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

Dead Donkey in a Vein

Dead Donkey in a Vein

Having owned a couple of donkeys throughout the years, I know a little bit about their temperament and how loyal and protective they can be when befriended by human or animal. I believe it was in June that a video surfaced showing a donkey pushed to its death at a zoo in China. I did not watch the video, for it showed the donkey being ravaged by tigers. Live food for the predators.

The donkey video caused public uproar, so much so that a donkey statue was erected in its memory at the zoo. How fitting, huh? A tactless appeasement for the public’s benefit.

On July 4, 2017, I read an article about the donkey statue. Quoted in the article:

“The sign reads: ‘I was born in the country on the farm. I should have grown up to have children and enjoy life on earth. This monument is calling for justice. I died in vein and should be remembered.’”

Notice the word ‘vein’ should be ‘vain’. The article’s headline used ‘vain’, so I wondered if the correct word got lost in translation or whether the writer made an error in word usage.

The donkey statue story caused blood-boiling veins and whirling thoughts (like a weather vane in high wind), so vain self had to sporkplode:

NOTE: You’ll have to sign in and confirm your age to watch video, since I age-restricted it because concerned young child might try to search for (and find) the donkey video mentioned. I don’t think any young child should see donkey as tiger dinner. Yah, I’m weird. Personally, I think too much “live” death is shown on the Internet. Snuff films for the masses.

Snuffing out in my own way now.

Patricia Spork heads to the fridge….


She-Tick Spray to the Rescue (Not Product) – Sporkplode Video

Hey, hey, hey!

Read an interesting article in early July about pest insects and other tiny “critters”. One sentence began with “She”, but most likely should have been ‘The’. Word usage caused a tickling sporkplode. Since a note about that article topped my growing list of blogging material, it’s now the main subject of my first sporkplode video (embedded further below). Oh yah!

Read the article that inspired me.

The video has much to do with ticks. Research tick information.

If the video doesn’t show up through your RSS feed, I may need to change some settings for it to work properly. Too tired now, and will be busy tomorrow, but will check on it within the next few days. If problem with viewing vid in your feed, click here.

Night, folks!


Patricia Spork Update – August 1, 2017


Sorry for being negligent blogging.

I’ve started a video channel: Patricia Spork “sporkplodes”. New at creating and editing videos, so going through the learning process. Published the first video today, an introduction about the channel and me. If you watch the video, you’ll see I’m an ‘ol country bumpkin and not a presentation speaker.

I’ll embed some “sporkplodes” on this blog, which may turn into a vlog. Those videos will be themed for this blog.

If you have any suggestions for services I can use for creating interview podcasts or videos, leave a comment or contact me using the online form.

If you’d like to be interviewed, let me know.

Check with you again later.



When Eight Became Either

Opening sentence to a major news story published July 2, 2017:

“A shootout erupted around 10:30pm on Sunday night in Avignon, southern France, when two gunmen opened fire on a crowd outside the Arrahma mosque leaving either people injured…”

During article read, realized “either” should have been numeral ‘eight’.

No correction as of this date (7/16/17).

What happened to self-editing, especially for the “hook”?

If a writer, consider self-editing, several times, prior to publishing. Readers like me appreciate clean and clear type. Really do!

Either write well – with quality in mind – or eight ball the content. Your shot!



Devastating Derivative

Sometimes when reading news articles I come across a “hidden treasure” of information that, to me, should be a headliner story. Maybe ‘hidden treasure’ is not appropriate terminology, but that’s how I describe a seemingly buried tidbit of a newsworthy topic. Here’s what I consider to be a newsworthy tidbit contained in an article about recent polio cases in Congo:

“Like the Syrian outbreak, the four Congolese cases were caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2, which emerges in areas with only patchy vaccine coverage after being excreted by people who have been vaccinated.”

“Vaccine-derived” caught my attention immediately, as did the mention of “Syrian outbreak”.

About the same time frame of reading that article, I came across reportage of a “mystery polio-like illness” attributed to “a rare virus called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)”. What struck me as quite odd in the article was a child neurologist’s quoted statement:

‘It actually looks just like polio, but that term really freaks out the public-health people,’ he said.”


I encourage research and leave you to your own opinions or conspiracy theorist conclusions.





Inappropriate Thanks

On June 23, 2017 I read an article about Australia taxing banks and noticed, what I believe, to be an inappropriate use of the word “thanks”:

The tax was imposed by South Australia, which is struggling with the country’s highest unemployment rate and thanks the banks should be doing more to pitch in.

I think thanks should be thinks. Do you?

I’m thinking the banks are not thanking Australia. Do ya think?

Me thinks thanks could be thinks by now, but maybe not, since no guarantee editing occurred since read.

Am I skull-banging your thinker? Think so! If so, no thanks needed.

Thinker on….

Varioous the Moose

I’m halfway decent at spelling words, so when reading, some misspelled words ripple my read . A few weeks ago, I saw “varioous”, rather than “various”, used in a sentence. For me, even though mind-rippled, misspelled words fodders creative muse, sometimes causing writer inspiration. The poet in me automatically anchored “varioous” (silent “u”) to “the moose” and compartmentalized it in the ‘ol brain. Later that day, unannounced, the darn compartment opened revealing a rhyme poem entitled Varioous the Moose. I would have preferred a children’s story, but this is all I got:

Varioous the Moose
Ran clumsy and loose
Into Nature’s vine noose
Near nest of wild goose

Blah! Disappointing, to say the least. But, much more could be done with the moose idea. Don’t ya think?

Within day or so after that misspelling noticed, came across “aksi”, rather than “also”. Decided Aksi (acksee) could be a great pet name (picturing Husky dog) or fictional character (stout, lumberman/timberman elf – oooh, apolitical…lumberman/timberman) in fantasy story, so it’s stored in a separate compartment for possible later use. Heck, with all creatives in world, someone may have used Aksi already. Probably so.

Feel free to add to poem or create something new with that moose or Aksi. Share in comments or contribute. Or, keep your creation to yourself and remember who sparked your muse.

I would have shown quoted sentences with the misspells and links to the interesting articles where the misspellings occurred, but by time revisited one, “varioous” had been corrected (congrats to journalist) and the other, well, had so many article pages bookmarked, didn’t want to waste time looking through them, since forgot which article had “aksi”. Working on better way for organizing this type content. Wish me luck!