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Thu, 13 Aug 2020
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Health & Wellness


WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID trials after failure to reduce death

© George Frey, AFP
Hydroxychloroquine tablets sold at a pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.

The setback came as the WHO also reported more than 200,000 new cases globally of the disease for the first time in a single day. The United States accounted for 53,213 of the total 212,326 new cases recorded on Friday, the WHO said.

"These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect," the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.

Comment: Make no mistake: the slamming of hydroxychloroquine is a political move, not a medical one. With the amount of evidence showing a reduction in mortality from the use of hydroxychloroquine, and the clear push for the insanely expensive remdesivir as the preferred drug, one can clearly see which way the money flows. Not to mention the fact that the hundreds of Covid vaccines currently under development, with potential massive payoffs, will be rendered useless should a cheap and effective treatment be found. This is not about 'saving lives', it's about a particular group of people making sure they profit stupendously from the created fear and desperation of the populace.

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Rare case of brain eating amoeba confirmed in Florida

Naegleria fowleri
© Desconocido
Naegleria fowleri
The Florida Department of Health on Friday announced the confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri -- a microscopic single-celled amoeba that can infect and destroy the brain. It's usually fatal, the DOH said.

Since 1962, there have only been 37 reported cases of the amoeba in Florida. This one was found in Hillsborough County, though the DOH did not give any further details.

Naegleria fowleri is typically found in warm freshwater like lakes, rivers and ponds. The DOH has cautioned people who swim in those freshwater sources to be aware of the amoeba's possible presence, particularly when the water is warm.

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Déjà vu: GSK recycles its problematic adjuvant into COVID-19 vaccines

covid vaccine
Among the 100 or so global players now working on experimental Covid-19 vaccines, most of the entities touted as frontrunners are obscure biotechnology and nanotechnology firms. Despite their focus on razzle-dazzle "next-generation" technologies that private foundations, the U.S. government and the military apparently find alluring, few of these companies have any prior experience successfully bringing vaccines to market.

In contrast, some of the biggest and most experienced vaccine manufacturers in the U.S. and globally, including Merck, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), seemed, until recently, to be missing in action — "conspicuously absent" from the frontrunner lists. In May, a Merck executive explained the relative silence this way: "It's not that the company wasn't working on the problem, . . . but that it simply wasn't ready to speak." Meanwhile, GSK — which leads the world in global vaccine revenues — has been casting itself as the wise old granddaddy in a sea of impetuous upstarts, modestly stating its preference for "the slow and steady approach of focusing on an established technology that has the best chance of reaching the widest possible demographic."

In late spring, GSK apparently decided to reverse its tortoise-like approach and stepped boldly out of the shadows. After having already made its "established technology" — that is, GSK's "pandemic vaccine adjuvant system" — available to several regional players earlier in the year, a splashy mid-April announcement reported that GSK would override its ordinarily fierce competition with Sanofi to embark on a Covid-19 vaccine joint effort, pooling both know-how and manufacturing capacity with the French pharma giant. Under this "unprecedented" arrangement, Sanofi will provide the coronavirus antigen while GSK ponies up its trademark AS03 adjuvant system.

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Modelers were 'astronomically wrong' in COVID-19 predictions, says epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis - And the world is paying the price

dr john ioannidis
© Intellectual Takeout
In a recent interview, Dr. John Ioannidis had a harsh assessment of modelers who predicted as many as 40 million people would die and the US healthcare system would be overrun because of COVID-19.

Dr. John Ioannidis became a world-leading scientist by exposing bad science. But the COVID-19 pandemic could prove to be his biggest challenge yet.

Ioannidis, the C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention at Stanford University, has come under fire in recent months for his opposition to state-ordered lockdowns, which he says could cause social harms well beyond their presumed benefits. But he doesn't appear to be backing down.

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Microscope 1

"No one has died from the coronavirus": Important revelations shared by Dr Stoian Alexov, President of the Bulgarian Pathology Association

covid-19 virus image
A high-profile European pathologist is reporting that he and his colleagues across Europe have not found any evidence of any deaths from the novel coronavirus on that continent.

Dr. Stoian Alexov called the World Health Organization (WHO) a "criminal medical organization" for creating worldwide fear and chaos without providing objectively verifiable proof of a pandemic.

Another stunning revelation from Bulgarian Pathology Association (BPA) president Dr. Alexov is that he believes it's currently "impossible" to create a vaccine against the virus.

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Bubonic Plague? Mongolia quarantines border region with Russia

3 gowned medics
© centralasia media
Mongolia has quarantined its western region near the border with Russia after identifying two suspected cases of the black plague linked to the consumption of marmot meat, health officials said Wednesday.

Lab tests confirmed that two unidentified individuals had contracted the "marmot plague" in the region of Khovd, Mongolia's National Center for Zoonotic Disease (NCZD) said in a statement.

The NCZD said it moved to quarantine the provincial capital and one of the region's districts about 500 kilometers south of the southern Siberian republics of Tyva and Altai.

Vehicles are temporarily banned from entering the region, the state-run TASS news agency cited Mongolian media as saying.

The NCZD said it has analyzed samples taken from 146 people who it said had contacts with the two infected persons and identified 504 second-contact individuals. Media reports suggested that the victims were a 27-year-old male and a young woman of an unknown age.

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Microscope 2

Vindicated: Trump-touted COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine works, according to new study

The anti-malaria drug that President Trump touted as a possible treatment for coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine, successfully lowered the death rate among hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the most recent study of the drug.

The large-scale analysis, conducted by Henry Ford Health System, was published Thursday in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The study examined 2,541 patients who had been hospitalized in six hospitals between March 10 and May 2, 2020.

More than twenty-six percent (26.4%) of patients who did not receive hydroxychloroquine died.

Comment: After all the mainstream media stories touting the ineffectiveness and danger of hydroxychloroquine, the release of this study just further shows that the MSM is full of lies and propaganda.


Court condemns French state to pay tens of thousands in birth defects cases

© BSIP/UIG via Getty Images
Dépakine has been marketed by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi since 1967.
A court in Paris has found the French state responsible and ordered it to pay thousands of euros in damages in the case of birth defects linked to the anti-epilepsy drug Dépakine, produced by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

The court ordered the state to compensate three families who filed complaints after pregnant women took the medicine, marketed as Dépakine, and gave birth to children with congenital malformations, autism or learning difficulties.

The court ordered the French state to pay sums of 200,000, 157,000 and 20,000 euros to the families - the amounts based on the dates of birth of the five children affected, today aged between 11 and 35 years.

The tribunal decided that the state had failed in its duty to enforce laws intended to protect the public by informing them of potential dangers.

Sanofi and doctors who prescribed Dépakine were also found responsible for a tragedy that has left between 15,000 and 30,000 children affected.

Majority of victims excluded

Marine Martin, president of an association which helps the families of children damaged by the drug, said she was happy that the court had recognised the shared responsibility of the state, the manufacturer and the medical profession. But she said she was angry that the families of 80 percent of the victims, born before 2004, will not benefit from any compensation.


Video of brain clearing out dead neurons captured for first time

© Yale
We already know that our brains have a waste disposal system that keeps dead and toxic neurons from clogging up our biological pathways. Now, scientists have managed to capture a video of the process for the first time, in laboratory tests on mice.

There's still a lot we don't know about how dead neurons are cleared out, and how the brain reacts to them, so the new research could be a significant step forward in figuring some of that out - even if we've not yet confirmed that human brains work in the exact same way.

"This is the first time the process has ever been seen in a live mammalian brain," says neurologist Jaime Grutzendler from the Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut.

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Left-handedness develops before birth

left  handed
About 10.6% of humans are left-handed (Papadatou-Pastou et al., 2020). One of the longstanding questions in scientific research on left-handedness is, at which point in life it actually develops.

One commonly held idea is that it is possible to know for certain whether a child is left-handed or not once he or she starts writing. However, scientific studies show that left-handedness actually develops much earlier to in primary school. In fact, it actually develops before we are even born.

Scientists have investigated left-handedness in unborn babies using real-time ultrasound recording in order to track the movements of their arms and hands in the womb.

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