2016-02-26 05:14:27 – Biological Hazard – USA


RSOE EDIS ALERTMAIL
RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary
2016-02-26 05:14:27 – Biological Hazard – USA
EDIS Code: BH-20160226-52242-USA
Date&Time: 2016-02-26 05:14:27 [UTC]
Continent: North-America
Country: USA
State/Prov.: State of New Jersey,
Location: Shore Medical Center,
City: Somers Point
Number of infected people: 200
More than 200 people treated at a New Jersey medical center may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis B or C because of a former employee accused of tampering with drugs, the hospital said on Thursday. Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, located on the southern New Jersey coast outside of Atlantic City, sent letters last week to 213 patients who were treated with certain intravenous medications, including morphine, between June 1, 2013 and Sept. 17, 2014. “We have been working with public health authorities to determine if patients could have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens at Shore through contact with this employee’s blood,” said hospital spokesman Brian Cahill in a statement. Free testing and support are being offered to the patients, the hospital said. New Jersey Health Department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas described the risk of exposure as low. Frederick McLeish, 53, a former pharmacist at the hospital, is accused of removing the drugs from vials intended to be used in the preparation of intravenous medications for patients, and replacing them with a saline solution. His attorney, John Zarych, declined to comment on the case. The hospital detected a problem and fired McLeish, of Egg Harbor Township, after an internal investigation. On Jan. 21 he was indicted by an Atlantic County grand jury on charges of drug tampering, theft and drug possession. He was released on bail the same day, according to a court official. On Monday, McLeish was arraigned in Atlantic County Superior Court. A status hearing, at which he is expected to enter a plea, has been scheduled for March 7. McLeish had been authorized to prescribe, dispense or administer medication, according to the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office. The hospital, state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still investigating.
The name of Hazard: HIV or hepatitis B or C infection
Species: Human
Status: Confirmed
Posted:2016-02-26 05:14:27 [UTC]

ENENews: “It’s on the brink of pandemonium”


State of Emergency now underway for L.A. gas blowout — Oil begins raining down on homes — Official: “It’s on the brink of pandemonium” — Many worry plume will ignite, cause explosion — Concern over geysers, sinkholes being created — Company: Experts have “never seen anything like this” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/state-emergency-issued-la-gas-blowout-oil-begins-raining-down-homes-concern-sinkholes-geysers-being-created-official-brink-pandemonium?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: January 8th, 2016 at 11:40 am ET
By ENENews

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-porter-ranch-20160105-story.html
Los Angeles Times, Jan 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Utility is installing screens to contain oily mist at leaking well near Porter Ranch… The structures under construction on the west side of the well head are designed to capture airborne droplets of a brine solution that “may have contained trace amounts of oil naturally occurring within the leaking well’s reservoir,” said Trisha Muse, a spokeswoman for SoCal Gas… Now, a mixture of brine water and oil is rising up into the gas company’s natural gas storage zone, then traveling up the well and into the air. As a result, local residents are finding droplets of dark brown residue on their homes, vehicles, fish ponds and gardens… [The company] acknowledged that some residents had asked about “dark brown spots on their property.” “We sampled it and, according to our retained toxicologist and medical expert,” the company said, “the residue contained heavier hydrocarbons (similar to motor oil) but does not pose a health risk.”… On Monday, plaintiffs’ attorneys sent a letter to state regulatory officials [and] demanded that state regulators “explain what is happening with the petroleum now surfacing.”… “There is a complete lack of information in the well files,” their letter says, “to show where the gas and petroleum migrates underground and the risk for creating sink holes and geysers.”


Los Angeles Daily News, Jan 5, 2015: [A]n oily mist… has been surfacing… The seepage is the result of changing dynamics deep underground… “They (the demister pads) are necessary because as the reservoir pressure declines, fluids (oil and water) encroach into the reservoir and are then carried to surface with the gas.
http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20160105/oily-mist-surfaces-at-porter-ranch-gas-leak-as-well-pressure-drops

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35257861
BBC, Jan 8, 2016: Residents… point out cars, outdoor furniture and houses which have been marked with brown, oily spots… Tim O’Connor, a lawyer with the Environmental Defense Fund, has called it “an environmental and public health catastrophe,” said . “In terms of timelines this is going to surpass the gulf oil problem by a mile.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/us/california-governor-declares-emergency-over-los-angeles-gas-leak.html?_r=0
New York Times, Jan 6, 2016: Gov. Jerry Brown, faced with mounting public anger and no end in sight to the leak, declared a state of emergency… Mitchell Englander, the Los Angeles city councilman who represents Porter Ranch [said] “This is one of the most disruptive, catastrophic environmental events that I’ve seen. It’s a truly chaotic crisis.”… Many who have stayed have taken to wearing surgical masks when they garden to keep out the rotten-egg smell and the oily mist that sometimes leaves brown residue on their cars… Dennis Arriola, the president of Southern California Gas Company [said] that experts had “never seen anything like this.”

Newsweek, Jan 7, 2016: SoCalGas and public officials have turned [Porter Ranch’s Matt Pakucko] and his fellow residents into “guinea pigs.”… [Sally Benson, who runs an energy storage lab at Stanford University] shares a worry of many in Porter Ranch as they deal with the mundanities of the leak: that the gas plume will somehow become ignited, leading to [an] explosion… “They’re really fortunate that this one hasn’t caught fire,” Benson says… [The FAA] has imposed a no-fly zone above Porter Ranch “out of concerns that fumes from the gas leak could be ignited from the air.” Schwecke, the SoCalGas vice president, says workers near the relief well are taking every precaution, not using their cellphones and working with brass hammers, which don’t spark… [David Balen, a local businessman on the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council] showed me photographs of a white dust that had collected on concrete surfaces around his property; an expert was coming to test the substance, which Balen thought was something toxic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35244634
BBC, Jan 7, 2016: The governor of California has declared a state of emergency in a suburb of Los Angeles over the leaking of methane gas… the company is installing large mesh screens around the leak site to try and hinder the oily mist from spraying down on the community.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-01-05/l-a-residents-flee-as-sempra-s-gas-leak-menaces-neighborhood
Bloomberg, Jan 5, 2016: The sulfurous scent of a natural-gas leak hangs in the air as mail carriers wearing gas masks make rounds… “This is the biggest community and environmental disaster I’ve ever seen, bar none,” said Mitchell Englander, who has represented Porter Ranch on the Los Angeles City Council since 2011. “Life there is not on hold — it’s on the edge and it’s on the brink of pandemonium.”

See also: Doctors: “Very unusual” infections being reported around massive gas blowout in LA… “If you’re able to leave do it now, I’m telling you it’s really critical” — Official: Plume is spreading far away, it’s a national disaster — TV: “We’re a living science experiment”
http://enenews.com/doctors-very-unusual-infections-being-reported-around-massive-gas-blowout-los-angeles-youre-able-leave-im-telling-really-critical-official-plume-spreading-away-national-disaster-tv-living-scienc
(VIDEO)

ENENews: Doctor: “Definitely indicates ocean not normal… Really, we should be worried”


Gov’t: It’s getting “even worse” on West Coast this year — Experts say over 35,000 baby sea lions could be dead; “This phenomenon is unprecedented in scale” — Hundreds of times more pups than usual at rescue center — Doctor: “Definitely indicates ocean not normal… Really, we should be worried” (AUDIO)
Published: March 4th, 2015 at 4:21 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/govt-getting-worse-west-coast-experts-35000-baby-sea-lions-could-be-dead-year-incredibly-abnormal-hundreds-times-rescues-usual-definitely-indicates-ocean-isnt-normal-bigger-issue-happening-re?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

NOAA, Feb 18, 2015 (pdf): We are seeing an unusually large increase of California sea lion pups stranding [that’s] intensified over the last few weeks… it is very difficult to pinpoint what is causing the increase… [There are] warmer waters than usual, but an official El Nino has not yet been declared… [We are] preparing for the worst… health trends of marine mammals [inform] us about the health of the entire ecosystem… if the stranding numbers exceed the 2013 UME [facilities will be unable to] accept more animals… animals may be left on the beach [or] humanely euthanized.

Malibu Surfside News, Mar 3, 2015: The number of animals that can be rescued and rehabilitated is very small compared to the total number of pups in distress… in 2013, Federal officials estimated that 70 percent of the total number [~35,000 out of 50,000 newborns] may have died and experts say that the numbers may be even higher this year.

Quartz, Feb 27, 2015: This phenomenon is unprecedented in scale: in January… more than twice the highest number previously recorded… February has been even worse… Jim Milbury [of NOAA said] a total of 1,200 sea lions have reached California since the beginning of the year… [It was a] much less significant event in 2013.

Malibu Times, Feb 25, 2015: The California Wildlife Center [at this] time last year… had facilitated seven rescues. As of the beginning of this week, 129 rescues have been performed… CWC is also encountering many sea lions that have washed ashore dead.

The Oregonian, Feb 26, 2015: Oceana says thousands of sea lion pups… have died on the West Coast this year…

Press Democrat, Feb 25, 2015: A crisis [of] stranded pups and older animals arriving starved and sick on coastal shores has reached the Sonoma Coast, where six animals have been recovered in recent weeks, according to the Marine Mammal Center near Sausalito. All of them — four pups and two adults — later perished because of their weakened physical state.

Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at The Marine Mammal Center, Feb 16, 2015 (at 3:30 in): [It’s] the third year we’ve seen an increased number of sea lion strandings… It’s definitely an indication that the sea is not its normal self… The sea lions are sentinels of the sea… it really indicates there’s a bigger issue happening in the ocean. – (at 13:00 in) At the MMC we have over 200 right now… which is incredibly abnormal. Normally this time of year we would have no sea lions pups. — (at 17:00 in) The sea lions are telling us that there’s a lack of fish. The cause of that is still being investigated… Really, we should be worried about what’s happening out there right now [it] could be directly related to… us in the future.