Madagascar Plague Update and Canned Reporting

Madagascar Plague Update and Canned Reporting

Madagascar plague outbreak was in the news for a few weeks, but recently, no longer in headlines…at least from those I’ve been reading. So, decided to check out the situation by researching online at the World Health Organization [WHO]. Here’s a short update:

On November 25, 2017 the “containment” of “acute urban pneumonic plague outbreak” was “officially announced” by the Ministry of Health of Madagascar.

Plague “cumulative total” of “confirmed, probable and suspected” cases from August 1, 2017 through November 24, 2017 was 2,384. Deaths: 207. But “more cases” “expected to be reported” because of Madagascar’s plague season.

While researching, read other information interesting to me:

  • Training of journalists and radio broadcasters regarding the plague, polio, and Mother and Child health week is ongoing.
  • The WHO risk communication team are managing a message bank to ensure that the technical content of all messages is appropriate and validated by specialists from each pillar. The message bank allows harmonization of all messages used by the various communication media. The messages are reviewed by the national teams in Antananarivo and Tamatov to facilitate customization to the regional context.

The training of media personnel is wonderful if it’s about health risks and precautions while doing assigned jobs, but a “message bank” with requirements of “harmonization of all messages” being “appropriate,” validated,” and “reviewed” leads me to believe media is limited in reporting efforts, possibly denying the public knowledge of actual plague conditions in Madagascar.

So, I question, is there canned reporting? Cookie-cutter reporting? Any reporting?

Where are the rogue journalists? Where are the rogue bloggers? Apparently, some needed in Madagascar.

Sources that led to main source used for this blog post:

World Health Organization: Emergencies preparedness,response: Plague – Madagascar: Disease outbreak news: 2 November 2017

World Health Organization Regional Office For Africa: Plague outbreak situation reports

On page linked above you’ll find link to the main source: Plague Outbreak Madagascar External Situation Report 13 – Date of Issue: 27 November 2017 (Note: PDF file)

Consider watching my video Madagascar Plague Update Sporkplode – December 4, 2017:

Best to All!


Pandering Pandemics

Pandering Pandemics

Did you know there is now a “pandemic bond”of interest to certain “investors, asset managers, pension funds and endowments”?

Is the bond pandering pandemics in any way?

Appears to me the “pandemic bond” is an ideal solution for raising funds to handle epidemics and pandemics, but it also appears to be a potential profit-maker for bond holders if crises occur.

Does that creep you out in any way? Does me.

After reading the bond article, I wondered how soon another epidemic or pandemic threat would be announced. Bird flu (various strains), Zika virus and Cholera had been in the headlines for awhile, but I figured some other major disease – possibly resulting in super-catastrophic dead body counts – would emerge . . . and maybe it did:

Madagascar – currently in its “plague season” – is again dealing with bubonic plague.  But this time, the outbreak is deemed more severe, since about 70% of the cases are attributed to ‘pneumonic plague‘ (only form directly transmitted person-to-person and fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics). Coughing, sneezing and spitting can spread pneumonic plague. Symptom onset is within 2-4 days after exposure to the plague’s bacteria. Police are seizing dead victims, since body handling can spread  the plague. So far, the World Health Organization’s risk assessment rates the global spread as low, but air travel is ongoing, with increased screening and tracking of people at the airport.

Feel safe, yet?

Also, Uganda has an outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) – a viral hemorrhagic fever (“clinically similar” to Ebola). Marburg virus can be transmitted human-to-human from direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids and organs. MVD can spread from direct contact with contaminated materials, equipment and surfaces. Symptoms appear 2-21 days after exposure. Case fatality average is 50%, with case fatality ratio of up to 88%. At this time, no “licensed treatment” is available.

Scared yet?

Well, don’t worry,  one bank’s pandemic bond and the same bank’s involvement in “pandemic simulation exercises” (four this past year) should assist and support management of epidemic and pandemic crises.

But still, the thought of pandering pandemics does not bring me much comfort. Does it you?

If interested, watch my Pandering Pandemics Sporkplode video embedded further below:

Anyhoo, attempt to stay healthy,
Patricia Spork

CO2 Hoopla

CO2 Hoopla

If you’re aware of global warming, or should I say ‘climate change’ than you’ve been bombarded by the hoopla of CO2 . . . you know, the consequences of its overabundance. So I found all the hoopla to be ironic when reading a June 21, 2017 article about a “long-term” (”decade-long”) experiment in a U.K. woodland park where “fossil fuel burning” will “measure the forest’s capacity to capture carbon released”.  The CO2 to be pumped in is “nearly 40 percent more” than normal (“levels of CO2 that experts predict will be prevalent in 2050”).

Of course, at the time of reading, I had several questions pop into mind:

  1. Why is the experiment being done in a park, rather than at a super-isolated area, away from people and towns?
  2. Are other parks in U.K. or elsewhere being used to conduct same or similar experiments?
  3. Why so many years needed for this research to obtain results?
  4. How in the world with all the CO2 regulations/limitations – past, present and future – can scientists actually predict there will be a possible 40% CO2 increase by 2050?
  5. Who thought of and agreed to this “decade-long” experiment?
  6. What is the actual purpose for this, in my opinion, nefarious money-grabbing research?
  7. Who’s actually funding this experiment? Taxpayers?
  8. Why pump excessive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere when the need for reductions are constantly being emphasized by climate change activists?
  9. What are possible health threats to the general public at park or near the area?
  10. Are local residents and park visitors aware of this experiment? If so, what do they think about it?

Anyhoo, noticed on 10/8/17 that the article had been updated (Note: Same date and time as original publication.):

“(This version of the June 21 story deletes final paragraph which incorrectly states remaining area is open to public)”

Also on 10/8/17, located article copy containing final paragraph:

“The remainder of the Norbury Park woodland is open to the public and will not be affected by the experiment.”

Apparently, park personnel and public were not aware of the update. See Family Fun Day at Norbury Park (July 8, 2017)

Interestingly, “Norbury Park is a working landscape, with farms and a commercial sawmill” and “large part has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest”. Read about Norbury Park.  On same Web page, in lower right menu, there’s a link to the Norbury Park Visitor Guide and Self-guided Trail leaflet . . . a PDF file you can read, print and download. Both URLs (page and PDF) available on 10/8/17 and 10/13/17.

So, no more hoopla from me . . . for now.

Oh, I take that back. Here’s my CO2 Hoopla Sporkplode:

Oh, my! Now that’s a wacky hoopla gal. LOL!

Take care,

Patricia Spork

Questioning Small Ball Explosions

Say I packed a small plastic ball with cow dung and rigged it to detonate upon non-careful handling, then placed the ball in a shopping bag behind a statue in a public area. A stranger finds the bag, opens it, and gets dung splattered and ball fragment riddled causing an eye injury. Would you say what I did was a “deliberate attack”?

Apparently, this exploding ball incident (possibly student masterminded) is not considered so by one individual.

I think the exploding ball manufacturer was deliberate in personal motivation and had nefarious intentions, unconcerned about consequences resulting to another from ball explosion. So, to me, the injurious incident was a deliberate attack.

I’d like to know more about ball contents, how often the ball explosions occur, and what motivates the students (if they are the culprits) to create these small bombs. Are the explosive incidents occasional pranks or an evolving deadly game?

What is your opinion about exploding balls and their manufacturers?

Questioning Accidental Crossfire

Questioning Accidental Crossfire

On June 10, 2017, read this article and it had me questioning how deaths and wounds resulted from a crossfire “accident”, especially since the gunfire was not from opposing forces.

If you read the article, did a concurring question arise?

I’d like to see further coverage on this incident and the police investigation. Would you?