2:45 AM 1/18/2021
A decade after an outbreak of Q fever killed 95 people in the Netherlands, scientists fear the emergence of a new disease
In early 2008, Jeannette van de Ven began to see a slightly higher rate of miscarriages among the goats on her dairy farm in the south of the Netherlands.
“We sent the samples to the veterinary authority. Nine out of 10 results showed no explanation. Only maybe toxoplasmosis from cats. We had no cats,” she says.
Van de Ven, who keeps a herd of around 1,700 dairy goats in Noord-Brabant, a province densely populated with goat farms, kept sending samples. Finally, in May 2008 an outbreak of the respiratory infection Q fever was confirmed. It infects livestock including goats, sheep and cattle, and is found in placenta, amniotic fluid, urine, faeces and milk.
The disease turned into a nightmare for the Netherlands after thousands of people also became infected during the outbreak, which lasted from 2007 to 2010. The Dutch government culled more than 50,000 dairy goats on 55 farms in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.
About half of the humans infected ended up developing complications, such as heart failure, and 95 people died.
On 20 January 2020, the US saw its first confirmed coronavirus case – the beginning of a tsunami of infection that Trump failed to properly address
At around 5pm on 20 January 2020, Dr George Diaz received a call from the federal health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bearing alarming news. They had just logged a positive test for a new strain of coronavirus in a 35-year-old man who had recently returned to Washington state from Wuhan, China. CDC officials wanted to bring the patient in to Diaz’s hospital, Providence Regional medical center in Everett, outside Seattle.
Many people taking that call would have hit the panic button. The positive test was the first ever recorded in the US for this frightening new strain of disease. The virus was so novel it still had no name other than 2019-nCoV, and no one could say for sure how infectious it was, how it was transmitted and critically just how deadly it would prove to be.
Rare printing error – or creative addition by bored employee – makes 2004 banknote a collector’s item, auctioneer says
Officially, it is classified as “an obstructed printing error with retained obstruction”. In reality, it appears to be a simple slip-up.
A $20 banknote which had a sticker from a bunch of bananas attached to it before it was overprinted with security numbering is now up for auction at a Texas dealer, the rare error elevating its worth to $57,500, almost 3,000 times its face value.