Saturday, September 29, 2007

Interesting Strategy in Afganistan

There are interesting reports that the Global Jihad movement may be splintering. The American Thinker is reporting on this now. "In March and again in May of this year I reviewed relevant South Asian media reporting to predict that the global Islamic jihad movement was cracking up. That theory focused on a split between the leadership of al Qaeda and the jihad groups that secure them in Pakistan such as the Taliban.".
It appears that the U.S. used this split to set an elaborate trap in Afghanistan. Acc
ording to the UK Telegraph...
But an observer may wonder why, if al Qaeda had to vacate the camps, didn't they just go to other hideouts in Pakistan? According to this article in the Telegraph:
The Uzbeks are a surviving remnant of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al-Qa'eda affiliate that fought with the Taliban against the Americans in 2001.

Its surviving members fled into Pakistan's lawless tribal belt where earlier this year their hosts turned against them following a dispute. Afghan leaders say that the Uzbeks were recently given the choice to fight the Americans in Afghanistan or face annihilation by the local tribes.
At least one sizable group of al-Qa'eda and Taliban fighters is continuing to resist despite heavy bombing raids and attacks from US Special Forces. American military spokesmen declined to corroborate the claim, saying the operation was ongoing.

In addition, the leader of the Pakistani jihadist groups, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, was notified a few months ago that he was on a Dead Pool style list of people that al Qaeda wanted assassinated. Rahman came to our attention in captured Iraqi documents as the go between for Saddam and the Taliban arranging military and security agreements between the two in 1999. (Our book Both In One Trench: Saddam's Secret Terror Documents will be available on in a few weeks.) I mentioned before that he had turned over al Qaeda associated terrorists to the Libyan government and this had made him an enemy of al Qaeda.
He is probably the most responsible for turning the Taliban -- which he had a significant hand in creating -- against al Qaeda. Which means, believe it or not, on some level he may be working with the Pakistani government and possibly the US government, since he is purely an opportunist. No doubt he will not advertise that fact to his jihadists buddies.

This cannot be overstated: it is the most crucial development since the capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Cutting al Qaeda's support in Pakistan has been a massive coup, of which our media has no clue of right now.

If you will recall ,VP Cheney went to Pakistan several months ago and it was leaked that we had coordinates for 29 terrorist camps in Pakistan that we were getting ready to bomb since Mushariff was not taking care of them. Since there was now a split within Al Qaeda they were only left with a path into Afghanistan that the Americans left open. Once across the border inside Tora Bora the U.S. closed the door. Now they were actually where we could attack them.

MSNBC is reporting on the battle here. The interesting thing here is that there is very little reporting coming out of this operation. Apparently there are NO reporters allowed in this one. Ray Robinson thinks that the full story may not be told for years but could be a huge Military, Intelligence and Diplomatic success splintering the Jihadist movement worldwide. This story is really worth watching. I for one never underestimate the breadth of the Jihadist movement or their resiliency. Lets just hope it's true.It would be welcome news.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Screwworms found in Mississippi

Screwworms were eradicated in the US years ago by using a unique method. Male flies were irradiated to make them sterile and then released into the wild making breedings infertile. Now there is a report of screwworms being found in Mississippi. Here's the USDA report.
"Dr. Henry Moreau, State Veterinarian, reports that Screwworms were confirmed in Mississippi on September 21, 2007 in a dog that was imported from Trinidad. Screwworms are flesh-eating larvae (maggots) that can infect any warm-blooded mammal, and if untreated can be fatal. Screwworms are on the list of OIE Foreign Animal Diseases that have been eradicated from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, and economic effects would be devastating to livestock if a re-infestation were to occur in the U.S. Veterinarians are the first line of defense against FAD's, so please be on the look-out for these parasites. Attached is a fact sheet on Screwworms, and please call our office at 225-925-3980 to ask questions or to report anything suspicious. Thank you."
Screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that feed on living flesh. These parasites can infect any mammal or bird and can enter wounds as small as a tick bite. Left untreated, screwworm infestation can be fatal. Screwworms have been eradicated in the United States, Mexico, and all countries in Central America; however, they could become re–established from larvae carried on infested animals.
New World screwworm myiasis is caused by the larvae of Cochliomyia hominivorax
(Coquerel). Old World screwworm myiasis is caused by the larvae of Chrysomya bezziana (Villeneuve). These fly larvae are obligate parasites of live animals and feed on the living tissues and fluids inside wounds.
Species affected
All warm–blooded animals can be infested by screwworms; however, these parasites
are much more common in mammals than in birds.
Geographic distribution
Screwworms are very susceptible to freezing temperatures and to long periods of near–freezing temperatures. These organisms are seasonal in some areas, and can spread into colder climates during the summer.
New World screwworms are found only in the western hemisphere, primarily in the tropical and semitropical regions of South America, but are rare above 7,000 feet. These parasites were once widespread, but eradication programs (through the release of sterile male flies) have eliminated them from the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Curacao, and all of Central America and most of Panama, leaving only a small zone at the border with Colombia. The New World screwworm still exists in some countries of South America and on some Caribbean islands. Eradication programs are ongoing in Jamaica. In 1988, New World screwworms were detected in Libya, but have since been eradicated.
C. bezziana, the Old World screwworm, can be found in Southeast Asia, Kuwait, the Indian subcontinent, the main island of Papua New Guinea, tropical and sub–Saharan Africa, Oman, Muscat, and Fujaira. This fly has never become established in Europe, North Africa, Australia, the Middle East, or the Western Hemisphere.
Screwworm infestations are transmitted when a female fly lays her eggs on a superficial
wound. Occasionally, Old World screwworms also lay their eggs on unbroken soft skin, particularly if it has blood or mucous discharges on its surface. The larvae hatch and burrow into the wound or into the flesh. Wounds infested by screwworms often attract other female screwworms, and multiple infestations are common. After feeding for 5 to 7 days, the screwworm larvae leave the wound and fall to the ground, then burrow
into the soil to pupate. The adults that emerge feed on wound fluids and mate after 3–5 days. The lifespan of a male fly is approximately 14 days; 30 days is common for a female.Female screwworms are attracted to all warm–blooded animals. The distance a fly will travel can range from 10–20 km in tropical environments with a high density of animals to as far as 300 km in arid environments. Outbreaks in non–endemic areas often occur when animals with screwworm myiasis are introduced or when adult flies are carried in vehicles.
Incubation period
Screwworm larvae emerge from the eggs in 8 to 12 hours. They mature in 5 to 7 days and leave the wound to pupate.
Clinical signs
Screwworms can infest a wide variety of wounds, from tick bites to cuts, dehorning or branding wounds, and other injuries. Infestations are very common in the navels of newborns.In the first day or two, screwworm infestations are difficult
to detect. Often, all that can be seen is slight motion inside the wound. As the larvae feed, the wound gradually enlarges and deepens. Infested wounds often have a serosanguineous discharge and sometimes a distinctive odor. By the third day, the larvae may be easily found; as many as 200 vertically oriented parasites can be packed deep inside the wound. However, screwworm larvae do not generally crawl on the surface, and tend to burrow deeper when disturbed. Sometimes, there may be large pockets of larvae with only small openings in the skin. Screwworms may be particularly difficult to find inside the nasal, anal, and vaginal openings. In dogs, the larvae often tunnel under the skin. Larvae from other species of flies, which feed on dead and decaying tissues,may also infest the wound.
Infested animals usually separate from the herd and lie down in shady areas. Discomfort, decreased appetite, and lower milk production are common. Untreated animals may die in 7 to 14 days from toxemia and dehydration and/or secondary infections.
Post mortem lesions
Screwworms may be found post–mortem in any wound.
Morbidity and Mortality
The morbidity from screwworms varies, but can be very high when the ecological conditions are favorable. In some areas, screwworms may infest the navel of nearly every newborn animal. A single deposition of eggs, or a treated infestation, is not usually fatal; however, deaths may occur in smaller animals or from secondary infections. Untreated wounds usually
develop multiple infestations and are often fatal within 7 to 10 days. Deaths seem to be more common with the New World screwworm than with the Old World screwworm. Screwworm infestations can be successfully treated with topical larvacides or some drugs. No vaccine is available.
Screwworm myiasis should be suspected in animals with draining or enlarging wounds with symptoms of infestation.
New World screwworm eggs are creamy and white, and are deposited in a shingle–like array on or near the edges of superficial wounds. The egg masses of Old World screwworms are similar but larger. The eggs from other species of flies are usually not well organized.
The second and third instar larvae of screwworms resemble a wood screw. They are cylindrical, with one pointed
end and one blunt end, and have complete rings of dark brown spines around the body. In third stage larvae, dark tracheal tubes can be found on the dorsum of the posterior end (101). Field diagnosis, even with a microscope or magnifying glass, is difficult.
Female screwworm flies are larger than a housefly. The thorax of a New World screwworm is dark blue to blue–green and the head is reddish–orange (102). On the back of the thorax, there are three longitudinal dark stripes; the center stripe is incomplete. The Old World screwworm is green to bluish–black, with two transverse stripes on the thorax. Adult screwworms are difficult to distinguish from other flies.
Differential Diagnosis
The differential diagnosis includes all other blowfly larvae that may infest wounds.
Laboratory Tests
Laboratory diagnosis is by identification of the parasites under the microscope. Serology is not used.
Samples to collect
Before collecting or sending any samples from animals
with a suspected foreign animal disease, the proper authorities should be contacted. Samples should only be sent under secure conditions and to authorized laboratories to prevent the spread of the disease. Screwworms can infest humans; samples should be collected and handled with all appropriate precautions.Larvae should be removed from the wound with forceps before the wound is treated. The larvae should be collected from the deepest parts of the wound. Any eggs on the edge of the wound should be carefully removed with a scalpel. The samples of eggs, larvae, or flies should be placed in 80% alcohol and transported to the laboratory. Formalin should not be used.
Recommended actions if screwworm is suspected Notification of authorities
Screwworm infestations should be reported to state or federal authorities immediately upon diagnosis or suspicion
of the disease. Federal: Area Veterinarians in Charge (AVICS)
State vets:
Screwworm Myiasis
Quarantine and Disinfection
Organophosphate insecticides are effective against newly hatched larvae, immature forms, and adult flies. Larvae
inside wounds must be treated with a suitable larvacide. Spraying or dipping animals with an approved insecticide and treating infested wounds can protect against new infestations for 7 to 10 days. Larvae that are removed from the wound must be placed in alcohol preservative or destroyed. If any larvae leave an infested wound and mature into adults, screwworm can become established in an area.
Public health
Humans can be hosts for screwworm larvae.
For More Information
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
OIE Manual of Standards
OIE International Animal Health Code
USAHA Foreign Animal Diseases book
“New World Screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) and Old World Screwworm (Chrysomya bezziana).” In Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines.
Paris: World Organization for Animal Health, 2000, pp. 313–321.
“Obligatory Myiasis–Producing Flies.” In The Merck Veterinary Manual, 8th ed. Edited by S.E. Aiello and A. Mays. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck and Co., 1998, pp. 652–4.
Novy, J. E. “Screwworm Myiasis.” In Foreign Animal Diseases. Richmond, VA: United States Animal Health Association, 1998, pp. 372–383.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why dumb people shouldn't own horses

This video is hilarious, stupid but hilarious. I've seen owners and a few Veterinary students when I was a resident that could give this lady a run for her money though .

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mystery meterorite makes peruvians sick

A meteorite exploded near a village in Peru monday causing many inhabitants to become ill. It left a 100 ft. wide crater that had boiling water in its center. They complained of chemical smells and sulfur , likely Hydrogen sulfide gas. Around midday Saturday, villagers were startled by an explosion and a fireball that many were convinced was an airplane crashing near their remote village, located in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region, near the border with Bolivia.

"Seven policemen who went to check on the reports also became ill and had to be given oxygen before being hospitalized, Lopez said.

Rescue teams and experts were dispatched to the scene, where the meteorite left a 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide) and 20-foot-deep (six-meter-deep) crater, said local official Marco Limache.

Video link - here

Sunday, September 16, 2007

leishmaniasis reported in Texas-Baghdad Boil

9 cases of human leishmaniasis have been reported in N. Texas. This disease is found in South America ,Mexico and the Middle East. It has also been called "the Baghdad boil" and is caused by the single celled parasite Leishmania. The infection causes large sores that look like boils and usually last six to 12 months. Doctors suspect human infection begins when a sand fly bites a rodent called the burrowing wood rat, which carries the parasite. When the sand fly later bites a person, the sores may develop.
( on line lecture-Dr Andrews bio-seminars link)
For those who contract Leishmaniasis weeks of hospital treatment with some very strong drugs is required. Nearly all patients experience side effects from the drug, which include debilitating fevers and headaches, incredible fatigue, and other conditions including chemical pancreatitis.

The best drug for treating Leishmaniasis is called Pentosam, registered in Britain since 1978. This drug, which is based on the heavy metal, antimony, is not registered in the United States. U.S. servicemen are being treated with it because the surgeon general of the Army has a special arrangement with the Food and Drug Administration for "Investigational New Drug Protocols," and the Centers for Disease Control maintain a supply. INDP is an odd way of describing a drug that was originally developed in the 1950s, but at least the troops are able to get it. If a civilian like me were to find himself with the "Baghdad Boil," I'd have to fly to England to buy the drug or hope the CDC in Atlanta looked kindly on me.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Whats killing all the Honeybees?

There has been an unusual event occurring in US bee colonies recently, it's called "Colony collapse disorder". This is very significant in that %50 of US bee hives are affected and they are needed to pollinate over 90 different fruit and vegetable crops estimated at $14 billion annually. There are 2 schools of thought about the cause (1) via

A UCSF researcher who found the SARS virus in 2003 and later won a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" for his work thinks he has discovered a culprit in the alarming deaths of honeybees across the United States.

Tests of genetic material taken from a "collapsed colony" in Merced County point to a once-rare microbe that previously affected only Asian bees but might have evolved into a strain lethal to those in Europe and the United States, biochemist Joe DeRisi said Wednesday.

DeRisi said tests conducted on material from dead bees at his Mission Bay lab found genes of the single-celled, spore-producing parasite Nosema ceranae, which researchers in Spain have recently shown is capable of wiping out a beehive.

(2) The 2nd and newest theory is a viral infection cause by the IAPV- Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus

Scientific sleuths have a new suspect for a mysterious affliction that has killed off honeybees by the billions: a virus previously unknown in the United States.

The new found virus may prove to have added nothing more than insult to the injuries bees already suffer, said several experts unconnected to the study.

"This may be a piece or a couple of pieces of the puzzle, but I certainly don't think it is the whole thing," said Jerry Hayes, chief of the apiary section of Florida's Agriculture Department.

Still, surveys of honey bees from decimated colonies turned up traces of the virus nearly every time. Bees untouched by the phenomenon were virtually free of it. That means finding the virus should be a red flag that a hive is at risk and merits a quarantine, scientists said.

Preliminary research shows some bees can integrate genetic information from the virus into their own genomes, apparently giving them resistance, Sela said in a telephone interview. Sela added that about 30 percent of the bees he has examined had done so.

Those naturally "transgenic" honeybees theoretically could be propagated to create stocks of virus-resistant insects, Lipkin said.

While this stuff never makes it to the evening news it has a huge impact on the US Agriculture industry and is something we should watch closely.