 5, Bob Stevens (63),
photo editor for the Sun tabloid, died of anthrax. Anthrax spores
were later found on his computer keyboard in Lantana. This was the
1st of a series of cases in Florida, New York, New Jersey and
Washington. In 2011 his widow settled a $2.5 million lawsuit against
the US government.
12/30/01, p.D7)(AP, 10/5/02)(SFC, 10/31/11, p.A5)(SFC, 11/30/11,
2001 Oct 8, A 2nd case of
anthrax was reported in Ernesto Blanco (73), a co-worker of the man
who died Oct 5 in Florida.
(SFC, 10/9/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 9, Letters postmarked
in Trenton, N.J., were sent to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy;
the letters later tested positive for anthrax.
2001 Oct 9, The 2 anthrax cases
in Florida were reported to probably have been caused by an
intentional release of the deadly bacteria.
(SFC, 10/10/01, p.A4)
2001 Oct 10, In Florida a 3rd
case of anthrax was identified in a 35-year-old woman who worked in
the same office as Robert Stevens. The strain was reported to match
one from Iowa in the 1950s commonly used by lab researchers.
(SFC, 10/11/01, p.A4,5)
2001 Oct 12, NBC announced that
an assistant to anchorman Tom Brokaw had contracted the skin form of
anthrax after opening a "threatening" letter to her boss that
contained a suspicious powder.
(SFC, 10/13/01, p.A1)(AP, 10/12/02)
2001 Oct 13, Anthrax was
confirmed in 3 US states. In Florida 5 more employees tested
positive; in Nevada a letter sent to a Microsoft office tested
positive; and in NYC a letter sent to NBC News tested positive.
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 15, Anthrax in a
letter to a Reno Microsoft office was reported to be from Malaysia.
2 anthrax-tainted letters were reported to have been mailed from
Trenton, New Jersey and 2 postal employees there showed symptoms.
Anthrax spores were in a letter deliver to a Senate office.
Officials announced that a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle had tested positive for anthrax, and that the infant son of
an ABC News producer in New York had developed skin anthrax.
(SFC, 10/16/01, p.A1)(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A16)(AP,
2001 Oct 16, A wing of the US
Senate building was closed following confirmation that a letter to
Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., carried anthrax. It was later found that
the anthrax contained the additive bentonite to enhance suspension
in air. 12 Senate offices were closed as hundreds of staffers
underwent anthrax tests.
(SFC, 10/17/01, p.A1)(SFC, 10/25/01, p.A1)(WSJ,
10/26/01, p.A1)(AP, 10/16/02)
2001 Oct 17, Federal officials
reported that the anthrax strains in New York and Florida appeared
to be identical. The House and 6 congressional office buildings were
closed for tests after over 30 Senate staff members tested positive
for exposure to spores.
(SFC, 10/18/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 18, CBS News announced
that an employee in Dan Rather's office had tested positive for skin
2001 Oct 18, Two new cases of
anthrax were reported in New Jersey.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 18, The FBI and Postal
Service announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the
arrest of anthrax mailings.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A16)
2001 Oct 19, The FBI identified
the Trenton, NJ, mailbox from which the anthrax letters were sent to
NYC and Washington. Two more people were reported to be infected
bringing the total to 8.
(SFC, 10/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 20, Traces of anthrax
were found in a US House of Representatives mail room. This became
the 3rd Capital Hill building infected.
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.A3)(AP, 10/20/02)
2001 Oct 21, Thomas L. Morris
Jr. (55), a DC postal worker diagnosed with the deadly inhalation
form of anthrax, died. Officials began testing thousands of postal
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/24/01, p.A1)(AP,
2001 Oct 22, A second
Washington DC postal worker, Joseph P. Curseen (47), died of
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/24/01, p.A1)(AP,
2001 Oct 23, President Bush
announced he had authorized money for improved post office security
following the deaths of two postal workers from inhalation anthrax.
2001 Oct 23, Traces of anthrax
were found at an off-site facility that handled mail for the White
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 24, The US government
arranged to buy 100 million Cipro tablets from Bayer for 95 cents
each. The tablets were for anthrax. US Postmaster General John
Potter told Americans “There are no guaranties that mail is safe."
He warned people to wash their hands after handling mail.
(SFC, 10/25/01, p.D1)(SSFC, 9/10/06, p.E4)
2001 Oct 25, A State Dept. mail
worker in Virginia was diagnosed with the inhalational form of
(SFC, 10/26/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 26, Anthrax was found
in the offices of 3 lawmakers in the Longworth House Office building
on Capital Hill. The Supreme Court was shut down to test for anthrax
(SFC, 10/27/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 27, In Washington, the
search for deadly anthrax widened to thousands of businesses and 30
mail distribution centers.
2001 Oct 28, The CDC reported a
13th case of anthrax in a New Jersey postal worker. Spores were
found at the mail center in Landover, Md.
(SFC, 10/29/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 29, A hospital worker
in NY and a woman who handled mail in New Jersey were found to have
anthrax. Since Oct 4 a total of 37 people have tested positive for
exposure and 15 have contracted the disease.
(SFC, 10/30/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 31, The US Consulate
in Lahore, Pakistan, received a letter that was later confirmed to
(SFC, 11/7/01, p.A10)
2001 Oct 31, Kathy Nguyen (61),
a NYC hospital worker, died of anthrax. She was the 4th person to
perish in a spreading wave of bioterrorism. The source of infection
remained a mystery.
(SFC, 11/1/01, p.A1)(AP, 10/31/02)
2001 Nov 1, Anthrax spores were
found in 4 mailrooms in Rockville, Md., a postal facility in Kansas
City, 3 new locations in a Manhattan processing center and a 6th
postal facility in Florida.
(WSJ, 11/2/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 2, A 17th case of
anthrax was reported in a NY Post employee.
(SFC, 11/3/01, p.A3)
2001 Nov 4, It was reported
that the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur cited bin Laden as
possibly possessing an arsenal of biochemical weapons. US
intelligence sources were cited that bin Laden purchased
laboratories from the former Yugoslavia, Ebola virus from former
Soviet stockpiles, botulism from the Czech Republic, anthrax from
North Korea and the assistance of chemists and biologists from the
(SSFC, 11/4/01, p.A25)
2001 Nov 5, Baxter said its
dialysis filters appear to have played a role in the deaths of 53
patients in Texas, Nebraska, and 6 countries in Europe, south
America and Asia.
(WSJ, 11/6/01, p.A3)
2001 Nov 10, Traces of anthrax
were reported in offices of the Hart and Longworth government
buildings in Washington DC.
(SSFC, 11/11/01, p.A7)
2001 Nov 11, A Pakistani
newspaper (Ausaf) published the second part of an interview in which
Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying he had nothing to do with the
anthrax attacks in the United States, and declared he would never
allow himself to be captured.
2001 Nov 11-2001 Nov 16, In St.
Cloud, Minn., three healthy men died following knee surgeries from
infections of Clostridium sordellii.
(SFC, 11/28/01, p.A5)
2001 Nov 13, An anthrax tainted
letter was received by a pediatrician in Santiago. It was postmarked
from Switzerland and marked for return to Florida. It was actually
mailed from NY through a NY-based subsidiary of the Swiss Post
office. The letter was later believed to have been contaminated in a
(SFC, 11/23/01, p.A4)(SFC, 11/24/01, p.A9)(WSJ,
11/28/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 11/29/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 15, Investigators in
Florida said anthrax was found throughout the 68,000-square-foot
America Media building in Boca Raton, where the 1st case was
(SFC, 11/16/01, p.A17)
2001 Nov 16, An anthrax laced
letter was found in quarantined congressional mail addressed to Sen.
Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). It was found to contain billions of
spores, enough to kill 100,000 people.
(SFC, 11/17/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/21/01, p.A8)(SFC,
2001 Nov 21, Ottilie W.
Lundgren (94) of Oxford, Conn., died of inhalational anthrax in a
case that baffled investigators.
(SFC, 11/21/01, p.A10)(AP, 11/21/02)
2001 Dec 2, An outbreak of
Ebola virus hit Gabon with the 1st death in Ekata, about 5 miles
from the Congo border. Within weeks at least 15 people died. The
virus spread to Congo and movement in the area was restricted.
(SFC, 12/21/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 5, The FBI arrested
escaped fugitive Clayton Lee Waagner in St. Louis. Waagner was
suspected of mailing as many as 550 anthrax hoax letters to abortion
clinics. He was also wanted for bank robbery and other offenses. In
2002 Waagner was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
(SFC, 12/6/01, p.A13)(WSJ, 12/6/01, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Dec 6, Anthrax tainted
mail turned up at a sorting site outside the Federal building in
Washington DC. It had been received Dec 5.
(WSJ, 12/7/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 16, It was reported
that all the anthrax spores mailed to Capital Hill were identical to
stocks from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious
Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. (USAMRIID), maintained since 1980.
(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.A9)
2001 Dec 17, The Bush
administration announced that the anthrax attacks most likely
originated from a domestic source.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 18, It was reported
that malaria scientists have engineered mice that produce vaccine in
(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 The metapneumovirus was
discovered by researchers in Rotterdam. The calculated that every
child catches the virus by age 5.
(SFC, 9/17/03, p.A7)
2002 Jan 22, The Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established as a Swiss
2002 Feb 14, It was reported
that scientists at NIH had developed the 1st vaccine effective
against staph bacteria.
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.A4)
2002 Feb 23, It was reported
that 5 people were confirmed with plague in Himachal Pradesh, India.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A24)
2002 Feb, Dr Wakefield and
Professor O'Leary published a paper in the journal Molecular
Pathology which suggested a possible link between the measles virus
and bowel disease in children with developmental disorders. The
study set out to investigate whether children with developmental
disorders such as autism and a bowel disorder also had the measles
virus in their gut. It found traces of the virus in the guts of 75
children out of 91 with bowel disease, but in only five out of 70
healthy children. The researchers theorized that the virus may act
as a trigger, leading to problems with the immune system. Dr
Wakefield said most of the children in the study had had MMR, though
a few had had the single vaccine. He and his colleague emphasized
that it would be wrong to jump to any hasty conclusions about MMR
causing either bowel disease or developmental disorders such as
autism. In 2010 Dr. Wakefield was banned from practicing medicine in
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1808956.stm)(SFC, 5/25/10, p.A2)
2002 Feb, A team from the
Royal Free Hospital - where Dr Wakefield carried out his initial
research - published a study on the British Medical Journal website
saying there is no link between MMR and autism. The team looked at
almost 500 children with autism born between 1979 and 1998. It found
the proportion of children with developmental regression (autism) or
bowel disorders did not change significantly over that time.
2002 Feb, The W135 strain of
meningitis from the Middle East was identified for the 1st time in
Africa in Burkina Faso and by Sep some 12,000 people were infected
with 1,500 deaths.
(SFC, 9/20/02, p.A12)
2002 Mar 5, It was reported
that Cipro resistant gonorrhea had turned up on the West Coast of
(WSJ, 3/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 18, Researchers in
Pittsburgh reported a strain of Group A streptococci resistant to
erythromycin (the macrolide class of antibiotics).
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A4)(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.A1)
2002 May 6, It was reported
that German researchers had found a new class of ultra-tiny
microbes: a nano-size hyperthermophilic archeon, tinier than
mycoplasma but larger than viruses.
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.A4)
2002 May 7, It was reported
that strain of Gonorrhea resistant to antibiotics had reached the
mainland US after migrating from Hawaii and Asia.
(SFC, 5/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Jun 15, In the Republic of
Congo it was reported that 5 people had died from an outbreak of
ebola, the 2nd outbreak in the region this year.
(SFC, 6/15/02, p.C10)
2002 Jul 11, US scientists
financed by the Pentagon announced that they had synthesized a virus
from scratch for the 1st time. They built a polio virus relying only
on genetic sequence information publicly available.
(SFC, 7/12/02, p.A1)
2002 Aug 2, In Louisiana Gov.
Mike Foster declared a state of emergency after West Nile virus
killed 4 residents and infected another 58.
(SFC, 8/3/02, p.A3)
2002 Aug 11, Dr. Steven J.
Hatfill, a bioweapons expert under scrutiny for anthrax-laced
letters, fiercely denied any involvement and said he had cooperated
with the investigation. He was eventually exonerated and given a
$5.8 million settlement from the US government after years of their
harassing him. Investigators on June 27, 2008, announced that the
anthrax attacks had been carried out by another government
scientist, Bruce Edwards Ivins, whom they concluded had acted alone.
2002 Aug 22, Researchers
reported a new enzyme to treat victims of an anthrax attack and to
help detect the spores.
(SFC, 8/22/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 14, In Congo DRC it
was reported that some 1,200 people had died from a cholera epidemic
and that another 18,000 were infected.
(SFC, 9/14/02, p.A20)
2002 Oct 15, It was reported
that duct tape is effective in removing warts when worn over the
wart for a number of days.
(SFC, 10/15/02, p.A2)
2002 Oct 15, A listeria
outbreak blamed for at east 7 deaths in the northeast was traced to
a Wampler Foods plant in Franconia, Pa.
(SFC, 10/16/02, p.A5)
2002 Oct 21, Scientists
reported a new immunoassay for mad cow disease that takes about a
year for results.
(SFC, 10/21/02, p.A1)
2002 Oct 24, It was reported
that over 8,000 backyard poultry had been killed in southern
California to stop the spread of Exotic Newcastle disease. The
deadly avian infection last surfaced in California the 1970s when
some 12 million birds were destroyed.
(SFC, 10/24/02, p.G2)(SFC, 10/26/02, p.A3)
2002 Nov 19, It was reported
that the Holland America cruise ship Amsterdam was in its 4th week
of battling the Norwalk gastrointestinal virus.
(WSJ, 11/19/02, p.B1)
2002 Nov 21, Intensive cleaning
began aboard the cruise ship Disney Magic after over 100 passengers
fell sick from an unknown stomach virus.
(SFC, 11/23/02, p.A2)
2002 Nov 21, Merck published a
study of vaccine that prevents cervical cancers caused by human
papilloma virus (HPV) that could be available by 2006.
(WSJ, 11/21/02, p.A1)(SFC, 11/21/02, p.A1)
2002 Vancomycin resistant
strains of Staphylococcus aureus emerged.
(NG, 11/04, p.21)
2002 In Japan 9 people died
from E. coli bacteria poisoning after eating a marinated chicken and
vegetable dish at a hospital and its annex, a nursing home for the
aged, in the provincial city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo.
2003 Jan 24, The Bush
administration’s smallpox vaccine program was launched in
Connecticut with 4 doctors getting shots.
(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 9, In China Xinhua’s
first SARS report was issued for leaders’ eyes only. By this time
there were already some 300 cases and 5 deaths dating back to
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.43)
2003 Mar 19, Doctors in Hong
Kong reportedly identified the deadly pneumonia virus as belonging
to the paramyxoviridae family. The severe acute respiratory illness
(SARS) had killed at least 11 people and left hundreds ill. The
outbreak is believed to have began in southern China in November.
Later reports held that it could be a coronavirus, part of a group
that cause the common cold. Many people treated with corticosteroids
later developed an irreversible bone disease called avascular
necrosis. By July 12, 2003, SARS killed 812 people worldwide.
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A8)(SFC, 1/19/02, p.A4)(WSJ,
4/3/03, p.B1)(WSJ, 12/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 22, Scientists believe
they have found the virus responsible for the mystery SARS virus and
announced a test to diagnose it.
2003 Mar 23, A Maryland nurse
died 5 days after being vaccinated for smallpox.
(SFC, 3/26/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 27, It was reported
that the SARS disease had killed 50 people and infected some 1,300
in 13 countries.
(WSJ, 3/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 29, Italian Dr. Carlo
Urbani (46), a WHO expert on communicable diseases, died of SARS in
Thailand, where he was being treated after becoming infected while
working in Vietnam. Urbani was the 1st doctor to identify SARS.
(AP, 3/29/03)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 31, Hong Kong
authorities quarantined more than 200 other residents in an
apartment block in an effort to contain the SARS virus.
2003 Apr 4, It was reported
that Oxford Univ. scientists had developed a new test for TB that
looked for the activation of T-cells.
(SFC, 4/4/03, p.A15)
2003 Apr 4, Chinese experts in
hard-hit Guangdong province told the scientists they have found a
rare form of airborne chlamydia in some of their SARS patients,
raising the possibility that more than one germ may be involved.
Other Chinese cases suggest the disease might be passed by touching
something tainted by a sick person's mucous or saliva.
2003 Apr 17, A Dutch
veterinarian (57) died from avian influenza 2 days after working on
a farm where animals were infected with the bird flu. He was
believed to be the 1st victim of the current epidemic.
(WSJ, 4/21/03, p.A10)
2003 Apr 26, It was reported
that a methillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) had begun
infecting healthy people through skin contact.
(SFC, 4/26/03, B8)
2003 Apr 29, California
biologists reported that some 92 southern sea otters had died since
the beginning of the year between Point Conception and Half Moon
Bay. A cat parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, was cited as one factor
weakening the animals.
(SFC, 4/30/03, A1)(SFC, 5/7/03, p.A1)
2003 May 4, New lab studies
reported that the SARS virus can survive outside an infected body
for hours to days.
(SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A1)
2003 May 21, Taiwan reported 35
new cases of SARS for a total of 418 with 52 deaths.
(SFC, 5/22/03, p.A3)
2003 May 23, Researchers from
China and Hong Kong identified a coronavirus in 3 wild mammals, palm
civets, a raccoon dog and a ferret badger, sold in the live-animal
food markets of South China.
(SFC, 5/24/03, p.A1)
2003 Jun 13, Wisconsin state
officials reported that probable 18 cases of monkeypox all came from
one prairie dog.
(SFC, 6/14/03, p.A6)
2003 Jun 20, In China Guangdong
health officials reported 211 encephalitis cases with 18 children
killed. 100,000 children were vaccinated as a precaution.
(SFC, 6/21/03, p.A5)
2003 Jul 5, The WHO removed
Taiwan from its list of SARS-infected areas and declared a
provisional victory over the epidemic, which had killed 812 people
over 5 continents. The economic losses from SARS was later estimated
at about $200 billion. SARS was later classified as one of a number
of zoonoses, i.e. diseases that come from animals.
(SSFC, 7/6/03, p.A3)(Econ, 11/19/05, p.84)
2003 Jul 7, The CDC confirmed
the year's 1st case of West Nile Virus, which killed 284 in the US
(SFC, 7/8/03, p.A6)
2003 Aug 7, Scientists reported
a new vaccine that was successful against the Ebola virus in
(WSJ, 8/7/03, p.D6)
2003 Sep 8, Singapore health
officials confirmed that a local patient has tested positive for
severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the 1st new case of the
disease in over 5 months.
2003 Sep 29, In Japan a
23-month-old bull tested positive for new strain of mad cow disease.
A quarantine of 604 cows followed to prevent the spread of the
2003 Oct 24, Nigerian health
workers began an emergency drive to immunize some 15 million
children against polio. Some 192 cases were currently active.
(SFC, 10/24/03, p.A3)
2003 Nov 3, Spanish authorities
closed the border with the British colony of Gibraltar before the
arrival of a virus-stricken cruise ship carrying some 2,000
passengers. More than 400 passengers on the ship fell ill with a
norovirus after the ship left Southampton, England, for a
Mediterranean voyage on Oct. 20.
2003 Nov 14, In Pittsburgh,
Pa., a 3rd person died from an outbreak of hepatitis A that infected
over 500 people. They all had recently eaten at a Chi-Chi's Mexican
(SFC, 11/15/03, p.A3)(AP, 11/16/03)
2003 Dec 4, In Kisumu, Kenya,
Tommy Thompson, US Sec. of Health and Human Services, dedicated a
new $6.4 million field laboratory to be operated by the CDC. It was
the largest of its kind in Africa. The local TB and malaria rates
were among the highest in the world.
(SFC, 12/5/03, p.A5)
2003 Dec 17, The fifth outbreak
in two years of the deadly Ebola virus in the Republic of Congo has
so far killed 29 people.
2003 Dec 27, China announced
its first suspected SARS case since July.
2003 The ViroChip, invented by
Dr. Joseph DeRisi (33) of UC San Francisco, gained attention when it
spotted the virus that causes the epidemic form of pneumonia called
(SFC, 9/10/08, p.B4)
2003 Myanmar reported 42% of
the world’s official malaria deaths. WHO statistics were not very
accurate as half of Africa’s countries did not submit any data.
(Econ, 12/9/06, p.86)
2003 In Sudan a study indicated
that AIDS had infected about 1.6% of the population. By 2009 the
number was estimated to be approaching 3%.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.42)
2004 Jan 5, China confirmed its
first SARS case since an outbreak of the disease was contained in
July and authorities ordered the emergency slaughter of some 10,000
civet cats and related species after tests linked a virus found in
the animals to the patient.
2004 Jan 5, Norman Heatley
(92), a scientist whose pioneering work on penicillin production
helped save countless lives, died in Oxford, England. It was Heatley
and his Oxford University colleagues who produced enough for the
first clinical tests on humans.
(AP, 1/17/04)(SFC, 1/19/04, p.B4)
2004 Jan 21, Hong Kong
officials reported that Avian influenza was detected near 2 chicken
farms. 5 people in Vietnam had already died from the recent
(SFC, 1/22/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 26, Pakistan joined
the list of countries affected by the bird flu disease that has
sparked mass chicken culls across the region.
2004 Jan 26, A 6-year-old Thai
boy became Asia's seventh confirmed bird flu fatality.
2004 Jan 27, Global health
officials listed 6 countries with confirmed cases of H5N1 avian flu.
These included Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and
(WSJ, 1/28/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 1, China reported 5
more cases of the avian influenza virus.
(SFC, 2/2/04, p.A4)
2004 Feb 10, NYC said nearly 4%
of men age 40-49 in the city have AIDS or are infected with HIV.
(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 14, It was reported
that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had donated $82.9 million
to the Areas Global TB Vaccine Foundation for the development of a
(SFC, 2/13/04, p.A3)
2004 Feb 20, In Texas a strain
of avian flu was reported in Gonzales County. Further checks
revealed that it was highly pathogenic, but posed little risk to
(SFC, 2/24/04, p.A3)
2004 Feb 26, It was reported
that scientists had identified a protein, TRIM5-alpha, that shields
rhesus monkeys from the AIDS virus.
(WSJ, 2/26/04, p.D4)
2004 Mar 24, World TB Day. TB
killed and estimated 2-3 million people per year.
(SFC, 3/24/04, p.B9)
2004 May 24, The WHO confirmed
an outbreak of the deadly ebola virus has killed four people in
2004 Jul 8, It was reported
that a strain of syphilis has proved resistant to azithromycin.
(WSJ, 7/8/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug 21, In Ohio health
officials said cases of gastrointestinal illness had risen to 510
from people in the Put-in-Bay resort area.
(SSFC, 8/22/04, p.A3)
2004 Sep 8, In Thailand a young
man died from bird flu and increased fears of an avian influenza
pandemic. Asian deaths from bird flu for the year totaled 28.
(WSJ, 9/10/04, p.A2)
2004 Sep 17, Officials in
Singapore reported that a soil-borne bacterial infection called
melioidosis has killed 24 people there this year, making it more
deadly than SARS or bird flu. The illness, also known as Whitmore's
Disease, is listed by the U.S. government as a potential biological
weapon but Singapore government officials said there was no sign it
had been spread intentionally.
2004 Sep 27, In Thailand
officials announced that a case of avian-flu was possibly caused by
(SFC, 9/28/04, p.A3)
2004 Oct 5, Britain pulled the
license of a Liverpool factory responsible for manufacturing half of
Chiron Corp.’s US flu vaccine supply due to contamination by the
(SFC, 10/6/04, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/7/04, p.B6)
2004 Oct 19, A Thailand tiger
zoo housing hundreds of the big cats was shut down as bird flu tests
confirmed 23 tigers had died of the virus since Oct 14, and another
30 had fallen ill. They caught the flu from feeding on chicken
(AFP, 10/20/04)(Econ, 4/16/05, p.36)
2004 Oct 27, Nigeria's
state-owned news agency reported that an outbreak of measles in a
remote Nigerian village had killed a dozen people. Sub-Saharan
Africa accounts for 500,000 deaths from measles every year.
2004 Nov 9, It was reported
that repeated injections of paromomycin, a low cost antibiotic,
could cure the parasitic disease black fever, also known as visceral
(SFC, 11/9/04, p.A6)
2004 Nov 18, US Army doctors
said some 100 soldiers wounded in the Mideast and Afghanistan had
come down with rare, treatment resistant blood infections.
(WSJ, 11/19/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 20, SF officials
warned that the sexually transmitted disease lymphogranuloma
venereum (LGV) had begun to turn up locally. The disease was a form
of chlamydia and required a 3-week course of antibiotics for cure.
(SFC, 12/21/04, p.B4)
2004 Black band coral disease
was first identified. It rose to outbreak levels in 2012 and in 2015
was found in reefs off the coast of Hawaii.
(SFC, 5/1/15, p.A9)
2004 Gilead Sciences of
California launched Truvada, a once-a-day, one-pill combination of
two drugs to treat AIDS.
2005 Jan 5, It was reported
that PolyMedix, a research firm in Philadelphia, was targeting
bacteria with synthetic molecules that prevented the development of
(WSJ, 1/5/05, p.B2A)
2005 Jan 25, The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $750 million over 10 years to
support the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
(WSJ, 1/25/05, p.D6)
2005 Feb 10, Saudi Arabia
confirmed a 2nd case of polio from 2004 and feared pilgrims to Mecca
might spread the disease.
(SFC, 2/11/05, p.A13)
2005 Feb 11, Health officials
in NYC issued a nationwide alert over a new AIDS HIV strain that is
immune to just about all antiretroviral drugs.
(SFC, 2/12/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 21, It was reported
that measles in Nigeria had killed 529 people this year.
(WSJ, 3/21/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 22, Officials from the
ministry of health and the World Health Organization (WHO) said a
deadly haemorrhagic fever that has claimed the lives of 96 people,
mainly children, in Angola's northern Uige province has been
identified as the rare Marburg virus.
2005 Apr 8, Angola’s death toll
from the Marburg virus, which has no effective treatment, rose to
181 with no signs of abating. Doctors without Borders urged the
government to close the regional hospital at Uige to help contain
the spread. Suspected cases have been identified in 7 provinces.
(SFC, 4/9/05, p.A8)(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.A5)
2005 Apr 11, Maurice Hilleman
(85), US pioneer vaccine research scientist, died of cancer in New
Jersey. He helped develop vaccines for mumps, measles, chicken pox
and other childhood scourges.
(SFC, 4/12/05, p.B5)
2005 Apr 14, It was reported
that the bird flu virus was found in some 70% of a random sample of
ducks and geese in Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta, and in 21% of
(WSJ, 4/14/05, p.A14)
2005 Apr 16, It was reported
that Laszlo Kish and Maria King of Texas A&M had devised a new
technique for identifying small quantities of bacteria in minutes
using a combination of virology ad microelectronics.
(Econ, 4/16/05, p.70)
2005 May 4, In China 178 birds
were found dead at Bird Island in Qinghai province in a lake that
served as a major area for research on migratory water fowl. They
were killed by the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus. The number
of dead birds was later raised to 1,500 with bar-headed geese among
the most dead.
(WSJ, 5/23/05, p.A11)(SFC, 7/7/05, p.A5)
2005 May 4, Chinese authorities
confined residents in Yanqing, 50 miles north of Beijing, to their
homes following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.
Numerous farms were put under quarantine.
(WSJ, 5/24/05, p.A10)
2005 May 13, Indonesia reported
that researchers had found a strain of bird flu in pigs on Java, and
feared the virus could spread to humans.
(SSFC, 5/15/05, p.A14)
2005 May 21, China ordered
emergency measures to prevent an outbreak of avian flu after
investigators said migratory birds found dead in a western province
this month were killed by the virus.
2005 May 26, China’s Xinhua
news agency reported that China has developed vaccines that block
the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu among birds and
2005 May 30, Indonesia's first
polio outbreak in a decade widened with two new cases reported, as
the government kicked off a massive eradication campaign that aims
to vaccinate 6.4 million children in one day.
2005 Jun 6, Scientists reported
success with monkeys in using vaccines to fend off the Ebola and
(SFC, 6/6/05, p.A2)
2005 Jun 11, US officials said
a cow had tested positive for mad cow disease in November, opening
the door to possible changes in testing procedures in the US beef
industry. The cow was later identified as being calved in Texas in
(AP, 6/11/05)(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 15, Indonesia reported
its 1st human case of bird flu.
(SFC, 6/16/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 15, Vietnam reported 6
new cases of bird flu in the past week.
(WSJ, 6/15/05, p.A15)
2005 Jun 20, In Vietnam
officials said 2 more people from northern Vietnam have been
sickened with bird flu, and thousands of chickens have dropped dead
in the south.
2005 Jun 21, US researchers
said a common virus that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous
cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy.
The adeno-associated virus type 2, or AAV-2, infects an estimated 80
percent of the population.
2005 Jun 21, Austria’s Health
Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat announced a cow in an alpine farm
Austria has been found to be infected with mad cow disease.
2005 Jun 25, Taiwan reimposed a
ban on imports of American beef after the US confirmed its second
case of mad cow disease.
2005 Jun 30, A Cambodia doctor
reported that 2 infants have died in Cambodia from influenza, part
of an outbreak that has hospitalized more than 1,000 children. He
said the illness appears to be a form of human flu, not the avian
2005 Jul 5, It was reported
that French and South African researchers had found that
circumcision reduces the risk of AIDS by 70%.
(WSJ, 7/5/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 26, Chinese health
officials reported that over the last 4 weeks an unidentified
illness has killed 19 farmers and sickened 80 in southwestern China
after they butchered sick pigs or sheep. The pigs in question were
infected with streptococcus bacteria, a common pathogen in humans
and domestic animals.
2005 Jul 30, The death toll in
China from a mysterious pig-borne disease continued to rise, with
several more cities affected. Sichuan province in southwestern China
has launched a campaign to educate poor, illiterate farmers not to
slaughter sick pigs or eat their meat after an outbreak of swine flu
hit about 100 villages and killed at least 34 people.
(Reuters, AFP, 7/30/05)
2005 Jul 30, A Russia newspaper
reported that a strain of bird flu harmful to humans has been found
in an outbreak of the disease in Siberia.
2005 Nov 15, Data was published
indicating that Mosquitrix by GlaxoSmithKline of Belgium, an
experimental vaccine against malaria given to children in Mozambique
in 2003, cut clinical cases by 35%.
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.85)
2005 Nov 19, It was reported
that the Nipah virus, naturally found in bats, had moved to
Malaysian pigs. It killed about 40% of the 265 people it had
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.85)
2005 The President’s Malaria
Initiative was founded under George Bush as a five-year, $1.2
billion expansion of US Government resources to reduce the
intolerable burden of malaria and help relieve poverty on the
2005 The vaccine Menactra, to
prevent meningococcal meningitis, was licensed in the US. It was
manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, a unit of Sanofi-Aventis.
(WSJ, 8/4/08, p.D1)
2005 There was a measles
outbreak among school children in Indiana. In 2006 the CDC
attributed it to home-schooled children whose parents avoided
vaccinations out of safety concern. The outbreak was later traced to
a 17-year-old girl who had traveled to Romania without getting
(WSJ, 8/3/06, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/06, p.A18)
2006 May 12, US Federal
authorities said the number of confirmed cases of a rare fungal eye
infection that can cause blindness has climbed to 122, most of them
contact-lens wearers who reported using Bausch & Lomb Inc.'s
newest lens cleaner. In Oct, 2007, Bausch & Lomb was acquired by
private equity firm Warburg Pincus for $3.67 billion. Chief
Executive Ronald Zarrella said the deal would allow the company "to
pursue the growth path we were on ... without a lot of outside
distraction." Zarrella retired in 2008. As of 2009 away from the
glare of public scrutiny, the optical products company quietly
settled nearly 600 fungal-infection lawsuits with dozens more
individual claims yet to be resolved. The cost so far: Upward of
(AP, 5/12/06)(AP, 6/1/09)
2006 May 25, Researchers
confirmed that the human AIDS virus originated in a corner of
Cameroon in wild chimpanzees. The first known human to be infected
with HIV was a man from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(SFC, 5/26/06, p.A2)(WSJ, 5/26/06, p.A1)
2006 Sep 7, Medical experts
said a killer strain of drug-resistant tuberculosis has been found
in at least 28 hospitals across South Africa and that it jeopardized
efforts to deal with AIDS.
(SFC, 9/8/06, p.A3)
2006 Sep 14, The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $68.2 million to fight parasitic
diseases that included leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis and hookworm.
The new money will support efficacy trials in India and Africa.
(WSJ, 9/14/06, p.A11)
2006 Sep 14, US federal health
officials said an outbreak a deadly strain of E. coli (0157:H7) had
left at least one person dead in Wisconsin over 100 others sick and
warned consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach. The outbreak in 8
states soon extended to 25. 2 more deaths were suspected and the
number sickened rose to 173. Most of the spinach crop at this time
of the year comes from California. A special effort was under way in
the Salinas Valley of California, a major leafy-vegetable growing
region, to look for any possible source of contamination there. The
outbreak was traced to California’s Natural Selection Foods, which
recalled all suspect products. This was the same deadly strain that
in 1982 had sickened at least 47 people in Oregon and Michigan who
ate McDonald’s burgers. A surveillance system setup after a 1993
outbreak at the Jack-in-the-Box fast food chain helped single out
spinach as the likely source of this outbreak.
(AP, 9/14/06)(WSJ, 9/18/06, p.A1)(SFC, 9/23/06,
p.A9)(WSJ, 9/25/06, p.A4)
2006 Sep 28, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention warned that travelers to parts of
Africa and Asia are returning with a new mosquito-borne virus. Some
people returning to Europe, the US, Canada, Martinique and French
Guyana reported cases of Chikungunya fever (CHIKV). The virus first
emerged in Tanzania in 1953.
2006 Oct 31, Scientists
reported that the Fujian-strain of H5N1 avian influenza has become
dominant in southern China.
(SFC, 10/31/06, p.A2)
2006 Nov 21, The UN said an
estimated 4.3 million people were infected with HIV, the virus that
causes AIDS, in the last 12 months. The UNAIDS report estimated that
the total number of people infected with HIV stood between 34-47
(http://tinyurl.com/tajka)(Econ, 11/25/06, p.84)
2006 Dec 7, Researchers said
the Ebola virus may have killed more than 5,000 gorillas in West
Africa (Congo-Gabon), enough to send them into extinction if people
continue to hunt them.
2006 Dec 16, Indian health
officials said nearly 30 children have died this month of
mosquito-borne encephalitis in northern India, taking the toll since
July to 401.
2006 Dec 27, A 26-year-old
Egyptian man died of bird flu, the third member of his extended
family to die of the virus.
2006 In California an epidemic
of valley fever, clinically known as coccidioidomycosis, resulted in
over 5,500 cases and 33 deaths. The cases included 514 among inmates
at Pleasant Valley State Prison. The disease was endemic in the
southwest US and was triggered by spores rising from disturbed soil.
(SFC, 12/29/07, p.A3)
2006 Gilead Sciences of
California launched Atripla, a once-a-day, one-pill combination of
Truvada and another drug to treat AIDS.
(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)(http://www.atripla.com/)
2006 The WHO estimated that
malaria infected up to 500 million people per year. Malaria killed
nearly one million people worldwide this year with children under
five and African countries bearing the brunt, according to a 2008
WHO report. Later in 2008 WHO halved its estimate of world-wide
malaria cases to 247 million.
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.71)(AFP, 9/18/08)(WSJ, 9/19/08,
2006 Dr. Jiao Nianzhi of
China’s Xiamen Univ. developed a technique called time series
observation based infra red epifluorescence microscopy (TIREM). He
used it accurately measure creatures in the ocean called aerobic
anoxygenic photoheterotrophic bacteria (AAPB). Results showed that
these organisms constitute 7% of the oceans’ microbes.
(Econ, 9/11/10, p.96)
2007 Jan 7, A senior Kenyan
health official said about 75 people have died of Rift Valley fever
(hemorrhagic fever) during the past three weeks and another 183 are
infected with it. The last outbreak of the disease in East Africa
was between 1997-1998, when 478 people died in Somalia and Kenya.
Currently there was no human vaccine.
(AP, 1/8/07)(WSJ, 1/9/06, p.A1)
2007 Feb 15, Government
scientists struggled to pinpoint the source of the first US
salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter. Nearly 300 people in 39
states have fallen ill since August, and federal health
investigators said they strongly suspect Peter Pan peanut butter and
certain batches of Wal-Mart's Great Value house brand, both
manufactured by ConAgra Foods.
2007 Feb 15, Nadia Abdel Hafez,
an Egyptian woman (37), died of bird flu in a Cairo hospital and a
boy, 5, became the 22nd Egyptian to test positive for the deadly
2007 Apr 7, It was reported
that injections of Mycobacterium vaccae into mice caused their
immune systems to produce serotonin. This neurotransmitter, when low
in humans, was known to be related to depression.
(Econ, 4/7/07, p.79)
2007 Apr 25, UCSF biochemist
Joe DeRisi said he found genes of the single-celled, spore producing
parasite Nosema ceranae in dead bees. Researchers in Spain had
recently shown that the parasite is capable of wiping out a beehive.
(SFC, 4/26/07, p.A1)
2007 May 7, Hong Kong
newspapers reported that an unidentified animal illness has spread
in two southern Chinese cities, infecting at least 1,300 pigs and
killing more than 300. The diseased pigs began dying in Gaoyao and
Yunfu in Guangdong province following Chinese New Year celebrations
in February. The illness was soon identified as a strain of blue ear
disease. Blue ear disease, also called porcine reproductive and
respiratory syndrome, was first identified in the United States in
1987. The disease this year killed an estimated 45 million pigs in
(AP, 5/8/07)(SFC, 5/8/07, p.A17)(AP,
5/10/07)(Econ, 12/20/14, p.68)
2007 May 29, Andrew Speaker
(31), a lawyer from Atlanta with a rare and dangerous form of
tuberculosis, ignored doctors' advice and took two trans-Atlantic
flights, leading to the first US government-ordered quarantine since
1963. Italian officials said they were tracing the movements of
Speaker, who honeymooned in Rome for two days despite being told to
turn himself in to health authorities.
(AP, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/30/07)(Reuters, 6/1/07)
2007 Jun 7, It was reported
that UCSF researchers had identified a new species of bacteria,
Bartonella rochalimae, in an American tourist who was sickened after
spending 3 weeks trekking in Peru. It was named after Henrique da
Rocha-Lima, a Brazilian scientist who decades ago identified the
bacterium that causes typhus.
(SFC, 6/7/07, p.B1)
2007 Jul 14, A miner (29) died
in western Uganda from the deadly Marburg virus, first discovered in
(Econ, 8/18/07, p.40)
2007 Jul 24, Jolee Mohr (36)
died in Chicago just weeks after beginning an experimental gene
therapy treatment from Targeted Genetics to ease the pain the
rheumatoid arthritis in her knee. Doctors later suspected an
infection of Histoplasma capsulatum.
(SSFC, 9/16/07, p.A21)(SFC, 9/18/07, p.A4)
2007 Aug 7, Scientists reported
that a widespread die-off of frogs, toads and salamanders is
primarily due to the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.
Global climate change was believed to encourage the spread of the
(SFC, 8/7/07, p.A4)
2007 Aug 7, The US FDA approved
a new drug to help patients with AIDS. Pfizer’s Selzentry is the
first anti-AIDS drug that blocks the CCR5 receptor, often used by
the HIV virus to enter white blood cells.
(SFC, 8/7/07, p.A4)
2007 Aug 16, It was reported
that a highly infectious swine virus, blue pork disease, had spread
to 25 of China’s 33 provinces, prompting pork shortages and an 85%
increase in pork prices over the last year.
(SFC, 8/16/07, p.A15)
2007 Aug 20, In China Jia
Youling, chief veterinary officer, said that the Porcine
Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), aka as blue-ear pig
disease, head been brought under control. He said 257,000 pigs in 26
provinces had been infected. 68,000 had died from the disease and
175,000 were destroyed.
(Econ, 8/25/07, p.41)
2007 Aug, In Italy over a
hundred people became ill in Castiglione di Cervia, near Ravenna,
with a disease that was later identified as chikungunya, a tropical
disease spread by the tiger mosquito. This was the first such
outbreak in modern Europe.
(SSFC, 12/23/07, p.A22)
2007 Sep 1, The World Health
Organization (WHO) confirmed five human bird flu cases in Vietnam,
four of them fatal. The four, including two women, died between June
21 and August 3 while a fifth person, a 29-year-old man, had
2007 Sep 6, Scientists reported
that the Israeli acute paralysis virus, first identified in the
Middle East in 2004, is associated with the Colony Collapse Disorder
(CCD), which was wreaking havoc on commercial bees in the US.
(SFC, 9/7/07, p.A8)(Econ, 9/8/07, p.83)
2007 Sep 14, In Martinique
health officials declared a dengue epidemic following the report of
over 1,000 suspected cases in the last month.
(SFC, 9/17/07, p.A3)
2007 Sep 18, It was reported
that cranberry juice combats a wide range of bacteria, including
those that cause stomach ulcers, gum disease and food-borne
illnesses as well as urinary tract infections. Recent research
suggested that astringent compounds, called proanthocyanidins, in
the berry may work to prevent infection-causing bacteria from
adhering to cells in the urinary tract.
(WSJ, 9/18/07, p.D6)
2007 Sep 25, The World Health
Organization said 8 more cases of Ebola have been identified in
Congo, raising to 17 the number of people confirmed to have
contracted the deadly illness.
2007 Sep 28, Britain’s deputy
chief veterinarian said bluetongue disease is circulating in Britain
after being reported in a cow at the weekend in southern England.
2007 Sep 28, Japan suspended
poultry imports from Canada after the H7N3 strain of avian influenza
was found on a Saskatchewan chicken farm.
2007 Sep 29, The Topps Meat Co.
expanded its recall of frozen hamburger patties to include 21.7
million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli
bacteria that sickened more than a dozen people in eight US states.
2007 Sep 30, So far this year,
according to the Pan American Health Organization, 630,356 dengue
cases have been reported in the Americas, most in Brazil, Venezuela,
or Colombia, with 12,147 cases of hemorrhagic fever and 183 deaths.
The Dominican Republic has reported 25 deaths, while Puerto Rico
claimed 5,592 suspected cases and three deaths.
2007 Oct 11, A World Health
Organization official said 69 children in northern Nigeria
contracted polio following vaccination against the disease. Peter
Eriki indicated that around 10 percent of the Nigerian population
has dodged the vaccination campaign.
2007 Nov 13, Britain’s
government said an outbreak of bird flu in eastern England is the
deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. A two-mile protection zone and a
six-mile surveillance zone were created around the infected farm in
2007 Nov 20, Researchers said
they have decoded the gene map of a strain of extensively
drug-resistant tuberculosis and that their work has identified
mutations that may help develop better treatments.
2007 Nov 29, In Uganda a senior
Ministry of Health official said an Ebola outbreak has killed at
least 16 people out of 51 confirmed cases. The first case was
reported Nov. 10 in Bundibugyo district, 210 miles west of the
capital, Kampala. Uganda last had an outbreak of Ebola in October
2000, when 173 people died. A new form of the Ebola virus was
detected in the outbreak. The death toll soon climbed to 21,
including 8 doctors and health workers.
(AP, 11/29/07)(AP, 11/30/07)(Reuters,
12/1/07)(SFC, 12/8/07, p.B6)
2007 Dec 7, The World Health
Organization confirmed that the father of a Chinese man who died of
bird flu has been infected with the virus that causes the disease,
saying it could not rule out the possibility of human-to-human
2007 Dec 15, Pakistan's Health
Ministry issuing a statement saying six people had initially tested
positive for the virus last month, while the WHO said eight had been
reported. International health experts were dispatched to Pakistan
to help investigate the cause of South Asia's first outbreak of bird
flu in people and determine if the virus could have been transmitted
through human contact.
2007 Dec 12-2007 Dec 14, In
South Africa 49 patients, all with multidrug resistant (MDR) and
extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB, escaped through holes they had
cut through the perimeter fences of Jose Pearson Hospital in Port
2007 Connecticut student Cara
Munn (15) contracted tic-borne encephalitis during a trip to China
set up by the private Hotchkiss boarding school in Salisbury. She
suffered brain damage and was later won a $41.5 million verdict
against the school. In 2018 a federal appeals court upheld the
(SFC, 2/9/18, p.A6)
2007 Malaysia’s Prince
Naquiyuddin Jaafar founded the EntoGenex biotech company. It took a
pre-existing protein called the Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor
(TMOF) and by 2012 developed it into what he called a fatal "diet
pill" for mosquitoes. The firm combined the TMOF with bacillus
thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) bacteria, which eats holes in the
guts of larvae but is non-toxic to people. He hoped it could
potentially become a weapon in the even larger fight against
malaria, which kills an estimated 650,000 people per year.
2008 Jan 2, Becton, Dickinson
and Co said it received clearance from the Food and Drug
Administration for a test to identify the presence of two deadly
healthcare-associated infections: Staphylococcus aureus and
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
2008 Jan 24, Researchers at the
J. Craig Venter Institute of Rockville, Md., reported that they have
built from scratch a synthetic chromosome containing all the genetic
material needed to produce the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, the
tiniest bacteria ever found.
(SFC, 1/25/08, p.A1)(Econ, 1/26/08, p.76)
2008 Jan 26, It was reported
that some 15,000 birds had died over the last month around Utah’s
Great Salt Lake due to avian cholera, caused by the bacterium
Pasteurella multocida. The disease was introduced into the wild
during the 1940s from US domestic poultry.
(SFC, 1/26/08, p.B6)
2008 Feb 14, Brazil flew 50,000
doses of yellow fever vaccine to Paraguay following an outbreak
there, the first in 34 years.
(SFC, 2/15/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 23, It was reported
that Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a virologist at UCLA, was pushing for the
creation of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, a planet-wide
network to forecast epidemics before they happen.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.97)
2008 Feb 27, The WHO confirmed
the first urban cases of yellow fever in Latin America in 60 years.
(WSJ, 2/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 11, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said 26% of US teen girls are
infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease. The rate
was highest among blacks.
(AP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 20, Brazilian
officials said an outbreak of dengue in Rio de Janeiro state has
killed at least 47 people this year.
(SFC, 3/21/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 24, The WHO said polio
transmission has been stopped in Somalia.
(WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 28, South Africa
launched a four million dollar program to track down tuberculosis
patients who have defaulted treatment, leading to resistant strains
of the illness.
2008 Apr 4, A South Korean
official said quarantine workers have destroyed more than 100,000
chickens following the first outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu
in the country in more than a year.
2008 May 4, China's Health
Ministry issued a nationwide alert after the enterovirus 71 virus,
or EV-71, which causes hand, foot and mouth disease, infected more
than 4,500 children in central Anhui province. The outbreak was
centered around Fuyang city, where 22 deaths have occurred.
2008 May 5, In China, state
media said a deadly viral outbreak that preys on children has
appeared in Beijing, and the number of infections in China has grown
to more than 8,000. Enterovirus 71 was blamed and went on to kill at
least 43 people with over 24,000 sickened.
(AP, 5/5/08)(SFC, 5/24/08, p.A8)
2008 May 7, China’s state media
said the number of infections of hand, foot and mouth disease has
grown to more than 15,000 with 28 deaths.
2008 May 22, Bangladesh
reported its first confirmed case of human bird flu, but said the
16-month-old victim had now recovered from the virus.
2008 Jun 3, The Good Friends, a
Seoul-based humanitarian group, said that a highly contagious
disease has sparked a health alert with an estimated five or six
children dying every day since April 27 in North Korea’s city of
Hoeryong. A doctor said hand-foot-mouth disease could be spreading
from China, where it has killed several dozen children.
2008 Jun 7, In Hong Kong a
routine inspection found chickens infected with H5N1 bird flu in a
poultry market. Authorities slaughtered 2,700 birds and banned live
poultry imports from China.
(WSJ, 6/9/08, p.A12)
2008 Jun 11, Hong Kong
officials found bird-flu virus at three more food markets and
ordered the slaughter of some 3,500 birds at retail outlets.
(WSJ, 6/12/08, p.A13)
2008 Jun 12, US health
officials said there were some 228 reported cases in 23 states of
people falling ill from salmonella-tainted tomatoes. The 1st patient
had become sick on April 10.
(WSJ, 6/12/08, p.A1)(SFC, 6/13/08, p.A2)(WSJ,
2008 Jun 18, US food safety
officials said 383 people in 30 states have fallen ill in a
Salmonella outbreak linked to certain types of tomatoes.
2008 Jun 20, The widening
Salmonella outbreak sickened more than 550 people. US food safety
inspectors planned trips to Florida and Mexico this weekend to
examine tomato farms and distribution chains, hoping to pinpoint the
source of the outbreak.
2008 Jun 26, US government
officials confirmed 756 illnesses from salmonella tainted tomatoes.
(SFC, 6/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 27, The US CDC said at
least 810 Americans have been sickened by the strain Salmonella
Saintpaul in tomatoes. The source of the tomatoes was made difficult
due to the process of repacking tomatoes at distribution centers. As
the number sickened reached nearly 1000 CDC officials began to look
at other possibilities for the outbreak, including cilantro and
jalapeno and Serrano peppers.
(SFC, 6/28/08, p.B1)(WSJ, 7/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Jun 27, Settlement
documents were filed for Steven Hatfill, a former Fort Detrick, Md.,
Army scientist. He had been named in 2002 as a person of interest in
the 2001 anthrax attacks. He will receive $5.8 million to settle his
lawsuit against the Justice Department. Hatfill claimed the Justice
Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters
about the case.
(AP, 6/28/08)(SFC, 6/28/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 29, US researchers
reported that a drug called lodamin, developed using nanotechnology
and a fungus that contaminated a lab experiment, may be broadly
effective against a range of cancers.
2008 Jul 11, In the Netherlands
health authorities announced a Dutch woman, infected during a
holiday to Uganda by the contagious Marburg virus, had died
overnight. The Marburg virus is similar to Ebola and causes heavy
bleeding. About 100 people who may have had contact with the woman
were under surveillance.
2008 Jul 17, The US government
lifted a salmonella warning on tomatoes, but still warned caution on
fresh jalapeno and serrano peppers.
(SFC, 7/18/08, p.A6)
2008 Jul 29, US Army scientist
Bruce E. Ivins died of an apparent overdoes of Tylenol at Frederick
Memorial Hospital in Maryland. Federal prosecutors investigating the
2001 anthrax attacks were planning to indict and seek the death
penalty against Ivins in connection with anthrax mailings that
killed five people. Ivins, who was developing a vaccine against the
deadly toxin, committed suicide. On Feb 19, 2010, the FBI formally
closed his case concluding that Ivins acted alone in the 2001
(AP, 8/1/08)(AP, 2/20/10)(SFC, 2/16/11, p.A6)
2008 Aug 2, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) said that due to new tracking methods 40% more
people are infected by the HIV virus than was previously believed.
(SSFC, 8/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 9, Morocco said it
would start vaccinating all livestock after the outbreak of Peste
des Petits Ruminants, a deadly viral disease, ahead of the Eid
festival when millions of animals are sacrificed.
2008 Sep 9, Togo’s Health
Ministry said an outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed for the
first time since last year.
2008 Sep 11, Zimbabwe's health
minister said a cholera outbreak in a Harare suburb has killed at
least 11 people.
2008 Sep 13, The Albert and
Mary Lasker Foundation announced Stanley Falkow (74), Stanford
microbiologist, was the winner of a $300,000 Lasker award for
Special Achievement in medical Science. His work helped to explain
how pathogens cause human diseases.
(SSFC, 9/14/08, p.B2)
2008 Sep 25, Iraq's Health
Ministry reported that a total of 327 cholera cases had been
confirmed in central and southern Iraq since an outbreak of the
disease last month.
2008 Sep, In China hepatitis C
infections were discovered after a patient who had received a
transfusion during an operation in Pingtang tested positive for the
disease. In 2009 police detained the director of the hospital, where
at least 64 people were infected with the potentially deadly liver
disease after receiving transfusions from blood collected illegally.
2008 Oct 1, Berhe
Gebreegziabher, the head of Ethiopia’s animal health in the
agriculture ministry, said an outbreak of African horse sickness has
killed more than 2,000 horses, mules and donkeys in Ethiopia since
2008 Oct 7, Zambia's ambassador
said Zambia and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined the
hunt for a mystery illness that has killed four people in South
Africa. A South Africa, health official said the mystery disease may
be Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
(AFP, 10/7/08)(Reuters, 10/7/08)
2008 Oct 14, Chinese state
media reported that a ginseng injection contaminated by bacteria
caused the deaths of three people using the medicine to treat
thrombosis and heart disease.
2008 Nov 5, In Mozambique a
medical officer said at least 50 people have died of cholera and
more than 100 have been taken to hospital since the disease broke
out last week in northern Manica province.
2008 Nov 9, Doctors struggled
to contain an outbreak of cholera in a sprawling refugee camp near
Congo's eastern provincial capital of Goma, as new fighting ignited
fears that infected patients could scatter and launch an epidemic.
2008 Nov 12, Indonesian health
officials said test results from two laboratories in the capital
came back positive confirming that a girl (15) died of bird flu last
2008 Nov 19, Philippine health
officials said at least two people have died and more than 1,500 are
in hospital following a suspected outbreak of cholera in the
2008 Nov 20, The US ambassador
to Harare, James McGee, said that a total of 294 people have been
confirmed dead from cholera in Zimbabwe, amid some 1,200 cases of
the water-borne disease.
2008 Nov 28, Zimbabwe’s
opposition said it has agreed on a draft constitutional amendment to
allow the formation of a power-sharing government, but obstacles
still remain to setting it up. The UN warned that cholera has killed
389 people in Zimbabwe to date and that the disease is also
spreading into neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
(AFP, 11/28/08)(Reuters, 11/28/08)
2008 Nov 30, Zimbabwe's health
minister insisted that the country's crumbling medical system was
taking all necessary measures to combat a cholera epidemic, even as
more than 1,000 new cases were reported.
2008 Dec 2, Zimbabwe slipped
deeper into crisis as the death toll from a cholera epidemic neared
500 and members of President Robert Mugabe's armed forces were
accused of taking part in a looting spree.
2008 Dec 9, Hong Kong health
authorities said more than 80,000 chickens will be slaughtered after
bird flu was found on a poultry farm, the first outbreak at a farm
here in nearly six years.
2008 Dec 11, Hong Kong's
government confirmed that the deadly H5N1 virus was found at a
poultry farm, the first outbreak on a farm here in nearly six years.
2008 Dec 11, President Robert
Mugabe declared that Zimbabwe's cholera crisis was over, even as the
UN raised the death toll from the epidemic to 783.
2008 Dec 16, Chinese
agricultural officials ordered the slaughter of some 377,000
chickens after finding the H5N1 bird flu virus in two areas of
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 23, Bangladeshi
authorities said a new outbreak of bird flu had been detected at a
village in the north of the country as they struggled to contain the
2008 Dec 30, Congo’s health
minister said An Ebola virus outbreak has killed 11 people in
western Congo. Caritas, a Catholic charity, reported that over 400
people have been killed in northeaster Congo since Christmas day.
(AP, 12/30/08)(SFC, 12/31/08, p.A3)
2009 Jan 5, A Chinese woman
(19) died from bird flu in a Beijing hospital, but the World Health
Organization said the case did not appear to signal a new public
2009 Jan 6, The WHO said at
least 1,732 people have died in Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic and the
number of cases diagnosed has risen to 34,306.
2009 Jan 7, US health officials
said an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning has made 388 people
sick across 42 states, sending 18 percent of them to the hospital.
2009 Jan 12, Minnesota
officials said lab tests had confirmed salmonella bacteria in a five
pound container of King Nut brand peanut butter. King Nut of Solon,
Ohio, had recalled the product on January 10. At least 6 people had
been killed and over 470 sickened nationwide in 43 states.
(WSJ, 1/13/09, p.A2)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Jan 13, The WHO said
Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people and
almost 40,000 have contracted the normally preventable disease in
Africa's worst outbreak in nearly a decade.
2009 Jan 14, South Africa’s
health ministry said the death toll from a cholera outbreak has
risen to 15, with more than 2,100 cases registered in a spillover
from Zimbabwe's epidemic. The UN said the death toll from Zimbabwe's
cholera outbreak has risen to 2,106.
2009 Jan 16, Kellogg Co. of
Battle Creek, Mich., recalled 16 products containing peanut butter
due to possible salmonella contamination as federal officials
confirmed contamination at a Georgia facility that ships peanut
products to 85 food companies. On Jan 21 federal health authorities
confirmed that peanut butter and paste made by a Virginia company
were the sole sources of the outbreak. The Blakely, Ga., facility
was owned by Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va. In
2013 four former executives of Peanut Corp. were indicted for the
outbreak that left 9 people dead and hundreds sickened.
(SFC, 1/17/09, p.A2)(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A4)(SFC,
2009 Jan 20, In central China a
16-year-old boy infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus died, the
country's third fatality from the disease this month.
2009 Jan 21, Indonesia’s Health
Ministry said 2 people have died of bird flu, apparently after
contact with sick chickens, raising the country's death toll to 115.
2009 Jan 24, Mariana Bridi
(20), Brazilian model, died from complications related to a
generalized infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The bacteria is known to be resistant to multiple kinds of
antibiotics. The infection reduced the flow of oxygen to her limbs,
causing her feet to be amputated last week and her hands this week.
2009 Jan 24, China announced
the death of a 31-year-old woman from bird flu, its fourth human
victim this year, sparking fears of an outbreak during the country's
main festive season.
2009 Jan 26, China’s state
media reported that an 18-year-old man has died from bird flu in
southern China, the fifth human death from the virus in the country
2009 Jan 28, Peanut Corp.
expanded its recall to all peanut products produced at its Blakely,
Ga., plant since Jan 1, 2007, due to a salmonella outbreak.
(SFC, 1/29/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 25, Kenya announced
its first polio infection in 20 years, after a 4-year-old girl was
diagnosed with the disease along the country's remote border with
2009 Feb 27, The UN Children's
Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass
immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were
reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
2009 Mar 3, An official said 4
Indonesians have died of bird flu over the last 2 months, bringing
the death toll in the country over the past several years to 119.
2009 Mar 5, In Zimbabwe PM
Morgan Tsvangirai said more than 4,000 people have died in the
cholera epidemic that has hit at least 85,000 people, warning the
figures were likely an underestimate.
2009 Mar 24, Cepheid, a
Sunnyvale, Ca., gene-based test developer, said it has devised a
rapid, sensitive diagnostic test for tuberculosis and will make it
available at reduced cost in developing countries. The new automated
test gives results in 2 hours.
(SFC, 3/25/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 24, The WHO's annual
report on TB, presented in Rio, indicated that there were 1.37
million cases of people with both TB and HIV in 2007, the latest
year for which statistics are available. About 700,000 people were
infected with both in 2006.
2009 Mar 24, Indonesia's
controversial Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said she wants to
end vaccinating children against meningitis, mumps and some other
diseases because she fears foreign drug companies are using the
country as a testing ground.
2009 Mar 26, Chinese health
officials said that hand, foot and mouth disease has sickened 41,000
people across the country and killed 18 children so far this year.
2009 Mar 12, In Germany a
scientist accidentally pricked her finger with a needle used to
inject the deadly Ebola virus into lab mice. Within 48 hours of the
accident, the at-risk scientist, a woman (45) whose identity has not
been revealed, was injected with an experimental vaccine from
Canada. After 2 weeks the woman appeared to be healthy. At the time
of the accident, she was wearing three layers of protective gloves,
and though the needle stuck her, the plunger of the syringe was not
pushed so it's not certain the virus entered her bloodstream.
2009 Mar 28, An Egyptian health
ministry spokesman said a two-year-old girl has contracted bird flu,
the 60th reported case since the first outbreak of the disease in
the country in 2006.
2009 Mar 30, Argentina’s health
minister acknowledged that the country was in the middle of a dengue
fever epidemic with nearly 8,000 people infected. Neighboring
Bolivia had about 51,000 cases reported, while Brazil counted some
2009 Apr 7, In Texas Jon Dale
Jones (46), a former Army hospital nurse, pleaded guilty to assault
and theft. He was accused of infecting 15 patients with hepatitis C.
Jones was arrested on federal charges in March of 2008 for using
dirty needles to administer anesthesia, and accused of stealing
painkillers for himself.
2009 Apr 8, The international
Red Cross said a polio outbreak, that now affects 15 African
countries, threatens efforts to eradicate the disease.
2009 Apr 17, In Norway a $225
million fund to provide low-price anti-malaria medicine around the
world was launched in Oslo to fight a disease that kills 2,000
children a day.
2009 Apr 18, In Egypt the
state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that an Egyptian woman has
contracted bird flu in the second case in the country in as many
2009 Apr 23, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention reported that 7 people have been
diagnosed with a new kind of swine flu in California and Texas.
2009 Apr 24, Mexico’s Health
Secretary Jose Cordova said private and public schools in Mexico
city have been ordered to remain closed due to a flue epidemic. At
least 20 people have died nationwide from the flu in the last three
2009 Apr 24, In Egypt a woman
(33) died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the third death from the
disease in Egypt this week.
2009 Apr 25, Mexico City
suspended all public events for 10 days as officials tried to
contain an outbreak of a deadly new swine flu. Tests showed 20
people have died of the swine flu, and 48 other deaths were probably
due to the same strain.
2009 Apr 25, The World Health
Organization called an emergency meeting of experts to consider
declaring an international public health emergency over the swine
flu outbreak believed to have killed dozens of people in Mexico and
sickened at least seven in the US.
2009 Apr 26, New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention has confirmed that students at a city high school
were infected with swine flu. About 100 students complained of
flu-like symptoms at the school. Some students went to Cancun on a
spring break trip two weeks ago. The flu has spread beyond Mexico's
borders with confirmed cases in the US and suspected cases as far
away as New Zealand.
2009 Apr 26, Canada reported
its first confirmed cases of swine flu at opposite ends of the
country, with two cases in the western province of British Columbia
and four in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia.
2009 Apr 27, US cases of the
deadly new flu strain rose to 40. Governments around the world acted
to stem a possible flu pandemic, as a virus that has killed 149
people in Mexico and spread to North America was confirmed to have
reached Europe. Spain's Health Ministry confirmed the country's
first case of swine flu and said another 20 people are suspected of
having the disease.
(Reuters, 4/27/09)(AP, 4/27/09)(WSJ, 4/28/09,
2009 Apr 28, World health
officials raised a global alert to an unprecedented level as swine
flu was blamed for more deaths in Mexico and the epidemic crossed
new borders, with the first cases confirmed in the Middle East and
the Asia-Pacific regions.
2009 Apr 29, The WHO raised its
alert for swine flu from level 4 to level 5, its 2nd highest alert
level. Austria and Germany confirmed cases of swine flu, becoming
the third and fourth European countries hit by the disease. US
health officials reported that a 23-month-old child in Texas has
died from the disease. The World Health Organization called an
emergency meeting to consider its pandemic alert level.
(AP, 4/29/09)(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 30, The Iraqi
government decided to kill three wild boars at the Baghdad Zoo amid
worldwide fears of swine flu. No date was set for their killing. Two
US Marines and a sailor were killed during combat operations in
(AP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 30, Mexican health
authorities said they confirmed 300 swine flu cases and 12 deaths
due to the virus among a total of 679 people tested so far.
2009 May 1, US cases of the
H1N1 flu rose to 155, based on federal and state tallies. State
laboratory operators believe the number is higher because they are
not testing all suspected cases. Mexico raised its confirmed swine
flu death toll from 15 to 16, adding that the total number of
confirmed cases of the virus had risen to 397. Worldwide, the total
confirmed cases were 653, with the real number also believed to be
2009 May 2, Canadian health
officials said a traveler has carried the new H1N1 virus from Mexico
to Canada, infecting his family and a herd of swine.
2009 May 2, India's biggest
drug maker Ranbaxy announced the recall of an antibiotic, on sale in
the US, because of manufacturing problems, marking a new setback for
the company. The Japanese-controlled company said it was voluntarily
recalling all lots of nitrofurantoin capsules, an antibiotic used in
the treatment of urinary tract infections.
2009 May 2, Mexico said it had
no confirmed deaths from HINI swine flu overnight, even as its
confirmed caseload grew to 443.
2009 May 3, Swine flu extended
its reach through Europe and Latin America, with at least five
countries reporting new cases. Health experts were investigating a
case of the virus jumping from a person to pigs, trying to determine
if the disease was reaching a new stage.
2009 May 3, Egyptian police
fired tear gas and clashed with irate pig farmers, leaving 12 people
injured as owners resisted the government's attempt to slaughter all
the nation's pigs to guard against swine flu.
2009 May 4, Mexico's health
secretary said most businesses will reopen May 6 nationwide, citing
ebb in the swine flu outbreak. The World Health Organization chief
warned that swine flu could return with a vengeance despite Pres.
Felipe Calderon insisting his country has contained the epidemic.
(AP, 5/4/09)(AFP, 5/4/09)
2009 May 6, New H1N1 flu cases
across Europe and a second US death kept health officials on alert
despite signs Mexico's epidemic had passed its peak. Mexican health
officials said that testing of backlogged cases has increased the
confirmed swine flu death toll from 31 to 42, including three new
deaths in the past two days.
(Reuters, 5/6/09)(AP, 5/6/09)
2009 May 7, Argentina and
Brazil confirmed five swine flu cases within their borders as the
virus affects more nations in South America.
2009 May 7, In Mexico high
schools and universities closed by the swine flu epidemic reopened
as teachers and parents carefully checked returning students for flu
symptoms. The death toll due to the HINI flu was raised to 44.
Mexico City says all businesses can reopen including sports arenas,
2009 May 8, In Canada a
provincial medical official said a woman from Alberta has died from
the H1N1 flu virus, making her the first Canadian to die from the
2009 May 9, Australia and Japan
joined the ranks of affected countries with confirmed H1N1 swine
flu. New Zealand, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to
confirm cases, reported two more for a total of seven.
2009 May 9, Costa Rica reported
the first swine flu death outside North America and the US announced
its third death from the virus, while Mexico delayed the reopening
of primary schools in some states.
2009 May 14, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said the number of confirmed cases of the new
Influenza A (H1N1) flu has climbed to 6,497, including 65 deaths.
2009 May 15, In Egypt a
three-year-old boy from north Egypt tested positive for the deadly
H5N1 strain of bird flu in the second such case in two days. This
brought to 71 the number of bird flu infections in Egypt.
2009 May 16, Japan said 8 high
school students had tested positive for swine flu amid fears the
virus was spreading in at least two cities where scores of students
said they felt ill.
2009 May 17, In NYC Mitchell
Wiener, an assistant principal at a middle school, became the first
death linked to the H1N1 flu virus.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A3)
2009 May 17, Chile confirmed
its first two cases of swine flu in two women who arrived from the
2009 May 18, In Japan health
officials said a wave of new confirmations sent the number of H1N1
flu cases soaring to more than 120, prompting the government to
order the closure of schools and the cancellation of community
2009 May 18, In Egypt a
4-year-old girl died of bird flu, making her the country's 27th
death from the virus since 2006.
2009 May 19, Inmates at a
Mexico City prison rioted over restrictions on visits due to swine
flu, as the country reported two more confirmed deaths, raising the
toll to 74 nationwide.
2009 May 21, Japan’s PM Taro
Aso again urged the public to stay calm as a total of 292 swine flu
cases were reported, including the third in greater Tokyo, the
world's largest urban area.
2009 May 23, It was reported
that millions of bats in at least 7 US states (Connecticut, New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West
Virginia) have died from white-nose syndrome, a fungal diseases. In
2011 the fungus Geomyces destructans was identified as the cause.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.36)(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A18)
2009 May 26, The Red Cross said
the number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe is expected to cross the
100,000 mark in the coming days, warning that the epidemic was
Africa's worst in 15 years.
2009 May 28, It was reported
that scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that
causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus. The so-called "Lujo"
virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall.
Four of them died, but a fifth survived, perhaps helped by a
medicine recommended by the scientists.
2009 May 23, Chikungunya, a
mosquito-born virus endemic to tropical Africa and Asia, was
reported to have arrived in Albania and Italy.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.83)
2009 Jun 1, Chilean plumber,
Fernando Vera, died of swine flu, making him South America's first
2009 Jun 6, It was reported
that in South Africa HIV-AIDS continued to claim some 3,000 lives a
(Econ, 6/6/09, p.48)
2009 Jun 9, South African
health activist Thembi Ngubane (24) died of tuberculosis leaving
behind a daughter (4). Her radio diaries of her struggle against the
AIDS virus won her audiences and admiration around the world.
Ngubane was 19 when she was given a tape recorder to make an audio
diary about living with HIV in a country where nearly one third of
young women are infected with the virus.
2009 Jun 11, The World Health
Organization held an emergency swine flu meeting and declared the
first flu pandemic in 41 years as infections climbed in the United
States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.
2009 Jun 12, Swiss
pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG said it has successfully
produced a first batch of swine flu vaccine weeks ahead of
2009 Jun 14, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjajiva urged the country not to panic about swine flu, after the
number of cases grew nine-fold in four days and a cluster emerged in
a key tourist hub. Health authorities reported that confirmed cases
of the H1N1 virus soared to 150, compared with just 16 on June 10,
including a number of foreigners.
2009 Jun 17, The number of
Nebraska cattle herds quarantined because of bovine tuberculosis
concerns jumped to 42 and Colorado and South Dakota were warned the
disease may have already spread there.
2009 Jun 20, It was reported
that that the H1N1 swine flu virus has spread to at least 76
countries and caused over 160 deaths, and that Brazilian researchers
have identified a new strain of the virus.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.D12)
2009 Jun 28, The US Agriculture
Department said a Colorado meat company is expanding a recall of
beef due to possible contamination by E.coli O157:H7 bacteria after
an investigation found 18 illnesses may be linked to the meat.
2009 Jun 30, Authorities in
Argentina's capital and Buenos Aires province declared health
emergencies and extended school vacations as the nation's swine flu
death toll surged to 35.
2009 Jul 5, It was reported
that Libya suffering an outbreak of bubonic plague and that
neighboring countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, were
acting to prevent its spread across the borders.
(SSFC, 7/5/09, p.M3)
2009 Jul 7, Canadian officials
said they had identified yet another new flu virus, this one a
mixture of human and swine influenzas, in two farm workers in
2009 Jul 10, A US plant
scientists said late blight, which caused the Irish Potato Famine of
the 1840s and 1850s, is killing potato and tomato plants in home
gardens from Maine to Ohio and threatening commercial and organic
2009 Jul 10, Millions of
Argentines stayed home from work, churches in Bolivia canceled Mass
and Ecuador announced its first fatalities from swine flu, as the
virus continued its spread during the South American winter season.
2009 Jul 12, Thailand's swine
flu death toll rose to 18 as the government confirmed three more
fatalities and opened a vaccine plant to prevent tens of thousands
of infections across the country.
2009 Jul 20, In Australia
Adelaide-based Vaxine began swine flu vaccine trials with 300
subjects. Melbourne's CSL had 240 people in its seven-month trial,
which started Jul 22. The companies said their trials are the first
tests of a swine flu vaccine on humans.
2009 Jul 21, The WHO said
that deaths from the H1N1 swine flu virus have double in the
past 3 weeks to over 700.
(SFC, 7/22/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 23, Arab health
ministers decided to ban children, the elderly and those with
chronic medical conditions from attending the annual Muslim
pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year in effort to slow the spread of
2009 Jul 30, Zimbabwe's health
minister said a cholera epidemic has ended, after more than 4,200
deaths and 100,000 cases since last August, but warned new outbreaks
remain a threat.
2009 Aug 1, China’s Ziketan
town in Qinghai province was put under collective quarantine when
laboratory tests showed it had been struck by the highly virulent
disease. 2 of its residents had recently died from pneumonic plague,
which spreads through the air, making it easier to contract than
bubonic plague, which requires that a person is bitten by an
infected flea. Its fatality rate was up to 100% if left untreated,
compared with 60% for bubonic plague.
2009 Aug 11, In Indonesia
UNAIDS regional director Prasada Rao cited a new report saying more
than 1.5 million women living with HIV in Asia were infected by
their partners and 50 million more are at risk of infection. Rao
spoke on the sidelines of the ninth International Congress on AIDS
in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), which is being held on the
Indonesian resort island of Bali.
2009 Aug 21, Chile's health
ministry said it ordered a quarantine for two turkey farms outside
the port city of Valparaiso after genetic tests confirmed sick birds
were afflicted with the same swine flu virus circulating in humans.
2009 Sep 6, In Ecuador Lt. Col.
John Merino, President Rafael Correa's chief of security, died of
swine flu. Ecuador has reported 36 confirmed deaths from swine flu
as of last week, along with 1,382 infected.
2009 Sep 13, The Afghan health
ministry said it has so far recorded 673 cases of cholera
countrywide in almost a third of the country's 34 provinces,
including Kabul. No deaths have been reported. A British soldier was
killed in an attack on a foot patrol in Helmand province. A 2nd NATO
service member died in a bomb blast in the south.
(AFP, 9/13/09)(AP, 9/14/09)
2009 Sep 18, It was reported
that some 20-50 thousands birds have died along the shore of Utah’s
Great Salt Lake so far this year from avian botulism.
(SFC, 9/18/09, p.A21)
2009 Sep 18, Australia approved
a vaccine against swine flu and said it would start administering
the medicine this month to its most at-risk citizens, including
medical staff, pregnant women and the chronically ill. Regulators
approved CSL Ltd.'s vaccine for people above age 10, but the
Therapeutic Drug Administration was awaiting the results of more
clinical trials before approving it for younger children.
2009 Sep 23, The 20-member
African Leaders Malaria alliance began a campaign to stop malaria
from killing an estimated 1 million people in Africa each year.
(SFC, 9/24/09, p.A2)
2009 Oct 1, A Nigerian official
said 9 people died and several others were hospitalized this week
following a cholera outbreak in northern Taraba State, bringing the
death toll in the region to 97 over the last few weeks.
2009 Oct 8, Leaders of the
Dominican Republic and Haiti agreed to cooperate in a campaign aimed
at eradicating the last vestiges of malaria from the islands of the
Caribbean by 2020.
2009 Oct 16, In northern
Nigeria the toll in a cholera outbreak rose to 149 with 52 more
deaths recorded. The disease was first reported on September 10 in
Gwoza local government on the border with Cameroon from where it
spread to six other districts.
2009 Oct 22, In the Philippines
outbreaks of leptospirosis, spread by water contaminated with the
urine of rats, dogs and other animals, have compounded the problems
faced after back-to-back storms since late last month killed more
than 900 people. The WHO said it will send an emergency team to help
fight a bacterial disease outbreak that has killed at least 148
people and sickened nearly 2,000 in and around the flood-hit
2009 Oct 23, The World Health
Organization said nearly 5,000 people have reportedly died from
swine flu since it emerged this year and developed into a global
2009 Oct 23, President Barack
Obama signed a declaration making the swine flu outbreak a national
emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move
emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected
2009 Oct, Researchers found
that a bug named xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus
(XMRV) occurred in 67% of patients suffering from chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS). The bug had already been implicated in prostate
cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma.
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.80)
2009 Nov 4, The US Dept. of
Agriculture said pigs in a commercial herd in Indiana have tested
positive for swine flu, making it the first time the virus has been
found in such hogs.
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.A9)
2009 Nov 4, A Nigerian senior
health official said a fresh cholera outbreak has killed 20 people
and left 200 others infected in northern Adamawa State in the past
2009 Nov 4, The London-based
indigenous rights group Survival International said Swine flu has
appeared among the Yanomami Indians of Venezuela, one of the largest
isolated indigenous groups in the Amazon. A local doctor and that
the virus is suspected in seven deaths, including six infants.
2009 Nov 6, The aid agency
Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) warned that
Southern Sudan is facing a "serious outbreak" of the deadly kala
azar tropical disease. Kala azar, or visceral leishmaniasis, is a
neglected tropical disease contracted by the bite of a sand fly,
endemic in some parts of southern Sudan. Without treatment, almost
all victims die within one to four months. If treatment is received
on time, some 95% can recover.
2009 Nov 9, The Afghan Ministry
of Public Health said that 710 of the 779 cases of H1N1 reported
since early July have been among Afghan, US and Italian troops. The
11 people who have died from the virus were all Afghans, including
2009 Nov 21, Saudi health
officials announced the first deaths from swine flu of this year's
annual pilgrimage to Mecca, as four pilgrims succumbed to the
disease soon after arriving in Saudi Arabia.
2009 Nov 25, A Chinese health
official said eight cases of swine flu mutation have been detected
amid longstanding concerns among scientists that the virus could
change into a more dangerous form.
2009 Nov 29, Saudi officials
said 5 people died from swine flu during the hajj, a relatively
small number considering the event is the largest annual gathering
in the world and was seen as an ideal incubator for the virus.
2009 Nov 30, An Algerian health
organization (AnisS) warned that thousands of its people are
unknowingly infected with the AIDS virus and called for more testing
and prevention efforts.
2009 Dec 1, In South Africa
Pres. Zuma said on World AIDS Day that all HIV-positive babies will
be treated and testing expanded, a dramatic and eagerly awaited
shift in a country that has more people living with HIV than any
2009 Dec 4, Kenyan health
officials said a cholera epidemic was sweeping across the country
with 4,700 cases reported in the past month along with 119 deaths.
(SFC, 12/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 10, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) reported that nearly 10,000 people have died
from H1N1 influenza through Nov 14. Over 200,000 people were
reported to have been hospitalized since the beginning of the
pandemic 7 months earlier. 50 million America were estimated to have
contacted the disease.
(SFC, 12/11/09, p.A21)
2009 Dec 14, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said polio has re-emerged in several African
countries where it had been eradicated, at the start of a conference
on child immunization in Zimbabwe.
2009 Dec 18, South Korean
trucks crossed into North Korea delivering enough doses of antiviral
drugs for 500,000 North Koreans. An estimated 50 people in North
Korea have died of swine flu since November. Han Su Chol, a North
Korean health minister, expressed thanks.
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.A4)
2009 Dec 14, Dr. Walter Stamm
(b.1945), a pioneer in the treatment of urinary tract infections,
died in Seattle. He demonstrated that many cases of PID are caused
by Chlamydia trachomatis and developed a test for the organism.
(SSFC, 12/27/09, p.C8)
2009 Chinese researchers
announced that they had reduced schistosomiasis infection rates in 2
villages near Poyang lake by replacing water buffaloes, a parasite
host, with tractors and improved sanitation. The parasitic worm
Schistosoma japonicum, carried by tiny snails, caused
schistosomiasis, which stood as the world’s 2nd most prevalent
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.43)
2009 In the Netherlands 6
people died this year from Q-fever. Some 2,300 had become infected
by Coxiella burnetti, the infectious bug responsible for the
disease. The bug is released into the air during birthing or
miscarriages by infected goats. 40,000 pregnant goats were slated to
be destroyed in early 2010.
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.52)
2010 Jan 18, US officials said
on some 390 tons of ground beef produced by a California meat
packer, some of it nearly two years ago, is being recalled for fear
of potentially deadly E. coli bacterium tainting.
2010 Jan 28, US researchers
reported the development of a prototype vaccine that protects
monkeys and mice against the emerging chikungunya virus. The
mosquito-borne virus first appeared on Reunion Island in 2005 and
has spread to more than 18 countries. (SFC, 1/29/10, p.A13)
2010 Jan 30, In the Marshall
Islands the government considered invoking special powers of
quarantine as an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis has been
declared a public health emergency.
2010 Feb 12, The WHO said a
cholera outbreak on Papua New Guinea has killed at least 40 people
over the last several months.
(SFC, 2/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Feb 25, Mozambique's
health minister, Leonardo Chavane, said 36 people have died this
year from a cholera outbreak in the northern and central parts of
the southern African country. he said the situation is worrying
because new cases are being reported daily and are complicated by
rumors that health staff are spreading cholera rather than fighting
2010 Feb 26, Health officials
in Puerto Rico declared an epidemic of dengue fever. Health
Secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez says 210 cases have been confirmed for
January, more than triple the number in the same month of 2007.
2010 Mar 4, Brazil’s National
Health Surveillance Agency, Anvisa, ordered all 1,987 passengers and
765 crew to remain aboard the "Vision of the Seas" anchored at
Buzios, while teams of doctors treat the 195 passengers suffering
vomiting and diarrhea and determine the cause of their illness.
2010 Mar 13, Mozambique's
health ministry spokesman said the country's cholera outbreak has
now killed 42 people in the northern and central parts of the
southern African country.
2010 Mar 19, Polish authorities
said a herd of some 300 bison in southeastern Poland is at risk from
tuberculosis after one recently died of the disease.
2010 Mar 22, US scientist Rita
Colwell (76) won the $150,000 Stockholm Water Prize for her research
on the prevention of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
2010 Apr 22, In Burkina Faso
Health Minister Seydou Bouda said a strain of meningitis, called X,
has killed 718 people out of 5,118 cases in the West African country
2010 Apr 22, The UN World
Health Organization and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) asked for funds
for vaccinations saying almost 200 children have died of measles in
16 African countries in the first three months of this year.
2010 Jun 3, In Geneva WHO
Director-General Margaret Chan said swine flu is still a pandemic,
even though the most activity appears to have passed. Last week WHO
confirmed 18,114 deaths from swine flu worldwide since that start of
the outbreak in April, 2009.
(SFC, 6/4/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 18, The UN said a
recent measles outbreak in eastern and southern Africa has killed
more than 700 people, threatening to reverse gains made over several
years to stem the disease.
2010 Jun 29, The government of
Mexico lifted the alert for swine flu, officially ending the health
emergency in the country where the illness first appeared 14 months
2010 Jul 8, US federal
researchers said that they have identified a pair of naturally
occurring antibodies that are able to kill more than 90% of all
strains of the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 7/8/10, p.A6)
2010 Jul 8, Dr. Thomas Peebles
(b.1921), measles researcher, died at his home in Port Charlotte,
Fla. His work in the 1950s enabled researchers to develop a vaccine
(SFC, 8/6/10, p.C5)
2010 Jul 29, Ugandan officials
said an anthrax outbreak has killed 82 hippos in the last month and
2010 Aug 11, Researchers
reported that plastic surgery patients have carried a new class of
superbugs resistant to almost all antibiotics from South Asia to
Britain and they could spread worldwide. This so-called NDM-1 gene
was first identified last year by Cardiff University's Timothy Walsh
in two types of bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia
coli, in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.
2010 Aug 12, In Nigeria a
senior official said a cholera outbreak has killed 40 people while
115 others have been infected in northern Nigeria's Borno State in
the past week.
2010 Aug 13, A Belgian man died
from a drug-resistant "superbug" originating in South Asia, the
first reported death from the bacteria. The superbug -- a bacterial
gene called New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) -- was first
identified last year in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in
2010 Aug 16, Nigerian officials
said a cholera outbreak has killed 87 people during the past month
while 1,315 others have been infected.
2010 Aug 19, Nigeria’s Health
Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said the death toll from a cholera
outbreak in northern Nigerian has risen to 231 while 4,600 others
have been infected.
2010 Aug 25, Nigerian health
officials warned that the whole country is at risk in a cholera
epidemic that has killed 352 people in only three-months time.
2010 Aug 28, Indian officials
said at least 215 people, mostly children, have died in an outbreak
of Japanese encephalitis in an impoverished region of northern
Indian and that the death toll is likely to soar.
2010 Sep 3, Chad health
officials said an outbreak of cholera in the Central African nation
has killed at least 41 people.
2010 Sep 5, Bangladesh issued a
red alert over an outbreak of anthrax which has infected nearly 300
people and killed about 150 cattle in the north of the country in
the past two weeks.
2010 Sep 6, UNICEF said that
over 300 people have died in Cameroon from the country’s worst
outbreak of cholera in 20 years.
(SFC, 9/7/10, p.A2)
2010 Sep 7, A Health Ministry
official said Japan has confirmed the nation's first case of a new
gene in bacteria that allows the microorganisms to become
drug-resistant superbugs, detected in a man who had medical
treatment in India.
2010 Sep 13, US health
officials reported that an infectious-disease nightmare is
unfolding: Bacteria that have been made resistant to nearly all
antibiotics by an alarming new gene have sickened people in three
states and are popping up all over the world.
2010 Sep 23, Zimbabwe state
media said a measles outbreak has claimed the lives of 70 children
over the past two weeks, mostly among families from apostolic sects
that shun vaccinations.
2010 Sep 26, Chinese
authorities said five people have been sickened with pneumonic
plague in Tibet and that the deadly disease has killed one of them.
2010 Oct 1, Medicago, a
Canadian company, broke ground at Durham, NC, on its first American
facility. The company genetically manipulates tobacco plants to
produce proteins used in making flu vaccines.
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.36)
2010 Oct 6, Researchers
reported in the journal PLoS ONE that samples collected from hives
affected by the colony collapse disorder (CCD) indicated the
presence of a virus as well as a fungus. The two pathogens were not
found in bee colonies not affected by the syndrome.
2010 Oct 7, China says at least
38 people in the southern part of the country have been infected
with a mosquito-borne virus that causes an illness similar to dengue
fever. This was thought to be China's largest-ever outbreak of the
chikungunya virus, which can cause fevers, joint pain, headaches and
2010 Oct 13, Malaysia
criticized the WHO for failing to tackle the spread of dengue in the
region, which saw 242,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease in
2009 and 831 deaths so far this year.
2010 Oct 15, In Indonesia a
rabies outbreak on the resort island of Bali has to date killed 100
people. Bali, an island of 3 million people and one of Asia's top
tourist destinations, has been grappling with the outbreak for
nearly two years.
2010 Oct 19, Nicaragua health
officials reported 17 deaths and 600 suspected cases of
leptospirosis in the past month. Most of the cases were in Leon and
2010 Oct 22, In Haiti aid
groups rushed in medicine and other supplies to combat a suspected
cholera outbreak. At least 135 people had already died in the rural
Artibonite region, host to thousands of quake refugees. By 2016 more
than 770,000 9,200 people were sickened by the disease and over
9,200 had died.
(AP, 10/22/10)(SFC, 3/4/16, p.A4)
2010 Oct 22, The UN Children's
Fund said about 1,555 people have died of cholera in Nigeria this
year, marking a likely peak in a three-year-old surge in the disease
in the country.
2010 Oct 23, In Haiti 194 dead
were confirmed dead in the poor Caribbean nation's worst health
crisis since the Jan 12 quake. Authorities said more than 2,000
people were sick. Experts were investigating possible cases in
Croix-des-Bouquet, a suburb of the capital, and radio reports said
there were two dozen cases of diarrhea on Gonave island.
2010 Oct 24, In Haiti a cholera
outbreak, that already left 250 people dead and more than 3,000
sickened, was at the doorstep of an enormous potential breeding
ground: the squalid camps in Port-au-Prince where 1.3 million
earthquake survivors live.
2010 Oct 26, UN officials
counted 3,769 cases of cholera in Haiti and raised the death toll to
(SFC, 10/27/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 29, In Haiti the death
toll from the cholera epidemic rose to 330, as medical teams
desperately sought to contain the outbreak.
2010 Oct 29, Venezuelan health
workers said an epidemic that may be malaria has killed dozens of
people, decimating three villages of the Yanomami Indians, whose
struggle for survival in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest has
attracted worldwide support.
2010 Nov 8, Haiti health
officials said the cholera epidemic has spread into the capital,
imperiling nearly 3 million people living in Port-au-Prince, nearly
half of them in unsanitary tent camps for the homeless from the Jan.
12 earthquake. The outbreak had already killed at least 544 people.
2010 Nov 9, The WHO said a
polio outbreak in the Congo Republic affected 201 people and caused
104 deaths in the last two weeks. The government in Brazzaville has
declared an emergency and announced plans to vaccinate the entire
(SFC, 11/10/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 11, The WHO said a
rare parasitic disease has killed 260 people in southern Sudan in
the past year, a figure that is threatening to double in the coming
months. Kala azar, or visceral leishmaniasis, is a rare tropical
disease contracted by the bite of a sand fly.
2010 Nov 12, The UN asked for
$164 million to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti, as the death
toll reached 724 with 10 of the deaths and 278 cases in the capital
2010 Nov 15, Haiti's cholera
toll rose above 900, including dozens of deaths in the teeming
capital, as the epidemic showed no sign of abating just two weeks
ahead of presidential elections. Anti-UN riots spread to several
cities and towns, as protesters blaming a contingent of Nepalese
peacekeepers for a deadly outbreak of cholera barricaded roads and
exchanged gunfire with UN soldiers in clashes that lasted late into
the night. Protests in Cap Haitien left at least 2 people dead.
(AFP, 11/15/10)(AP, 11/16/10)(AFP, 11/18/10)
2010 Nov 17, Haiti's health
ministry said that 1,100 people have now died from cholera. In
Cap-Haitien anti-UN riots disrupted international efforts to tackle
a spreading cholera epidemic, increasing the risk of infection and
death for tens of thousands of poor Haitians in the north.
2010 Nov 27, The British
government said it is paying for more than 1,000 medical staff to
work in Haiti as part of an aid package worth more than 5.6 million
pounds to help combat a deadly cholera outbreak there.
2010 Dec 2, NASA researcher
Felisa Wolfe-Simon (33) reported that a strange bacterium,
Halomonadaceae, found in California's Mono Lake, thrives on arsenic
and redefines life as we know it. She said the bacterium does not
merely eat arsenic, but incorporates the toxic element directly into
its DNA. Her finding stirred much controversy. In 2012 scientists
reported that the bacteria is just resistant to arsenic and actually
dependent for life on phosphorous.
(Reuters, 12/2/10)(SFC, 5/28/11, p.C1)(SFC,
2010 Dec 3, The death toll in
Haiti’s cholera epidemic reached nearly 1,900 people since erupting
less than two months ago. The Health Ministry said there have been
more than 80,000 cases since it was first detected in late October.
The Pan-American Health Organization projected it could sicken
400,000 people within a year.
2010 Dec 6, Haitian medical
sources said fully 140 people have died of cholera in recent days in
the southwest, a region that had been largely spared the epidemic.
Officials raised the death toll to over 2,000 since the outbreak
began in October.
(AFP, 12/6/10)(SFC, 12/7/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 7, An expert report
submitted to the French foreign ministry said respected French
epidemiologist Professor Renaud Piarroux conducted a study in Haiti
last month and concluded the epidemic began with an imported strain
of the disease that could be traced back to the Nepalese base.
2010 Dec 10, UNICEF said a
polio outbreak in CongoDRC has caused over 200 deaths. Most of those
affected were young men between the ages of 15 and 24.
(SFC, 12/11/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 16, China’s General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
said in a statement that it has banned poultry and poultry product
imports from Manitoba, Canada, after an outbreak of low-pathogenic
H5N2 bird flu there.
2010 Dec 27, An Egyptian
Ministry of Health official said a resurgent H1N1 swine flu virus
has infected 1,172 people in Egypt and killed 56 since October 8.
2010 The vaccine MenAfriVac was
introduced into Africa to immunize3 people against meningitis A. An
outbreak in 1996 had killed 25,000 people and sickened 250,000 in
six months. By 2015 the caseload of the illness plummeted to zero in
16 countries that used the vaccine.
(Econ, 11/14/15, p.79)
2011 Jan 1, In South Korea one
of five wild ducks found dead this week was confirmed to have been
infected with a lethal strain of the bird flu virus, its first
outbreak in over two years.
2011 Feb 5, In India doctors in
Gujarat reported two more cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever,
a tick-borne virus endemic to parts of Africa. 4 people in Gujarat
had already died of the disease this year.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.68)
2011 Feb 7, Britain’s Guardian
newspaper reported that scientists in Britain have successfully
tested a vaccine which could work against all known flu strains.
2011 Feb 12, A Cambodian mother
died from bird flu after preparing and eating meat contaminated by
the deadly H5N1 virus. Her 11-month-old son died on Feb 17. A
5-year-old girl died earlier this month in Phnom Penh, a case also
linked to contact with sick poultry.
2011 Feb 17, Hong Kong’s health
authority said at least 12 people have died from swine flu in less
than a month, after the latest death from the disease.
2011 Feb 20, It was reported
that researchers have found a 225-percent increase in oral cancer
cases in the United States from 1974 to 2007, mainly among white
men. US scientists have said there is strong evidence linking oral
sex to cancer, and urged more study of how human papillomaviruses
may be to blame for a rise in oral cancer among white men.
2011 Feb 28, Indian police said
they have arrested Sanjay Shah, the manager of a company that made
intravenous fluids suspected of killing 13 pregnant women at Umaid
Hospital in Jodhpur. The deaths occurred over a 13-day period from
2011 Mar 3, Dr. Richard B.
Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center,
said he has found conclusive evidence of alien life, fossils of
bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1
carbonaceous chondrites. (There are only nine such meteorites on
planet Earth.) His findings were published today in the Journal of
Cosmology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Scientists inside and
outside NASA distanced themselves from Hoover saying he does not
have expertise in astrobiology.
(http://tinyurl.com/4t485yy)(SFC, 3/8/11, p.A4)
2011 Mar 3, Mexican
agricultural officials say they have euthanized 114 peacocks,
ostriches and other birds at a zoo due to an avian virus.
2011 Mar 4, The UN said its
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE) has sent a team of animal health experts
to North Korea to help manage an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease
that could worsen a food crisis.
2011 Mar 7, Japan's health
ministry halted the use of vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and
Sanofi-Aventis SA that prevent meningitis and pneumonia following
the recent deaths of four children. The deaths happened between
March 2 and March 4.
2011 Mar 17, A Venezuelan
government official said one person has died of swine flu and six
others have been diagnosed with the virus.
2011 May 11, Canadian
researchers reported an alarming combination: bedbugs carrying a
staph "superbug." Scientists detected drug-resistant staph bacteria
in bedbugs from three hospital patients from St. Paul's Hospital
located in a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood.
2011 May 21, It was reported
that a mutated form of equine herpes virus-1 has killed at
least 7 horses and sickened another 37 in 8 states including 14 in
(SFC, 5/21/11, p.D1)
2011 May 23, Dominican Rep.
Deputy Health Minister Jose Rodriguez said there have been 1,143
cases of cholera and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in November.
The number of new cases reported today is up about 50 percent since
the middle of May.
2011 May 27, Australian
anesthesiologist, Dr. James Latham Peters (61), was charged with
endangering his patients' lives after police alleged he infected
nearly 50 women with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic.
2011 May 28, German government
officials said two more people have died of a bacterial outbreak
allegedly caused by contaminated Spanish cucumbers, bringing the
number of deaths to nine. Almost 300 people were sick with
haemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, in recent days. HUS is a rare
complication arising from an infection most commonly associated with
E. coli, a bacterium found in undercooked beef or contaminated food.
Almost a dozen people with HUS have been hospitalized in Sweden in
the past two weeks after travel to Germany. In Denmark, eight people
are hospitalized with E.coli infection that could be linked to the
outbreak. The E. coli was later identified as type O104:H4.
(AP, 5/28/11)(AP, 5/29/11)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.63)
2011 May 30, Russia banned the
import of all vegetables from Germany and Spain and warned the
sanction could soon be applied to the rest of Europe because of the
deadly E. coli bacteria scare. German officials suspect the deadly
strain, which has already killed 12 people, may have come from
organic cucumbers imported from Spain.
2011 May 31, The death from a
food-borne bacterial outbreak in Germany rose to 16 with nearly 400
people suffering severe symptoms. Scientists were unsure of which
produce and which country was responsible for the unusual E. coli
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jun 2, Spain's prime
minister hit out at the European Commission and Germany for singling
out the country's produce as a possible source of a deadly bacterial
outbreak in Europe, and said the government would demand
explanations and reparations. The World Health Organization said the
E. coli bacteria responsible for a mysterious outbreak that has left
18 people dead and sickened hundreds is a new strain that has never
been seen before. The illness had now spread to at least 10 European
countries and fanned uncertainty about eating tomatoes, cucumbers
2011 Jun 2, In Haiti relief
organization Oxfam said clinics in the Carrefour area west of
downtown Port-au-Prince are seeing a sharp rise in cholera, with
over 300 new cases per day.
2011 Jun 6, German officials
retracted their assertion that the E.coli epidemic was caused by
bean sprouts from an organic farm. They said there was not enough
data to determine if the farm was in fact the source of the deadly
outbreak, which sickened people all over Europe and resulted in
2011 Jun 9, German authorities
reported that 3 more people have died from E. coli raising the toll
to 29 in less than 6 weeks.
(SFC, 6/10/11, p.A2)
2011 Jun 10, The death toll
from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, has risen to 151. A number of
survivors were now returning to the hospital suffering from severe
fungal infections, called zygomycosis, in their wounds.
2011 Jun 10, Laboratory tests
have determined that the E. coli epidemic in Germany and parts of
Europe was in fact caused by contaminated bean sprouts from an
organic farm. German authorities had been forced to retract their
assertion that the sprouts were to blame, but now, high-tech
laboratory testing proved that the sprouts were the culprit in the
outbreak that has killed 31 people and sickened nearly 3,000
(AP, 6/10/11)(SFC, 6/11/11, p.A3)
2011 Jun 16, In France a 7th
child was hospitalized with an E. coli infection after eating meat
that manufacturers said could come from Germany, where an outbreak
of the bacteria has killed 37 people.
2011 Jun 23, Germany's national
disease control center said the death toll from Europe's E. coli
outbreak has risen to 43, up from 39 a day earlier. One person has
died in Sweden.
2011 Jun 27, Germany's national
disease control center said the death toll from the E. coli outbreak
has risen to 47 including one person in Sweden.
2011 Jun 28, The UN officially
declared that the rinderpest disease has been wiped off the face of
the Earth. The UN program to eradicate the animal disease began in
1945 and cost some $5 billion.
(SFC, 6/28/11, p.A4)
2011 Jun 30, India’s media
reported that at least 17 infants have died in the last 48 hours at
the government-run B.C. Roy Hospital for Children in Kolkata, West
Bengal. In 2006, 22 infants died in three days at the same hospital
because of prematurity or acute forms of either meningitis,
encephalitis or septicemia.
2011 Jun, In Haiti the number
of cholera cases each day spiked to 1,700 in Mid-June.
(SSFC, 7/10/11, p.A6)
2011 Jul 1, Doctors without
Borders (MSF) said cholera has claimed 153 lives out of 2,787 cases
in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the
provinces. MSF said that the outbreak began in March in the
northeastern city of Kisangani, and soon spread westwards, with the
first cases reported in Kinshasa on June 20.
2011 Jul 1, In India scientists
warned that water off the famed beaches of the Indian holiday state
of Goa was unfit for bathing and fishing due to high levels of
bacteria from untreated sewage.
2011 Jul 2, Australian
officials worked to isolate potential victims after uncovering two
more cases of the deadly horse-borne Hendra virus, which has erupted
in New south Wales and Queensland. Hendra can lead to fatal
respiratory illness and has killed four of the seven people who have
contracted it in Australia since it was first documented in 1994.
2011 Jul 5, The EU announced
action against Egyptian bean and seed imports, after tests indicated
that a 15-ton batch of Egyptian fenugreek seeds imported in 2009 to
Germany and then distributed elsewhere was at the root of an E.coli
outbreak that killed 50 people.
2011 Jul 5, Jamaica said it has
shuttered all citrus nurseries in an attempt to check the spread of
bacteria causing the incurable “citrus greening" disease. The
bacteria has hobbled citrus production in parts of China and
infested millions of trees in Florida and Brazil.
(SFC, 7/6/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 8, US health officials
confirmed the death of an Arizona man from the same E. coli bacteria
blamed for an outbreak in Germany. He had visited Germany and died
(SFC, 7/9/11, p.A5)
2011 Jul 11, Japanese
scientists were reported to have found a "superbug" strain of
gonorrhea that is resistant to all recommended antibiotics. They
said it could transform a once easily treatable infection into a
global public health threat.
2011 Jul 14, Switzerland
suspended imports of some seeds, beans and sprouts from Egypt, after
the EU blamed Egyptian fenugreek seeds for E.coli outbreaks in
Germany and France. The temporary ban would expire in October 31,
2011, in line with the EU's suspension.
2011 Jul 15, UNICEF said at
least 17,584 measles cases, including 114 deaths, have been reported
by Ethiopian health officials in the first half of the year. The WHO
said says at least 462 cases of measles, including 11 deaths, have
been confirmed in recent months among Somali refugee children in the
Kenyan refugee complex known as Dadaab.
2011 Jul 21, About 100 Swazi
AIDS activists marched to the finance ministry to demand that the
kingdom not allow a crippling financial crisis to interrupt the
supply of life-saving drugs. Swaziland has the world's highest HIV
infection rate, with one in four adults carrying the virus.
2011 Jul 26, Australia
authorities said a lethal bat-borne horse virus has been detected in
a dog for the first time, prompting fears it has jumped species.
2011 Aug 3, US meat giant
Cargill said it is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey
linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one
person in California and sickened at least 76 others. The fresh and
frozen ground turkey products were produced at the company's
Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2.
2011 Aug 14, In Cambodia a
6-year-old girl died from bird flu. She was the eighth person to die
from the H5N1 flu virus this year in Cambodia.
2011 Aug 17, US health
officials said two children and a young man have died this summer
from the brain-eating Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that lives in
water. About 120 US cases, almost all of them deaths, have been
reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2011 Aug 17, Doctors in
Trinidad said PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar is among the nearly 1,700
people who have been diagnosed with hemorrhagic dengue, a
mosquito-born virus. He was expected to recover.
2011 Aug 19, Vietnamese
officials said hand, foot and mouth disease has killed 81 children
and continues to surge. PM Nguyen Tan Dung called for stepped up
efforts for prevention.
(SFC, 8/20/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 29, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned about a new mutant strain of
the deadly bird flu H5N1 virus (H5N1 - 126.96.36.199.) in China and
Vietnam, saying there could be a "major resurgence" of the disease.
2011 Aug 30, Nigerian officials
said cholera has killed 35 people in northern Sokoto and Yobe states
in recent days.
2011 Sep 13, An online 200-page
paper by Project CLAMER, a collaboration of 17 European marine
institutes, said the rising temperature of ocean water is causing a
proliferation of the Vibrio genus of bacteria, which can cause food
poisoning, serious gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera.
2011 Sep 14, The World Health
Organization issued a report saying cases of tuberculosis resistant
to a multitude of drug treatments are rising at an alarming rate
(SFC, 9/15/11, p.A5)
2011 Sep 20, The World Health
Organization warned countries that a dangerous strain of polio,
WPV1, has spread to China from Pakistan.
(SFC, 9/21/11, p.A2)
2011 Sep 23, Nigerian officials
said a fresh cholera outbreak in the north has killed at least six
people, raising the overall toll in the country to more than over
200 in recent months.
2011 Sep 27, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said that 72 illnesses were linked to
tainted Colorado cantaloupe. Colorado state and local officials said
they are investigating three additional deaths that may be
connected. Cantaloupes from Jensen Farms were recalled on Sep 10.
The listeria outbreak left 33 people dead. On Sep 26, 2013, Eric and
Ryan Jensen were arested on charges of introducing adulterated food
into interstate commerce. On Oct 22, 2013, Eric and Ryan pleaded
guilty to misdemeanor charges.
(AP, 9/28/11)(SFC, 10/1/11, p.A6)(SFC, 9/27/13,
p.A7)(SFC, 10/22/12, p.A5)
2011 Sep 30, Central African
Republic health minister Jean-Michel Mandaba said a new cholera
epidemic has hit the country and has already claimed at least 10
victims in the south.
2011 Oct 10, In Haiti an
official with Doctors Without Borders said the number of cholera
cases seen in Port-au-Prince has jumped about threefold in recent
2011 Oct 11, UNICEF, the UN
children's agency, warned that the west and central Africa region is
facing one of the worst cholera epidemics in its history, with over
85,000 cases reported leading to 2,466 deaths this year. The most
significant increases were in Chad, Cameroon, and in western
Democratic Republic of Congo.
2011 Oct 15, Indian officials
said at least 430 people, mainly children, have died from an
outbreak of encephalitis in a deeply neglected region of the
northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
2011 Oct 17, Canadian
scientists announced that a contagious and lethal fish virus has
been detected for the first time in wild Pacific salmon. The
European strain of the virus had only been identified before in
farm-raised Atlantic salmon.
2011 Oct 18, The search for the
world's first malaria vaccine received a boost with the release of
early results from a major clinical trial showing it cut risk by
about half in African children. The vaccine, known as RTS,S, is made
by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline's lab in
Belgium. It is the first of its kind to attempt to block a parasite,
rather than bacteria or viruses.
2011 Oct 18, In Haiti Dr. Paul
Farmer said the local cholera outbreak is now the worst in the world
with over 6,000 people killed and over 450,000 people sickened.
(SFC, 10/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct, Pakistan reported its
115th case of polio. The current annual global number was down to
(Econ, 10/15/11, p.48)
2011 Nov 21, The World Health
Organization said 5,000 cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) have
already been reported this year in Djibouti compared to 2,000 in
2010. Djibouti reported two deaths since October and 127 new cases
2011 Nov 29, Three-quarters of
British-grown oysters contain norovirus, a bug which causes diarrhea
and vomiting, according to new research published by the Food
Standards Agency (FSA).
2011 Dec 1, Pres. Obama marked
World Aids Day with plans to boost spending on HIV treatment by $50
(SFC, 12/2/11, p.A3)
2011 Dec 1, South Africa’s
President Jacob Zuma unveiled a 5-year plan to halve the number of
HIV infections, cementing South Africa's turnaround from years of
2011 Dec 20, American
authorities said they had asked the world’s leading scientific
journals to withhold research on bird flu after researcher teams in
Madison and Rotterdam engineered the virus so that it could be
transmitted through the air from ferret to ferret. In January
scientists agreed to suspend their research for 60 days. On April
20, 2012, the US reversed its stance. On April 27 the Dutch
government gave Ron Fouchier permission to publish his paper. A 2nd
paper by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison was
published in May.
p.A4)(Econ, 5/5/12, p.78)(Econ, 6/23/12, p.81)
2011 Dec 21, Hong Kong health
workers began slaughtering 17,000 chickens after a carcass was found
infected with bird flu at a poultry market.
(SFC, 12/22/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 23, It was reported
that a herpes virus has decimated oysters along its coast for a 4th
straight season. 70-80% of France’s young stock have died this year.
(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 26, China's biggest
milk producer, Mengniu Dairy Group, said it has destroyed a batch
found to have excessive levels of a cancer-causing toxin, in another
safety scare for the country's dairy industry. The problem was
reportedly discovered before the milk containing high levels of
aflatoxin was sold to the public.
2011 Dec 30, China’s food
safety regulator in Shenzhen said it had found excessive levels of
aflatoxin in peanuts sold in three stores, and in cooking oil in
2011 Dec 31, In China a bus
driver who contracted the bird flu virus died Shenzhen. This was the
nation's first reported human case of the deadly disease in 18
2011 A toxic “red tide" killed
tens of thousands of abalone as well as sea urchins, starfish and
other mollusks along the northern coast of California. In 2014
scientists identified a poison producing micro-organism known as
Gonyaulax spinifera as the culprit.
(SFC, 5/10/14, p.A1)
2011 West Virginia began field
trails on a vaccine to stop the spread of rabies.
Marshmallow-flavored packets of ONRAB, designed to be eaten by
raccoons, skunks and other furry creatures, were dropped from
(Econ, 9/14/13, p.32)
2011 Some 8.7 million new cases
of tuberculosis were reported this year. Multidrug-resistant TB
accounted for as many as 400,000 cases.
(SFC, 1/2/13, p.D4)
2011 Schmallenberg virus -
named after the German town where it was first detected - infected
sheep and cows on at least 2,600 farms in eight EU countries in
2011. In 2013 British farmers became the first in Europe to get a
new vaccine, made by Merck, against the virus.
2011 In Madagascar 26,700
people contracted TB this year, a jump of more than 16 percent
compared with 2009.
2011 Dr. Matthew Chang of
Nanyang Technological Univ. in Singapore worked out a way to program
E. coli to release destructive antimicrobial peptides when
they came into contact with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. He then armed
the modified E. coli with the enzyme DNase1 which then acted to
bacteial sheets know as biofilms.
(Econ, 10/12/13, p.95)
2012 Jan 8, Wildlife officials
said white-tailed deer populations in parts of eastern Montana and
elsewhere in the Northern Plains could take years to recover from a
devastating disease that killed thousands of the animals in recent
months. The deaths were attributed to an outbreak of epizootic
hemorrhagic disease (EHD), transmitted by biting midges.
2012 Jan 17, Rotary
Int’l. announced it had raised another $200 million to eradicate
polio. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute a
further $504 million. One of three active strains was eliminated in
(Econ, 1/21/12, p.90)
2012 Jan 17, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai urged the Taliban to allow teams conducting a polio
vaccination campaign to reach areas under the insurgents' control.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the last three nations
where polio remains endemic.
2012 Jan 17, The Indian
government dispatched a team of medical experts to the financial
capital, Mumbai, to assess reports of a handful of cases of
apparently untreatable tuberculosis.
2012 Jan 19, Vietnam confirmed
its first case death from bird flu in nearly 2 years, a day after
Cambodia also logged its first fatality this year from the H5N1
(SFC, 1/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 20, In Northern
Ireland officials confirmed that 3 babies have died in the last week
to 10 days after an infectious outbreak linked to the pseudomonas
bacteria in a Belfast hospital.
2012 Jan 22, In southwest China
a man who contracted the bird flu virus died, the second human death
from the virulent disease in the country in just under a month.
2012 Jan 26, The Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) published a new study showing an
estimated 7% of American teens and adults carry the human
papillomavirus in their mouths.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A6)
2012 Jan 31, Zimbabwe’s health
minister said up to 50 cases of typhoid were being reported per day.
More than 1,500 people have been treated in an outbreak blamed on
poor water and sanitation facilities.
2012 Feb 1, Some 24,000
Australian ducks were being destroyed after testing positive for a
low pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, an outbreak which has
prompted poultry export bans in parts of Asia.
2012 Feb 3, A Minnesota food
company said it is recalling more than a million hard-cooked eggs
distributed to 34 states after testing revealed some may be
contaminated with listeria.
2012 Feb 5, Nepal officials
said health workers are to cull some 4,000 chickens following the
discovery of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the southeastern part of
the Himalayan country.
2012 Feb 13, An Indonesian
woman died of H5N1 bird flu a day after being admitted to a hospital
in Tangerang district on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta. This
was Indonesia's third human death from the deadly disease this year.
2012 Feb 18, It was reported
that more than 3,000 children in northern Uganda are suffering from
a debilitating mystery ailment known as nodding disease. For several
years, scientists have tried and failed to determine the cause of
the illness. Scientists did not know if the disease is linked to
similar outbreaks in neighboring South Sudan and Tanzania.
2012 Feb 25, India was taken
off a list of polio endemic countries by the World Health
Organization, marking a massive victory for health workers battling
the crippling disease.
2012 Feb, In northern
California and southern Oregon migrating waterfowl began dropping
dead from avian cholera as they gathered in Lower Klamath National
Wildlife Refuge. An estimated 10-20,000 birds died from the disease.
(SFC, 4/21/12, p.A1)
2012 Mar 3, Taiwan confirmed
that nearly 58,000 chickens had been culled at two farms on the
island following the latest outbreak of bird flu, most of them at a
farm in central Changhua county. The next day Hsu Tien-lai, the
chief of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and
Quarantine tendered his resignation. He had been accused in a
documentary of covering up outbreaks of H5N2 bird flu, a less
virulent strain of the virus.
2012 Mar 4, Zimbabwe state
media reported that some 3,000 cases of typhoid have been reported
in Harare since the first case was detected in a working-class
suburb in January.
2012 Mar 24, South Africa
launched a plan to diagnose tuberculosis in the country's gold
mines, where the disease's incidence is the highest in the world.
2012 Apr 16, Haiti, the United
States and international partners launched a nationwide vaccination
campaign seeking to curb or prevent infectious diseases.
2012 Apr 24, The US Department
of Agriculture reported the country's fourth-ever case of bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a California dairy cow, but
stressed the outbreak was contained and no contaminated meat had
entered the food chain.
2012 May 27, A 10-year-old
Cambodian girl died from H5N1 bird flu, the country's third fatality
from the virulent disease this year.
2012 Jun 2, Hong Kong health
authorities urged the public not to panic after the southern Chinese
city reported its first human case of bird flu in 18 months in a
2012 Jun 7, In Scotland the
number of confirmed and suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease in
Edinburgh rose to 51, as officials continued to search for the
source of the deadly outbreak. One man, who had existing health
problems, died a day earlier while being treated for the lung
infection. A 2nd death was reported on June 15. A probe so far
focused on industrial cooling towers in the southwest of the city.
(AFP, 6/7/12)(AFP, 6/15/12)
2012 Jun 24, In Saudi Arabia a
man (60) died from severe pneumonia complicated by renal failure. He
had arrived at a Jihad hospital 11 days earlier with symptoms
similar to severe case of influenza or SARS. In September an
Egyptian virologist said it was caused by a new coronavirus. Months
later the illness was named MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory
(SFC, 8/14/13, p.E1)
2012 Jul 3, Mexico’s
Agriculture Dept. said an outbreak of H7N3 bird flu virus has
infected about 2.5 million chickens and led authorities to destroy
or dispose almost a million birds in Jalisco state.
(SFC, 7/6/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 4, Cambodian officials
reported that 61 of 62 children, admitted to hospitals with a
mysterious respiratory disease, have died. Lab tests soon confirmed
that a virulent strain of hand, hoof and mouth disease, known as
EV-71, was to blame for some of the cases.
(SFC, 7/5/12, p.A5)(SFC, 7/10/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 11, Cuban public
health officials said confirmed cholera cases have risen from 85 to
110, with the worst hit area in the province of Granma. Cholera had
been eradicated in Cuba over 100 years ago. Haiti was suspected as
the source of the new outbreak.
(SFC, 7/12/12, p.A2)(Econ, 7/14/12, p.32)
2012 Jul 12, In Brazil
scientists released millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in
the northern city of Juazeiro in an effort to end dengue fever.
(SSFC, 7/15/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 15, The Chinese
province of Hunan urged parents to seek immediate treatment for
children showing symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease after
official figures showed 112 people died from the illness last month.
2012 Jul 16, Pakistan began a
widely publicized 3-day polio vaccination campaign.
2012 Jul 20, Sierra Leone's
health ministry said an outbreak of cholera in the west African
country has killed 66 people and sickened more than 3,800 since
2012 Jul 25, Britain’s the
Department of Health said it is to extend its seasonal flu
vaccination program to all British children, free of charge,
becoming the first country in the world to do so.
2012 Jul 28, Uganda government
officials said an outbreak of Ebola virus in the western part of the
country has killed 14 people, many in the past week.
(SSFC, 7/29/12, p.A10)
2012 Jul 30, In Indonesia a man
died of bird flu, the country's ninth fatal case this year.
2012 Aug 1, Doctors Without
Borders said the first victim of the latest Ebola outbreak in Uganda
was a 3-month-old girl and that of the 65 people who attended her
funeral, 15 later contracted the deadly disease and at least 11 of
those have since died.
2012 Aug 9, Guinea’s health
ministry said an outbreak of cholera has killed 60 people since
February and is showing no signs of letting up.
2012 Aug 15, Texas authorities
said the state is battling an outbreak of the West Nile virus, with
17 deaths blamed on the mosquito-borne disease.
2012 Aug 19, In California the
Asian citrus psylid was reported to be threatening the state’s $1.6
billion citrus industry.
(SSFC, 8/19/12, p.A12)
2012 Aug 19, Japanese officials
said 7 people, most of them elderly women, died after eating pickles
contaminated with E. coli in Sapporo. This was the country's
deadliest mass food poisoning in 10 years.
2012 Aug 23, A cholera epidemic
in Guinea and Sierra Leone has left 250-300 people dead. 846 deaths
were reported this year in the 14 countries of West and Central
Africa. Sierra Leone's health ministry said that deaths from a
cholera outbreak had reached 220.
(SFC, 8/23/12, p.A5)(AFP, 8/23/12)
2012 Aug 26, Canadian health
officials said eight people have died in a rare outbreak of
Legionnaires' disease in the province of Quebec, having identified
more than 100 cases of the dangerous strain of pneumonia since July.
2012 Aug 30, In California
Yosemite park officials closed 91 Curry Village tent cabins
following 3 more cases of hantavirus, bringing the total number of
cases to 6 cases, including 2 deaths. The cabins were apparently
infested with deer mice, carriers of the disease. A 3rd death from
the incurable disease was reported on Sep 6.
(SFC, 8/31/12, p.A1)(SFC, 9/7/12, p.A18)
2012 Aug 31, The Ohio state
Dept. of Health said a woman’s death this week was related to H3N2v,
a new strain of swine flu. 12 new cases were reported in the US
during the week.
(SFC, 9/1/12, p.A4)
2012 Sep 4, The World Health
Organization said the number of people with Ebola, a rare
haemorrhagic disease, in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo
has tripled since mid-August, after 14 patients died in two weeks.
2012 Sep 5, Texas health
officials said at least 43 people have died this year in Texas of
West Nile virus. Nationwide 87 deaths have been reported to the CDC.
(SFC, 9/6/12, p.A10)
2012 Sep 12, UC Berkeley
chemical engineer Jay Keasling, founder of Amyris Biotechnology, won
the prestigious Heinz Award of $250,000 for developing an
inexpensive way to mass-produce artemisinin, a plant based drug to
treat malaria. The Heinz Awards were established by Teresa Heinz in
1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, US Senator John Heinz.
2012 Sep 14, The UN said that
an outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 31 people in northeastern
Congo, more than doubling the death toll from a week ago.
2012 Sep 16, It was reported
that a 19th person has died at the National Institutes of Health
Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., from an antibiotic-resistant
strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC). The outbreak stemmed from a
single patient carrying the superbug into the hospital last summer.
(SSFC, 9/16/12, p.A7)
2012 Oct 2, The US National
Institute for Public Health and the Environment said a salmonella
outbreak traced to smoked salmon has sickened hundreds of people in
the Netherlands and the United States. It has been traced to Dutch
company Foppen, which sells fish to many major Dutch supermarkets
and to stores around the world.
2012 Oct 3, Mexico launched an
extensive program to vaccinate fifth-grade girls against human
(SFC, 10/4/12, p.A5)
2012 Oct 4, US health officials
warned the hundreds of people who got steroid back injections in 23
states could be at risk for meningitis from contaminated vials of a
steroid produced by the new England Compounding Center of
Framingham, Mass. At least 5 deaths were already reported. The
fungus causing the meningitis was later identified as Exserohilum
(SFC, 10/5/12, p.A10)(SFC, 10/19/12, p.A9)
2012 Oct 7, US health officials
reported an additional 27 cases in a fungal meningitis outbreak
linked to steroid injections that has killed seven people and now
infected 91 in nine states.
2012 Oct 14, The US CDC said 15
people have died and 205 people in 14 states have now been infected
meningitis traced to contaminated steroid shots mixed by a pharmacy
in Framingham, Mass.
(SFC, 10/15/12, p.A4)
2012 Oct 16, The US CDC said
the number of people linked to the meningitis outbreak has climbed
to 233 in 15 states. It has been traced to contaminated steroid
shots mixed by a pharmacy in Framingham, Mass.
(SFC, 10/17/12, p.A6)
2012 Oct 26, The US CDC said
the number of people linked to the meningitis outbreak has climbed
to 338 in 18 states and included 25 deaths. It has been traced to
contaminated steroid shots mixed by a pharmacy in Framingham, Mass.
(SFC, 10/27/12, p.A6)
2012 Nov 6, The number of
people linked to a meningitis outbreak has climbed to 419 cases and
included 30 deaths. It has been traced to contaminated steroid shots
mixed by a pharmacy in Framingham, Mass.
(SFC, 11/6/12, p.A5)
2012 Nov 13, The World Health
Organization reported that a yellow fever outbreak in Sudan's Darfur
region has killed 107 people in the last six weeks, warning that the
disease could spread all over the country.
2012 Nov 2, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia will spend over $104
million over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria
in the Asia-Pacific region.
(SFC, 11/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 14, Uganda confirmed a
new Ebola outbreak in a district 40 miles from Kampala. Scores of
Ugandans were isolated the next day to prevent its spread.
(SFC, 11/16/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 15, World animal
health body OIE said that Australia had reported a case of a highly
pathogenic bird flu virus at an egg farm in the New South Wales
2012 Nov 16, Haitian officials
confirmed 3,593 cases of cholera and 837 more suspected cases since
Hurricane Sandy’s passage.
(SFC, 11/17/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 19, The UN said Sudan
has begun a massive vaccination campaign to immunize3 2.4 million
people against an outbreak of yellow fever in the Darfur region.
(SFC, 11/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 27, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention released a report saying young people
ages 13 to 24 account for 26 percent of all new HIV infections.
2012 Nov 28, In New Hampshire
David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, was indicted on
14 new charges. He is believed to have infected at least 39 people
with hepatitis C through his use of stolen hospital drugs and
(SFC, 11/30/12, p.A8)
2012 Dec 18, An Indonesian
health official said a boy (4) has died of H5N1 bird flu bringing
the total to 160. At least 360 people have died worldwide from this
virus since 2003.
(SFC, 12/19/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 29, Carl Woese (84),
biophysicist and evolutionary microbiologist, died at his home in
Urbana, Ill. His 1977 discovery of a “third domain" of life in the
vast realm of micro-organisms altered scientific understanding of
2012 Mark Harrison authored
“Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease."
(Economist, 10/13/12, p.99)
2012 Monica Murphy and Bill
Wasik authored “Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most
(SSFC, 7/22/12, p.F1)
2012 David Quammen authored
“Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic."
(Economist, 10/13/12, p.99)
2012 The meningitis outbreak
traced to contaminated steroid shots mixed by a pharmacy in
Framingham, Mass., killed 76 people this year and sickened more than
700 others. In 2017 pharmacist Glenn Chin went on trial for 2nd
degree murder for his role in the deadly outbreak. In 2018 Chin was
sentenced to eight years in prison.
(SFC, 10/27/12, p.A6)(SFC, 2/1/18, p.A5)
2012 A global coalition of
charities, NGOs, some governments and 13 drug firms signed the
London Declaration, which promised to control, eliminate or
eradicate ten Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) by the end of the
decade. The END Fund was set up to coordinate philanthropy for NTDs.
(Econ, 4/22/17, p.52)
2012 In Pakistan 306 children
died of measles in 2012, compared to 64 the year before.
2013 Jan 2, Britain's Health
Protection Agency (HPA) said more than 1.1 million people in Britain
have succumbed to the norovirus winter vomiting disease so far this
2013 Jan 9, British health
officials said a new strain of the winter vomiting disease norovirus
has spread to France, New Zealand and Japan from Australia and is
overtaking all others to become the dominant local strain.
2013 Jan 12, New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency, giving pharmacists
permission to administer flu vaccinations to more people as
officials seek to stem the worst flu outbreak in that state in
2013 Jan 15, Cuba's Public
Health Ministry acknowledged 51 new cases of cholera in Havana amid
growing concerns about the illness' spread and disappointment in the
diplomatic community over the government's lack of transparency.
2013 Jan 24, US health
officials said the new Sydney strain of norovirus, a stomach bug,
has been sweeping the globe is taking over in the US. Since
September more than 140 outbreaks in the US have been caused by the
2013 Jan, California
researchers published findings of a brain tumor in raccoons
associated with a newly discovered virus called RacPyV, or raccoon
(SFC, 1/15/13, p.C2)
2013 Feb 11, British health
officials said a new virus from the same family as SARS, that
sparked a global alert last September, has been found in a patient
in Manchester who had traveled to the Middle East and Pakistan.
2013 Feb 15, British health
officials said a fourth person in Britain has contracted a
potentially fatal SARS-like virus which was unknown in humans until
a few months ago, but said the risk to the population remained very
2013 Feb 15, The UN said an
outbreak of hepatitis E has killed 111 refugees in camps in South
Sudan since July, and has become endemic in the region.
2013 Feb 23, China reported a
2nd fatality from the H5N1 bird flu in the city of Guiyang.
(SSFC, 2/24/13, p.A5)
2013 Feb 27, British health
officials said gonorrhea cases have soared by 25 percent in the past
year in England as superbug or drug-resistant strains of the
sexually transmitted infection (STI) take hold worldwide.
2013 Mar 11, Sally Davies,
Britain's top health official, said antibiotic resistance poses a
catastrophic threat to medicine and could mean patients having minor
surgery risk dying from infections that can no longer be treated.
2013 Mar 11, Russian scientists
said a new form of microbial life has been found in water samples
taken from Lake Vostok, a giant freshwater lake hidden under
kilometers of Antarctic ice.
2013 Mar 17, It was reported
that Lake Erie is sick and that a dead zone covers a large portion
of the lake bottom due to a poisonous blue-green algae called
Microcystis enhanced by high levels of phosphorous from fertilizer
runoff. The problem was compounded by the zebra mussel, a foreign
invader discovered in 1988, which excretes phosphorous providing
Microcystis a ready-made meal.
(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A15)
2013 Mar 29, A top UNICEF
official said as many as 240,000 children have missed UN-backed
vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in
Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
2013 Mar 31, Chinese officials
confirmed that three recent cases of influenza were due to a new
strain called H7N9.
(Econ, 4/20/13, p.83)
2013 Mar, Deaths from cholera
epidemic in Haiti reached 8,205.
(Econ, 3/2/13, p.38)
2013 Apr 1, In Egypt an
outbreak of food poisoning at al-Azhar University forced the
hospitalization of 479 students. It occurred after a meal served at
the university dormitories in Cairo's Nasr City district. The
outbreak led to student protests.
2013 Apr 6, Chinese officials
in Shanghai reported two more cases of H7N9 bird flu, raising the
number of cases in eastern China to 18, including 6 deaths. It was
later reported that 27 days elapsed between the first death from
H7N9 and its public announcement.
(SSFC, 4/7/13, p.A3)(Econ, 4/13/13, p.47)
2013 Apr 9, South African
officials said they have detected bird flu on an ostrich farm near
Oudtshoorn, but that it is unrelated to the strain that has killed 8
people in China. The EU imposed a ban on imports of South African
ostrich meat after a 2011 outbreak of the H5N2 strain.
(SFC, 4/10/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 11, China reported its
10th death from H7N9 bird flu.
(SFC, 4/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 24, In a new study
scientists reported that some bacteria and other microbes from the
gut turn lecithin - a nutrient in egg yolks, liver, beef, pork and
wheat germ - into an artery-clogging compound called TMAO
(trimethylamine-N-oxide). They also found that blood levels of TMAO
predict heart attack, stroke or death, and do so "independent of
other risk factors."
2013 Apr 29, It was reported
that 62 prisoners have died in California from 2006 through 2013
after coming down with a fungal infection called valley fever. The
highes rates were reported at Pleasant Valley and Avenal prisons.
The federal manager of health care in the state’s prisons ordered
officials to transfer 3,300 inmates out of Pleasant Valley and
(SFC, 4/29/13, p.C4)(SFC, 4/30/13, p.C1)
2013 Apr 30, Guinean health
officials said a meningitis outbreak has killed at least 40 people.
2013 Apr, Colorado and 14 other
US states began reporting cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.
Up till now the virus was thought to exist only in Europe and China.
(SFC, 7/11/13, p.A4)
2013 May 2, Saudi Arabia's
Health Ministry said that five people have died and two other
patients were in critical condition with confirmed cases of a new
respiratory coronavirus related to SARS. The new virus was first
identified last year in the Middle East and several of the people
infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or
2013 May 7, Scientists said
Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is destroying entire crops of
cassava and has spread out of East Africa into the heart of the
continent. It is attacking plants as far south as Angola and now
threatens to move west into Nigeria, the world's biggest producer of
the potato-like root that helps feed 500 million Africans.
2013 May 14, Saudi Arabia
confirmed four new cases of the deadly new coronavirus virus related
to SARS that appears centered in the Arabian Peninsula but that has
also been reported in Europe.
2013 May 20, Saudi Arabia
recorded another death from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 16. More than
20 people have died from the virus worldwide.
2013 May 30, Saudi Arabia
reported that 3 more people have died from a new respiratory virus
related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths globally to 30.
2013 Jun 1, Italy’s health
minister confirmed that 3 people were being treated in Tuscany for a
new respiratory virus related to SARS. The patients included a man
recently back from a visit to Jordan, a related child and a work
(SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 2, Saudi Arabia
reported that 3 more people have died from a new respiratory virus
related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom
2013 Jun 3, It was reported
that coffee leaf rust has devastated coffee plantations across
Central America and knocked half a million people out of work. Costa
Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were all severely
(SFC, 6/4/13, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/alqvfoc)
2013 Jun 17, Saudi Arabia said
four more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to
SARS, bringing the total number of deaths to 32 in the kingdom at
the center of the growing crisis.
2013 Jun 19, Doctors
investigating a new respiratory virus related to SARS, said it
spreads easily between people and appears to be more deadly than
SARS. The biggest outbreak of the virus, now called MERS, was
in Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 6/20/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 23, The WHO said the
new H7N9 strain of bird flu in China has killed 37 people with more
than 130 sickened.
(SFC, 6/24/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 28, It was reported
that a pneumonia outbreak has killed at least 20 bighorn sheep on
Old Dad Mountain in California’s Mohave National Preserve. Nevada
numbered some 10,000 adult animals in at least 60 mountain ranges.
(SFC, 6/28/13, p.D5)
2013 Jul 6, In Saudi Arabia two
more people died from the new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 38 the number of deadly cases in the kingdom at the
center of the growing outbreak.
2013 Jul 19, Health authorities
in the United Arab Emirates said they have identified four new cases
of a respiratory virus related to SARS whose main concentration has
been in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
2013 Jul 27, In Saudi Arabia
one more man died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 39 the number of deadly cases in the kingdom at the
center of the growing outbreak.
2013 Aug 9, European scientists
reported their finding of traces of antibodies against the MERS
virus in dromedary, or one-humped, camels, but not the virus itself.
Some experts think bats might be infecting other animals like camels
with MERS before passing it to humans. Since the virus was first
identified last September, there have been 94 illnesses, including
46 deaths, from MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.
2013 Aug 14, In New Hampshire
David Kwiatkowski, a traveling hospital technician, pleaded guilty
to 14 charges of drug theft and tampering, along with two similar
counts in Kansas. He was accused of infecting patients in multiple
states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes.
(SFC, 8/15/13, p.A6)
2013 Aug 16, A WHO official
said Somalia is suffering an "explosive" outbreak of polio and now
has more cases — 105 — than all other countries in the world
combined. The outbreak is complicated by the fact health workers
have limited access to south-central Somalia, controlled by
2013 Aug 25, Saudi Arabia said
a Saudi man (51) has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the
kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 41, while two new
cases were registered.
2013 Aug 26, Qatar health
authorities announced the 2nd confirmed case in a week of the MERS
coronavirus in the Gulf state, with a 29-year-old man infected and
in intensive care.
2013 Aug 27, Kyrgyzstan
officials scrambled to control the spread of bubonic plague that
killed a rural boy last week as three more people showed possible
symptoms of the disease.
2013 Aug 28, Saudi health
authorities said another Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS,
bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 42,
adding a new case was registered.
2013 Aug 30, In Saudi Arabia
another Saudi man died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the
kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 43.
2013 Sep 4, Qatar reported that
a woman has died after contracting the MERS coronavirus, becoming
the first recorded fatality from the SARS-like virus in the Gulf
2013 Sep 6, Saudi Arabia’s
health ministry said 2 women have died of MERS, bringing the total
number of fatalities in the kingdom to 44.
2013 Sep 8, In Saudi Arabia
another three people were reported dead after contracting the MERS
coronavirus, bringing the kingdom's total fatalities of the
SARS-like virus to 47.
2013 Oct 4, The World Health
Organization said the global number of infections with the deadly
MERS virus has risen to 136, after hard-hit Saudi Arabia confirmed
six new cases.
2013 Oct 21, Nigerian officials
said cholera has killed 50 people in the northwest in the past week.
2013 Oct 28, Saudi Arabia said
one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to
SARS, bringing to 52 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the
center of the outbreak.
2013 Oct 29, The UN's health
agency said it has confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the
first confirmed outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the
country in 14 years, and a top UN official urged warring sides to
grant health workers access to 500,000 children who have never
2013 Oct 30, Oman said it has
discovered the first case of the MERS coronavirus in the Gulf
sultanate, a 68-year-old Omani man.
2013 Nov 4, It was reported
that scientists are struggling to find the trigger for a disease
that appears to be ravaging starfish in record numbers along the US
West Coast. The deadly syndrome, known as "star wasting disease,"
caused the sea creatures to lose their limbs and turn to slime in a
matter of days. The disease was first detected in tide pools this
summer along the coast of Monterey, Ca.
(Reuters, 11/4/13)(SFC, 12/9/13, p.A13)
2013 Nov 8, Uganda's Pres.
Yoweri Museveni tested for HIV in public to encourage millions of
untested people to check their status, a critical step to stemming
the spread of the virus in the East African country.
2013 Nov 8, The UN said
emergency plans are under way to vaccinate more than 20 million
children in the Middle East after polio resurfaced in war-torn
2013 Nov 10, Saudi Arabia
announced another fatality from the MERS virus, taking its toll to
53, as neighbouring Oman recorded its first death from the
2013 Nov 13, Kuwait said it has
discovered its first case of the MERS coronavirus for a citizen who
is in "critical condition." Later in the day Kuwait reported its 2nd
case for a man who just returned from abroad.
(AFP, 11/13/13)(AFP, 11/14/13)
2013 Nov 13, The WHO said some
21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made
the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that
Pakistan is a key part of the problem.
2013 Nov 20, Saudi health
authorities announced a new MERS death, raising to 54 the number of
people killed by the coronavirus.
2013 Nov 22, US regulators
approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's Olysio, also known as
simeprevir, as a treatment for chronic infection with the
liver-destroying hepatitis C virus.
2013 Nov 22, Qatar health
authorities said an expatriate (48) has died of MERS, bringing to
four the number of deaths in the Gulf state from the coronavirus.
2013 Nov 24, Saudi Arabia said
one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to
SARS, bringing to 55 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the
center of the outbreak.
2013 Nov 26, The World Health
Organization said it has discovered two additional cases of the
highly contagious polio virus in Syria, bringing the total number of
cases in the country to 17.
2013 Nov 29, Abu Dhabi
authorities said two new cases of the potentially deadly MERS
respiratory virus, including a heavily pregnant woman, have been
reported in the United Arab Emirates.
2013 Dec 3, Hong Kong officials
said they will quarantine 17 people after the city confirmed its
first human case of the deadly H7N9 bird flu.
2013 Dec 6, In China a woman
died of the H10N8 strain of bird flu, the first ever reported human
case of the virus.
2013 Dec 6, Hong Kong reported
its second human case of H7N9 bird flu just days after the first,
raising fears that the virus is spreading beyond mainland China.
2013 Dec 9, The World Health
Organisation and UNICEF announced the launch of a polio vaccination
campaign for 23 million children in the Middle East after 17 cases
were discovered in Syria.
2013 Dec 21, In northwestern
Pakistan gunmen attacked an anti-polio vaccination center in the
Khyber tribal region, killing a medic on duty.
2013 Dec 21, Saudi Arabia said
one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to
SARS, bringing to 56 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the
center of the outbreak.
2013 Dec 26, In Guinea a
2-year-old boy in the remote village of Meliandou fell ill with a
mysterious illness characterized by fever, black stools, and
vomiting. He died 2 days later. He was later identified as
patient zero in the current outbreak of Ebola, which was not
recognized until March.
2013 Dec 26, In Saudi Arabia a
73-year-old man died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 57 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of
2013 Dec 28, In northwest
Pakistan gunmen attacked an anti-polio vaccination center on the
outskirts of Peshawar and killed a medic on duty, then fled the
2013 Dec 31, Utah officials
said an unprecedented wintertime outbreak of West Nile virus has
killed more than two dozen bald eagles in the state and thousands of
water birds around the Great Salt Lake.
2013 Dec, Chikungunya fever, a
mosquito-born virus common in Africa and Asia, was first detected in
the Caribbean region on St. Martin and soon spread across across the
region and onto South and Central America.
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.35)
2013 Mexico this year
registered over 62,000 cases of Dengue fever, a mosquito-born
(SSFC, 5/4/14, p.A4)
2014 Jan 3, The health minister
of Alberta, Canada, said an H1N1 flu outbreak in Alberta has
sickened nearly 1,000 people and killed five over the past few
weeks. He urged everyone to get vaccinated.
2014 Jan 8, Canada announced
the first H5N1 avian flu death in North America, of a patient who
had just returned from China.
2014 Jan 14, It was reported
that canine distemper virus has killed four tigers and several other
animals across northern and eastern India.
(SFC, 1/14/14, p.A5)
2014 Jan 17, China announced 4
more cases of H7N9 bird flu.
(SFC, 1/18/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 18, South Korea
confirmed the outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu and said it
would expand the culling of birds to a radius of 3-km (1.9 mile)
around a duck farm.
2014 Jan 21, Gunmen in Karachi,
Pakistan, attacked two teams of polio workers, killing 3 members of
the teams and wounding a 4th before fleeing.
2014 Jan 22, In northwest
Pakistan a bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded next to a police patrol
on its way to guard a polio vaccination team outside Peshawar. 6
officers were killed as well as a boy who was nearby.
2014 Jan 26, The Royal
Caribbean cruise line ended a 10-day trip in the Caribbean early
after hundreds of passengers and crew members on the Explorer of the
Seas were sickened with a gastrointestinal illness consistent with
norovirus. Health officials boarded the ship at St. Thomas in the US
(AP, 1/27/14)(SFC, 1/27/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 28, Hong Kong culled
around 20,000 chickens after finding the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus
in poultry imported from mainland China. Fears over avian flu have
grown following the deaths of two men from the H7N9 strain in Hong
Kong since December.
2014 Jan 29, Saudi health
authorities announced a new MERS death, bringing to 59 the number of
people who have died from the coronavirus in the country with the
2014 Jan 30, Uganda's
government said it is planning to double expenditure on
anti-retroviral drugs in an effort to reverse a worsening trend in
2014 Feb 4, Egypt's Health
Ministry said swine flu has killed 24 people across the country over
the past two months.
2014 Feb 5, It was reported
that a new strain of avian influenza, H10N8, has been confirmed in
two people in China. Cases of H7N9 were reported to be surging with
some 300 cases and more appearing every day.
(SFC, 2/5/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 7, In Cambodia a boy
(8) died of H5N1 bird flu, the country’s first case this year. His
sister (2) also died the same day.
2014 Feb 9, Egypt's Health
Ministry said the number of people killed by swine flu in the
country since December has reached 38.
2014 Feb 11, The Afghan public
health ministry said it has launched an emergency polio vaccination
campaign in Kabul after a girl contracted the disease, the city's
first case since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.
2014 Feb 16, In Saudi Arabia
another man died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 60 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of
2014 Feb 22, The World Health
Organization began a campaign to prevent outbreaks of cholera in
temporary camps in South Sudan housing thousands of people who have
fled the country's two-month-old conflict.
2014 Feb 23, In Saudi Arabia a
woman (81) died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 61 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of
2014 Mar 13, The Toronto
National Post reported that a new generation of mutant lice have
become immune to poisons of decades past and constituted 97.1% of
all Canadian head lice cases.
(SSFC, 3/16/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 14, Saudi Arabia said
a man (19) has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing to 63 the deaths in the kingdom at the center of the
2014 Mar 19, Guinea health
authorities said an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever has killed at
least 23 people in the southeastern forest region since February
when the first case was reported.
2014 Mar 21, Guinea's ministry
of health says that 49 people have been registered with viral
hemorrhagic fever in the country's south since February, and 29 of
those people have since died.
2014 Mar 23, Guinea government
officials said samples from victims of a viral hemorrhagic fever
that has killed more than 50 people have tested positive for the
2014 Mar 24, Guinea announced
that samples taken from three suspected cases of Ebola, which led to
two deaths in Conakry, had tested negative for the virus. Health
workers said the outbreak from the Ebola virus, which has killed at
least 59 people in Guinea, may have spread to Liberia.
(AFP, 3/24/14)(SFC, 3/25/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 26, Guinea health
officials said the death toll from the rare Ebola virus has risen to
63. The outbreak is the first in West Africa in 20 years.
2014 Mar 27, The World Health
Organization declared India polio-free after three years with no new
(SFC, 3/28/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 28, The Guinean health
ministry confirmed eight cases of Ebola in Conakry, including one
fatality. The total number of suspected cases recorded from January
to March 28 was 111 cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 70
2014 Mar 29, Guinea kept up its
efforts to contain an Ebola epidemic which has killed dozens
spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as
neighboring Senegal closed its border.
2014 Mar 31, Doctors Without
Borders warned that health authorities in Guinea faced an
"unprecedented epidemic" of Ebola, as the death toll from the
disease that causes severe bleeding reached 78.
2014 Apr 3, Liberia said it was
dealing with its first suspected Ebola case thought to be
unconnected to the epidemic raging in Guinea and to have originated
separately within its borders. The fruit bat, thought to be the host
of the highly contagious Ebola virus, is a delicacy in the region
straddling Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and experts suspect
huntsmen may be the source of the outbreak.
2014 Apr 4, Mali, Liberia and
Sierra Leone geared up to tackle killer haemorrhagic fevers
including Ebola, which has claimed 86 lives in Guinea. Mali claimed
3 suspect cases; Liberia claimed 14; Sierra Leone claimed several
2014 Apr 8, WHO officials said
more than 100 people have died in an outbreak of Ebola in West
Africa, with as many as 175 people infected. This included 151
suspected and confirmed cases of the disease in guinea, where 98
people have died, and 10 deaths in Liberia.
2014 Apr 9, It was reported
that a virus, never before seen in the US, has killed millions of
baby pigs since porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) first showed up in
(SFC, 4/9/14, p.A5)
2014 Apr 9, Saudi health
authorities said that 11 people in the western city of Jiddah have
contracted the Middle East respiratory syndrome, resulting in two
recent deaths, bringing to at least 66 the number of people who have
died of MERS in the kingdom.
2014 Apr 11, The United Arab
Emirates announced that one of six Filipino paramedics in Abu Dhabi,
who have been infected by the MERS coronavirus, has died from the
respiratory disease. The WHO said that it had been told of 212
laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 88
have proved fatal.
2014 Apr 12, In Saudi Arabia
the death of a foreign man (45) due to MERS brought the nationwide
toll in the world's most-affected country to 68.
2014 Apr 13, Japan’s
Agricultural Ministry said two chickens have tested positive for
avian influenza at a farm where more than 1,000 chickens have died,
marking the country's first case of bird flu in three years.
2014 Apr 13, A Malaysian man
(54), who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, became the first
death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
2014 Apr 17, The World Health
Organization said the death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Guinea
has risen to 122, a sharp increase from a previous figure of 108.
2014 Apr 18, The US federal government said
farms stricken with a deadly pig virus must report outbreaks as part
of a new program to help monitor and possibly control the disease.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), believed to have come from China,
has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since it began showing up
in the US last May.
(SFC, 4/19/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 20, Saudi Arabia's
health ministry said three more patients who contracted a
potentially fatal Middle East virus related to SARS have died amid a
recent increase in infections.
2014 Apr 21, Saudi media
reported that a court has sentenced to death five people over deadly
2003 attacks that marked the start of a wave of Al-Qaeda violence.
2014 Apr 21, Saudi Arabia
announced 17 new cases of MERS, bring the total number of Saudi
infections to 261, of whom 81 have died. King Abdullah fired health
minister Abdullah al-Rabiah.
(SFC, 4/22/14, p.A2)(Reuters, 4/22/14)
2014 Apr 23, Saudi Arabia
announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child.
Acting health minister Adel Fakieh vowed to keep the public better
informed on the coronavirus.
2014 Apr 24, Saudi Arabia's
health ministry said two more patients who became infected with a
Middle East virus related to SARS have died, and that 13 others have
contracted the MERS virus. The deaths bring to 83 the number of
people who have died in the kingdom since contracting the virus in
2014 Apr 23, The WHO said 147
people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including
136 in Guinea and 11 in Liberia.
(SFC, 4/24/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 25, Saudi Arabia's
Health Ministry said that five more people in the kingdom have died
from MERS. The ministry says 92 people have died and 313 have
contracted the virus in Saudi since September 2012.
2014 Apr 26, In Egypt a
27-year-old civil engineer was diagnosed with MERS after returning
from Saudi Arabia.
2014 Apr 26, Two Saudi
nationals died from MERS, taking the death toll from the coronavirus
in the worst-hit country to 94.
2014 May 2, US Health officials
confirmed the first case of an American infected with MERS, a
mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. The
man fell ill after flying to the US late last week from Saudi Arabia
where he was a health care worker.
2014 May 4, Saudi Arabia's
health ministry said one more patient who contracted the potentially
fatal Middle East virus related to SARS has died and that 14 new
cases have been detected. The new 14 cases raised the number of
those infected in Saudi Arabia to 411.
2014 May 7, Saudi health
authorities said four more people have died after contracting MERS,
a Middle East respiratory virus. Saudi Arabia has reported 449 cases
and 121 deaths from MERS.
2014 May 8, Lebanon recorded
its first case of the often-fatal Middle East respiratory virus
(MERS). The patient had recently returned from a visit to several
Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia.
2014 May 9, Saudi Arabia's
health ministry said the death toll from MERS has risen by five to
126 fatalities since the mystery respiratory virus first appeared in
the kingdom in 2012.
2014 May 11, In Jordan a man
died after being infected with the MERS virus.
2014 May 11, Saudi Arabia
reported that three new deaths from MERS had taken its death toll
from the disease to 142.
2014 May 11, A 2nd US case of
MERS was diagnosed in Florida in a man visiting from Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 5/13/14, p.A10)
2014 May 13, Saudi health
authorities reported another five deaths from MERS. The potentially
fatal Middle Eastern respiratory virus has sickened hundreds in the
kingdom. A total of 152 people have now died and 495 have been
confirmed to have contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia since it was
discovered in 2012.
2014 May 17, US health
officials reported what appears to be the first time that a
mysterious Middle East virus (MERS) has spread from one person to
another in the United States. An Illinois man probably picked up an
infection from an Indiana man who earlier this month became the
first US case of Middle East respiratory syndrome.
2014 May 22, The Pan American
Health Organization reported more than 55,000 suspected and
confirmed cases of the chikungunya virus since December throughout
the Caribbean islands. The virus, spread rapidly by mosquitoes, was
first identified in Africa in 1953. It has also reached French
Guiana, the first confirmed transmission on the South American
2014 May 23, A Haitian
government official said health authorities will distribute pain
medication to clinics around the country amid a surge in suspected
cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the region. More than
5,500 suspected cases of the chikungunya virus have been reported in
Haiti, up from 1,500 cases a week earlier.
2014 May 26, In Florida laurel
wilt disease, caused by a beetle the size of a rice grain, was
reported to be killing off swamp bay trees. It has been detected
across more than 500 square miles of the Everglades and has also
infected avocado and red bay trees in southern Miami-Dade County and
elsewhere in the southeast.
(SFC, 5/26/14, p.A9)(SFC, 7/26/14, p.A8)
2014 May 27, In Sierra Leone a
woman died from the Ebola virus, the second person in the country to
succumb to the haemorrhagic fever.
2014 May 28, Iranian media said
the country has recorded its first two cases of the MERS virus.
(SFC, 5/29/14, p.A2)
2014 May 28, In Jordan a man
(69) died after being infected with the Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. This brought to 6 the number of
fatalities in Jordan from MERS since it first emerged in 2012.
2014 May 29, Saudi Arabia's
Health Ministry said 13 people have died over the last two weeks
from the Middle Eastern respiratory virus and that 186 people in
total have died from the MERS virus since it was discovered in 2012.
2014 May, Venezuela saw its
first cases of chikungunya, a disease that causes high fevers and
severe joint pain. It took authorities five months to declare it a
(Econ., 4/4/15, p.32)
2014 Jun 3, In Sierra Leone the
death toll from an Ebola outbreak rose to at least five victims. The
Ebola disease has had a 70 percent fatality rate during the first
crisis of its kind in West Africa.
2014 Jun 4, The UAE said the
MERS coronavirus has killed 10 people and infected 68 in the United
Arab Emirates since March 2013.
2014 Jun 11, The Sierra Leone
government announced a state of emergency in the Kailahun district
from the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has claimed 17 lives in
this West African nation, banning public gatherings and closing
schools. Local parliamentarian Momoh Moiwai said the death toll was
2014 Jun 11, Authorities in the
US Virgin Islands said chikungunya, a nasty mosquito-borne virus
that has been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean, has made its way
to the 3-island territory.
2014 Jun 11, UNICEF reported
that Somalia is suffering an outbrteak of measles with 1,350
suspected cases reported in March and April.
(SFC, 6/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Jun 16, Britain's food
safety watchdog said you should not wash a chicken before cooking
it, because washing raw chicken spreads the campylobacter bacteria.
2014 Jun 17, A Liberian a
health official said 7 people believed to have the Ebola virus have
died in recent days in the first deaths reported in Monrovia since
the outbreak began. 16 people were now believed to have died from
the virus in the West African country.
2014 Jun 18, Cuban health
authorities confirmed the country's first six cases of chikungunya
fever, a debilitating, mosquito-borne virus that is suspected of
afflicting tens of thousands across the Caribbean since its arrival
in the region last year.
2014 Jun 18, The World Health
Organization said an Ebola outbreak continues to spread in Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the death toll in the outbreak has
risen to more than 330.
2014 Jun 23, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said that the latest figures show 567 cases of
Ebola with 350 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus
has no cure and causes internal bleeding and organ failure,
spreading through contact with infected people.
2014 Jul 8, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said fifty new cases of Ebola and 25 deaths have
been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since July 3.
2014 Jul 8, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) announced that health researchers in Maryland
had discovered vials of smallpox, declared eradicated in 1977,
sitting in a forgotten fridge in an FDA storehouse.
(Econ, 7/12/14, p.73)
2014 Jul 11, Save the Children
said a cholera outbreak in South Sudan has infected over 2,600
people and left at least 60 people dead since the first cases were
reported in Juba in May.
(SFC, 7/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 11, The World Health
Organization (WHO) reported 44 new cases of Ebola including 21
deaths. 539 deaths in Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone have been
attributed to the outbreak.
2014 Jul 17, Florida health
officials reported the first domestically-acquired infections in the
United States of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus that has
spread rapidly through the Caribbean. More than 230 chikungunya
cases have been reported in Americans this year, but all the others
were travelers believed to have been infected elsewhere.
2014 Jul 17, Puerto Rican
health officials declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus
known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region
late last year.
2014 Jul 18, Colorado state
health officials said three more people have been diagnosed with the
plague after coming in contact with an infected dog whose owner
contracted a life-threatening form of the disease.
2014 Jul 22, In Sierra Leone
Sheik Umar Khan (39), the head doctor fighting the deadly tropical
virus Ebola, was reported to have caught the disease. Across Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, 632 people have died from the illness
according to the latest WHO report.
2014 Jul 25, The World Health
Organization the death toll in West Africa's Ebola outbreak has
risen to 660, with the number of cases surpassing 1,000. In Guinea
fatalities reached 314, with 127 in Liberia and 219 in Sierra Leone.
2014 Jul 25, Nigeria said that
Ebola caused the death of a Liberian national who died in quarantine
in Lagos, confirmation that the worst-ever outbreak of the virus has
reached Africa's most populous country. Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian
national who moved from Minnesota to Liberia to work for the
country's ministry of finance, died in what health officials
determined to be the first probable case of the Ebola virus in
(AFP, 7/25/14)(Yahoo News, 7/29/14)
2014 Jul 26, Dr. Samuel
Brisbane, a top Liberian health official, died. He had fallen ill
while treating Ebola patients at the country's largest hospital, the
John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia.
2014 Jul 27, Liberia’s Pres.
Ellen Sirleaf Johnson closed all but three border crossings,
restricted public gatherings and quarantined communities heavily
affected by the Ebola outbreak.
(SFC, 7/29/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 29, In Sierra Leone
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for
treating Ebola, died from the disease. ASKY regional airline
announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an
outbreak that has killed more than 670 people.
2014 Jul 31, The US CDC said a
US aid worker, infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in
West Africa, will be flown to the US to be treated in a
high-security ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
2014 Jul 31, Sierra Leone
leader Ernest Bai Koroma declared a state of emergency and as the
country struggled to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic.
(Yahoo News, 7/31/14)
2014 Jul 31, The World Health
Organization said the deaths of 57 more people from Ebola in west
Africa have pushed the overall fatality toll from the epidemic to
729, including 339 in Guinea, 156 in Liberia and 233 in Sierra
2014 Aug 1, The leaders of
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone agreed to a $100 million emergency
action plan to beef the response to Ebola.
2014 Aug 2, Toledo, Ohio,
issued the warning just after midnight after tests at a treatment
plant showed two sample readings for microsystin above the standard
for consumption. The city said not to boil the water because that
would only increase the toxin's concentration. The mayor also warned
that children should not shower or bathe in the water and that it
shouldn't be given to pets. The water supply was fouled by toxins
possibly from algae on Lake Erie. On Aug 4 city officials declared
the water safe.
(AP, 8/3/14)(SFC, 8/5/14, p.A12)
2014 Aug 2, Health experts said
a cholera epidemic in northern Cameroon has killed at least 65
people and probably infected about 1,300 people over the last two
2014 Aug 4, Nigerian
authorities said that a doctor in Lagos who treated a Liberian
victim of Ebola has contracted the virus, the second confirmed case
in sub-Saharan Africa's largest city.
2014 Aug 4, The World Bank said
that it would provide up to $200 million to Guinea, Liberia and
Sierra Leone to help the west African nations contain the deadly
2014 Aug 5, Liberian officials
said relatives of Ebola victims have defied government orders and
dumped infected bodies in the streets as West African governments
struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the virus
that has killed 887 people.
2014 Aug 6, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention issued its highest alert for an
all-hands on deck response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
2014 Aug 6, Liberian Pres.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced emergency measures that will, for 90
days, allow her government to curtail civil rights by imposing
quarantines on badly affected communities to contain the Ebola
2014 Aug 6, Nigeria confirmed
five new cases of Ebola in Lagos and a second death from the virus.
Authorities said a nurse who treated Ebola victim Patrick Sawyer is
now dead and five others are sick with one of the world's most
virulent diseases, as the death toll rose to at least 932 people in
four West African countries.
(AFP, 8/6/14)(AP, 8/6/14)
2014 Aug 6, A Saudi Arabian who
had travelled to Sierra Leone and had symptoms similar to those
found in Ebola sufferers died of a heart attack. Samples submitted
to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back
negative for the Ebola virus.
(AFP, 8/6/14)(AP, 8/10/14)
2014 Aug 7, In Sierra Leone
police and soldiers blockaded rural areas hit by the deadly Ebola
virus, after neighboring Liberia declared a state of emergency to
tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which has killed 932
2014 Aug 8, In Canada a patient
back from Nigeria who showed symptoms of fever and flu -- possible
signs of Ebola -- was put in isolation in a Toronto-area hospital.
2014 Aug 8, Nigeria's president
declared the containment of the Ebola virus a national emergency as
officials confirmed two new cases of Ebola, bringing the total
number of infections in Africa's most populous country to nine,
including 2 deaths.
2014 Aug 8, The World Health
Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an
international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary
response to stop its spread.
2014 Aug 9, Guinea announced
the closure of its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia in a bid to
halt the spread of Ebola.
2014 Aug 11, The Ivory Coast
announced that it has banned all flights from countries hit by Ebola
as part of steps to prevent the deadly virus from reaching the west
2014 Aug 11, Nigeria confirmed
a new case of Ebola in Lagos, bringing the total number of people in
the country with the virus to 10.
2014 Aug 12, Canada said it
will donate a small quantity of an experimental Ebola vaccine
developed in its government lab to the World Health Organization for
use in Africa.
2014 Aug 12, Danish officials
said a listeria outbreak caused by contaminated sausages may have
killed 10 people during the past few months. A small meat producer
in Copenhagen was closed down Aug 11.
2014 Aug 12, In Liberia Fatu
Sherrif (12) died overnight of Ebola in the village of Ballajah. She
had been shunned and locked away with her mother's body for a week
after most residents fled to the forest to escape an outbreak of the
virus. In Liberia alone, some 599 cases have been diagnosed with 323
2014 Aug 12, A Spanish
missionary priest being treated for Ebola died in a Madrid hospital
amid a worldwide debate over who should get experimental Ebola
treatments. Miguel Parajes (75) had worked for the San Juan de Dios
hospital order, a Catholic aid group, and had been helping to treat
people with Ebola in Liberia when he became ill and was evacuated.
2014 Aug 13, Guinea declared a
public health emergency over an Ebola epidemic that has killed more
than 1,000 people in three West African states and is sending health
workers to all affected border points.
2014 Aug 14, South Korea’s
Korean Air Lines Co. said will suspend flights to Kenya in a measure
to prevent the spread of Ebola.
2014 Aug 14, The UN health
agency said the death toll from the worst outbreak of Ebola in four
decades had now climbed to 1,069 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and
Sierra Leone. The WHO said the scale of the Ebola epidemic has been
vastly underestimated and that "extraordinary measures" were needed
to contain the killer disease.
2014 Aug 16, In Liberia
residents in Monrovia’s in the West Point slum raided a quarantine
center for suspected Ebola patients and took items including bloody
sheets and mattresses. Up to 30 patients were staying at the center
and many of them fled at the time of the raid.
2014 Aug 18, The UN said it is
undertaking a massive polio vaccination program in Iraq following
two cases discovered earlier this year in Baghdad.
(SFC, 8/19/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 19, Liberia’s health
ministry said all the patients who fled a medical center on Aug 16
are now being screened at a hospital in Monrovia and those who
tested positive are being treated. Officials also said three health
workers being treated with the last known doses of ZMapp were
showing signs of recovery.
2014 Aug 20, Liberian security
forces sealed off the West Point area, a seaside slum in Monrovia,
in the latest effort to stop the spread of Ebola, setting off
protests by angry residents.
2014 Aug 20, Democratic
Republic of Congo said it has sent its health minister and a team of
experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several
people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms.
2014 Aug 20, Nigeria’s health
ministry said a senior doctor who treated the country’s first Ebola
patient has died, taking the death toll in Africa's most populous
country to five.
2014 Aug 21, The WHO said at
least 70 people have died in northern Democratic Republic of Congo
from an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, denying that the
illness was Ebola.
2014 Aug 21, Senegal closed its
land border with Guinea as part of intensifying efforts to contain
the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people since March in
Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
2014 Aug 22, It was reported
that scientists have discovered a living ecosystem of microbes under
2,500 feet of ice in Antarctica’s subglacial Lake Whillans.
(SFC, 8/21/14, p.D3)
2014 Aug 22, Ivory Coast closed
its land borders with Ebola-affected West African neighbors Guinea
and Liberia in an attempt to prevent the world's deadliest outbreak
of the virus from spreading onto its territory.
2014 Aug 22, Nigeria confirmed
two new cases of Ebola bringing the total number of confirmed
infections in Nigeria to 12. Five have died from the illness and 213
people were under surveillance.
(AP, 8/22/14)(AP, 8/26/14)
2014 Aug 22, Sierra Leone
passed a new law imposing possible jail sentences for anyone caught
hiding an Ebola patient.
(SSFC, 8/24/14, p.A6)
2014 Aug 24, Congo DRC
confirmed its first two cases this year of Ebola but claimed they
were unrelated to the epidemic ravaging West Africa. The
confirmation marked the 7th outbreak of Ebola in Congo DRC, where
the virus was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River.
2014 Aug 24, In Liberia Dr.
Abraham Borbo, one of three Africans to receive the experimental
Ebola drug ZMapp, died. Only six people in the world are known to
have received ZMapp. The small supply is now said to be exhausted
and it is expected to be months before more can be produced by its
2014 Aug 24, Nigeria’s striking
public sector doctors said they would suspend a nearly two-month
strike to help combat the Ebola outbreak.
2014 Aug 25, Japan said it is
ready to provide a Japanese-developed anti-influenza drug as a
possible treatment for the rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak.
2014 Aug 27, Sierra Leone said
a third top doctor has died from Ebola, as health workers tried to
determine how a fourth scientist also contracted the disease before
being evacuated to Europe.
2014 Aug 28, In Ghana Ebola-hit
nations met for crisis talks in Accra as the death toll topped 1,500
and the WHO warned that the number of cases could exceed 20,000
before the outbreak is stemmed.
2014 Aug 28, In Guinea riots
broke out in the remote southeastern city of Nzerekore over rumors
that health workers had infected people with Ebola.
2014 Aug 29, Senegal’s Ministry
of Health said a man infected with Ebola has traveled to Senegal,
becoming the first recorded in this country of an outbreak that has
hit four other West African countries and has killed more than 1,500
2014 Aug 30, In Guinea a curfew
was imposed in N'Zerekore after two days of protests by market stall
holders against a team of health workers sent, without notice, to
spray their market with disinfectant. Clashes left at least 55
2014 Aug 30, Liberia’s
government lifted quarantine measures in the seaside district of
West Point in Monrovia, which had been designed to contain the
spread of the Ebola virus. Officials announced plans to build five
new Ebola treatment centers each with capacity for 100 beds.
2014 Sep 1, Japan urged local
authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue
fever, after confirming another 19 cases contracted at a popular
local park in downtown Tokyo. The health ministry earlier reported
three local cases, the first in nearly 70 years.
2014 Sep 1, Liberia's president
ordered most civil servants to stay home another month in an effort
to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Scores of healthcare
workers at the country’s main hospital in Monrovia went on strike
over unpaid wages.
(AP, 9/1/14)(AFP, 9/1/14)
2014 Sep 1, Nigeria confirmed a
third case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt,
bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 16 with some
200 under surveillance.
2014 Sep 2, CongoDRC government
said the death toll from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the
northern Djera region has risen to 31. The WHO confirmed there was
no link with an epidemic in West Africa.
2014 Sep 2, Doctors Without
Borders warned that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and
that the organization is completely overwhelmed by the outbreak in
four West African countries.
(SFC, 9/3/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 2, Japanese
researchers said they have developed a new method to detect the
presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that
could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection.
2014 Sep 3, Nigeria announced
that a seventh person had died from Ebola and another person was
confirmed as having the virus.
2014 Sep 3, The Philippine
Health Secretary said a nurse who flew home from Saudi Arabia last
week has been confirmed as the Philippines' second case of Middle
East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
2014 Sep 4, In Switzerland some
200 experts huddled in Geneva to debate experimental treatments for
the Ebola virus as the world's worst-ever outbreak raged in west
2014 Sep 5, Sierra Leone said
it will impose a four-day, countrywide "lockdown" starting Sept. 18,
an escalation of efforts to halt the spread of Ebola across the West
2014 Sep 6, The Democratic
Republic of Congo upped its death toll from Ebola to 32 but insisted
the outbreak, separate from an epidemic raging in west Africa, could
be contained in its remote forest hotspot.
2014 Sep 8, US federal and
state health officials said hundreds of children across the Midwest
have been stricken by a potentially serious respiratory illness, and
many states were asking for federal help testing and tracking cases.
Many of the cases were positive for the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).
2014 Sep 8, In Ethiopia African
Union chiefs held an emergency meeting to hammer out a
continent-wide strategy to deal with the Ebola epidemic, which has
killed over 2,000 people in west Africa.
2014 Sep 9, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said the death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak
in history has jumped by almost 200 in a single day to at least
2,296 and is already likely to be higher than that.
2014 Sep 14, A fourth Sierra
Leonean doctor, a woman, died after contracting the dreaded Ebola
2014 Sep 16, The United States
announced it will send 3,000 troops to help tackle the Ebola
outbreak as part of a ramped-up plan, including a major deployment
in Liberia, the country where the epidemic is spiraling fastest out
2014 Sep 16, In Guinea a team
of health officials accompanied by journalists came to Womey village
to educate people about how to avoid contracting Ebola. A group of
local residents turned on their would-be benefactors, attacking them
with knives and rocks and killing 8 of them.
2014 Sep 19, The Dominican Rep.
said chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus, has sickened nearly
500,000 people, including 109 newborn babies.
2014 Sep 19, In Sierra Leone
thousands of health workers began knocking on doors across the
country in search of hidden Ebola cases as the entire West African
nation was locked down in their homes in an unprecedented effort to
combat the deadly disease.
2014 Sep 21, West Africa
intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic, with Sierra
Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and
Liberia announcing 1,000 hospital beds.
2014 Sep 22, Sierra Leone ended
a 3-day unprecedented nationwide shutdown during which officials
said about 75 percent of 1.5 million households were checked for
Ebola patients and given information on the deadly disease. At least
130 cases of Ebola were identified and scores of bodies were buried
during the shutdown.
(AP, 9/22/14)(SFC, 9/23/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 25, Sierra Leone began
a quarantine of more than one million people in the largest
open-ended lockdown in the Ebola outbreak.
2014 Sep 26, The International
Monetary Fund fast-tracked $130 million (102.5 million euros) in aid
to fight the Ebola epidemic after the governments of the worst-hit
countries in west Africa said they were desperately counting on
promises of global aid to be backed up with cash.
2014 Sep 27, Liberia's chief
medical officer, Bernice Dahn, placed herself under quarantine for
21 days after her office assistant died of Ebola.
2014 Sep 30, The first case of
the deadly Ebola virus was diagnosed in the United States after
Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew from Liberia to Texas, tested positive
for the disease. Duncan died on Oct 8.
(Reuters, 10/1/14)(Econ, 10/11/14, p.34)
2014 Oct 1, The Democratic
Republic of Congo raised its death toll from the Ebola virus to 42
as it struggled to contain the second outbreak of the disease in
Africa this year.
2014 Oct 2, The Save the
Children charity warned that five people are being infected with
Ebola every hour in Sierra Leone and demand for treatment beds is
far outstripping supply.
2014 Oct 4, Pakistan officials
said a record number polio case have already been detected this
year. Doctors discovered 202 cases from January to October 3. The
previous modern record was 199 cases in 2001.
2014 Oct 6, In Spain nursing
assistant Teresa Romero was diagnosed with Ebola. She had cared for
a Spanish priest who died of the disease last month. 4 other people
were quarantined and her dog was ordered killed.
(SFC, 10/8/14, p.A3)(Econ, 10/11/14, p.62)
2014 Oct 7, Chinese officials
said the dengue virus has killed six people and infected more than
23,000 in southern China's worst outbreak of the
mosquito-transmitted disease in about two decades.
2014 Oct 8, The US said it will
begin screening travelers from West Africa after Thomas Eric Duncan
(42) of Liberia, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the US, died
(SFC, 10/9/14, p.A8)
2014 Oct 16, Saudi Arabia’s
health ministry said it is seeing "sporadic" cases of the Middle
East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has killed
324 people in the country since 2012.
2014 Oct 20, In Sierra Leone 49
confirmed cases of Ebola emerged just today in two Ebola zones in
and around the capital. So many people were dying that removing
bodies was a problem.
2014 Oct 24, The World Health
Organization said that three more polio cases have surfaced in
Pakistan, bringing the number of new cases to 220, a record figure
that authorities blame on attacks by insurgents targeting
vaccination teams. This was announced as many nations observed World
2014 Oct 29, The US FDA said it
has cleared Pfizer’s Trumenba to prevent a subtype of Meningococcal
disease to people ages 10-25.
(SFC, 10/30/14, p.A6)
2014 Oct 29, Australian
scientists said they have successfully tested a vaccine against
chlamydia in wild koalas, in what they believe is a breakthrough in
combating the sexually-transmitted disease ravaging the native
2014 Nov 10, Portuguese health
authorities said an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease has caused
five deaths and sickened about 38 people over the past week in a
cluster of small towns about 35 km (20 miles) north of Lisbon.
2014 Nov 16, In southern
California the Crown Princess cruise ship arrived in San Pedro, Los
Angeles County, with 172 people ill with the highly contagious
norovirus. The ship had over 4,100 people on board.
(SFC, 11/17/14, p.A8)
2014 Nov 16, Authorities in the
Netherlands said they have identified a "highly pathogenic" strain
of bird flu at a farm in the central area of the Netherlands and
announced a temporary ban on all transport to and from poultry farms
across the country. They said it was the highly contagious H5N8
strain first detected in Europe less than two weeks ago.
2014 Nov 17, US researchers
said they have identified a virus that has been wiping out starfish
along the US Pacific coast. It was identified as a densovirus, a
type of parvovirus, and was said to have also been found in museum
specimans dating back to 1942.
(SFC, 11/18/14, p.A1)
2014 Nov 17, In Egypt a woman
(19) diagnosed with bird flu died, the second fatality from the H5N1
virus this year in the country.
2014 Nov 20, Dutch authorities
said a case of bird flu has been confirmed at a chicken farm, the
second infection identified in the country this week.
2014 Nov 21, Dutch authorities
said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after
new cases of bird flu were found in Kamperveen, in the 3rd outbreak
(SFC, 11/22/14, p.A2)
2014 Nov 22, The WHO said a
plague outbreak has killed 40 people on the island nation of
Madagascar, with 119 people diagnosed with the bacterial disease
since August. WHO said only two percent of the cases have been from
the highly infectious pneumonic form of the disease.
2014 Nov 25, Benin’s country's
health minister said 9 people have died from Lassa fever, a viral
disease common in West Africa with symptoms similar to Ebola. Lassa
fever is in the same virus family as Ebola.
2014 Nov 27, Britain’s Food
Standards Agency (FSA) said some 70 percent of fresh chickens on
sale in Britain are contaminated with a food poisoning bug.
2014 Nov 30, The Netherlands
Economic Affairs Ministry said in a statement that poultry at the
farm in the town of Zoeterwoude were suffering from an H5 strain of
bird flu and that all 28,000 birds there were being slaughtered.
2014 Dec 19, US health
officials warned consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples after
they were linked to 4 deaths in which people were sickened with
listeria. At least 28 more were known sickened in ten states.
(SFC, 12/20/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 31, Hong Kong
authorities began destroying 15,000 chickens at a poultry market and
suspended imports from mainland China after some birds were found to
be infected with bird flu.
2015 Jan 21, Nigeria confirmed
that five states have been hit with the H5N1 strain of bird flu,
resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of poultry but no human
2015 Jan, In Madagascar at
least 57 people died of plague in the wake of cyclones Chedza and
(SSFC, 2/8/15, p.D18)
2015 Feb 2, In Liberia
large-scale human testing of two potential Ebola vaccines got under
way in Monrovia, part of a global effort to prevent a repeat of the
epidemic that has now claimed nearly 9,000 lives in West Africa.
2015 Feb 13, Canada, a major
exporter of beef, said it has found a case of mad cow disease in a
beef cow in the province of Alberta, the first in the country since
2015 Feb 20, Health authorities
in India said a flu outbreak has killed over 700 people in the
last ten weeks.
(SFC, 1/21/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 21, Saudi Arabia's
Health Ministry said two more people have died after contracting
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS, pushing the total number
of deaths from the virus in the kingdom to 385.
2015 Feb 27, New research
indicated that that annual deaths from the bacterium Clostridium
difficile have risen to 29,000, more than double the number since
2007. Most of some half million infected patients fell ill following
prescriptions of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
(SFC, 2/27/15, p.A5)
2015 Feb 27, Saudi Arabia said
ten more people have died from MERS over the past week, after an
international mission urged extra measures to combat the virus.
2015 Mar 12, Indian biologists
at MIT said the swine flu outbreak in India, which has claimed over
1,500 lives, may have mutated into a more dangerous strain.
(SSFC, 3/15/15, p.A6)
2015 Mar 20, Bulgaria's
authorities said they had discovered the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird
flu virus in two dead pelicans in a nature reserve in northeastern
part of the Balkan country, close to neighboring Romania.
2015 Mar 27, The White House
announced a five-year plan to fight the threat of
(SFC, 3/28/15, p.A5)
2015 Apr 6, Canadian health
authorities said two turkey farms in Ontario have been placed under
quarantine after H5 bird flu was detected in one of them.
2015 Apr 9, Australia reported
that second case of the so-called Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama
disease affecting banana plants has been confirmed, dashing hopes
that a recently confirmed outbreak would be isolated and threatening
the country's A$550 million ($423 million) sector.
2015 Apr 9, A Japanese research
team said it has developed a field test for Ebola that gives results
in just over 11 minutes -- down from the 90-minute test used now.
2015 Apr 15, In Nigeria a
mysterious disease broke out in Ode-Irele town and soon left 18
people dead. The disease, whose symptoms include headache, weight
loss, blurred vision and loss of consciousness, killed the victims
within 24 hours of their falling ill. On April 20 Nigerian health
authorities said that ethanol poisoning from a local gin may have
been responsible for the sudden deaths.
(AFP, 4/18/15)(AFP, 4/20/15)
2015 Apr 20, The USDA said bird
flu has been found at a farm in Iowa holding nearly 10% of the
state’s egg laying chickens. Up to 5.3 million hens in Osceola
County would have to be destroyed.
(SFC, 4/21/15, p.A5)
2015 Apr 21, The US Center for
Disease Control (CDC) said they are now aware of ten cases of
listeria linked to ice cream and other products produced by Blue
Bell Creameries of Texas since 2010. Blue Bell has recalled all of
(SFC, 4/22/15, p.A9)
2015 Apr 24, Niger said the
death toll in a meningitis epidemic that broke out in January has
2015 Apr 23, Ohio-based Jeni’s
Splendid Ice Creams said that it has recalled its frozen products
due to listeria found in a Whole Foods store in Lincoln, Nebraska.
(SFC, 4/24/15, p.A9)
2015 Apr 29, US health
officials said German measles, aka rubella, is officially gone from
North and South America. It has been over five years that the last
case originated in the Americas. Vaccines against the disease were
first licensed in 1969.
(SFC, 4/30/15, p.A6)
2015 May 20, Kenya health
officials said at least 65 people are confirmed to have died in a
nearly five-month-old cholera outbreak, with infections also
continuing to rise in the capital Nairobi.
2015 May 21, South Korea a
third case of MERS, a respiratory virus that has killed hundreds of
people in the Middle East.
2015 May 21, The WHO said a
cholera outbreak has killed at least 30 people in a Tanzanian
refugee camp for Burundians.
2015 May 22, The UN refugee
agency said an outbreak of cholera has infected 3,000 people in a
Tanzanian border region where refugees from Burundi have massed.
UNHCR said 300 to 400 new cases are being reported daily.
2015 May 27, In Kazakhstan
international experts investigated the sudden deaths of some 134,000
endangered saiga antelope, raising fears that a species that has
been around since the Ice Age may be at risk of dying out. Around 40
percent of the nation's population of the endangered saiga antelope
have died in the past two weeks. The deaths were later believed to
have been caused by two naturally occurring bacteria.
(Reuters, 5/27/15)(SSFC, 6/21/15, p.C14)
2015 May 29, China confirmed
its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in a South Korean
businessman who ignored instructions to stay home after his father
was diagnosed with the disease.
2015 May 29, South Korea
confirmed five MERS cases, bringing the total number of patients
infected with the potentially deadly virus to 12, including a man
who defied a quarantine protocol and travelled to China.
2015 Jun 1, South Korean health
officials said more than 680 people are being isolated after having
contact with patients infected with the MERS virus that has killed
hundreds of people in the Middle East.
2015 Jun 2, Polish authorities
said they will cull about 5,800 pigs to prevent the spread of
African swine fever.
2015 Jun 2, South Korea
confirmed the country's first two deaths from Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome as it fights to contain the spread of the
2015 Jun 4, North Korea accused
the United States of targeting it with anthrax and asked the UN
Security Council to investigate Washington's "biological warfare
schemes. The US Pentagon recently said live anthrax samples, which
can be used as a biological weapon, have been inadvertently sent to
Australia, Canada, Britain, South Korea and laboratories in 19 US
states and Washington, D.C.
2015 Jun 4, South Korea
confirmed a third death from MERS. 1,164 schools and kindergartens
were reported to be temporarily shut down.
(SFC, 6/5/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 6, A German man (65)
died after contracting MERS during a trip to Abu Dhabi, in the first
death linked to the virus in Europe this year.
2015 Jun 6, South Korea
confirmed nine more cases of the MERS virus, which has killed four
people, but said it did not represent a spread of the outbreak as
the infected were already in quarantine.
2015 Jun 7, South Korea bowed
to public pressure and identified 24 health facilities where
infections took place or MERS patients visited. It reported 14
confirmed new cases of MERS and a 5th death.
2015 Jun 9, South Korea
reported its seventh death from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
(MERS) as the government said it hoped to end the crisis this week.
Eight new infections brought the total number of cases to 95.
2015 Jun 11, South Korea
reported a 10th death from the MERS virus. Officials said they
believe the disease has peaked.
2015 Jun 12, Sierra Leone Pres.
Ernest Bai Koroma imposed new restrictions preventing people from
entering or leaving two northern districts that were experiencing a
resurgence of Ebola. Sierra Leone reported 15 new cases in the week
ending June 7.
(SFC, 6/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 12, In South Korea 3
MERS patients in their 70s died, raising the country's number of
MERS-related deaths to 13. Authorities temporarily closed two
hospitals amid persistent fears over the MERS virus outbreak. Rescue
teams digging through the debris pulled the bodies of 6 civilians
from under the rubble.
2015 Jun 13, South Korea
recorded its 14th death from the MERS virus and a dozen new
2015 Jun 14, South Korea's
Ministry of Health reported seven new MERS cases, taking the total
to 145, as a 15th person died. The Samsung Medical Center in Seoul
said it was suspending all non-emergency surgery and would take no
new patients to focus on stopping MERS after more than 70 cases were
traced to it.
2015 Jun 16, In South Korea the
death toll in the MERS outbreak increased to 19 even as schools
reopened and people recovered from the virus.
2015 Jun 18, In South Korea the
death toll from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) increased to
2015 Jun 18, Thailand confirmed
its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus
in a businessman from Oman.
2015 Jun 18, Southern Yemen
health officials said thousands of people have been diagnosed with
dengue fever. Around 30 fighters were killed in clashes between
Houthi militiamen and tribesmen in the central province of Mareb.
(AP, 6/18/15)(Reuters, 6/18/15)
2015 Jun 21, South Korea
reported three new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS),
bringing the total to 169 in the largest outbreak outside Saudi
2015 Jun 23, Sierra Leone’s
National Ebola Response Center (NERC) said three cases of Ebola had
emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf -- three weeks after
the last known infections in the capital.
2015 Jun 25, Sierra Leone said
it has quarantined three doctors and 28 nurses in the capital
Freetown when a mother tested positive for Ebola after giving birth.
2015 Jun 27, In Spain a
six-year-old boy, the first child to contract diphtheria in Spain in
29 years, died from the disease in a Barcelona hospital. He had not
been vaccinated against the disease because his parents had opted
2015 Jun 30, A UN report quoted
Yemen health officials as saying that 8,000 people had contracted
dengue fever in Aden since the crisis began in March. An average of
150 new cases of dengue fever and around 11 deaths were being
2015 Jul 2, South Korea
reported two new cases of the potentially deadly Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, after four days in which no cases
2015 Jul 3, An outbreak of
salmonella began in the US. By September one person was dead and at
least 285 others left sickened. It was traced to cucumbers imported
from Mexico by a San Diego distributor.
(SSFC, 9/6/15, p.A7)
2015 Jul 3, The UN children's
agency said at least 29 people have died in South Sudan's latest
2015 Jul 12, In Liberia a
second person died from Ebola in the latest resurgence of the deadly
disease in the West African nation. The woman in her early 20s was
linked to the 17-year-old boy who died on June 28.
2015 Jul 13, British
authorities confirmed an outbreak at a farm of the H7N7 strain of
avian flu that is both highly contagious and potentially deadly for
2015 Jul 20, The UN's Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) said markets and farms in Nigeria,
Burkina Faso, Niger, Ivory Coast and Ghana have been hit with the
deadly H5N1 virus over the past six months.
2015 Jul 28, South Korea said
it is now virtually free of the deadly MERS virus that killed 36
people and sickened nearly 200 since an outbreak was declared in
2015 Jul 30, NYC said 31 cases
of Legionnaire’s disease have been reported in the South Bronx since
July 10. NYC reported more than 100 cases since January 1.
(SFC, 7/31/15, p.A7)
2015 Jul 30, Sierra Leone
authorities said they have quarantined 500 people after a man died
of Ebola in his home village after contracting the disease in
(SFC, 7/31/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul 31, Researchers said
an Ebola test vaccine has provided blanket protection in a field
trial in Guinea, possibly heralding "the beginning of the end" for
the devastating West African outbreak that has killed thousands.
2015 Aug 3, Sierra Leone said
two new cases of Ebola have surfaced in the Tonkolili District after
a man died last week in the area where the deadly virus had been
gone for months. Following the death authorities quarantined 500
2015 Aug 4, NYC officials said
the number of people sickened by Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx
has climbed to 86. Water cooling towers were thought to be the
source of the problem, which has left 7 elderly people dead.
(SFC, 8/5/15, p.A6)
2015 Aug 11, In North Carolina
the GlaxoSmithKline plant in Zebulon was shut down after routine
testing found the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s in cooling
(SFC, 8/12/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 12, A UN report said a
measles outbreak in the copper-mining Katanga province in the
Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 315 people and infected at
2015 Aug 19, Saudi authorities
said they have closed an emergency ward in King Abdulaziz Medical
City after at least 46 people, including hospital staff, contracted
the potentially fatal Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The
Health Ministry recorded three new MERS deaths in Riyadh. That
brings the total number of deaths to 483 since the virus was first
identified in 2012.
2015 Aug 19, The UN said
typhoid has broken out among residents of the Yarmouk Palestinian
refugee camp in Syria.
2015 Aug 27, Saudi Arabia's
Health Ministry said 15 more people have died in the last seven days
after contracting the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
2015 Aug, Uganda wildlife
officials were stumped by a mysterious illness among the lions of
Kidepo Valley National Park that has left the big cats emaciated and
(SSFC, 8/23/15, p.C12)
2015 Sep 1, In Sierra Leone a
food trader (67) died of Ebola in Sella Kafta village in the
northern district of Kambia, after being sick for up to 10 days
without the authorities' knowledge. The entire village of almost
1,000 was soon placed under quarantine.
2015 Sep 2, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said officials have found two children stricken
by a mutated polio virus in Ukraine, the country's first cases of
the paralytic disease in nine years. Health officials had warned
Ukraine was at high risk of a polio outbreak due to its low
2015 Sep 3, The WHO announced
that Liberia, recently ravaged by Ebola, was free of the virus, 42
days after the last confirmed case passed a second negative test.
2015 Sep 8, The WHO said a
child in Mali has been paralyzed by polio, the first case there
since 2011. The child was stricken in Guinea before arriving in
(SFC, 9/9/15, p.A2)
2015 Sep 17, Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) said cholera has killed 16 people in three camps in
Nigeria housing over one million people who have fled the Boko Haram
2015 Sep 19, Iraqi officials
said a suspected cholera outbreak has killed 4 people west of
Baghdad, where vulnerable displaced populations have been affected
by the lack of clean water.
2015 Oct 6, A strain of Shiga
toxin-producing E. coli, linked to Costco chicken salads, began
sickening 19 people in seven states. It was believed to be more
life-threatening than a later E. coli outbreak at northwestern
(SFC, 11/26/15, p.A10)
2015 Oct 16, The UN said a
measles outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo's copper-mining
southeast has killed 428 people and infected about 30,000 since the
start of the year.
2015 Oct 16, The World Health
Organization says there were two new cases of Ebola in Guinea this
week, ending two consecutive weeks in West Africa when no cases of
the devastating disease were reported.
2015 Oct 18, In California the
Mariscos San Juan No. 3 restaurant in downtown San Jose closed
following reports of an outbreak of bacterial illness due to
shigella. By Oct 23 some 141 people were reported sickened from the
extremely contagious pathogen.
(SFC, 10/23/15, p.D2)(SFC, 10/24/15, p.C2)
2015 Nov 1, Iraq’s health
ministry said it is carrying out a major vaccination campaign to
combat a cholera outbreak that has infected more than 2,200 people.
2015 Nov 3, It was reported
that Chipotle has closed down 43 of its restaurants in Oregon and
Washington states after at least 37 people were reported sickened in
an outbreak of E. coli. This was the third food-borne illness at the
chain this year.
(SFC, 11/3/15, p.D4)(SFC, 11/4/15, p.A4)
2015 Nov 19, Chinese scientists
warned of the "epidemic potential" of deadly and fast-spreading
bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics. Prof. Jian-Hua Liu and
colleagues found a gene, called MCR-1, that makes bacteria resistant
to a class of antibiotics, known as polymyxins, used to fight
superbugs. Although currently confined to China, they said the MCR-1
bacteria were likely to spread worldwide.
2015 Nov 19, In Liberia a new
case of Ebola emerged. Three members of a family had contracted the
disease in a setback for the country declared free of the disease on
(Reuters, 11/20/15)(SFC, 11/21/15, p.A2)
2015 Nov 20, Officials said
that an outbreak of E. coli linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill in
Washington and Oregon has now spread to six states including
California, New York, Minnesota and Ohio.
(SFC, 11/21/15, p.D1)
2015 Nov 23, In Liberia a
teenager (15) died in the first such death since the country was
officially declared free of the virus in September. His parents had
also tested positive for the virus and were under observation in the
2015 Dec 3, A Cambodian court
sentenced Yem Chrin, an unlicensed medical practitioner, to 25 years
in prison Thursday after finding him responsible for infecting more
than 100 villagers with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by reusing
2015 Dec 4, The US Center for
Disease Control said that seven additional people in three more
states have been sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle.
(SFC, 12/5/15, p.D4)
2015 Dec 7, The County of
Hawaii said 119 residents and 17 visitors have been confirmed with
(SFC, 12/8/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec 8, Boston College said
the number of students complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms
after eating at Chipotle has climbed to 80. Chipotle said it thinks
the illnesses are an isolated case of norovirus.
(SFC, 12/9/15, p.A10)
2015 Dec 10, Iran’s Health
Minister Hassan Hashemi said an outbreak of H1N1 swine flu has
claimed 42 lives since mid-November.
2015 Dec 11, France detected a
case of the highly pathogenic H5N9 bird flu in the
Pyrenees-Atlantiques region, taking to five the number of regions
affected by the outbreak in the country's southwest.
2015 Dec 15, Iran’s the health
ministry said an outbreak of swine flu has claimed 57 lives since
mid-November. Hundreds of people have been diagnosed with the virus.
2015 Dec 28, Iran media
reported that a swine flu outbreak has killed 112 people since
mid-November and the country's first medical worker has died of the
2015 Dec 29, The UN's health
agency declared Guinea's Ebola outbreak over two years after it
2015 Dec 31, It was reported
that Brazil has registered at least 2,782 cases of babies born with
small heads due to a virus spread by mosquitoes.
(SFC, 12/31/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec, Brazil declared a
national public health emergency due to the mosquito-born Zika
(Econ, 1/23/16, p.73)
2015 Tuberculosis claimed the
lives of an estimated 1.8 million people around the world this year,
60% of whom lived in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and
2015 An estimated 395,000
Africans died of malaria this year, compared to 764,000 deaths in
2000 according to the World Health Organization.
(Econ, 3/12/15, p.23)
2015 In Russia the total number
of registered HIV cases exceeded one million this year, with
authorities struggling to contain an epidemic that experts say could
be curbed by increased funding and more awareness campaigns.
2015 A UN estimate in 2016 put
AIDS-related deaths for 2015 at 1.1 million, down from a peak of 2
million in 2005.
(Econ, 6/4/16, p.76)
2016 Jan 8, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said seven employees of an Oregon zoo
contracted tuberculosis from three elephants in their care in 2013.
Human-to-elephant transmission was first identified in 1996 and
there have been a handful of cases in recent years in Tennessee and
2016 Jan 8, Nigeria’s Health
Minister Isaac Adewole said 40 people have died in a suspected
outbreak of Lassa fever in 10 states across the country.
2016 Jan 9, UN officials said
at least 10 people have died and over 1,000 fallen sick with cholera
in an outbreak among Somali refugees in the world's largest refugee
camp in Kenya.
2016 Jan 14, Ukraine said 25
people have died from swine flu since the start of the flu season.
2016 Jan 14, The World Health
organization (WHO) said the two-year Ebola epidemic that killed
11,000 and triggered a global health alert was over, with Liberia
the last country given the all-clear.
2016 Jan 15, US federal
officials said an H7N8 strain of bird flu has been found at a
southern Indiana turkey farm. The entire flock of some 60,000
turkeys was euthanized. Authorities the next day said nine more
turkey farms had tested positive.
(SFC, 1/16/16, p.A5)(SSFC, 1/17/16, p.A8)
2016 Jan 15, The Brazilian
government announced it will direct funds to a biomedical research
center to help develop a vaccine against the Zika virus linked to
brain damage in babies.
2016 Jan 15, The World Health
Organization confirmed a new death from Ebola in Sierra Leone just a
day after west Africa celebrated the end of an outbreak which killed
2016 Jan 19, It was reported
that at least 17 people have died of H1N1 swine flu in Russia since
last month, as the virus appears to gain ground in the country.
2016 Jan 25, Britain’s
Chancellor George Osborne and Bill Gates announced a £3 billion
($4.28 billion, 4 billion euros) fund for research and to support
efforts to eliminate malaria.
2016 Jan 25, It was reported
that sales of rat poison have taken off in Nigeria following an
outbreak of Lassa fever that has left at least 76 people dead and
sparked fears of contagion across the country.
2016 Jan 25, Thailand’s health
ministry said it has quarantined 32 people as it seeks to prevent
the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after a second
case of the virus was detected on Jan 22.
2016 Jan 27, Denmark and
Switzerland joined a growing number of European countries to report
Zika infections among travelers returning from Latin America, where
the mosquito-borne virus has been blamed for a surge in birth
2016 Jan 30, Colombia announced
that more than 2,000 pregnant women have been infected with Zika,
amid growing concern about the spread of the virus suspected of
causing irreversible brain damage in newborns.
2016 Feb 1, Honduras declared a
state of emergency after officials said the number of Zika
infections is rising at an "alarming" rate in the Central American
2016 Feb 4, Brazilian officials
said they're sending a set of samples related to the Zika outbreak
to the United States, a move which follows complaints that the
country was hoarding disease data and biological material.
2016 Feb 5, The South Pacific
kingdom of Tonga said it has a Zika epidemic after five people
tested positive for the virus and another 265 are suspected of
2016 Feb 6, Nigerian health
authorities released data that showed a growing Lassa fever outbreak
has killed 101 people, as it battles to contain a flare-up of the
2016 Feb 10, In India millions
of children began getting deworming treatment in a massive national
campaign to prevent parasitic worms from infecting them and
impairing their mental and physical development.
2016 Feb 22, President Barack
Obama sent lawmakers an official $1.9 billion request to combat the
spread of the Zika virus in Latin America and the US.
2016 Feb 22, Cuban President
Raul Castro announced that he is dispatching 9,000 soldiers to help
keep the Zika virus out of Cuba, calling on the entire country to
fight the mosquito that carries the disease.
2016 Feb, In Puerto Rico a
70-year-old man infected with Zika died from a drop in blood
platelets, the island’s first Zika-related death.
2016 Mar 4, The World Health
Organization said Laos has joined 41 countries in reporting a local
transmission of Zika virus, as fears mounted over the mosquito-borne
illness that has been linked to birth defects.
2016 Mar 8, French researchers
said the Zika virus, suspected of causing brain damage in babies and
a neurological ailment in adults, has now also been linked to the
paralyzing disorder myelitis.
2016 Mar 10, Qatar health
officials said a 66-year-old Qatari man has died after contracting
the MERS virus, in the first fatal case in the Gulf state for 10
2016 Mar 16, Guinean health
officials alerted the WHO to Ebola symptoms in a family's village,
where three people had died in unexplained circumstances in the last
few weeks. The Alliance For International Medical Action (ALIMA)
quickly reopened its specialist Ebola clinic to treat an infected
woman and her child after the virus killed at least two of their
2016 Mar 31, In Liberia a woman
(30) died of Ebola, months after the West African nation was
declared free of the virus. Officials later said there were strong
indications the woman came from Guinea when the border was closed.
(Reuters, 4/1/16)(AP, 4/3/16)
2016 Apr 3, Liberian health
officials said a second case of Ebola has been confirmed months
after the country had been declared free from transmissions. The son
(5) of a woman who died March 31 from Ebola was taken to a treatment
center in Monrovia.
2016 Apr 4, The Philippines
launched the first public immunization program for dengue fever,
seeking to administer to a million schoolchildren the world's first
licensed vaccine against a mosquito-borne disease that the World
Health Organization estimates infects 390 million people a year
2016 Apr 13, The US Centers for
disease Control and Prevention said there is no longer any doubt the
Zika virus causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and
other severe brain defects.
(SFC, 4/14/16, p.A5)
2016 Apr 27, A Zanzibar health
official said a cholera outbreak on the island archipelago has
killed at least 45 people since March and that 3,000 people have
been hospitalized with the disease.
2016 Apr, US-based Rational
Vaccines began testing an experimental herpes vaccine on the
Caribbean island of St. Kitts. In 2017 the government of St. Kitts
and Nevis announced the opening of an investigation into the
clinical trial because officials had not been notified.
(SFC, 9/5/17, p.D1)
2016 May 5, The US FDA said it
is investigating a listeria outbreak that led to a massive recall of
frozen fruits and vegetables by CRF Frozen Foods. 8 people had
become infected from food made at its Pasco, Wa., plant. A recall
included 358 products under 42 separate brand names since May 1,
(SFC, 5/6/16, p.A8)
2016 May 19, World Health
Organization held an emergency meeting on the outbreak of yellow
fever in Angola. Yellow fever has been raging since last December,
and especially in the capital Luanda, killing 293 people in the
country to date and infecting another 2,267.
2016 May 20, The World Health
Organization said that the Zika virus strain linked to surging cases
of neurological disorders and birth defects in Latin America has for
the first time been found in Africa.
2016 May 26, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said a US patient has been infected
with bacteria resistant to colistin, a last resort antibiotic. A
woman in Pennsylvania was infected with E. coli and carried a gene
(SFC, 5/28/16, p.A8)
2016 May 27, Britain told the
G7 industrial powers meeting in Japan to do more to fight killer
superbugs as the United States reported the first case in the
country of a patient with bacteria resistant to a last-resort
2016 Jun 2, Niger reported an
outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus among poultry
after the outbreak was confirmed at the end of May. The outbreak,
which killed all 86,000 poultry birds at the affected site, started
in late February, and followed a previous outbreak in the country
2016 Jun 7, Hong Kong culled
4,500 birds after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was discovered in a
chicken at a local market.
2016 Jun 23, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said if will carry out emergency yellow fever
vaccination campaigns along the border between Angola and Congo.
Since last December there were 347 suspected deaths from yellow
fever in Angola and 75 deaths in Congo.
(SFC, 6/23/16, p.A2)
2016 Jun, US health officials
warned clinicians to be on the lookout for Candida auris, a deadly
and highly drug-resistant emerging pathogen. By March 2017 nearly
three dozen people in the US were diagnosed with the fungal
infection first found in a patient in Japan in 2009.
(SFC, 3/11/17, p.A10)
2016 Jun, In Utah an elderly
man infected with the Zika virus died late this month. He was the
first Zika-infected person to die in the continental US. A relative
who cared for the man was soon diagnosed with the virus.
(SFC, 7/19/16, p.A4)
2016 Jul 25, Colombia’s Health
Ministry said the number of cases of the virus have been falling
steadily to as few as 600 per week compared to more than 10 times
that amount at the outbreak's peak in February.
2016 Jul 25, Spanish health
officials said a woman has given birth to a baby boy with
microcephaly associated with the Zika virus, the first detected case
in the country.
2016 Jul 30, Doctors in
Honduras said six women have delivered babies with the birth defect
microcephaly in just three days, raising fresh concerns about the
spread of the Zika virus. Honduras has detected 27,869 cases of Zika
2016 Aug 2, In Russia the Yamal
regional governor's office said a child has died of anthrax in
Siberia in the first fatal outbreak of the bacterial disease
reported in Russia in 75 years. More than 2,300 reindeer have also
died in the outbreak in the region.
2016 Aug 5, Myanmar health
officials confirmed that a measles outbreak is behind the deaths of
more than 30 people, mostly children, in the northern Sagaing
2016 Aug 18, The New Zealand
government launched an inquiry into the contamination of a regional
water supply that has left thousands of people sick with vomiting
and diarrhoea. The outbreak of campylobacter bacteria, a form of
gastroenteritis, has affected around 3,000 people on North Island.
2016 Aug 18, The United Nations
said for the first time that it was involved in the introduction of
cholera to Haiti and needs to do "much more" to end the suffering of
those affected, estimated at more than 800,000 people.
2016 Aug 19, Montana wildlife
officials closed a lengthy stretch of the Yellowstone River to all
recreational activities at the height of the summer tourist season
following the deaths of thousands of fish this week from a rare but
virulent microbial parasite.
2016 Aug 19, Donald Ainslee
Henderson (b.1928), American epidemiologist, died in Maryland. He
directed a 10-year international effort (1967–77) that eradicated
smallpox throughout the world and launched international childhood
2016 Aug 26, Nicaraguan
officials said the first baby with the birth defect of microcephaly
has been born to a mother infected with the Zika virus.
2016 Aug 28, Singapore
officials said at least 41 people have been infected locally by the
Zika virus, most of them foreign workers at a construction site.
(AFP, 8/28/16)(SFC, 8/29/16, p.A2)
2016 Aug, In Oregon Abby
Beckley had 14 tiny worms removed from her left eye. She was
diagnosed Thelazia gulosa, a type of worm seen in the northern US
and southern Canada, but never before in humans.
(SFC, 2/14/18, p.A4)
2016 Sep 1, Florida authorities
said tests have found the Zika virus in mosquitoes from Miami, the
first detected on continental US, confirming local transmission of
2016 Sep 1, Malaysia reported
its first suspected case of Zika, a 58-year-old woman believed to
have contracted it in neighbouring Singapore where more than 100
cases have been confirmed.
2016 Sep 3, Singapore confirmed
26 more cases of locally-transmitted Zika infections bringing the
tally to 215.
2016 Sep 13, The World Health
Organization said yellow fever outbreaks in Angola and the
Democratic Republic of Congo are "under control" after a massive
vaccination campaign involving millions.
2016 Sep, South Africa became
one of the first African states to adopt a “test and treat" protocol
whereby anyone infected with the HIV virus can get drugs
immediately, instead of waiting for the symptoms of full-blown aids
(Econ, 12/3/16, p.39)
2016 Oct 18, In India the Delhi
Zoo was closed to the public after autopsies confirmed at least
three birds had died from H5N1 avian influenza. Days later city
authorities closed Hauz Khas Deer Park after eight birds died of
suspected bird flu.
2016 Nov 18, The World Health
Organization (WHO) in Geneva declared an end to its global health
emergency over the spread of the Zika virus and said the disease
should now be viewed as an ongoing threat like malaria and yellow
(SFC, 11/19/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 20, The German news
agency dpa reported that some 8,800 geese on two poultry farms will
be culled in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein because some
of the animals are infected with the bird flu. Last week 30,000
chickens were destroyed in Schleswig-Holstein after H5N8 was
detected in their enclosure.
2016 Nov 24, In the SF Bay Area
a Thanksgiving luncheon at the American Legion in Antioch left 3
people dead and another 18 suffering symptoms of nausea, vomiting
and diarrhea. On Dec 20 CDC officials said the illness was caused by
(SFC, 12/3/16, p.D2)(SFC, 12/21/16, p.D2)
2016 Nov 24, German media
reported that authorities in northern Germany have killed 16,000
turkeys and ordered 92,000 chickens slaughtered after detecting an
outbreak of bird flu.
2016 Nov 27, Dutch officials
said they have culled 190,000 ducks on a farm where inspectors have
confirmed the presence of a highly infectious strain of bird flu.
2016 Nov 30, South Africa
launched a major clinical trial of an experimental vaccine against
the AIDS virus, which scientists hope could be the "final nail in
the coffin" for the disease.
2016 Dec 23, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said a prototype vaccine for Ebola may be "up to
100 percent effective" in protecting against the deadly virus. The
new vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health
authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.
2016 Dec 25, The Chinese city
of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, said it will suspend trade of live
poultry as of midnight in the interests of public health after
neighboring provinces reported cases of human bird flu infections.
2016 Dec 26, Iranian officials
said hundreds of thousands of birds have been killed in recent weeks
as avian flu spread across seven provinces of the country. State
news said 63,000 chickens, along with 800,000 fertilized eggs and
day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin province in recent
days after an outbreak of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the
2016 Paul Richards authored
“Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic."
(Econ, 9/17/16, p.81)
2016 Sonia Shah authored
“Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond.
(Econ, 2/13/16, p.81)
2016 Ed Yong authored “I
Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of
(Econ, 8/20/16, p.70)
2017 Jan 4, Czech authorities
said they had detected highly-contagious bird flu at two small
poultry farms and in dead swans in the first such cases in a decade.
2017 Jan 5, French authorities
started slaughtering ducks in the main foie gras-producing region to
try to contain a dangerous form of bird flu.
2017 Jan 6, In southwestern
France workers wearing masks and protective clothes gassed thousands
of ducks, in a massive cull that was ordered in an attempt to
prevent a spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus.
2017 Jan 9, Angolan health
officials said they had recorded the country's first two cases of
the Zika virus, a French tourist (two months ago) and a resident in
the capital Luanda (last week).
2017 Jan 18, In Venezuela
Eliannys Vivas (9) died of diphtheria. Her death and a wider
outbreak of diphtheria, showed how vulnerable the country is to
health risks amid a major economic crisis that has sparked shortages
of basic medicines and vaccines.
2017 Jan 26, In Germany more
than 15,000 turkeys were being culled after the new bird flu subtype
H5N5 was confirmed on a north German farm.
2017 Jan – 2017 Feb, In China
some 140 people died of avian influenza. Officials later said a tiny
genetic change in the H7N9 strain has allowed the virus to more
easily infect humans.
(SSFC, 3/26/17, p.C14)
2017 Feb 3, Mexico's health
ministry confirmed the first case of a Zika-related severe birth
defect known as microcephaly.
2017 Feb 8, A Brazilian
zoologist said an outbreak of yellow fever has claimed the lives of
more than 600 monkeys and dozens of humans in the Atlantic
rainforest region, threatening the survival of rare South American
2017 Feb 27, It was reported
that laboratory mice exposed to Enterovirus D68 often developed
sudden –onset paralysis in one or more limbs. The virus has hit more
than 200 US children with polio-like paralysis since 2014.
(SFC, 2/27/17, p.A1)
2017 Feb 27, The UN World
Health Organization (WHO) issued a list of the top dozen bacteria
most dangerous to humans, warning that doctors are fast running out
of treatment options. They included Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
(AP, 2/27/17)(Econ, 3/4/17, p.65)
2017 Mar 1, US salmonella
illnesses linked to turtles began to infect people. According to the
US Centers for Disease Control some 37 people across 13 states were
diagnosed with salmonella until August 3.
(SFC, 8/30/17, p.A5)
2017 Mar 1, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said it has noticed changes in the bird flu virus
now spreading in China, but says the risk of the disease spreading
easily between people remains low. It also said scientists have
identified genetic changes suggesting the viruses are resistant to
Tamiflu, the recommended treatment for the illness, in about 7
percent of recent cases.
2017 Mar 6, It was reported
that tens of thousands of chickens have been destroyed at a
Tennessee chicken farm due to a bird flu outbreak. 30 other farms
within a six-mile radius were being quarantined.
2017 Mar 9, Scientists said
they have developed a vaccine to shield endangered chimpanzees and
gorillas against Ebola, which has wiped out tens of thousands of the
wild apes in three decades.
2017 Mar 10, Romania's health
minister said thousands of people have caught measles in an ongoing
outbreak in the country, which has claimed 17 lives. Around 3,400
people had contracted the disease since the outbreak began in
2017 Mar 10, Spain reported a
case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called mad
cow disease, on a farm near the city of Salamanca.
2017 Mar 11, In Brazil Watila
Santos (38) died from yellow fever in Casimiro de Abreu, 93 miles
(150 km) from Rio de Janeiro. Around 30,000 of the city's 42,000
people were soon vaccinated.
2017 Mar 13, Burundi’s health
minister said about 700 people have died from malaria in Burundi so
far this year. He said authorities have registered 1.8 million
infections in a rising epidemic.
2017 Mar 17, In China poultry
trading in Hunan’s provincial capital of Changsha went into effect.
An outbreak of H7N9 bird flu virus originated from a farm with about
29,760 infected birds. Over 170,000 birds were culled as a result.
At least 162 deaths have been reported since last October.
2017 Mar 22, In Massachusetts
Barry Cadden (50), former head of the New England Compounding
Center, was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud over a
2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people across the country
and was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs. On June 26 Cadden was
sentenced to nine years in prison.
(SFC, 3/23/17, p.A8)(SFC, 6/27/17, p.A6)
2017 Mar 27, In Pakistan a
special 3-day anti-polio drive was launched in Islamabad after
traces of the virus were found in the city's sewage system.
2017 Mar 29, The UN said a
malaria outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people in Burundi this
year, a significant increase over the 700 cited by the country’s
health ministry on March 13.
(SFC, 3/30/17, p.A2)
2017 Mar, In Brazil the
howler-monkey population in Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais states
was reported to be crashing. Doctors suspected this was due to
yellow fever. Since December 371 human cases have been reported, a
third of them fatal.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.79)
2017 Apr 7, Doctors Without
Borders said they have begun a huge measles vaccination program in
Guinea after 14 deaths and 3,400 cases were confirmed this year.
(SFC, 4/8/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 13, The UN said
cholera and acute diarrhea have killed more than 500 people and left
tens of thousands of others sick in drought-hit parts of Somalia
2017 Apr 21, It was reported
that a fungus that causes “vomitoxin" has been found in some US corn
harvested last year, forcing poultry and pork farmers to test their
grain, and giving headaches to grain growers already wrestling with
massive supplies and low prices.
2017 Apr 24, The World Health
Organization announced that Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin
piloting the world’s first injectable malaria vaccine next year with
hundreds of thousands of young children, who have been at highest
risk of death.
2017 Apr 28, United Nations
officials said at least 11 people have died from a mysterious
illness in Liberia, and tests have been negative for the Ebola
virus. Those who fell sick this week all had attended a relative's
2017 May 9, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said thirty-four people have died in Yemen of
cholera-related causes and more than 2,000 have been taken ill, and
warned that the outbreak could spiral out of control.
2017 May 11, Atlanta’s Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention said the heroin epidemic is
driving up hepatitis C infections. New infections had tripled in
five years to about 2,400 in 2015.
(SFC, 5/11/17, p.A5)
2017 May 11, The US Center for
Disease Control said more than 1,000 people have died in an outbreak
of meningitis in Nigeria, but added that the spread of the disease
is slowing. A new strain of meningitis C was first reported in
Zamfara last November.
2017 May 11, The United Nations
confirmed 58 cases of cholera and 47 cholera-associated deaths
across war-torn Yemen in the past two weeks, the second such
outbreak in a year.
2017 May 12, Congo DRC’s health
minister said one person has been confirmed dead from Ebola in an
outbreak in a remote corner of northern Congo as health authorities
look into a total of nine suspected cases. The outbreak emerged
April 22 in Bas-Uele province. The WHO said at least three people
have died in the last three weeks.
(AP, 5/12/17)(SFC, 5/13/17, p.A2)
2017 May 14, The International
Committee of the Red Cross said a cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen
has killed 115 people and left 8,500 ill as hospitals struggle to
cope with an influx of patients.
2017 May 15, India reported
three cases of Zika virus to the WHO. They were detected through
routine blood surveillance in a hospital in Ahmadabad. Two cases
were detected in February and November last year, while a third case
was detected in January this year.
2017 May 16, The World Health
Organization said a second case of Ebola has been confirmed by
laboratory testing amid an outbreak in a remote corner of northern
2017 May 19, Italy's government
declared a new law making a series of childhood vaccinations a
condition of school inscription in a move triggered by a spike in
2017 May 19, The WHO said the
cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen has killed 242 people, and
left nearly 23,500 others sick in the past three weeks alone.
2017 May 21, Chinese state
media reported that the government will shut down poultry markets in
certain districts of Binzhou city, Shandong province, and Zigong
city, Sichuan province, after H7N9 bird flu infections were detected
in two men.
2017 May 21, The World Health
Organization said the cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen has
killed 315 people in under a month. The WHO has recorded another
29,300 suspected cases of cholera in 19 provinces.
2017 May 29, The Democratic
Republic of Congo said it has approved using an experimental Ebola
vaccine to combat an outbreak of the virus in the northeast.
2017 Jun 2, South Sudan’s
health ministry said fifteen children died in Nachodopele village
last month after being administered with contaminated measles
vaccines. Local officials failed to follow guidelines, storing the
vaccine unrefrigerated for four days and using a single syringe for
the entire campaign.
2017 Jun 3, South Korea said on
it will raise the bird flu alert level to the second highest after
small flocks of farm birds tested positive for the H5N8 virus, the
first in the country since early April.
2017 Jun 3, UNICEF said Yemen
was getting an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 new cholera cases every day
and that many patients can’t afford to travel to free clinics.
(SSFC, 6/4/17, p.A3)
2017 Jun 6, South Korea raised
the national bird flu alert to its highest level, as it ordered more
than 180,000 chickens, ducks and other birds be culled. The first
case in this outbreak of the virus was confirmed in the southern
island of Jeju on June 2, and four more cases have been confirmed in
different locations across the country.
2017 Jun 8, A Yemeni health
official said more than 96,000 people have been infected with
cholera in an outbreak that has caused at least 746 deaths since
2017 Jun 14, The World Health
Organization said two separate outbreaks of the polio virus have
been confirmed in Congo, the first cases of polio in the vast
Central African nation since 2012.
2017 Jun 29, The latest reports
of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has exceeded 200,000 people with
an estimated 5,000 new cases daily.
2017 Jul 1, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said the rapidly spreading cholera outbreak in
Yemen has claimed 1500 lives since April and is suspected of
sickening 246,000 people.
2017 Jul 2, Sudanese doctors
and aid workers urged the government to declare a state of emergency
over a cholera outbreak and delay the start of the school year,
which began today, although authorities say the situation is under
control. Some 22,000 cases of acute watery diarrhea have led to at
least 700 fatalities since May 20.
2017 Jul 4, Sri Lanka’s
government deployed 400 soldiers and police to clear away potential
mosquito breeding grounds in the wake of a dengue outbreak that has
killed 225 people this year.
(SFC, 7/5/17, p.A2)
2017 Jul 10, The Red Cross said
a cholera outbreak in Yemen has now surpassed 300,000 suspected
cases with more than 1,600 deaths.
2017 Jul 11, The World Health
Organization said measles has killed 35 children in Europe in the
last year. The most recent death was a 6-year-old boy in Italy,
where there have been more than 3,300 cases and two deaths since
2017 Jul 19, Kenya’s health
minister said a cholera outbreak in Nairobi has killed four people
since May and the government has shut down a three-star hotel and a
popular restaurant there to control its spread.
2017 Jul 24, Researchers said
Swaziland, which bears the world's heaviest HIV burden, has halved
the rate of new infections in five years by boosting access to
2017 Jul 25, Japanese
authorities said a local woman has died from SFTS, or severe fever
with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a tick-borne virus after being
bitten by a stray cat in what is possibly the world's first
animal-to-human transmission of the disease.
2017 Jul 27, Myanmar health
authorities said they have asked the UN's health agency for help to
combat a deadly outbreak of swine flu that has sparked alarm in
Yangon. At least six people have died and 30 more have been infected
over the past week, most of them in Yangon.
2017 Aug 1, China's Ministry of
Agriculture said the Inner Mongolia region has culled 66,500
chickens following an outbreak of bird flu that has affected 35,000
2017 Aug 2, South African
poultry producer Astral Foods confirmed a second outbreak of highly
pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at one of its farms.
2017 Aug 5, The WHO said Saudi
Arabia has pledged $33.7 million to help the World Health
Organization eradicate cholera in war-wracked Yemen, where the
disease has killed nearly 2,000 people.
2017 Aug 8, The US Centers for
Disease Control said an increasing number of people have been
sickened by eating salmonella infected papaya traced to a farm in
southern Mexico. 109 people in 16 states were now sickened. One
death in NYC was reported.
(SFC, 8/9/17, p.A6)
2017 Aug 10, Scientists in
Germany said they have identified a new type of pox virus that's
sickening young red squirrels in Berlin.
2017 Aug 11, Philippine
officials said they will cull at least 200,000 birds after
confirming its first H5 avian flu outbreak in Papanga province.
(SFC, 8/12/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 18, Vietnam’s Ministry
of Health said 10,000 new infections of dengue fever have been
reported over the past week. 24 deaths have been recorded in the
latest outbreak that has infected over 90 thousand people.
(SFC, 8/19/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 29, The World
Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said Germany has reported an
outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus in three swans
in the central state of Saxony-Anhalt.
2017 Aug 30, South Africa’s
Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said South Africa has detected
24 outbreaks of the H5N8 strain of bird flu since June, including 10
at commercial chicken farms and three at ostrich farms.
2017 Sep 3, It was reported
that California’s Dept. of Public health has confirmed three recent
deaths from West Nile virus. In all 87 cases from 13 California
counties have been recorded this year.
(SSFC, 9/3/17, p.A8)
2017 Sep 18, The World Health
Organization urged Yemen to approve cholera vaccinations it has
offered to help contain an epidemic that could affect nearly a
million people by year's end.
2017 Sep 28, Madagascar’s
health minister said an outbreak of plague has killed 19 people and
may have infected 85 others in just two months.
2017 Sep 30, Madagascar’s
government banned public meetings in the capital Antananarivo in
response to a plague outbreak that has killed 24 people. A day later
the World Health Organization said it was boosting its response to a
2017 Oct 13, The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it is
deploying its first-ever plague treatment center to Madagascar where
dozens have been reported killed by the outbreak.
2017 Oct 13, The Seychelles
government ordered schools to close, after the discovery of two
suspected cases of plague thought to have been brought from
Madagascar where the disease has killed scores.
2017 Oct 20, The World Health
Organization said an unusually large plague outbreak in Madagascar
has taken 94 lives.
2017 Oct 28, The Los Angeles
Times reported that more than 200 people in Los Angeles County have
contracted the West Nile virus this year and that 17 have died.
(SSFC, 10/29/17, p.A6)
2017 Oct, In Brazil Sao Paulo
health authorities started a huge vaccination program after a dead
monkey infected with yellow fever was found in the city. The
virus has been blamed for at least 261 Brazilian deaths since
(SSFC, 10/29/17, p.C14)
2017 Nov 11, In California the
Orange County Health Care Agency said two cooling towers at the
Disneyland theme park have been shut down following a dozen cases of
(SSFC, 11/12/17, p.A6)
2017 Nov 16, The World Bank
agreed to grant war-torn Yemen $150 million to help some of its
hardest-hit cities restore basic services and fight a cholera
2017 Nov 22, Doctors in Yemen
said three people have died of suspected diphtheria, as the World
Health Organization and International Committee of the Red Cross
warned the disease was spreading.
2017 Nov 29, It was reported
that 66,000 people out of Iran's 80 million people have HIV, though
about 30,000 of them have no idea they have the virus. The report
cited government statistics.
2017 Dec 4, The UN voiced alarm
over the spread of HIV in Egypt, where new cases were growing by up
to 40% a years. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
(SFC, 12/5/17, p.A3)
2017 Dec 5, The UN warned of a
ticking time bomb of drug-resistant germs brewing in the natural
environment, aided by humans dumping antibiotics and chemicals into
the water and soil.
2017 Dec 8, The Dutch
government ordered the country's farmers to keep all poultry indoors
after H5 bird flu was discovered at a duck farm.
2017 Dec 11, French Baby milk
maker Lactalis and French authorities ordered a global recall of
millions of products over fears of salmonella bacteria
contamination. The company said it was warned by health authorities
in France that 26 infants have become sick since December 1.
2017 Dec 11, It was reported
that Indonesia is immunizing millions of children and teenagers
against diphtheria after the disease killed 38 people, mostly
children, since January.
2017 Dec 21, French dairy giant
Lactalis recalled millions more products globally because of fears
of salmonella contamination.
2017 Dec 21, The International
Committee of the Red Cross said the number of suspected cholera
cases in war-torn Yemen has reached one million.
2017 Dec 29, It was reported
that doctors across Yemen have recorded at least 380 cases of
diphtheria over the last four months, a bacterial disease that last
appeared here in 1992.
2017 Dec 29, Zambian President
Edgar Lungu directed the military to help fight the spread of
cholera, which has killed 41 people in the nation's capital and made
more than 1,500 others sick since late September.
2017 Jonathan Cape authored
“Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World.
(Econ 5/27/17, p.75)
2017 Daniel Dennett authored
“From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds."
(Econ, 3/11/17, p.80)
2017 Globally about 120 million
people were infected with lymphatic filariasis, some times known as
elephantiasis, an infestation of worm larvae transmitted by
mosquitos. China eliminated the disease in the 1950s and 1960s by
adding an anti-parasitic drug to table salt.
(Econ, 4/22/17, p.51)
2017 It was reported that wax
moth caterpillars could eat a milligram of polyethylene plastic in
about 12 hours. This compared with the bacterium Nocardia
asteroides, which takes about six months to obliterate a film of
plastic a half millimeter thick.
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.66)
2018 Jan 11, Brazilian
scientists said the cetacean morbillivirus is the main cause for the
death of close to 200 gray dolphins since late November on the coast
of Rio de Janeiro state.
2018 Jan 14, The head of French
dairy company Lactalis said that a recall of baby milk products
because of a salmonella scare has been extended to 83 countries.
2018 Jan 16, The World Health
Organization announced that it now considers all of Brazil’s Sao
Paulo state at risk for yellow fever, recommending that all
international visitors to the state be vaccinated.
2018 Jan 20, In Brazil the
government of Minas Gerais state declared a state of emergency for
its public health system because of an outbreak of yellow fever in
94 of its 853 cities.
(SSFC, 1/21/18, p.A4)
2018 Feb 2, The Philippines
said the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, made by French drug maker
Sanofi, may be connected to three deaths in the country, according
to a government-ordered inquiry, and that the drug is not ready for
2018 Feb 6, South Korean
authorities deployed 900 military personnel at the Pyeongchang
Olympics after the security force was depleted by an outbreak of
2018 Feb 7, Brazil's Health
Ministry confirmed more than 350 cases of yellow fever as infections
pick up steam in the state at the center of the last outbreak.
2018 Feb 9, California public
health officials reported 36 flu-related deaths during the first
week of February.
(SFC, 2/10/18, p.A1)
2018 Mar 2, Australian health
authorities said three people have died and 12 others have fallen
ill in a national listeria outbreak linked to contaminated
rockmelons, also called cantaloupes, and that more cases are
2018 Mar 17, South African
supermarket chain Shoprite said it has withdrawn a third brand of
sausages after the world's worst listeria outbreak which has claimed
at least 183 lives since January last year.
2018 Mar 17, The World Health
Organization said a diphtheria outbreak in war-torn Yemen has spread
rapidly nationwide and infected more than 1,300 people.
2018 Mar 21, German authorities
confirmed outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu type at a
farm off the German North Sea coast. The virus was found on a farm
of with 57 chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese on the island of
Hallig Suederoog. All the birds on the farm have been culled.
2018 Apr 5, The Nigeria Center
for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lassa fever has killed 142 people in
Nigeria since the start of the year, reporting a rise of 32
fatalities in a month.
2018 Apr 6, Romanian
authorities said a 9-month-old baby has died of measles, the 46th
fatality from an epidemic that has struck the country over the past
(SFC, 4/7/18, p.A2)
2018 Apr 9, Pakistani
authorities launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach
38.7 million children under the age of 5.
2018 May 5, Stanford Prof.
Stanley Falkow (b.1934) died at his home in Portola Valley, Ca. He
had discovered how antibiotic resistance spreads among bacteria. His
awards included the National Medal of Science (2014).
(SSFC, 5/13/18, p.C11)
2018 May 7, In Pakistan a
five-day anti-polio drive was launched to vaccinate millions of
children under five years of age against the crippling disease.
2018 May 10, A Congo DRC
hospital director said there are five new suspected cases of Ebola
in the northwestern town of Bikoro, where an outbreak of the often
deadly hemorrhagic fever was declared this week.
2018 May 14, The World Health
Organization said it has been given the go-ahead by officials in the
Democratic Republic of Congo to import and use an experimental Ebola
vaccine in the country. The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has
proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still
experimental as it does not yet have a license. The Congo DRC had
reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between
April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.
2018 May 17, In Congo DRC case
of Ebola was reported confirmed in Mbandaka a city of more than 1
million in northwestern Equateur province, bringing the latest
outbreak of the often deadly hemorrhagic fever out of remote rural
2018 May 18, Congo's health
minister announced that three new cases of the often lethal Ebola
virus have been confirmed in Mbandaka, a city of more than 1 million
2018 May 21, In Congo DRC the
death toll in an outbreak of Ebola rose to 26 after a person died in
the northwest city of Mbandaka, as the government began vaccinating
first responders against the dreaded disease.
2018 May 22, Congo's health
ministry announced six new confirmed Ebola cases and two new
suspected cases as vaccinations entered a second day in an effort to
contain the deadly virus in Mbandaka, a city of more than 1 million.
2018 May 22, Indian health
officials said at least 10 people have died of Nipah since an
outbreak began earlier this month in Kerala. There is no vaccine for
the virus, which can cause raging fevers, convulsions and vomiting,
and kills up to 75 percent of people who come down with it.
2018 May 26, Congo DRC's health
ministry said Ebola vaccinations will begin May 28 in the two rural
areas where the latest deadly outbreak was declared this month, as
the number of confirmed Ebola cases rose to 35, including 10 deaths.
2018 May 27, Congo DRC's health
ministry said another person has died of a confirmed case of Ebola,
bringing the number of fatalities to 12. The latest death was in
Iboko, a rural area in northwestern Equateur province. Congo now has
35 confirmed Ebola cases.
2018 May 27, Indian authorities
said another patient has died from the Nipah virus, taking the
number of fatalities from an outbreak of the rare disease in Kerala
state to 13. Nipah is named after the Malaysian village where it
first appeared in 1998.
2018 May 28, New Zealand
politicians and industry leaders announced plans to slaughter about
150,000 cows in an effort to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a strain of
disease-causing bacteria from the national herd.
2018 Jun 2, Congo DRC health
authorities said they had detected five fresh suspected cases of
Ebola in the deadly outbreak afflicting the northwest of the
2018 Jun 6, Congo DRC's health
ministry said two more people have died of Ebola, bringing the toll
to 27. Fifty-eight Ebola cases have been recorded as of June 4.
2018 Jun, The Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria officially ended grants to
North Korea that supported the treatment of 120,000 TB patients last
2018 Jul 7, It was reported
that researchers from half a dozen states in West Africa have joined
together in a battle against what one expert calls a root crop
"Ebola" -- a viral disease that could wreck the region's staple food
and condemn millions to hunger. The Cassava brown streak disease
(CBSD), a virus that strikes cassava, was first discovered in
Tanzania eight decades ago. The root in some of the region's
countries is consumed by as many as 80 percent of the population.
2018 Jul 18, Hundreds of
farmers from around Bulgaria rallied in the capital Sofia against
the government-ordered mass slaughter of livestock following the
first outbreak in the EU of the highly contagious Peste des Petits
2018 Jul 24, Congo DRC
officially declared the end of an outbreak of Ebola, bringing the
curtain down on a 10-week re-emergence of the disease which claimed
33 lives. This was the country's ninth outbreak of Ebola since 1976.
2018 Jul 26, Authorities in
Poland banned swimming at over 50 beaches along its Baltic coast,
after hot weather led to the toxic growth of bacteria in the
unusually warm sea.
2018 Aug 1, Congo's health
ministry said at least four new cases of Ebola have emerged in the
country's east, just a week after an outbreak in the northwest was
2018 Aug 3, Latvia's government
voted to fund the disposal of pig carcasses after a pork producer
decided to exterminate all of its livestock when the animals
contracted African swine fever. 15,570 pigs were to be killed via
2018 Aug 3, The World Health
Organization said Yemen may be on the brink of a new cholera
epidemic, with a heightened death rate due to widespread
malnutrition. The UN hoped for a ceasefire in the north to allow for
2018 Aug 6, Pakistani
authorities launched a week-long anti-polio campaign touted as a
'final push' against the crippling disease.
2018 Aug 6, Romanian
authorities reported more than 500 separate outbreaks of African
swine fever in pigs, mainly in the Danube Delta and near the
Hungarian border. 48,000 pigs had been culled since June after they
came down with the disease.
2018 Aug 8, CongoDRC began
Ebola vaccinations in the country's latest outbreak of the deadly
virus that has already claimed at least nine lives in North Kivu
2018 Aug 14, CongoDRC's health
ministry said its latest Ebola outbreak has spread from North Kivu
province into neighboring Ituri province.
(SFC, 8/15/18, p.A2)
2018 Aug 18, CongoDRC's
government said deadly Ebola outbreak has now claimed 49 lives since
the start of the month. A day earlier the World Health Organization
said it expects more cases.
2018 Aug 20, The UN's World
Health Organization said the number of measles cases in Europe
jumped to more than 41,000 during the first six months of 2018 and
at least 37 people have died. Half, or some 23,000 cases, occurred
2018 Aug 21, CongoDRC said it
has approved four more experimental treatments against the deadly
Ebola virus as the health ministry raced to contain an outbreak in
its violence-torn east. The total number of deaths rose to 59 and
confirmed cases to 75 since last month.
2018 Aug 24, Brazil's health
officials said more than 4 million children still needed to be
vaccinated against measles. More than 1,380 people have been
infected in an outbreak linked to cases imported from Venezuela.
(SFC, 8/25/18, p.A2)
2018 Aug 25, CongoDRC
authorities said an outbreak of Ebola has killed 67 people this
month, as they rolled out a battery of new drugs to tackle the virus
amid concerns it has spread to a rebel-encircled area. Congo's
health ministry said two of the first 10 people to receive an
experimental treatment for the Ebola virus in the latest outbreak
(AFP, 8/25/18)(AP, 8/25/18)
2018 Sep 2, China's agriculture
ministry said more than 38,000 hogs have been culled as of Sept. 1
due to African swine fever outbreaks.
2018 Sep 2, In India there were
nearly 200 confirmed cases of what is locally called rat fever in
Kerala state following the worst flooding in a century. The
waterborne disease leptospirosis is transmitted via the urine of
infected animals, with symptoms including muscle pain and fever.
2018 Sep 3, Scientists in
Australia warned that a superbug resistant to all known antibiotics
that can cause "severe" infections or even death is spreading
undetected through hospital wards across the world. The bacteria,
known as Staphylococcus epidermidis, is related to the better-known
and more deadly MRSA.
2018 Sep 3, China's agriculture
ministry said new case of African swine fever has been confirmed in
Wuxi in eastern Jiangsu province.
2018 Sep 5, Congo health
officials said that a case of Ebola has been discovered in Butembo,
a city of 1.4 million people in the country's northeast. Since
August 1 the current Ebola outbreak has seen 93 confirmed cases
which have caused 54 deaths.
2018 Sep 6, China reported four
new cases of African swine fever, bringing the number of outbreaks
to 13 since the virus was discovered in the country just over a
2018 Sep 8, South Korea's
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said a South
Korean man (61) has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after a business trip to
Kuwait. The infectious disease swept South Korea in 2015 leading to
2018 Sep 9, Japan's agriculture
ministry said it had confirmed the country's first outbreak of swine
fever in 26 years and suspended exports of pork and wild boar meat.
The fever, a different kind from the African swine fever that has
broken out in China, was found in a farm in central Japan's Gifu
2018 Sep 11, Zimbabwe declared
a cholera outbreak in the capital Harare after 20 people died from
the disease and more than 2,000 were infected by drinking
2018 Sep 12, Egypt's chief
prosecutor said tests showed that E.coli bacteria were behind the
August 21 deaths of two British tourists in a hotel in the Red Sea
resort of Hurghada.
2018 Sep 12, Zimbabwe banned
public gatherings in the capital Harare following a cholera outbreak
which has claimed at least 21 lives and left hundreds of people ill
over the past week.
2018 Sep 13, Indian health
authorities rushed medical supplies to northern towns and villages
where at least 50 people have died from fever over the past two
weeks in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh state.
2018 Sep 16, Zimbabwe state
media said the death toll in the cholera outbreak in Harare has
risen to 28.
2018 Sep 19, The UN said more
than 500 people have died from cholera in the Lake Chad region since
the start of the year, representing the worst outbreak to hit the
area in four years. The Lake Chad region straddles parts of Nigeria,
Cameroon, Chad and Niger, which are also grappling with a jihadist
2018 Sep 20, A Congolese woman
(32), who refused an Ebola vaccination and then disappeared, died of
the virus near the heavily traveled border with Uganda, which is
preparing to begin vaccinations as needed.
2018 Sep 22, The United Nations
said a cholera outbreak in north-eastern Nigeria has claimed nearly
100 lives over the past two weeks.
2018 Sep 27, It was reported
that the Atlanta-based CDC has estimated that 80,000 Americans died
of flu last winter.
(SFC, 9/27/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 27, The UN said the
cholera outbreak in Niger has killed 67 people since July out of
thousands of recorded cases.
2018 Sep 28, In CongoDRC the
latest Ebola outbreak had 124 confirmed cases, including 71 deaths.
The World Health Organization said risk of the deadly virus
spreading from Congo is now "very high" after two confirmed cases
were discovered near the Uganda border.
2018 Oct 2, The World Health
Organization said it was helping Yemeni authorities with a second
round of vaccination against cholera in three hard-hit districts.
More than 2,500 people have died of the waterborne infection since
the worst cholera outbreak in Yemen's history began in April 2017.
2018 Oct 3, Niger kicked out an
employee of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF),
accused of exaggerating the death toll from a malaria epidemic in
the south of the West African country. A video by Anne Pittet, an
MSF pediatrist, said 10 children were dying each day in the southern
town of Magaria from malaria or malnutrition.
2018 Oct 17, It was reported
that six to ten sea lions suffering from leptospirosis were being
received on a daily basis at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin
Headlands. Veterinarians have treated 220 sea lions so far this
(SFC, 10/17/18, p.A1)
2018 Oct 19, The London-based
European Medicines Agency said it had adopted a "positive opinion"
of Dengvaxia, the first vaccine for dengue, made by Sanofi of
(SFC, 10/20/18, p.A2)
2018 Oct 20, Congolese rebels
killed 15 civilians and abducted a dozen children in an attack in
the Beni area at the center of the latest deadly Ebola outbreak.
Confirmed Ebola cases have now reached 200, including 117 deaths.
(AP, 10/21/18)(SFC, 10/22/18, p.A2)
2018 Oct 22, The Press Trust of
India news agency reported that the number of Zika virus cases has
crossed 100 in the northern state of Rajasthan.
2018 Oct 24, US regulators
approved Xofluza, the first new type of flu drug in nearly two
decades. It was initially developed by Shionogi & Co. of Japan
with marketing rights sold to Roche.
(SFC, 10/25/18, p.A14)
2018 Oct 24, In New Jersey the
Wannaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation said another child
has died of adenovirus, bringing the death toll to seven in the
(SFC, 10/25/18, p.A5)
2018 Nov 1, The Ebola outbreak
in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed 180 lives,
according to the health ministry, with 10 more reported deaths in
2018 Nov 9, Congo's health
ministry said the latest Ebola outbreak is the worst in the
country's recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases.
The deadly virus has killed about 198 people since the outbreak was
declared Aug. 1 in the volatile east.
2018 Nov 17, China's
agriculture ministry said four new outbreaks of African swine fever
have been reported in the provinces of Jiangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan
as well as the municipality of Shanghai.
2018 Nov 21, Researchers said
they have found a second patient in Hong Kong who contracted a
strain of hepatitis carried by rats, in what appears to be the first
known human cases in the world.
2018 Nov 23, China reported its
first cases of swine fever in Beijing. Xiamen Airlines announced it
was suspending the use of pork in inflight meals.
(SSFC, 11/25/18, p.A9)
2018 Nov 26, The WHO said Congo
last week began the first-ever trial to test the effectiveness and
safety of four experimental Ebola drugs, the first time scientists
have directly compared such treatments.
2018 Nov 29, The WHO said
Congo's deadly Ebola outbreak is now the second largest in history
with 198 confirmed deaths and 47 probable ones
(SFC, 11/30/18, p.A2)
2018 Nov 30, Romanian health
authorities temporarily closed a maternity hospital in the capital
after 13 babies born there recently were diagnosed with
antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
2018 Nov 30, The Pan-American
Health Organization reported a big jump in measles cases in the
Americas this year, with Brazil surpassing crisis-hit Venezuela as
the nation with the most confirmed cases.
2018 Dec 2, It was reported
that authorities in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa are
sterilizing water supplies at wells, distribution networks and
houses to help stem the world's worst outbreak of cholera. UNICEF
said more than 250,000 cases of cholera have been recorded in Yemen
since the beginning of 2018, with 358 associated deaths.
2018 Dec 4, The US Department
of Agriculture says a unit of Brazil's JBS is now recalling a total
of more than 12 million pounds of raw beef that was shipped around
the country because it may be contaminated with salmonella. JBS
Tolleson in Arizona already recalled about 7 million pounds of beef
2018 Dec 6, In eastern CongoDRC
suspected militiamen killed at least 18 civilians, near the town of
Beni, the epicenter of an Ebola outbreak. Congo's health ministry
announced 13 new confirmed cases.
2018 Dec 10, Romanian
authorities said the number of babies diagnosed with
antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus at a maternity hospital
in Bucharest has risen to 39.
2018 Dec 20, Congo's health
minister said the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history is
"certainly" expected to continue for another three or four months.
So far there have been 549 Ebola cases in the outbreak that was
declared on Aug. 1, including 501 confirmed cases. There have been
278 confirmed deaths.
2019 Jan 13, It was reported
that at least 26 people have died from hantavirus in the Patragonia
region of Argentina since December. A judge has ordered 85 residents
of Epuyen, a town of 3,000 where nine people have died, to remain in
their homes for at least 30 days to help halt the outbreak.
(SSFC, 1/13/19, p.A4)
2019 Jan 25, Washington state
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide public health emergency
following a number of confirmed measles cases in and near Vancouver.
(SSFC, 1/27/19, p.A10)
2019 Jan 29, Congo DRC army and
health sources said two soldiers in Beni have died after catching
Ebola in an outbreak that has killed hundreds in the eastern region.
The deaths of the soldiers brought the total toll to 459 recorded
2019 Feb 3, It was reported
that Britain's brown hares are dying from a pathogen found to be the
deadly rabbit hemorrhagic disease Type 2. Numbers of the animals
have plummeted by about 80 percent in recent decades due to
intensive agriculture that has destroyed their habitats and food
(SSFC, 2/3/19, p.A20)
2019 Feb 7, The Philippines
expanded the area of a declared measles outbreak from Manila to
nearby regions. The outbreak has killed 55 children age 4 or younger
in Manila since the start of the year.
(SFC, 2/8/19, p.A2)
2019 Feb 8, China's Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported that swine disease had been
detected on a farm in Yongzhou in the central province of Hunan,
where 4,600 pigs were being raised. First detected in August, the
disease has killed more than 1 million pigs in China.
2019 Feb 13, Authorities in
Ukraine said eight people have died of measles since the start of
the year. 53,000 confirmed measles cases were confirmed last year.
(SFC, 2/14/19, p.A2)
2019 Feb 14, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said that at least 922 children and young adults
have died of measles in Madagascar since October, despite a huge
emergency vaccination program.
2019 Feb 18, The Philippine
health secretary said that 136 people, mostly children, have died of
measles and 8,400 others have fallen ill in an outbreak blamed
partly on vaccination fears.
2019 Feb 20, Czech authorities
said they would slap checks on beef imported from Poland after
veterinarians found the dangerous Salmonella bacteria in a 700-kg
batch of Polish beef. The beef was imported from Poland on February
2019 Feb 21, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said that an epidemic of measles in Madagascar
has caused more than 900 deaths since the outbreak began last
2019 Feb 22, In eastern Congo
DRC a new case of Ebola was confirmed in the Beni area where
authorities believed the epidemic had been brought under control
after 23 days without any fresh infections.