A different kind of mile-high club: 12 ill on a flight to LAX

Illnesses happen on planes, and it’s miserable.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 12 passengers on a flight from Fiji to LAX fell ill with vomiting and nausea. Each of the affected flyers reported staying in the same hotel prior to the flight.

Maybe the best plane-related outbreak was one reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases a couple of years ago. I’d describe my poop and barf-related imagination as pretty good but I couldn’t have dreamt up the scenario that unfolded on a plane leaving Boston bound for Los Angeles in October 2008.F97B1678-9288-4E1F-A6DC-5C807461E2CA

Members of [the] tour group experienced diarrhea and vomiting throughout an airplane flight from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, resulting in an emergency diversion 3 h after takeoff.

The problematic flight departed Boston on Oct 8, 2008, heading for Los Angeles and carrying among its passengers 35 members of a leaf-peeping tour group. (Four more members of the group had planned other routes home, while two had been hospitalized in the previous 2 days.)

The outbreak included a passenger with “multiple episodes of diarrhea, with at least 1 occurring in the aisle of the first-class section. The soiled aisle was not cleaned until after completion of the flight.”

Year of the Vet ends, in Fiji too; 250 years since first vet school opened

The Fiji Veterinary Association writes that as 2011 draws to a close, so too does the International Year of the Veterinarian.

The world’s first veterinary school was established in Lyon in France in 1761 and 2011 marks the 250th world anniversary of veterinary training.

The Lyon facility created the veterinary profession that has been working ever since to improve animal and human health. Over 100 veterinary schools have since been established globally.

Veterinarians have been in service in Fiji since 1923 when Dr Charles Turbet, a graduate of the University of Sydney, was appointed the first veterinary officer within the Department of Agriculture. He served for over 15 years, including a period as the acting director of agriculture in the late 1930s

Dr Alan Donald, whose father had worked for the department in the 1930s, established the veterinary laboratory at Koronivia in 1956 when his first lab assistant was Deo Raj Singh. Deo Raj subsequently acquired a veterinary degree from the University of Sydney and later became director of Animal Health and Production.

Fiji has been well-served by both expatriate and local veterinarians through to and after Independence and a total of 14 Fiji citizens have graduated with degrees in veterinary science and returned to Fiji to work.

At present, however, only six of these graduates remain in Fiji. Over 50 expatriate veterinarians have worked in Fiji since the early 1920s, mainly in the department but several have also worked in the corporate livestock sector here.

Although Fiji has sourced its veterinarians in the past from overseas veterinary schools, consideration is now being given to developing a veterinary program here in Fiji, possibly at the Fiji National University, where a Diploma in Animal Health has recently commenced.

Bad enough touching them: health experts warn Fijians of salmonella dangers of iguanas

Nature experts are warning Fijians to be aware of salmonella carried by the American iguana.

Tamara Osborne-Naikatini told Radio Australia they’re getting the message out, after a boy came down with the infection.

??"The little boy was treated at the village nursing station, just for a simple wound that would have involved an antiseptic or antibiotic solution being applied, which is sufficient to treat anything that may be infected with salmonella.”