Health & Wellness


Ebola spreads to Freetown, Sierra Leone - WHO concerned virus could go global

© Seylou/AFP/Getty Images
Doctors in protective gear work in the isolation ward.

The worst outbreak of Ebola moved to Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown where an Egyptian was found with the city's first confirmed case of the disease. The unidentified Egyptian national had traveled from Kenema, the largest city in the nation's Eastern Province, and checked into a clinic east of Freetown, Sidie Yahya Tunis, director of Information, Communication and Technology at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, said by phone today.

The person was moved back to the Ebola center in Kenema, he said. "The Ebola disease usually spreads to other places when suspected or confirmed cases in one community move to another, they abandon treatment centers to stay with relatives or they seek treatment outside the Ebola centers," Tunis said. There have been 99 Ebola deaths in Sierra Leone out of 315 laboratory-confirmed cases, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today. The ministry said yesterday that 92 people had died out of 305 cases. Cases of the hemorrhagic fever have killed more than 540 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in an outbreak that according to the World Health Organization may last another three to four months.

The toll is greater than the 280 people killed in 1976, when the virus was first identified near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rapid spread of the virus is largely due to people moving across borders as well as cultural practices that are contrary to public health guidelines, such as people touching the body of a deceased relative before the funeral.

Source: Bloomberg

Fatal kidney disease epidemic among peasant farmers in Central America linked to Monsanto's Roundup

© Vivien Feyer
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The "u" differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.

Dr. Catharina Wesseling, the regional director for the Program on Work and Health (SALTRA) in Central America, which pioneered the initial studies of the region's unsolved outbreak, put it this way, "Nephrologists and public health professionals from wealthy countries are mostly either unfamiliar with the problem or skeptical whether it even exists."

Dr. Wesseling was being diplomatic. At a 2011 health summit in Mexico City, the United States beat back a proposal by Central American nations that would have listed CKDu as a top priority for the Americas.

David McQueen, a US delegate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has since retired from the agency, explained the US position:

Girl dies from 'one in a billion' brain eating amoeba infection

A 9-year-old Kansas girl died from an extremely rare "brain-eating amoeba," but health officials aren't sure where she was infected.

Hally "Bug" Yust died Wednesday, and officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed that one person in Johnson County died from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri.

KCTV-TV reported that laboratory tests found the bacteria in a specimen from Hally's body, and additional tests by the Centers for Disease Control are pending.

The bacteria are found in freshwater, but authorities are still trying to determine the source of the Spring Hill girl's infection.

The CDC claims to be 'astonished' by lab breaches of anthrax, smallpox and bird flu

A few days ago, word got out that 6 vials of variola, the virus that causes smallpox, were found in a cold storage room that is owned by the Food and Drug Administration on the NIH's Bethesda campus.

That research building was not equipped or approved for storage of deadly pathogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition to the 6 vials that were labeled variola, ten unmarked vials were found...and so far, no one has addressed what those vials may contain, or if they are even being tested.

Yesterday, the CDC announced that at least two of the vials contain viable samples of the deadly smallpox virus.

Comment: We should all feel safer knowing that the Keystone Cops of lab workers are bungling handling some of the most dangerous pathogens known to man.

Alarm Clock

Precursor? Rare and deadly form of plague contracted by Denver man

© Unknown
Yersinia pestis bacteria
A Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.

It is the first case of pneumonic plague seen in the state since 2004, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The man, who hasn't been identified, may have been exposed in Adams County near Denver, health officials said in a statement. While House said the man has been hospitalized and treated, she wouldn't release other details about his situation.

"He's on treatment long enough to not be transmissible," House said in a telephone interview. He may have contracted the illness from his dog, she said, which died suddenly and has also been found to carry the disease.

Comment: What we are being told is that this is an occurrence of a highly rare pneumonic plague that was probably transmitted to the victim by his dog, who died from the infection. Precious little other information is given about the case. Could there be misdirection in what we are being told about it? Keep this in mind when you read:

New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection


Let's All Light Up: Coffee and cigarettes may protect against rare liver disease

Liver Transplant
© Ram Gupta, Oslo University Hospital.
Liver transplantation. PSC is the main cause for liver transplantations in Scandinavia.
Coffee and cigarette smoking may protect against the rare liver disease Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a recent study shows.

In a new study from Norway published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, both coffee consumption and cigarette smoking are shown to potentially protect against primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). This is a chronic liver disease caused by chronic inflammation of the bile ducts.

Great interest
The findings are of great interest against a backdrop of increasing knowledge on coffee as a possible protective agent in other liver diseases.

Ebola deaths surge in Sierra Leone and Liberia; 44 new cases, 21 deaths

© Reuters/Misha Hussain
A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou.
Ebola continues to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia and to a lesser extent in Guinea, with a combined 44 new cases and 21 deaths between July 6-8, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

This brought the total in West Africa's first outbreak of the deadly viral disease to 888 cases including 539 deaths since February, the United Nations agency said.

"The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported," the WHO said.

Just one confirmed new case had been reported during the past week in Guinea, where the WHO said it was closely monitoring the situation. There has been resistance among some communities to measures recommended to control the outbreak, such as precautions during traditional burial ceremonies.

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

Wine n Glass

New research proves it's not the alcohol that provides heart health benefits

© Prevent
Scientists have known for a long time why higher consumption of wine has led to lower rates of heart disease and cancer. It has nothing do with the alcohol and everything to do with the grapes. However, that's not how the alcohol industry has portrayed the health benefits of wine. New research that reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health, calls into question previous studies suggesting one drink per day to be healthy for the heart.

The alcohol industry and the media have portrayed one glass, even two glasses, of wine or beer as not only safe, but possibly healthy. They tell the public that there is only danger when the use of alcohol is excessive or abusive.

Alcohol, regardless of its type (i.e. beer, wine, liquor, etc) is a class A1 carcinogen which are confirmed human carcinogens. Alcohol consumption has been causally related with breast cancer for some time. Increasing evidence indicates a stronger association with neoplasms, though the risk is elevated for other types of breast cancers too.

In a previous study posted in the journal Neuroscience, lead author Megan Anderson, reported that even moderate drinking -- drinking less during the week and more on the weekends -- significantly reduces the structural integrity of the adult brain.

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.
Bacon n Eggs

Rethinking fatigue

Adrenal-related issues are seemingly epidemic today - many people complain of some degree of "adrenal fatigue" or "burnout." This is hardly surprising given the incredibly stressful world we live in today. The unfortunate truth is adrenal-related issues are poorly understood today. Also, most health care providers still practice using outdated theoretical models from the 1950s, which fail to hold up in the face of modern stress physiology. In fact, the vast majority of so-called "adrenal issues" have nothing whatsoever to do with the adrenal glands themselves!

Comment: There really is no other way about proper management of your bodys energy, than to get keto adapted by maintaining a proper diet, as well as processing emotions, rethinking the early on constructed ways of coping with stress. As Nora mentions: thinking about regulating your circadian rhythm and its 'light hormones' by being careful of the right kinds of light exposure and sleeping patterns, will help balance energy as well.


Eradicated? Vials of smallpox discovered in unused FDA storage room

Federal investigators are probing how vials of smallpox made their way into a storage room at a Food and Drug Administration lab near the US capital, health authorities said Tuesday.

Smallpox is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease that has been eradicated after a worldwide vaccination program. The last US case was in 1949; the last global case was in 1977 in Somalia.

The vials were labeled "variola," another name for smallpox, and they appear to date from the 1950s, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

They were found in an unused portion of a storeroom in an FDA laboratory, located on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

There is no evidence that the vials had been opened, "and onsite biosafety personnel have not identified any infectious exposure risk to lab workers or the public," the CDC said.

The vials have been moved to a high-security lab at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Comment: According to the WHO, smallpox has been eradicated. Why then is it still necessary to preserve samples in two labs in the US and Russia? The truth is, it hasn't been eradicated, and still infects people today. There is a growing suspicion that smallpox has been labeled "eradicated" to be able to terminate the smallpox vaccination programs, because it became clear that vaccinating against smallpox was not only ineffective, but increased fatality rates compared to the un-vaccinated. Notwithstanding the fact that smallpox is still in the wild - under different names like monkeypox, but indistinguishable from smallpox - WHO declared smallpox eradicated, possibly to escape litigation, while preserving the vaccine paradigm.

The only effect of vaccines that has consistently been shown is immunosuppression.

For more information on this topic, please read:
Smallpox was declared eradicated, yet still infects humans today.