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Warning of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge in Insect Numbers


Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. Photograph: Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Plos One - More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas - by Darian Carrington - October 18, 2017

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.


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G7 states vow to wipe out Ebola but offer little concrete action

REUTERS                                                      June 8, 2015

KRUEN, Germany - Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial nations pledged on Monday to wipe out Ebola but offered little in terms of concrete action, disappointing non-governmental organisations.

G7 leaders said in a communique at the end of a two-day summit in the Bavarian Alps that they would offer help to at least 60 nations, including in West Africa, over the next five years to help prevent outbreaks from turning into epidemics.

More than 11,000 people have died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa since the first reported case in March 2014. The G7 said the crisis showed it was necessary to enhance the world's ability to prevent, detect and respond to such emergencies.

The G7 nations said they would work together to combat future epidemics and boost or establish strategies to quickly deploy teams of experts with a variety of skills via a common platform, but their communique was thin on detail.

Florian Westphal, General Director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Germany, said the leaders had done little to ensure epidemics would not spiral out of control in future....

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Global health leaders ask G7 for post-Ebola rapid response unit

(Two stories. Scroll down.)
REUTERS by Kate Kelland                                                           June 5, 2015
LONDON -- Global health leaders will ask G7 leaders this weekend to back the creation of a specialist rapid response unit to tackle outbreaks of infectious killer diseases.

The corpse of a patient who passed away is given back to the family for funerals after being decontaminated by the MSF teams. It was washed with chlorine solution and put it in a hermetic bag also disinfected to leave the high risk area.

The move reflects how the World Health Organization in particular was caught unprepared last year by Ebola, which spread through three West African countries, has killed 11,000 people, and will not be stamped out before the end of this year.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the unit should come under the WHO, but be free of bureaucracy and able to act independently "in days" when a potentially fatal epidemic begins...

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Ebola: German ministers talks up economic recovery in West Africa

Deutsche Welle                                                                                          April 7, 2015
BERLIN --Two German federal ministers are on their way to West Africa, to offer Berlin's support as the region recovers from the effects of Ebola. They've also flagged creating specialist teams to deal with future crises.

The lawmakers, Health Minister Hermann Gröhe and Development Minister Gerd Müller...will push for a redevelopment of the affected health systems, and ways to better respond to health disasters in Africa, with a 200-million euro aid package sponsored by Germany.

Müller told the Bild newspaper that a team of "white helmets" - groups of doctors, technicians and specialists - would be set up at Germany's development agency, GIZ, to be sent anywhere in the world in three to five days.

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Doctors Who Treat Ebola Feel More Socially Isolated

LIVESCIENCE.COM   by Rachael Rettner                                                                         Feb. 13, 2015

Doctors who take care of very sick Ebola patients may feel socially isolated, but surprisingly, they may not feel more stressed than usual, a new study from Germany suggests.

Researchers surveyed 46 health care workers who treated Germany's first Ebola patient in August 2014, as well as 40 health care workers who worked in the same hospital but did not treat the Ebola patient.

The researchers who did the study hypothesized that the people who treated the Ebola patient would have more symptoms of psychological distress because they were working in a challenging environment that presented a risk that they could become infected with the deadly virus.

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Red Cross nurse dies of Ebola in Sierra Leone

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                             Jan. 15, 2015

BERLIN  — The international Red Cross says a local employee has died of Ebola in Sierra Leone, becoming the first Red Cross worker or volunteer to succumb to the disease there.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the male nurse who worked at an Ebola treatment center in Kenema, whom it didn't identify, died Tuesday and was confirmed to have been suffering from the disease.

It said Thursday it is investigating how the man became infected and whether it happened at home or at work. The agency said 29 people who had contact with him are being monitored for symptoms.Linke

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FDA allows testing of Aethlon device in Ebola patients

REUTERS                                                        Jan. 2, 2015

SAN DIEGO- Calif. --Aethlon Medical Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the testing in Ebola patients of its bio-filtration device, which was used against the deadly virus in a critically ill patient in Germany who later recovered.

The device, being developed as a broad-spectrum countermeasure against pandemic threats, filters viruses and toxins from the blood.

It is currently being tested in India for its ability to accelerate viral load depletion when used in combination with hepatitis C standard-of-care drug therapy.

Patients will be treated for six to eight hours daily with the device, called Aethlon's Hemopurifier, until the Ebola viral load drops below 1,000 copies/ml.

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German Ebola treatment center officially opened in Liberia

DW                                                                                                                                    Dec 23, 2014

MONROVIA-- Liberia has hailed the official opening of its first German Ebola treatment center. The ceremony took place one day after global health officials announced that the Ebola death toll had passed 7,500.

The German-Liberia Ebola treatment Center was officially opened by Liberia's Assistant Minister for Health, Tolbert Nyenswah and the German ambassador to Liberia, Ralph Timmermann.

The center has an initial capacity of 50 beds. "There are three different wards - one for suspected cases, another for probable cases and yet another for confirmed cases," Christian Schuh, outgoing head of the German Red Cross told DW at the ceremony in the center in Paynesville on the outskirts of the capital Monrovia on Tuesday.

There are also facilities and space for nurses, doctors, pharmacies, training and teaching....

Timmermann said Germany had so far raised $150 million (123 million euros) to help fight Ebola in the three worst affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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One More Drug For Ebola Treatment Pipeline?

NBC NEWS by Maggie Fox                                                                                                      Dec. 19, 2014

German doctors think they have another possible drug to add to the Ebola treatment pipeline. It's one already shown to be safe and in trials to treat heart attack victims.

The drug, called FX06, is made using a natural human blood-clotting protein called fibrin. The hope is it can help reduce the leaking of blood vessels that can seriously threaten people with advanced Ebola infections.

The team at Frankfurt University Hospital say it may have helped save a Ugandan doctor they treated, although they note it failed to save a second patient.

Nonetheless, it should be tested, they wrote in the Lancet medical journal.

"Even though the patient was critically ill, we were able to support him long enough for his body to start antibody production and for the virus to be cleared by his body's defenses," said Dr. Timo Wolf, who helped lead the research team. "FX06 could potentially be a valuable agent in contribution to supportive therapy."

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Finally, Germany Makes Progress on Coal - November 3rd, 2014 - Richard Martin

For critics who scoff that Europe’s carbon emission reduction goals are unachievable, Germany has become Exhibit No. 1. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel decreed in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that Germany would phase out its nuclear power industry, coal use in Germany has been on the rise, and the country’s carbon emissions have remained stubbornly high.

Now it appears that tide may be turning.


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