ANTHRAX RESEARCH IN THE NEWS
The Marburg outbreak has now reached Luanda, the capitol of Angola.
AN EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES ??
(2 Jihad- Groups- Nobody- Ever- Heard- Of Now Claiming "Credit" for Texas City Refinery blasts. )
ANGOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER IDENTIFIED
An outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in Angola had killed at least 93 people. It was thought to be Ebola at first, but has just been identified as Marburg
: a deadly disease which infects humans and primates alike.
was one of the diseases weaponized
by the old Soviet Union-and-according to some,by the former South African regime, the Iraqis, and other regimes .
It is a filovirus - like Ebola
-and has the same nasty "side effect" of killing caregivers,as well as those originally infected.Mortality can be as high as 70%.
The World Health Organization stirred itself to "action" on March 17th,after the disease had claimed 39 victims
. ( The disease had been raging since January.)
Today,March 22,2005,WHO issued a report indicating they were still baffled
,but thought,perhaps,they should see about getting protective gear into the hands of caregivers.
Whatever would we do without the World Health Organization ?
Startling New Information on Anthrax Incident
Thanks to correspondent Richard Smith: A report published today says last week's anthrax alerts were (A) Very
real; (B) Involved the Ames
strain of anthrax-which is the same strain
that figured in the 2001 Anthrax murders
Is the published report true ? If so,somebody has a lot of explaining to do !!
Followup story on ProMed
confirms UPI report .
More Information on Pentagon Mailroom Anthrax
It appears the presence of anthrax was actually detected
on Thursday,March 10
,but was not announced publicly until Monday,March 14
It also appears the initial rest results were positive
CDC has filed a report,available here
There are additional (and conflicting) reports of some sort of scare at the main civilian postal facility for Washington,DC.
An unidentified powder was discovered,but is not thought at this time to be a bio or chemical agent.
March 16th: There is a report in the NY Times
saying the tests for anthrax-originally thought to be positive-proved negative.
According to the report, a contractor's anthrax sample (used for testing) may have somehow gotten onto a filter.
I've read it several times, and it makes zero sense. In truth,it sounds like
somebody decided to test
the biodetection system-and evaluate protective response procedures-but would prefer nobody discover
it was "only a drill
"....mainly because the drill-if that's what it was-had a rather "chilling effect
" on the Stock Market !
As the kids say: " Whatever. "
I'm just glad it wasn't the real thing !
Possible Anthrax Attacks-Pentagon Postal Facilities !! Two Postal facilities servicing the Pentagon were shut down this morning after biosensors detected possible presence of anthrax. The mail has been irradiated, and the 375 employees there have been tested for exposure,and offered antibiotics as a precaution.
Hazmat teams are checking the buildings: so far,no contamination found.
Most recent AP story here: (click) . Follow up from Washington Post here. Worth noting: ALL mail going to the Pentagon (and other top-level gov't. offices) is irradiated. This makes any bio agent unable to reproduce,and possible to examine safely. The USMARIID at Ft. Detrick is examining samples,and should have a report in 48-72 hours. More information on biodetectors here.
Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries
I've just finished reading ASSAULT and PEPPER
,the latest Tamar Myers ouvre
. If you've ever read anything by Ms Myers,you'll understand why I'm still laughing.
Set in the Mennonite/Amish town of Hernia,Pennsylvania,the Pennsylvania Dutch mysteries feature the incomparable Magdalena Yodor,proprietor of the Penn Dutch Inn (where well-heeled guests pay extra
for the privilege of doing household and farm chores.It's called "immersion".)
In between the chapters of these rollicking murder mysteries,one will find apparently authentic Pennsylvania Dutch recipes-usually inserted with some passing reference to the previous chapter.
Rather than describe the plot-which needs to be read from line one to be fully appreciated,I will list a menu of Tamar Myers' titles. (For best results,read the books in order.)
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth
Parsley,Sage,Rosemary & Crime
No Use Dying Over Spilled Milk
Just Plain Pickled to Death
Between a Wok and a Hard Place
Play it Again,Spam
The Hand the Rocks the Ladle
The Crepes of Wrath
Gruel and Unusual Punishment
Custard's Last Stand
Thou Shalt not Grill
Assault and Pepper
BON APPETIT !!
On Friday,March 11,2005,an Atlanta,Georgia rape suspect named Brian Nichols overpowered a Sheriff's deputy as he was being brought into the courtroom for re-trial,seized her gun,shot her in the head, killed the judge and the court reporter,shot and killed another deputy,and made his escape by carjacking a reporter.
Nichols,it is believed, then killed an Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agent and stole the agent's gun,shield,and pickup truck.He then drove to an apartment complex and took a woman resident hostage : surrendering only after being surrounded by a small army of SWAT officers,Sheriff's deputies,local police,and federal agents.
NY-area television station NBC did
broadcast this story last night-along with a story on alleged steroid use by baseball players.It gave both stories
roughly equal coverage
In case you're wondering,the network broadcast the steroid story first.
THE RECENT "DARK WINTER"
Quite recently, the Department of Homeland Security conducted another "Dark Winter" exercise.The results were not
In spite of millions that have been spent on Biodefense research,the nation is no more capable of dealing with a mass outbreak of communicable disease than it was 10 years ago.
If anything,because of the short-sighted, overly optimistic efforts of the World Health Organization,we are extremely
vulnerable to smallpox
When smallpox was "eradicated"-some 30 years ago- WHO and its supporters failed to take into account one or more
of the world's nations might cheat
Most of the world's stockpile of vaccine was destroyed - at the urging of WHO and its supporters. One country,which did not
destroy its vaccines was Russia
- for excellent reasons:While the rest of the world was ooh-ing and aah-ing about "international cooperation", the Russians were growing smallpox virus
- by the ton
Not only did they create vast stockpiles of "The Red Death",they also developed ,built,and tested special ICBMs with freezer compartments-designed to infect whole populations with the dreaded disease.
The breakup of the old Soviet Union led to almost insane neglect of the Russian biowar stockpiles,and we must assume at least part of them have fallen into the hands of terrorists-or hostile regimes (of which there is no shortage !)
If you don't mind a few sleepless nights,click here
to learn how the game turned out !
Here's a Story Guaranteed to Raise Your Blood Pressure...
There is now a nationwide manhunt on for one YUSUF KHALIL JACKSON ,who is charged with using the ID card machine at Fort Myers to make up phoney ID cards for anybody who had the cash (or drugs ) to pay.
Jackson,described as having a substantial criminal history,was,nonetheless able to gain entry as a civilian contractor.