May 2019 News Round Up


Agent Orange: US to clean up toxic Vietnam War air base
The U.S. has launched a $183 million clean-up campaign at a former air base in Vietnam that was used to store the toxic chemical Agent Orange.
Measles: ‘My baby’s eyes were swollen shut’
The mum of a baby who had measles so severely that “her eyes were swollen shut for four days”, says “parents should know what can happen to vulnerable babies”.
Completely avoidable’ measles outbreak hits 25-year high in US

The number of measles cases in the US reached a record-setting 704 across 22 states — the greatest number of cases in a single year in a quarter-century, health officials said Monday.
Egypt death couple ‘exposed to toxic chemicals’
A British couple who died on holiday at a hotel in Egypt may have suffered the effects of an infectious biological agent or toxic chemicals, a coroner’s court has heard.
Orange liquid washes on to West Mersea beach
The mysterious ‘orange liquid’ that washed up at beaches across Essex this week has been identified. Passersby first spotted the orange patches of water in West Mersea on Wednesday, May 1, around the Seaview Avenue area.
St Lucia quarantines US cruise ship over measles case
The Caribbean nation of St. Lucia quarantined a cruise ship on the island for several days after identifying a confirmed case of measles on board, a health official said.
DR Congo Ebola deaths pass 1,000
Over 1,000 people have died in an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one of the deadliest outbreaks of the disease in history. With efforts to bring it under control hampered by civil war and mistrust, health minister Oly Ilunga said 1,008 lives have been claimed by the virus.
North Korea ‘test fires short-range missiles’
North Korea test fired several short-range projectiles Saturday morning from the country’s eastern coast, according to South Korean officials.
Minister considers ‘all options’ to boost vaccine uptake
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said he is willing to look at “all options” to boost England’s vaccination levels, including compulsory immunisation. Mr Hancock told the BBC he did not want to “reach the point” of imposing jabs, but would “rule nothing out”.
Drones Find Unexpected Radiation ‘Hotspots’ in Forest Near Chernobyl

Near ground zero of the catastrophic 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, aerial drones recently revealed radioactive hotspots that aren’t on official maps.
UK terror threat: How has it changed?
The terrorist threat to Britain is radically different today from what it was at the outset of the Islamic State group’s caliphate five years ago, according to senior Whitehall officials.
Phage therapy: ‘Viral cocktail saved my daughter’s life’
An incredibly sick teen with a superbug infection resistant to antibiotics has had her life saved by an ingenious treatment designed just for her. Creating a cocktail of bacteria-hungry viruses, genetically engineered to hunt at their best, an international team of physicians and microbiologists have not only prolonged a life, they have achieved a medical first, bringing attention to a treatment long-neglected in the West.
Plague deaths: Quarantine lifted after couple die of bubonic plague
For days, the dusty roads of a small town in Mongolia’s westernmost province were largely deserted. “After the quarantine [was announced], not many people — even locals — were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in the remote mountainous region for two years, told Agence France-Presse.
Radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests finds its way to deepest ocean trenches
A new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the first evidence of radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests in muscle tissues of crustaceans that inhabit Earth’s ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench, home to the deepest spot in the ocean.


Hundreds of thousands of viruses in oceans
The world’s oceans harbour nearly 200,000 virus species — two orders of magnitude more than scientists had previously recorded, according to a survey of marine microbes. Researchers also found an unexpected pocket of viral diversity in the Arctic Ocean.
One-two punch weakens bacteria’s defenses against antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance is a major health threat, with about two million people in the U.S. getting an antibiotic-resistant infection per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Scientists discover new source of antibiotics in ancient lake
In the search for new antibiotics, Russian scientists say they might have found a new and rich source in the waters of the world’s deepest and oldest lake. Scientists have identified crustaceans living in Lake Baikal that could be the source of new antibiotics.
New compound reverses drug resistance in tuberculosis
About 1.5 million people died of tuberculosis (TB) in 2017, making it the most lethal infectious disease worldwide. A growing rise in drug-resistant TB is a major obstacle to successfully treating the illness.
Directed evolution gets bacteria designing new antibiotics for us
In the ongoing arms race with humans and their antibiotics on one side, and bacteria with their ability to evolve defenses to antibiotics on the other, humans have enlisted a new ally—other bacteria.

Throughout the CBRN Europe website there are links to other external websites. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that these website content is suitable, CBRN Europe cannot be held responsible for the content of these
external site.