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  #71  
Old 02-23-2015, 11:28 AM
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EBOLA

oh look

maaaaaaybe it can be transmitted via a pathway they said they couldn't

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...ew-study-says/
Not the least bit surprising. There was rampant criticism for not doing more to reassure the public about how HIV can and cannot be transmitted when scientists were only "pretty sure" themselves.

Given that, in the case of HIV, their theories that they were "pretty sure" later turned out to be "definitely correct", it's not the slightest bit surprising that there is now public pressure to share things as scientific fact when the evidence is still less than 100% certain.
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Old 02-27-2015, 02:50 PM
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CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2...grow/23942147/

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Life-threatening infections caused by bacteria called Clostridium difficile now sicken nearly half a million Americans a year, health officials said Wednesday.

The number of these infections — which can cause "deadly diarrhea" and damage to the colon — doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, about 29,000 patients with the bacteria, also known as C. difficile or C. diff, died within a month of becoming sick, according to a CDC study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. One out of three of these infections occurs in people 65 and older. People 65 and older also account for most deaths.

.....
Hospitals have worked to combat C. diff infections for years, but authors of the new study say that the country needs to do more to prevent the infections in doctor's offices and clinics. England has reduced the number of C. diff infections by more than 60% by encouraging people to use antibiotics more carefully. A study from a Canadian hospital found that reducing antibiotic use 10% was associated with a 34% drop in C. diff cases.

.....
In recent years, doctors have had success treating C. diff with fecal transplants, which help restore the gut's normal bacteria. A small 2013 study found that the transplants cured 94% of C. diff patients.

Although the transplants were once considered "last-ditch" efforts to save people who might otherwise have died, the procedures are now being done earlier in the course of treatment, Bell says. Several drug companies, including Sanofi and Pfizer, are working on C. diff vaccines.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasty-st...r-more-common/
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C. diff. is treated with antibiotics, but health officials are especially concerned about the growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance. Experimental treatment alternatives involving fecal transplants from a healthy person, perhaps in the form of a "poop pill," have shown promise and may work more effectively than current drugs by reintroducing healthy bacteria that fight the infection.

As officials are getting a better handle on the size of America's C. diff. problem, there are some signs of progress. Many hospitals and other health care facilities have been stepping up efforts to more thoroughly clean rooms to prevent C. diff. from spreading to other patients. There also have been programs to use antibiotics more sparingly.

In a report last month, the CDC found a 10 percent decrease from 2011 to 2013 in C. diff. illnesses that started in the hospital. "We are seeing some declines, and that's encouraging," said Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, a CDC researcher who co-authored the paper.

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  #73  
Old 03-02-2015, 06:36 PM
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EBOLA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/wo...f=science&_r=1

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — It seemed as if the Ebola crisis was abating.

New cases were plummeting. The president lifted travel restrictions, and schools were to reopen. A local politician announced on the radio that two 21-day incubation cycles had passed with no new infections in his Freetown neighborhood. The country, many health officials said, was “on the road to zero.”

Then Ebola washed in from the sea.

Sick fishermen came ashore in early February to the packed wharf-side slums that surround the country’s fanciest hotels, which were filled with public health workers. Volunteers fanned out to contain the outbreak, but the virus jumped quarantine lines and cascaded into the countryside, bringing dozens of new infections and deaths.

“We worked so hard,” said Emmanuel Conteh, an Ebola response coordinator in a rural district. “It is a shame to all of us.”

Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia met with President Obama at the White House on Friday.Liberia’s President Urges U.S. to Continue Ebola AidFEB. 27, 2015
Benetha Coleman, an Ebola survivor and nurse’s aide, comforted a baby with Ebola symptoms in Liberia, as seen through a net.Fatality Rate Is Falling in West African Ebola Clinics FEB. 26, 2015
Leaders of Ebola Fight at U.N. Express Worry About EradicationFEB. 20, 2015
Public health experts preparing for an international conference on Ebola on Tuesday seem to have no doubt that the disease can be vanquished in the West African countries ravaged by it in the last year. But the steep downward trajectory of new cases late last year and into January did not lead to the end of the epidemic.

.....
“I doubt it will stop just suddenly,” said Dr. Pierre Rollin, an infectious disease expert with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s always bumpy, and the bigger the outbreak, the more chance you have a bumpy thing.”

As large epidemics taper off, it is common to find new complications in the effort to reach zero cases. “Oftentimes we find surprises when we get to a low level that were hidden by the epidemic itself early on,” said Dr. William Foege, a former director of the C.D.C. and a leading figure in the eradication of smallpox.

For example, health officials managed to reduce measles drastically in the United States in the 1970s, but it took some time before experts realized that a few travelers per week arriving from other countries were developing the illness, continuing its spread. Importation of measles is again a problem today, and it is suspected as a factor in the current outbreak linked to Disneyland.

Then there is polio, which experts had resolved to eliminate globally by 2000, before wars and unexpected resistance disrupted the plan.

“I don’t think we ever foresaw a time when people would shoot and kill polio vaccinators,” Dr. Foege said, referring to incidents in Pakistan and Nigeria that interrupted inoculation campaigns.

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  #74  
Old 03-16-2015, 06:22 AM
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SWINE FLU

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...748_story.html

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NEW DELHI — Samples from India’s latest swine flu outbreak, which has claimed more than 1,500 lives, suggest that India’s virus may have mutated into a more dangerous strain, according to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The findings, published this month in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, differ from statements by Indian officials since the latest swine flu epidemic swept the country beginning in December, leaving more than 20,000 affected. Indian health officials have maintained that the swine flu (H1N1) virus they have seen with this outbreak is the same as what emerged in 2009 and has since been seen around the world.

In recent weeks, swine flu cases have taxed hospitals across the country. Many citizens have donned masks in public places, and public health officials have launched campaigns to urge hand-washing and other preventive measures.

One health official in the northern state of Haryana recently suggested that Indians refrain from shaking hands and instead greet each other with the traditional “Namaste” greeting, with hands folded together over the chest.

In the western state of Gujarat, one of the worst hit, with more than 300 deaths, officials banned public gatherings of more than five people. Weddings and funerals were allowed to go on, but attendees were asked to wear masks.
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  #75  
Old 03-23-2015, 07:45 AM
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TUBERCULOSIS

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsod...e-21st-century

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Last year, 9 million people became sick with TB. That's more than the entire population of New York City falling ill with a disease that we have largely been able to cure since 1947. As one patient in Russia so eloquently put it a few years ago, "How unromantic it is to die of tuberculosis in the twenty-first century."

And although the disease is the biggest global killer of adults after HIV — hitting people at the most economically productive points in their lives — it also affects 1 million children each year.

Whereas diseases like Ebola kill swiftly and put on a horrific display of symptoms, TB consumes many of its unknowing victims over a long period. It often goes undiagnosed for months, if not years, while it multiplies in families and communities. Individuals who are sick spread the bacteria through the air. Without the correct treatment, more than 80 percent of people who fall sick will eventually waste away — coughing up blood while their bodies are ravaged by the disease — until they die.

......
Stopping a TB epidemic is difficult but not impossible. New York City had an epidemic of the disease in the late 1980s, fueled by a rise in HIV, homelessness and underfunding of its public health system. At one point, the rates in parts of the city were as high as we see in India today, more than 200 cases per 100,000 people.

Standard epidemic control approaches were followed: actively locating those already sick, putting them on the correct treatment immediately, using preventive therapy to protect individuals exposed to the bacteria, ensuring that patients received the clinical, economic and social supports that they needed to successfully complete therapy, and strengthening the local public health system so that it was able to deliver comprehensive care to patients outside of the hospital setting. As a result, the epidemic was halted.

I don't think TB was all that romantic a cause for death in the 19th century, either.
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  #76  
Old 03-23-2015, 10:02 AM
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TUBERCULOSIS




I don't think TB was all that romantic a cause for death in the 19th century, either.
What about Fantine from Les Miserables?

And Mimi in La Boheme? That totally makes it the AIDS of that era's Rent (okay, maybe I'm not helping my case here)

And, I'm not ashamed to admit, Val Kilmer had a sexy cough when he played Doc Holiday in "Tombstone"

And his wife's TB brought Feynman to the southwest to work on the atomic bomb, as portrayed by Matthew Broderick in the romantic movie "Infinity" (his later years as a player were not in the movie)
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  #77  
Old 03-23-2015, 10:21 AM
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yes, it's very romantic to die in squalor, coughing up blood
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:41 PM
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yes, it's very romantic to die in squalor, coughing up blood
No, no.
The point is that romantic authors ignored the reality of it, and just used the prevalence of TB as a convenient excuse when killing off a character.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:15 PM
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So what's the favored cause of literary romantic deaths now? Cancer?
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:16 PM
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So what's the favored cause of literary romantic deaths now? Cancer?
Wasn't that the premise of The Fault In Our Stars?
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