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[Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by em2nought » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:03 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:51 pm
Fecal swabs revealed the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacteria responsible for "fried rice syndrome", food poisoning commonly caused by leaving fried rice dishes sitting at room temperature for several hours.
Just great! There goes me waiting several hours to pull the turkey off the bone after Thanksgiving dinner. Makes me a little worried about eating in Thailand too.

...and now in other news about leaving "stuff" sitting around
https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/loca ... 66301.html
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:34 pm

Ozzy hospitalized
Ozzy Osbourne has been hospitalized because of flu complications, according to the rocker's wife, Sharon Osbourne.

She wrote on Twitter Wednesday that the 70-year-old was admitted “following some complications from the flu.” She wrote doctors believe “this is the best way to get him on a quicker road to recovery.”

In 2018 Osbourne canceled several shows on his North American tour in 2018 because of a staph infection in his hand.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:49 pm

Ebola
The latest update on the current outbreak of Ebola ravaging Africa shows the situation there continues to worsen. This past weekend, the Health Ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported that, as of February 10, there have been 811 confirmed or probable cases of the viral disease since August 2018. Out of these cases, 510 people have died, including around 100 children.

The outbreak so far is centered around the northeast of the DRC, in the regions of North Kivu and Ituri. It seemed poised to die down last fall, but a second wave of cases dashed that hope, and the number of new victims once again surged in January. Between January 15 and February 3, the World Health Organization reported last week, there were 123 new confirmed cases alone. The current toll represents the second largest outbreak of Ebola in recorded history, thankfully still far behind the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa that sickened nearly 30,000 people and killed over 11,000.
...
According to the Health Ministry of the DRC, nearly 80,000 people have been vaccinated with an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck. And though official data on the vaccine’s efficacy is still not available, WHO experts believe it’s been highly effective (90 percent or higher). The WHO also expects that the currently available supply of vaccine will be enough to outlast the outbreak. So far, the fear that Ebola would spread to neighboring countries like Uganda hasn’t come to pass, either.

In the U.S., two people were being monitored for possible Ebola exposure in hospitals in Pennsylvania and Nebraska, including a health worker who provided aid in the DRC. Both patients have now been cleared and sent home.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by MHS » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:05 pm

I’m currently in the hospital (since Sunday) with a kidney infection in the new kidney. Unfortunately it’s antibiotic resistant so I’m having to meet with a team of infectious disease doctors and everyone has to gown up over their scrubs before coming in my room. It feels a bit like I’m the monkey 🐒 or Patient Zero in an apocalyptic movie. They’ve put a tunnel IV in my neck (which I’m not enjoying at all) so that once they find the right cocktail of drugs, they can release me and I can do the IV drugs at home instead of having to be in the hospital for 10 days.

Beats having Ebola, but all in all, I’d rather be at work. And that’s saying a lot.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:11 pm

Ouch. I hope they get you back home quickly.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by The Meal » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:38 pm

Super resistant cooties
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by stessier » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:47 pm

A tunnel IV sounds horrible, although I haven't Google'd it to know for sure. Is there anything they can do to make you more comfortable?

Hope you get well soon!
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by MHS » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:59 pm

stessier wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:47 pm
A tunnel IV sounds horrible, although I haven't Google'd it to know for sure. Is there anything they can do to make you more comfortable?

Hope you get well soon!
It’s uncomfortable, not painful. I’m squeamish about things on my neck, I can’t even wear turtlenecks, so it’s probably bothering me more than it should. They suggested warm compresses but I hate asking the staff here to do anything because they have to go through this big production of gowning up and down to come in my room. The room service people can’t come in, they have to hand off my tray to a nurse who then has to gown up. Ugh. I hate being high maintenance.

Here’s a pic...those aren’t bruises, just the stuff they use to clean the skin before putting the needles in.
Enlarge Image

Thanks for the well-wishes!

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:03 pm

But they slapped on that cool Mummy skin to give the ability to curse trespassers! Get well, please.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by MHS » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:12 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:03 pm
But they slapped on that cool Mummy skin to give the ability to curse trespassers! Get well, please.
Every time they gown up and glove up even to enter my room, I think of every horrible thing you’ve ever told us about infectious diseases, so thanks for that! :P

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:13 pm

I could fill this thread with different emerging horrific diseases if you think that would be a good distraction. :D

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by AWS260 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:16 pm

I'm pretty sure this is how the Resident Evil movie starts.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by MHS » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:18 pm

AWS260 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:16 pm
I'm pretty sure this is how the Resident Evil movie starts.
If I get to make out with Milla Jovovich, I’m okay with whatever comes after.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Freyland » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:56 pm

MHS wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:18 pm
AWS260 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:16 pm
I'm pretty sure this is how the Resident Evil movie starts.
If I get to make out with Milla Jovovich, I’m okay with whatever comes after.
How rude! That's hardly fair to the rest of us.




Where's our Milla Jovovich's?
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Zarathud » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:24 pm

MHS wrote:
AWS260 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:16 pm
I'm pretty sure this is how the Resident Evil movie starts.
If I get to make out with Milla Jovovich, I’m okay with whatever comes after.
Same here.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:46 am

Medieval pestilence afflicts L.A. City Hall courtesy of the ever-increasing putrid population of vagrants:

Typhus Outbreak At City Hall Had Attorney Believing ‘I Was Going To Die’
CBS LA wrote:LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A typhus outbreak in downtown Los Angeles has officials considering a plan to remove the carpets at City Hall.

Noting that typhus is typically spread by fleas that have been infected by rats, cats and opossums, City Council President Herb Wesson said he wants city staff to report on the scope of vermin and pest control issues within the Civic Center complex, according to a newly filed motion.

Carpets have already been removed in Wesson’s office.

Health officials in October announced there was a typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County.

The outbreak reportedly included the downtown area that includes Skid Row, where an estimated 2,000 homeless people stay.

Flea-borne typhus can cause high fever, chills, headache and rashes in humans. Typhus is treated with antibiotics. The disease can spread in areas where there is an accumulation of trash, but is not transmitted person-to- person, according to the California Department of Public Health.

KCAL9’s Sara Donchey spoke to a city attorney who contracted typhus this past November and she had a case that was worse than just a headache and chills.

“It was terrifying,” said Elizabeth Greenwood, “I thought I was going to die and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.”

Greenwood never thought showing up for work at City Hall could leave her fighting for her life.

“I couldn’t move my head,” she says, “I was practically screaming.”

The problems in her office building — rats, trash, a homeless encampment just outside — are well-known. And Greenwood believes they led her to getting typhus. She was diagnosed with the disease this past November.
Politics Is a Dirty Business—Starting with the Rats at Los Angeles City Hall
WSJ.com wrote:LOS ANGELES—For anyone who doesn’t believe politics is a dirty business, check out the rats at city hall.

Public servants arrive some mornings to find tiny paw prints, nibbled plants, even droppings and puddles on their desks. Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott was chased from her office by a rat the size of an opossum, and her staff found a dead rodent inside a copy machine. A deputy city attorney is on leave after contracting typhus.

“If only my 15 minutes of fame were about something wonderful I did,” said Elizabeth Greenwood, who was diagnosed in November. “But no. I’m now the international poster child for typhus.”

The iconic 26-story Los Angeles City Hall building has had its share of unwelcome visitors over the past 90 years. Municipal employees say the building’s current rat infestation has grown in recent months from a gnawing problem to a potential public-health crisis.
Politics Is a Dirty Business—Starting with the Rats at Los Angeles City Hall

Image

Staff of City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez have spotted five rats since August—three dead in traps, two scurrying.

“They were running into the cupboards, eating colleagues’ snacks,” said Tran Le, a spokeswoman for Ms. Rodriguez. “The sounds they make when they get caught are not pleasant.”

Ms. Le and her colleagues have a video of themselves trying to trap a rodent under a cardboard box. It escaped. On Wednesday, one intruder left droppings on the council woman’s desk.

At least three other city council members report they have seen rats in their offices.

In the office of a staffer working for City Council President Herb Wesson, a bad smell had grown worse by the day. The Department of General Services poked around and found a dead rat in the ceiling. As sometimes happens at city hall, it took days for the bureaucracy to act and get the carcass removed.

The department has since been empowered to “bring in different equipment, or skinnier people, to go up and get the difficult areas,” Mr. Wesson said.

General Services has tried to clean up around city hall in the past month. “60 rat burrows have been dusted, 114 tree wells have been treated and 24 rodent stations have been placed,” the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

“There is currently no evidence of rats or fleas in Mayor Garcetti’s office,” a spokeswoman said.

City officials say they aren’t sure why the rat problem has worsened. Some point to the demolition of a nearby government building, which could have sent rats scooting to new digs.

Others blame the city’s large homeless population. Encampments have swelled from skid row a few blocks away to line sidewalks outside city hall.

In October, the Los Angeles County health department declared an outbreak of flea-borne typhus in downtown Los Angeles, with the homeless accounting for almost half the cases. Rats often serve as hosts for typhus-carrying fleas.

Ms. Wolcott, the city clerk, said she started spotting flea bites on her ankle in November, but she didn’t see a rat until January. One night working late in her office, she heard a scratching sound.

The rat was so big, she said, “I thought it was an opossum.” As the rat darted behind a couch, she screamed, grabbed her belongings and ran. “Of course, in my mind,” she said, “it’s going to get bigger every time I think about it.”

City council members dashed to pass a motion Friday to explore ways of removing the rodents from the seat of government of America’s second largest city. Mr. Wesson, who introduced the motion, said there was no easy fix.

“How environmentally toxic would it be if we had a 26-story gigantic fumigation tent?” he said in an interview.

City Councilman Joe Buscaino said Los Angeles has been hamstrung by a federal court injunction limiting ways to clean up homeless encampments. Homeless people are most at risk of contracting the rare disease, which is potentially deadly if untreated, the county health department said.

“Rats are a symbol of this injunction—they’re emblematic of how we lost control over the homeless trash and encampment issue,” he said Friday on the city council floor. “If we can’t protect our own staff from this medieval disease, then we should all pack up and go home.”
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:55 pm

Zombie deer
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told lawmakers recently that chronic wasting disease (CWD) should be treated as a public health issue, the Pioneer Press reported.

"It is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead," Osterholm said. "It is possible that the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.”
...
As of January, CWD has been found in deer, elk or moose in at least 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. It is also found in farmed deer and elk.
...
CWD is caused by a malformed protein — or prion — that infects animals’ brains, according to the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. Because of its symptoms, some people have called it "zombie deer disease."

The CDC said symptoms include drastic weight loss, stumbling, lack of coordination, listlessness, drooling, lack of fear of people and aggression – the sort of thing you can see each week on "The Walking Dead." An animal could carry the infection for more than a year and not show any signs of CWD.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Z-Corn » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:18 pm

Several years ago they banned baiting deer in MI because of CWD. It is spread when a deer eats from the same pile of food as an infected deer.

I was glad they banned it just because it is my opinion it is a weak move that bitch-ass hunters use who can't successfully hunt without resorting to cheating.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:18 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:55 pm
Zombie deer
Not funny. I know you're out there somewhere 8Ball. Miss you man. Hope all is well.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:11 pm

Woman contracts deadly disease from soap dispenser.
A shocking warning has been issued after an American woman contracted deadly flesh eating bacteria after using a soap dispenser in a public toilet. In January, Rachel Star Withers, 33, from South Carolina, suffered bleeding sores on her body after contracting Klebsiella oxytoca, a bacteria which is resistant to commonly used antibiotics.

Typically, KO is found in human guts, where it remains harmless.

However, if the bacteria spreads outside the stomach to another victim it can attack their lungs, cause abdominal pain, and lead to pneumonia or urinary tract infections.
That's a new one to me. I am....horrified.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:18 pm

The State
Withers gained a following on YouTube for talking frankly about her life with schizophrenia. That channel took her on a speaking tour of Hong Kong and Taiwan, and when she returned, that’s when she started realizing something was different on her face, she said.
...
She did eventually find a doctor who could help. “They swabbed the sores on her face and found it had high levels of Klebsiella oxytoca, a serious and flesh-eating bacteria,” People magazine reports, but they weren’t able to figure out the right antibiotic for the infection.

“Originally they were going to take off parts of my face, but because it was by my eyes it would be too complicated,” Withers told the magazine. “While they were waiting to get that set up over the next two days, the sores on my face rotted over and grew new tissue, so they ended up not needing it. The antibiotics killed all of the infection.”

“I really should look like a 60s Batman villain,” she told McClatchy, missing half her face.

Now, she says, she’s still recovering but feeling much better. The bacteria got into her nervous system, causing pains that “felt like being stabbed by a hot needle.”

All the medications also caused problems. They “ate up my tendons,” she told McClatchy. Withers said she’s still healing from those injuries.
So it's another foreign infection come home to roost, most likely.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:25 pm

Diseases shuffling around the planet has been a theme for 50+ years at this point. I mean, we didn't even talk about the moose-killing ticks yet. Not a threat to human health, but the idea of being drained to the point of death by 10s of thousands of ticks? Horrifying.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:30 pm

:shock: :(
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:20 pm

London
A flight from Barbados to London's Gatwick Airport was met by authorities on arrival in the British capital after passengers and crew reported feeling unwell mid-flight.

Emergency services greeted the plane as it touched down on Wednesday morning following an 8-hour journey from Bridgetown, Sussex Police said.
As a precaution, the aircraft was quarantined and those on board were taken to a reception area to be examined by ambulance service personnel, police added.

"All passengers have since continued their onward journeys," the police statement ended.

Passenger Trevor Wilson told CNN that travelers on the aircraft had come exclusively from a cruise ship, the MSC Preziosa. "The illness seems to have originated on board [the] ship, not the plane."

Wilson said symptoms were "mainly a bad chesty cough, possibly chest infection."
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by rittchard » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:10 pm

This is a little OT and kind of a pity party, but a few weeks ago I came down with what I thought to be the flu. A few days later, I thought I might be getting over it, but then I suddenly woke up with pinkeye. I got drops to deal with the pinkeye, but had started coughing rather badly as well. The coughing got severe enough that I must have busted blood vessels in my nose, so I started bleeding quite a bit. So there was one terrible night when I woke up hacking up bloody phlegm, my nose was dripping with blood all over the place, and my blood red eyes were covered in pus so I could barely see. I ran around trying to find tissue, looked in the mirror (everything was blurry), and as miserable as I was, I almost started laughing because I looked like a zombie or the start of one of those Contagion/Outbreak movies.

Urgent care doc thought I had pneumonia, so they put me on antibiotics and almost 2 weeks later I'm still not fully recovered. Blegh.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Jeff V » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:35 pm

Have you gone back for a revised assessment/treatment? When I came down with a nasty infection, it took two visits to the hospital to get the right antibiotic cocktail.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by rittchard » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:23 pm

Jeff V wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:35 pm
Have you gone back for a revised assessment/treatment? When I came down with a nasty infection, it took two visits to the hospital to get the right antibiotic cocktail.
Not yet. From what I've read things seem to be progressing "normally" for pneumonia, i.e. good days and bad days, long recovery period, etc. If I have a marked turn for the worse again I'll head back to the hospital. Right now I think it's really a matter of being patient, which is really difficult.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by rittchard » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:23 pm

Jeff V wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:35 pm
Have you gone back for a revised assessment/treatment? When I came down with a nasty infection, it took two visits to the hospital to get the right antibiotic cocktail.
Not yet. From what I've read things seem to be progressing "normally" for pneumonia, i.e. good days and bad days, long recovery period, etc. If I have a marked turn for the worse again I'll head back to the hospital. Right now I think it's really a matter of being patient, which is really difficult.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:00 pm

Are you on well or public water?

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:19 pm

The Atlantic
Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.

People in Washington State have been infected with the diarrheal disease shigella, spread through feces, as well as Bartonella quintana, or trench fever, which spreads through body lice.

Hepatitis A, also spread primarily through feces, infected more than 1,000 people in Southern California in the past two years. The disease also has erupted in New Mexico, Ohio, and Kentucky, primarily among people who are homeless or use drugs.
...
At least one Los Angeles city staffer said she contracted typhus in City Hall last fall. And San Diego County officials warned in 2017 that diners at a well-known restaurant were at risk of hepatitis A.

There were 167 cases of typhus from January 1, 2018, through February 1 of this year, up from 125 in 2013 and 13 in 2008, according to the California Public Health Department.
...
New York City, where the majority of the homeless population lives in shelters rather than on the streets, has not experienced the same outbreaks of hepatitis A and typhus, says Kelly Duran, an emergency-medicine physician and assistant professor at New York University. But Duran says different infections occur in shelters, including tuberculosis, a disease that spreads through the air and typically infects the lungs.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:40 pm

MIL bought chicken strip meals for the family last night. There were four quart bags of left overs. Three made it into the fridge. One had strips, a hush puppy, and a cup of cream gravy next to it left out all night.

My wife threw them away this morning. My MIL was apparently not pleased. She doesn't appear to consider food poisoning a thing.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:01 pm

Give me 30 minutes alone with her and I'll make sure she's terrified of food. Another 30 minutes and she'll never want pets again.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:07 pm

We have two dogs. Leave the pet terrors out of it.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:01 pm

AP News
[There were] 228 confirmed victims in the U.S. last year of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, a rare, mysterious and sometimes deadly paralyzing illness that seems to ebb and flow on an every-other-year cycle and is beginning to alarm public health officials because it is striking more and more children.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it may bear similarities to polio, which smoldered among humans for centuries before it exploded into fearsome epidemics in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Fauci, who published a report about the disease Tuesday in the journal mBio, said it is unlikely AFM will become as bad as polio, which struck tens of thousands of U.S. children annually before a vaccine became available in the 1950s.

But he warned: “Don’t assume that it’s going to stay at a couple of hundred cases every other year.”

While other countries have reported cases, including Canada, France, Britain and Norway, the size and pattern of the U.S. outbreaks have been more pronounced. More than 550 Americans have been struck this decade. The oldest was 32. More than 90% were children, most around 4, 5 or 6 years old.

Most had a cold-like illness and fever, seemed to get over it, then descended into paralysis. In some cases it started in small ways — for example, a thumb that suddenly wouldn’t move. Some went on to lose the ability to eat or draw breath.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:39 pm

From the CDC:
We think viruses likely play a role in AFM. Since 2014, most patients with AFM (more than 90%) had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before they developed AFM. All the stool specimens from AFM patients that we received tested negative for poliovirus. Most patients had onset of AFM between August and October, with increases in AFM cases every two years since 2014. At this same time of year, many viruses commonly circulate, including enteroviruses, and will be temporally associated with AFM.

We detected coxsackievirus A16, EV-A71, and EV-D68 in the spinal fluid of four of 558 confirmed cases of AFM since 2014, which points to the cause of their AFM. For all other patients, no pathogen (germ) has been detected in their spinal fluid to confirm a cause. When a pathogen (germ) is found in the spinal fluid, it is good evidence that it was the cause of a patient’s illness. However, oftentimes, despite extensive testing of AFM patients, no pathogens are found in the spinal fluid. This may be because the pathogen has been cleared by the body or it is hiding in tissues that make it difficult to detect. Another possibility is that the pathogen triggers an immune response in the body that causes damage to the spinal cord. We are searching for what triggers AFM in some children who have had a fever and/or respiratory illness compared to most children who don’t get AFM.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:36 pm


Spoiler:
Senator Jeff Merkley wrote:Today is a good day for our four-legged friends across America! After recent action from our bipartisan #KITTENAct coalition, the @USDA announced today they are ending their experiments that kill kittens. Thank you to everyone who urged the USDA to end this horrific practice.
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The United States Department of Agriculture is ending a controversial food-safety testing practice that has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of cats since 1982. USDA officials announced on Tuesday that toxoplasmosis research will no longer use cats to study the effects of the parasite.

For decades, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories have been using kittens to study the taxoplasmosis disease by feeding them raw meat, and putting the animals down once the parasite harvested in their system and their infected feces had been obtained. According to the White Coat Waste Project, a non-profit devoted to eliminating animal testing, the research program has cost $22 million and led to the deaths of more than 3,000 cats.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by hitbyambulance » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:47 pm

i am horrified that this was taking place. truly unconscionable. at least this is one small step closer to becoming an actual civilized society.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by stessier » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:40 am

I wonder what their plans are to study it now.
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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:52 am

Yeah, I had no idea this was going on either; really horrific. The only known hosts for Toxoplasma are felines, so to (sort of) answer the question - I don't know what they plan on doing in terms of research now.

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Re: [Health] The Infectious Diseases Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:39 am

USDA Agricultural Research Service
In November 2018, an external independent panel charged with reviewing the safety of adopting the cats unanimously agreed that cats infected with toxoplasmosis pathogens should not be placed for adoption, as the risk to human health was too great. ARS has had no infected cats on any facility premises since September 2018.

The panel recommended that cats that were never infected with the T. gondii parasite should be made available for adoption. USDA is in the process of adopting these 14 cats to USDA employees in accordance with regulatory guidelines.

ARS toxoplasmosis research has reached its maturity and ARS considers the project’s objectives for agriculture achieved. While there is still additional research needed in this area regarding human health, this research area is outside of USDA’s stated mission.

Effective immediately at the recommendation of ARS scientists under the leadership of Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young:
  • USDA toxoplasmosis research is being redirected to other food safety research of high priority for agriculture; and
  • Use of cats as part of any research protocol in any laboratory in ARS has been discontinued and will not be reinstated.
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