Bed bugs found at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia

There is no question, bed bugs have a bad reputation.

“Yeah, get itchy, bed bugs, yeah it doesn’t sound good,” said Erik De Haro

The reaction is especially strong when they are found in public places, such as hotel room or hospitals.

De Haro was surprised when he found out Kaweah Delta Medical Center’s Emergency Department had the pest.

On Thursday, he was visiting a cousin staying at the hospital.

“They have patients in here that have other problems and then adding bed bugs to that might not be the best thing,” said De Haro.

Kaweah Delta says a patient brought bed bugs to the emergency department last week.

A spokesperson said quote:

“Our team’s control measures included caring for patients and thoroughly cleaning rooms known to have bed bugs. Additionally, we examined every room in the ED and brought in a pest control company to treat rooms where bugs might have been present.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the presence of the pest is quote “not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, bed bugs reproduce quickly and feed on human blood, causing itchy bites to its host, but they are not known to transmit or spread disease.

For anyone who recently visited or stayed at Kaweah Delta, it is recommended you check thoroughly for the pest, and if found, start treatment procedures.

Bald eagle dies from pesticide poisoning in eastern W.Va.

 By WSAZ News Staff

POCAHONTAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Investigators say a bald eagle’s death last summer was from pesticide poisoning, according to information from West Virginia Natural Resources Police.

The eagle was discovered in August by a resident in Pocahontas County.

An investigation, which included the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, found that the eagle died after eating flesh and hair from a contaminated pig carcass. Investigators say the pig had been disposed of by someone, possibly in the county landfill.

Environmental officials stress the importance of properly disposing of livestock treated with pesticides.

Don’t let EPA and Monsanto hide the truth on Roundup

January 16, 2018 12:00 PM

Updated January 16, 2018 12:00 PM

 

Nathan Donley, a former cancer researcher, is a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program in Olympia, Wash. He can be contacted at NDonley@biologicaldiversity.org.

California hospital’s ED hit by bedbug infestation

Written by Alyssa Rege

Officials at Visalia, Calif.-based Kaweah Delta Medical Center were forced to contact a pest exterminator Jan. 10 after they discovered a bedbug infestation in the facility’s emergency department, the Visalia Times-Delta reports.

A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed the information to the Visalia Times-Delta, stating a patient brought bedbugs into the ED last Wednesday.

“Our team’s control measures included caring for the patient and thoroughly cleaning rooms known to have bedbugs,” the spokesperson said. “Additionally, we examined every room in the ED and brought in a pest control company to treat rooms where bugs might have been present. This successfully prevented their spread to other patient environments throughout Kaweah Delta.”

The spokesperson said patients were transferred between rooms while the infested rooms were treated. She also noted the CDC has stated bedbugs “are not known to spread disease, but … their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep,” according to the report.

Some experts suggest hospital EDs are more susceptible to bedbug infestations because they have a high turnover rate.

“Any hitchhiking bedbugs have an opportunity to crawl off a person, their clothing, or their personal items in these areas,” a representative from Rentokil, a pest control company, told the Visalia Times-Delta.“Additionally, since these rooms have a high rate of patient turnover, they may be a higher risk for introduction because they see a higher volume of patients than standard patient rooms.”

 

Houston ranks in Top 20 for bedbug infestations

By Andy Warren

Once again, Houston ranks in the Top 20 for bedbug infestations, according to Orkin pest control.

It could be worse: Baltimore took the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row and Dallas-Fort Worth rose to the Top 10 infested metro areas in 2018 for the first time.

Orkin says the annual list is based on treatment data – both residential and commercial – from metro areas between Dec. 1, 2016, and Nov. 30, 2017. Houston ranked 17th this year.

“The number of bedbug infestations in the United States is still rising,” Orkin entomologist Tim Husen said in a news release. “They continue to invade our homes and businesses on a regular basis because they are not seasonal pests, and only need blood to survive.”

According to a 2015 “Bugs without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association, the pests are most commonly found in apartments or condominiums; single-family homes; and in hotels/motels.

The bedbug population can rapidly grow, with females laying two to five eggs a days, or up to 500 total in her life span, Orkin says.

Pest World notes that the six-legged beasts are mahogany in color as adults, reddish-brown when they’ve been feeding, while nymphs are nearly colorless.

Because adults are one-quarter of an inch long, or smaller, they’re difficult to detect. The surest sign are deposits of brown “dirt” on sheets, carpet and other areas. With an infestation, the signs will be obvious.

Prevention tips include:

  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
  • Check your bed sheets for tell-tale blood spots.
  • Keep your suitcase in a large plastic trash bag during hotel stays.
  • A small flashlight can help with visual inspections.
  • Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation.
  • Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bedbugs.

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies
This artist’s image of a placenta shows how the Zika virus can affect a mother’s womb. The maternal blood vessels that feed into the placenta (A) become narrower and limit blood flow to the fetus. The leaf-like villi (C) that enable a fetus

Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects a baby as it grows in the womb.

Now, new research suggests the  damages a pregnant mother’s placenta, an organ inside a woman’s uterus that helps protect and care for a growing baby. A paper published in Nature Communications describes how Zika virus infection in five pregnant rhesus monkeys caused placental tissues to become thickened and inflamed.

As a result, the researchers saw less oxygen being transported across the placenta and to the baby. Decreased oxygen levels in a placenta can impair fetal development and ultimately the health of a baby after its born.

“The role of a placenta is to protect and provide nutrition to a growing baby for optimum health,” said one of the paper’s corresponding authors, Antonio Frias, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Oregon Health & Science University. “It’s concerning how much damage the Zika virus can do to a placenta.”

The paper’s two other corresponding authors are associate professor Daniel Streblow, Ph.D., and assistant professor Alec Hirsch, Ph.D., both of whom lead molecular microbiology and immunology research at the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. Streblow also leads pathobiology and immunology research at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and is a professor of  and immunology within the OHSU School of Medicine.

The reseachers used a non-invasive, in vivo MRI technique to evaluate  inside the placenta and oxygen flow between mother and baby. They found that, in monkeys that were infected with Zika early in their pregnancies, the rate of oxygen transport through the  decreased about 10-fold.

The OHSU research team also determined the Zika virus can readily pass from mother to baby and remain in the baby long-term, leading to a chronic infection in utero. These findings may provide important insights into the mechanisms by which Zika virus causes disease during pregnancy.

By better understanding how both mother and child become infected with and affected by the Zika virus, researchers can determine how to prevent its infection and disease. The OHSU research team is using the knowledge gained from this study to help develop a safe and effective Zika vaccine for use during pregnancy.

More information: Alec J. Hirsch et al, Zika virus infection in pregnant rhesus macaques causes placental dysfunction and immunopathology, Nature Communications (2018).

Florida Department of Health Zika Virus Update: 4 New Travel-Related Cases

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Tallahassee, Fla.—In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health will issue a Zika virus update each week day at 2 p.m. Updates will include a CDC-confirmed Zika case count by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.

There are four new travel-related cases with two in Miami-Dade County, one in Broward County and one in Osceola County. Of the cases confirmed in Florida, eight cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days.

Based on CDC guidance, several pregnant women who have traveled to countries with local-transmission of Zika have received antibody testing, and of those, four have tested positive for the Zika virus. The CDC recommends that a pregnant woman with a history of Zika virus and her provider should consider additional ultrasounds. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas.

County Number of Cases (all travel related)
Alachua 4
Brevard 2
Broward 10
Hillsborough 3
Lee 3
Miami-Dade 32
Orange 4
Osceola 4
Polk 2
Santa Rosa 1
Seminole 1
St. Johns 1
Cases involving pregnant women* 4
Total  71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Counties of pregnant women will not be shared.

On Feb. 12, Governor Scott directed the State Surgeon General to activate a Zika Virus Information Hotline for current Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future. The hotline, managed by the Department of Health, has assisted 1,114 callers since it launched. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.

All cases are travel-associated. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Florida. For more information on the Zika virus, click here.

The department urges Floridians to drain standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small. A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes. Residents and visitors also need to use repellents when enjoying the Florida outdoors. On other health related news, check out this product review of a mouth piece that helps cure snoring on this website.

More Information on DOH action on Zika:

  • On Feb. 3, Governor Scott directed the State Surgeon General to issue a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the counties of residents with travel-associated cases of Zika.
  • The Declaration currently includes the 12 affected counties – Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Santa Rosa, Seminole and St. Johns – and will be updated as needed.
  • DOH encourages Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; and covering windows with screens.
  • DOH has a robust mosquito-borne illness surveillance system and is working with the CDC, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and local county mosquito control boards to ensure that the proper precautions are being taken to protect Florida residents and visitors.
  • Florida currently has the capacity to test 4,219 people for active Zika virus and 1,798 for Zika antibodies.

Federal Guidance on Zika:

  • According to the CDC, Zika illness is generally mild with a rash, fever and joint pain. CDC researchers are examining a possible link between the virus and harm to unborn babies exposed during pregnancy.
  • The FDA released guidance regarding donor screening, deferral and product management to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmission of Zika virus. Additional information is available on the FDA website here.
  • The CDC has put out guidance related to the sexual transmission of the Zika virus. This includes the CDC recommendation that if you have traveled to a country with local transmission of Zika you should abstain from unprotected sex.

For more information on Zika virus, click here.
About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

NIH – Zika infection during pregnancy may disrupt fetal oxygen supply

NIH-funded study observes virus-induced placental damage in monkeys.

What

Zika virus infection appears to affect oxygen delivery to the fetuses of pregnant monkeys, according to a small study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers also observed a high degree of inflammation in the placenta and lining of the uterus, which can harm the fetal immune system and increase a newborn’s susceptibility to additional infections. Their study is published online in Nature Communications.

Zika virus infection among pregnant women can lead to developmental problems in fetuses and newborns. In the current study, researchers led by Daniel Streblow, Ph.D., of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon National Primate Research Center, used non-invasive imaging to evaluate how persistent Zika infection affects pregnancy in five rhesus macaques. The team found that the virus induces high levels of inflammation in the blood vessels of the uterus and damages placental villi, the branch-like growths that help transfer oxygen and nutrients from maternal blood to the fetus. The researchers suggest that this damage may disrupt oxygen transport to the fetus, which can restrict its growth and lead to stillbirth, among other conditions.

The team observed evidence of fetal brain abnormalities in two of the five animals, but the researchers did not see any obvious signs of microcephaly. This finding, they reason, is consistent with previous studies that establish microcephaly as only one of a spectrum of Zika-induced complications. The authors call for additional studies to improve knowledge of how Zika virus causes infection during pregnancy.

Who

Catherine Y. Spong, M.D., deputy director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is available for interviews.

 About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD conducts and supports research in the United States and throughout the world on fetal, infant and child development; maternal, child and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit NICHD’s website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Bed bugs shutter Salvation Army shelter in Bremerton

By:, josh.farley@kitsapsun.com

BREMERTON — An infestation of bed bugs this week shuttered the Salvation Army’s winter shelter Wednesday, sending around 60 people into the surrounding streets on a stormy night.

Volunteers and shelter staff rallied in the winds and rain to provide tarps, blankets and some coverage for those outside. An impromptu tent city formed around the Sixth Street nonprofit.

“We didn’t want to leave our people with nothing,” said Hadley Tillson, shelter coordinator.

The shelter reopened Thursday night, following a faster-than-expected cleaning process that Salvation Army officials are confident annihilated every last bed bug.

It is the first time in two years of operating the winter shelter that bed bugs have surfaced, and the shelter lacked a contingency plan. Staff, with help from Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler, scrambled to find other options for housing, even putting three medically infirm guests up in hotels for the night.

Nothing for the others would materialize.

“Nobody wants 60 people with bed bugs,” said Sheryl Piercy, the Salvation Army’s social services director.

Wheeler asked the police department to forgo enforcing ordinances prohibiting the temporary shelters that now surround the Salvation Army perimeter, and asked officers to keep an eye on the campus through the night.

“We need a backup plan,” said Wheeler, promising that the city will help develop one.

The shelter is the only such facility on the peninsula and only operates in winter months thanks to a grant from Kitsap County.

Bed bugs appeared earlier this week, spurring staff to wash every piece of bedding the shelter uses. But when the bugs came back on Wednesday, the Kitsap Public Health District ordered the shelter to close for fumigation.

Word of the closure reached social media quickly, and, thanks to a particular post from shelter staff member Dawn Michele Wilson, help started pouring in.

Cars driven by people in pajamas dropped off supplies. Boxes of pizzas, bags of sandwiches and jugs of coffee showed up from surrounding businesses, allowing the Salvation Army to continue serving meals even without access to its kitchen.

Ondrea McCourry and Pashia Braunesreither, of the West Sound Treatment Center, bought about 40 sleeping bags and tents at Walmart.

“We wanted to keep these people warm and dry,” said McCourry, who remained outside the shelter most of the night. “We can’t have these people out on the street. There’s nowhere for them to go.”

“I’ve never seen Bremerton come together like that,” said Tillson, who was once homeless along with some of the same people she now sees at the shelter.

Wednesday night’s weather included thunder, lightning, rain and hail. At one point, many people huddled around a propane-powered heater. Tillson and others attempted to hold tents together in surging winds.

“It was literally like a river going through here,” she said.

“It was scary. It was cold,” added Karen Steele, who stays at the shelter with her husband, Kyler and their 11-month-old daughter Jayda. “But I think it opened up a lot of people’s eyes. We felt so loved by these people.”

Volunteers and police did what they could to protect the most vulnerable in the makeshift camp. People using drugs were asked to leave. Some of the quickly erected awnings fell during the night and morning. One fell squarely on the head of Tami Fields.

“I’m just trying to keep my head up,” said Fields, who stays at the shelter with her husband. “It’s really hard when it gets like this.”

Bruce Nichols, who’s lived on the streets in Kitsap for a decade, said he was able to crash at a friend’s house a block away as the storm hit.

“I got lucky,” he said. “Around here, it was duck and dodge. It was not a pretty sight.”

Piercy said the shelter’s first night back in operation will include extra caution. Participants will have to shower and have their personal effects laundered.

“It was a terrible thing to have to shut down for 24 hours, Piercy said. “Yet so beautiful with the community coming together. I am so full of love for the many people who call Kitsap their home.”

British Airways hit by another bed bug infestation

A British Airways flight to Ghana was grounded at London’s Heathrow Airport for four hours after bed bugs were found crawling on the seats.

The cabin crew had walked out minutes before the scheduled take-off when they discovered the bed bug infestation, reported The Sun newspaper on Sunday. A replacement plane was found and passengers were able to continue their journey only some four hours later.

A source told The Sun: “The cabin crew saw bedbugs crawling over the seats – visible to the naked eye.

“They said it was unacceptable to work on that aircraft.”

In a statement to Yahoo News UK, an airline spokesman said: “The comfort of our customers is paramount, so as soon as this very rare issue was identified at Heathrow, we immediately took the aircraft out of service for treatment.”

This is the latest in a string of bed bug infestation incidents to hit British Airways in recent months.

In October last year, a Canadian family complained of multiple bites from bed bugs after a nine-hour flight from British Columbia to Britain.

The airline later apologised and gave the family an upgrade for their return trip.

At the end of December, British news portal Daily Mail reported that a man was covered in dozens of bed bug bites after taking a flight in British Airways business class.

The airline has also received flak for poor customer service and cutting perks, such as free in-flight meals and alcohol for domestic and short-haul trips in economy class.