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Vaccines Tag

Some good news from the frontlines related to our battle with Ebola: The outbreak is now "stable" in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization.
There were still some flare ups in the south-east, but things were improving in other prefectures, WHO co-ordinator Dr Guenael Rodier told the BBC. More than 5,400 people have died in the latest outbreak, with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia the worst hit. The outbreak can be ended by mid-2015 if the world speeds up its response, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.
Although the rate of new cases shows signs of decreasing in parts of West Africa, Mali - where six people have died and a seventh case has been reported - is now of concern. Additionally, the United Nations Ebola Emergency Response Mission has formally announced that it will not meet its self-imposed December 1st deadline of containment.
The mission set the goal in September, seeking to have 70 percent of Ebola patients under treatment and 70 percent of Ebola victims safely buried. That target will be achieved in some areas, head of UNMEER Anthony Banbury told Reuters news agency, citing progress in Liberia. "We are going to exceed the December 1 targets in some areas. But we are almost certainly going to fall short in others. In both those cases, we will adjust to what the circumstances are on the ground," he said in an interview.

While all the Ebola-stricken patients in America seem to be on the road to recovery, with the tragic exception of patient zero Thomas Duncan, Enterovirus-D68 is reported to have claimed its 8th victim:
The U.S. death toll from the mysterious Enterovirus D-68 continues to rise. The latest CDC update on the current outbreak of the polio-like Enterovirus D-68 states that it has now been detected “in specimens from eight patients who died and had samples submitted for testing.” That’s one more death than was disclosed in last week’s update. The CDC account does not provide any information as to where the patient died and does not disclose his/her name, age or other details. According to the latest weekly update from CDC, 167 more people have been sickened with EV-D68 in the past week: a total of 973 patients in 47 states and the District of Columbia. That’s up from last week’s total of 796 people in 46 states.
Two new cases have just been reported in North Florida.
Unlike the popular saying, if it quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Health department workers tell us Enterovirus D-68 is a lot like having the common cold, except it isn't. ...Elmira Warren a Gainesville resident said, "I am concerned, I think it's important for us to be in touch with our bodies and if we have any type of symptoms that may be similar to that we should see our physicians."
And Arizona reports its first confirmed case, but many other cases are awaiting the results of testing to determine of they are related to infection with this pathogen.

Earlier, I weighed in on how the media and administration are handling the Ebola epidemic, using language to minimize the fact that it is a hemorrhagic fever. It the wake of reports that Colorado children who suffered from an infection of the very aggressive respiratory pathogen, Enterovirus D-68, have also experienced limb paralysis, today's "Bio-Insurrection" research has revealed that there is a nice, new moniker associated with it: Non-Polio Enterovirus. From our Department of Health: LI #09 Non-polio enterovirus I made this discovery while I was searching for confirmation that a child's recent death was associated with an Enterovirus D-68 infection. Sadly, it was.

Last week, there were dozens of stories about American children flooding emergency rooms in 10 states; they were infected with a cold-like virus that devastated their respiratory systems. This week, the list of states reporting cases of the virus, now classified as Enterovirus D68, has risen to 12:
Since mid-August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed more than 100 cases of Enterovirus D68 in 12 states: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New York and Oklahoma.

Yet the real number of severe respiratory illnesses caused by this virus is probably even higher, the CDC says.

Enterovirus D68 is related to the common cold virus. However, children who have asthma face potentially life-threatening symptoms without the proper treatment. Additionally, there are indications that the virus is already impacting other states beyond the 12 formally recorded.
The respiratory virus that’s been sweeping the nation and sending asthmatic children to the hospital may have only been officially reported in 97 children, but experts say that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Claudia Hoyen said the virus, called enterovirus D68, probably affected thousands of children -- and that’s just in Cleveland, where she works. The virus has been reported in 21 states, according to state health departments. At UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, about 20 children normally go to the intensive care unit each month with respiratory symptoms, said Hoyen, who heads the hospital’s pediatric infection control program. But for the last two months, the hospital’s intensive care unit has treated 80 children per month, she said. The rare enterovirus starts out like the common cold but can quickly turn more serious -- especially in children with asthma. Enteroviruses often appear in the summer and fall, but an outbreak like this hasn’t occurred since the 1960s, Hoyen said.

With all the crises we report on daily, it is easy to lose track of, I thought it would be wise to review the situation related to Ebola, which was the American press panic flavor-of-the-month in August. It looks like another American is heading toward the Emory University medical facilities for treatment:
A fourth American who contracted Ebola in West Africa was expected to arrive in the U.S. for care Tuesday and will be treated at an Atlanta hospital where two other aid workers successfully recovered from the disease, the hospital said Monday.
The other three patients appear to be recovering from their infections at this point. I suspect the quality of medical care here is still higher than in in West Africa (even in the wake of Obamacare). Koby Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Global Managing Director at DaMina Advisors, indicates that the doctor-patient ratios may be key in predicting the spread of the disease:
An analysis of a basic global healthcare metric - doctor-patient-ratios - may be the key in helping identify the next most vulnerable West African states to the ongoing Ebola outbreak. Unsurprisingly, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which have remained the epicenters of the pandemic, have the worst doctor-patient ratios in West Africa, at over 86,000 patients-per-1-doctor in Liberia, and 45,000 patients-per-1-doctor in Sierra Leone. Nigeria, which has lately received a lot of media attention ironically has the best doctor-patient ration of any West African state and is probably the least vulnerable during this outbreak. Due to climatic factors connected to the epidemiology of Ebola, the northern arid West African states of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad or Mauritania are unlikely to see any major outbreaks. However the tropical coastal states, whose porous land borders adjoin Liberia and Sierra Leone, remain very vulnerable.
A good video review of the situation comes from Paper News TV:

The international volunteer medical organization Doctors Without Borders has issued a chilling warning -- that the deadly Ebola virus is "totally out of control." The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with infected people and causes internal bleeding and organ failure. There is no cure or vaccine so infected patients must be quarantined to stop the rapid spread of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, an Ebola outbreak can result in over 90% fatality rates. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said Friday that the international community must send in more resources to stop the current Ebola epidemic.
"The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in a second wave," Janssens said. "And, for me, it is totally out of control." The outbreak has caused more deaths than any other of the disease, said another official with the medical charity. Ebola has been linked to more than 330 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization. The current outbreak, which began in Guinea either late last year or early this year, had appeared to slow before picking up pace again in recent weeks, including spreading to the Liberian capital for the first time.

With each passing day, we learn more and more about the horrible effects of Obamacare. Here are just some of the "new" revelations. While there is ample evidence that premiums have risen for many if not most people, the NY Times finds that the supposedly lower premiums come with much higher deductibles, On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High:
For months, the Obama administration has heralded the low premiums of medical insurance policies on sale in the insurance exchanges created by the new health law. But as consumers dig into the details, they are finding that the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are often much higher than what is typical in employer-sponsored health plans.... In El Paso, Tex., for example, for a husband and wife both age 35, one of the cheapest plans on the federal exchange, offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has a premium less than $300 a month, but the annual deductible is more than $12,000. For a 45-year-old couple seeking insurance on the federal exchange in Saginaw, Mich., a policy with a premium of $515 a month has a deductible of $10,000. In Santa Cruz, Calif., where the exchange is run by the state, Robert Aaron, a self-employed 56-year-old engineer, said he was looking for a low-cost plan. The best one he could find had a premium of $488 a month. But the annual deductible was $5,000, and that, he said, “sounds really high.” By contrast, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average deductible in employer-sponsored health plans is $1,135.
That is not exactly news, but that the NY Times is now up to speed with the rest of us is important because it helps filter the information down even to low information NY Times readers. Jim Geraghty has more bad news, But Other Than All That, Obamacare Had a Good Weekend!:

Today "House leaders will pay tribute to Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), less than a year after the House formally censured the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will speak at a ceremony to unveil Rangel’s official portrait as chairman of...

The pool of Republican candidates just keeps growing, and voters are beginning to vet stances and pick sides. In an economy burdened by a $14.4 trillion debt and over 9% unemployment, Americans want someone new at the helm who can turn this sinking ship around....

Despite an impassioned last minute closing argument, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty by the Illinois Senate on the Article of Impeachment. The vote was 59-0 to convict Blagojevich of the single Article of Impeachment for abusing power. Elements of the Article included alleged...

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