Health & Wellness


Texas Ebola patient fighting for life, new US drug 'all gone'

© Reuters / Jim Young
A worker in a hazardous material suit carries out a barrel of contents from the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas, October 5, 2014.
The first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital and is not receiving any of the new experimental drugs for the virus, which has killed over 3,400 people in Africa, media reports say.

Thomas Eric Duncan contracted the disease in Liberia and began to show symptoms after arriving in Texas two weeks ago, causing a panic that he could have infected another 10 individuals.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Duncan is in critical condition, adding that the patient is not receiving ZMapp - an experimental medicine - because it is "all gone" and is "not going to be available anytime soon."

The comments were made during a briefing with reporters on Sunday.

Speaking on another experiential drug produced by Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp, Frieden described the treatment as "difficult for patients to take."

The decision whether to give this drug to the patient will be made by his doctor and family members, but "access" to the medicine will be made available.

"As far as we understand, experimental medicine is not being used," Frieden said. "It's really up to his treating physicians, himself, his family what treatment to take."

Drinking water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene causing high rates of pregnancy complications and stillbirths

pregnancy complications PCE drinking water
© Shutterstock
PCE in drinking water doubles the risk of stillbirths for pregnant women.
There's something in the water for moms-to-be to be afraid of because it's causing stillbirths and other pregnancy complications. Researchers from the Boston University Medical Center found a dangerous chemical in drinking water, and published their findings in the journal Environmental Health.

The pregnant women of Cape Cod, Mass., were experiencing some abnormally high rates of pregnancy complications and researchers set out to find what was making them twice as likely to have a stillbirth, and 1.35 times more likely to have a placenta abruption and high risk of vaginal bleeding. It wasn't until researchers looked into their drinking water that they found the cause; a sickening chemical called tetrachloroethylene (PCE) was harming moms and their unborn babies.

Comment: One more good reason to drink filtered water as unfortunately, most tap water contains so many toxins, that you may be ruining your health by ingesting it:

7 Tap water toxins

Children exposed to more brain-harming chemicals than ever before

Common Chemical Linked to Parkinson's


Vaccine Crimes: India holds Bill Gates accountable

As Bill Gates faces a lawsuit for the illegal testing of tribal children in India, it appears that his crimes against humanity have finally caught up with him.

A recent report published by Health Impact News has reported that the Gates Foundation has found itself facing a pending lawsuit, due to an investigation that is being carried out by the Supreme Courts of India.

Health Impact News stated:
While fraud and corruption are revealed on almost a daily basis now in the vaccine industry, the U.S. mainstream media continues to largely ignore such stories. Outside the U.S., however, the vaccine empires are beginning to crumble, and English versions of the news in mainstream media outlets are available via the Internet.

One such country is India, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their vaccine empire are under fire, including a pending lawsuit currently being investigated by the India Supreme Court. [1]

Comment: Additional articles backing up the author's claim regarding 'mounting evidence outlining the many crimes against humanity that have been committed by the Gates Foundation'


Creepy ties between pharmaceutical companies and doctors

Payments from Big Pharma reach hundreds of thousands of doctors.

On Tuesday, the federal government released details of payments to doctors by every pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer in the country. The information is being made public under a provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The law mandates disclosure of payments to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists for things like promotional speaking, consulting, meals, educational items and research.

It's not quite clear what the data will show - in part because the first batch will be incomplete, covering spending for only a few months at the end of 2013 - but we at ProPublica have some good guesses. That's because we have been detailing relationships between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry for the past four years as part of our Dollars for Docs project.

We've aggregated information from the websites of some large drug companies, which publish their payments as a condition of settling federal whistle-blower lawsuits alleging improper marketing or kickbacks. In cooperation with the website Pharmashine, we've added data for 2013, which now covers 17 drug companies accounting for half of United States drug sales that year. (You can look up your doctor using our easy search tool.)

Dallas Ebola-positive man possibly infected 10 in Texas

ebola workers
© Reuters/Jim Young
Workers wearing hazardous material suits arrive at the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas, October 3, 2014.
US health officials are monitoring 10 quarantined people who had contact with a Liberian man infected by the deadly Ebola virus. The individuals are being checked regularly as medical officials play down the risk of an outbreak.

The 10 individuals are considered to be at 'high risk,' and are being checked at regular intervals for symptoms of the disease that has already killed thousands of people in West Africa.

Another 50 people who had indirect contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the infected visitor who entered the United States from Liberia on September 19, are under daily observation, Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, told Reuters.

Initially the authorities identified 100 people who had any kind of contact with Duncan and risked exposure to the deadly virus.

In Washington, government officials were pressed by reporters as to how Duncan was able to enter the territory of the United States from Liberia, one of the hardest hit of three West African countries where the Ebola virus has killed an estimated 3, 439 people, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization.

Ebola questions and answers: transmission, infection and false negative test results

ebola virus
© unknown
There is a lot of confusing - and often contradictory - information about the Ebola virus circulating.

Hopefully this Q&A will clear things up.

Q: What IS the Ebola virus?

A: Ebola is an infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. So far, only two members of this family of viruses have been identified - Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus.

Five subspecies of Ebolavirus have been identified, four of which can cause disease in humans:
  • Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus)
  • Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus)
  • Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d'Ivoire ebolavirus)
  • Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus)
  • Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus): This is the one that has not caused disease in humans (but it can be fatal in non-human primates). This is the strain that killed dozens of lab monkeys at a research facility in Reston, VA, in 1989. Four workers at that facility tested positive for Ebola. In 1996, nine lab workers were exposed to this strain after handling infected animals. None of those infected developed symptoms or became ill, but they did develop antibodies to the strain. It is possible that the Reston strain can be transmitted via small-particle aerosols (airborne), but that hasn't been confirmed.

Ebola-like virus 'Marburg' breaks out (again) in Uganda - 1 dead, 80 quarantined

© Wikimedia commons
Marburg virus
The deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever has broken out in Uganda after samples taken to the Uganda Virus Institute tested positive, a top government official said Sunday.

Elioda Tumwesigye, minister of state for health told reporters that one person has so far died and 80 others are being monitored in central Uganda and the western district of Kasese.

"The Ministry of Health would like to inform the country of an outbreak Marburg which has so far killed one person. Another person who has developed signs is being monitored," he said.

He said the index case died on Sept. 28 after developing signs of Marburg which was later confirmed by laboratory tests. The minister said the deceased's brother has also developed signs and is currently under isolation.

He added that all the people that had contact with them are being monitored.

The Marburg virus was last reported in Uganda in 2012.

According to the World Health Organization, Marburg is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

According to the global health body, the illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with severe headache and malaise.

Comment: See also:
  • Virus Outbreak Contained in Uganda


Report: Dengue spreading at alarming rate in China

patients waiting
Many residents wait outside the consulting room of Zhongshan No.1 Hospital on October 2, 2014, to see whether they are infected with the fatal disease.
Dengue fever is spreading alarmingly in China with over 1,000 cases surfacing every day in Guangdong province where authorities have launched a massive campaign to deal with the mosquito-borne disease.

The number might keep rising during the week-long National Day holiday starting Wednesday as people travel around in a large number, regional health and family planning commission warned today.

In the worst-hit Guangdong province on South China Sea coast, the dengue fever is at its peak with more than 1,000 new cases reporting every day since Monday, bringing the total to almost 18,000, state run Xinhua news agency reported.

The outbreak has now spread to neighbouring Guangxi province where more than 203 cases have been reported as of Thursday.The city's disease control centre has set up over 450 monitoring stations.

Besides, a warm and wet weather which is ideal for mosquito breeding is expected to continue, keeping the situation "severe", the Xinhua report said.

China launched a campaign against the dengue outbreak at the end of last month as the country suffers its worst attack in 20 years with four deaths reported.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) has attributed the outbreak to high temperatures and wet weather in Guangdong, where the mosquito population is five times the normal level.

Comment: The disease has so far been detected in 19 out of 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong, five times as many as last year. The epidemic seems to be moving northward within China. Yunnan and Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have also reported cases.


Surprise! U.S. Department of Agriculture continues secret process of appointing Corporate factory farm executives to Organic Standards Board

Passed in 1990, the Farm Bill's intent was to set regulations for the agricultural sector, implementing provisions for food, nutrition, forestry, natural resource conservation, environmental protection and rural development, among other facets.

Also referred to as FACT-90 (Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990), the law was designed to make agricultural policy more green, including keeping mandatory records on pesticide use and maintaining national standards for products labeled "organic," according to the University of California.

Under the Farm Bill, the Organic Foods Production Act was established to uniform national organic food standards through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP).

Hunger threat shadows Ebola in West Africa

Victims of the food crisis.
The threat of hunger is tracking Ebola across affected West African nations as the disease kills farmers and their families, drives workers from the fields and creates food shortages. In the worst-hit states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Ebola is ravaging their food-producing 'breadbasket' regions, preventing planting and harvesting, and disrupting supply routes and markets.

"Hunger will kill us where Ebola failed," said Pa Sorie, a 61-year-old rice and cassava farmer in Port Loko in northern Sierra Leone. A father of six with four grandchildren, he says he has already lost three close relatives to Ebola.

The UN's World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation say border and market closures, quarantines and movement restrictions, and widespread fear of Ebola have led to food scarcity, panic buying and price increases, especially in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Since it was first reported in the forest region of Guinea in March, the hemorrhagic fever has killed 3,338 people. It crossed into Liberia and Sierra Leone and has triggered smaller outbreaks and cases in Nigeria, Senegal and even the United States, prompting the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency on Aug. 8.
As governments from the United States to China and Cuba send troops and medics to the affected corner of Africa in an attempt to contain the epidemic, relief agencies are scrambling to ward off the humanitarian crisis threatening hundreds of thousands along with the health disaster.

"The country will starve," warned Mary Hawa John-Sao, vice president of Sierra Leone's National Farmers' Federation and an award-winning grower. Her own fields were lying unattended and spoiling in quarantined Kailahun district, which along with neighbouring Kenema in the east and Port Loko and Bombali in the north are the country's traditional food-growing areas.

John-Sao, 55, said 75 percent of those killed by Ebola in Kailahun and Kenema were farmers and hunger was "imminent."

Comment: Double Whammy, indeed! Logic says to quarantine an infected area to stop the spread of a deadly disease. But the devastating effects to farming caused by the disease require that some border issues be altered to allow for food dispensation. Restrictions and displacement have already affected prices because food producers are leaving their land to seek potentially safer areas. Introduce a military presence (US 4000 troops) to contain a starving populace, healthy or otherwise...recipe for a double disaster despite aid relief.

Let's see. Why else would countries, such as the U.S. send troops to "patrol" Ebola? Gold mines. Ebola is short-sheeting the mine labor. Last month, a group of 11 mining companies asked for international help against Ebola, citing travel bans as a cause for mining operations to close. And, according to sources, miners are the most vulnerable to the outbreak since many of the mines are in Ebola territory and miners work in closed quarters. In addition to gold mining, there are iron ore and aluminum producers and oil drillers (ExxonMobil for example) who will be forced to cease operations due to labor loss. Lower production means higher prices for these products. However, mining companies that cannot produce go bankrupt and will be forced to do what? Sell to those who have the resources to vulture off of disaster. Which particular vultures come to mind?

And, while we are at it...with a decimated farming industry, why not total GMO control when the epidemic subsides...just speculating here.