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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2008, 10:15:31 AM »

I do know there is usually a good reason for the mention of names, places, and details in the Holy Bible. In looking backward in time, it's almost as if GOD telling us why HE mentioned a particular detail. This is just one reason why the study of Bible Prophecy is so fascinating.

Sometimes this is also Satan using such things to deceive people. I do believe that is the case in Chernobyl. It has been a leading away from Biblical teachings.

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« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2008, 12:00:20 PM »

Sometimes this is also Satan using such things to deceive people. I do believe that is the case in Chernobyl. It has been a leading away from Biblical teachings.



Hello Pastor Roger,

I'll take your word for this. I doubt that I'll have the time to look at this issue for some time. There's a great number of things that I want to study first. I have no idea what the people behind this thought teach, but I do know there are more self-proclaimed prophets by the day. It would be impossible to keep up with all of them, but I would rather just study the Bible anyway. In fact, I know it would be best for us all to spend most of our time with nothing but the Bible.

Love In Christ,
Tom

 
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« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2008, 09:10:11 PM »

Drug resistant TB 'at new high'
By Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Geneva

TB is not 'last century's disease', the WHO warns Drug resistant tuberculosis has hit the highest levels ever recorded, according to a report on the disease from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a survey of over 90,000 TB patients in 81 countries, the WHO found that levels of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB were far higher then expected.

The survey also found cases of extensively drug resistant TB which is virtually untreatable in 45 countries.

The findings have taken the organisation by surprise.

MDR-TB is resistant to at least the two most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin.

As a result patients do not respond to the standard six month treatment and have to take more expensive - and more toxic - drugs for up to two years.

It is especially prevalent in the former Soviet Union: in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, almost a quarter of all new TB cases are multi-drug resistant.

The new survey also reveals that the virtually untreatable form of TB is now present in dozens of countries.

   
MDR-TB AMONG TB CASES
Baku, Azerbaijan: 22.3%
Moldova: 19.4%
Donetsk, Ukraine: 16%
Tomsk Oblast, Russia: 15%
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: 14.8%

The figures may well be higher: many African states do not have the diagnostic tools to identify the disease, so the exact level of this often fatal form of TB remains unknown.

The WHO is calling for a major expansion in TB surveillance for treatment programmes for drug resistant tuberculosis to be scaled up.

The $5bn needed would be money well spent, says the WHO.

TB, it notes, is not "last century's disease". There were nine million new cases in 2006 alone, of which 1.7m died.

And neither is it confined to poor countries. In parts of east London, rates of TB are higher then in some developing nations.

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Stop TB Department, said: "TB drug resistance needs a frontal assault.

"If countries and the international community fail to address it aggressively now we will lose this battle.

"In addition to specifically confronting drug-resistant TB and saving lives, programmes worldwide must immediately improve their performance in diagnosing all TB cases rapidly and treating them until cured, which is the best way to prevent the development of drug resistance."

The report also found a link between HIV infection and MDR-TB.

Surveys in Latvia and Ukraine found nearly twice the level of MDR-TB among TB patients living with HIV compared with patients without HIV.
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« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2008, 01:48:43 PM »

I've always believed it is an actual star that John spoke of, Just thought it to be strange...
And it's just like God to do something strange like that...
I'm glad I'm a strong enough man of God though, to where something like this could'nt change my perspective on Reality!!
I know what is "is" so i have alot of time on my hands, Maybe to much? Grin
YLBD
It's better to be one of his Son's, than a Prophet!

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« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2008, 06:37:22 PM »

Back to some reality...

Pollution turns Chinese river system red 57 minutes ago
 BEIJING - Pollution has turned part of a major river system in central China red and bubbly, forcing authorities to cut water supplies to 200,000 people and close schools, a government news agency reported Wednesday.

Some communities along tributaries of the Hanjiang River — a branch of the Yangtze — in Hubei province were using emergency water sources, while at least 60,000 people were relying on bottled water and limited underground sources, Xinhua News Agency said.

Five schools were closed in Xingou township, while others could not provide food to students, the report said without elaborating.

Gao Qijin, head of the water company in Xingou township, said officials discovered the Dongjing River — one of the tributaries — was red and bubbly Sunday. The company immediately stopped drawing water from the river, Xinhua cited Gao as saying.

Tests showed the polluted waters contained elevated levels of ammonia, nitrogen, and permanganate, a chemical used in metal cleaning, tanning and bleaching, Xinhua said. The source of the pollution had not been determined, and an investigation was ongoing.

Local officials closed a gate linking the Hanjiang River to the tributaries, and were using water from the nearby Changhu Lake to flush out the pollutants, the report said.

A paper mill dumped waste water directly into the Hanjiang last September, forcing authorities to cut water supplies for a week in some areas, Xinhua said. It did not say how many people were affected.

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« Reply #65 on: February 29, 2008, 10:43:44 AM »

Superbug deaths soar in England, Wales
'Figures reflect the full scale of the human cost of C. difficile infection'

The number of deaths linked with hospital superbug Clostridium difficile has soared in England and Wales, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Between 2005 and 2006 the number of death certificates which mentioned the infection rose by 72 per cent to 6,480. Elderly people were most at risk from the bacteria, which caused more than 55,000 infections in NHS hospitals last year.

It is thought that some of the increase may be due to more complete reporting on death certificates, but there has been a fiftyfold increase in C. difficile infections since 1990.

Deaths citing C. difficile as a factor increased by 77 per cent in men, and 66 per cent in women between 2005 and 2006, the new statistics show. In more than half of cases, C. difficile was listed as the underlying cause of death.

Rates in both sexes have risen dramatically since 2001, when there were only 1,200 mentions of the infection on death certificates.

The ONS figures also showed deaths involving another notorious superbug, MRSA, remained roughly the same between 2005 and 2006 - at about 1,650 each year.

C. difficile is present in the gut of 3 per cent of adults and two thirds of infants, although it rarely causes problems. However, certain antibiotics can disturb the normal balance, allowing the bug to thrive and causing severe diarrhoea and in some cases severe inflammation of the bowel which can be life threatening. Elderly hospital patients over 65 are most at risk from bacterial spores, which are difficult to eradicate from wards.

Brian Duerden, chief microbiologist at the Department of Health, said that ministers called for more accurate reporting of infections such as MRSA and C. difficile on death certificates in 2005.

“These statistics from 2006 show that this move has worked and our figures are now in line with other developed countries,” he said.

“Since 2006 we have taken significant steps to tackle infections. These include stringent hand-washing guidance for the NHS, a bare below-the-

elbows dress code, putting matrons back in charge of cleanliness on their wards and an ongoing deep clean of every ward.”

Professor Duerden added that hospital infection rates were now falling. The Health Protection Agency reported in November that rates of C. difficile infection may be levelling off, with the number of new cases down 7 per cent to 13,660, while MRSA cases are also falling.

But Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said that the figures “beg the question of why it took so long for the government to realise the seriousness of deadly infections such as C. difficile.

“Recent successes in keeping infection rates down are down to the hard work of NHS staff, who are up against enormous pressure to hit targets while keeping their wards infection-free.”

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, described the figures as “unacceptable” and noted that hospital-acquired infections now kill almost three times as many people as road accidents.

“These shocking figures reflect the full scale of the human cost of C. difficile infection. The overall scale of infection is unacceptable and the need for a comprehensive infection control strategy, including improved antibiotic prescribing and access to isolation facilities, hand hygiene and cleanliness is paramount.”
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« Reply #66 on: March 07, 2008, 08:53:00 AM »

MRSA 'superbug' becoming more resistant
'They can adapt to virtually any pressure that we expose them to,' doctors say

Peg McQueary is at war with bugs. They live inside her and she often leaves the invisible critters behind on the surfaces she touches. She can't see her enemies, only the nagging evidence they leave behind on her body.

They're microscopic and a million years old. Her weapons for battling them are heavy-duty antibiotics and disinfectants such as Lysol and bleach that she uses to clean her home. Despite her constant fighting back, the bugs are outsmarting her.

"There's a war between bugs and drugs, and the bugs are winning," said McQueary, who is 43 years old and lives in Roseville, Calif.

Her battle started three years ago, when she nicked her leg shaving on New Year's Eve.

"Two weeks later I was sicker than anybody can imagine — fever, nausea, just fatigued, very badly fatigued," McQueary said.

McQueary had no idea that her illness had anything to do with the small cut on her leg. She took a few days off from work and noticed that her leg and ankle had swelled.

"My leg and my ankle swelled to almost three times its normal size," McQueary said. "I got into the doctor, and he took one look at it and said, 'Oh my God, Peg, I think this is MRSA.'"

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and is one of a number of bacterial infections commonly found in hospitals. But now, it is being found with an increasing frequency outside hospitals. McQueary isn't sure where she got it.

"That's what's frightening — very frightening— because everything that you touch has a potential of having that illness on it," McQueary said. "Elevator buttons, stairways, your keyboards at work, your telephones at work, it's everywhere."

'Superbug' Setting Off Panic

Dr. Chip Chambers, chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at San Francisco General Hospital, said MRSA is an organism that stays with you but doesn't always affect those it lives within. MRSA can become fatal when it enters a sore or a pimple and gets into the bloodstream. The bacterial infection that was once confined to hospitals has now spilled out into communities at alarming rates, Chambers said.

"In the mid '90s and later, these strains began to be detected in people who had no hospital contact," Chambers said.

MRSA, and other bacterium like it, have become so prevalent in communities, and so resistant, that it's called a superbug. Chambers said the superbug is fatal in about 10 to 20 percent of cases in which there is a bloodstream infection.

As recently as mid-February, a 20-year-old college student in Washington state thought he was was battling the flu before he died from MRSA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 19,000 Americans die from the infection each year.

CA-MRSA, which signifies the community-acquired kind of MRSA, came full focus in the news last fall after a 12-year-old middle school student, Omar Rivera, died from it in Brooklyn, N.Y. His death set off a panic in schools. That same month, 17-year-old Ashton Bonds, a Virginia high school football player, died after contracting it. News of the so-called superbug was everywhere and catching doctors by surprise. They were not used to seeing the infection outside of hospitals, and were too often missing the signs.

Anyone can get a staph or MRSA infection, Chambers said.

"The way you tell is, typically, it's the appearance of a boil," Chambers said. "Classic features are … redness, the skin is warm, it's tender, there may be swelling and there may be drainage of pus."

MRSA Always Present

After the initial infected injury on McQueary's leg, there were more boils and sores that refused to heal. McQueary said that MRSA living inside of her has damaged muscles and tissue, and she believes that because her boils were not drained properly, the MRSA continued to thrive in her system. She's also quick to point out that people who believe they show signs of the infection should insist on a culture for MRSA.

"It's permanently in your system, McQueary said. "It can lie dormant. Some people never get it again, but some are like me." McQueary has been fighting off MRSA for three years now. Despite all the different antibiotics and precautions she takes, the infection keeps coming back.

Before the infection took over her life, McQueary and her husband used to make their living showing their prized Bernese mountain dogs. With the constant pain and therapy she can't do that anymore.

"I'm still doing pain management, still taking Norco, valium, just to get through my day with my leg because of the cramping and the spasms and the pain that goes through my leg," McQueary said. And as of today, McQueary is on two new antibiotic IV drips to fend off the latest recurrence of MRSA infection.

McQueary lives at home with her husband, their two children and toddler grandson. Her priority is to keep them safe. She makes sure that her 19-month-old grandson's hands are wiped and washed all the time to kill any staph bacteria. So far, none of her family members have contracted MRSA.

McQueary finds some comfort in doling out advise to other MRSA sufferers by sharing her experience with them on a Web site she moderates called MRSA Resources

Through her work with others on the Web site and through following news reports, McQueary knows that her story is actually quite common. " My case is not much different than thousands of others, it's crazy," she said.

Antibiotics Are Losing the Fight

Chambers and other infectious disease doctors are concerned that eventually the drugs they use to treat MRSA will stop working.

"We may eventually lose what drugs we do have, [and that] is a real concern in treating MRSA infections," Chambers said. "We know from the experience in the hospital that this organism-type of bacteria is very adept at adapting to any antibiotic that we throw at it."

Common infections are treated with a week or 10 days of antibiotics and they're gone, but McQueary has tried dozens of antibiotics and her infection goes away only to come back again.

cont'd

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« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2008, 08:54:08 AM »

Finding an antibiotic that works is not as easy as it used to be because bacteria grow more virulent over time. In a lab at the University of California at San Fransisco, where the latest and most aggressive MRSA strain, USA300, was discovered, researchers match patients with antibiotics they hope will cure them.

Using bacteria from infected patients, Dr. Jeff Brooks grows ''lawns'' of germs in petri dishes and adds tiny spots of antibiotics. He then waits 24 hours to see what works on that particular strain. The results show how complicated finding an antibiotic can be. After all, bugs such as MRSA are organisms whose very DNA is designed for survival.

Said Chambers: "They can mutate. They can adapt to virtually any pressure that we expose them to and the most important one now is antibiotics. From the bacteria point of view, antibiotics are the biggest problem they've had to face in their evolution and they're doing a good job of adapting."

There are antibiotics in the pipeline for some infections, including MRSA, but they are slow to arrive on the market and few are in a convenient pill form.

"The problem is oral drugs," Chambers said. "Most of these are not oral; they require intravenous administration."

That presents patients with a difficult and costly outlook for hospital treatment. The antibiotics that McQueary is getting right now are daptomycin and cephazolin.

"If I become resistant to the daptomycin, we don't know what we're going to do," she said.

Part of the problem is that developing antibiotics isn't a priority for pharmaceutical companies, according to the chairman of the University of California at San Franciso's Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Dr. Joseph Guglielmo.

"I would say for pharmaceutical companies, frankly, there is not as great a fiscal incentive to produce new anti-infectives as opposed to drugs for chronic disease states," he said. "And the reason for that is you give an antibiotic that may only be given for seven days. As opposed to, let's say a cholesterol-lowering drug, or an anti-depressant, which is given to you for the rest of your life, the fiscal return on the investment is better with those."

In fact, antibiotic development has dropped off dramatically. During the five-year period ending in 1987, the Food and Drug Administration licensed 16 new antibiotics. But in the five-year period ending in 2007, only five were approved.

'Too Quick to Give Antibiotics?'

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is believed to be part of why the MRSA bug is growing so strong. There seems to be a general widespread practice of prescribing antibiotics for bacterial infections sometimes even before we are certain that the infection being treated is bacterial.

"We're too quick to give antibiotics," Chambers said, adding that the more we use them, the faster bacteria evolve to resist them.

"We would not have drug resistance if we did not have drugs. It's that simple," Chambers said. "Of course, we have to have antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs that are used to treat infections, but there is this tradeoff in using antibiotics."

Doctors regularly talk about a "post-antibiotic era" and if history is any indication, we are well on our way. The overprescribing and misuse of antibiotics have long been eroding their effectiveness.

Penicillin was the wonder drug of the 1940s, but now it is rarely prescribed. Cipro was once considered a miracle drug. In 1999, it worked on 95 percent of e-coli specimens. By 2006, it was effective only 60 percent of the time.

"When nature confronts an adversity there is a mutation that takes place to allow it to survive, and I think these bacteria are very simply trying to survive," Guglielmo said.

While doctors advise people to use antibiotics only when they're needed, the best prevention against MRSA is to wash hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds at a time. It's a message that Peg McQueary has taken to heart

"This is all you need to wash your hands with. Just plain old soap and water. You don't need antibacterial that they're selling in the stores, plain old soap and water and wash your counters down, your door handles with bleach and make sure you've got your Lysol spray."

McQueary is in the practice of religiously spraying Lysol on her door handles, and washes all floors and counters with bleach every day. While MRSA has certainly changed her habits, the toll it has taken on her life and on her family is far more dramatic.

"It's changed everybody's life -- it's put everything on hold. Our biggest love is getting out there and showing our dogs, and that has just been nonexistent."

The Bernese mountain dogs have to be satisfied with short walks around the neighborhood for now.

"I hope to just be able to have the strength to go back out, show my dogs, do the things that we used to do before I got sick and just take it one day at a time. Deal with it one day at a time. If another boil comes, we deal with it. Just as we've been doing for the last three years."
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« Reply #68 on: March 13, 2008, 09:45:20 AM »

Asia shows way to fight dengue as global spread looms

Clarissa Poon was one of an estimated 50 million people who contracted mosquito-borne dengue fever last year. She spent an agonizing week on a drip in a Bangkok hospital as she battled the potentially deadly disease.
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 7:54 (GMT)

Clarissa Poon was one of an estimated 50 million people who contracted mosquito-borne dengue fever last year. She spent an agonizing week on a drip in a Bangkok hospital as she battled the potentially deadly disease.

"There was not a single moment when I wasn't aching everywhere, dizzy and nauseous. I was so weak I couldn't even stand," said Poon, who caught the illness during a family holiday at a beach resort in Thailand.

"My kids were very worried because the mother of one of their friends died," she added.

From Africa to Asia to Latin America, around 2.5 billion people live in areas that are at risk of dengue fever, a viral disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. There is no vaccine or drugs to treat the illness which killed an estimated 22,000 people last year, most of them children.

Due to international travel and climate change, the Aedes aegypti mosquito's habitat is spreading.

In January, health officials warned that the disease was poised to move across the United States. It has been spreading aggressively in Latin America and the Caribbean, reaching epidemic levels last year.

Dengue is endemic in Southeast Asia where a tropical climate and monsoon rains provide ideal conditions.

Strategies developed in places such as Singapore might provide vital information for other countries seeking to combat the virus and the mosquitoes that spread it. Family doctors in Singapore look out for patients with suspicious symptoms. When cases are confirmed, researchers try to nail down the specific dengue virus subtype, of which there are four, and the location of the outbreak.

"You need to monitor what (subtype) is going around ... You want to limit the damage, the fatalities," the World Health Organisation's advisor in Asia, John Ehrenberg, told Reuters.

While dengue and malaria share geographical patterns, dengue is more dangerous because its mosquito carriers thrive indoors. Mosquitoes that carry malaria are rarely found in urban areas.

Dengue fever is endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and western Pacific. Of the 50 million people who contract the disease every year, about one percent get potentially deadly severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which requires hospitalization.

There is no cure or vaccination for dengue fever. Sufferers such as Poon, face an increased likelihood of developing DHF if they contract the disease again, which is not uncommon for those living in the tropics where the mosquito carriers flourish.

NO STOPPING IT?

International travel has made the spread of dengue inevitable, experts say.

"There is always a risk for the borders ... In central America, you have a lot of people moving up north," Ehrenberg said. "There is a risk of people moving in with dengue."

Ehrenberg says there is little to stop dengue from spreading. He compares it to West Nile virus which appeared in New York in 1999 and then spread across the United States, Canada and Mexico. West Nile killed 98 people in the United States last year.

"As you can see with West Nile virus, there is hardly anything you can do to control its spread in the U.S. It's all over the place now. There's always the risk of introducing, when the climatic conditions are right," Ehrenberg said.

Both dengue and West Nile are spread by mosquitoes.

"It's a neglected disease because no one pays attention in between outbreaks, except in places like Singapore, where there is very good surveillance," Ehrenberg said.

In Singapore, health workers aggressively control breeding sites by regularly spraying pesticides in parks and gardens. Government inspectors fine people for allowing water to build up in flower pots which is a favourite breeding site.

Singapore reported 14,000 dengue cases in 2005, but that fell to 3,597 cases in the first half of 2007.

With 42,456 cases in 2006 and 45,893 in 2005, Thailand figures near the top of the dengue list. Fanned out across the country are 500,000 volunteers who educate villagers on mosquito control, chiefly by removing stagnant pools of water.

Kitti Pramathphol, head of Thailand's dengue control, said more inspections would be made to remove potential breeding sites before the rainy season in June and July, when the disease peaks.

"Its eggs can hide in crevices and survive for a year without water in tropical climates and in normal temperatures. Once there is rain or water, they will hatch into larvae," he said.

Compared to its cousin, the Culex mosquito, the Aedes aegypti is considered a weaker species.

"It is slender and has thin wings. Culex likes to breed in drain water, but Aedes will die in such dirty water. It likes rain water, relatively clean water," Pramathpol said.

"It is usually indoors and has problems surviving outdoors," Pramathphol said, adding that another strategy was to trap it indoors with insecticide-laced curtains.

Drugmaker Novartis AG has designed a drug which it hopes can combat all four dengue viruses.

"If the safety is acceptable, we hope to go into human testing, hopefully next year," Paul Herrling, head of corporate research, said in a telephone interview.
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« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2008, 10:36:33 PM »

Superbug infection detected in facelifts
NYC surgeon warning: 'It's not surprising that it has been found in cosmetic surgery'

A dangerous drug-resistant bacterial infection has been showing up in a small number of patients who undergo face-lifts, doctors reported on Monday.

When infections do occur at surgical sites following such procedures "the facial plastic surgeon should have a high suspicion" for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), as the source, they said.

Dr. Richard Zoumalan of Lennox Hill-Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York and the New York University School of Medicine and Dr. David Rosenberg also of the Lennox Hill center said a review of 780 U.S. face-lift patients from 2001 to 2007 found five -- 0.6 percent -- with infections at incision sites. Four were confirmed as MRSA, all in 2006.

Of the four, two patients appeared to have been exposed to the bacteria before surgery -- one who had spent time with her spouse in a cardiac intensive care unit four months earlier, and another who had frequent contact with her brother-in-law, a cardiologist, the report said.

As many as 1.5 percent of Americans carry the highly contagious infection and may spread it to others without developing a serious infection themselves. It was blamed for an estimated 19,000 deaths in 2005 in the United States.

It has become the most common cause of all infections at surgical incision sites, and about 85 percent of cases happen in hospitals where the infection can kill the weak.

"It's not surprising that it has been found in cosmetic surgery," Rosenberg said in an interview; adding that the study was the first to confirm it.

He said follow-up research he and Zoumalan have done has found no additional cases of MRSA in face-lift surgeries where the skin was pre-treated to kill the bacteria.

Since people enter hospitals with the bacteria, he said, "the emphasis has to be on pre-treatment."

The report published in the current issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery said doctors who perform face-lifts may want to start screening patients to track down those who may be at risk.

"During preoperative evaluation, a full medical history should include information on possible prior contacts with persons at high risk for carrying MRSA," the study said.

"Other risk factors include age, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and prolonged postoperative stay. Groups with higher incidence ... include athletes, military personnel, prison inmates, men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users, native Americans and Pacific Islanders," it added.

The post-surgery infection rate found in the study was about the same as that found in research done 10 years ago, but the earlier study was done when MRSA was still rare, the authors said.
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« Reply #70 on: March 18, 2008, 10:37:30 PM »

More TB cases slip through detection net
Countries fail to keep up with rapid progress made in earlier years

The World Health Organisation warned Monday that more new tuberculosis cases are slipping through the detection net, as countries fail to keep up with rapid progress made in earlier years.

"After some years of good trends for tuberculosis control, 2006 documents a slowing of progress -- the rate at which new cases were detected increased only slightly compared to recent years," WHO director-general Margaret Chan told journalists.

"This slowdown in progress comes at a time when numbers are still way too high," she added.

The WHO estimates that only 61 percent of all TB cases worldwide are registered.

In 2006, some 9.2 million new cases of TB were detected against 9.1 million in 2005, said the WHO in its annual report on TB control.

The WHO estimates that, including non-detected cases, there were 14.4 million cases of the disease worldwide in 2006.

Between 2001 and 2005, detection rates were increasing by six percent a year, but in 2006, this rate was halved to three percent.

"This is not a good sign because our target is to detect all cases that exist. There is 39 percent that we are unable to find, but which we think is there," said Mario Raviglione, who is director of the WHO's Stop TB department.

The slowdown was attributed to the fact that some national programmes that were making steady progress during the last five years have not been able to continue at the same pace in 2006, said the WHO.

In addition, in many African countries, there has not been any increase in the detection of TB cases through national programmes.

Others are slipping out of the detection net as they are treated by private care providers, and by NGOs or community groups, added the WHO.

"We've entered a new era. To make progress, firstly public programmes must be further strengthened. Secondly we need to fully tap the potential of other service providers," said Chan.

The health organisation also drew attention to the significant number of HIV-infected people with TB. In 2006, some 700,000 new cases of HIV-infected people with TB were detected.

"The report clearly demonstrates how closely linked TB and HIV are," said Peter Piot, who is executive director of UNAIDS.

In 2006, 200,000 TB deaths were recorded among people who were infected with HIV, while an estimated 1.5 million people without HIV also succumbed to tuberculosis.

"It's the single most important cause of death for people living with HIV," said Piot.

The report singled out Rwanda, Malawi and Kenya as posting the highest HIV testing rates among African states.

"The report tells us that we are far from providing universal access to high-quality prevention, diagnostic, treatment and care services for HIV and TB," said Piot.

Just last month, the WHO warned that drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have been recorded at their highest rates ever around the globe amid shortages in funding needed to combat the disease.

Nearly a half million new cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis occur each year worldwide, or around five percent of the nine million new cases in total, the WHO said then.

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« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2008, 12:53:31 PM »

Military helps Rio tackle dengue

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Brazil's Defence Minister Nelson Jobim says the military is ready to help the city of Rio de Janeiro deal with rising numbers of dengue fever cases.

Some 48 people have now died across the state of Rio since the start of 2008.

The vast majority of victims have been in the city itself, where hospitals have been struggling to cope.

Dengue fever - which is transmitted by mosquitoes - causes high temperature, headaches and muscle pain and, in extreme cases, it can kill.

The impact is increasingly being felt in urban areas where stagnant waters are an attractive breeding ground for mosquitoes.

While overall, federal officials say the number of cases in Brazil have fallen, in the state of Rio de Janeiro there has been a significant rise - more than 33,000 this year - prompting one leading doctor to describe it as a catastrophe.

A seven-month-old baby girl is thought to have been the latest victim, and hospitals have been struggling to cope with the demand, with many people queuing for hours to get attention.

The defence minister has said the plans could involve setting up military hospitals in the areas which have been worst affected.

There has been growing criticism of the authorities for their handling of the crisis, with the local doctors' union urging prosecutors to charge officials with criminal negligence.

Although Mr Jobim did not apportion blame to any specific authority, he said there had been what he called a "leniency in the campaign against dengue" and because of this, "we are now paying the price", he added.

City officials are to open a crisis centre next week and are urging children and adolescents, who have been among the worst affected by the outbreak, to wear long trousers, socks and shoes to help prevent mosquito bites.

Easter holiday leave has been cancelled for doctors, with hospitals now reporting more than 2,000 new cases a day.

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« Reply #72 on: May 04, 2008, 08:22:29 PM »

China puts nation on alert to try to stop deadly virus
22 children have died in 1 city – type of hand, foot and mouth disease spreading

 China's Health Ministry ordered heightened efforts to stem the spread of infectious diseases Saturday following an outbreak of a virus that has caused the deaths of 22 children in one city and is spreading.
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The outbreak of enterovirus 71, a type of hand, foot and mouth disease that children are susceptible to, is another headache for the communist government as it prepares for the Beijing Olympics already tarnished by an uprising among Tibetans and an international torch relay disrupted by protests.

Stepped up vigilance by health bureaus and hospitals to prevent the spread of infectious diseases was necessary "to guarantee the smooth staging of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics and to ... preserve social stability," said the order posted on the ministry's Web site.

Prompting the government to act was an unusual jump in cases of the enterovirus, known as EV-71, in Fuyang, a fast-growing city set in the rural heartland of central China.

As of early Saturday, 3,736 cases of EV-71 were reported in Fuyang's mainly rural outskirts, a rise of 415 in about 24 hours, health officials said. Besides the 22 deaths, 1,115 people remain hospitalized, 42 of them in serious or critical condition, said the health department of Anhui Province, where Fuyang is located.

State-run television footage showed workers spraying disinfectant around houses in rural areas outside Fuyang and medical teams visiting families with small children.

Meanwhile, nearly 800 other cases were reported in other parts of Anhui, the health department said on its Web site. In Guangdong province, 1,000 miles to the south, preliminary tests showed an 18-month-old boy who died Friday was infected with EV-71, and a second suspected death is under investigation, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Cases of hand, foot and mouth outbreaks, but not necessarily EV-71, have been reported in at least two other provinces, Xinhua said.

The Health Ministry said it expected infections to climb, and peak in June and July. While the order singled out hand, foot and mouth disease for particular concern, it also mentioned hepatitis A, measles and other infectious diseases.

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes fever, mouth sores and rashes with blisters. Spread by contact with the stool or discharge from the sneezing or coughing of infected people, the viruses mainly strike children 10 years and younger. Some cases can lead to fatal brain swelling. The illness is not related to the foot and mouth disease that hits livestock.

There is no vaccine or specific therapy to treat the disease. Health experts recommend improved hygiene, with more frequent hand-washing and disinfecting areas.

The large number of cases spreading across a large area brings up parallels with the communist government's handling of previous infectious outbreaks, especially that of SARS pneumonia in 2003. Government attempts to conceal the emergence of SARS, a new disease at the time, contributed to its spread beyond Guangdong in 2003, ultimately causing 774 deaths worldwide and forcing Beijing to apologize to the world.

When avian influenza started killing birds and sickening some people in East and Southeast Asia, Beijing was criticized for not sharing information on outbreaks and virus samples with international health authorities.

People in Fuyang also complained that the government's response to EV-71 was slow, allowing rumors to spread. The first word many people had about the outbreak were signs posted at hospitals on preventing hand, foot and mouth disease, the China Youth Daily reported.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that while cases in Fuyang cropped up in early March, they increased sharply starting April 19.

The WHO credited a rapid response from the government for steeply decreasing the rate of fatalities in the second half of April — to 0.2 percent of cases from 11 percent March 10-31. The ministry sent expert teams to Anhui to lead treatment of the disease and prevent its spread.

Outbreaks of viruses are frequent across rural China, where hygiene is often poor and people and animals live near each other.

In SARS' wake, the government invested heavily in disease-monitoring and ordered emergency response plans for outbreaks and other crises. Several notices issued by the Health Ministry on Friday and Saturday geared up those networks, calling for timely reporting of cases and the prompt examination of samples from patients with unidentified viruses.

Pointedly, the ministry vowed to punish officials, health workers or agencies that tried to cover up outbreaks or delayed reporting them.
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« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2008, 12:10:09 AM »

Tainted Mexican cheese spreading TB in U.S.
Unpasteurized dairy products linked to reemergence of ancient disease

A rare form of tuberculosis caused by illegal, unpasteurized dairy products, including the popular queso fresco cheese, is rising among Hispanic immigrants in Southern California and raising fears about a resurgence of a strain all but eradicated in the U.S.

Cases of the Mycobacterium bovis strain of TB have increased in San Diego county, particularly among children who drink or eat dairy foods made from the milk of infected cattle, a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases shows.

But the germ can infect anyone who eats contaminated fresh cheeses sold by street vendors, smuggled across the Mexican border or produced by families who try to make a living selling so-called “bathtub cheese” made in home tubs and backyard troughs.
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Scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine are warning that improved screening, treatment and public education are necessary to prevent the spread of the disease that now accounts for about 10 percent of all new cases of TB in that border region — and, perhaps, others.

“M. bovis TB is a disease of antiquity,” said Timothy Rodwell, a researcher who led the study published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It is important that it not be allowed to re-emerge as a cause of TB in this country.”

Unlike typical TB, caused by the M. tuberculosis strain, the bovine variety isn’t easily spread through human-to-human contact.  It settles less often in the lungs, making it less likely to be transmitted through breathing and coughing, Rodwell said.

Rare strain resists drug treatment
However, the M. bovis bug is resistant to front-line drug therapy and adults who contract it are more than twice as likely as those with traditional TB to die before treatment is complete.

Researchers studied nearly 3,300 culture-confirmed cases of TB in San Diego county between 1994 and 2005, the study showed. Some 265 of the cases were identified as the bovine TB. Though the number of cases remained small, they increased by nearly 65 percent over time, rising from 17 cases a year to 28 cases a year.

By 2005, more than half the M. bovis cases were diagnosed in children younger than 15, the study said. Nearly all of the cases were in Hispanics, and 60 percent were in people from Mexico. Between 2001 and 2005, 19 adults with M. Bovis died before or during treatment.

That worries TB health experts, who say that the small numbers belie a potentially large problem.

“I wouldn’t want to characterize it as increasing in epidemic proportions,” said Dr. Kathleen Moser, director of tuberculosis control programs for San Diego County.

“But it’s clearly being seen, and being seen in places where people drink unpasteurized milk and eat unpasteurized dairy products.”

Demand for Hispanic cheeses has skyrocketed in California, where 108 million pounds of legal, properly pasteurized queso fresco and other cheeses were produced last year, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Last year, Moser was concerned enough about dangerous, illegal varieties to launch a public health campaign that included ads on Spanish-language television stations and new brochures that warned families to beware of infected cheese.

Officials seize illegal cheese
Agriculture officials have been cracking down on illegally produced cheese, including more than 375 pounds of so-called “bathtub cheese” seized from an open-air market in San Bernardino last year, according to Steve Lyle, the agency’s director of public affairs. Such cheeses have been found to be colonized with salmonella, listeria, E. coli and M. Bovis TB.

The problem stems from cattle in Mexico, where M. Bovis infects an estimated 17 percent of herds. In the U.S., the problem is limited to occasional outbreaks among isolated herds. Overall, the U.S. virtually eradicated the M. Bovis variety in the 1900s, Rodwell said.

TB officials in the U.S. want to watch the trend closely. Although there are about 9 million new cases of TB in the world each year and about 2 million deaths, cases in the U.S. have dropped dramatically. More than half of the 13,300 U.S. cases a year are now concentrated in people born outside the U.S.

Rodwell cautioned that people worried about the M. Bovis strain of TB should pay closer attention to dairy products, not people.

“It is NOT a disease you are very likely to get from a foreign-born person,” he said in an e-mail. “The increase in M. bovis cases is more about what you eat, not where you were born.”
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« Reply #74 on: June 07, 2008, 12:40:05 AM »

I used to work in the TB clinic here in Seattle, in the pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).  A disease that was all but gone is reaching epidemic proportions again.
Immigrants from all over the world, not just Mexico have brought it back.  Most of the people we saw needed an interpreter to explain their meds to them.  Or we had a sheet written in all kinds of languages and we would just point and let them read the instructions.  They have to take these meds for 6 mos to a year and longer.
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