Is the U.S. prepared? The World Health Organization has deployed 4,000 doses of vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo to control an outbreak of Ebola, which is suspected to have infected 39 people, including 19 deaths. A further 362 people at risk have been identified using contact tracing. Meanwhile, in the United States, news last week of the exit of one of the country’s top global health officials, coming on the heels of President Trump’s proposed rescission of earlier Ebola response funds, has deepened concerns about the nation’s preparedness for an epidemic such as Ebola. Read more HERE and HERE.
Al-Qaida rebuilds: As the United States relocated its embassy in Israel to the city of Jerusalem, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri used the occasion to call for jihad, claiming the international system is hostile toward Muslims. Al-Qaida has rebounded in recent years, rebranding its message and building local branches across the Middle East and Africa. READ MORE
And don’t forget the ISIS threat: Over the weekend, ISIS claimed responsibility for two deadly attacks: in Paris, a Chechnyan-born man stabbed five people and released a video pledging allegiance to the group; in Indonesia, suicide bombers detonated explosives at three churches in Surabaya, the second largest city in the country. Though the terror group continues to lose territory in Syria and Iraq, it increasingly poses a threat in other areas of the world, and through its ideology, which has inspired attacks across the globe. READ MORE
Untreated sewage caused norovirus outbreak: Public health officials on Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific Coast, suspect that the likely source of a norovirus outbreak associated with the March herring run was from untreated sewage associated with marine operations. Untreated sewage also was blamed for shellfish farm closures in Baynes Sound this year. READ MORE
Romaine outbreak spreads to Canada: The ongoing multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ, growing region has now crossed the U.S. border into Canada. According to a May 9th public health notice posted by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), six E. coli illnesses have been reported in Canada–all of which have a similar genetic fingerprint to those reported in the U.S. romaine lettuce investigation. READ MORE
Raw cheese recall after six children hospitalized: An E. coli outbreak in France traced to raw milk cheese has prompted Canadian officials to initiate a recall of Reblochon cheese imported from France because of possible contamination. The recall in France involves about 350 tons of cheese. Seven children between the ages of 1 1/2 and 3 have become ill, with six of them hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious illness that can cause kidney failure. Read more HERE and HERE.
More Salmonella victims reported: NBC reports that 35 people across nine states have now been sickened by a Salmonella outbreak tied to a recall of more than 200 million eggs. The eggs have been traced to Rose Acre Farms in Hyde County, N.C. According to NBC, the eggs were sold under different brands in a variety of retailers and restaurants. Eleven people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported. READ MORE
Chocolate company hacked: Malley’s Chocolates is warning 3,400 online customers that their credit or debit card information might have been compromised by a computer hacker in March, during the Ohio candy company’s busy weeks before Easter. The company based in suburban Cleveland says the data breach affected customers who made online orders but not those shopping in person at its nearly two dozen stores in northeastern Ohio. READ MORE
Ag equipment maker worries about tariffs: Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, is concerned that rising trade tensions between the U.S. and other countries could affect sales of its signature green-and-yellow machinery. While U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum will have a financial impact on the company, Deere is “much more worried” about possible trade retaliation targeting American agricultural products, Chief Executive Officer Sam Allen said. READ MORE
Drought threatens: This comment from a banker in the Texas Panhandle paints a stark picture of how this year’s expanding drought is limiting business opportunities for farmers in the Southern Plains and Southwest: “Drought conditions continue to be the driving factor in planning and budgeting this year. If conditions persist, there will be fewer producers next year.” READ MORE