Monday, October 27, 2014

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

David and Siwi Haberlah watch as the whale is washed ashore near the Clyde River.  © Haberlah family
October 27, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Eight-metre dead whale washes onto rocks in Batemans Bay, Australia

An eight-metre dead whale has been washed onto rocks at the mouth of the Clyde River in Batemans Bay.

Canberra visitor David Haberlah saw the whale on Saturday afternoon, just minutes before waves dumped the mammal in an area known as North Head beach, near Yellow Rock.

With his four-year-old daughter, Siwa, the geologist hurried to the scene.

"I was sitting at the far end and I saw something white floating," Mr Haberlah said. "I thought 'wow, this looks like a massive balloon'. I had a closer look and saw one of the fins come up and realised it was a whale.

"I went running back and Siwa and I went straight to look. It was belly up. It was already dead."

Whale scientist Geoff Ross warned swimmers to avoid the North Head beach because bull sharks and great white sharks would be drawn to the young humpback's carcass.

On Monday, a ship leaves Sydney on a five-day scientific trip to Eden, counting whales returning to Antarctica.

The dead whale is a casualty of that southern migration after the breeding season in warmer northern waters.

Mr Haberlah said the whale was partly submerged but he did notice any injuries.

However, within minutes of striking the rocks, the carcass was gashed.

"It did not look like it had any injuries before but now it is breaking apart," he said.

"You could see within the first 10 to15 minutes that a lot of fresh wounds were opening up as the whale was being washed against the rocks.

"We were not sure how old it was but it measured about eight metres."

By Sunday, the carcass was bloated and floating more clearly above the water line.

Mr Haberlah said he thought he saw a small shark approaching "very fast" at one point.  - SMH.


Still man's best friend? Owner of pit bull in serious condition following attack in Cocoa, Florida


Dog attacks owner, owner taken to hospital with serious injuries

A man was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday evening after he was attacked by his pit bull, according to officials.

The attack occurred on Lucas Lane in Cocoa just before 6 p.m. Cocoa police say the dog got out of its pen and went to the neighbor's yard where another dog was.

When the owner brought the dog back to his yard, the dog attacked him, according to police.

Witnesses told Local 6 the owner was bitten down to the bone and was taken to Wuestoff Hospital with serious injuries.

The dog was taken by animal control. It's not clear if the dog will be euthanized, but animal control is investigating.

No other details were immediately available. - Click Orlando.

Texas neighborhood under siege by wild boars

Wild boars, also known as Feral Hogs, are tearing up a north Fort Worth neighborhood.

Several trails and open spaces in The Bluff community in Fort Worth have huge patches of grass that have been completely uprooted.

“We noticed when we were out walking that the grass and everything had been getting eaten up a lot, and now we just noticed, we took some more, and it’s just tearing up the whole property, all the, behind all of the new homes over here,” explained homeowner Donna Bellinger.

New homes in this new neighborhood area means expansion, but these homes are being built in an area where wildlife once roamed freely.

Homeowner Gregory Wurtele and his family moved here last September. He captured video of a wild boar behind his house this summer.

“I was just out here having coffee, and there’s kind of like, there’s a big pig walking by. This big black pig, and you’re like, that’s a pig,” said Wurtele. “That’s a really big pig. And I just watched it come up here.”

WATCH: Fort Worth Neighborhood Annoyed By Pig Problem.


Wild boars have razor-sharp tusks and can grow as large as 400 pounds. They eat meat and plants, and can cause a lot of damage. Property damage isn’t the only concern that homeowners have.

“I’m concerned for other neighbors or people who are just passing by, because if you don’t know about it then, you’ve never encountered one,” said Wurtele. “I grew up in a rural area so [I] do know the potential of a large animal, but in this case, you know it just doesn’t always compute until you realize that that’s what they’re talking about.”

CBS 11 talked to the Heritage Home Owners Association about what they’re doing to solve the wild boar problem.

The association said they’ve contacted the city and are working with animal control to come up with a solution to rid the neighborhood of the wild boars. - CBS DFW.


Pack of stray dogs maul 17-month-old boy outside his house in Bangalore, India

A 17-month-old boy was attacked by a pack of dogs in Anjananagar area on Monday and was seriously injured.

According to eye-witnesses, Kumaraswamy was mauled by a pack of four to six dogs when he stepped out of his house at 6 am. His parents rushed him to KIMS hospital for the treatment, where the hospital authorities reportedly refused to treat the boy.

Later, the child was admitted in KC General Hospital, Malleswaram, where he is undergoing treatment.

Paediatrician, KC General Hospital, Dr Lakshmipathy said that the child is being administered with antibiotics and that he is out of danger. "He will be kept under observation at hospital for two days. He is being given all the necessary treatment so that he does not get any infections," he said.

Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) blamed the victim's parents for the incident and held the garbage menace responsible for the increasing stray dog attacks.

Joint Director (Animal Husbandry), BBMP, Dr Shivarama Bhat told Deccan Herald that they are implementing Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti-Rabies Vaccination ( ARV) programmes in all the wards.

"There are three lakh stray dogs in our city and about 80 per cent of them are already vaccinated. This year, the NGOs we have tied up with has implemented ABC in 20 packages. Another 20 packages has been tendered and work is in progress," he added.  - Daiji World.

Dog attack kills 7-year-old boy in Wisconsin

A 7-year-old boy has died after being severely bitten by a dog in Dodge County in eastern Wisconsin.

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office said in a statement late Friday that the incident was reported just before 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Town of Hustisford, about 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

A 911 caller said the boy was bleeding profusely, Lt. Brian Loos told WISN-TV.

"At some point our dispatchers began to talk the mother through CPR. Numerous first-responding agencies responded," Loos said. But the child died at the scene despite extensive lifesaving efforts.

"The various individuals and agencies that were involved in this did a phenomenal job. They were at the scene attempting to save this child's life for quite a long period of time," Loos said.

The department's statement said names, addresses and additional information about the nature of the incident and the dog wouldn't be released for now out of respect to the family. The dog was quarantined. Loos said the dog was known to the family but wouldn't say if it was the family pet or what breed it was.

The lieutenant said the child's death was weighing heavy on his mind as well as those who tried to save him.

"Children are always the worst ones for our first responders to deal with. It's very difficult for them to deal with this," he said.

Authorities had no plans to file criminal charges, he said.  - Las Vegas Review Journal.

Police think two large coyotes may have attacked Thornhill residents, Canada


A coyote is seen in this file photo.

Residents of Thornhill are being asked to remain vigilant as police search for two wild animals that terrorized locals Monday evening.

York Regional Police said Tuesday that they believe large coyotes attacked three people, including a police officer, in the Bayview Avenue and John Street area yesterday.

Witnesses had at first described them as German Shepherds but police say the animals are likely more aggressive than house pets.

"It is believed that these animals have been living in the area for about two years," police said in a news release. "This is the first known report of them being aggressive towards humans."

Authorities were first alerted to the animals yesterday morning after someone called police to report a sighting on Evergreen Crescent.

"The animals chased several people into their homes and at one point, had to be fended off with a rake," police said.

Responding officers soon located them in a neighbour's backyard and had to use pepper spray to defend themselves after the animals lunged at police. The canines scampered into a nearby wooded area.

Police located them again Monday afternoon in the woods and a shot was fired from a gun in an attempt to capture the creatures but police were not successful in containing the animals.

"Due to the imminent threat and concern for public safety, and without having tranquilizers or other viable non-lethal options, a firearm was discharged," the news release said. "It is believed that one of the animals was shot in the upper shoulder area and both of them rapidly fled and went deeper into the wooded area.

Later in the afternoon, police received information that the animals had attacked again, this time in the area of King's College Road and Green Lane. This time, two women were attacked. They were bitten by the animals but suffered minor injuries.

Night fell without further sightings. Police were back on the hunt for the animals Tuesday morning.

Experts with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) are helping police in their search.

In the meantime, police are doing what they can to keep people safe. They've blocked access to a local park and told one family to stay off a local field.

They've also sent their Emergency Response Unit to the area to manage the situation.

Chris Alexander, a spokesperson for the City of Markham, told CP24 officials are focused on keeping the public safe.

"Stay away from park for time being," he warned. "We started process yesterday morning and worked through the night trying to find the dogs. Our first priority is public safety. These dogs are very aggressive."

Alexander said parents of young children should be extra vigilant.

"Small children and small dogs, keep them inside for today until we find out where the dogs are and can deal with the situation properly," he said.

One man who lives in the area wasn't taking any chances when he took his dog out for a walk today. He was armed with a walking stick for protection.

"I guess it could happen anywhere, I'm just being protective," Abe Gabel told CP24. "We take walks everyday and just wanted to make sure my dog is protected."

Police are warning anyone who comes across the animals to call authorities and protect themselves from danger.

"Do not approach them, do not offer them food or treats," police said. "Do not try to physically restrain, capture or control any unknown animals." - CP24.

Man out for jog killed by 2 dogs in Michigan

One of the two cane corsos in quarantine at the Lapeer County Animal Shelter that fatally attacked a Livonia man
Wednesday evening while he jogged in Metamora Township. © Lapeer County Sheriff's Office

A pair of dogs attacked and mauled to death a man as he jogged down a quiet, dirt road in rural Michigan.

Craig Sytsma, 46, of Livonia died of his injuries Wednesday night at a local hospital, police in Metamora Township said.

"He was jogging, doing what everybody else does out there, running and riding bikes," said Metamora police Officer Sean Leathers, who was one of the first on the scene. Sytsma, a divorced father of three, was unconscious and undergoing CPR when Leathers arrived.

Source: Detroit Free Press

- USA Today.

Dingoes attack two women joggers on Fraser Island, Queensland

Tourists are advised not to approach dingoes on Fraser Island.  © AAP: Jim Shrimpton

Dingoes have attacked two women while they were jogging on Fraser Island off south-east Queensland.


Paramedics were called to Yidney Rocks on the island about 7:00am on Sunday.

A woman was treated for leg injuries and taken to Hervey Bay hospital.

Doreen Cash from the Yidney Rocks Beachfront Apartments said the two women were staying at the units.

She said the two dogs "appeared out of nowhere" and started to harass the women.

"She was bitten above the knee and I believe she also had puncture marks lower down on the leg," Ms Cash said.

She said the woman's friend received "a grazing bite below the ankle bone".

"A couple of fishermen came out from the huts that are situated in proximity to where the dogs appeared from and chased the dogs away," Ms Cash said.

"Had they not, probably the injuries would have been a lot more serious."

She said she believed the dingoes may have belonged to a pack that attacked a man at nearby Happy Valley in August.

Ms Cash said the attack has "come as a bit of a surprise".

"These two particular dogs ... you'd often see them on the beach and they never interfered with anybody and this has just happened out of the blue," she said.

Ms Cash said the dingoes were known in the area but had never bothered anyone.

"We've never had a real problem with the dingoes, they've been adequately managed by Parks," she said.

"After the attack at Happy Valley there were basically two dogs left and it was those two dogs [from whom] up until this morning we haven't had one ounce of trouble with."

Ms Cash said she told other guests to be careful.

"We've just made them aware to keep an eye on their children and preferably don't walk on the beach without there being a group of you," she said.

Rangers on the island have increased patrols of the area and closed campsites between Poyungan Rocks and Eli Creek for public safety.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife is investigating.
Key facts:

* The dingo population on Fraser Island naturally fluctuates throughout the year

* Dingo numbers peak with pup births in June-August, followed by a drop in numbers due to natural attrition

* A dingo pack is dominated by its breeding male and female, with the subordinate animals aggressively competing for their place in the pack structure.

* Dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) look similar because they are both different subspecies of wolf.

* Fraser Island dingoes travel up to 40 kilometres each day.

* Natural diet of dingoes is variable - birds, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, vegetation and especially mammals.

* It is illegal to feed or interfere with dingoes or other wildlife. Heavy penalties apply.

* Feeding dingoes can result in them losing their hunting skills and natural fear of humans.

* Feeding dingoes, whether intentional (for example, feeding stations) or inadvertent (such as through the improper disposal of rubbish) can cause problems.


Source: Queensland Government
- ABC Australia.

Wolf Lake man attacked and injured by elk at campground in Muskegon, Michigan




A 59-year-old man was injured by an elk at the Wolf Lake Resort & Campground in a bizarre Monday, Oct. 6 incident.

An Egelston Township fire official confirmed the attack happened Monday evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the resort located at 5451 Harding Ave. The elk is housed at an adjacent deer and elk farm owned by the same people who own the campground.

A woman who spoke with an MLive Muskegon Chronicle reporter by phone from the campground office refused to confirm the incident. She denied it ever happened.

But the fire official confirmed the fire department was sent there on a medical call and the man had been injured by the elk severely enough that he required hospital treatment.

When authorities got to the campground, the man was inside a home and the animal was back in its pen, the fire official confirmed.

The victim's condition was unknown Tuesday, Oct. 7, the fire official said. - MLIVE.

At least six people attacked and injured by a group of wild boar in India

A group of 5 Wild Boar

In the latest incident of man-wildlife conflict in villages lying in close proximity of Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, at least six persons including two women and an infant were injured today following attack by hordes of wild boars in Jamboo village under Mahakalpada police station jurisdiction.

As the news of animal attack spread, people rose in protest and demonstrated in front of the local forest office.

The agitating people were demanding the launch of foolproof measures to curb the intrusion of animals like wild boar, crocodiles and spotted deer into places of human habitation.

Three persons including a 15-year-old girl, a 55-year-old woman were injured while three others sustained injuries following the stampede that ensued as the wild boars chased the people. All of them, who were hospitalised, are out of danger.

The injured persons are being covered under Rs 5,000 compensation award by the forest department. It is also bearing the cost of treatment of the injured persons. The animals had strayed into crop fields. While they were on their way back to forest habitat, they had attacked the people, said Mahakalpada Forest Range Officer, Bijoy Kumar Parida. With acts of trespass by wild boars being frequent, people are living sleepless nights in Jamboo, Suniti, Bagagahana, Badadandua and a cluster of other forest-side villages. They have resorted to bursting fire crackers and beating gongs to keep the rogue animals at bay, said a local Samarendra Mahali.

Conversion of the forest area into paddy cultivation and shrimp farming is a salient feature in these parts.

This has led to animals like wild boar straying into human habitation areas due to loss of their habitat, felt forest officials.

Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division Kedar Kumar Swain said "The forest department has intensified watch and vigil in village areas to drive away the wild boar. Forest personnel have begun night watch and vigil in villages which are marked by straying of animals. Villagers have been advised to avoid movement during night hours when animals mostly make their way to crop fields in village areas. Besides a steel-net-barricade is being installed shortly around village boundaries to ward off the animals' intrusion into human settlements." - The Statesman.

Pack of wild boar attack woman in suburb of Stockholm, Sweden



A young woman was left shaken after being chased by a pack of wild boar in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden.

Stocholm county police write on their website that the woman was out walking in the evening when she met more than a dozen wild boars.

When the surprised woman turned tail and fled the boars gave chase. She luckily met a group of young people who were able to scare away the pack of pursuing porkers.

Authorities informed

The incident was reported at half past 8 pm on Saturday night, on Avstyckningsvägen in Viksjö, about a kilometre from the Jakobsberg station on Stockholm's commuter train line.

It is a quiet road with detached houses and gardens, but to the north and west are green spaces along the coast of Lake Mälaren, which runs through Stockholm.

Albin Näverberg at the county police writes that the local Järfälla municipality has been informed.

He says to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that he is himself a hunter, and understands why people are scared of wild boars, since they can kill a hunter's dog with their tusks. But his advice is not to simply run away, "If you flee too fast this will give a signal to the whole pack to attack, and even the gentlest ones will join in."

The woman was probably chased by a group of sows protecting their young. According to the Swedish Farming Association (LRF) all wild boars apart from mature males live in groups that can be described as a matriarchy led by an older female.

Wild boar incidents have also been reported from nearby Barkarby and Jakobsberg in the Stockholm northern suburbs. - RCINET.


Major fish kill is 'a mystery' in Yerrabi Pond, Canberra, Australia

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate have explained they can’t explain why there was a major fish kill event in Gungahlin’s Yerrabi Pond.


Test samples analysed by experts in Sydney have ruled out a virus as the cause of a significant number of fish deaths in Yerrabi Pond over the past month, Dr Lisa Evans, Aquatic Ecologist from the Environment and Planning Directorate has confirmed today.

“Since late September the ACT Government has been undertaking a range of tests to establish why a significant number of fish were found dead in Yerrabi Pond,” Dr Evans said.

“A range of water samples were taken by the Environment Protection Authority to help determine the cause of the deaths, but all results returned with readings in the normal ranges.

“The ACT Government has also been working with experts from the University of Sydney to examine other possible causes of the deaths, as more dead fish were discovered in early October.

“Test results from the University of Sydney have ruled out a number of fish viruses, and it is believed that the cause could be linked to a short term dissolved oxygen shortage associated with nutrient runoff from a recent storm, warmer water temperatures and significant amounts of filamentous algae in the pond. Breeding stress at this time of year could also be a contributing factor in the deaths.

“This is the first time that a Murray Cod fish kill has been observed in Yerrabi Pond in the 14 years that the pond has been stocked with these fish,” Dr Evans said.

The recent fish deaths are a timely reminder to Canberra residents that fish diseases can be transferred by people dumping unwanted pet fish into our waterways and illegally moving fish between waterways.

Dissolved oxygen levels in the water have since returned to normal. Members of the public should notify Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 if they see any dead fish in or around any local waterways. - City News




CONTAGION: Ebola Confusion - Nurse Quarantined Against Her Will Over Ebola Scare, Released After Threatening To Sue New Jersey - CDC Rebukes Governor Christie; Obama Administration Request Governors Reconsider Their New Tough Quarantine Policies?!

Kaci Hickox, a nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, speaks to her lawyer Norman Siegel from a
hospital quarantine tent in Newark, N.J., Sunday. Reuters

October 27, 2014 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - The nurse who was detained and quarantined in New Jersey upon returning to the United States from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone has been given clearance to go home by federal officials, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced early Monday.

Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old nurse for Doctors Without Borders, was the first person ensnared in a mandatory-quarantine policy for health workers returning from West Africa, where around 5,000 people have died from the Ebola virus. The policy was announced Friday by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hickox landed at Newark Liberty International Airport - one of only a handful of airports that travelers from West Africa headed to the US would fly into - on Friday afternoon and was immediately detained and quarantined against her will at a Newark hospital, per the policy announced by the governors, even though she exhibited no symptoms of Ebola.

On Sunday, reportedly after pressure from health officials and the White House, Gov. Cuomo adjusted the mandatory-quarantine order. He announced that health workers traveling from West Africa who arrived in New York - most likely at John F. Kennedy International Airport - and who do not show symptoms of the virus would be allowed to remain at home for further medical evaluation. Those workers, he said, would be compensated for lost income.


Gov. Chris Christie (Steve Pope / Getty Images / AFP)

Gov. Christie announced a similar recalculated policy later Sunday.

Before the new policy was revealed, Hickox had threatened to file a legal challenge to the mandatory quarantine, as RT reported earlier.

Norman Siegel, a New York civil rights attorney retained by Hickox, told the Journal that the nurse’s constitutional rights had been violated, and that the quarantine raised “serious questions procedurally.”

Hickox herself told CNN that the treatment she received was “inhumane,” and challenged a proclamation made by Gov. Christie on Sunday that she was “obviously ill.”

“If he knew anything about Ebola he would know that asymptomatic people are not infectious,”
Hickox said.

“We can have a conversation about what further measures would look like, but this is an extreme that is not acceptable,”
she added. “I feel that my basic human rights have been violated.”

Cuomo announced the revamped policy on Sunday at a news conference alongside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“My No. 1 job is to protect the people of New York, and this does that,”
Cuomo said.

The new quarantine rules will require health workers traveling from West Africa to be quarantined at home, where local authorities will check them twice a day. Their family members can stay with them, and friends may visit upon approval of health officials.


Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York (Bryan Thomas / Getty Images / AFP)

The tougher policy he announced with Christie on Friday came under intense scrutiny from the Obama administration and medical officials, which said the governors’ edicts neither made scientific sense, nor did it encourage health workers to volunteer in the effort to combat the Ebola outbreak currently ravaging nations like Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The governors had decided to implement the tough rules once a doctor, Craig Spencer, tested positive for the virus in New York City on Thursday. Spencer had treated Ebola patients in Guinea earlier this month. City officials told The New York Times on Sunday that Spencer had improved though he was still in serious but stable condition.

The Times reported that Cuomo and Christie went ahead with the mandatory-quarantine rule without consultation of New York City or federal officials, including the White House.

“In a region like this, you go out one, two or three times, you ride the subway, you ride a bus, you could affect hundreds and hundreds of people,”
Cuomo said at the time.

Volunteers in protective suit burry the body of a person who died from Ebola in Waterloo, some 30 kilometers southeast of Freetown
(AFP Photo / Florian Plaucheur)

Obama administration officials, according to the Times, said the tough rules were unnecessary and counterproductive in the larger fight against the virus. Administration officials said they repeatedly attempted to persuade the governors to reconsider their original policy.

A top administration official told the Times that the governors’ plan was “uncoordinated, very hurried, an immediate reaction to the New York City case that doesn’t comport with science.”

Yet, Christie said on Sunday that he had “gotten absolutely no contact” from the White House, while Cuomo said he had not been pressured.

After the governors’ Friday announcement, two other governors followed suit. Late Friday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced a mandatory-quarantine order for “high-risk” persons who had been in close contact with Ebola-positive patients in West Africa. On Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott of Florida issued a similar order.

Back in Washington, President Barack Obama gathered top advisers at the White House late Sunday to discuss a national policy for health workers returning to the US from West Africa. That policy will likely advise against a mandatory hospital quarantine of those workers, a senior administration official told the Times.

Meanwhile, a 5-year-old boy who had just returned Saturday to New York City from Guinea was taken to a city hospital based on possible Ebola symptoms, authorities told the New York Post.

The child, vomiting and with a 103-degree Fahrenheit temperature, was carried out of his home in the Bronx by medical workers wearing hazmat suits, neighbors of the boy told the Post.

Five members of the boy’s family were being quarantined inside their apartment, sources told the Post. - RT.

‘Ebola’ Nurse Released, CDC Rebukes Christie

The nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey after she came home from treating Ebola patients in West Africa will be released Monday, state officials said. Kaci Hickox has been held against her will in a tent outside a New Jersey medical center since she was taken off a flight, flushed and distraught, Friday. Hickox has hired a lawyer and spoken out publicly against her quarantine.

A hospital security guard stands next to police tape near an ambulance at University Hospital, where a person was being checked for Ebola,
in Newark, New Jersey October 22, 2014. (Reuters / Shannon Stapleton)
“Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours,” New Jersey health department officials said in a statement. “As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.”

Obama forces Chris Christie U-turn to allow Ebola nurse to leave New Jersey quarantine tent after White House fury over draconian rules imposed at state level

  • New Jersey governor said Monday that the CDC has cleared a nurse on 21-day quarantine to go home after she tested negative for Ebola twice
  • The health care worker was held after returning from Sierra Leone, and threatened a federal lawsuit to get herself released
  • A 21-day Ebola quarantine order for Americans returning from western Africa was put in place by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Under White House pressure, Cuomo changed his rules to allow home quarantines for those with no symptoms
  • Obama aides already lobbied Christie to rethink New Jersey’s rules after the nurse twice tested negative for Ebola 
Chris Christie was forced on Monday to allow a nurse being kept in a tent in a hospital parking lot to go home after intense White House pressure to relax a mandatory 21-day quarantine the New Jersey Governor had imposed at a state level.

The embarrassing turnaround came after Obama chaired a White House meeting on the rules and successfully lobbied Christie’s New York counterpart, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to relax their quarantine rules – even as Americans grow more concerned about the possibility of a pandemic emergency.

Cuomo gave in on behalf of New Yorkers. But as of Sunday Christie was still pushing for more aggressive measures to protect New Jerseyans, saying he had ‘no second thoughts’ about the policy.

Christie is a likely entrant into the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary, and the intergovernmental Ebola skirmishes will provide both major political parties with new ammunition.

Nurse Kaci Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice, but she had remained in a forced hospital quarantine as of Monday morning. - Investment Watch.



Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak



CONTAGION: The Ebola Outbreak - The Latest Reports On The Deadly Virus As The Epidemic's Death Toll Nears 5,000!


October 27, 2014 - THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
- The following constitutes several of the latest headlines about the Ebola outbreak, as the World Health Organization reports that the epidemic’s death toll has climbed near to 5,000 out of over 10,000 known cases in eight countries.

Rare footage captures Ebola discovery in 1976 (VIDEO)


As the largest recorded Ebola epidemic in West Africa has infected over 10,000 people, a Belgian newspaper publishes rare footage from 1976 when the deadly virus was first identified in Congo, or in Zaire as it was then known.

The three videos were recently released by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and were published by the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws on Tuesday.

In 1976, a group of researchers headed by Belgian scientist Peter Piot who travelled to the remote village of Yambuku in the Republic of Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of Congo). The scientists went to Africa to study what they thought to be the Marburg virus – a hemorrhagic fever virus that was discovered a few years earlier.

WATCH: Rare footage captures Ebola discovery in 1976.







However, what they found was a virus we know today as Ebola, which was named after the small river that flows near the Yambuku village.

The videos show how the researchers tending to the Ebola-infected residents wearing protective gear - gas masks and white suits - similar to the ones used today. The doctors would burn their clothing to prevent further spread of the disease.

“An epidemic of unknown origin and transmission…is really frightening. Then you ask, is this transmitted by mosquitoes, food, by water, by shaking hands, sex—the usual ways?,”
Dr. Piot said in an interview to The Wall Street Journal in October.

“The first known case, a 44-year-old male instructor at the Mission School, presented himself to the outpatient clinic at Yambuku Mission hospital on 26 August 1976 with a febrile illness thought to be malaria,” according to the 1978 bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Following the man’s death in September nine more cases occurred in the first week of the same month. During this outbreak 280 deaths out of 318 cases were recorded.

Since 1976 there have been several outbreaks of the deadly virus, with the largest epidemic currently ongoing in West Africa. According to the WHO, 10,141 cases of the Ebola virus have been registered through Thursday with 4,922 deaths from the disease.

Eight countries have been affected, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone suffering the most. The virus is transmitted through blood or bodily fluids, according to the WHO. Persons infected with the Ebola may start showing symptoms - such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding - as soon as two days after contracting the virus.

The average EVD case fatality rate in the current epidemic is around 50 percent, while case fatality rates have varied from 25 percent to 90 percent in past outbreaks, the WHO said. - RT.

Ebola.com Domain Sold For $200,000 To Russian Marijuana Company

Ebola.com isn’t much of a website at this time. As the name suggests, it features several articles about Ebola news and tips for containing the virus. However, the websites owner just cashed in by selling the URL for more than $200,000.

Last week site owner Jon Schultz announced that he was prepared to sell Ebola.com for $150,000. In an interview with The Washington Post he said the price was reasonable, while announcing that the website was receiving thousands of pageviews per day, traffic that is likely to grow as more Ebola news is generated.

Schultz purchased the domain in 2008 for $13,500. He decided to purchase the name after watching the movie Outbreak.

An SEC filing confirms that Schultz’s Blue String Ventures sold Ebola.com to a Russian company called Weed Growth Fund for over $200,000 in cash and stock. Under terms of the deal he received $50,000 cash and 19,192 shares in the company.

The Weed Growth Fund is covering the cost by selling 19,192 shares of another weed company’s stock in the deal – Cannabis Sativa, Inc.

The Verge 
reports that those shares are currently valued at about $164,000. Cannabis Sativa, Inc. recently appointed a new CEO.  The company is now run by New Mexico’s former two-term governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. His appointment pushed share prices up in recent months.

It has not been revealed at this time how a company specializing in marijuana plans to use the Ebola.com domain purchase. - B2C.

Signs of Ebola: Animated deaf interpreter at NYC press conference goes viral

While an Ebola news conference should have been grabbing the headlines, a sign language translator stole the show. The signer has now gone viral on social media, with some even questioning whether he was a legitimate interpreter.

The media conference was headed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials, who were giving updates on the city’s first case of Ebola on Friday. However, as the officials continued, attention started to be diverted to a man sitting on the very left of the platform.

WATCH: Ebola Sign Language Interpreter goes viral.



The man was there to provide a sign language translation and he managed to get very animated as the speeches went on, underlining the severity of the problem. At one point, it seemed as though he was communicating with another signer, who was sitting in the audience. - RT.

African Boys Attacked at Bronx School, Called "Ebola:" Advocacy Group

A group that advocates for Africans in the Bronx is calling for action after it says two brothers who had recently immigrated to the borough from Senegal were beaten and severely injured by several people who called them “Ebola.”

The boys, in sixth and eighth grade, were attacked Friday afternoon at I.S. 318 in Tremont, according to the African Advocacy Council.

The boys, who have been in the U.S. for about a month, were taken to the hospital after the attack.
The group says that the attack is just the latest incidence of disrespect and bullying of Africans since the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

They have called a news conference for 1 p.m. Monday to urge school and city officials to protect students and curb bullying.

Senegal is one of several West African countries where Ebola cases have been reported, but there have been no new cases in that country since late August, according to the CDC.

Cases continue to be reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. A few health care workers and travelers coming from those countries have also been diagnosed with the disease in other countries, including one person in New York City. - NBC New York.

5-Year-Old Boy Being Tested for Ebola at NYC Hospital

A 5-year-old boy who returned home from Guinea Saturday is being tested for Ebola at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, officials said today. Preliminary results will be available within the next 12 hours.

The boy was transported to Bellevue Hospital Sunday night because of his travel history and initial reports that he had a fever, but he actually had no symptoms when he first arrived at the hospital, officials said.

He developed a fever this morning, prompting the Ebola test, officials told ABC News.

The boy is in isolation, but is not under quarantine, the city’s health department said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola Thursday, is in an isolation unit at the Manhattan hospital. After Spencer's diagnosis, his fiancee remains under quarantine, along with two friends. None has shown symptoms of the virus.

Spencer has gastrointestinal symptoms, which health officials said were "anticipated." He was described as awake and communicating.
He became the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States after he was hospitalized Thursday. He developed a fever that morning and alerted authorities, who transported the doctor from his Harlem apartment in a specially designated ambulance. - ABC News.

Bellevue staffers call in ‘sick’ after Ebola arrives

Bellevue Hospital Photo: AP

An extraordinary number of Bellevue Hospital staffers called in sick on Friday rather than treat the city’s first Ebola patient — and those who showed up were terrified to enter his isolation chamber, sources told The Post.

“The nurses on the floor are miserable with a ‘why me?’ attitude, scared to death and overworked because all their co-workers called out sick,” one source said.

“One nurse even went as far as to pretend she was having a stroke to get out of working there, but once they cleared her in the ER they sent her back up,” the source added.

Dr. Craig Spencer
is being treated by nurses working in teams of two, “with one serving as a buddy watching the other,” said Health and Hospitals Corporation spokeswoman Ana Marengo, who denied there was a sickout.

The Doctors Without Borders volunteer — who is in stable condition — has even been putting his medical skills to use, lecturing the staff about proper treatment.

“As a doctor, he knows a lot about medicine, so he would call the nurses station all day and going back and forth with doctors on what to do,” the source said.

The sick doctor has been passing time in his pressurized room by watching TV and eating hospital food.
Visitors are forbidden — but he’ll be able to Skype with friends and pals once his room gets outfitted with a video camera, sources said.

While officials would not divulge his exact treatment, doctors are working to keep him hydrated and comfortable.

“He will be a candidate for any experimental treatments that might be available,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, an adviser to the mayor. - NY Post.

Ebola doc has new symptoms as fiancée returns home

Dr. Craig Spencer's fiancee, Morgan Dixon (wearing a pink scarf) returns to her home on Saturday evening. Photo: Tomas E. Gaston
Inset: Dr. Craig Spencer

Ebola is now hitting Dr. Craig Spencer in the gut, city health officials revealed Saturday night.

“The patient … is entering the next phase of his illness, as anticipated, with the appearance of gastrointestinal symptoms,” an officials said.

“The patient is awake and communicating. The Bellevue clinical team in charge of care for the patient is in constant communication with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

Spencer received antiviral therapy soon after being admitted Thursday.

He also has been administered plasma from Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol, an aid worker who contracted the disease in Africa, NBC news reported.

“I am praying for Dr. Spencer’s recovery and am happy to be able to donate blood,’’ she said, according to the report.

Meanwhile, fiancée Morgan Dixon was driven by a cop Saturday night from Bellevue to the Harlem home she shares with Spencer. Dixon and two others who had close contact with Spencer on Wednesday are “totally healthy” but will stay in their homes until the 21-day quarantine period is over. - NY Post.

Teenager in isolation and being tested for Ebola in Australia


Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Australian authorities confirmed today that a teenager is in isolation in hospital and undergoing tests for Ebola after she developed a fever following her arrival from Guinea.

The 18-year-old, who arrived in Australia 11 days ago with eight other family members, had been in home quarantine in Brisbane before she developed a “raised temperature” overnight, Queensland state chief health officer Jeannette Young said late Sunday.

She was now in isolation at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, with the results of the first test for Ebola to be known early Monday.

A second test would be taken in three days, Young added, saying it was unlikely she was suffering from Ebola.

“She didn’t have any known contact with anyone that was sick with Ebola virus disease, but she did come from an area that had a reasonably large number of cases,” Young told a press conference, adding that the young woman was not a healthcare worker.

Nationality 


Young would not specify the teenager’s nationality, but said she was moving to Australia permanently and authorities had been informed of her family’s arrival several days before the flight.

“There is no risk to the community at all because she hasn’t left the house or had any visitors in the time that she has been here in Brisbane,” Young said.

The teenager was not showing other symptoms and her fever was “resolved”, Young added.

“It is unlikely that she has the disease because she doesn’t remember coming into contact with anyone with Ebola virus disease, so it is unlikely, but she has been in an area that there’s been a significant number of cases, so there’s always that potential.”

The rest of the woman’s family remain quarantined at home.

Young said Queensland health authorities were monitoring four families from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the vast majority of Ebola cases have occurred.

The number of Ebola infections has surpassed 10,000 and the death toll neared 5,000 worldwide, mainly in the three West African nations.

There have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Australia. - The Journal.

ER nurse: Duncan lied about exposure to Ebola

An emergency room nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan said in an interview broadcast Sunday night that the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. was not honest about his exposure to the deadly virus.
Sidia Rose told “60 Minutes” that Duncan said during his second trip to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas that he had not been in contact with anyone who had been sick.

“I explained to him, ‘We are under the impression that you may have been exposed to Ebola.’ And I said,

‘Where are you from?’ And he told me Liberia,” she said.

“And I asked ‘Have you been in contact with anyone who's been sick?’ ”

“No. He said no,” Rose said.

WATCH: ER Nurse - Duncan lied about exposure to Ebola.




Rose said Duncan then told her that his family had suffered a loss in Liberia. Duncan added that his daughter, who had died in childbirth, did not have Ebola, however.

Rose said Duncan later denied that story, about his travels and the death of his pregnant daughter, to Texas state health officials.

Nurses in the emergency room and intensive care unit also described efforts to protect themselves from Ebola as well as Duncan’s final days.

Rose said her neck was exposed during her initial questioning of Duncan in the emergency room, adding that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols were deficient.

Rose also described Duncan as “very kind and appreciative.”

“Even something as simple as me just giving him cold wash cloth to cool his face down because his fever wasn't breaking — even that he was grateful for. He told me thanks,” she said.

Rose said she’s passed the 21-day monitoring period for her contact with Duncan but is still being monitored for possible exposure from Nina Pham, a nurse who treated Duncan and contracted Ebola.

“I've been asymptomatic. My temperature has been rock solid,” she said. - The Hill.

US ambassador hits out at countries failing to help west Africa


Samantha Power meets officials at the Guinea Ebola
Co-ordination Centre in Conakry.

Photograph: STAFF/REUTERS
The US ambassador to the United Nations has criticised the level of international support for nations hit by Ebola as she begins a tour of west African nations at the epicentre of the deadly outbreak.

Samantha Power said before arriving in Guinea on Sunday that too many leaders were praising the efforts of countries like the US and Britain to accelerate aid to the worst-affected nations, while doing little themselves.
“The international response to Ebola needs to be taken to a wholly different scale than it is right now,” Power told NBC News.

She said many countries were “signing on to resolutions and praising the good work that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are doing, but they themselves haven’t taken the responsibility yet to send docs, to send beds, to send the reasonable amount of money”.

Besides Guinea, Power will travel to Sierra Leone and Liberia – the three nations that account for the vast majority of the 4,922 deaths from the Ebola epidemic.

More than 10,000 people have contracted the virus in west Africa, according to the latest World Health Organisation figures.

Another country in the region, Mali, is scrambling to prevent a wider outbreak after a two-year-old girl died from her Ebola infection following a 600-mile bus ride from Guinea. She was Mali’s first recorded case of the disease.

An adviser to the Malian health ministry said the 43 people placed under medical observation in Kayes in western Mali – where the girl died on Friday – showed no signs of the illness.

About a dozen other people were also being observed in the capital, Bamako, where the girl had spent about three hours visiting relatives on the way to Kayes.

Mauritania meanwhile reinforced controls on its border with Mali, which effectively closed the frontier, according to local sources. - The Guardian.

New flu drug to be cleared for emergency use against Ebola in Japan

Tablets of the influenza medicine Avigan Tablet, produced by Fujifilm, are displayed in Tokyo on Wednesday. | AFP-JIJI
 A health ministry panel agreed Friday that doctors in Japan should be able to use a new domestically produced influenza drug to treat people who get infected with the deadly Ebola virus, although it has not yet been approved for such use.

Favipiravir, marketed as Avigan Tablet, has drawn renewed attention after a French nurse recovered from Ebola after taking it in conjunction with two other types of medicine made in the United States and Canada.
Another Ebola patient who received favipiravir, developed by Toyama Chemical Co., a unit of Fujifilm Holdings Corp., has reportedly recovered in Spain.

There is no officially approved vaccine or drug available to effectively treat Ebola patients yet, but the outbreak in West Africa has accelerated efforts to find one.

Favipiravir is believed to be effective and is also the only medicine available in Japan. Animal tests have shown that the drug carries a risk of birth defects.

In urgent cases, doctors in Japan are allowed to use an unapproved medicine.

Given the limited number of experts who have experience treating infectious high-risk diseases such as Ebola in Japan, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to offer advice to physicians on specific protocols to use when they feel they have to use the drug.

Japan has enough favipiravir on hand to treat about 20,000 people. Approved as a flu treatment in March, it has been stocked for shipment at the request of the health ministry to fight an outbreak of a new strain of flu. - Japan Times.


Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak




GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Going With The Flow - Lava From Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Threatens Villages; Lava Travelling At 3 Meters An Hour; Residents Flee Their Homes! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is seen advancing across a pasture between the Pahoa cemetery and Apa'a Street, in this U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) image taken near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii October 25, 2014. (Reuters / U.S. Geological Survey / Handout)

October 27, 2014 - HAWAII
- Residents of a Hawaiian town are set to have to flee as lava, traveling at three meters an hour, nears their homes. The closest dwelling to the lava flow is less than 100 meters away, with 50 to 60 buildings in its immediate path.

The people of the town of Pahoa have been well aware of the Mt. Kilauea volcano for decades, as it has been erupting since 1983. However, the vast majority of the lava went south and straight out into the ocean. In June a new vent opened, which put the lava flow on a collision course with the settlement.

WATCH: Creeping lava - Erupting Kilauea volcano triggers evacuation fears.



They are now facing the prospect of having to abandon their homes as a juggernaut of molten lava 10.5 meters wide and over 1,000 degrees Celsius melts everything in its path.

Darryl Oliveira, the Hawaii County Civil defense director, has already issued a preliminary evacuation notice over the weekend to those residents in the most immediate danger. He also added that the first evacuations may have to take place on Tuesday, if worse comes to worst.

“The current timelines are based on the current flow rates, and that could change…speed things up, as well as slow things down. The key is that we will be watching the flow 24/7,” he told reporters.


Due to the lava flow’s relatively slow pace, local authorities have had time to take precautions, including wrapping electricity poles in very thick insulating foil - certainly not the type you would wrap your Thanksgiving turkey in - and place a six meter barrier around them filled with crushed rocks and cinders.

“We are encouraged by the initial result of the pole protection design,” power company spokeswoman Rhea Lee said, according to the LA Times. “But the long-term results are still not determined. As the lava flow progresses, we expect the lava will rise and inflate.”


Methane explosions have been heard locally, with Janet Babb, who is a geologist and spokeswoman for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, saying they were a bit unnerving.

"At the time that it happened, it was such a rumble I thought it was thunder and that we were about to be struck by lightning," she said, as reported by AP.


Residents have been fairly philosophical about the onset of the lava flow. One man, Robert Shioshita, said “I know how the other people feel because I’m in it this time. No one can do nothing [sic]. It hurts, but its Pele’s land and she’s reclaiming,” he said, referring to the Hawaiian volcano god.

His neighbor Alfred Lee says that he is not planning to leave till the last minute, but does accept that he will have to flee his home sooner rather than later. - RT.



FIRE IN THE SKY: House-Sized Asteroid To Give Earth A Close Shave Monday - Asteroid 2014 UF56 Will Pass At A Distance Of About 160,000 km (0.4 Lunar Distances) At 9:12pm!


October 27, 2014 - SPACE
- Get ready for a very close encounter as a house-sized asteroid 2014 UF56 will pass between the Earth and the Moon on Monday. The 15 meter wide space rock will miss our planet at a distance of about 160,000 km (0.4 lunar distances) at 9:12 p.m. UTC. The asteroid was discovered Saturday and despite passing so close to Earth, few if any of us will see the flyby with our eyes in a telescope. At brightest, 2014 UF56 will only reach magnitude +16, as it zips from Scutum constellation through Capricornus.

The asteroid, back in 2012 visited Mars at a distance of about 8 mln km. It will again approach the Earth on Feb. 12, 2018. This will be a very distant fly-by, at about 64 lunar distances.


Near-Earth asteroid 2014 UF56: 25 Oct. 2014

160,000 km is still a safe distance, but still a very spectacular circumstance, that's why the Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live, online event sharing real-time images of 2014 UF56 with live commentary by their scientific staff. The stream, starting at 7:00 p.m. UTC, will be available at: virtualtelescope.eu.

None of the known potentially hazardous asteroids is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 UF56

"With 90% of near-Earth asteroids larger than 0.6 miles (1 km) discovered, surveys are now focusing on finding 90% of objects larger than 460 feet (140-m)," amateur astronomer Bob King writes on his blog. "We have to take it a step at a time because the total number of near-Earth asteroids is in the millions. That's why objects like 2014 UF56 pop up regularly in surveys each month." - Astro Watch.