Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bubonic Plague Now Confirmed In The Seychelles; Hundreds Of New Cases In Madagascar, California's Wine Country Could Take Years To Recover From Deadly Fires

An alarming development as the Bubonic Plague is now confirmed in the Seychelles while hundreds of new cases suspected in Madagascar

As the outbreak of the plague in Madagascar continues to evolve at a pace with 230 new suspected cases including 17 deaths an alarming development has seen the disease arrive in the Seychelles  Health officials in Seychelles have confirmed that 3 people have tested positive for the Bubonic Plague.

A Seychellois basketball coach died from the disease late last month in a hospital in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, according to Today in Seychelles, where 42 people have died from the "Black Death."

The coach, Alix Allisop, was assisting the Seychelles men's reigning champion of the Beau Vallon Heat in Madagascar during the Indian Ocean Club Championship.
The government of Madagascar over the weekend confirmed that the death of Allisop was due to the pneumonic plague.

The other members of the Seychellois basketball delegation, who were in close contact with Allisop, have been under observation since they returned to the country, Gedeon said.
They are now at the military academy at Perseverance, a reclaimed island on the outskirts of Victoria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonic plague, or lung-based plague, is the most virulent form and can trigger severe epidemics through person-to-person contact via droplets in the air, as well as flea bites from infected mammals.
The incubation period can be as short as 24 hours.

According to the Seychelles News Agency, the Seychelles' Ministry of Health on Wednesday advised all airlines and travel agents to discourage people from travelling to Madagascar due to the plague outbreak.

Additional health measures at Seychelles' main airport have also been put in place.
Jude Gedeon, Seychelles' public health commissioner, said that officials have put in place walk-through and temperature scanners at the international airport to detect cases.
A form is also being given to disembarked passengers to state if they have any symptoms similar to those brought on by the plague.

Additionally, as a precaution, all schools in Seychelles are closed for the next 6 days as it is not yet confirmed that contact was made with any of the teachers.

Wildfires that have been raging across Northern California’s “wine country” since Sunday have destroyed at least four wineries and seriously damaged at least nine more just as the season’s harvest came to an end. The damage could leave one of the state’s signature industry’s hobbled for years, according to NBC.
Of course, assessing the scope of the damage will be impossible until the fires subside. The Napa Valley Vintners trade association has not heard from all members, especially those in the most vulnerable parts of the valley.  By the time the fires started on Sunday – accelerated by dry conditions and strong winds -about 90% grapes had been picked. And most of the remaining crop of thick-skinned cabernet sauvignon grapes not expected to be affected by the smoke.
Most wineries remain closed from power outages and mandatory evacuation orders.

At the Gundlach Bundschu - the oldest family-run winery in California, started in 1858 - in Sonoma County, workers were not sure whether the grapes above the winery survived the fires, Fox reported.  
Katie Bundschu, a sixth-generation vintner, recounted a scary Monday night in which the flames licked at the perimeter of the winery but were beaten back by firefighters. A century-old redwood barn and her grandmother's 1919 home were spared.
"The winery was in the path of the fire but escaped being engulfed by the flames. We have some damage to fix. The wine is secure in our cellars. We are cleaning up and hoping to have the power back on this week," Bundschu said.
However, Bundschu said that her winery, while damaged, will soldier on, and was seeking to dispel rumors that the business had been utterly destroyed. With information from the affected areas trickling out, a few other wineries have sought to inform customers that their facilities can be quickly repaired and expect to be back in business soon.

Fifteen wildfires ravaged thousands of acres in Northern California this week, killing at least 11 people and destroying over 1,500 commercial and residential buildings. The blaze started on Sun., Oct. 8, and quickly spread through wine country and residential areas. Schools and hospitals were evacuated, and flames threatened the wine operations in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Officials say around 20,000 people had been evacuated from their homes as the fires spread across 73,000 acres, fanned by high temperatures and dry conditions. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the affected counties.
Burned cars sit idle after an out of control wildfire moved through the area on in Glen Ellen, California.

Burned cars sit idle after an out of control wildfire moved through the area on October 9, 2017 in Glen Ellen, California.

An aerial photo of the devastation left behind from the North Bay wildfires north of San Francisco.

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