Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Infectious disease vs. chonic illness

Reports stating that "At least 170,000 Americans die each year from infectious diseases, and that number could increase dramatically during a major disease outbreak" may be true. But the number we need to get our minds around is...." how many people are developing idiopathic chronic illness?" My estimation will be much more than 170,000 Americans. Why does it appear that chronic illness is on the rise? What is this from? Why are epidemiologist ignoring this question?

Dangerous Lab Built in Hurricane Alley

Bio Lab in Galveston Raises Concerns

GALVESTON, Tex. — Much of the University of Texas medical school on this island suffered flood damage during Hurricane Ike, except for one gleaming new building, a national biological defense laboratory that will soon house some of the most deadly diseases in the world.
How a laboratory where scientists plan to study viruses like Ebola and Marburg ended up on a barrier island where hurricanes regularly wreak havoc puzzles some environmentalists and community leaders.

“It’s crazy, in my mind,” said Jim Blackburn, an environmental lawyer in Houston. “I just find an amazing willingness among the people on the Texas coast to accept risks that a lot of people in the country would not accept.”

For more on this story......

Saturday, October 25, 2008

U.S. Dedicates New Biodenfense Laboratory

A new $143 million U.S. biological defense laboratory was dedicated yesterday and is scheduled to begin full operations in March, the Washington Post reported (see GSN, Jan. 29).The Homeland Security Department's National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center at Fort Detrick, Md., is set to house nearly 150 scientists working to prevent acts of bioterrorism, limit the effects of such a strike and trace lethal material back to its source.The primary offices in the 160,000-square-foot, ship-shaped facility are a forensics testing center for identification of those who carry out an attack using disease material and the Biothreat Characterization Center, which would model potential bioterrorism scenarios and help produce drugs to counter bioagents. See more......

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mystery Disease in South Africa Kills Humans

Zambia minister confirms mysterious killer disease...
A mysterious illness with flu- like symptoms has broken out in Zambia, leaving three people dead so far. According to Health Minister Brian Chituwo a South African resident in Zambia, the first person to suffer from the strange disease on 4 September, was evacuated to South Africa’s Morningside Clinic in Johannesburg, where she died on 13 September. The second victim was a paramedic who escorted the patient to South Africa, while the third was a nurse based at Morningside Clinic, who attended to the first patient. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the driver of the ambulance that ferried the patient from Lanseria Airport to Morningside in South Africa was critically ill. "All these patients developed a fever, cough and bled from various parts of their bodies," Chituwo said, explaining that laboratory investigations carried out so far did not point to any known disease. Chituwo said the situation was under control and that all travels, either local or international, by air or road should continue as usual. The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, is carrying out necessary investigations. (Tuesday 7 October - 13:59)

See also:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dangers in Research Animal Facility

Monkey Bites Pitt Lab Technician
An 18-pound macaque monkey bit and then mauled the hand of a University of Pittsburgh laboratory technician last week, prompting accusations from the victim and her co-worker that the facility lacks sufficient safety measures.Patricia "Trish" Boyle, 51, of Avalon, was released from UPMC Presbyterian yesterday -- eight days after the Sept. 24 attack. She received numerous stitches and suffered bone, tendon and nerve damage, the latter of which, she said, could be irreparable. For more...go to link (Monkeys in the News)