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Study: antibiotic-resistant MRSA 'Superbug' found in US homes

© Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the bacteria strains.
An anti-biotic resistant "superbug" that has long affected hospitals and other health care locations around the world has now found a new "reservoir" location: inside U.S. homes.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people's homes were "major reservoirs" for the bacteria strains, HealthDay reports.
Arrow Up

Huge study links aspartame to major problems, sales drop

As concerns about health epidemics plague the nation, demand and sales of diet soda have plunged as consumers try to make better choices. As we reported yesterday, aspartame - the main sweetener for diet soda - is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply, causing seizures and a host of other health issues.
© eatingrealfood.com
In a new study done over ten years and sampling 60,000 women, it was shown that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.

In the largest study done of it's kind, The University of Iowa concluded:
"...[C]ompared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

'This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome,' says Dr. Ankur Vyas... the lead investigator of the study.

...The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index."
Thankfully this study comes on the heels of reports of already slipping sales of diet soda, one of the largest aspartame markets.
Target

Vertigo: A common problem that left one man spinning for months

inner ear
© Timothy C. Hain
The inner ear is often the source of vertigo. There, tiny crystals of calcium, or otoconia, can detach and move freely through the semicircular canals. Movement causes otoconia to stimulate the motion-sensitive cupula, which sends false signals to the brain, creating vertigo.
March 27, 2009. I was fine the night before. The little cold I'd had was gone, and I'd had the first good night's sleep all week. But when I woke up Friday morning at 6:15 and got out of bed, the world was whirling counterclockwise. I knocked against the bookcase, stumbled through the bathroom doorway and landed on my knees in front of the sink. It was as though I'd been tripped by a ghost lurking beside the bed.

Even when I was on all fours, the spinning didn't stop. Lightheaded, reaching for solid support, I made it back to bed and, showing keen analytical insight, told my wife, Beverly, "Something's wrong."

The only way I could put on my shirt was to kneel on the floor first. I teetered when I rose. Trying to keep my head still, moving only my eyes, I could feel my back and shoulders tightening, forming a shell. Everything was in motion, out of proportion, unstable. I barely made it downstairs for breakfast, clutching the banister, concentrating on each step and, when I finally made it to the kitchen, feeling too aswirl to eat anyway. I didn't realize it at the time, but those stairs would become my greatest risk during this attack of relentless, intractable vertigo.
Whistle

Scientists identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

ebola lab
© Inserm / Guénet François
This image shows Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon
In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on 16 April, researchers from Inserm (Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon) and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible for this epidemic.

Performed in less than a month, sequencing of the complete genome and subsequent phylogenetic analysis show that the virus present in Guinea forms a clade (variant) that is distinct from strains previously identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon. Epidemiological investigations also linked the laboratory confirmed cases with the initial deaths recorded during the December 2013 outbreak.

Ebola virus is a lethal, highly contagious virus for which there is presently no treatment. The symptoms are somewhat non-specific, and include fever, severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Between 30 and 90% of those infected with this organism die as a result.

On 2 April 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a communiqué published by the UN, reported that it had recorded 5 new cases of Ebola fever in Guinea. Since January, the total number of suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola fever in the present outbreak in Guinea is 127, with 83 deaths, according to WHO, which states that 35 cases were confirmed by laboratory testing.
Health

Greece confirms first MERS coronavirus case

© Reuters / Stefan Wermuth
Greece's first confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) patient is reportedly in critical condition, according to doctors. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's health minister has been sacked without explanation as the country's death toll climbs to 81.

The 69-year-old Greek patient contracted the deadly MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, where he is a permanent resident. The man returned from Saudi Arabia to Greece on April 17. The Greek Health Ministry confirmed to AP that it was there he fell sick.

Saudi Arabia has suffered the most fatalities from MERS so far and has been the site of most recorded cases. Upon the man's return to Greece, he started running a high fever and tested positive for MERS.
Heart - Black

Documentary exposes psychiatry's secret involvement in military suicides

suicide by pills
© unknown
The number of suicides among U.S. military members has been rising at an alarming rate.

According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, "In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle - an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day - about 8000 a year."

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has recognized this surge in suicides as an "epidemic." Some claim that combat-related stress is the main culprit, but 85 percent of military members who commit suicide have not seen combat, and 52 percent have never been deployed.
Syringe

The scary truth about the New York City flu vaccine mandate

This year, 150,000 children will be added to the list of victims of forced vaccination. The leaders of New York City have mandated that all children under the age of six years old who attend day care or preschool must be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.
© Flickr
The official requirement mandates that all children between the ages of six months and five years who will be attending day care or preschool in New York City must be vaccinated between July 1 and December 31 of any given year. One health official claims that the rule won't officially be enforced until the end of 2014, and a press release from the New York City Board of Health states that they will begin issuing violations on January 1, 2016. [1] [2]

New York City already mandates that children must be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, chicken pox, and tetanus. The new mandate is expected to affect 150,000 children under the age of six. Daycare and preschool facilities will be required to enforce the mandates or face they will face fines. [3]

Comment: For parents:

- How a Mother Fought for Vaccine Exemption to Protect Her Kids
- You Want To Vaccinate My Child? No Problem, Just Sign This Form

Pi

Brain injury makes man a math genius

Jason Padgett

Jason Padgett
Twelve years ago, Jason Padgett had never made it past pre-algebra. And then a violent mugging changed everything

If you could see the world through my eyes, you would know how perfect it is, how much order runs through it, and how much structure is hidden in its tiniest parts. We're so often victims of things - I see the violence too, the disease, the poverty stretching far and wide - but the universe itself and everything we can touch and all that we are is made of the most beautiful geometric patterns imaginable. I know because they're right in front of me. Because of a traumatic brain injury, the result of a brutal physical attack, I've been able to see these patterns for over a decade. This change in my perception was really a change in my brain function, the result of the injury and the extraordinary and mostly positive way my brain healed. All of a sudden, the patterns were just . . . there, and I realize now that my injury was a rare gift. I'm lucky to have survived, but for me, the real miracle - what really saved me - was being introduced to and almost overwhelmed by the mathematical grace of the universe.

There's a park in my town of Tacoma, Washington, that I like to walk through in the mornings before work. I see the trees that line its path as anyone would, the branches and the bark, but I see a geometrical blueprint laid on top of them too. I see triangular patterns emerging from the leaves, reminding me of the Pythagorean theorem, as if it's unfolding in the air, proving to me over and over again what the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras deduced thousands of years ago: the sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle (a triangle in which one angle is a right angle, or 90 degrees) equals the square of its hypotenuse. I don't need a calculator to know that the simple formula most of us learned in school - a2 + b2 = c2 - is true; I can see it instantly in the trees all around me. To me, a tree is more than its geometry, but geometry is also far more than most people realize. I think it's everything.
Health

Battling Ebola in West Africa


Samaritan's Purse is sling loading ebola isolation ward kits from Gueckedou, Guinea, to Foya, Liberia, for set-up of the isolation ward.
Samaritan's Purse works with the Liberian government to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus

Two nurses in Liberia are among the 135 people who have died from the virulent Ebola virus that is sweeping across West Africa. The nurses worked at Foya Boma Hospital, near the border of Guinea, where the outbreak originated before spreading to Liberia.

Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses in the world, killing up to 90 percent of those infected. There is no cure or vaccine. The only way to stop it is to keep it from spreading.

Samaritan's Purse is partnering with Liberia's Ministry of Health to contain the outbreak. We are conducting public education and awareness campaigns in Lofa, River Gee, Gbarpulu, and Nimba counties and in Monrovia, the capital city and location of our field office.

So far, we have reached more than 140,000 people in 445 communities with Ebola awareness and prevention messaging. Hygiene items, including buckets, cups, and soap, have also been distributed.
Health

West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of disease

An Ebola outbreak blamed for 135 deaths in West Africa in the past month was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a new strain of the disease, a study in a U.S. medical journal said, raising the specter of further regional epidemics.
ebola virus mikroskopaufnahme
© dpa
The spread of Ebola from a remote corner of Guinea to the capital and into neighboring Liberia, the first deadly outbreak reported in West Africa, has caused panic across a region struggling with weak healthcare systems and porous borders.

Ebola is endemic to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Gabon, and scientists initially believed that Central Africa's Zaire strain of the virus was responsible for the outbreak.

Using analysis of blood samples from infected patients, however, researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus (EBOV) showed a 97 percent similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa.

"This study demonstrates the emergence of a new EBOV strain in Guinea," wrote the group of more than 30 doctors and scientists, who published their preliminary findings on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola - a hemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent that causes symptoms ranging from flu-like pains to internal and external bleeding caused by kidney and liver failure. Its suspected origin is forest bats and it can be transmitted between humans by touching victims or through bodily fluids.

"It is possible that EBOV has circulated undetected in this region for some time. The emergence of the virus in Guinea highlights the risk of EBOV outbreaks in the whole West African subregion," the report continued.

Comment: Don't forget to check:

Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus
New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

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