“On this day in 2002, an Iranian passenger jet crashes into the side of a mountain, killing all 117 people on board.…..The crash site was so difficult to access that only experienced mountain climbers could be enlisted to help with the rescue….”
“…….Italy is braced Friday for heavy snowfall, with more than 40 deaths blamed on the cold snap so far…….
La Repubblica newspaper: …….icy conditions extending as far south as Calabria.
Schools and offices were closed in Rome as city workers prepared to cope with as much as a foot of snow overnight. The mayor has issued an order requiring drivers to carry snow chains, and extra salt has been stockpiled for use on the roads.
Heavy snowfall a week ago paralyzed roads and trains in many cities across Italy, leading to wide criticism of authorities.
The number of beds available for homeless people in Rome has almost doubled, from 1,300 to 2,500, and new shelters have been set up in many metro stations, which are being kept open overnight……
Some weather-related delays and cancellations have been reported at Italian airports. Train services have been suspended in 12 regions………
The center-north regions of Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo and Marche, where it has been snowing for several days, have been particularly affected by the bad weather. Local trains are suspended.
In the northern Italian city of Trieste, an icy wind is blowing at more than 80 miles per hour and is expected to strengthen…… An alert has been issued for strong winds over the next 36 hours, as people in the city report finding it difficult to remain standing in the gusts.
The famous canals of Venice started freezing over this week, preventing gondoliers from plying their trade on the city’s picturesque waterways…….”
“…..An “armed terrorist group” assassinated Brig. Gen. Issa al-Kholi, a military physician who was the director of Hamish Hospital, in front of his Damascus house Saturday morning, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said. Three gunmen shot him to death, the media outlet said…….Nearly 700 have died in past week, opposition group says …….U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests seeking al-Assad’s ouster began nearly a year ago. ……”
The main objective of this study was to develop an understanding of the descriptive epidemiology of foodborne botulism in the context of outbreak detection and food defense.
Fifty-eight foodborne botulism outbreaks were reported to CDC between 1993 and 2008.
Four hundred sixteen foodborne botulism cases were documented;
205 (49%) were associated with outbreaks.
Familial connections and co-hospitalization of initial presenting cases were common in large outbreaks (>5 cases). In these outbreaks, the time from earliest exposure to outbreak recognition varied dramatically (range, 48–216 h).
The identification of epidemiologic linkages between foodborne botulism cases is a critical part of diagnostic evaluation and outbreak detection. Investigation of an intentionally contaminated food item with a long shelf life and widespread distribution may be delayed until an astute physician suspects foodborne botulism; suspicion of foodborne botulism occurs more frequently when more than one case is hospitalized concurrently.
In an effort to augment national botulism surveillance and antitoxin release systems and to improve food defense and public health preparedness efforts, medical organizations and Homeland Security officials should emphasize the education and training of medical personnel to improve foodborne botulism diagnostic capabilities to recognize single foodborne botulism cases and to look for epidemiologic linkages between suspected cases.