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

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….