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Nuke

TEPCO reports Fukushima nuclear meltdown worse than originally reported

© AFP Photo / Kimmasa Mayama
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo
The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's third reactor building was even worse than initially believed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has announced.

In fact, the power company's new appraisal of the Fukushima No. 3 reactor building shows that all - or nearly all - of the fuel rods contained inside were melted, dropping onto the floor of the containment vessel. If true, the news means the power plant could be even tougher to decommission.

According to the Japan Times, TEPCO first estimated back in November of 2011 that roughly 63 percent of the reactor's fuel rods had melted.

But TEPCO now believes that after studying conditions surrounding the fuel core, the reactor's cooling system stopped functioning more than five hours earlier than previously estimated. As a result, the meltdown would have started around that same time period.

As reported by the Yomiuri Shimbun, it is possible that with more nuclear fuel resting in the containment vessel than originally estimated, removing it will require even more careful planning.
Syringe

Why vaccines spread disease and vaccine science is flawed

The rising incidence of infectious disease illustrates the fact that vaccines spread disease. These are diseases the system insists have been mostly eradicated due to the advent of vaccines, but they are starting to reemerge. A deeper look into the history of vaccines, how they work and what level of long-term protection they truly provide reveals that these golden calves of modern medicine are actually the vehicles through which infectious disease is being spread, with vaccinated individuals as the primary disease carriers.

The notion that vaccines spread diseases is the opposite of what we have been told for decades about the nature of vaccines. One common claim has been that vaccines produce immunity to diseases that might otherwise kill you, and the assumption is that refusing vaccines leaves one prone to both catching and spreading otherwise uncommon infectious diseases. These and other modern medical myths about vaccines pervade mainstream thinking, and yet they have absolutely no basis in sound science.
Whistle

Doctor: 'There's not enough panic & customers to make an Ebola Vaccine' - Oh really?

A short two-minute video Bloomberg News uploaded to YouTube attempts to explain why the world doesn't already have a widely available Ebola vaccine.

(Trusting the ingredients of such a thing and whether or not you would personally take it is another matter entirely, but hold on a second.)

Ambulance

Liberia declares state of emergency as Ebola death toll reaches 932

Liberia's president declared a state of emergency Wednesday as the World Health Organization said the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 932.

The new figures come as Nigeria confirmed the death of a nurse of Ebola. It was the second death from the disease in Nigeria and a growing number of cases are being reported in Lagos, a megacity of some 21 million people.

The first death in Nigeria was that of Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old American of Liberian descent with a wife and three young daughters in Minnesota. Sawyer, who worked in Liberia, was traveling on a business flight to Nigeria when he fell ill. Nigerian authorities acknowledge they did not treat Sawyer as an Ebola patient and failed to isolate him for the first 24 hours after his arrival in Nigeria last month.
Attention

CDC raises alert response to 'level 1' amid Ebola outbreak

© Heraldonline
CDC officials sit in on conference about Ebola.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday ramped up its response to the expanding Ebola outbreak, a move that frees up hundreds of employees and signals the agency sees the health emergency as a potentially long and serious one.

The CDC's "level 1 activation" is reserved for the most serious public health emergencies, and the agency said the move was appropriate considering the outbreak's "potential to affect many lives." The CDC took a similar move in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 during the bird-flu threat.

The Ebola outbreak is believed to have killed 932 people in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea. Two American aid workers sickened by the disease were flown back to the U.S. for treatment at a medical facility in Atlanta.

The CDC is deploying additional staff to the four affected countries, and said 50 more disease-control experts should arrive there in the next 30 days. It also issued instructions to airlines that may come into contact with passengers from the affected countries designed to minimize the chance of infection.
Bug

As more parasites become resistant, malaria's strongest drug becoming obsolete

© AFP
Our time is limited, it seems, when it comes to our faltering abilities to fight infectious diseases. Evidence has suggested for some time now that bacteria are becoming immune to common antibiotics. Similarly, malaria parasites have also been developing resistance to antimalarial drugs, including a powerful combination drug introduced in the mid-1990s called artemisinin. In a new study, scientists say that "radical measures" must be taken to prevent resistance to these drugs, otherwise, countries where the disease is prevalent will face a huge setback.

The study was led by Nicholas White of Oxford University, who is also chair of the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network. It found that malarial resistance to artemisinin, and the drugs it's used in combination with to fight the disease, is spreading across major parts of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. "Resistance to artemisinin has not been contained, and has now emerged or spread across Southeast Asia," the researchers wrote, adding that resistance to these drugs "may well reverse the substantial gains in malaria control. New antimalarial drugs are under development but will not be available for several years."

Derived from wormwood, artemisinin has been available for centuries (ancient Chinese used it), however, it only became a widely used antimalarial after other antimalarials, chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, became obsolete from resistance. Roughly 3.4 billion people are at risk of a malarial infection, which is still prevalent throughout 97 countries, according to the World Health Organization. If artemisinin continues down the path of resistance, malaria will come back to affect a growing number of people, negating any advances the health community has made.

Comment:
  • Experts warn millions of lives are at risk as world's most effective malaria drug loses its potency


Health

Several Britons quarantined for Ebola amidst claims the virus may be transmitted without physical contact

© Reuters
Several British nationals have been voluntarily quarantined with suspected Ebola, according to the Daily Telegraph. The admission came from public health officials and follows revelations an individual in Cardiff had expressed fears they had contracted the disease.

The exact number of people quarantined and their exact location have not been confirmed, but they are believed to be spread across the UK. The problem faced by public health authorities is that tests for Ebola are ineffective until the patients show symptoms. This means that they have to wait up to 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period.

The World Health Organisation has also claimed that the virus is spreading faster than they can control. This may be because of a misunderstanding about how the virus is transmitted, in 2012 a study suggested that Ebola may be transmitted through the air.

Whilst the study was not conclusive the BBC reported that Canadian scientists had found that Ebola had been transmitted between animals that had never come into direct contact. This suggests that the current theory that it is only transmitted by exchange of bodily fluids may be wrong.

Comment: See also: For the sake of you and your family's health, ditch the sugar and start eating animal fats. See:

Attention

Liberia declares state of emergency 'for the very survival of the state', as Ebola death toll rises to 932

© Reuters / Tommy Trenchard
Liberia's president declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to combat the ongoing outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, as the country began implementing quarantine checkpoints.

The country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said that the scale of the Ebola outbreak represents a threat to Liberia's security.

"The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people," she said via statement. "I...hereby declare a State of Emergency throughout the Republic of Liberia effective as of Aug. 6, 2014 for a period of 90 days."

The World Health Organization announced that 932 people have died from the recent Ebola outbreak, as the organization begins to consider whether experimental drugs should be deployed to West Africa to help contain the situation. The WHO is to decide whether it will declare an international public health emergency in order to deal with the outbreak in the coming days.

Comment: See also: For the sake of you and your family's health, ditch the sugar and start eating animal fats. See:

Bizarro Earth

Sierra Leone, Liberia deploy troops to enforce quarantine as Ebola toll hits 887

© Reuters
Hundreds of troops deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Monday to quarantine communities hit by the deadly Ebola virus, as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak reached 887 and three new cases were reported in Nigeria.

With healthcare systems in the West Africa nations overrun by the epidemic, the African Development Bank and World Bank said they would immediately disburse $260 million to the three countries worst affected - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The World Health Organization, which warned last week of catastrophic consequences if the disease were not controlled, reported 61 new deaths in the two days to Aug. 1 as the disease continues to spread.

The outbreak began in February in the forests of Guinea. The toll there continues to rise, but the epicenter has since shifted to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Ambulance

Sierra Leone 'unable to contain' ebola outbreak, international doctor claims

© Reuters / Tami Chappell
As health officials scramble to respond to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, one emergency coordinator is claiming that Sierra Leone is incapable of handling the situation.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Doctors Without Borders coordinator Anja Wolz said the country needs international help if it is going to stop the situation from getting worse. Specifically, she called on the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to become involved.

"I think that the government and the ministry of health here in Sierra Leone is not able to deal with this outbreak. We need much more help from international organizations - as WHO, as CDC, as other organizations - to come to support the government," she said.

"Still we have unsafe burials; people who are doing the burial without disinfection of the body; still we have patients who are hiding themselves; still we have patients or contacts of patients who are running away because they are afraid."
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