Date: February 29, 2008
Abstract: Last year at four caves near Albany, N.Y., more than 10,000 bats died from a mysterious disease involving a white fungus growing on some bats’ noses, leading researchers to dub it “white-nose syndrome.”
The mounting death toll stopped last year when spring arrived and the bats left the caves. But the deaths returned with a vengeance after the bats went into hibernation this winter. With 14 known caves infected across New York, Vermont and Massachusetts, scientists estimate as many as 500,000 bats may currently be affected with the syndrome.
“Our only hope at this stage is we’re not too far from the spring thaw,” said Dale Sparks, assistant director of the Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation at Indiana State University.
Storm and Boyles, who are working on doctorates in the ecology and organismal biology department, were selected by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to take part in the research hoping to unravel the mystery of what is leading to the bats’ deaths. Using a thermal imaging camera, Boyles and Storm entered caves in the Catskill Mountains of New York to record the hibernating animals’ body temperatures during several days in February (ENN, 2008).Title: Mystery Illness Kills Four In South Africa
Date: October 6, 2008
Abstract: Four people, two of them Zambians, have died in Johannesburg of a mystery flu-like illness, the health department spokesman said Monday.
"The initial patient, who was from Zambia, arrived in South Africa on September 12 and she died two days later after being treated for tick-bite fever," Fidel Hadebe told AFP.
"The (Zambian) medical personnel who accompanied her also died two days later after being treated for flu," Hadebe said.
"A third person, a nursing sister at the same clinic in Johannesburg, also died, while a cleaner at the same clinic also took ill and died late Sunday," he added.
"We are still investigating the actual causes of these deaths to determine if they are related to flu or fever. We cannot at this stage say categorically what the causes are because we dealt with a combination of symptoms from these patients," he said.
"But most of the patients who died manifested flu-like symptoms," Hadebe said.
authorities were trying to trace anyone who had contact with the
victims, in a bid to contain the disease. Anyone who had travelled to
Zambia over the past month and who was suffering from flu-like symptoms
was advised to seek medical attention (AFP, 2008).