SARS-like virus kills British Patient

AP |  FEBRUARY 19, 2013

A patient being treated for a mysterious SARS-like virus has died, a British hospital said Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, said the coronavirus victim was also being treated for “a long-term, complex unrelated health problem” and already had a compromised immune system.

A total of 12 people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease, six of whom have died.

The virus was first identified last year in the Middle East. Most of those infected had traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan, but the person who just died is believed to have caught it from a relative in Britain, where there have been four confirmed cases.

The new coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS. In 2003, a global outbreak of SARS killed about 800 people worldwide.

Health experts still aren’t sure exactly how humans are being infected. The new coronavirus is most closely related to a bat virus and scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection.

Britain’s Health Protection Agency has said while it appears the virus can spread from person to person, “the risk of infection in contacts in most circumstances is still considered to be low.”

Officials at the World Health Organization said the new virus has probably already spread between humans in some instances. In Saudi Arabia last year, four members of the same family fell ill and two died. And in a cluster of about a dozen people in Jordan, the virus may have spread at a hospital’s intensive care unit.

 

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 11, 2012

Are you and your family on the wrong side of a bet? That is the questions asked by the new documentary film Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives. The film is a production of the Institute for Responsible Technology.

Genetically Modified Organisms are now part of foods and those GMOs are not properly labeled so consumers can make an informed decision as to what kind of products they can bring home to their families. Although GMOs have been banned or limited in many countries in the developed world, The United States and numerous third world nations haven’t issued such bans or limitations and their populations are exposed to GMOs on a daily basis.

In the United States, the US government has continuously ignored the studies whose results warn about the dangers that GMOs present to human health. The main reason for its refusal to ban GMOs stems from the fact that government agencies that are supposed to protect consumers from dangerous foods are headed by former Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill or Syngenta employees, who despite having a conflict of interest were called by the White House to work as food safety Czars.

Currently, the US allows the cultivation, harvest and use of GMOs for the production of thousands of products that end on dinner tables all across American and many more around the world. The refusal to officially study the effects that GMOs have on humans or to review the results of independently conducted studies resulted in one outcome: the production and sale of unlabeled food products that contain dangerous genetically modified organisms.

The governments that do not properly study and upon confirming the threats posed by GMOs, refuse to ban they production and use in food products are genuinely — as the title of the film says — playing Russian Roulette with the health of the citizenry. The corporate-owned officials are taking a gamble with everyone’s health and are setting the stage to cause mass disease and death in the population and these effects will be extended to the coming generations.

“After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.” But the warnings from these scientists found deaf ears in government agencies that are supposed to review the safety of the foods people ingest.

On September 19, we reported how scientist at CRIIGEN found that GM Maize and Roundup were linked to premature death and cancer. In a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology”, researchers led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup tolerant GM maize or given water containing Roundup, at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the US, developed cancers faster and died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet.

Earlier, on September 14, scientists from the Safe Food Foundation, reported how GM Wheat Could Potentially change the Human Genome by ‘silencing’ genes once GMO wheat was ingested. Judy Carman, a biochemist and Director of the IHERS at Flinders University, warned that during her observations the GMO gene had the potential to silence human genes, which could have serious complications.

The same kind of reactions seen in both CRIIGEN and the Safe Food Foundation’s observations are seen in the studies and personal stories presented on Genetic Roulette. The film is complete with documents that show uncontestable evidence about the dangers of GMOs. The film explains how these laboratory-made organisms deteriorate people’s health, especially that of children and provides suggestions that anyone can implement to protect themselves and their families.

For an in-depth look at how the genetic engineering of foods and products threatens all life forms, read our report here. We highly recommend that you watch Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives and spread the information about the dangers of GMOs to everyone you know. Also, join our campaign on Facebook to support the adequate labeling of GMOs on food products.

More information can be found at: http://geneticroulettemovie.com and http://responsibletechnology.org

Order the DVD at: http://seedsofdeception.com/store/dvdcd?product_id=124

Donate to support the The Institute for Responsible Technology: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/donategr

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West Nile Virus Spreads Rapidly in the United States

By ELIZABETH WEISE | USATODAY | AUGUST 15, 2012

West Nile virus is spreading faster than it has in years, and the pace of the mosquito-borne disease is getting worse, health officials report.

States are reporting more cases than usual, says Marc Fischer, a specialist in mosquito-borne diseases with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Fort Collins, Colo. “There’s been a lot of mosquito activity in most states” this year, Fischer says.

Texas is getting the worst of it.

Sixteen people have died of West Nile virus this summer in Texas. That’s out of 381 cases of the illness. “We’re on track to have the worst year ever,” says Christine Mann, spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services in Austin.

Nationwide there have been at least 693 cases and 28 deaths, according to the CDC and state numbers released Tuesday. That’s up from 390 cases and eight deaths last week.

A mild winter and ample spring rains allowed the mosquito population to build up early. Heat and scant rainfall are creating stagnant water pools, which make great breeding grounds, says Michael Merchant, an entomologist at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas.

Thirty-two states have had cases of West Nile, the CDC says.

Louisiana has had six deaths in 68 cases, Oklahoma one death in 55 cases, and Mississippi one death in 59 cases. In Arizona, there’s been one death in seven cases.

California had 23 cases, one of which was fatal, and South Dakota had one fatality in 37 cases.

It’s going to get worse, says David Dausey, a professor of public health at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. He says climate change means warmer winters, milder springs and hotter summers, all of which “create a longer season for mosquitoes to breed and ideal conditions for them to survive.” That will mean more West Nile and, public health workers worry, other mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever, Dausey says.

Most people who are infected with the West Nile Virus, 70% to 80%, never know they have it. Twenty percent to 30% develop West Nile fever, with headaches, fever, joint pains, vomiting or diarrhea and rash.

Less than 1% of those infected with the virus develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease involving inflammation of the brain, spinal cord or the tissue surrounding the brain. About 10% of those will die, Fischer says. People over 50 and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop this form.

Fluoride depletes iodine in the body

Iodine depletion causes hypothyroidism and immune deficiency

NaturalNews.com
February 14,2011

Fluoride is getting a lot of bad press these days, and for good reason: it is a toxic molecule that wreaks extensive, often irreversible, havoc on the body. The thyroid is particularly affected by fluoride exposure because its store of iodine is depleted. Iodine deficiency depresses the thyroid’s metabolic and immune functions, resulting in hypothyroidism and lowered immunity.

Fluoride and iodine are both halogens. Fluoride, the negative ion of the element fluorine, easily displaces iodine in the body because it is much lighter and therefore more reactive. In fact, the activity of any one of the halogens (Iodine 126.70, Bromine 79.90, Chlorine 35.45, Fluorine 18.99 are the most common) is inversely proportional to its atomic weight. In other words, one halogen can displace another one of a higher atomic weight but cannot displace one of lower weight.

Lack of iodine shuts down production of thyroxine, the thyroid prohormone that controls metabolism, and, in one way or another, impacts every aspect of health. The resulting hypothyroidism causes weight gain, cold intolerance, dry and prematurely aged skin, depression, constipation, hair loss, memory loss, irritability, increased cholesterol levels, heart disease and loss of libido.

But the action of iodine in the thyroid is not limited to metabolism; it also has an important immune function. Blood circulates through the thyroid once every 17 minutes in what has been called the ’17 minute passage’. Secretion of iodine, a potent germ killer, into the blood stream as it is passing through the thyroid weakens invading organisms, allowing them to be more easily eradicated. If the thyroid is deficient in iodine, this critical step in immunity will be reduced or eliminated.

Unlike iodine, which the body cannot store long-term, fluoride is a problematic and persistent toxin. Its effects are systemic and only about half of what is ingested can be excreted; the rest is stored in bones and tissues, blocking access to other elements, like iodine.

Fluoride exposure can come from multiple obvious and not-so-obvious sources. In addition to dental hygiene products and drinking water, many breakfast cereals, juices from concentrate, soda and other processed foods contain alarming levels. Fluoride-containing pesticide use means that the environment is being flooded with fluoride by conventional agriculture (http://www.fluoridealert.org/f-pest…). Also, many antidepressants contain large amounts of fluoride and are widely prescribed, often for a lifetime of use.

Conventional medicine’s response to hypothyroidism typically ignores causes and prescribes synthetic thyroxine hormone in an attempt to balance out the health equation with another unnatural substance; this is nothing new. But hypothyroidism is a national epidemic, affecting roughly 10% of the female population in the US and in no way sparing men. It has created a stable, ever-expanding market for these cash cow thyroid drugs (the leading thyroid drug was number 7 on JAMA’s list of ‘most commonly prescribed’ in 2006; one year later it was number 4).

One might assume then that fluoride’s role in depressing thyroid function is a new discovery, that government fluoride programs simply lack this vital information. Yet research has been taking place since the 1930s, when fluoride was used to treat individuals with overactive thyroid. The relationship is well established, and old.

Which leads inevitably to a difficult question: How could government allow fluoride addition to drinking water, approve fluoride-containing drugs and pesticides, and fail to test for fluoride content in food when there is a known connection with serious thyroid complications?

Perhaps the cash value of the fact that millions of Americans take thyroid drugs, and most likely will take them the rest of their lives, can suggest an unbiased, honest answer.

China Awakens to Mass Vaccination Fraud

AP

China’s plans to vaccinate 100 million children and come a step closer to eradicating measles has set off a popular outcry that highlights widening public distrust of the authoritarian government after repeated health scandals.

Since the Health Ministry announced the World Health Organization-backed measles vaccination plan last week, authorities have been flooded with queries and Internet bulletin boards have been plastered with worried messages. Conspiracy theories saying the vaccines are dangerous have spread by cell phone text messages.

The public skepticism has even been covered by state-run media, which noted the lack of trust was about more than vaccines.

“Behind the public’s panic over the rumors is an expression of the citizens’ demands for security and a crisis in confidence,” a columnist wrote in the Chongqing Daily newspaper.

“The lack of trust toward our food and health products was not formed in one day,” said the Global Times newspaper. “Repairing the damage and building credibility will take a very long time. The public health departments need to take immediate action on all fronts.”

In recent years, government agencies have dragged their feet or withheld information about the spread of SARS, bird flu and, last month, an outbreak of cholera. China’s slow response to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, was widely blamed for causing the outbreak that swept the globe in 2003, and led to deep mistrust both internally and internationally.

Milk products contaminated with industrial chemicals are still found despite mass recalls and several criminal convictions, including executions, after tainted infant formula sickened 300,000 babies and killed at least six two years ago.

Feeding into worries about the measles vaccine were media reports in March that vaccines for encephalitis, hepatitis B and other diseases possibly killed four children and seriously sickened dozens in one province. The health ministry said an investigation showed those vaccines were improperly stored but subsequent illnesses were unrelated. Many remain unconvinced.

Meanwhile, two Chinese vaccine makers recently said they shut operations after rabies vaccines they produced were found to be substandard.

The ministry has tried to calm the public’s anxieties about the 10-day measles immunization drive, which started Saturday. It has busily issued statements, refuted rumors and held briefings to emphasize the need for the vaccine as well as its safety.

The campaign, likely the world’s largest, targets all children ages 8 months to 4 or 14 years, depending on locality, and is intended to include remote areas, migrant communities and other places where previous vaccination coverage has been spotty.

Yet the publicity is not likely to easily reassure a public increasingly skeptical of reassurances from a government often seen as opaque and unaccountable, especially where public health is involved.

“This time how could the public have no doubts? They are asking: ‘Is there an outbreak of the disease? Are previous vaccinations not working? Are the people in the government trying to make money from this?'” newspaper commentator Wei Yingjie said in an interview.

The public push-back marks a turnaround from the mass campaigns in the communist heyday under Mao Zedong and shows how prosperity and greater access to information are creating a more assertive populace.

“This campaign would have been no problem in the Mao era, but today we know with globalization, the Internet, the information explosion, this increasingly assertive civil society, they want to participate in the public policy process,” said Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can develop into blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis and lead to death, and health experts say China needs an effective vaccination program.

Despite previous vaccination drives, China recorded 52,000 measles cases last year, including 39 deaths. The infection rates mean China is far from meeting its national pledge from 2005 to eradicate measles by 2012.

Mass drives in other parts of the world have either virtually eliminated measles or significantly reduced the number of infections. The disease has been nearly nonexistent in the Americas since 2002 and cases in seven countries in southern Africa fell from 60,000 in 1996 to 117 by 2000, according to the WHO. Dr. Lisa Cairns, head of immunization at WHO China, said many of those infected with measles in China are young children who were likely never vaccinated. “Because the disease is not as common as it used to be, it is easy to forget how serious it is,” she noted. China’s Health Ministry has repeatedly said that the measles vaccine is safe, with random samples tested from stores around the country, and has tried to assure the public that medical personnel are prepared for emergencies, including any adverse reactions. On Friday, a senior ministry official promised that no one would be forced to take the vaccination. “Vaccination will only proceed after parents sign an agreement,” the ministry’s deputy director for disease control Hao Yang said. “We heard that some places were linking vaccination with admission to kindergartens and schools. So yesterday we issued a notice that admission to school should never be used to force children to vaccination.” Health care professionals, however, have questioned the immunization drive’s broad scope, given that many children have previously been inoculated and thus would be vaccinated again. A blog posting by a prominent immunization expert, Wang Yuedan of Peking University, urged the government to focus on formerly underserved groups like the children of rural migrants now living in urban areas, instead of vaccinating some children again. By Friday, Wang withdrew his reservations and backed the campaign, saying he was convinced by the Health Ministry’s explanations. Still, Wang said in an interview that he winced at the thought of his 4-year-old daughter suffering a possible fever from the vaccine. “I’m a man and a father first, who has emotions and who can’t watch his child suffer pain blindly,” he said. ___ Associated Press researcher Xi Yue contributed to this report.