Health & Wellness


Ebola is back and it's worse than ever! Is it because it's airborne?

ebola treatment
© European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr
You've seen Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers depicted on screens both large and small, but what health care workers are currently fighting in West Africa is worse than anything writers have dreamed up.

In sixth grade, I molded a human hand out of clay and then used acrylic paints to map the course of radiation poisoning. When a seventh-grade science teacher told us to create models of animal cells, mine had to be three-dimensional. I bought a fishbowl and some clear Jell-O. Over the course of an afternoon and night, I tiptoed into the kitchen every hour or two to pour a thin layer of gelatin onto my legume and pasta organelles.

By eighth grade, I had moved on to viruses, becoming fascinated with the least-understood and most terrifying group known to man: viral hemorrhagic fevers, the genre that claims yellow fever, dengue fever, and the Marburg and Ebola viruses. I learned that Ebola isn't a scary virus - it's the scary virus. Yellow fever may have wiped out more than 10 percent of Philadelphia's population in 1793, but that stunning death toll is nothing compared to the devastation that Marburg and Ebola wreak. They're our epidemiological boogeymen.

What Ebola does to the human body defies reason. It's like something out of a horror movie, not a textbook. A la Andromeda Strain, we know very little about where this virus comes from, just that the most likely "ground zero" is the fruit bat. These bats serve as natural reservoirs, occasionally infecting other animals - from primates to antelopes, porcupines, rodents, dogs, and pigs. Most strains that can infect humans are extremely contagious and exceedingly lethal, with fatality rates between 60 and 90 percent.

Comment: There's undisputable evidence that the poor fruit bat could not be the culprit. Black Death was found to be Ebola-like virus, and Black Death had a Cosmic origin. Perhaps that's why it's the worst virus we've seen?


WHO confirms that Ebola in Congo is genetically distinct from the one spreading in West Africa

Ebola keep out
© Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock
A sign warns visitors that an area is infected with Ebola
If there can be any good news - or at least not further disheartening news - coming out of the African continent regarding this year's Ebola outbreaks, we have one positive report this morning.

The World Health Organization has just confirmed that the newly-identified cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo is genetically unrelated to the strain currently circulating in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

A WHO collaborating research center in Franceville, Gabon, the Centre International de Recherches Médicales, had previously identified six Ebola positive samples sent to the laboratory. They report today that, "the virus in the Boende district is definitely not derived from the virus strain currently circulating in west Africa."

Comment: How could anyone qualify these news as good news is beyond us! Bottom line, deadly diseases with very similar symptoms are spreading uncontrolled in different directions.


An unfolding tragedy in West-Africa: World "losing battle" to contain Ebola

© Unknown
Two health workers taking care of a patient with Ebola
International medical agency Medecins sans Frontieres said the world was "losing the battle" to contain Ebola as the United Nations warned of severe food shortages in the hardest-hit countries.

MSF told a UN briefing in New York that world leaders were failing to address the epidemic and called for an urgent global biological disaster response to get aid and personnel to west Africa.

"Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat," said MSF international president Joanne Liu.

"The (World Health Organization) announcement on August 8 that the epidemic constituted a 'public health emergency of international concern' has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction."

Comment: Fear makes everything worse, so don't give in to fear. Educate yourselves.

For more information:Nigeria declares Ebola outbreak national urgency - Minister of Health: "Everyone in the world now at risk".


Do gut bacteria rule our minds? In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices

Gut Bacteria
© Courtesy of UC San Francisco
This image illustrates the relationship between gut bacteria and unhealthy eating.
It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us -- which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold -- may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.

Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem -- our digestive tracts -- they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.

While it is unclear exactly how this occurs, the authors believe this diverse community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, may influence our decisions by releasing signaling molecules into our gut. Because the gut is linked to the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system, those signals could influence our physiologic and behavioral responses.

Go ahead and enjoy eating fat - It's way better than carbs, major new study says

© Sea Wave/Shutterstock
Load up on butter, and throw away your calorie counter. A major new study has reversed the commonly accepted, decades-long nutritional wisdom that fat is bad for you - even the dreaded saturated fat. "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades," the New York Times reported today.

The report is based on a major new study paid for by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It monitored a racially diverse group of 150 men and women who followed different assigned diets for a year. The diets either limited carbs or fats, but placed no limits on calories, which set it apart from other studies of its kind.

"To my knowledge, this is one of the first long-term trials that's given these diets without calorie restrictions," Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University told the Times. "It shows that in a free-living setting, cutting your carbs helps you lose weight without focusing on calories. And that's really important because someone can change what they eat more easily than trying to cut down on their calories."

Dieters who follow the trends may recognize echoes of the infamous Atkins diet, which featured lots of protein and fat and few carbs as the ticket to weight loss. But critics said it increased heart disease risks by ignoring the supposed dangers of cholesterol.

200 Colombian girls fall ill with a mysterious illness: The puzzling symptoms are feared to have resulted from a bad reaction to a cervical cancer vaccination

More than 200 teenage girls have reportedly fallen ill with an as-of-yet unidentifiable illness in the small town of El Carmen de Bolivar, in northern Colombia. The girls, who range between the ages of 9 and 16, have suffered symptoms of fainting, numbness in the hands and headaches.

Some are suggesting that that mystery sickness could be a bizarre case of mass hysteria (that's a thing that can make you ill?) but recent reports suggest parents' concerns that the root cause could be a vaccination for cervical cancer, as all of the victims of the illness have been injected with Gardasil recently.

The outbreak reportedly began in May, but attracted noticeable attention last weekend, when around 120 young girls were rushed to hospital complaining of the odd symptoms. The sudden surge in illness inundated the small town's limited medical facilities, leaving little room for the large number medical complaints that followed.

Despite the fact that the vaccination has been looked to as the explanation of the mysterious ill health, investigations suggest that there aren't any obvious links to the globally tested jab, which prevents four strains of HPV, the virus which can cause cervical cancer.

Comment: Unfortunately, won't be the first time vaccinations lead to severe reactions, even death.


Remove Vaccine Safety Oversight from DHHS - 'too much power for one federal agency'

On Aug. 27, 2014 a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1 publicly admitted2 that he and other CDC officials, including the current CDC's Director of Immunization Safety 3, 4 published a study about MMR vaccine safety in 20045 that "omitted statistically significant information" and "did not follow the final study protocol. "He said the study "omitted relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine" and added that "there have always been recognized risks for vaccination" and "it is the responsibility for the CDC to properly convey [vaccine] risks."


Industry engineered food cravings

Standing in her kitchen in downtown Toronto chopping vegetables for dinner, Pat Guillet is aware she has entered the battleground.

"Whenever you go grocery shopping, or into your kitchen, you're in a war zone. You have to really be prepared before you go in," she said. She decides, in advance, exactly what she's going to eat, and she forces herself to stick to the plan. Because she knows she is just one sweet mouthful away from a descent back into hell. Pat Guillet is a food addict.

"I ate to the point it hurt to move. And I would just lie in my bed and wish I was dead," she said. She has finally wrestled her addiction under control and now she counsels other food addicts to avoid processed food. "Yeah, just the sight of the packages will trigger cravings," she said.

Craving. It doesn't just happen to food addicts. Most people have experienced the impulse to seek out and consume a favourite packaged snack food. On one billboard, recently put up in Toronto, the intention to make you reach for another one is prominently declared, in large letters that tower over the city street. It's a picture of a box of crackers, and the promise "You'll be back for more."

Dr. Andrew Wakefield breaks silence on CDC scientist's admission of vaccine research fraud

While other media outlets remain silent on this breaking story, Next News Network continues its investigation into the CDC Whistleblower Dr William Thompson... and as a result of Thompson's statements a collective voice is accusing the CDC of fraud.

Initially Dr. Thompson contacted Doctor Brian Hooker stating the CDC has been hiding self-incriminating evidence for over 10 years now and that he WITNESSED the CDC remove large numbers of young black boys from their case study, because they showed a 340 percent SPIKE in autism after vaccinations.

Comment: The links listed below date back a few years, for a more in depth look at the obvious character assassination of doctors researching the connections between vaccinations and autism, and the current CDC whistleblower vaccine fraud revelations, read the following articles:


Alzheimer Disease: How soon would you want to know?

© Hilda Bastian
Have you been forgetful lately? Any difficulty concentrating? Trouble recalling names?

Answer "yes" to even one question like that, and there are some who want you to head to a clinic for memory screening. And it's not because there is a good new treatment for dementia. If only there were. Therapy for dementia remains a bleak landscape. And while we have a sense of some risk factors that could be modified (like smoking), there's nothing solid enough to be an early prevention strategy, either. Nevertheless, people are taking lessons from the cancer awareness-raising playbook to encourage and prime us towards believing we can prevent Alzheimer disease, and accept early - even very early - detection. It seems to me we're not prepared for this. If we're diagnosed with Alzheimer's or any dementia, almost all of us would want to know it: somewhere around 90%, according to a recent study and systematic review. But that's not the same as wanting to be diagnosed early: there the numbers in favor drop steeply.

Comment: Actually, there is evidence that nicotine helps Alzheimer's as well as Parkinson's Patients and that nicotine can improve attention and other cognitive skills. It seems that the risk factors that lessen your brain functions are quite the contrary to what we are lead to believe. These include:

At the moment, the odds are that most of us won't ever have to cross that bridge ourselves. And as people get generally healthier, the chances of a person at average risk getting Alzheimer dementia could fall, too. But a downside of early detection campaigns is a wave of false positives. They're only worth it when the benefits outweigh the inevitable harms.

Early detection is intuitively compelling when faced with a dreadful, progressive disease. Get in and do something before it's too late. But as I've discussed here before, hope can prevail over reason.

Comment: Instead of second guessing if you have Alzheimer's, why not start to minimize the risk factors by changing to a healthy diet? Here are some excellent articles for further reading:

Tips & Tricks for Starting (or Restarting) Low Carb Pt 1

Tips & Tricks for Starting (or Restarting) Low Carb Pt 2

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

Gluten: What You Don't Know Might Kill You

The Naive Vegetarian

The Truth About Vegetarianism

Everything About Fat

Ketosis 101: Part 1