News That Matters

Tag: deadly

Two cases of deadly diphtheria detected in Lothian area

Two cases of deadly diphtheria detected in Lothian area

Health
Two people are being treated in Scotland for the potentially deadly diphtheria infection.NHS Lothian has confirmed the two cases are related and both patients are thought to be in hospital in Edinburgh.The health board said those involved had recently returned from overseas.Public health experts said the likelihood of any additional cases was very small, as most people were protected by immunisation given in childhood. In Lothian, 98% of children are vaccinated against diphtheria by the age of 24 months.Alison McCallum, director of public health for NHS Lothian, said: "All close contacts of these patients have been identified, contacted and followed up in line with nationally agreed guidelines. "We encourage people travelling ab...
Climate change: Sea ice loss linked to spread of deadly virus

Climate change: Sea ice loss linked to spread of deadly virus

Science
The decline in sea ice seen in the Arctic in recent decades has been linked by scientists to the spread of a deadly virus in marine mammals. Researchers found that Phocine distemper virus (PDV) had spread from animals in the North Atlantic to populations in the North Pacific.The scientists say the spread of pathogens could become more common as ice declines further.The 15-year study tracked seals, sea lions and otters via satellite. The loss of sea ice in the Arctic has been one of the most visible signs of climate change on the planet over the past four decades. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the ice has been retreating by around 12% per decade between 1979 and 2018."These sea ice changes in Septembe...
Tsunamis linked to spread of deadly fungal disease

Tsunamis linked to spread of deadly fungal disease

Science
A major earthquake in Alaska in 1964 triggered tsunamis that washed ashore a deadly tropical fungus, scientists say. Researchers believe it then evolved to survive in the coasts and forest of the Pacific Northwest.More than 300 people have been infected with the pneumonia-like cryptococcosis since the first case was discovered in the region in 1999, about 10% fatally. If true the theory, published in the journal mBio, has implications for other areas hit by tsunamis. Cryptococcus gattii is a fungal pathogen that mainly appears in the warmer regions of the world such as Australia, Papua New Guinea and in parts of Europe, Africa and South America, namely Brazil.Researchers have theorised that it has moved around the world via the b...