Update on the Locust Outbreak

locusts.jpg

Locusts in Kenya. East African countries should brace themselves for a second                                 round of invasion by the desert locusts in the next one to two months, Kenya’s                              Ministry of Agriculture has warned. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

One map of the areas suffering from this Outbreak:

On February 3rd, I posted a blog entitled “Worst Desert Locust Outbreak in 25 Years”. Since then the area suffering from this almost biblical plague, has increased dramatically and is showing signs of continuing to spread.  A spread that will only grow as the next generation of the Locust hatch and take flight. As the “East African” states:

Second wave of locust invasion to hit in two months 

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/Second-wave-of-locust-invasion/4552908-5456848-mjiqkhz/index.html

It does not look good for some of the most food insecure areas of the World and now throw in a World panicing over the Covid19 coronovirus and it does look like it is becoming almost biblical in nature. Add all of the political turmoil and wars in these areas to the mix and we are looking at a disaster.

Recent articles for more information:

Asia Album: Locusts swarming raises concerns in Pakistan – Xinhua | English.news.cn

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/17/c_138790989.htm

‘Nothing left’: Kenyan mother’s fields stripped by locust swarm | The Star Online

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2020/02/20/039nothing-left039-kenyan-mother039s-fields-stripped-by-locust-swarm

South China may be invaded by locusts | The Star Online

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2020/02/21/south-china-may-be-invaded-by-locusts#.Xk84iiDIyu0.facebook

Still haven’t heard much from our great News Orgamizations about this. Maybe when people start dying….

Why Study Bat Coronaviruses in China Or Wuhan Anyone?

The one thing I would like to stress is that the Mortality rate (known at this time) for Wuhan (CoviD-19) is LESS than the Mortality for Influenza (Flu) that circles the globe yearly. Do not let the “News” freak you out.
On January 8, 2020, I posted my first blog about this coronavirus:  “Wuhan Syndrome.                        The Next “Spanish Flu”, S.A.R.S or M.E.R.S.?” and this was before it really became bad.                      I’ve been following it for a while now.
  untitled12345
Why Study Bat Coronaviruses in China? Article from Viruses                                                                 Viruses 2019, 11, 210; doi:10.3390/v11030210   http://www.mdpi.com/journal/viruses
Yi Fan 1,2 , Kai Zhao 1,2, Zheng-Li Shi 1,2 and Peng Zhou 1,2,*
1 CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Biosafety,Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China; yifanfs0224@163.com (Y.F.); chiukal@163.com (K.Z.);
zlshi@wh.iov.cn (Z.-L.S.)
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
* Correspondence: peng.zhou@wh.iov.cn
https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A7eb65c1d-c70f-4a0f-893d ab3c07754f71
From the Article:
“Thus, it is highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate         from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China. Therefore,                     the investigation of bat coronaviruses becomes an urgent issue for the detection of early         warning signs, which in turn minimizes the impact of such future outbreaks in China. The   purpose of the review is to summarize the current knowledge on viral diversity, reservoir           hosts, and the geographical distributions of bat coronaviruses in China, and eventually we              aim to predict virus hotspots and their cross- species transmission potential.”
This Article from Viruses was published March 2019 – just nine months before the news                         of the new coronavirus broke.
It must be noted that China is not the only place in which bats are or are considered possible “Reservoirs” for diseases – and not just Coronaviruses. Nipah, Ebola, Rabies, Marburg, Menga, Hendra and H.I.V. are just a few of the other diseases known or believed to come from contact with bats or their droppings. China is unique in the SHEER volumn of people living in close proxinity to each other. Wuhan, the supposed starting place of this disease has 19 MILLION inhabitants.  It is the Capital Cityof Hubie Province with a total of 58 MILLION inhabitants. That is a lot of people.
The other consideration is the dietary and sanitation habits of the people in other countries.  Here we tend to eat processed foods more with strict sanitation laws governing how such foods are prepared and displayed – in other parts of the world what is frequently called “Bush Meat” is the only option for food or is considered a special treat. Hence, “Bat Soup” as an example:

See the source image

Is bat soup sold in Wuhan market in China behind Coronavirus outbreak? | The Times of India
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/is-bat-soup-sold-in-wuhan-market-in-china-behind-coronavirus-outbreak/photostory/73579683.cms

“The latest outbreak – the scope of which is still unfolding – has led to calls inside and outside of China for better regulations or even an end to this kind of culinary adventurism. While turtle and boar meat are not uncommon in Chinese restaurants, game meats such as civet cats, snakes or pangolins tend to be considered specialties only in some regions. Their consumption is driven as much by the desire to flaunt wealth as by a mix of superstition and belief about the health benefits of wildlife.”
“This is where you get new and emerging diseases that the human population has never seen before,” said Kevin J. Olival, a biologist and vice president of research with EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research organisation, who has tracked previous outbreaks.
Above Quotes are from:
In Chinese markets packed with wildlife, a stew of emerging viruses, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/in-chinese-markets-packed-with-wildlife-a-stew-of-emerging-viruses?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1580008669
One thing you learn when studying these types of diseases is that pinning down the exact “Reservoir” host or mode of transmission of the disease is frequently never precisely found -suspected, but not nailed down precisely. Some examples of this with CoviD-19:
Snakes could be the original source of the new coronavirus outbreak in China
https://theconversation.com/snakes-could-be-the-original-source-of-the-new-coronavirus-outbreak-in-china-130364?fbclid=IwAR2o-fZuwMfcn4OKYav_CS8hMIUayZu9kUEOD6OxbAD_s9C-wXVUSnhKBzY
or
China scientists identify pangolin as possible coronavirus host, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

rk_pangolin_070220

The genome sequence of the novel coronavirus strain separated from pangolins in the study was 99 per cent identical to that from infected people, Xinhua reported.PHOTO: REUTERS
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-scientists-identify-pangolin-as-possible-coronavirus-host?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1581073926
or even
Can the coronavirus spread through bathroom pipes? Experts are investigating in Hong Kong
https://www.wtae.com/article/can-the-coronavirus-spread-through-bathroom-pipes-experts-are-investigating-in-hong-kong/30894774
Another major consideration of the current pandemic is how much this is going to cost economically in the long run.  Yes, the human toll is going be significant just from the sheer number of those who will get ill. The baseline for Wuhan seems to be between 2-5% mortality rate, lower than the yearly flu mortality rate,  but with no vaccine and a high infectious rate, the numbers could be staggering. Economically, this could be the starting point of a world-wide depression.
South Korea ‘all out’ to contain virus outbreak, vows to stabilize market – Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-southkorea-economy-idUSKBN1ZQ2K6?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook
Bad timing: New virus poses threat to fragile world economy:The Asahi Shimbun
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ202001290019.html
Chinese markets plunge as rising virus death toll fuels fears for global growth – Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health/chinese-markets-plunge-as-rising-virus-death-toll-fuels-fears-for-global-growth-idUSKBN1ZX00T?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook
Coronavirus hits trade fairs, conferences – Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-events-factbox-idUSKBN2001CM?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook
Just a few of the financial headlined
Next, I would like to mention the growing “Conspiracy” Theories spreading all over the place. Almost from Day One of the outbreak these theories appeared.  The first one I heard was from Anti-vaccine activists claiming it was all a hoax to force people to get an already existing Vaccine for Wuhan disease. Bill and Melinda Gates and their Foundation, which stresses vaccines, were involved in it.
Now, it was a pathogen that “escaped” from a Bioweapons lab in Wuhan”
Chinese Netizens and Expert Suspect Wuhan Bioresearch Lab Is the Source of the Coronavirus
https://www.theepochtimes.com/involvement-of-wuhan-p4-lab-questioned_3230182.html
The Big Wobble : Coronavirus: Day 40: Feb 8th: White House To Investigate Whether 2019-nCoV Was Bio-Engineered: China to round-up ALL suspected coronavirus patients and put them in quarantine camps: ‘Wartime conditions’
https://www.thebigwobble.org/2020/02/coronavirus-day-40-feb-8th-white-house.html?spref=fb
Chinese ambassador calls U.S. senator’s coronavirus weapons research comment “absolutely crazy” – Xinhua | English.news.cn
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/10/c_138771920.htm
As you can see, people tend to believe the worst of dictatorships. Add te fact that Westerners really have a hard time understanding not only the mindset of the Chinese Government, but also of individual Chinese Citizens and problems are going to occur.
China spurned CDC offer to send team to help contain coronavirus: US Health Secretary | Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/health/us-health-officials-on-coronavirus-outbreak
How China Is Working to Quarantine the Truth About the Coronavirus – Defense One
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/02/how-china-working-quarantine-truth-about-coronavirus/162985/?oref=defenseone_today_nl
Opinion: Western media should quit racist reporting as China fights epidemic – Xinhua | English.news.cn
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/12/c_138777829.htm
and today
Terry Glavin: Why we can’t believe China on coronavirus | Vancouver Sun
https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/glavin-why-we-cant-believe-china-on-coronavirus/wcm/5cd1508a-f115-4b5d-83d2-47381a4b3ee3?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1581537591
I must admit some issues where I wondered why Orientals were so different because of the following
I remember the “incident” in the private pond in Gambrill, Maryland. Someone from Asia, thinking they had medicinal powers to heal the sick, got their hands on some Snakehead Fish.  Their plan was to feed their sick relative Snakehead Soup (remember Bat Soup from above?) to treat the illness. The relative recovered before they made the soup, so they released the Non-Native Preditory Fish into a private pond where it thrived. The State of Maryland wound up poisoning the pond to kill everything in it – they were that afraid of Snakeheads getting into Maryland Waters. It killed the pond, but the Snakeheads still got into the ecosystem.

thACLP0H32snake

Recently (January 27th) the below incident occurred:
Dulles CBP Intercepts Dead Birds in Passenger Baggage from China | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

IADBirds7L012720bird

The package of pet food from
China consisted of tiny dead birds.
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/dulles-cbp-intercepts-dead-birds-passenger-baggage-china
BABY BIRDS FROM WHO KNOWS WHERE!
Okay enough!
Everyone please keep calm about Wuhan (CoviD-19) coronavirus. This IS NOT the pandemic that’s going to kill everyone.  As with everything, the “Press” and governments are making it into a crisis for their own needs and not ours.

 

Worst Desert Locust Outbreak in 25 Years

Areas affected at this point – changes daily with the swarms.

Screenshot 2020-02-02 at 12.39.35

Blue broken line showing the incredible number of countries                           suffering from the locust plagues

You are not hearing about this on the News!

Yes, there are things other than Wuhan 2019 – nCoV happening in the world today that will have a direct effect on the Public Health of a great many people. 

While there is a biblical reference to Locust swarms in the bible, they do occur at irregular intervals throughout human history and over a number of countries and continents.  Devastation of crops and all vegetation in the affected areas are complete and leads to any number of Public Health Issues including:

  1. Famine
  2. Malnutrition
  3. Various malnutrition diseases
  4. Competition for any available resources by humans, wildlife and insects
  5. As resources dry up, human/wildlife interactions will increase with resulting physical injuries and zoonotic diseases.
  6. Wars

And these are just a few of the possibilities.

Following photographs are from this Reuters Article

February 3, 2020

Locust swarms threaten more countries in eastern Africa: FAO – Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-locusts-idUSKBN1ZX1SU?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_ source=facebook

FILE PHOTO: Desert locusts are seen within a grazing land in                       Lemasulani village, Samburu County, Kenya January 17, 2020.                 REUTERS/Njeri Mwang

FILE PHOTO: Samburu men attempt to fend-off a swarm of                                      desert locusts flying over a grazing land in Lemasulani village,                         Samburu County, Kenya January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi

Other articles for information:

The Big Wobble : African and Middle East Locust swarms update:                                    A day after Pakistan declared a state of emergency Somalia has                          declared a national emergency: Agriculture Organization (FAO)                          “worst situation in 25 years”

https://www.thebigwobble.org/2020/02/african-and-middle-east-locust-swarms.html?spref=fb

Worst desert locust outbreak in 25 years threatens food security across                 East Africa: UN – Xinhua | English.news.cn

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/31/c_138746142.htm

Kenya suffers worst locust invasion in 70 years, FAO warns infestation                   may worsen

https://watchers.news/2020/01/30/kenya-suffers-worst-locust-invasion-in-70-years-fao-warns-infestation-may-worsen/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook