Texas City Waits Hours Before Issuing E.Coli Warning
Officials in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, did not warn its residents of an E.coli contamination in their water supply until several hours after confirming it.
25 July, 2015
According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the city released the information at 9 a.m. on Friday – 7.5 hours after establishing the bacteria’s presence. Under state law, the city had until 9 a.m. to issue the warning.
Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba: Naegleria Fowleri Found In New Orleans Suburb’s Water Supply
16 September, 2013
A horrifying announcement was made Wednesday by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The deadly brain-eating Naelgeria Fowleri Amoeba has once again been found in the water supply in two of the seven water sites that supply St. Bernard Parish, a New Orleans suburb that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago.
In 2013, a 4-year-old Mississippi boy became infected while playing on a slip ‘n slide – he didn’t survive.
Three people have perished over the years in St. Bernard Parish due to this insidious amoeba which has led to two lawsuits against the treatment facilities, according to the Daily Mail.
The water is safe to drink, however officials are urging residents to not get the water into their noses.
The deadly amoeba enters through the nose and for reasons not yet clear, can attach itself to nerves that send smell signals to the brain. It then multiplies causing brain swelling and infections which is said to be deadly 97 percent of the time.
NBC News reports that while both stations tested positive for the amoeba, only one is suspected to have been from contaminated ground water which may have leaked in after a car hit the station, causing damage.
The DHH Safe Drinking Water Program staff has said that “The second positive test occurred at 948 Angela Street,” and “Chlorine levels at the site of the positive sample did meet the 0.5 mg/l requirement.”
One positive test was at a site at the water treatment plant before the water was treated. The second positive test occurred at 948 Angela Street, which may have been contaminated by ground water due to a leak at the sampling station.
Chlorine levels at the site of the positive sample did meet the 0.5 mg/l requirement.
The St. Bernard Parish population has never return to its numbers since Hurricane Katrina, which has led to the less-used water supply to become warm and stagnant; a perfect breeding ground for the Naegleri Fowler.
Olivia Hwang, a health department official, says “Use is good because it pushes new water through the system.” There are a number of parts of St. Bernard parish that still don’t have the same levels of population since Hurricane Katrina.
Use is good because it pushes new water through the system. And while Hwang says they’re putting extra chlorine into the water – chlorine kills the amoeba – there are several steps you can take to protect yourself in the mean time:
- DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools.
- DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools); walk or lower yourself in.
- DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose.
- DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for five minutes before use to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level. And in other water related news, watch out for beach fecal contamination.
High Levels Of Antidepressant Meds In US Water Making Wildlife Sick
New research suggests that one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the United States, Prozac, is altering the behaviour and physiology of birds.
22 July, 2015
With 9% of all Americans taking the antidepressant, wastewater in the US is contaminated with the drug, and has subsequently been exposed to animals.
‘Not Just Lyme Disease Anymore': 7 New Reasons To Fear Ticks This Summer
10 July, 2015
BOSTON A father of four boys, Michael Vitelli of Marshfield Hills, Mass., lives a high-energy, outdoor and active life when he’s not at work. He fishes, he hikes, he golfs, he can even boast a running streak of 642 days in a row.
While it’s premature to say if the Lone Star tick has colonized on the Vineyard, anecdotally and on social media, many Islanders have reported finding them for the first time this year…Unlike deer ticks and dog ticks, the Lone Star tick is an aggressive predator. “They’re nasty; they have eyes, unlike deer ticks that are blind,” [tick biologist Sam] Telford said. “They can see you and come after you.”
Until recently, the Lone Star tick was primarily found south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But as the climate has warmed, the infectious insect has spread its range. The Lone Star tick has now colonized on Cuttyhunk, Nashawena, and Prudence Island.
Doctors concerned, cases of Lyme disease increase in Ontario
25 July, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015, 3:28 PM - Eastern Ontario has seen a surge in cases of Lyme disease over the past few years.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks infected with borrelia bacteria. Woodland animals like white-footed mice, raccoons, skunks, foxes, or deer pick up the bacteria, and ticks contract it by biting infected animals.
An infected tick then passes it on to humans by burying its head into our skin.
But not all ticks carry Lyme, and most people with tick bites don't necessarily contract the disease.
The illness is commonly spread through the bite of blacklegged ticks. And the longer the tick is attached to the body, the higher the risk for contracting the disease.
Now, doctors worry about how people are getting rid of ticks after being bitten.
Anne Marie Allart, a doctor with the University of Ottawa health services, tells the CBC she's seen many people who don't know what to do with ticks, post-bite. Allart says about 90 per cent of her patients have removed the bug incorrectly..
"I've seen it all. Lighting a match, pencils, fingernails, needles, everything they shouldn't be doing," Allart says, adding that she finds these reactions surprising, especially with the rapid increase of reported cases of Lyme disease.
"[I]f they leave body parts in, or if they squeeze, that can release the bacteria in the skin and make them sick.
So what's the right way to dispose of a tick? Allart tells the CBC that the key is a pair of tweezers.
"Grab the part of the tick that's closest to the surface of your skin and pull up gently without twisting. And make sure to wash your skin with soapy water immediately after.
According to veterinarians, pet owners know how to dispose of ticks better than others. Doctor Kevin McIntosh at Algonquin Animal Hospital says so far, his team has pulled two dozen ticks off pets this year, the CBC reports.
The animal hospital is currently handling 17 cases of animals with Lyme disease. McIntosh recommends that pet owners give their animals a "good rub down" from head to tail after walks in bushy areas.
"Behind the ears, around the face, anywhere where its east to bite is where the ticks will be signoff," McIntosh tells the CBC.
Here is a list of some common symptoms of Lyme disease, along with preventative measures to stay safe from infected ticks this season, courtesy of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.
Prevention and Protection