Health & Wellness


Health Care Workers Refuse Flu Shot

Nearly 60 Percent Of Health Care Workers Refuse Vaccine

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Operating room nurse Pauline Taylor knows her refusal to get a flu shot is based on faulty logic.

But ever since she got sick after getting a shot a few years ago, she's sworn off the vaccine.

"I rarely get sick. The only thing I could narrow it down to is that I had gotten this shot," said Taylor, who works at University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. "I know that it's not a live virus. It just seemed pretty coincidental."

Such stories frustrate Dr. William Schaffner.

Comment: The nurses may be onto something. Notice the guilt-tripping of the last three paragraphs. Thinking for yourself and looking out for your health is selfish! Can't have the sheeple making their own decisions.


A New Discovery Has Been Made About How Antioxidants Attack Cancer Cells

There's a new reason, and a big one, to think that we benefit from free-radical-inhibiting antioxidants. We've long thought that by reducing free radicals, antioxidants can help prevent cancer, of course. But a recent experiment at Johns Hopkins and published in the March 14 issue of Science shows how antioxidants may be doing much more: interfering with the growth of cancers that are already established, and potentially, even reversing them once established, by knocking out communications signals between cancer cells that encourage cells to grow and divide. Those communications signals turn out to be... free radicals, which the cancer cells often produce in abundance. Runaway cell division was actually slowed when cancer cells were introduced to the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine, under experimental conditions. This now demonstrates the existence of a mechanism that can allow a simple antioxidant to slow down or reverse a cancer that's already in place.


Think tank: Toothless policy on fluoride

MEP says additive in our water is a menace

Every day, Irish sanitary authorities add hexafluorosilicic acid to public water supplies under the terms of the 1960 Fluoridation Act. Unlike the naturally occurring, poorly absorbed and therefore safer calcium fluoride found in toothpaste and mouthwash, hexafluorosilicic acid is an industrial waste by-product which is an active and highly absorbed molecule when swallowed. Over a lifetime of drinking small quantities of this fluoride, substantial amounts accumulate in the body, especially in hard tissue such as teeth and bone.


Move over pinochle, Web surfing stimulates aging brains

The University of California at Los Angeles this week gave us the perfect antidote to Nick Carr's musings in The Atlantic about how the Internet is turning us into multitasking scatterbrains with diminishing attention spans.
© Credit: UCLA Newsroom
Functional MRI brain scans show how searching the Internet dramatically engages brain neural networks (in red). The image on the left displays brain activity while reading a book; the image on the right displays activity while engaging in an Internet search.


Up to 93 possible E. coli cases in Ontario linked to Harvey's as outbreak spreads

As many as 93 people in Ontario could be afflicted with a potentially deadly strain of E. coli linked to a popular fast-food restaurant, health authorities reported Thursday.

Laboratory tests have confirmed 15 cases of poisoning due to E coli O157:H7, with 78 others under investigation, stemming from a Harvey's restaurant in North Bay, Ont.

Dr. Catherine Whiting, the area's medical officer of health, said in an interview the outbreak has spread beyond North Bay, with one confirmed case in Sudbury, Ont.

Four other cases - including one in eastern Ontario - may also be linked to the outbreak, she said.

Victims range in age from five to 84 years old, with nine reported to be in hospital and the rest recovering at home.


UN assisting Afghan authorities to respond to diarrhoea outbreak

© Unknown
United Nations agencies are helping authorities to respond to a diarrhoea outbreak in Afghanistan, where only about a quarter of the population has access to safe drinking water and 20 per cent of child deaths is attributed to the easily preventable disease.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, the outbreak is located mainly in five provinces - Nangarhar, Nuristan, Laghman, Samangan and Faryab - with a few cases also reported in seven others. Twenty-two people have died out of the almost 4,000 cases reported so far.


37 human anthrax cases in northern Iraq outbreak

Thirty-seven people have been infected by anthrax in northern Iraq in the country's first outbreak of the disease since the 1980s, the health minister in the Kurdish autonomous region said on Sunday.

Health Minister Ziryan Othman said the disease appeared to have been passed on from livestock. The first human case of the outbreak was discovered in remote Dahuk province last month.

None of the reported cases had yet proven fatal, he told Reuters. The 37 cases in humans have all affected the patients' skin, rather than their lungs or internal organs, as occurs in more serious anthrax cases.

Othman said the authorities have ordered that infected animals be slaughtered and buried, while animals not yet infected should be vaccinated.


India: Gastro outbreak claims 10 in a week

At least 10 people, including five children, have died of diarrhoea at Kulti near Asansol over the past week. Over 2,500 have been afflicted with the disease.

Nearly 300 patients have been admitted to the Asansol Subdivisional Hospital and the two hospitals of Eastern Coalfields Ltd and nursing homes in Asansol and Kulti, about 260km from Calcutta.

A large section of patients is being treated at home with the help of three medical camps set up by the Burdwan health authorities.

"There have been 10 diarrhoea deaths in the past one week and over 2,500 cases have been reported. We suspect contaminated drinking water is the reason behind the outbreak," said Abu Ershad, the district's chief medical officer.

Of the 2,500, over 1,000 are children.


Listeriosis bacteria found at Toronto plant

© The Canadian Press
A Maple Leaf Foods worker clad in protective clothing refills cleaner bottles while spraying down equipment on one of the suspect food processing lines at the facility in Toronto.
Ottawa - Four new positive tests for listeriosis have been confirmed in samples of meat at the Maple Leaf plant at the centre of the outbreak that has left 20 Canadians dead.

The plant was allowed to reopen on Sept. 17, but no product has so far been allowed to enter the market.

Late Wednesday, federal officials from the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency met to discuss the new findings that the bacteria is still present in the plant.

Since the plant resumed production, there have been 2,700 product samples and four positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes.


Deadly strep outbreak in northern Ontario largely impacting homeless, drug users

A deadly outbreak of streptococcal infections that's killed 10 people in northern Ontario is likely to spread but doesn't pose a widespread threat because it appears to be clustered around distinct groups of people, the province's chief medical officer of health said Thursday.

"It doesn't seem to be showing and spreading throughout the community there but spreading within a very specific subgroup of the community," Dr. David Williams said a day after Thunder Bay's public health unit announced the deaths.

"It seems to be a very limited part of the community... Some related with homeless, some with an intravenous drug user group, some related with some urban populations we're trying to follow-up on.