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Three more cases of life-threatening plague found in Colorado

© Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID/NIH
Scanning electron micrograph depicting a mass of Yersinia pestis bacteria.
Three more plague cases were found in Colorado, a week after the first infection of the deadliest form of the disease was reported in the state in a decade.

The man initially reported with pneumonic plague on July 11 is hospitalized. Two of the new cases also had pneumonic plague, while the third had a milder form. All four cases may be linked to the original man's dog, which died from the illness, state health officials said.

The people newly-found to be infected were treated with antibiotics, recovered, and are no longer contagious. Health officials suspect the dog that died may been exposed to plague-infected fleas from a prairie dog or rabbit, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment department.

"We've had quite a number of cases this year," House said in a telephone interview. "We do believe the outbreak itself to be over."

Comment: See also:
  • 7-year-old Colorado girl contracts "black death" plague
  • Precursor? Rare and deadly form of plague contracted by Denver man


Footprints

Puerto Rico declares epidemic of mosquito-borne virus chikungunya; 200 confirmed cases

© Reuters/Ricardo Rojas
Puerto Rican health officials declared Thursday an epidemic of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has shown up in more than 200 confirmed cases across the island as of late last month.

Health Secretary Ana Rius said the majority of those cases were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas.

The virus was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year, according to AP. The first chase of chikungunya in Puerto Rico was reported in late May.

Meanwhile, Jamaican health officials reported the nation's first confirmed case on Thursday. Dr. Kevin Harvey, chief medical officer for Jamaica, said chikungunya was found in someone who had recently traveled to a country where the virus has been transmitted locally.

Health officials in Florida also reported the first domestically acquired chikungunya infections in the United States. Both cases involved persons infected with the virus following visits to the Caribbean, then both were bitten by uninfected mosquitoes in Florida, which then transmitted the virus further.

Comment: This virus is making it's way around the globe...
  • Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe
  • 4,600 affected by untreatable virus spreading through Caribbean islands
  • Incurable mosquito-borne chikungunya virus now found in six US states
  • Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida
  • Malaysia: Health ministry keeping a tab on Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean virus infections climb in Mauritius


Info

Boy's ear problems had rare cause: Gut disease

Ear
© studio online/Shutterstock
A child's ear.
A 10-year-old boy in North Carolina suffered from ear pain and hearing problems for years before doctors were finally able to crack the case: He did not have an ear condition after all, but an underlying disease in the gut.

The boy saw multiple doctors for his ear symptoms, which included episodes of ear pain, bloody ear discharge and problems hearing. He was prescribed eardrops, antibiotics and other medications, but nothing seemed to help, said Dr. Eileen M. Raynor, a pediatric head-and-neck surgeon at Duke University Medical Center who treated the boy.

"It was like swimmer's ear gone crazy," Raynor said. "He was really miserable." The boy was also being treated for the skin condition psoriasis, and had skin lesions on his scalp and other parts of his body.

When the boy arrived at Raynor's center, his ears were red and inflamed, and were leaking pus, and his ear canals were narrow from inflammation. Raynor said she could not see his eardrums because the ear canals were so inflamed and damaged.

Doctors put the boy under anesthesia to perform a biopsy of his ear. Results from this biopsy and a second skin biopsy revealed that he had a skin condition that can occur as a complication of Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a condition that causes swelling and irritation in the digestive tract, which can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. In rare cases, patients can develop skin disorders, eye inflammation and mouth sores, but nearly everyone who develops these complications has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease before the skin symptoms show up, Raynor said.
Bomb

Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida

© Photo: James Gathany, CDC
A female mosquito (Aedes aegypti) takes flight after leaving the skin of a host. It is one of two species of mosquitoes known to carry the chikungunya virus.
Florida Health officials Thursday confirmed the first locally acquired cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya. The two cases are the first instances in the U.S. in which the virus was not contracted during Caribbean travel, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The infected individuals were described as a 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County who began experiencing symptoms on June 10, and a 50-year-old man in Palm Beach County, who first noticed symptoms July 1.

Officials said that chikungunya (pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya) - spread by bites from infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes - is not contagious from person to person, is typically not life-threatening and will likely resolve on its own.

In both cases, Florida officials said, a person infected with the virus after visiting the Caribbean was then bitten again by an uninfected mosquito in Florida, which then transmitted the illness further.
Stop

Stress slows metabolism: People burn fewer calories up to one day after stressful event

obesity
A double-patty cheeseburger and fries may be one of the worst things to eat after a stressful argument. New research suggests that for a day after being stressed out, people have slower metabolisms and burn fewer calories.

The findings suggest that regularly eating high-fat meals after being stressed could lead to additional weight gain, the researchers said.

The study involved 58 women who reported whether in the past day they had experienced stress, such as arguments with coworkers or spouses, disagreements with friends, trouble with children or work stress. The women's ages ranged from 31 to 70.

Each participant then ate a meal that included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat, similar to meals of hamburgers and fries offered in popular fast-food restaurants. Over the next seven hours, the researchers measured participants' metabolic rates, a number that shows how fast the body is burning calories and fat. The researchers also measured the participants' levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Researchers found that the participants who reported one or more stressors during the past day burned on average 104 fewer calories than non-stressed women over the course of the day.

Comment: One of the best ways to reduce stress is to meditate on a regular basis. The Éiriú Eolas technique will help you to have improved overall health, a stronger immune system, better impulse control and reduced inflammation. It will also help you to heal emotional wounds; anything that may hinder or prevent you from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

Health

Ultrasound risks: The perils of peeking into the womb

© Greenmedinfo.com
"Clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging during pregnancy has a long history of safety and diagnostic utility, as supported by numerous human case reports and epidemiological studies.However, there exist in vivo studies linking large but clinically relevant doses of ultrasound applied to mouse fetuses in utero to altered learning, memory, and neuroanatomy of those mice."

How may doctors and unknowing patients be colluding to harm unborn babies? This recent study suggests that the seemingly benign practice of obstetrical ultrasonography is one practice that deserves urgent reassessment. Researchers exposed pregnant mice at 14.5 days gestation (a neurologically vulnerable window) to 30 minutes of fetal ultrasound and assessed the pups' behavior at 3 weeks of age. They found that the exposed pups were significantly less interested in social interactions and had significant levels of behavioral hyperactivity, in the presence of an unfamiliar mouse.

Why Did Ultrasounds Become Routine?

Today's children have been exposed to an unprecedented level of ultrasound technology, both in frequency and intensity. In 2001, 67% of pregnant women had at least 1 ultrasound, and in 2009, that percentage jumped to 99.8% with an average of 3 per woman. What accounts for this increase? Do we have evidence to suggest that this intervention is saving lives, changing outcomes, and that it is safe? What about safety in the settings it is applied most frequently, such as advanced maternal age, metabolic syndromes, and complications? Could these higher risk pregnancies represent a category of fetus that is more vulnerable to potential side effects of an intervention like ultrasound?

Comment: Learnmore about the safety of ultrasounds below:

If Ultrasound Destroys Sperm, Why is it Safe for a Fetus?
Natural Childbirth (Part 2A): Is Ultrasound Necessary & Effective in Pregnancy?
Natural Childbirth (Part 2B): Ultrasound Not as Safe as Commonly Thought
Ultrasound Shown To Exert Remote Control Of Brain Circuits
Ultrasound sends neurons down wrong path

Bomb

Drug resistant tuberculosis, leprosy and polio crossing the border?

Border protest, police fed agent
© www.dcclothesline.com
Protesters in Murrieta, CA are told that federal marshals will be bringing the riot gear: "It's going to get ugly."
One of the organizers of the Murrieta, California, blockade, through which several buses loaded with illegal aliens were stopped from entering the city, is warning that the "humanitarian crisis" created by the surge of illegals entering the United States is going to turn out to be a "crisis" for Americans.

Because of drug-resistance tuberculosis, polio, leprosy and other diseases that are accompanying the newcomers.

The crisis on the border stems from a surge of illegal aliens, many children, who are arriving in the United States and turning themselves over the federal authorities to obtain housing, food, medical services and more. Critics of the Obama administration say it's because his special plan to defer deportation action for young illegal aliens is attracting them from points in Central America where there are crime and health problems.

Comment: A more reliable source states: "The vast majority of Central Americans are vaccinated against all these diseases, in fact, better-vaccinated than Texan kids. We fear them not because they are actually sick, but because of powerful anti-immigration narratives that link foreigners to disease." Upshot...we should fear the fear mongers, the contents of the vaccines and the mosquitos which know no borders!

Health

Unsuccesful experimental stem cell treatment causes woman to grow parts of a nose on her spine

noseback
© Unknown
Stem cells are seen as one of modern medicine's most promising magic bullets, but that doesn't mean that we understand them. A paralyzed woman from the US has learned this the hard way, after an experimental treatment caused her to grow a nose-like tumor on her back. The unnamed person took part in a trial whereby stem cells from her nose were applied to her spine in the hope that it could repair the nerve damage that led to her paralysis. Unfortunately, the treatment was unsuccessful and, eight years later, the subject found worsening pain in that same area. When surgeons operated, they found a tumor comprised of nasal tissue that was producing a thick substance that was remarkably close to mucus.
Attention

Sweet Necessity: The perils of sugar addiction

© Shutterstock
Telling a sugar addict to stop eating sugar is like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You've heard it before - sugar is bad for you. But, just how bad? According to Action on Sugar, a group of leading medical and nutrition experts, the sweet substance is bad enough that earlier this year, the group called for a 20-30% reduction in sugar added to packaged and processed foods over the next three to five years. Action on Sugar estimates that this change would result in a reduction of about 100 calories each person eats daily, and over time would reverse the obesity epidemic.

Comment: Addicted to Sugar? Not sure? Take the Sugar Addiction Quiz.

SOTT.NET has carried many excellent articles about the negative health effects of sugar consumption/addiction:

Magic Wand

Medicinal benefits of tea

© Africa Studio
While some swear by the aromatic, medicinal nature of tea, studies now suggest that tea can help improve quality of life, promote longevity, and help with many illnesses and health conditions.

The idea that tea is good for you originated in China over 4,000 years ago, and word quickly spread to Portugal, India and Britain. Over the last decade, the health advantages of various teas have even garnered interest among researchers. Today, tea is offered in a diverse range of flavors and is brewed with many combinations of herbs and plants. With stress inhibiting substances, cancer-fighting properties, and disease-fighting flavonoids, the medicinal benefits of tea are worth investigating and pursuing.
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