Dolphins – Health Sentinels
The brains of dead dolphins recently found stranded on the beaches of Florida and Massachusetts contained the same amyloid plaques responsible for Alzheimer’s disease in humans, along with toxic contamination.
Researchers from the University of Miami and other institutions detected an environmental toxin in the brains of the marine mammals that is produced by green algae blooms, which are becoming more common in coastal waters worldwide because of pollution runoff.
Since the dolphins are considered a “sentinel species” for toxic exposure in the ocean, the scientists warn that the toxins from the algae could be triggering the same plaque buildup and contamination in human brains.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
From 1 through 28 February 2019, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 68 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 10 deaths.
Ebola – DR Congo – Update
The ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces saw a rise in the number of new cases this past week. During the last 21 days (6 – 26 March), a total of 125 new cases were reported.
Cholera – Mozambique
Cholera cases in Mozambique among survivors of a devastating cyclone have shot up to 139, officials said, as nearly 1 million vaccine doses were rushed to the region and health workers desperately tried to improvise treatment space for victims. Cholera causes acute diarrhea, is spread by contaminated food and water and can kill within hours if not treated. The disease is a major concern for the hundreds of thousands of cyclone survivors in the southern African nation now living in squalid conditions in camps, schools or damaged homes.