Health & Wellness


Truth escaping as more scientists conclude that Ebola is an airborne virus

ebola lab worker
A recent column, published by the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, or CIDRAP, warns that it might be possible for the Ebola virus to be transmitted through exhaled breath.

Minneapolis news station KARE reports the column, co-authored by University of Illinois-Chicago professors Dr. Lisa Brosseau and Dr. Rachael Jones, argues that current safety protocols for healthcare workers may not adequately protect them.

Brousseau claims in the column that she believes "there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients."

That means healthcare workers, caring for Ebola victims, should be wearing powered air-purifying respirators rather than simple surgical masks, Brousseau argues.

Comment: The CDC is lying to public, sticking with the official narrative by insisting that its existing protocols are adequate for containing the disease. A number of researchers who have not been in direct contact with Ebola patients, have also contracted the virus, thus bringing into question the official meme. It is becoming obvious that most governments and hospitals are not prepared to handle Ebola. At this point, the best people can do is to take responsibility for their own health and well being - there are several protocols that will help to improve immunity and could save many lives:

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Tobacco has medicinal properties and could make the a huge difference in viruses like Ebola:

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#CapitalismKills: Brain Cancer rates spike 550% among girls in small Florida town, defense contractor potentially responsible

© Gary Coronado / The Palm Beach Post
Residents of The Acreage, a south Florida town, at a community meeting in 2010
A pixielike girl with big blue eyes and long brown hair, Hannah Samarripa began experiencing headaches and fatigue in the middle of eighth grade. By the time the spring dance rolled around, Hannah didn't have the strength to paint her own toenails. Her mother, Becky Samarripa, did it for her, and then drove Hannah to school and waited outside, knowing she'd be able to put in only a brief appearance. The teenager's mysterious decline continued on to limping, vomiting, incontinence and - perhaps her most disturbing symptom - occasional fits of barking laughter that sounded so strange and demonic, her father wondered whether she was on drugs. Then, in the summer before ninth grade, while her family was visiting a Civil War memorial on the coast of Alabama, Hannah collapsed.

Still, it was a full six months later, when a doctor spotted her brain tumor during an eye exam - literally seeing the growth through the lens of Hannah's eye - that the 14-year-old got the diagnosis and then the surgery that saved her life.

When Hannah got sick in 2007, her mother had no idea that, just a few blocks away in the Acreage - their lush South Florida community - other children had also suffered through the same awful symptoms. Had she known about Jessica Newfield, who was close to her daughter's age and had been ill for many months before being diagnosed; Joey Baratta, who developed two tumors before dying at age 20; or little Jenna McCann, who got sick at age 3, perhaps she'd have gotten Hannah's tumor diagnosed sooner.

But it would take all of the afflicted families years to connect the dots among their tragedies.

Aluminium and its likely contribution to Alzheimer's disease

© J.J. Trillat / Wellcome Library, London
Diffraction pattern of microcrystallitic aluminium.
A world authority on the link between human exposure to aluminium in everyday life and its likely contribution to Alzheimer's disease, Professor Christopher Exley of Keele University, UK, says in a new report that it may be inevitable that aluminium plays some role in the disease.

He says the human brain is both a target and a sink for aluminium on entry into the body - "the presence of aluminium in the human brain should be a red flag alerting us all to the potential dangers of the aluminium age. We are all accumulating a known neurotoxin in our brain from our conception to our death. Why do we treat this inevitability with almost total complacency?"

Exley, Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry, Aluminium and Silicon Research Group in The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories at Keele University, writes in Frontiers in Neurology about the 'Aluminium Age' and its role in the 'contamination' of humans by aluminium. He says a burgeoning body burden of aluminium is an inevitable consequence of modern living and this can be thought of as 'contamination', as the aluminium in our bodies is of no benefit to us it can only be benign or toxic.

Professor Exley says: "The biological availability of aluminium or the ease with which aluminium reacts with human biochemistry means that aluminium in the body is unlikely to be benign, though it may appear as such due to the inherent robustness of human physiology. The question is raised as to 'how do you know if you are suffering from chronic aluminium toxicity?' How do we know that Alzheimer's disease is not the manifestation of chronic aluminium toxicity in humans?

Comment: See also:

Bacon n Eggs

Should we be eating more fat? Latest studies says yes!

© Sea Wave/Shutterstock
Contrary to conventional advice, eating more of some fats may be good for our health, says Michael Mosley
It really is the sort of news that made me want to weep into my skinny cappuccino and then pour it down the sink. After years of being told, and telling others, that saturated fat clogs your arteries and makes you fat, there is now mounting evidence that eating some saturated fats may actually help you lose weight and be good for the heart.

Earlier this year, for example, a systematic review, funded by the British Heart Foundation and with the rather dry title "Association of dietary, circulating and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk" caused a stir.

Scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, amongst others, examined the links between eating saturated fat and heart disease. Despite looking at the results of nearly 80 studies involving more than a half million people they were unable to find convincing evidence that eating saturated fats leads to greater risk of heart disease.In fact, when they looked at blood results, they found that higher levels of some saturated fats, in particular a type of saturated fat you get in milk and dairy products called margaric acid, were associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Although there were critics, NHS Choices described this as "an impressively detailed and extensive piece of research, which is likely to prompt further study".

Comment: Here is additional information why you should avoid dairy products other than butter or ghee.

Some academics queried the paper, others worried that this sort of research would confuse people and the message they would get would not be "it's OK to eat more of some forms of fat" but that "it's OK to eat lots more saturated fat, even if it is in pies". We know that current levels of obesity have been fuelled, at least in part, by snacks like muffins, crisps and cakes, all high in fat, sugar and calories.When I talked to one of the researchers behind this paper, Prof Kay-Tee Khaw of the Department of Public Health at Cambridge University, she was quite clear that her research was not a licence to fill up on junk food but she also accepted that new research made the dietary picture more complicated.

Comment: The last line is bit funny, because Mosley has just presented lots of evidence that saturated fat is not unhealthy, yet he falls for the middle ground fallacy. He says that eating too many calories is a concern with fat but a moment ago he just cited a study where low-fat diet caused more central obesity than high-fat. Also, the problem with processed foods is that they are usually full of both sugar and fat. It's sugar that's the guilty one! Here's additional reading why it's beneficial to be on a high-fat low-carb diet.


5 things about Ebola you should know

ebola worker
© Reuters / Christopher Black
The UN's health watchdog, the WHO, says there are 60 days left to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. This is what you need to know about the killer virus.

1. It has been here for decades

The virus lives naturally in animals, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The first two recorded outbreak were in 1976. The Ebola virus (EBOV) is one of five members of the Ebolavirus genus, four of which cause lethal hemorrhagic fever. It was previously called Zaire virus, after the country that is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are currently two separate Ebola outbreaks underway. In addition to the one in Western Africa, which has already spread to the US and Europe, there is another one in the Congo.

Bats are the natural reservoir of the virus, because they can carry it without getting ill. Apes can suffer from it too. Humans may get infected by eating bushmeat or through feces, after which the virus can spread from human to human via blood, saliva and other fluids.


Vitamin C - A cure for Ebola

Scientists stumble across the obvious treatment for Ebola: tobacco


Second Texas health worker has tested positive for Ebola

© Reuters
A HazMat worker disinfects the entrance to the residence of a health worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas who has contracted Ebola
Worker who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan flew on US flight from Cleveland the day before she reported Ebola symptoms

A second healthcare worker who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient in the US to be diagnosed with Ebola, has tested positive for the virus, escalating the challenge for officials battling to contain it in Texas.

The worker, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, was immediately isolated after reporting a fever on Tuesday. Officials on Wednesday said that more cases were a possibility.

The second infection calls into question the Dallas hospital's ability to protect staff treating Ebola patients, and raises concerns about the quality of the initial response to Duncan's diagnosis by state and federal agencies. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted before the latest announcement that it should have sent a bigger team to Dallas in the wake of Duncan's diagnosis.

"It may get worse before it gets better," said Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings at a press briefing on Wednesday morning.

The CDC said it was working to confirm of Texas's preliminary examinations on the new patient.

"An additional healthcare worker testing positive for Ebola is a serious concern, and the CDC has already taken active steps to minimise the risk to healthcare workers and the patient," it said.

Comment: "If you've gotten the impression from reading this article that we will see many more failures in the effort to treat and control the spread of Ebola (whether by incompetence or design, or both) you're not alone."

See: Vast majority of U.S. hospitals not prepared to treat people with Ebola, and the story gets worse

Ebola and its five stages of collapse - what sort of world will it leave in its wake?


Pharmaceutical dumping poses risks to wildlife

Research published Monday finds drugs for treating humans and animals are seeping into wild environments, causing changes in ecosystems

pill fish
The alteration of nature by dumped drugs.
What happens when the drugs used to treat humans and animals are disposed?

Scientific studies published Monday in a special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B reveal that pharmaceuticals, when flushed into land and water ecosystems, could pose risks to wildlife, from altering species' behavior to changing fertility rates to death.

Pharmaceuticals can enter wild environments through a variety of routes, including dumping from drug manufacturers, as well as sewage.

"Global pharmaceutical consumption is rising with the growing and aging human population and more intensive food production," writes Kathryn E. Arnold of the University of York in the UK and colleagues. "Recent studies have revealed pharmaceutical residues in a wide range of ecosystems and organisms." Despite the scope of the issue, the effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment are little researched and understood.But in the research series published Monday, scientists uncover a broad spectrum of impacts.

Comment: Once again we are messing with the trajectory of natural evolution as our global society more and more seeks its solutions to human problems through pHARMa. The waterways of industrialized nations are flooded with the "miracles" of modern living. Designed to resist degradation, pharmaceuticals, veterinary and illegal drugs along with detergents, cosmetics, fragrances and sunscreens (not to mention the broad spectrum of industrial wastes) are found anywhere human activity connects to rivers, lakes or coastal waters causing their inhabitants damaged cells, cancer, loss of fertility - be it fish, invertebrates or microscopic life. Landfills also pose similar problems for birds and animals that raid these mountains of human left-overs.

Emerging contaminants are currently unregulated. Thousands of consumer chemicals are on the market with more being developed every day. The way they interact in natural ecosystems is obviously complex. Apparently no one treatment can degrade every compound and too little is being done to solve this problem. The concentrations and ramifications of drug-altering substances in our waterways are only likely to increase unless we find the ways and impetus to revise disposal practices, stem the production of or eliminate unnecessary medications, and clean up the chemical waste to ensure bio-safety for all species. Oddly enough, this just happens to be the best medicine for the survival of humanity as well.


Scheduling psychiatrist appointments is even difficult for people with private Insurance or willing to pay out of pocket

Calling all psychiatrists
© Shutterstock
Scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist is next to impossible.
National data has shown that around two-thirds of primary care physicians struggle with finding outpatient mental health care services for their patients. A recent study conducted by a Harvard research team has revealed that scheduling an appointment with an outpatient psychiatrist is a difficult endeavor no matter if the patient has private insurance or if they are willing to pay out of pocket.

"This study poignantly illustrates how difficult it can be for patients to obtain needed mental health care," Dr. Monica Malowney, formerly at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance and now with the Department of Population Health at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., said in a statement. "Insurance companies need to ensure that the lists of providers they offer patients contain accurate phone numbers as well as practices that are actually accepting new patients. How likely is it that a severely depressed person would persevere through so many obstacles?"

Malowney and her colleagues called 360 psychiatrists in the Boston, Chicago, and Houston metropolitan areas posing as patients hoping to set up an appointment. Psychiatrists were listed in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) online database of in-network provides and were located within a 10-mile radius of suburban ZIP codes in each metropolitan area. The BCBS system is the largest health insurance provider in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Texas. Researchers, or "simulated patients," either posed as a patient with BCBS PPO insurance or Medicare, or a patient willing to pay out of pocket.

Doctors Without Borders loses 9 medics to Ebola

ebola virus
© Wikimedia
International aid organization Doctors Without Borders said that 16 of its staff members have been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died.

Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg Tuesday, the head of Doctors Without Borders in South Africa Sharon Ekambaram said medical workers have received inadequate assistance from the international community.

"Where is WHO Africa? Where is the African Union?" said Ekambaram who worked in Sierra Leone from August to September. "We've all heard their promises in the media but have seen very little on the ground."

Four of the organization's medical workers who had just returned from Sierra Leone and Liberia said they were frustrated, "chasing after the curve of the outbreak," according to Jens Pederson, the aid organization's humanitarian affairs adviser.

Comment: Don't miss: Ebola and the five stages of collapse - what sort of world will it leave in its wake?


NIH Director blames 'budget cuts' for lack of an Ebola vaccine

Francis Collins
Francis Collins
The head of the National Institute of Health (NIH) is blaming budget cuts for the current Ebola epidemic, claiming that a vaccine would have developed if the NIH's budget hadn't been stagnant for the past decade, the Huffington Post reports. Dr. Francis Collins told the Post that the "NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.'"

When asked why his organization didn't have "something ready," he replied, "frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."

Instead, as the Ebola epidemic spreads, the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must focus on developing a therapeutic regimen - like the Canadian-developed ZMapp - to treat individuals only after they are infected. Collins said that even the therapeutic route is problematic at this time, as it will be extremely difficult to produce an adequate supply of the experimental antibody cocktail by December.