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Crisis talks begin in western African nations as Ebola deaths rise 38 percent

© Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images
The isolation ward for Ebola patients at a hospital in Conakry, Guinea.
Health ministers from across western Africa met on Wednesday to plan "drastic action" against the world's deadliest-ever Ebola epidemic as dozens of new cases continued to emerge.

There have been 759 confirmed or suspected cases of the haemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, with 467 people dead.

The new death toll represented a rise of 129 - or 38 percent - since the UN agency's last bulletin given just a week ago.

"This makes the ongoing Ebola outbreak the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread," the WHO said in a statement announcing the two-day conference, which opened in Ghana's capital Accra, with 11 west African health ministers attending.

"Decisions taken at this meeting will be critical in addressing the current and future outbreaks," it said.

Since the region's first ever epidemic of the deadly and highly contagious fever broke out in Guinea in January, the WHO has sent in more than 150 experts to help tackle the regional crisis.

Comment: For more details on Ebola's similarity to the Black Death and possible cosmic (cometary) connection see:
Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus
New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

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Die-offs of band-tailed pigeons connected to newly discovered parasite

© Bryan Matthew and Jessica Lee
A new pathogen has been discovered by scientists investigating major die-offs of pigeons native to North America, according to studies led by the University of California, Davis, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Scientists were able to implicate this new parasite, along with the ancient parasite Trichomonas gallinae, in the recent deaths of thousands of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons. The die-offs occurred during multiple epidemics in California's Central Coast and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. Scientists named the new pathogen Trichomonas stableri.

Avian trichomonosis is an emerging and potentially fatal disease that creates severe lesions that can block the esophagus, ultimately preventing the bird from eating or drinking, or the trachea, leading to suffocation. The disease may date back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth, as lesions indicative of trichomonosis were found recently in T-Rex skeletons. The disease may also have contributed to the decline of the passenger pigeon, whose extinction occurred exactly 100 years ago.
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Latvia may declare state of emergency to cope with African swine fever

Latvia may declare a state of emergency in the eastern part of the country, near its border with Belarus and Russia to fight, an outbreak of African swine fever in some wild boars and domestic pigs.

Swine fever was discovered in Latvia at the end of June and earlier in both Lithuania and Poland. The disease occurs among pigs and wild boars, where its effects are devastating and often deadly, and there is no vaccine. It does not affect humans.

So far, a total of eight wild boars and three domestic pigs in Latvia have tested positive.

"Infection has gotten into wild boars and we don't know how long it will continue to spread," said Maris Balodis, the head of the country's Food and Veterinary Service. "Therefore, steps which can be done in an emergency situation are preferable at this moment."

Comment: Interestingly enough, while Latvia and Russia are battling the African swine fever, in the US another killer pig virus wipes out more than 10 percent of nation's hogs. Read the following forum thread to learn more, and how sudden flair up of various viruses leads to spike in port prices everywhere. Coincidence?

Magnify

Study links pesticide exposure in pregnancy to autism

© gilmerfreepress.net
In a new study from California, children with an autism spectrum disorder were more likely to have mothers who lived close to fields treated with certain pesticides during pregnancy.

Proximity to agricultural pesticides in pregnancy was also linked to other types of developmental delay among children.

"Ours is the third study to specifically link autism spectrum disorders to pesticide exposure, whereas more papers have demonstrated links with developmental delay," said lead author Janie F. Shelton, from the University of California, Davis.

There needs to be more research before scientists can say that pesticides cause autism, she told Reuters Health in an email. But pesticides all affect signaling between cells in the nervous system, she added, so a direct link is plausible.

Comment: The data and research that pesticides like organophosphates and pyrthroids, cause developmental delays, ADHD and autism is not new. The information has been around for years! It would seem obvious that if toxic (pesticide) chemicals affect the neurology of bugs (thus killing them), these same pesticides will inadvertently affect the neurological function of children, too. Seems straightforward enough, back in 2010 a Harvard study blamed organophosphate pesticides, found in children's urine, to ADHD. The study was conducted over 4 years ago! While the data is mounting about the serious neurological effects of pesticides, especially in children, the use of pesticides in American agriculture continues to grow! It is safe to say that Big Ag in America doesn't want you to care about pesticides:

Ambulance

Superbugs threaten return to 'dark ages'


Tens of thousands of people are already dying of infections that have evolved resistance to common treatments
Britain will lead a global fightback against antibiotic-resistant superbugs to prevent the world from being "cast back into the dark ages of medicine", David Cameron is to announce today.

The rise of untreatable bacteria threatens an "unthinkable scenario" where minor infections could once again kill, the prime minister told The Times in a warning about what he described as one of the biggest health threats facing the world.

Tens of thousands of people are already dying of infections that have evolved resistance to common treatments and the World Health Organisation has warned that routine operations and minor scratches could become fatal if nothing is done.

Comment: See also: Buyer beware! 85% of those contracting measles in California are fully vaccinated

Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research

Ebola "out of control in West Africa" - deaths surge to 467, a 38% increase in one week - WHO

Cheeseburger

Yes, there's wood pulp in burgers

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© Liberty Blitzkrieg
On Monday, Quartz published an article by Devin Cohen titled, There is a Secret Ingredient in Your Burgers: Wood Pulp. Given the headline and people's already present suspicion regarding all of the shady and potentially dangerous ingredients hidden in food items, the article gained a lot of traction.

In subsequent days, most journalists and bloggers have focused on the dangers of this additive (unclear) and whether or not it is pervasive throughout the food chain as opposed to just fast food (it appears to be).

The one angle that has not been explored as much is the overall trend. Let's go ahead and assume that wood pulp is a safe thing to consume, it certainly seems to have no nutritional value whatsoever. So why are companies inserting it into food items?

To mask inflation and earn more profits most likely. This was a major theme I focused on last year in a series of pieces on stealth inflation and food fraud, a couple of which can be read below:

New Study Shows 59% of "Tuna" Sold in the U.S. Isn't Tuna

New Study Shows: Food Fraud Soared 60% Last Year
Syringe

Buyer beware! 85% of those contracting measles in California are fully vaccinated

© Unknown
Saturday, June 14, 2014, around 10AM while having breakfast, this writer was listening to KYW 1060 All News Radio, a CBS affiliate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when to her great surprise she heard a news report that caught her off-guard. Why off-guard? Well, it was a report, plus statistic, regarding measles and the percentage of those contracting the disease who are fully vaccinated. Paraphrasing, the report went something like this, since she cannot locate it on the Internet or KYW's home page:
The current all-time-high measles outbreak in California since measles was 'eradicated' due to vaccines and vaccinations, has local health authorities stumped because 85% of those contracting measles were fully vaccinated!

What an admission - and over the airwaves! That's something vaccine safety advocates have warned about but health authorities deliberately ignore while continually contending it is the non-vaccinated who are spreading measles. Wake up, people!

Comment: For more on the dangers of vaccines see: Why-You-Should-Avoid-Taking-Vaccines

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Ebola "out of control in West Africa" - deaths surge to 467, a 38% increase in one week - WHO

© Reuters / Edward Echwalu
Doctors work in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus

The outbreak of deadly Ebola virus is scything through West Africa with the number of deaths rising sharply over the past week to 467 people, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report on the uncontrollable epidemic.

In addition to the confirmed deaths in the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the WHO announced that the number of confirmed or suspected cases of the virus has risen to 759. Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) has a mortality rate of up to 90 percent.

"As of 30 June 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 759, including 467 deaths," WHO said in their latest alert statement.

The new update shows a 38 percent increase in the number of deaths and a 27 percent rise in the number of suspected cases since the WHO update last Tuesday, making it West Africa's deadliest Ebola epidemic on record. Last week, the death toll from Ebola stood at 399 as of June out of 635 cases.
Attention

Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research

New Flu Virus
© The Independent, UK
Scientists express horror over the creation of a virus that could render the human immune system defenceless.
A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to "escape" the control of the immune system's neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence.

Most of the world today has developed some level of immunity to the 2009 pandemic flu virus, which means that it can now be treated as less dangerous "seasonal flu". However, The Independent understands that Professor Kawaoka intentionally set out to see if it was possible to convert it to a pre-pandemic state in order to analyse the genetic changes involved.

The study is not published, however some scientists who are aware of it are horrified that Dr Kawaoka was allowed to deliberately remove the only defence against a strain of flu virus that has already demonstrated its ability to create a deadly pandemic that killed as many as 500,000 people in the first year of its emergence.

Professor Kawaoka has so far kept details of the research out of the public domain but admitted today that the work is complete and ready for submission to a scientific journal. The experiment was designed to monitor the changes to the 2009 H1N1 strain of virus that would enable it to escape immune protection in order to improve the design of vaccines, he said.

"Through selection of immune escape viruses in the laboratory under appropriate containment conditions, we were able to identify the key regions [that] would enable 2009 H1N1 viruses to escape immunity," Professor Kawaoka said in an email.

"Viruses in clinical isolates have been identified that have these same changes in the [viral protein]. This shows that escape viruses emerge in nature and laboratory studies like ours have relevance to what occurs in nature," he said.
Health

Drink walkers do it because their friends think it's OK


Drink walking, or walking while intoxicated in a public place, is linked to increased risk of injury and fatality.
Friends may be the key to stopping their mates drink walking, a risky behaviour that kills on average two Australians every week, a QUT study has found.

Researcher Dr Ioni Lewis, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety -- Queensland (CARRS-Q), said in a survey of young people aged 17 to 25, friends were the strongest influence on their intentions to drink walk.

"Drink walking, or walking while intoxicated in a public place, is linked to increased risk of injury and fatality," Dr Lewis said.

In a survey, published in Transportation Research, more than 50 per cent of participants said they had walked while intoxicated in the previous six months together with evidence that some young people intended to drink walk in the future.

"The study found that the risks associated with drink walking were seen to be less dangerous than drink driving, however, research shows that in Australia on average 100 alcohol-affected pedestrians are killed each year," Dr Lewis said.

"That equates to more than 5 per cent of all road crash fatalities."

Dr Lewis said the study looked at friends, parents and peers and found friends could significantly influence a young person's decision to drink walk.

Comment: The reader might be interested in reading the following articles:

Teen alcohol and marijuana use can negatively affect brain development into adulthood

Chronic Voluntary Alcohol Consumption Impairs Neurogenesis

Even low alcohol consumption has a negative impact on overall health

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