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Thu, 30 Nov 2023
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Health & Wellness


Why we shouldn't worry about the new Covid strains - according to a top virologist

covid antigen test

The guidance for what to do if you think you have the new variant remains the same: stay home and manage the symptoms with paracetamol
A new, multiply-mutated form of Covid has popped up, spawning some alarming, clickbait headlines. But I'm not overly concerned, and I'll certainly be off to wish my 102-year-old grandmother "happy birthday" shortly. Here's why.

Dubbed BA2.86, the new Omicron spin-off comes hot on the heels of the EG5.1 "Eris" variant - named after the Greek goddess of strife - which first elbowed itself onto the Covid scene in July. Eris is accounting for about 15 per cent of the Covid-19 cases we're seeing at the moment. Some have suggested that, combined with summer travel, bad weather keeping people indoors, and waning population immunity, Eris might be behind the recent uptick in cases.

BA2.86, on the other hand, has been detected in only a few countries so far, including Israel, the US and Denmark. Last week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed one case in this country. This new variant doesn't earn itself a Greek letter for a name, but instead scientists have nicknamed it "Pirola", a moniker allegedly adopted from social media after an asteroid that loiters between Mars and Jupiter.


Florida officials report five deaths from 'flesh-eating' bacteria in Tampa Bay since January

© Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images
Tampa Bay Beach
Five people are confirmed dead in the Tampa Bay area because of a flesh-eating bacterium known to lurk at beaches, Florida officials reported.

According to Florida Health, the vibrio vulnificus bacterium's natural habitat is in warm, brackish seawater because it requires salt to live. The bacteria typically grow more quickly in warmer months.

Infections are rare, but health officials say those with open wounds, cuts or scrapes should stay out of the water.

Five people have died this year from reported bacterial infections, including two in Hilsborough County and one each in Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties. There have been 26 reported cases of vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida since January, officials said.

In 2022, there were 74 total cases and 17 deaths. Those numbers were abnormally high that year because Hurricane Ian spilled sewage into the ocean, increasing bacteria levels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some Vibrio vulnificus infections lead to necrotizing fasciitis, a severe infection in which the flesh around an open wound dies. Necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by more than one type of bacteria.
© Mark Lennihan/AP/BSIP/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Oysters and deadly bacteria


Meat allergies caused by tick bites: Should you be worried?

meat allergy tick
© Children's Health Defense
Editor's note: This article is part 1 in a three-part series on alpha-gal syndrome, more commonly known as red meat allergy.

Mainstream news outlets have been reporting on a new, mysterious health threat with no treatment or cure: alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), or red meat allergy.

Individuals with AGS experience mild-to-severe symptoms several hours after eating red meat. AGS has no cure and the only "treatment" is to avoid certain meats and animal products.

According to the latest consensus, the lone star tick is the main transmission vector for AGS. This creature previously was known to transmit several rare bacterial and viral infections, including such exotic-sounding ailments as southern tick-associated rash illness, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, heartland virus and Bourbon virus disease.


WHO promotes homeopathy as 'integral resource' in medicine

homeopathic remedies
© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Vials containing pills for homeopathic remedies are displayed at an alternative pharmacy in London.
WHO's support of homeopathy is concurrent with establishment of Global Centre for Traditional Medicine under guidance from Indian government.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun endorsing alternative medicines — some widely discredited by medical authorities.

WHO began encouraging the public to explore these treatment options via social media last week, explicitly naming homeopathic medicine as a resource on Saturday.

"For millions of people around the world Traditional Medicine is their first stop for health and well-being," the WHO wrote on social media.

Comment: There is no system of medicine that has more maligned and ridiculed by the controllers than homeopathy. That alone should pique one's interest.

See also:

Eye 1

Groundbreaking ruling: Manufacturer of Remdesivir not shielded by PREP Act for man's injuries

© Monika Wisniewska/Shutterstock
In a groundbreaking decision, a Michigan judge ruled on Aug. 8 that a drug manufacturer and hospital are not protected by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act in the case of a man who experienced two strokes and a leg amputation after receiving the COVID-19 medication remdesivir that was contaminated with glass particles.

This is the first time a judge has ruled a drug manufacturer and hospital are not protected under the PREP Act, which provides immunity from lawsuits and liability protections under state and federal law concerning all claims for loss resulting from the administration of the covered countermeasure, except in the case of willful misconduct. Although the ruling is not a binding precedent, this case sets the tone for future lawsuits against the company for injuries potentially incurred by those given the drug.

Detroit-based attorney Ven Johnson filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dan Nowacki, his wife, and son against Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead), the manufacturer of remdesivir — marketed under the brand name Veklury — and St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital that administered the drug, alleging breach of warranty, negligence, gross negligence, and loss of consortium — as Ms. Nowacki has lost her husband's "society, companionship, and household services."


Canadian parents lose custody of sick child after advocating for alternative medical care

rebel news BC parents custody child
We spoke with a mother and father who are currently fighting to regain custody of their one-year-old child who was vaccinated by the B.C. Children's Hospital despite vaccination being against both parents' religious beliefs.

An Okanagan family — whom we are not naming due to privacy restrictions placed on the parents by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) — says they have been torn apart by the ministry for advocating for their child. The parental rights battle began shortly after the couple became at odds with some of the decisions a medical team at BC Children's Hospital made for their one-year-old child.


EPA authorizes release of 2 billion more GMO mosquitoes as reports of malaria surface in states that already released them

EPA GMO mosquitoes malaria
Locally acquired malaria has been nonexistent in the U.S. for the last 20 years. But five such cases have recently been diagnosed — four in Florida and one in Texas — the only two states that have released genetically engineered mosquitoes.

GE mosquitoes created by biotechnology company Oxitec have been released in the U.S., even though the long-term effects could be disastrous.

Oxitec is using Aedes aegypti (A. aegypti) mosquitoes for this real-world experiment, the species known to carry yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, West Nile and Mayaro, a dengue-like disease.

Comment: See also:


EMFs a possible human carcinogen

cancer cell
© Creations/Shutterstock
Many people know ultraviolet rays and X-rays can cause cancer.

These are high-frequency, ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Ionizing EMFs are considered carcinogenic, while nonionizing EMFs, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth signals, and fields from electronic devices, are generally not. This perception has prevailed in the public mindset for decades.

However, there's limited awareness that certain nonionizing EMFs are also classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as class 2B carcinogens — a category indicating potential human carcinogenicity.

Dr. David Carpenter, an environmental health professor at the University of Albany who received his medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School, noted that radiofrequency, a type of nonionizing radiation used in telecommunications, might eventually fall under class 2A classification, denoting a probable human carcinogen.


Leprosy cases on the rise after COVID-19 vaccination

covid vaccine
A growing number of leprosy cases are being reported after COVID-19 vaccination, including two cases in the United Kingdom that researchers said may have been caused by the vaccines.

The researchers examined records from the Leprosy Clinic at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. They found that of the 52 people who went to the clinic in 2021, at least 49 were vaccinated.

The study definition of a leprosy adverse event associated with a COVID-19 vaccine included developing leprosy or a leprosy reaction within 12 weeks of receiving a dose and the person having no previous history of leprosy or a leprosy reaction.

Comment: This trend is not only occuring in the U.S, but is now suspected to be "endemic" in Florida:
Leprosy cases increase in Florida, CDC issues warning disease may be endemic in region

"There were 159 new cases of leprosy in the US in 2020, the most recent year for which data was studied, according to a report published on Monday by the CDC. Florida was among the top reporting states, and almost a fifth of all cases were reported in the state's central region.

Central Florida was responsible for 81% of the cases reported in the state."


Raising awareness of long COVID 'blue legs' symptom

pots covid
© Nature
An unusual case of a long COVID patient's legs turning blue after 10 minutes of standing highlights the need for greater awareness of this symptom among people with the condition, according to new research. The study, "Venous insufficiency and acrocyanosis in long COVID: dysautonomia," has been published in The Lancet.

The paper, authored by Dr. Manoj Sivan at the University of Leeds, focuses on the case of one 33-year-old man who developed with acrocyanosis — venous pooling of blood in the legs.

A minute after standing, the patient's legs began to redden and became increasingly blue over time, with veins becoming more prominent. After 10 minutes the color was much more pronounced, with the patient describing a heavy, itchy sensation in his legs. His original color returned two minutes after he returned to a non-standing position.