Schmidt Hammer studies in the maritime Antarctic: Application to dating Holocene deglaciation and estimating the effects of macrolichens on rock weathering

first_imgIn order to contribute to the reconstruction of the deglaciation history of the Marguerite Bay area (~ 68°S, Maritime Antarctic) and to estimate the rock weathering rate in this Antarctic sector, 28 sites (7 on Rothera Point and 21 on Anchorage Island) were characterised using Schmidt Hammer values. The weathering effect of two of the most widespread species of macrolichens in this area (Usnea sphacelata and Umbilicaria decussata) was tested at 5 different sites on Rothera Point. Schmidt Hammer data, in conjunction with recent 14C age, suggest a deglaciation age for the Marguerite Bay area of around 12 ka, and an average uplift rate of 5.4 mm year− 1 on Anchorage Island for the period between 3.3 and 5.2 ka. The weathering rates are extremely slow (e.g. three times slower than reported in Norway). Our data confirm that lichens exert a strong impact on weathering, decreasing the Schmidt Hammer R-values on lichenised surfaces by a factor of 3–4 compared to bare rock surfaces. The effect of lichens on weathering is mainly due to edaphic conditions and the type of the lichen involved rather the period of exposure.last_img read more

Truck Driver Trainer CDL

first_imgPosting Job TitleTruck Driver Trainer CDLDepartmentContinuing Education and Organizational DevelopmentPosition TypeNon-Credit InstructorNumber of openings3Job SummaryJohnson County Community College is seeking experienced CDL TruckDrivers to conduct CDL training classes. JCCC offers commercialtruck driver training courses to prepare new drivers for theircommercial driver’s license (CDL) Class A. In this role, weinstruct people how to properly conduct pre-trip inspections andsafely operate a commercial motor vehicle. Positions are located atour CDL training range located at the Logistic Park – Kansas Cityin Edgerton, KS. Instructors will transport tractor-trailers to CDLtraining site as needed on evenings and weekends. This is apart-time/contract position. Hiring for weekend CDL instructors.Weekend positions require CDL Trainer to work two or more weekenddays per month. Number of work days per month are flexible. Hoursare typically between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.Responsibilities include:• Teach hands on portion of the Truck Driver Training Program(pre-trip inspection, and behind the wheel training)• Maintain student files in compliance with JCCC standards• Maintain Truck Driver Training Program equipment• Maintain inventory of training supplies• Work as member of instructional team to improve program andprocesses.• Evaluate and grade students throughout the program• Maintain relationships with employers in the truckingindustryOther Responsibilities:• Shuttle equipment as needed from the truck rental site to oursite of instruction or testing sitesInstructional Activities:• Uses a variety of techniques and technology to actively engagestudents in the learning process.• Adapts instruction to various student learning styles.• Provides feedback to students in attaining course goals andobjectives.• Develops and utilizes a variety of assessment tools to validatecourse, program and institutional outcomes.• Maintains clearly stated course outcomes, competencies,instructional methods, and methods of assessment in eachcourse.Must be able to:1. Demonstrate excellent communication skills.2. Demonstrate the ability to use learner centered teachingactivities on the range.3. Demonstrate correctly all the driving and backingexercises.4. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, coach and correct studentperformanceA successful candidate will have the ability to assess studenteducational potential/need, communicate student progress, applyfield experience to range instruction, develop rangeprocesses/materials, evaluate student performance, keep records andmaintain files, plan and organize, and prepare reports. Our idealcandidates will have proven longevity with previous employers,excellent communication skills, possess demonstrated physical,intellectual and leadership ability to perform duties of over theroad, basic skills and range instruction.Required Qualifications• Must possess a Class A CDL driver’s license and a currentDepartment of Transportation medical card• High School graduate or equivalent• Ability to pass a background check with a motor vehicle recordsearch• Strong written and oral communication skills• Proficiency in Microsoft program applications• 3 or more years Truck driving experiencePreferred Qualifications• Previous teaching in community college or secondaryeducation• Class A CDL driving experience with tankers, doubles and triples,and hazardous materials endorsements• 5 or more years truck driving experienceRequired application documentsPlease submit resume with the application.Hours per WeekVariesWork Hours/DaysHours and days will vary.Salary Grade LevelNONCRSalaryCompetitive rate of payLocationOverland Park Main CampusDisclosuresEvery employee of the college is expected to treat all members ofthe college community with dignity and respect demonstratingprofessional, courteous and respectful behavior and engage inconstructive conflict resolution, when needed.In accordance with the college policy, finalists for this positionwill be subject to criminal background investigations. Individualhiring departments at JCCC may elect to administer pre-employmenttests, which are relevant to essential job functions as part of theapplicant selection/hiring process. Many departments require thoseselected for hire to submit a certified transcript for all degreesobtained. For full consideration, applicants are encouraged toapply prior to the review date listed in posting.Johnson County Community College welcomes the application of anyqualified candidate and does not discriminate on the basis of race,color, age, sex, religion, marital status, national origin,disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity,genetic information or other factors which cannot be lawfullyconsidered, to the extent specified by applicable federal and statelaws.If you are an applicant requesting assistance or a reasonableaccommodation in the application process, please contact the Officeof Human Resources at 913-469-3877, or email [email protected] a summary of all disclosures (Background check, Clery Act, ADA,EOE, etc.) refer to the links on our Career page.Advertised: 06 Nov 2020 Central Standard TimeApplications close: 17 May 2021 Central Daylight Timelast_img read more

Big Crowd at DiOrio’s for the Chrissy DeGennaro Fundraiser – You Can Still Help

first_imgThis was no ordinary Sunday afternoon at DiOrio’s watching football and eating wings. This crowd came out to support the DeGennaro family, and it was clear to see how much they mean to our community.   Friends from all walks of life were there to raise money to help them though an extremely rough time.The DeGennaro FamilyChrissy DeGennaro has multiple myeloma, which she has been battling for 10 1/2 years. She has undergone 2 unsuccessful stem cell transplants, lengthy hospital stays, countless chemo combinations & trials. She has been treated with chemo twice a week for years.  She has endured 18 different variations of Chemo cocktails. Through it all, she has managed to raise her young son, Zach and giving of her time as a volunteer helping others.By the size of the crowd, it was obvious that Chrissy has impacted an awful lot of people.  There were clusters of teachers, city officials, firemen, the PTA, contractors, realtors, and business owners of all kinds.  They were treated to a tasty buffet and beverages, while listening to an acoustical guitarist. It was a fun afternoon for a great cause.Nick thanked the crowd for all of their generosity.While Chrissy was not able to attend, Nick sent her love and thanked everyone for being so supportive of them. She is back in the hospital and is at a critical stage in her fight. There are tough days ahead and she facing some lengthy stays in the hospital.Many thanks to all the businesses that stepped-up to support Chrissy.  In all, there were 58 gift baskets.   Please support the following businesses that support our community.  Please forgive us, if we missed anyone:ATILIS GYM, JOHN & PATTY’S RESTAURANT, READY’S COFFEE SHOP, BOYARS, LEH SOAP, KERRI J PHOTOGRAPHY, C MELINIS, SALON DEL MAR, D’MODA, LOCAL GYM AND FITNESS, RANDAZZOS, DOTS, MANCO & MANCO PIZZA, SOPHIA’S, MICCHELLI’S PIZZA, DRIP & SCOOP, FCA, STUDIO 11 SALON, GILLIANS WONDERLAND PIER, OVES , SUNISE CAFÉ, PLATINUM CARWASH, TA-DAH, 4th STREET CAFÉ, TAHITI INN, THE DANCE PLACE, THIRTY ONE, TONY P’S, VERSACE, WATERPARK, YIANNI’S, YOASIS, YOGA GINGER, JOHNSONS POPCORN, PHIL DeANGELO PRINTS,  IT’S SUGAR, GAME STOP, SUBWAY, OCEAN GARDEN, CHARLIES, SUSIE Q’s HAIR SALON, GLAZED OVER STUDIO, TOYSRUS, 5 BELOW, PEACE OF WOOD, STARBUCKS, HANDMADE CARDS, BOWFISH, DAY SPA GC, DiORIO’S, AND OCNJ DAILY. This event would not have been possible without the following volunteers:Volunteers: Jane Rodriguez, Dana De Angelo, Mary Daly, Shiho Burke, Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes, and Dawn Argento. A big crowd came out to support Chrissy DeGennaro and her family. The DeGennaro Family: Nick, Zach, and ChrissyIf you missed the event and would like to help-out, you still can.  There is a Go Fund page online.  You can access it by clicking here: https://www.gofundme.com/zach-smomlast_img read more

Press release: Extra £47.6 million for Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre

first_img expand the capacity twenty-fold so that the UK has a highly specialist manufacturing centre that, in a pandemic situation, can make up to 70 million doses within a 6 month period accelerate the timeline for VMIC to be operationally ready so it can support the national response to (coronavirus) COVID-19 The VMIC will be the UK’s first national vaccines manufacturing and innovation facility and will be able to respond to pandemics by producing millions of doses quickly.The funding will support work already underway to:center_img VMIC has been granted almost £215 million of government funding in total to date.In May 2020, the government confirmed additional funding of £93 million to the VMIC – which was first announced in 2018 – to expand and fast track the project. The new £47.6 million is in addition to this funding and will support the delivery of this highly specialist facility during these unprecedented, challenging times.Through the VMIC, the government also invested £8.75 million in the set-up of a rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire, which was a major milestone in increasing UK manufacturing capability of viral vector vaccines. By October 2020, these 2 additional manufacturing sites were approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and are currently producing the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.last_img read more

St. Paul & The Broken Bones Deliver Soulful Performance On Conan [Watch]

first_imgSoul revival group St. Paul & The Broken Bones have been turning heads for years now, especially in recent weeks following the release of their sophomore album, Sea Of Noise. The new album is packed with original music that lives up their upbeat, soul-drenched style, while maintaining an air of social consciousness.In support of the new record, the band performed “Waves” on the Monday night episode of Conan. The track innocently and emotionally “looks at our societal short attention span,” according to a press release. Thanks to Team Coco, you can watch the full performance below:last_img read more

Recalling King’s later legacy

first_imgThe Rev. Jonathan Walton, Harvard’s Pusey Minister of Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, galvanized Boston’s 43rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast this morning with a stirring keynote speech that contrasted the present-day ”sanitized and sterilized” version of the civil rights leader’s dream for America with what Walton said was the real message that King left behind.Walton cited 1965 as an important turning point for King. It was “the year King moved beyond civil rights,” said Walton, “to human rights, to economic justice,” and to promoting peace in war-torn Vietnam. The problems of poverty and war, Walton said, remain today and seem to be worsening, as huge sums “go to support the military-industrial complex,” while programs for the poor are slashed in the name of fiscal responsibility.“We need [King’s] wisdom now like never before,” Walton said.Walton highlighted the post-1965 King as moving from scripture to political action on behalf of the poor of all races. King’s broad campaign ended with his assassination three years later.“Poverty, famine, and war aren’t predicated on skin pigmentation,” said Walton, something he said King well understood. Walton urged the packed audience at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to “stop honoring … King with our lips. We need to accept King’s challenge for a revolution of values” that stresses economic justice and peace-building.Many people in power, Walton said, don’t want King’s message of economic justice to be an inherent part of his legacy. “The media panders to the status quo,” said Walton, while “there are those in power who seek to keep us dumb, deaf, and blind.” A perpetual state of ignorant bliss, the innocent state that he said his own young children largely find themselves in, is not conducive to fostering social change.While Walton praised the symbolism of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on the same day the nation celebrates King’s legacy, Walton asked the audience to focus not just on “the T-shirts” and slogans about how far the nation has come with an African-American in the White House, but to pursue King’s “real” dream by “moving away from materialism” and toward spiritual connection, based on justice and community.“King was clear and consistent,” said Walton. “He didn’t sit back and accept an economic system that privileges the few over the many.” Walton called for more active engagement in bringing King’s later legacy to life, saying, “It’s easier to celebrate a dead icon than heed the admonitions of a prophet.” To truly honor King, people should act to transform his legacy into reality by helping others, he said.Before Walton spoke, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren both addressed the breakfast via satellite from Washington, where they were attending Obama’s inauguration. Patrick, while praising both King and Obama, also emphasized that “there’s more to do” to make King’s dream a reality, especially in the areas of education and economic opportunity for all. Warren promised to help the government to better assist all Americans.last_img read more

Customer Successes Showcase Scalability and Flexibility of Modular Switch Infrastructures

first_imgThe speed of business continues at a break-neck pace while adapting new applications, more users and newer infrastructure to manage the growth. At the network level, many businesses have deployed and continue to deploy modular chassis switches to assure capacity and performance for the future.To many customers, modular switches appear as physically larger, more complex to manage, and less feature-rich than stackable switches. Furthermore, stackable switches can be found in most areas of the network, from edge to the core, rendering customers to ponder when and where modular switches should be considered and deployed.Modular switches deliver critical functions and resilient operations for the network, enabling redundancy (redundant power supplies, multiple line cards and dual supervisors) and resiliency to assure maximum uptime in case of a switch or even power failure.Other key benefits include performance (high-bandwidth backplane), room to expand (pay-as-you-grow), and flexible connectivity (mix-and-match line cards with 1GbE, 10GbE, and PoE) within the same chassis.Customers already deploying modular switches realize the value and agility they bring to their business, being deployed as access, aggregation and small core switches for campus and small data centers.The following customers deployed the Dell Networking C-Series family of modular switches (C150 and C300 models) across many different industries:In Healthcare, Won Kwang University Hospital improved the stability of their entire multi-building campus network by upgrading to Dell switches, including the Dell C300 switch for backbones.In High-performance Computing (HPC), TGen – The Translational Genomics Research Institute and LexisNexis deployed Dell C-Series switches for their non-blocking performance and line-rate capability to accelerate workloads and results, in a compact form-factor.In Higher Education, Jeonju University expanded connectivity for students and administration with access to online and mobile learning solutions, using Dell C300 and C150 switches for 10GbE traffic performance.Within the enterprise and services sectors, Beijing TV and Asian Paints focused their efforts on expanding capability with high performance backbones using Dell C-Series platforms, while being assured of redundant operation and network uptime.To further help customers extend their C-Series investment, Dell today announced a new 8-port 10-Gigabit SFP+ line card, to enable higher density, more economical SFP+ connectivity for small and medium businesses, enterprise campus and data center customers. In a C300 switch, customers can readily step up to 64 SFP+ ports of 10GbE for high performance, non-stop networking with open-standards operation.With the Dell Networking C-Series C150 and C300 switches, Dell understands customer needs to continue deploying modular switches as a critical piece in their end-to-end networking solution. Modular switches continue to provide tremendous value for customers, delivering the flexibility and scalability required as well as long-term investment protection.Continue the conversation by following @DellNetworking on Twitter. Find out more on this and other updates to our campus networking products on Dell TechCenter at http://del.ly/SpringCampusUpdatelast_img read more

Employee of nursing home speaks out about COVID-19 conditions

first_img“It got to the point where I couldn’t breathe. I have asthma. I had my boyfriend take me to the ER. They admitted me right away, they tested me when I got there and the test finally came back, it was positive,” said Valerie. “Susquehanna Nursing and Rehabilitation has been preparing for various scenarios over the past several weeks. As a result, we are equipped and prepared to address every situation. The health of our residents and staff has always been and will remain of paramount importance. Our leadership team has activated our COVID response protocol, we are in touch with all residents, and their families, and are confident in our leadership and staff and remain dedicated to our residents.” (WBNG) — With 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in Broome County, the Susquehanna Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Johnson City is one of the strongest sources. “I had one mask and we were told to put it in a paper bag, and use it until we couldn’t use it anymore,” said Valerie. Valerie was told by the nursing home that masks needed to be rationed. However, she says it ended up putting her life at risk. Valerie says she’s worried about the safety of the residents she frequently worked with, all while she continues to fight her own battle. Valerie Joe is a certified nursing assistant at the facility. She says she contracted COVID-19 and experienced severe symptoms. Valerie says her body was so weak, she was unable to stand. “Now it’s too late. Some of us are already infected. I’m scared to even look out my window right now. This has mentally and emotionally really damaged me, and it’s not fair,” said Valerie. She added, the nursing home didn’t adequately protect her while she was on the job. “We’ve supported them with requests for more personal protective equipment, additional staff requests. We did go through the emergency operations center that the county runs to get additional emergency supplies and resources,” said Garnar. Broome County officials say they’re offering help and supplies to facilities like the Susquehanna Nursing Home, working with the emergency operations center to gather supplies. 12 News reached out to the Susquehanna Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center multiple times. The parent company, VestraCare, provided this statement: “Along with the Broome County Jail, we’re looking at that nursing home, and the jail as being the two hot spots in Broome County when it comes to COVID-19 positive cases,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. last_img read more

‘I’m seeing her grades drastically drop’ Parents in rural Broome County express frustration with internet connectivity

first_imgRobinson says she’s particularly concerned that as the pandemic worsens, school will once again be fully online and her kids will be left behind as a result. For students learning from home, that can mean major challenges. Robinson isn’t alone in her concerns. Marcia Colwell also has kids in the Windsor School District, and her daughter is in a similar situation to Robinson’s. “I do feel that it’s the school and the governments issue that they need to take seriously. Is it more about where you live as to weather your kids receive an education? Where do you go from there?” she asks. Robinson says while she realizes that the district and local leaders are working to address the issue and multiple companies have looked into running cables, so far it’s not enough. 12 News reached out to the Broome County Executive’s Office, they have yet to get back to us. WINDSOR (WBNG) — In many parts of the Southern Tier high speed internet is pretty easy to come by, but travel into the hills of eastern Broome County, and it’s a whole different ballgame. “I’m seeing her grades drastically drop, not being in school and not having the internet and that social connection,” she say. “It only works in one specific window if the wind is blowing the right way,” she says. Cassie Robinson is a parent in the Windsor Central School District, living on Blatchley Rd. There, students in grades 6-12 split time learning part at home and part in the classroom, or they can choose to be fully remote. Robinson says her daughter is struggling to keep up in part because of poor internet connection in the area. For their part, the district is going out of their way to address the problem, putting grant funding from the American Federation of Teachers into finding their own solutions. Congressman Anthony Brindisi’s office says they have made it a point to address the issue of broadband connectivity across the 22nd Congressional District. They said Brindisi has taken action by pushing for billions in funding for the FCC’s E-Rate program to help schools provide technology to students for distance learning while fighting for aid to help schools support distance learning. Robinson says she’d still like more to be done. She’s specifically urging them to consider broadening the list of companies the state is willing to give funding to in order to run cables, citing past ventures in the area that have fallen through. Until then, she says the steady drumbeat of calls to local officials will continue. center_img At the high school, Symons stresses that he recognizes the hot spots are not a complete fix, and says the issue makes things more difficult on both students and teachers. The Congressman himself weighed in saying in part: Cowell says the hotspots help, but only so much. At the state level, Empire State Development says they are doing their best to address the problem. “If we’re going to use the internet in schools across America, then it’s an absolute need for parents and students to have internet in their house” he says. “I have a fourteen year old and she was on high honor roll, and if not then honor roll and she is no longer on either one,” Robinson says. “When she’s in class it lags so far that by the time she’s able to ask a question the teacher has already moved on to the next thing.” “The Broadband Office has invested over $11 million in Broome County, $2.41 million in the Town of Windsor, and $1.37 million in the Village of Windsor. In total, those investments catalyzed $18.4 million in public and private broadband investment in Broome County,” said spokesperson Kristin Devoe, adding that over 98 percent of homes in New York have access to high speed broadband. Robinson meanwhile says even the hot spot won’t work at her house. “I am fighting to increase investments in broadband infrastructure, boost competition among internet service providers, and hold cable companies accountable. I am calling on Congress to act now to help these struggling families.” “Our district has purchased more than a hundred hot spots for those kids to try and make the signal as strong as they can so they can interact with the teachers,” says Scott Symons, a member of the Windsor Teachers Association who donated the grant money. “If they have to go back online then the other kids in town are still on course, they’re still online learning everyday and our kids will be at home with no way to learn.”last_img read more

Tularemia cases on Martha’s Vineyard puzzle experts

first_imgAug 11, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – A medical mystery is baffling infectious disease experts on Martha’s Vineyard.The island off Cape Cod, Mass., has had a string of mysterious tularemia cases. For the fifth summer in a row, people are falling ill with the rare pneumonic form of tularemia, one of the six diseases considered most likely to be spread by terrorists.The only two reported outbreaks of pneumonic tularemia recorded in the United States have occurred on Martha’s Vineyard. Experts from several fields are collaborating to discover why people on the island, particularly landscapers, are contracting the pneumonic form of the illness. The cases may offer lessons for protecting the country from bioterrorism.Cases don’t fit the patternTularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” was first identified as a disease of rodents and other small animals in 1911. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. The illness is spread through bites from ticks, deerflies, or other insects; handling infected animal carcasses; eating or drinking contaminated food or water; or inhaling the bacteria. It is not known to spread from person to person. The disease can be fatal if not treated with the right antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Symptoms vary with the type of exposure, but may include sudden fever, chills, headache, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, progressive weakness, mouth or skin ulcers, and swollen and painful lymph glands and eyes, according to the CDC. Although the disease can be fatal, the overall case-fatality rate in the United States is less than 2%, according to a JAMA review published in 2001.Most of the roughly 120 tularemia cases reported in the United States each year are ulceroglandular or glandular cases, usually from tick bites or from handling dead rabbits, said Bela Matyas, MD, MPH, medical director of the epidemiology program for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The pneumonic form doesn’t often occur under natural circumstances, he told CIDRAP News.But what is known about tularemia doesn’t explain the pneumonic cases on Martha’s Vineyard.One outbreak occurred in 1978. The disease resurfaced in 2000 and has cropped up each summer since. Fifteen cases were identified in 2000; 11 of those patients had the pneumonic form, and one died. Four cases, including three pneumonic, were diagnosed in 2001. At least two pneumonic cases were diagnosed in 2002, followed by four in 2003, according to published reports.So far this summer, one patient has been confirmed to have pneumonic tularemia and one other has a probable case, Matyas said. A third confirmed case, just reported Aug 10, is not the pneumonic form and is not in a landscaper, he reported. He said the syndrome in the case was not yet clearLandscapers are consistently more likely than others to contract tularemia than non-landscapers are. In 2001, 9% of 132 landscapers tested seropositive for the F tularensis antibody, compared with less than 1% of other residents in each of three comparison groups, according to a serologic survey conducted by Matyas and colleagues and reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases in March 2003.People who contracted pneumonic tularemia were more likely to have recently used brush-cutting or mowing equipment, the state health department said in a June press release, adding that exposure likely occurred by inhaling aerosols of contaminated dust, soil, or grass during landscaping activities.”It’s not a casual risk. People are wandering on the same areas the landscapers do without becoming sick,” Matyas said. Scientists don’t yet know why, but Matyas said his best guess is that F tularensis is in the soil or grass in a form that can become airborne with mechanical disruption.A survivor’s theoryTristan Israel, who owns a landscaping business, has another theory. He contracted tularemia in June 2001 and spent about 10 days “pretty delirious” with a high fever before antibiotics knocked back the illness. It took even longer to recover physically from the close call, he said in a phone interview.Although Israel wrote a song about tularemia that refers to lawn mowers chopping up small animals, he believes his illness could be linked to having been “viciously attacked by mosquitoes” a week before his illness.A selectman on the Tisbury town council for the past 12 years, Israel said people have been fairly calm about tularemia. For example, despite repeated recommendations from health experts, landscapers don’t always wear protective masks.”When it’s 85 degrees, it’s very difficult to wear a mask. You’re outside in the heat and the dust. Wearing a mask doesn’t cool you down any,” Israel said.A controversial hypothesisSam Telford III, ScD, associate professor of infectious disease at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Boston, is listening to theories like Israel’s and considering his own. He has interviewed victims, trapped animals, and extensively researched the cases since they began.Telford told CIDRAP News that he wonders whether the pneumonic tularemia cases are primary or secondary. Studies from the 1940s and 1950s show that, left untreated, any form of tularemia can become pneumonic, he said.”We don’t know what the frequency of pneumonia is even in tularemia that is promptly treated,” Telford said. The possibility that the island’s tularemia cases aren’t contracted through inhalation further complicates the challenge of tracking the disease’s reservoir and vector.Matyas said the state health department, while not rejecting Telford’s theory, doesn’t feel the evidence supports it. For every case of ulceroglandular tularemia that becomes pneumonic, there should be a large number of primary ulceroglandular cases. Yet doctors have seen very few cases of ulceroglandular tularemia, despite screening for it, Matyas said. In addition, none of the patients with pneumonic disease reported prior symptoms suggesting ulceroglandular disease, he added.That debate aside, Telford’s research shows the disease process on the island is complex. “It’s not as simple as landscapers kicking up something from the soil and breathing it in,” he said. “Or if it is, what are they breathing in?”In search of an animal reservoirRabbits are often implicated in tularemia, but Telford, who has studied tickborne diseases for 20 years, suspects they may not be the main culprits on Martha’s Vineyard. In the past 6 years he has tested more than 250 rabbits on nearby Nantucket Island, which has a high rabbit population. He never saw any evidence of tularemia. There has been only one recent human case of tularemia on Nantucket, in 2001, Telford added.Martha’s Vineyard has a far smaller rabbit population, and several factors have made testing difficult, Telford said. However, three dead rabbits reported on the island tested positive for tularemia, and another dozen tested negative, he reported.Matyas said rabbits are not the reservoir on Martha’s Vineyard. “It’s probably some animal that’s able to tolerate the bacterium better,” he said.Some as-yet-unidentified insect is helping to maintain the reservoir by spreading among mammals, but that insect doesn’t appear to be the route of human infection, Matyas said. “It’s very unusual.”To complicate matters, tularemia “hot spots” dot the island, but are difficult to pinpoint. “It’s definitely looking for a needle in a haystack,” Matyas said.Telford said Martha’s Vineyard has many skunks, raccoons, opossums, and foxes and also has the type of wood tick associated with tularemia. He has found 0.3% to 4.0% of ticks carry F tularensis. The ticks feed on skunks and raccoons. Fifty percent to 80% of skunks and raccoons on the island carry antibodies to tularemia, Telford said. That figure is high compared with at least two reports of studies elsewhere, but few researchers have focused on these animals, he added.The numbers raise more questions: Are skunks and raccoons an important reservoir that contributes to spreading the pathogen to humans, or just an incidental host that doesn’t play a role in transmission?”The role of raccoons and skunks is not yet determined,” Telford said. “The hypothesis that needs to be explored is, perhaps raccoons and skunks are dropping excreta that is mowed over.”He has been sampling raccoons and skunks for 3 years, long enough to be philosophical about getting sprayed by skunks, which becomes fairly routine after the first time, he said. Once, he said, he was sprayed right in the face. That was when he discovered that applying Coca-Cola cuts the stench.Implications for biodefenseThe CDC estimated in 1997 that the total costs to society of an F tularensis aerosol attack would be $5.4 billion for every 100,000 people exposed. A World Health Organization expert committee estimated in 1969 that dispersing 50 kg of aerosolized F tularensis over a metropolitan area with 5 million residents would lead to 19,000 deaths and 250,000 incapacitating casualties.Because of concerns about bioterrorism, tularemia surveillance has increased nationwide in recent years. It was dropped from the list of nationally notifiable diseases in 1994, but the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists reinstated it in 2000 because of its potential use by terrorists, said Lisa Rotz, MD, acting director of the CDC’s Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program. Now, many states require reporting of cases within 24 hours, and improved diagnostic tests are more readily available to speed confirmation of the illness. Defining tularemia as a potential bioterrorism threat has led to better training to recognize the illness in patients, she added.Telford said consistent monitoring of wild animal populations could play an important role in biodefense. The Martha’s Vineyard cases point up the utility of wildlife surveillance as a tool to give early warning of natural or unnatural outbreaks, he said.”You need to have wildlife surveillance to complement hospital surveillance,” he said. Should an outbreak like the one on Martha’s Vineyard occur elsewhere, checking wildlife for previous exposure to tularemia could help determine whether the outbreak is natural or human-caused. If the animals aren’t seropositive, it could indicate tularemia is being used as a bioweapon, Telford said.Yet the mysteries of this outbreak point to a larger concern about biodefense, he added.”I think the lesson there is, we can’t even understand a natural outbreak. A clever, illegitimate outbreak is going to be very hard to investigate,” he said. “What we learn out there may give us technologies and ways of answering questions that could help us if we encounter a creative person interested in doing bad. For effective biodefense, we have to think out of the box.”See also:Feldman KA, Stiles-Enos D, Julian K, et al. Tularemia on Martha’s Vineyard: seroprevalence and occupational risk. Emerg Infect Dis 2003;9:3 [Full text]Dennis DT, Inglesby TV, Henderson DA, et al. Tularemia as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. JAMA 2001;285(21) [Full text]Kaufman AF, Meltzer MI, Schmid GP. The economic impact of a bioterrorist attack: are prevention and postattack intervention programs justifiable? Emerg Infect Dis 1997;3(2) [Full text]CIDRAP overview of tularemialast_img read more