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Philippines detects bird flu outbreak in quail farm

philippines map bird flu
© Google Maps
At a press conference, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the highly pathogenic virus — which is transmissible to humans, but the mortality rate is low — was found in Barangay Ulanin-Pitak.
The Philippines has detected an outbreak of avian flu in a northern province after tests showed presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus in a quail farm, the country's farm minister said on Monday.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the bird flu virus, the same strain that hit some local poultry farms in 2017, was detected in Jaen municipality in Nueva Ecija province, where about 1,500 quails had died on one farm alone.

A total of 12,000 quails have been destroyed and buried to prevent further infections, Dar said, citing field reports.

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Guinness

Shocking discovery! Scientists learn the flaming obvious: People are recovering from COVID-19 'like they would from the flu'


Comment: That's because it IS 'the flu', you morons!

(At least, it's one of the many viruses - which includes Influenza Type A and Influenza Type B - that goes into making up the millions of people who every year come down with what can only be broadly labelled 'influenza-like illnesses'.)


flu cold sick

Normal
Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body's immune system fights the Covid-19 virus.

Their research, published in Nature Medicine journal on Tuesday, shows people are recovering from the new virus like they would from the flu.

Determining which immune cells are appearing should also help with vaccine development, experts say.


Comment: Vaccines against the flu don't work. Never have done, and probably never will.


Globally, authorities have confirmed more than 160,000 cases of the coronavirus and about 6,500 deaths.

Comment: Money down the drain.

The thousands of viruses out there essentially serve the same function as software updates in computers. The human species NEEDS these updates if it is to continue living in synch with the ever-changing environment.

'Getting sick from the flu' is the process of 'enforced downtime' to process the 'updates' - it HAS to happen. This cannot be eradicated!

All attempts to do so are merely signalling to the Universe that 'we, the humans alive today, no longer wish for software updates'. Right now, billions of people are effectively signalling to the Universe: 'Stop the world, we want off NOW!'

They better watch out what they wish for, or the Universe will send them a REAL means of 'wipe-out'.


Health

The microbes in your mouth, and a reminder to floss and go to the dentist

brush teeth brushing toothbrush
© Alliance / Adobe Stock
Most people know that good oral hygiene -- brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits -- is linked to good health. Colorado State University microbiome researchers offer fresh evidence to support that conventional wisdom, by taking a close look at invisible communities of microbes that live in every mouth.

The oral microbiome - the sum total of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that occupy the human mouth -- was the subject of a crowd-sourced, citizen science-driven study by Jessica Metcalf's research lab at CSU and Nicole Garneau's research team at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Published in Scientific Reports, the study found, among other things, a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease.

For the experiments, carried out by Garneau's community science team in the Genetics of Taste Lab at the museum, a wide cross-section of museum visitors submitted to a cheek swab and answered simple questions about their demographics, lifestyles and health habits. Microbial DNA sequencing data analyzed by Metcalf's group revealed, broadly, that oral health habits affect the communities of bacteria in the mouth. The study underscored the need to think about oral health as strongly linked to the health of the entire body.

Comment: It would be interesting to see how much diet played a role in the oral microbiome versus brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist. Knowing what we know about the effect of diet on the gut microbiome, one could deduce a similar relationship with the mouth.

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Microscope 1

Data methods show gap between US, Chinese flu-related deaths

Beijing Children's Hospital
© Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei
A child receives treatment at Beijing Children's Hospital in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 10, 2018.
Chinese netizens expressed concerns over an influenza epidemic in the US that infected 13 million people and killed more than 6,600, while fighting the deadly coronavirus that has killed at least nine back home.


Comment: Note that this article was published almost two months ago. Figures cited do not accurately represent current statistics.


Analysts noted the US mortality rate looks much higher than China's because of the two countries' different statistical methods. The response came after some net users questioned whether the high death rate shows the ineffective control of flu in the US and how different countries should cooperate effectively to curb the new coronavirus-related disease.

The flu epidemic in the US eased during the week of January 5-11 but remains active, with an estimated 13-18 million cases of flu illnesses documented since the start of the season, a latest report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Comment: This is an important point when comparing infection and death rates in flu-like illnesses - everyone may be using different methods for collecting their numbers. Keep this in mind when looking at the situation currently in Italy, when shocking numbers seem so out-of-proportion to the rest of the world.

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Pills

Anti-inflammatories may aggravate Covid-19, France advises

Anti-inflammatory drugs
© Alamy
Anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the body’s immune response.
French minister says patients should take paracetamol rather than ibuprofen or cortisone.

French authorities have warned that widely used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may worsen the coronavirus.

The country's health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on Saturday: "The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone ... ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor's advice."

Health officials point out that anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the response of the body's immune system.

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Sun

Higher temperatures affect survival of new coronavirus, pathologist says

SARS-CoV-2
© NIAID-RML
Transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like.
Research from a laboratory-grown copy of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COVID-19 illness shows that heat affects the virus and impacts its behavior, a top pathologist said new research has shown. But other infectious disease experts aren't yet convinced.

"In cold environments, there is longer virus survival than warm ones," Hong Kong University pathology professor John Nicholls told AccuWeather exclusively.

Nicholls and colleagues from a team at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, previously produced a study, which was published in February and has yet to be peer-reviewed, noting the effect of heat. Their research is based on one of the world's first lab-grown copies of SARS-CoV-2.

"Temperature could significantly change COVID-19 transmission," the authors note in the study. They also pointed out that the "virus is highly sensitive to high temperature."

On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. This is the first pandemic in 11 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chart Bar

Visualizing the history of pandemics... by death toll

Pan·dem·ic /panˈdemik/ (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. In fact, as Visual Cpitalist's Nicholas LePan notes, even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has.

Today's visualization outlines some of history's most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to the current COVID-19 event.

history of pandemics chart

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Health

Coronavirus survivors may suffer from reduced lung function

coronavirus
Some patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have been left with a reduced lung capacity - and left gasping for air when walking briskly, according to a report.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced the findings after studying the first wave of patients who had fully recovered from COVID-19, the South China Morning Post reported.

Three people have died of the illness in the former British colony, which has so far recorded 131 confirmed cases. Among them, 74 people have been discharged.

Arrow Up

Woman who survived coronavirus shares her early symptoms

Elizabeth Schneider
© AFP via Getty Images
Elizabeth Schneider survived coronavirus.
At last comes a measure of reassurance about the effects of the global pandemic: A woman who has fully recovered from coronavirus is a living, breathing beacon of hope.

Elizabeth Schneider, 37, had a relatively mild experience with the sometimes-deadly virus, for which she treated herself at her home in Seattle, Washington. So far, the Northwestern state has suffered the highest number of deaths — at least 30 — in the US from the disease.

Schneider, who has a doctorate in bioengineering, told the Agence France-Press she was sharing her story "to give people a little bit of hope." Her story is more common than one might think: US health authorities say 80% of cases have been mild. The remaining cases that needed hospitalization affected mainly citizens over the age of 60 and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.

Comment: It's important to remember that the majority of people who come down with COVID-19 have a similar story. Their symptoms may be worse (or milder), but overall it's an illness that people get over without much fanfare, excluding people with pre-existing conditions. In other words, it's not much different from the flu in its effects.

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Syringe

ICAN calls on CDC to remove misinformation about vaccines and autism from website

autism vaccines
Here's the brief summary of what happened:

Last summer, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the CDC to provide all of the studies supporting its claim that "vaccines do not cause autism." Specifically, ICAN asked the CDC to produce all of the studies that demonstrated that the vaccines given in the first six months of life did not cause autism.

These vaccines are: DTap, HIB, HepB, Prevnar (PCV13), and the Polio vaccine (IPV).

Comment: The CDC is lying. This is hardly a shocker, but perhaps Bigtree and ICAN can actually hold them accountable in this latest legal action. We live in hope.

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