Thursday, December 08, 2016

M8.0 Solomon Islands - Waiting On Tsunami Reports
















UPDATE:  The Tsunami alerts for Hawaii, California, and the Greater Pacific Ocean have been canceled.  The quake was downgraded to a (powerful) M7.7.



#11,996


Just three hours or so after the M6.5 off the California coast, a Major quake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 has just struck the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is analysing the data, but has released the following statement:

748 AM HST THU DEC 08 2016

TO - EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI WATCH

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT
0748 AM HST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0739 AM HST 08 DEC 2016
   COORDINATES - 10.7 SOUTH  161.4 EAST
   LOCATION    - SOLOMON ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 8.0  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN GENERATED BY  THIS EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE ON COASTAL AREAS EVEN  FAR FROM THE EPICENTER. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE  IF THERE IS A TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

 IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THE ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL OF  THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

                     0256 PM HST THU 08 DEC 2016

FURTHER MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT UNTIL THE THREAT TO HAWAII HAS PASSED.

 

Strong M6.5 Quake Off Northern California Coast










#11,995


About an hour ago, while I was away from my desk, a Magnitude 6.5 quake struck about 160km west of Ferndale, California, followed by several smaller aftershocks.

There are no reports of damage in the sparsely populated coastal region and no tsunami warning was issued. 
This is a seismically active area, and more aftershocks are likely.




No matter where you live, FEMA, Ready.gov, and other agencies urge that everyone have - at a bare minimum -  a well thought out disaster and family communications plan, along with a good first aid kit, a `bug-out bag’, and sufficient emergency supplies to last at least 72 hours.  
 

But in a major disaster, you may very well wish you’d done more.
 
In When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough, I highlighted  a colorful, easy-to-follow, 100 page `survival guide’ released by Los Angeles County, that covers everything from earthquake and tsunami preparedness, to getting ready for a pandemic.
The guide may be downloaded here (6.5 Mbyte PDF).

While designed specifically for the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County, this guide would be a valuable asset for anyone interested in preparing for a variety of hazards. And in Los Angeles, the advice is to have emergency supplies (food, water, etc) to last up to 10 days. In my humble opinion, 2-weeks in an earthquake zone isn’t overkill.

As you work to better prepare your home, business, and family to deal with an earthquake (or any other major disaster), I would If I would strongly encourage you to visit ShakeOut.org and to take part in next week’s drill.

For more on earthquakes, and earthquake preparedness, you may wish to revisit:
 
Dr. Lucy Jones: `Imagine America Without Los Angeles’
 
California Quakes : Concrete Concerns
 
Estimating The Economic Impact Of A San Andreas Quake

South Korean CDC Issues Early Influenza Epidemic Warning











#11,994

Although seasonal influenza hasn't really taken off in North America yet, we are already seeing reports in Eastern Europe, and now in South Korea, indicating their flu seasons are already underway.

As the graphic above reminds, it isn't too late to get a flu shot.  But they take a couple of weeks to take effect, so sooner is safer than later. 

As has been expected, we are seeing primarily H3N2 reported this fall across the Northern Hemisphere, and this subtype generally produces a more severe flu season - particularly for the elderly - than does H1N1.


Today South Korea's CDC has issued their earliest influenza epidemic advisory since 2010.

Disease Control Headquarters, Influenza Epidemic Notice

□ The Disease Control Headquarters (Director General) has issued the influenza epidemic alert on Thursday, December 8, as the number of influenza doctor patients (similar symptom patients) * exceeded the epidemic level, and the high risk vaccination and hand washing, I asked for compliance with personal hygiene regulations such as keeping a cough manners.


* Influenza physician: A person with a sudden fever of more than 38 ° C with a cough or sore throat

○ The number of influenza doctor physicians will be 5.9 (/ 1,000), 48 (11.20 ~ 26) 7.3, and 49 (11.27 ~ 12.3) 13.5 (47.1 weeks, ) Exceeded the epidemic standard (8.9 persons).

- This year 's announcement is the fastest since 2010, and the currently isolated influenza virus is A (H3N2) type, and the genetic analysis revealed that it has similar antigenicity to vaccinia.
** Prior to the 2010-2011 season, the number of patients increased from November to the peak of the end of December to the beginning of January, but after the 2011-2012 season, it increased in December to reach the peak in February And is continuously monitoring the trend of influenza outbreak this year.

□ When the influenza epidemic is announced, the CDC is advised to take medical care at a nearby medical institution in case of suspected influenza symptoms **, because medical treatment is granted for high-risk patients * when antiviral medication is given.

* High risk group: Children under 9 years old including newborns with over 2 weeks maturity, pregnant women, over 65 years old, immune deficiency, metabolic disorders, heart disease, lung disease, kidney dysfunction etc.
** Suspected Influenza Symptoms: Cough or sore throat with fever above 38 ° C
□ In addition, to prevent the spread of influenza infection and prevent the spread of personal hygiene, such as thorough hand washing and cough manners,

In particular, those who are recommended to receive influenza vaccination * should be vaccinated at any time during the epidemic, while adults aged 65 and over can receive immunizations free of charge at public health centers.

* Elderly persons 65 years of age or older (free inoculation), children 6 to 59 months of age (free inoculation for 6 to 12 months or less), chronic disease patients, pregnant women, etc.
** Free vaccinations are available from the public health center until the vaccine is exhausted (vaccination reserves by public health centers may be different,

○ Healthy adolescents and adults have also been vaccinated autonomously because they can prevent learning and job vacancies due to influenza infection if they are vaccinated.

Hong Kong Reports Another Environmental Sample Positive For H5N6


















#11,993


On Monday, in Hong Kong Reports (Environmental) H5N6 At Mai Po Nature Reserve, the AFCD has announced the detection of H5N6 in bird droppings collected late last month in the Mai Po marsh. 
While not the first time H5N6 has been brought into Hong Kong by Migratory birds (see here, and here, and here), this has raised concerns given the virus's recent surge into South Korea and Japan. 
Today the Hong Kong government announced an addition sample - collected 5 days after the first batch - has tested positive.


     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) was notified by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) that one more faecal dropping sample taken from Mai Po Nature Reserve (MPNR) tested positive for H5N6 avian influenza (AI) virus, a department spokesman said today (December 8).
 
     The sample was taken at a gei wai near the Tower Bird Hide on November 30. Three samples taken from the same location on November 25 were confirmed to be H5N6 positive on Monday (December 5).
 
     The spokesman said the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong will continue to rigorously carry out cleansing and disinfection measures, while the AFCD is closely monitoring the situation of birds at MPNR and has put up notices to remind visitors to pay attention to personal hygiene.
 
     There are no poultry farms within 3 kilometres of MPNR. Since the beginning of winter, the AFCD has strengthened AI surveillance and closely monitors the situation of the local poultry farms and wholesale market. Poultry farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons are reminded from time to time to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented.
 
     "People should avoid contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them. The public can call 1823 for follow-up if they come across suspicious, sick or dead birds, including the carcasses of wild birds and poultry," the spokesman said.
 
     All relevant government departments will continue to be highly vigilant and strictly enforce preventive measures against avian influenza. Health advice is available on the AFCD website at www.afcd.gov.hk.

Ends/Thursday, December 8, 2016

Issued at HKT 19:35

WHO Update - MERS-CoV Case In Oman

















#11,992


In Late November we saw a brief report from the Oman government that they were treating a MERS case (see Crofsblog Omani affected with MERS virus) - apparently their 8th (excluding exported cases diagnosed elsewhere).

Today the World Health Organization published the following update on that case.





Disease outbreak news
8 December 2016 



On 29 November 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman reported one (1) additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). 

Details of the case


A 67-year-old male from Dakhlia Governorate developed symptoms on 18 November 2016, and was admitted to hospital on 20 November. The patient who has comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 29 November. He has a history of exposure to animals (camels, goats and cows) in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. The patient is in stable condition and was discharged from hospital. Contact tracing of household contacts is ongoing for the case. Investigation of camels is also ongoing. 


Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1842 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 652 related deaths.

WHO risk assessment


MERS-CoV causes severe human infections resulting in high mortality and has demonstrated the ability to transmit between humans. So far, the observed human-to-human transmission has occurred mainly in health care settings.


The notification of additional cases does not change the overall risk assessment. WHO expects that additional cases of MERS-CoV infection will be reported from the Middle East, and that cases will continue to be exported to other countries by individuals who might acquire the infection after exposure to animals or animal products (for example, following contact with dromedaries) or human source (for example, in a health care setting). WHO continues to monitor the epidemiological situation and conducts risk assessment based on the latest available information.

Russia: HPAI H5 At Astrakhan Poultry Facility















#11,991


On November 23rd Russia reported two outbreaks of HPAI H5 in backyard birds in the Republic of Kalymkia (see OIE Notification Of HPAI H5 In Western Russia).

While the full subtype was not identified, sequence analysis showed they belonged to HPAI H5 clade 2.3.4.4., the same as H5N8.

Late yesterday, Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) posted the following  small notice on another outbreak at a large state run poultry operation in Astrakhan Oblast, about 200km east of Kalymkia.
On the outbreak of bird flu in the Astrakhan region

December 7, 2016
 
© Central body
 
Flash is registered in the State Enterprise Poultry Factory "Harabalinskom", in pathological material samples from the dead birds revealed the genome of influenza A H5 subtitle. Measures are taken to control the outbreak and prevent the spread of disease.

Admittedly not the most verbose report we've ever seen.  Luckily, a follow up piece published today in the Astra Volga fills in some details.

Quarantine introduced at the poultry farm "Harabalinskom" where bird flu detected


On the poultry farm measures are being taken to combat the virus

Quarantine for 30 days is entered at the poultry farm "Harabalinskom" in the Astrakhan region due to the outbreak of avian influenza, according to the regional veterinary service.

According to the agency, the material selected on the poultry farm identified RNA genome of influenza A virus, the H5 subtitle, preliminary diagnosis of avian influenza.

"Mortality poultry occurred in one shop. They were immediately taken measures to localizing the disease and prevent its spread to other shops. Order of the Governor of Astrakhan Region set quarantine highly pathogenic avian influenza for a period of 30 days ", - said in a statement.
On the poultry farm measures are being taken to combat avian influenza. Exhibited quarantine posts, imposed a ban on the import and export of products and feed for poultry.

Poultry Farm "Harabalinskom" is a state-owned enterprise, is located in the region's property. The factory was founded in 1975. On the poultry farm work ten plants for egg-laying hens and four workshops for rearing.

It was reported that this is the second case of bird flu in Russia in recent years. The first in this year's event was recorded in the private farms of Kalmykia. The disease is brought, likely migratory birds.