Home | Up one level | Previous | Next

Influenza 1918, A Venus Connection?
Global Developments: Spring - Summer 2001

Shade Tree Physics

Installed on 3 April 2001 - Latest update 26 Dec 2016
Changes or additions are in bold.

Three of the four influenza pandemics in the twentieth century had onsets that followed Venus inferior conjunctions by 30 to 60 days. (Venus comes around every 584 days.) The onset delay of the 1957-1958 pandemic is not so well-resolved, but the upper limit is on the order of 210 days.
(See Sunspot Activity, Venus Inferior Conjunctions, and Biological Events.)

In 1963 Donald Barber, at the Norman Lockyer Observatory at Sidmouth England, speculated that his invading bacteria actually originated in the upper atmosphere of Venus.(1)   Hoyle's colleagues(2) think their recently captured high-altitude bacteria are from outer space but offer the alternative possibility that the bacteria might be living in Earth's upper atmosphere and get diffused to the surface under the right conditions. In the case in point solar wind perturbations or turbulence associated with Venus inferior conjunctions might produce the atmospheric mobility mechanism. Barber identified two precursors to his bacterial invasions, (a) a Venus inferior conjunction accompanied by (b) a strong geomagnetic storm.

At 1015 Universal Time (UT) on 29 March 2001 the sun produced an intense X-class Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) which gobbled up a lesser CME from the day before and reached Earth at 0100 UT on 31 March. At approximately 0400 UT 30 March (on the day in-between) Venus passed through inferior conjunction.

It wouldn't, of course, be prudent to make predictions about what this combination of events might lead to, some 30 to 60 days from March 30. On the other hand, if really out-of-the-ordinary viral (not necessarily influenza) and/or bacterial outbreaks do occur in pockets around the globe during that timeframe, then we might opt to examine the Venus connection hypothesis more closely.


Readers may review recent or weekly influenza summaries at the following websites.

U.S.A.

    FluWatch.com (National Influenza Surveillance Network)
        [This network, formerly serving from Oklahoma City, OK, has been replaced by a commercial domain-filler page .]
    Flu Activity and Surveillance (Centers for Disease Control).

World wide:

    FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO) - [The service at this site is now the WHO Global Atlas of Infectious Diseases.]
    Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (CSR) World Health Organization

Europe :

    France - Sentiweb (Sentinelles) Weekly Reports
    United Kingdom - Public Health Laboratory Service
    European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN).

    Belgium - Scientific Institute of Public Health - English, French, Dutch

Canada:

    FluWatch 2016-2017 - (Population and Public Health Branch)

Africa:

    http://www.flu.co.za/ flu.co.za - A practical approach to colds &flu. [2001 influenza info no longer at this site.]

Top


(The following section title and three paragraphs were installed on 8 May 2001. There was a slight revision on 20 May followed by an improvement in "flow" on 5 July 2001.)

Open plea to readers, physicians and epidemiologists.

For about two weeks, starting on April 13, 2001 (14 days following the 30 March Venus inferior conjunction) many of my co-workers and members of their families (toddlers through adults) experienced rapidly spreading illnesses characterized by intense stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting accompanied by extreme exhaustion. Most of these people toughed it out and did not seek medical attention. (Geographically I'm referring to the Columbus, Mississippi area in the U.S.A.) These symptoms might be considered as evidence of some "not necessarily influenza" maladies suggested in the 3 April entry above, but they started two and a half weeks early, at least according to my non-prediction prediction. I am not privy as to whether or not there were similar problems occurring in other parts of the United States (or the world) at about the same time.

Please recall that the initial outbreaks of the 1918-1919 influenza occurred in the spring of 1918 (30 days following a Venus inferior conjunction) and were relatively mild, mortality-wise. In the fall of 1918 a second wave hit with a vengeance. It was as though the virus took a few months to be modified into its deadly form. People who got the early version were immune to the later deadly form. See Chapter 3 of Gina Kolata's book Flu(3). (Reference (1) was added on 8 August 2001 in response to a reader's inquiry..) (The phrase "be modified" was used to replace the words "mutate (reassort)" on 13 April 2002.)

It might be wise to make special efforts to obtain appropriate samples from people experiencing these currently ongoing illnesses to determine if the "causal agents" are recognizable terrestrial baddies. If they are not then now would be a good time to start preparing vaccines for a potential second wave.

* * *

Top

Chronological List of Current Influenza Related Stories/Reports

This list was started on 22 April 2001. Newspaper and wire services extracts were begun on 5 July 2001. References to the on-line resource LEXIS-NEXIS® Academic Universe are indicated by the abbreviation LNAU.

Saturday 14 April 2001
Financial Times Information - Global News Wire
Pakistan
Influenza from a new form of flu virus is spreading in the Pakistan seaport city of Karachi. Throat ailments and tonsils infections noted in particular. (LNAU - Medical. - Search Term: flu)

22 - 28 April 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile - First seasonal report of Sporadic Influenza Like Illnesses

[Northern hemisphere readers please recall that May in the Southern hemisphere is like November in the Northern hemisphere.]

29 April - 5 May 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
New Zealand - First seasonal report of Sporadic Influenza Like Illnesses

05 May 2001
United States
First cases in 2001 of West Nile Virus (in birds) are reported in Connecticut and Maryland.
USGS Center for Integration of Natural Disaster Information (CINDI) - 4 March 2001.
(This entry was added on 11 August 2002.)

Sunday 6 May 2001
The Edmonton Sun
Calgary, Alberta - Canada
Mystery illness spreads from school children to family members. 179 students and staff at Elizabeth Barrett elementary school in Calgary became suddenly sick on Wednesday 2 May with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.Lightning-fast stomach flu was believed to be blame. City water system ruled out as source. Diarrhea generally lasts 24 hours. (LNAU - World News - Search Term: influenza - 29 May 2002.)

Monday 7 May 2001 - This article was replaced on 29 May 2002 by an expanded summary with a dateline of 11 May 2001.

Tuesday 8 May 2001
South Africa's Flu Alert
Influenza isolates have been made at the National Institute for Virology since the middle of April. Both influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses are circulating in South Africa. The influenza activity is unusually early this year as the flu season most frequently only begins in May.

Top

10 - 13 May 2001
Kazakhstan
Information received via personal e-mail on 16 May.
On May 10-13th the television of Alma-Ata reported that an epidemic of an unidentified influenza has passed. The illness starts with a cough, a high temperature runs and dyspnea [difficult or labored breathing] develops. The illness is treated badly by conventional drugs. Also it is not treated by antibiotics. Children are sick more often [than adults].
[I have yet to find a news wire reference to this.]

Friday 11 May 2001
St. John's Telegram
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada
Community struggles to cope with cryptosporidium parasites that have crippled 52 residents and 74 visitors with cramps and diarrhea and have shut down businesses. Most residents thought they had been having a bout with the flu. Outbreak occurred just before Easter (which was April 15th). Questions as to how water supply became contaminated and why it took so long to have the problem identified are widespread. (LNAU - World News - Search Term: influenza. - 29 May 2002)

13 - 19 May 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile - Upgraded from Sporadic to Local Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses

Tuesday 15 May 2001
Flu Alert
South Africa
Influenza isolates have been made at the National Institute for Virology since the middle of April. Both influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses are circulating in South Africa. Influenza activity is sporadic at this stage. (See the 21 May entry below.)

Thursday 17 May 2001
China
Isolation of influenza A(H5N1) virus in poultry in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of China
- "No human cases of H5N1 virus have been detected. The strains isolated from the birds differ genetically from the H5N1 virus which caused human disease in 1997."

Thursday 17 May 2001
The Pacific Dust Express - NASA
North America has been sprinkled with a dash of Asia! A dust cloud from China crossed the Pacific Ocean recently and rained Asian dust from Alaska to Florida.
While much of the dust cloud remains over the Pacific Ocean, the leading edge has reached as far east as the American Midwest by April 13.
[April 13 was the date that the rash of "digestive system" problems began occurring near Columbus, Mississippi, U.S.A. I offer the suggestion that the settling Asian dust particles may have been responsible for the arrival of the stomach bugs, regardless of their ultimate origin. It will be interesting to find out whether or not similar illnesses began occurring geographically between the U.S. West coast and the central U.S. a day or so before April 13th.]

20 - 26 May 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
New Zealand - Upgraded from Sporadic to Local Oubreak for Influenza Like Illnesses

Monday 21 May 2001
Note from the Director of South Africa's National Institute of Virology.
Despite what the [South Africa] Flu Alert may say there is no influenza activity in our region that we are aware of at present. The few isolates that were made do not represent circulation of virus and other monitoring parameters of influenza have not revealed any influenza activity as yet.

Wednesday 23 May 2001
Financial Times Information - Global News Wire - Adrianus Hiyung Tjung
Indonesia
A Jakarta Indonesia writer describes the plight of "a lot of people" that are being infected by cold and flu viruses. The viruses seem to circulate from person to person and back again. "They won't go away."
(LNAU - Medical. - Search Term: flu) [For things that won't go away see the graphical summaries and comments that start on 29 May 2002 on the Influenza A(H1N2) page. Added 29 June 2002.]

Friday 25 May 2001
Note to readers
The non-circulation aspect of the South African influenza isolates (21 May entry above) is consistent with Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's hypothesis that influenza arriving from extraterrestrial sources tends to get deposited in more-or-less localized patches and does not spread easily from person to person. See The Dilemma of Influenza.

Friday 25 May 2001
AAP Information Services Pt. Ltd. AAP Newsfeed - Nadine Rofail
Australia
Thousands of Australians are being hit by winter viruses whose flu-like symptoms last about ten days but the illnesses are not properly described as influenza.
(LNAU - Wires - Search Term: influenza)

27 May - 2 June 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile - Upgraded from Local Outbreak to Regional Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses.
New Zealand - Upgraded from Local Outbreak to Regional Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses.

Monday 28 May 2001
AAP Information Services Pty. Ltd. AAP Newsfeed - Rada Rouse
Australia
Flu like illnesses (para-influenza viruses) are taking their toll in Australia. WHO representative says that there's no evidence of any strains which are not covered in this year's vaccine.

Top

3 - 9 June 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile - Upgraded from Regional Outbreak to Widespread Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses.
[Activity remained at this level through the week of 24 - 30 June 2001.]

Friday 8 June 2001
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Report
Acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome in Kosovo
[Haemorrhagic fever is similar to the final stages of the 1918 influenza.]
The WHO Office in Kosovo has reported 27 cases and 4 deaths between 18 May and 7 June 2001 in the south-western area. ...
[Haemorrhagic fever was a real problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina between December 1994 and May 1995. Venus passed through inferior conjunction on or about 5 November 1994.]

Monday 11 June 2001
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Report
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Kosovo - Update
The etiology of the disease reported on 8 June has now been laboratory confirmed as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). The WHO Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research in Ljubljana, Slovenia, . . . reported to WHO on 9 June that multiple samples received late on 8 June were positive when tested by PCR and anti-CCHF virus IgM assays. . . .
See WHO's Fact Sheet on Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever.

Thursday 14 June 2001
U. S. Geological Survey News Release
Microbes and the dust they ride in on pose potential health risks
Potentially hazardous bacteria and fungi catch a free ride across the Atlantic, courtesy of North African dust plumes. Government researchers who made the discovery believe the stowaway microbes might pose a health risk to people in the western Atlantic region.

Thursday 14 June 2001
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Report
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Kosovo - Update 2
To date, 44 case alerts have been notified ... 12 have been confirmed

Monday 18 June 2001
Mobile Homes for Microbes Science at NASA
African dust that crosses the Atlantic and brings beautiful sunsets to Florida also carries potentially harmful bacteria and fungi, a new study shows.

Wednesday 20 June 2001
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Report
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Kosovo - Update 4
"For the period 18-19 June, 3 new suspected cases were registered. From May 18, 2001 to June 19, 2001, 57 suspected CCHF cases were registered, out of which 4 have died. . . ."

The following link was added on 24 March 2002.

Summary of Selected disease events: April - June 2001. This document was published on 1 July 2001 by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Center for Emerging Issues. [This report is semi-retired. To find it, search for "Summary of Selected disease events April - June". Go to one of the currently available pages, then in your browser "go to" window change the year to 2001 and click on that link.]

References to the on-line resource LEXIS-NEXIS® Academic Universe are indicated by the abbreviation LNAU.

Thursday 21 June 2001
Xinhua News Agency
New Zealand

Flu sweeping through New Zealand's North Island.
Influenza approaching epidemic levels (400 cases per 100,000 people in Bay of Plenty).
(LNAU - Wires: Search Term: influenza)

Friday 22 June 2001
The New Zealand Herald
Current Headlines
New Zealand

Flu Epidemic Looms in North Island
Health officials say the East coast of the North Island is on the verge of an influenza epidemic and they say the virus may be on the move.
The number of people suffering flu in some regions is 10 times higher than normal.

Friday 22 June 2001
Financial Times Information - Global News Wire
Pakistan

Flu Spreads in Karachi
A flu virus is still making the rounds in Pakistan seaport city.
(LNAU - Medical: Search Term: flu)

Monday 25 June 2001
Sentiweb Weekly Report - Week 2001-25 - From June 18 till June 24, 2001
France

FLU-LIKE SYNDROMES : FLOOR ACTIVITY Weekly incidence is of 7 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, very next size down the epidemic threshold (60 cases for 100 000 inhabitants), what is usual at this time of year. This week, the threshold of epidemic activity is exceeded in 1 only region: Franche-Comté ( 94 ).

Tuesday 26 June 2001
New Zealand Herald - Feature - Health
By Monique Devereux Health Reporter

Wards jammed by flu victims
A flu outbreak sweeping the country is putting severe strain on the public hospital system.
In the past week the number of reported flu cases has doubled.
Go to:

Tuesday 26 June 2001
NASA Science News

All the World's a Stage... for Dust
Story includes movies of an African dust cloud blowing westward to North America in June. It also addresses questions like: Where does topsoil for Caribbean islands come from? And, are sneezes in Florida triggered by allergens from other continents?
See: Meet Conan the Bacterium NASA Space Science News - December 14, 1999

Wednesday 27 June 2001
Financial Times Information and the New Zealand Press Association New Zealand

Wellington braces for a raging flu outbreak spreading South
Current infection rate is considerably higher than for same time last year. Some Aukland hospitals [290 miles north of Wellington] are postponing operations. In some cases overflow influenza patients are being cared for in corridors.
(LNAU - Wires: Search Term: influenza)
[New Zealand is in its southern hemisphere winter flu season.]

Friday 29 June 2001
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Report
Kosovo

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Kosovo - Update 5
"As of 26 June, WHO has reported 69 suspected cases, out of which six have died. . . ."

24 - 30 June 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
New Zealand
- Upgraded from Regional Outbreak to Widespread Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses

Top

Sunday 1 July 2001
Associated Press AP Online - Randolph Schmid
Africa-United States

African dust brings germs, fungi across the Atlantic
Story is based on a telephonic interview with Dale Griffin, principal investigator, mentioned in the June 14 news release above. Readers are referred to an article on this research in the June 2001 issue of the journal Aerobiologia. Actually it is scheduled to appear in the September issue.

(LNAU - Wires: Search Terms: bacteria, africa)
The Lexis-Nexus® searches for this page were begun in finding the full text of this story. Thanks to Bob and Brenda Groves of Starkville, MS for calling this article to my attention.

Monday 2 July 2001
Associated Press - AP Online Alberta Canada

Bacteria blamed for Golfer's death.
A story filed in Edmonton, Alberta describes the rapid onset of an illness that claimed the life of professional golfer Lewis Chitengwa, a native of Zimbabwe. A meningococcus bacteria is the prime suspect but the picture is not clear.
(LNAU - Wires: Search Terms: bacteria, africa)

Wednesday 4 July 2001
Arizona, U.S.A.

Barbara Boelter of Jerome, Arizona (about 50 miles southwest of Flagstaff) writes:
(Many people in the local area) have been suffering from recurrent bouts with some kind of flu for around 6 weeks now. It is characterized by abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headaches, weakness, & lightheadedness. You think you're over it for a few days, then it happens again. [Six weeks ago would be about 23 May. RSF]
One thing that seems to help is dosing up with Echinacea, Goldenseal, & Olive Leaf, herbs available in capsule form at health food stores. The Olive Leaf in particular seems to fight viruses somehow.

Wednesday 4 July 2001
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
Idaho, U.S.A.

Trail volunteers stricken by mysterious disease
Sixteen out-of-state summer program volunteers at Dinosaur National Monument were medically examined for flu-like symptoms. Eight were hospitalized. Fungal pneumonia is suspected cause. Utah and Colorado volunteers were not affected.
(LNAU - Wires - Search Terms: flu, dust)

Thursday 5 July 2001
Agence France Presse

Singapore issues New Zealand [influenza] travel warning.
Readers are warned to watch out for pneumonia following influenza.
(LNAU - Wires - Search Term: influenza)

1 - 7 July 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile
- Downgraded from Widespread Outbreak to Local Outbreak for Influenza Like Illnesses.
New Zealand - No report - Influenza Like Illnesses.

Tuesday 10 July 2001
Sentiweb Weekly Report - Week 2001-27 - From July 2 till July 8, 2001
France
- No report on weekly activity.

Wednesday 11 July 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida 32168 (East coast, Daytona Beach area)
Placed on Watch status

Thursday 12 July 2001
WHO - Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response

Influenza Activity During 2000-2001 Season
Spain - The National Centre for Epidemiology, Spain, has reported a total of 470 cases of suspected legionellosis in Murcia. One-hundred-seventy-eight of these cases have been laboratory confirmed, and the first case was hospitalized on 1 July. One patient, a 65-year-old male, has died. No cases have been reported among tourists.

Friday 13 July 2001
FluAlert
South Africa

Influenza activity in South Africa: 2001 season
Since the beginning of June, the influenza activity in South Africa has steadily been increasing. Both influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B viruses have been isolated at the National Institute for Virology. The influenza A isolates are similar to the A/Panama/2007/99 H3N2 strain in the vaccine and the influenza B isolates are closely related to the B/Johannesburg/5/99 vaccine.

8 - 14 July 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)
Chile
- No report - Influenza Like Illnesses.
New Zealand - No report - Influenza Like Illnesses.
[No further reports for Chile and New Zealand thru 4 August 2001.]

Saturday 14 July 2001
WHO - Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response (CSR)
Influenza Activity from During 2000-2001 Season

The summary for October 2000 thru February 2001 (5 months) was done in 87 words. No countries were mentioned by name and the overall global picture was "mild to moderate."

The summary for March 2001 thru July 2001 (5 months) took 290 words. Sporadic activity was reported to have continued in 22 Northern hemisphere countries. Six Southern hemisphere countries (winter season) were mentioned. Chile was listed as having reached the widespread activity level in June but New Zealand's widespread level, which was identified in the WHO 24 -30 June FluNet, update was not mentioned

Tuesday 17 July 2001
Sentiweb Weekly Report - Week 2001-28 - From July 9 till July 15, 2001
France

CHICKEN POX: EPIDEMIC ACTIVITY Weekly incidence is of 32 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, over the epidemic threshold (28 cases for 100 000 inhabitants) for the second consecutive week. In metropolitan France, 5 areas present an activity superior to the national epidemic threshold: Languedoc - Roussillon ( 110 ), Bretagne ( 96 ), Aquitaine ( 38 ), Alsace ( 35 ), Pays-de-la-Loire ( 34 ).
[This level is up from the 20 cases per 100 000 reported two weeks ago (week 26). There were no weekly incidence reports last week (week 27).]
ACUTE DIARRHEAS: WEAK ACTIVITY Weekly incidence is of 134 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, next size down the epidemic threshold (166 cases for 100 000 inhabitants). This week, the threshold of epidemic activity is exceeded in one area only: Bretagne ( 192 ).
[The last time diarrheas were reported on was for 18-24 June (week 25) when there were 74 cases per 100 000 inhabitants.}

Top

Tuesday 17 July 2001
Columbus, Mississippi

Bruce Kite, of Columbus, suggests that when thinking about desert dust storms maybe we should consider the dielectric properties of the silicates of sand and their interactions with terrestrial electrical charge variations brought about by solar storms. (Electrical forces may provide a lifting mechanism involved in dust storm generation.) He suggests that deserts may serve as reservoirs of "hibernating" biotic forms which can activate after being transported to more habitable environments. He posits that perhaps the dust storms that have recently kicked up on Mars may have been triggered by (electrical) solar wind perturbations.
(This item was installed in this sequence on 2 August 2001. See the associated entry for 1 August below.)

Wednesday 18 July 2001
The New Zealand Herald - Sports News
Brisbane

A rugby league veteran, Wally Lewis, who had been struggling with influenza for the past week, appeared confused (he could not complete his sentences) while introducing a sports story on television.

Friday 20 July 2001
The Associated Press
Hauppage, New York

West Nile Found in Birds
Two crows were found with the West Nile Virus in Long Island between June 29 and July 9.
Newsday.com - Health/Science. (Link doesn't work so good.) [Two references dealing with September 1999 as the earliest findings of WNV in the United States have been removed.
See: West Nile Virus.]

Friday 20 July 2001
FluWatch.com
(Vanilla Version)
Washington (AP)
D.C. Bird Had West Nile Virus
Virus was detected in a crow's carcass found on 10 July in a residential neighborhood.
[Click on media, then on articles.]

Monday 23 July 2001
Sentiweb Weekly Report - Week 2001-29 - From July 16 till July 22, 2001
France

CHICKEN POX: DECLINE OF THE ACTIVITY Weekly incidence is of 23 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, below the epidemic threshold (26 cases for 100 000 inhabitants). In metropolitan France, 4 areas present an activity superior to the national epidemic threshold: Languedoc - Roussillon ( 141 ), Rhône - Alpes ( 94 ), Nord-Pas-de-Calais ( 64 ), Pays-de-la-Loire ( 31 ).
ACUTE DIARRHEAS: ACTIVITY OF SEASON Weekly incidence is of 120 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, next size down the epidemic threshold (169 cases for 100 000 inhabitants). This week, the threshold of epidemic activity is exceeded in 1 only area : Nord-Pas-de-Calais ( 319 ).

Monday 23 July 2001
Boston Mass, USA
Shark terrorizes tourists: Beast batters boat, bites bass off fishing line
BostonHerald.com - Local and Regional News

[The reason that a number of shark and whale incidents are being included in this summary is because mental confusion and abnormal behavior are sometimes symptoms of influenza. Seals are known to suffer influenza epidemics. Seals, porpoises, dolphins and some species of whales are known to suffer viral respiratory (morbillivirus) illnesses which are related to human measles (rubeola) and canine distemper. Perhaps gilled aquatic animals (including sharks) are subject to viral diseases which produce symptoms (including mental confusion) similar to those caused by influenza and morbilliviruses. For a limited number of recent studies on aquatic respiratory viral illnesses see the recommended reading list at the end of this page.]

Wednesday 25 July 2001
FluAlert
South Africa

Influenza activity in South Africa: 2001 season
All three types of influenza virus are now circulating in South Africa - Since the beginning of June, the influenza activity in South Africa has steadily been increasing. Both influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses have been isolated at the National Institute for Virology. The influenza A isolates are similar to the A/Panama/2007/99 H3N2 strain in the vaccine and the influenza B isolates are closely related to the B/Johannesburg/5/99 vaccine strain. In July more influenza A H3N2 viruses were isolated than influenza B viruses. The first influenza A H1N1 virus was identified on 23 July.

Friday 27 July 2001
Press Release - World Health Organization

WHO PLANS NEW FIGHT AGAINST FLU
WHO is developing a Global Agenda on Influenza. A call is made to all those involved in monitoring, treating or studying outbreaks to identify problems and propose ways to address them.
See: http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2001/en/pr2001-36.html - Press Release WHO/36. [Link no longer works 25 Dec 2016.]

Thursday 31 July 2001
Victoria, British Columbia

Whale Altercation Lands Trio Boatload Of Trouble Angry killer whale rams seven meter power boat.
http://www.tvforbc.com/bc/news/stories/news-89730320010731-100739.html [Link no longer works. 2 August 2002.]

Wednesday 1 August 2001
Page reviewer comments furnished by e-mail
Amy Acheson - Seattle, Washington

... I may have noticed it because of the coincidence that it happened the day after I read your webpage. APOD (astronomy picture of the day) did a special about this month's Martian dust storm, which began June 17th in the southern hemisphere of Mars and slowly spread to all of Mars. I noticed this because in the caption they bemoan the fact that "the timing of the storm has hidden the Red Planet's surface from view during its period of close approach to planet Earth." I looked up the orbits and find that Mars is currently in the "above the ecliptic" stage of its orbit. This fits in with what I was wondering -- is the dust storm on Mars triggered by the Earth's magnetosphere at closest approach? [Earth was at inferior conjunction with Mars on 13 June.]
See: APOD 2001 27 July . Martian Dust Storm

Wednesday 1 August 2001
Sentiweb Weekly Report - Week 2001-30 - From July 23 till July 29, 2001
France
Results of the telematic surveillance of communicable diseases in France:
CHICKEN POX: STRONG ACTIVITY Weekly incidence is of 26 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, close to the epidemic threshold (25 cases for 100 000 inhabitants).
In metropolitan France, 3 areas present an activity superior to the national epidemic threshold: Haute Normandie ( 83 ), Pays-de-la-Loire ( 62 ), Alsace ( 42 ).
ACUTE DIARRHEAS: ACTIVITY OF SEASON Weekly incidence is of 108 cases for 100 000 inhabitants, next size down the epidemic threshold (170 cases for 100 000 inhabitants).
This week, the threshold of epidemic activity is exceeded in 1 only region: Languedoc - Roussillon ( 277 ).
Because of computer problems and holidays, few doctors connected this week. http://www.b3e.jussieu.fr/sentiweb/en/bulletins/sentiweb-hebdo/index.html" - [Link no longer works.]

Thursday 2 August 2001
Yahoo! News
KITV TheHawaiiChannel.com

'Flu' Plagues Hawaii
Local hospitals and doctors report there is a nasty virus making the rounds in Honolulu. ...
Experts say it's not the flu. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/kitv/20010802/lo/874998_1.html" [ Link no longer works.]

Top

Tuesday 7 August 2001
South Bend, Indiana
South Bend Tribune

State continues probe of swimmers' illness - Officials at the Indiana Department of Health are still probing what caused between 20 and 30 children to suffer flu-like symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and fever the day after swimming in a campground pond on about 7 July 2001. (LNAU - U.S. News - Search Term: influenza)

Tuesday 14 August 2001
FluWatch.com

Camden County, New Jersey 08034 (Across the river from Philadelphia, PA)
Placed on Watch status.

Wednesday 22 August 2001
United Kingdom - BBC News

'Big Bang' astronomer dies
Sir Fred Hoyle, originator of the Panspermia Theory (life from outer space), has died at the age of 86. Hoyle coined the phrase 'Big Bang" but challenged the popular belief that the universe is expanding.

Tuesday 28 August 2001
news-journal online.com
Volusia County, Florida USA

Shark bites 69-yearold pushing year's total to 20; Beach Patrol decides not to arrest violators of ban
Summaries of local and regional shark bite incidents.
http://www.n-jcenter.com/special/shark/ [Link no longer works.]

Tuesday 28 August 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida USA
Placed on Influenza Alert status. (Volusia County, which was placed on Watch on 11 July, is the only location in the United States, currently in an Influenza Alert status.)

Tuesday 28 August 2001
FluNet Global Influenza Surveillance Network (WHO)

WHO has installed most of the missing Southern hemisphere reports (actually non-reports) which began on about 29 June 2001 and lasted through about 20 August 2001. http://oms2.b3e.jussieu.fr/flunet/activity.html [Link no longer works.]

Thursday 30 August 2001
Caracas Venezuela
Inter Press Service
Health-Venezuela: Dengue Epidemic Reaches New Heights

"More that 30,000 cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Venezuela in the last five months, ... The dengue epidemic, the third here in six years, exploded 21 weeks ago in 20 of Venezuela's 23 states." [This would have been around the first week in April.] "The initial symptoms of the [mosquito borne] disease are similar to those of the flu, such as fever, headache and muscle pain. ... The vast majority of the dengue cases this year have been people ages five to 44..." [44 years ago would have been 1957, which was the year that the Asian flu pandemic was in full swing.] "...8.4 percent of the cases involve...hemorrhagic dengue which is blamed for three deaths."
LNAU - Wires - Search Term: influenza)

Tuesday 04 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida USA
Lowered to Watch status. (Volusia County had been elevated to Alert status on 28 August.)

Friday 07 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida USA
Restored to Influenza Alert status. (Currently five states have counties that are active on the FluWatch.com site; New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, and Florida. These are all East of the Mississippi river )

Tuesday 11 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida USA Lowered to Watch status.
New Jersey Removed from Watch status.
Humbolt County, Nevada Added to Watch status.

Tuesday 11 September 2001
United States of America

Original entry removed on 2 August 2002. (Heartfelt condolences are offered to the families and loved ones of those who perished in the September 11th tragedies.)

Thursday 13 September 2001
Jackson, Mississippi - The Clarion-Ledger (Page 7A)
Doctors warned to look out for bioterrorism

"State health officials have warned emergency room doctors across the state to be on the lookout for signs of biological terrorism. ... Emergency room doctors are asked to pay close attention to symptoms that could be linked to infectious agents like anthrax, small pox, plague and tularemia. That includes keeping tabs on the number of flu-like cases and rashes reported in coming weeks."

[Tularemia is a bacterial disease associated with animals and humans. People who spend a great deal of time out of doors are most likely to come into contact with it. Symptoms can include lesion, swollen glands, throat infection, intestinal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, fever and pneumonia-like illness.] For more info see: New York State Department of Health Communicable Disease Fact Sheet.

Saturday 15 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Volusia County, Florida USA Yo-yoed back to Alert status.
Counties in the United States currently on Watch status.
DuPage County, Illinois
Washington County, Louisiana
Humbolt County, Nevada
Queens County, New York

Abbreviated descriptions of FluWatch levels of activity
No Activity - No positive flu reports reported.
Watch - Positive flu results reported
Alert - Positive flu results reported as consistently as every other day in moderate numbers
Warning - Positive flu results reported on a consistent daily basis in high numbers
Epidemic - Influenza has attacked people in epidemic numbers.

Tuesday 18 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Putnam County, Tennessee USA Placed on Flu Alert status.

Friday 21 September 2001
FluWatch.com (Macromedia Flash Player version)
Kent County, Rhode Island, USA
Placed on Flu Watch status.
http://www.fluwatch.com/index2.html [Link no longer works.]

Wednesday 26 September 2001
FluWatch.com

Washington County, Louisiana - Dropped to No Activity status.
Rabun County, Georgia - Placed on Watch status.
Queens County, New York - Elevated to Alert status.

To view a map showing counties in the United States that are listed on FluWatch.com see:
Current USA Influenza Conditions

References:

(1) Barber, Donald, Invasion by Washing Water," Perspective, Focal Press, London, Vol. 5, pp. 201-208, (1963). This article was reprinted in the November 1964 issue of Analog Science Fact - Science Fiction., Ed. John W. Campbell, Jr.

(2) Richard Stenger,"Scientists Discover Possible Microbe from Space," The Electronic Astrobiology Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 45, 27 Nov 2000, Article 3. [The link to this article at http://www.lyon.edu/projects/marsbugs/2000/20001127.txt no longer works. 25 Dec 2016]

(3) Kolata, Gina, Flu, The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It, Simon & Schuster, Touchstone, New York, (1999).

Recommended reading

Molecular Genetic Evidence of a Novel Morbillivirus in a Long-Finned Pilot Whale (Globicephalus melas) - CDC - Emerging Infectious Diseases - Dispatches - Jan-Feb 2000
Jeffery K. Taubenberger,* Mark M. Tsai, T. Joy Atkin, Thomas G. Fanning, Amy E. Krafft, R.B. Moeller, S.E. Kodsi, M.G. Mense and Thomas P. Lipscomb
*Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington D.C. ISA; and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. USA

Seals pose influenza threat - BBC News, (Sci/Tech) Thursday, 11 May 2000

Beaked Whale Stranding - Mike Williamson - Monday, 14 Dec 1998

Viral Harpoon Reveals Ancestry of Measles, Mumps Viruses
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research News - 17 December 1999
Findings suggest that viruses that cause measles and mumps may be viral cousins of HIV, influenza and Ebola virus.

Jaws and Laws - Muse News June & July 1991 Volume 5 Number 6 - South African Museum
"Little is known of white shark behavior and socio-biology, and this needs to be studied in detail.
... there is almost nothing known of other predators, disease, and other natural causes of white shark injury or mortality." L.J.V. Compagno and Mike Boon - Shark Research Centre http://www.museums.org.za/sam/muse/9106.htm [Link no longer works.]

Send comments/questions to Robert Fritzius at fritzius@bellsouth.net
Home | Up one level | Previous | Next

Top