Ebola has returned to Liberia for the first time in months, and no one is sure how.
The return of Ebola in Liberia — with three new cases reported this week in the previously Ebola-free country — is worrisome, and raises questions about whether Liberia was really free of the disease to begin with, experts say.
The real problem is no one knows where these new cases came from. Needless to say, WHO is keeping a very close eye on the whole situation, as are a lot of people. But at least, Liberia is better prepared to deal with Ebola now.
Ebola has returned to Liberia for the first time in months, and no one is sure how.
This is great news! Making bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, susceptible to the drugs once more, could save millions of lives. Kaleigh Rogers reports
Researchers have proposed a way to force antibiotic resistant bacteria to “evolve backwards” into a pre-resistant state, according to a study published Wednesday in Plos One. It’s just one example of the out-of-the-box thinking science is taking to tackle the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria before it’s too late.
The team of biologists and mathematicians from the University of California Merced, UC Berkeley, and American University teamed up to look at how antibiotic resistant grew along with antibiotics over the last 80 years.
“There was kind of an arms race for about 20 years where pharmaceutical companies just kept changing the cephalosporins (a common antibiotic) and kept changing penicillin to get away from the resistant bacteria,” Miriam Barlow, co-author of the study and a biologist at UC Merced, told me over the phone. “But every time they did, the resistance could just evolve.”
I have to thank Wrench Wrench for alerting me to this story, via a comment on another LGF post!
Recently Rightwing Watch found David Barton saying something stupid, and nonsensical again.
Tell me Mr Barton, if HIV /AIDS is really God’s punishment for our sexual “sins” such as homosexuality, why is it that innocent people who get brutally raped by someone with the disease can get infected? Wouldn’t God have set it up in such a way that no one would get the disease that did not actually “deserved” it? Also that off course is even assuming homosexuality is wrong and is actually something that deserves punishment. Also how do you explain all those gay people who live long happy lives, who never get a single sexually transmitted disease? You know, as much as you may not like it, they actually do exist. They’re not like Santa or the Tooth fairy.
Also Contrary to what you have stated, there actually have been successful HIV / AIDS vaccine tests, so you’re wrong again. There already is a promising vaccine for HIV / AIDS. Why has God allowed this, when you insisted that he never would? Do you really know the mind of God, like you seem to think that you do?
Tell me Mr. Barton since you’re such a “good historian,” did Alan Turing, the heroic scientist who helped crack the Enigma Code, and help the Allies defeat the Nazis, did he deserve to go to jail for the “sin” of Sodomy? Did he deserve that, in-spite of all the countless lives he saved? Where you upset when the British royal family recently posthumous pardoned him for something that most people nowadays outside of your circle, don’t even think should be a crime? Did you not know that Turing was gay, or do you think his homosexuality was a fabrication, to make “the evil” gays look good? Turing was a hero, but because he was gay, and he lived in a time when most people thought like you, he had to stay in the closet and live in fear. Contrary to what you will insist, and most people thought back than, gay people can’t stop being gay. Sexual orientation is hardwired.
Tell me why he ( or anyone else for that matter ) deserved to be punished for being attracted to someone of the same gender. Tell me why homosexual sex is so wrong, without resorting to the Bible, the type of fake “Christian Nation” history that people like you promote, or pseudoscience? You can’t, can you?
Recently I learned about a new anti vaccination children’s book, “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles.” No, I’m not kidding. Its real, unfortunately, and its author hasn’t created a clever satire. It might be hilarious if this was something from the Onion, but its not, and it isn’t the author’s idea of a joke.
The images of the front and back covers of the book are from Amazon, where its currently being sold. Shockingly if you look carefully at the page, you’ll notice that it appears to have won an award for “best children’s book.” It would have been more deserving of an award for “most anti-science propaganda book aimed at children,” or “most likely to harm innocent children if taken seriously.” Contrary to what the person who wrote the story, Stephanie Messenger seems to think, having a child with what is actually a horrible disease, isn’t something to be proud of. Being sick, especially with an illness more serious than the common cold, like measles, certainly isn’t fun at all.
Thankfully some smart people over at Amazon are having some fun by power owning the book’s “Measles are good” message. They left hilarious comments mocking her fantasy. Sadly It won’t stop some people from actually believing the message behind Messenger’s ridiculous fiction. People can literally die from the measles, just listen to the genuine experts at the world health organization. According to them,
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.
The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 145 700 people died from measles in 2013 – mostly children under the age of 5.
Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the mucous membranes, then spreads throughout the body. Measles is a human disease and is not known to occur in animals.
Accelerated immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. During 2000-2013, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 15.6 million deaths. Global measles deaths have decreased by 75% from an estimated 544 200 in 2000 to 145 700 in 2013.
Just as importantly, if you read through the pamphlet, guess who the World Health Organization points out is the most vulnerable to the disease? That’s right, children, innocent defenseless children.
Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death. Unvaccinated pregnant women are also at risk. Any non-immune person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.
Measles is still common in many developing countries – particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.
Messenger is doing a horrible disservice to everyone with her ridiculous anti reality propaganda for children. Even worst through, she isn’t the only one, spreading this type of dangerous anti science stupidity.
Popular comedian, Bill Maher, has also been using his celebrity status to spread anti vaccine hysteria. According to Orac at the Science Blog, Respectful Insolence,
As hard as it is to believe, my first acknowledgment of Bill Maher’s antivaccine proclivities was nearly ten years ago, when Maher promoted the myth that Louis Pasteur had recanted on his deathbed, adding to that a statement that “I don’t believe in vaccination, either because it’s a “theory that I think is flawed.” Indeed, he’s been promoting the lie that vaccines don’t work and that the influenza vaccine causes Alzheimer’s disease since before I started blogging (although it’s been nine years since I first noticed it) and proclaiming his lack of belief in “Western medicine” to the point of telling David Letterman after his heart surgery that maybe he could come off his medications.
A few years ago, though, Maher seemed to have made a strategic decision not to spout off so much about vaccines and his belief that, if you just eat the right foods and keep the body “pure,” you will be magically immune to the flu. Maybe it was because his pseudoscientific invocation of “will” was so ridiculous that Bob Costas mocked him for it on his very own show, dismissing his claim that he wouldn’t catch the flu on an airplane sarcastically by saying, “Oh, come on, Superman!” Or maybe it was the flak so justifiably aimed at the Atheist Alliance International for giving him the Richard Dawkins Award in 2009, which inspired me to liken giving Maher such an award to giving Jenny McCarthy a public health award. Back then, when he tried to defend himself, he just dug himself in deeper and deeper, to the point where Chris Matthews even compared him to a celebrity Scientologist like Tom Cruise denouncing psychiatry.
In addition, speaking of Maher, Mediaite columnist Andrew Kirell also points out,
Strange new alliances have emerged as past histories of prominent politicians holding skeptical views of certain vaccines have been dug up. One public icon who has thus far escaped the scrutiny is HBO’s Real Time host Bill Maher.
Over the past decade, the comedian has repeatedly and openly expressed doubts about vaccinations while lending credence to theories that certain inoculations can cause disorders like autism. Maher, like many other wealthy celebrities, proudly rejects “Western medicine,” which helps explain why a great deal of the anti-vaccination crowd is made up of well-educated, California-based elites
Even if it could be shown that vaccines cause autism, or even the chemicals in certain vaccines cause autism, given how much deadlier diseases can be without them, it would still hardly be worth it to stop vaccinating your kids. If you think that some people getting sick somehow proves vaccines don’t work, do some research on herd immunity. Emily Willingham and Laura Helft do a great job of explaining it.
Just as a herd of cattle or sheep uses sheer numbers to protect its members from predators, herd immunity protects a community from infectious diseases by virtue of the sheer numbers of people immune to such diseases. The more members of a human “herd” who are immune to a given disease, the better protected the whole populace will be from an outbreak of that disease.
There are two ways an individual can become immune to an infectious disease: by becoming infected with the pathogen that causes it or by being vaccinated against it. Because vaccines induce immunity without causing illness, they are a comparatively safe and effective way to fill a community with disease-resistant people. These vaccinated individuals have protected themselves from disease. But, in turn, they are also protecting members of the community who cannot be vaccinated, preventing the chain of disease from reaching them and limiting potential outbreaks. Every vaccinated person adds to the effectiveness of this community-level protection.
Anti vaxxers, are not just left wing. Maher for the most part is a liberal, I’m not sure where Messenger falls on the political spectrum, but Glenn Beck is someone who is clearly far right. He is also one of the most paranoid people out there. Beck thinks the Measles outbreak is all just another conspiracy to get people to obey our “tyrannical” government.
Also he expects us to believe that people who oppose vaccines are being persecuted, even going so far as to compare himself to Galileo. Beck says this despite the fact that no one has been prosecuted by our “tyrannical” government, for simply disagreeing with the idea that people should get vaccinated. We also have to ignore the fact that unlike Galileo, reality isn’t on Beck’s side.
If anti vaxxers were really as persecuted as Beck claims they are, that ridiculous “Marvelous Measles” book couldn’t even get published and sold anywhere other than the black Market. Why isn’t he terrified of being arrested himself? Galileo was tried by the inquisition and could have been put to death for his beliefs. Also how is a government like the one we have here in the United States of America coercing all those scientists to play along, not mention scientists outside the country?
Never mind that there is no real evidence for any of the anti vaccination movement’s claims, including the most infamous one, that vaccines cause autism. As noted by Robbie Couch over at the Huffington post,
“Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism,” Rob Ring said. “The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.”
The definitive claim comes after many anti-vaxxers have linked vaccinations with autism in recent years. The movement has gathered steam in part due to a 1998 British researcher’s claim supporting a correlation between the two — a correlation that was debunked by a notable medical journal in 2010, which said the research had been dishonest and violated research ethics, as The New York Times reported.
A growing measles outbreak in the U.S. that has spurred more than 100 cases — of which many can be linked to a flare-up in Anaheim, California’s Disneyland theme park, according to Reuters — is causing concern among experts and health care providers claiming the anti-vaccination movement is at least in part to blame.
Please do us all a favor, including yourself, get vaccinated, get your children vaccinated and encourage everyone else to do the same. The anti vaccination movement is wrong. Believing their misinformation and acting upon it, could be fatal, not just for you, but everyone else around you.
Recently here at LGF a lot of people have been posting things refuting right wing fear monger about Ebola. Emil Karlsson however took on another false claim about the disease, this one dealing with how it ought to be treated.
Ebola is a virus that causes a dangerous hemorrhagic fever disease with a high mortality rate. Right now, there have been at least 9000 cases of Ebola viral disease and ~4500 documented deaths. It has spread to seven different countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, although according to the October 17th update from the World Health Organization (WHO) the outbreak seems to have ended in Senegal.
In the wake of this human tragedy, pseudoscientific “treatments” against Ebola have cropped up like weeds around the Internet. Various websites suggest antioxidants, selenium, vitamin C, Vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, estradiol, infrared radiation, sodium bicarbonate, cannabis, coffee, fermented soy, silver and salty drinking water. Natural News, the largest website promoting quack treatments in the world, even posted an article recommending homeopathy and describing how to prepare remedies. However, this was pulled after a couple of days as apparently homeopathy for Ebola was a too deranged idea even for Natural News.
Recently, Fran Sheffield (the director of Homeopathy Plus Australia) put up a petition (webcite) at change.org urging the WHO to “test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible” to contain outbreaks of Ebola. This petition, together with 2000 signatures, were sent to Director General Dr Margaret Chan at the WHO in early October. Unfortunately, it contains numerous scientific, medical and logical errors that will be discussed in this article. The irrational peculiarities of the messages left from supporters of homeopathy for Ebola will also be explored.
We’ve been covering the Ebola panic a lot here on LGF, but here’s something that really puts things in context, in a way that many people here might not have thought of. Stassa Edwards discusses the history of racists using fear of disease to attack and demonize minorities, and how that fear was used to justify everything from imperialism to nativist legislation. Warning, this gets pretty disturbing, in more ways than one.
On October 1st, the New York Times published a photograph of a four-year-old girl in Sierra Leone. In the photograph, the anonymous little girl lies on a floor covered with urine and vomit, one arm tucked underneath her head, the other wrapped around her small stomach. Her eyes are glassy, returning the photographer’s gaze. The photograph is tightly focused on her figure, but in the background the viewer can make out crude vials to catch bodily fluids and an out-of-focus corpse awaiting disposal.
The photograph, by Samuel Aranda, accompanied a story headlined “A Hospital From Hell, in a City Swamped by Ebola.” Within it, the Times reporter verbally re-paints this hellish landscape where four-year-olds lie “on the floor in urine, motionless, bleeding from her mouth, her eyes open.” Where she will probably die amidst “pools of patients’ bodily fluids,” “foul-smelling hospital wards,” “pools of infectious waste,” all overseen by an undertrained medical staff “wearing merely bluejeans” and “not wearing gloves.”
Aranda’s photograph is in stark contrast to the images of white Ebola patients that have emerged from the United States and Spain. In these images the patient, and their doctors, are almost completely hidden; wrapped in hazmat suits and shrouded from public view, their identities are protected. The suffering is invisible, as is the sense of stench produced by bodily fluids: these photographs are meant to reassure Westerners that sanitation will protect us, that contagion is contained.
Pernicious undertones lurk in these parallel representations of Ebola, metaphors that encode histories of nationalism and narratives of disease.
I wanted to write about something else before this, but this post by Doktor Zoom was about something too sick to ignore. I really felt the need to get it out there, just how disgusting this person is. I might have written something on this myself instead of pointing out to you what Doktor Zoom has wrote, but I’m kind of in a hurry and I don’t think I could have done a much better job than he did.
Former executive director of the South Carolina GOP, Trayvon Martin clairvoyant, ethics-free attorney, and avid penis self-photographer Todd Kincannon is proudly pro-life — with one exception, of course, in that he wishes Wendy Davis had been aborted. But he also recognizes that sometimes, in the face of a serious health crisis, you just need to man up and kill everyone who’s been infected or exposed. At Wonkette, we are sometimes given to exaggeration. But this is not an exaggeration: in a series of tweets on Saturday, Todd Kincannon, not satisfied with rightwing prescriptions like travel bans or embargoes on affected nations, literally advocated killing all Ebola patients, and napalming their villages for good measure, too. And we mean literally literally, not Joe Biden literally:
*Note : Sorry you guys might have to scroll up a bit after clicking on the link to read the rest of the article. I can’t figure out how to get it not to jump down to the comments.
Meanwhile, over in the parallel dimension inhabited by the Birthers and their conspiracy-minded aiders & abettors, Orly Taitz is claiming that the eebil gummint forced her to put her sacred white hands into the filthy mouths of illegal children something something disease something gimme money round up the brown people WOLVERINES!!!!!
Christ, I can’t even. The OC Weekly has more, including coining the phrase, “The Lucy Ricardo of Law.”
Taitz filed documents that claimed she had been sent immigrant children to treat at her dental practice, that they breathed on her and that she now suffers from respiratory concerns requiring use of a positive pressure oxygen machine.