Health & Wellness


Scientists mystified by outbreak and escalation of enterovirus 68 among children

© Cyrus McCrimmon/Denver Post via Getty Images

Nine-year-old Jayden Broadway of Denver being tended to at Children’s Hospital Colorado, which treated about 3,600 children for respiratory illness from Aug. 18 to Sept. 24.
An outbreak of respiratory illness first observed in the Midwest has spread to 38 states, sending children to hospitals and baffling scientists trying to understand its virulent resurgence.

As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed 226 cases of infection with enterovirus 68. But it is likely that many times that number have been stricken. One case involved an adult, and no deaths have been linked to the infection.

"What the C.D.C. is reporting is clearly the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, the division director of infectious diseases at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. The hospital was the first to alert the agency last month to an unusual increase in children with trouble breathing. Since then, Dr. Jackson has received calls from colleagues nationwide seeking guidance. Some report that the influx of children to hospitals is "almost outweighing the resources available," she said.

Three times in the past month, the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital has had to divert ambulances to other hospitals because its emergency room was filled with children, most of them younger than 5, with severe respiratory illness. Before the outbreak, the hospital had not had to divert ambulances in 10 years, said Dr. Daniel Johnson, the interim section chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the hospital.

Enteroviruses are common, but this strain is not. Symptoms in the current outbreak resemble those of a bad cold, including body aches and cough. But some children progress to wheezing and having breathing difficulties. Scientists say they do not know why it is happening.

Comment: The best defense you have against illness and disease is a low carb (ketogenic) diet.
"From the 1960s onwards they have become widely known as one of the most common methods for obesity treatment. Recent work over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in many pathological conditions, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer and the amelioration of respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The possibility that modifying food intake can be useful for reducing or eliminating pharmaceutical methods of treatment, which are often lifelong with significant side effects, calls for serious investigation. This review revisits the meaning of physiological ketosis in the light of this evidence and considers possible mechanisms for the therapeutic actions of the ketogenic diet on different diseases. The present review also questions whether there are still some preconceived ideas about ketogenic diets, which may be presenting unnecessary barriers to their use as therapeutic tools in the physician's hand.

Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets
See also:
Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects
Are you prepping your diet?


Enterovirus 68 now causing paralysis? CDC investigating 9 cases in Colorado

© AP Photo/Children's Hospital Colorado

This 2007 photo provided by the Children's Hospital Colorado shows the facility in Aurora, Colo. On Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, the CDC said it is investigating nine cases of muscle weakness or paralysis in children at the hospital, and whether the culprit might be enterovirus 68 which is causing severe respiratory illness across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent doctors an alert about the polio-like cases and said the germ - enterovirus 68 - was detected in four out of eight of the sick children who had a certain medical test. The status of the ninth case is unclear.

The virus can cause paralysis but other germs can, too. Health officials don't know whether the virus caused any of the children's arm and leg weaknesses or whether it's just a germ they coincidentally picked up. "That's why we want more information," and for doctors to report similar cases, said the CDC's Dr. Jane Seward.

The cases occurred within the last two months. All nine children are being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, and most are from the Denver area. A hospital spokeswoman said the patients' families didn't want to talk to the media.

The nine children had fever and respiratory illness about two weeks before developing varying degrees of limb weakness. None seems to have a weak immune system or other conditions that might predispose them to severe illness, but the cases are still being investigated, Seward said. Investigators don't think it's polio - eight of the nine children are up to date on polio vaccinations. It's not known whether the limb weakness or paralysis is temporary or will be long-lasting.

The cases come amid an unusual wave of severe respiratory illness from enterovirus 68. The germ is not new - it was first identified in 1962 and has caused clusters of illness before, including in Georgia and Pennsylvania in 2009 and Arizona in 2010. Because it's not routinely tested for, it's possible the bug spread in previous years but was never distinguished from colds caused by other germs.
Heart - Black

Embarrassing statistics that prove American 'healthcare' is a travesty

healthcare graphic
© unknown
The health of people in the United States is plagued by conundrums.

We spend more on healthcare than any other developed nation, yet we lead far shorter lives. A baby born on American soil is the most expensive in the world, yet our newborns have a lower chance of surviving past infancy than those born in eight other developed nations. The Affordable Care Act has made health insurance more accessible to the poor, yet bills for medications and basic hospital procedures remain strikingly high.

Here are 11 charts that show in embarrassing detail some of the many shortcomings of our healthcare system.

1. Americans don't live as long as we should.

In terms of overall life expectancy, the United States ranks 26th out of 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries. Americans enjoy fewer years than Slovenians and Koreans, living just a tad longer than Czechs and Chileans, who used to rank far behind us.
birth life expectancy america

Comment: Only the wealthy and those whose occupations still provide decent insurance (and that is growing scarcer every year) can afford healthcare in America. The system is designed to benefit the insurance industry while sucking the life and financial resources out of most Americans.

Bacon n Eggs

The four biggest dietary lies that need to be corrected

There is no more doubting long-standing myths that mainstream nutrition adopted as truths due to poorly designed and corrupt scientific studies. On behalf of public health regulators -- doctors, nutritionists and many other health experts have relied on this misinformation to guide millions with false dietary advice which we now know to be harmful.
food groups
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1. Saturated Fat Is Harmful

When health professionals started blaming saturated fat for heart disease, people abandoned traditional fats like butter, lard and coconut oil in favor of processed vegetable oils. These oils are very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation and various problems when consumed in excess. These oils are often hydrogenated, which makes them high in trans fats. Many studies have shown that these fats and oils actually increase the risk of heart disease, even if they aren't hydrogenated.

Comment: For more on a healthy high fat, low carb diet see: The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview


Millions of children infected with 'vaccine safety experts' Rotateq vaccine

Paul Offit says you can safely administer 10,000 vaccines to infants at once. But he also profits from the patent he holds for the Rotateq vaccine. What's wrong with this picture?

Dr. Paul Offit is a pediatrician who co-invented a rotavirus vaccine (trade name Rotateq), who once stated in an interview that a child can be administered 100,000 vaccines safely at once (later revised to 10,000). A professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, he is the darling of the mainstream media and a widely cited self-appointed 'vaccine safety expert,' despite the glaring conflict of interest implied by such a designation.

Unfortunately for Dr. Offit (not so affectionately named Dr. Profit), a 2010 study published in Journal of Virology revealed that his multi-million dollar grossing patent on the Rotateq vaccine contains a live simian retrovirus (with a 96% match of certainty) that has likely infected millions of children over the past few years with a virus that causes great harm. Retrovirus infections are permanent, and can carry on indefinitely into future generations. In other words, once they are inserted into the human genome they can not be removed. View the entire PDF here.

Comment: Read more about the questionable credibility of Dr. Offit: In vaccines we trust?


Overmedicated: Antibiotics 'fail 15%' of patients due to superbugs and 'reckless' prescription

© Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic
One in seven patients can no longer be helped by antibiotics because they are increasingly ineffective after being handed out too freely by GPs. Experts warn that common infections could become potentially life-threatening for Britons.

Researchers at the University of Cardiff say that GPs often prescribe antibiotics too readily, sometimes for viruses such as coughs and colds, for which antibiotics are ineffective, resulting in bacteria evolving into "superbugs" that are resistant to treatments that used to kill them.

An analysis of medical records showed that almost 11 million patients were prescribed antibiotics between 1991 and 2012 for sinusitis, sore throats, skin infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Figures show overall antibiotic treatment failures increased from 13.9 percent in 1991 to 15.4 percent in 2012 - a rise of 12 percent.

Scientists said the findings were "bleak," with one in six courses of antibiotics failing in 2012 - while for some drugs this was more than half.

The figures showed that potentially life-threatening pneumonia and bronchitis were the most resilient infections to treat, showing an increased antibiotics failure rate of 35 percent.

Comment: It's not only UK's problem, apparently. It becomes clear that overmedication and vaccinations are going to be our undoing.


Things you should know about your 'Third Eye'

We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland - but that doesn't stop us from speculating.

Located in nearly the direct center of the brain, the tiny pinecone-shaped pineal gland, which habitually secretes the wondrous neurohormone melatonin while we sleep at night, was once thought to be a vestigial leftover from a lower evolutionary state.

Indeed, according to recent research, we could be increasing our chances of contracting chronic illnesses like cancer by unnecessarily bathing its evenings in artificial light, working night shifts or staying up too late. By disrupting the pineal gland and melatonin's chronobiological connection to Earth's rotational 24-hour light and dark cycle, known as its circadian rhythm, we're possibly opening the doors not to perception, but to disease and disorder. A recently published study from Vanderbilt University has found associations between circadian disruption and heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

By hacking what pinealophiles call our mind's third eye with an always-on technoculture transmitting globally at light-speed, we may have disadvantaged our genetic ability to ward off all manner of complicated nightmares. No wonder the pineal gland is a pop-culture staple for sci-fi, fantasy and horror fandom, as well as a mass attractor of mystics and mentalists. Its powers to divide and merge our light and dark lives only seems to grow the more we take it seriously.

Entire families in Liberia are now becoming infected as treatment centers are refusing patients for lack of beds

© Unknown
Utter despair and anguish in Liberia, West Africa. Where is the international community when you need them the most?
The family of the sick man, who had endured Ebola's telltale symptoms for six days, took him by taxi to treatment centers here in the capital twice, only to be turned back at the gate each time for lack of beds. He died at home, his arms thrashing violently and blood spewing out his mouth, in front of his sons.

"We had to carry him home two times because they could do nothing for us," said Eric Gweah, 25, as a team of body collectors came to retrieve the corpse of his father, Ofori Gweah, 62. "The only thing the government can do is come for bodies. They are killing us."

So many Ebola victims are dying at home because of the severe shortage of treatment centers here in Monrovia, Liberia's capital that they are infecting family members, neighbors and others in a ballooning circle of contagion

Only 18 percent of Ebola patients in Liberia are being cared for in hospitals or other settings that reduce the risk of transmission by isolating them from the rest of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unless that rate reaches 70 percent, the center predicted this week, Ebola cases will keep soaring.

Comment: So far the international community has done very, very little. They should have responded months ago in the early stages of this absolute nightmare. Where were they?

Life Preserver

Ebola mortality rate climbing: Ebola virologist warns outbreak could lead to 'complete breakdown of society'

In a grim assessment of the Ebola epidemic, researchers say the deadly virus threatens to become endemic to West Africa instead of eventually disappearing from humans. "The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak," wrote a panel of more than 60 World Health Organization experts in a study published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. "We must therefore face the possibility that Ebola virus disease will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated." In the absence of new control measures, the authors estimated that the total case load would exceed 20,000 by Nov 2. "The numbers of cases of and deaths from EVD are expected to continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week in the coming months," the authors wrote. As of Monday, the United Nations health organization reported that out of a total of 5,864 confirmed and probable cases, 2,811 deaths have resulted.

"The true numbers of cases and deaths are certainly higher," the authors wrote. "There are numerous reports of symptomatic persons evading diagnosis and treatment, of laboratory diagnoses that have not been included in national databases, and of persons with suspected Ebola virus disease who were buried without a diagnosis having been made." When a virus is slow to mutate, as Ebola appears to be, the pathogen steadily wanes as the number of people who have developed immunity increases. With proper controls, experts say the virus would find it increasingly difficult to spread among the population until it eventually disappeared from humans and survived only in its so-called animal reservoir, which is believed to be a fruit bat. In this case however, epidemiologists fear that the virus could continue to linger in small pockets, extending its life in humans and potentially mutating in a way that makes fighting it more difficult. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, and Dr. Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the epidemic has helped to degrade an already meager system of healthcare.
Monkey Wrench

Number one foe of supplements on Capitol Hill? Senator Dick Durban

Sen. Durbin has long demonstrated a bias against dietary supplements. Here's a taste of his career-long attempt to give FDA the power to sweep thousands of supplements off the shelves.

Comment: Now that Henry Waxman is retiring from Congress, it is clearly Senator Dick Durbin who is spearheading the ongoing issue of supporting the FDA, working overtime, to ban your access to supplements.
Medicinal plants have been used for thousands of years to support human health. It is only in the last 75 years or so that western medicine has gained power over the industry and surreptitiously declared that all of the medicinal herbs used for thousands of years throughout human history are now suddenly inert or harmful.
Websites like Alliance for Natural Health continue to shine a light on the ongoing corruption of 'regulatory agencies' like the FDA and their dirty deals with Big Pharma: