Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Mass Casualties After Gunman Opens Fire

At least 50 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning.

The shooter, identified by several law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement after a three-hour siege.

The massacre — the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States — began when the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m. ET with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun, officials said.

CLICK HERE - Tampa Bay Times - LIVE - BREAKING COVERAGE OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

CLICK HERE - NBC News

CLICK HERE - CNN - LIVE Blog

CLICK HERE - CNN - Timeline of Orlando nightclub shooting

CLICK HERE - The New York Times - Mass Shooting at Pulse Florida Nightclub: Live Updates

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U.S. to Send Rapid-Response Teams When Zika Hits Here

           

A mosquito is seen under a microscope at the Los Angeles County Vector Control District. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - June 10, 2016

U.S. health officials plan to send a rapid-response team to any community on the mainland and in Hawaii where the mosquito-borne Zika virus begins to be transmitted locally — even if only a single case of infection is confirmed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is prepared to deploy experts to help state and local authorities in monitoring cases, performing laboratory tests and increasing mosquito control as part of a multilevel response plan. The teams of 10-15 people will go only if invited by the state.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Officials Preparing for Zika Virus to Spread in the U.S.

 

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A mysterious mental health disorder is afflicting Bhutanese refugees in America

Tek Mishra.

Image: Tek Mishra.

fusion.net - June 16th 2016 - Casey Tolan

When Tek Mishra visits the homes of the community’s older Bhutanese refugees, he gets a firsthand look at mental health issues usually hidden behind closed doors.

Sometimes it’s pain that runs through their body like a current. Or they’re paralyzed with fear of a new culture they don’t understand.

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27,000 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells in Gulf of Mexico Ignored by Government, Industry

An older nearshore wellhead is shown off the coast of California in this undated photo. In state waters, California has resealed scores of its abandoned wells since the 1980s, but in federal waters, the official policy is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Neither industry nor government checks for leaks at the more than 27,000 oil and gas wells abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1940s. Abandoned wells are known sometimes to fail both on land and offshore. It happens so often that a technical term has been coined for the repair job: "re-abandonment."  Photo: California State Lands Commission / The Associated Press

nola.com - Associated Press - July 7, 2010

More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one -- not industry, not government -- is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.

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Sierra Leone: 'Water Shortage May Lead to Cholera'

Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Madina Rahman, has said that the current water crisis in Freetown and its environs might cause a cholera outbreak and other water borne diseases.

"Because of the areas where people go to fetch water, I am worried that we may experience water borne diseases," she noted.

Madam Rahman was updating newsmen last Thursday at a presser held at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi building in Freetown.

She said the country was challenged by acute water shortage and that she was worried there could be a serious disease outbreak because people collect drinking water from unprotected sources without boiling or filtering.

She said about 1.8 million people die from cholera and other water borne diseases annually around the world, adding that it was a concern for the government.

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Mysterious Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Stumps Disease Detectives in South Sudan

                                             

CLICK HERE - WHO - Disease Outbreak News - Haemorrhagic fever syndrome – South Sudan - 19 May 2016

npr.org - Michaeleen Doucleff - May 31, 2016

The last time, we heard about a "mysterious hemorrhagic fever" in a country, it was February 2014. The outbreak was in Guinea. And by the time doctors had pinpointed the culprit, Ebola was spiraling out of control in West Africa.

The situation in South Sudan today is a far cry from that in West Africa a few years ago. But it's still concerning, the World Health Organization said.

So far, there have been 51 cases — including 10 deaths — from an unknown disease in the northern part of South Sudan. The main symptoms of the disease are similar to those seen with Ebola: unexplained bleeding, fever, fatigue, headache and vomiting.

But the culprit definitely isn't Ebola.

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How Zika Virus Is Passed From Mother To Baby

Zika virus particles (red) under a microscope (Image by NIAID)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Zika Virus Infects Human Placental Macrophages

forbes.com - by J. V. Chamary - May 30, 2016

While the Zika virus often causes disease without symptoms in adults, it has become notorious for its link to microcephaly — a birth defect where infants have an abnormally small head.

Women infected with Zika can transmit it to their unborn child during pregnancy, but precisely how this happens has remained a mystery. Scientists have now revealed one potential route.

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WHO Experts Say Zika May Cause Birth Defects in Thousands of Babies

                                                  

CLICK HERE - WHO - Defining the syndrome associated with congenital Zika virus infection

who.int - reuters.com - by Bill Berkrot - June 3, 2016

World Health Organization officials on Friday cautioned that "many thousands" of infants infected with Zika virus could suffer neurological abnormalities and said nations dealing with an outbreak need to watch for problems beyond the widely reported cases of microcephaly.

These include spasticity, seizures, irritability, feeding difficulties, eyesight problems and evidence of severe brain abnormalities.

Health officials had previously concluded that Zika infection in pregnant women was a cause of microcephaly in babies, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small heads and potentially severe developmental problems. They now believe the range of potential neurological problems in infants could be much wider.

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WHO Emergency Panel to Meet in June on Zika and Olympics: Spokeswoman

           

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are displayed at an exhibition on Jan. 28 in Brazil. The mosquitoes can be carriers of the Zika virus.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

reuters.com - by STEPHANIE NEBEHAY and BILL BERKROT - June 3, 2016

With debate growing over the safety of holding the Olympics in Brazil amid the ongoing Zika virus outbreak, the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee on Zika will meet in the coming weeks to evaluate the risks tied to going on with the Games in August, a WHO spokeswoman said on Friday.

"The Emergency Committee meeting will consider the situation in Brazil, including the question of the Olympics," WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander told Reuters in response to a query.

WHO makes risk assessments of a public health issue and it would be up to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to decide on holding the event in Rio de Janeiro, due to start on Aug. 5, she said.

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DSHS Announces First Texas-Acquired Chikungunya Case

                          

dshs.state.tx.us - May 31, 2016

Recently reported case contracted in 2015 

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the first locally acquired case of chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness. A Cameron County resident got sick with the illness in November 2015 and was diagnosed with a lab test in January 2016. The case, however, was not reported to the local health department until last month. The investigation performed by the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services determined the patient had not traveled, and the case was confirmed last week by testing at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chikungunya disease is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes and was first detected in travelers returning to Texas from areas with local transmission in 2014. All previous Texas residents who contracted the illness were infected while traveling abroad. Because this case was contracted more than six months ago and mosquito surveillance has not found chikungunya in local mosquitoes, the primary risk of infection remains related to travel. DSHS encourages people to protect themselves from mosquito bites at home and while traveling to stop the spread of chikungunya, Zika and West Nile virus.

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World Health Organization Declares End of Ebola Virus in Guinea

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Republic of Guinea Ebola-free today.

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New Anesthesia Machine Could Improve Surgeries in Sierra Leone

BO, SIERRA LEONE—

Yatta Lahai and Fatama Alieu — two 30-year-old women in Sierra Leone — are waiting to have surgery that will restore their self-respect.

Both women have fistula, a condition caused by prolonged obstructed labor that leaves a woman unable to control her urine, feces or both.

Lahai says she lost her husband and the rest of her family because of the condition. Alieu says she avoids going out in public because of the embarrassment.

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NJADO Awards Scholarships to Ebola Orphans

The Njaluahun Development Organization (NJADO) on Friday 27th May 2016 awarded scholarships to 54 Ebola orphans in Segbwema Town, Njaluahun Chiefdom Kailahun District. The ceremony was held at the Segbwema Community Center. The scholarships which is estimated around two thousand United States Dollars is offered to improve the educational standards of the pupils whose parents/guardians died during the course of the Ebola scourge. Donation of special text books to 18 schools in Segbwema also formed part of the scholarship award.

In his opening statement, the Chairman of Ceremony, John Jauna who doubles as Lecturer of Njala University College, Bo Campus said the Ebola situation was rather unfortunate and therefore NJADO is in solidarity with the prevailing circumstances that led to the demise of many compatriots. He said one way anybody can help now is to give support to the victims. According to him, Njaluahun has many prominent people, but just few of them, including those in Diaspora decided to establish NJADO with the aim of give their unreserved support to Njaluahun.  

 

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Zika in the U.S.: Can We Manage the Risk?

wilsoncenter.org - May 24, 2016

On May 24, representatives from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Google joined a conversation with NPR Global Health and Development Correspondent Jason Beaubien to give an update on how the United States is managing Zika virus disease.

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4 reasons we're seeing more infectious disease outbreaks around the world

MERS, H1N1, swine flu, chikungunya, Zika: Another virus with a peculiar name always seems to be right around the corner, threatening to become a pandemic.

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