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February 8, 2004

February 8, 2004                  

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January 26, 2004 - Hospitalization During Flu Season Not Tied to Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes (requires registration or subscription) - Reuters Health via Medscape - "Pregnant women with respiratory hospitalizations during influenza season are not at increased risk for adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes, new research indicates. Asthmatic patients were nearly 11 times more likely to be hospitalized than women without any comorbidities."

Comment:  What do you bet there is no revision of new guidelines recommending that pregnant women be vaccinated against the flu, now that this information has become available?  (Even if confirmed by a larger study.)

►February 5, 2004 - New Research Suggests Link Between Vaccine Ingredients and Autism,ADHD - Schafer Autism Report

January 29, 2004 - Autism Group’s Programs Are Deficient: State Investigation - Queens Chronicle - "A state agency has concluded an investigation into the practices of Quality Services for Autism Community, a non-profit group based in Astoria with offices in Hollis and Whitestone...The Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities concluded that two of QSAC’s residential programs and one of its day programs were deficient. Other concerns raised by employees and labor union leaders were found to be unsubstantiated."

►February 6, 2004 - Experts Urge Bird Vaccination Against Flu (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►February 6, 2004 - Most States Expect Pollution to Rise if Regulations Change (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "A majority of state environmental officials believes that air pollution from coal-burning power plants would increase if the Bush administration's changes to the Clean Air Act were to take effect, according to a survey to be released on Friday by the General Accounting Office."

►February 6, 2004 - Mad Cow Quandary: Making Animal Feed (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "In the month and a half since a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington State, Americans have been learning more than they wanted to know about what cattle in this country have been eating...Though consumers may imagine bucolic scenes of nursing calves and cows munching on grass or hay, much of American agriculture no longer works that way. For years, calves have been fed cow's blood instead of milk, and cattle feed has been allowed to contain composted wastes from chicken coops, including feathers, spilled feed and even feces."

►February 6, 2004 - Warning to patients over dirty equipment - The Herald, UK - "Hospital patients have been offered screening  for blood-borne viruses after being examined with unsterilised equpiment."

November 19, 2003 - Autism Is Treatable! - Congressional Testimony (pdf) - Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. - ARI

►February 9, 2004 - Debate Grows On Vaccine-Autism Link * Autism Link To VaccinesDisputed - Schafer Autism Report

►February 6, 2004 - Study Suggests Vaccine, Autism Link (another take) - Schafer Autism Report

►February 4, 2004 - Overuse: More Harm Than Good - Antibiotics May Lower Immune System - Acute otitis media, also known as a middle-ear infection, is the most common illness for which children receive antibiotics, according to Thomas Fischer, member of the New York Region Otitis Project Committee and emergency medicine specialist at the Stony Brook University Hospital. "There are millions of prescriptions dispensed each year," he said. - Suffolk Life Newspapers

►February 4, 2004 - 1,300 Linn kids need to update immunizations - Albany Democrat-Herald

►February 5, 2004 - A Vaccine for Humans Clears a Hurdle as Bird Flu Expands (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►February 5, 2004 - Australian scientists hope to have bird flu vaccine within months - Australian scientists said Thursday they hoped to produce a trial vaccine within months to immunise chickens at risk of contracting deadly bird flu. - Manilla Bulletin Online

►February 5, 2004 - Imugene begins on bird flu vaccine- Shaw Stockbroking

►February 8, 2004 - Alzheimer's treatment targets metals (requires registration) - Chicago Tribune - "Thinking and memory among Alzheimer's patients may decline more slowly if metals are removed from the toxic plaques that accumulate in their brains...Excessive amounts of copper and zinc have been observed in the plaques, so researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia tried a novel approach called chelation therapy...Unlike chelation therapy used to draw toxic metals, such as mercury, out of the blood, this type can penetrate the brain."

►February 8, 2004 - New task for madarsa board - The Telegraph, India

►February 8, 2004 - No Evidence Bird Flu Has Become More Contagious - ScoutNews, LLC via Dr. Koop

►February 8, 2004 - Steingart takes leave to join polio campaign - The Columbian

►February 8, 2004 - China confirms six new bird flu outbreaks, three suspected outbreaks - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 9, 2004 - Asians ban US chickens over new flu - The Australian

►February 8, 2004 - Japan Bans U.S. Chicken Imports After Flu Outbreak - Reuters

►February 6, 2004 - Bird flu death rate up to 70 pct-HK doctor - Reuters AlertNet

►February 8, 2004 - No evidence of human bird flu strain: WHO - www.abc.net.au

►February 8, 2004 - Inspection teams head for major bird flu-hit areas - Xinhuanet via China View

►February 8, 2004 - China: Daily report on bird flu-hit areas - The Hindu

►February 8, 2004 - Avian influenza A(H5N1) - update 19 -WHO - www.medicalnewstoday.com

►February 8, 2004 - Mad cow quest lures scientist to Fla. - Palm Beach Post

►February 8, 2004 - WHO: No sign bird flu has mutated - AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

►February 8, 2004 - Cambodia reports new suspected human case of bird flu - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 5, 2004 - Discussion in Scottish Parliament re: Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine  and "To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of the Irish Government's decision to fund nearly £500,000 of scientific research into creating a safer MMR vaccine, what its position is on whether calls for further research into MMR should be resisted. (S2O-1256)...Alex Neil (Central Scotland) (SNP): I suggest that the minister read "A Public Enemy" by Ibsen, in which a character was in the same position as the minority of scientists and was proved to be right...Given that there is no conclusive evidence that MMR contributes to or causes autism, does the minister accept that there is no absolutely conclusive evidence that it does not? Is it not time for the Executive to take a more humane and flexible approach to the problem until there is conclusive evidence one way or the other?...Mr McCabe: I stress that the approach of the Executive is not only humane but based on the best principles of public safety and health. I suggest to Mr Neil that he think carefully before making the kind of statements that can cause confusion for parents of young children and possibly drive down the uptake of the vaccines. When the uptake is driven down to a point at which an outbreak is possible, we will all have the opportunity to reflect on what we have said."

►February 8, 2004 - Bird flu hits U.S., poultry culled S. Korea ban on U.S. chickens 'premature' - Delaware's agriculture secretary says it is "way premature" for South Korea to ban U.S. poultry products after a strain of bird flu not known to affect humans was found on a farm in the state. - CNN

►February 8, 2004 - Asian nations slap import bans on US poultry after discovery of bird flu in Delaware farm - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 6, 2004 - China's provincial transport network could spread bird flu - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 6, 2004 - 6 flu type A suspects detected in Vietnam's central highlands - Xinhuanet via China View

►February 6, 2004 - Taiwan reports more bird flu outbreaks - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 6, 2004 - Bird flu death toll reaches 17 as experts seek vaccination buffer zones - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 5, 2004 - UN experts criticise Asia for delays in reporting bird flu - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 4, 2004 - Is the flu through? - This year's flu season behaved a lot like the month of March - in like a lion and out like a lamb. But is it really over? - News of Delaware County

►February 6, 2004 - Cancer research center accused of not telling patients enough about risks - AP via www.kgw.com - "A lawyer for cancer patients' families told jurors Thursday that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's doctors did not fully inform patients about the risks of an experimental treatment...'Had they provided all the information, no reasonably prudent person would ever have consented to participate,' attorney David Breskin said in his opening statement in a civil lawsuit alleging negligence and fraud by the center and three doctors...The five patients, who all had leukemia and who all died, underwent bone marrow transplants with an experimental treatment known as T-cell depletion."

►February 4, 2004 - Congress Must Increase Funding for Public Health Says American Public Health Association - APHA via U.S. Newswire

►January 9, 2004 - Firefighters given tetanus instead of TB shots - Reno Gazette-Journal

►February 6, 2004 - Intolerance to gluten affects one in 100 children - The Herald, UK

►February 2, 2004 - Death toll by virus pneumonia climbs 21 - Vietnam News Agency

►February 4, 2004 - Health Minister urges epidemiologists to seek cure for viral pneumonia - Vietnam News Agency

►February 5, 2004 - Unicef hails Philippines for anti-measles campaign - Inquirer News Service via www.inq7.net

►February 3, 2004 - Measles claims life of one more child in Dodiya - Express News Service via Ahmedabad Newsline

►February 6, 2004 - Bird flu defences 'could crumble' - The Australian

►February 4, 2004 - Company offers liver tests for hepatitis outbreak victims - AP via www.pennlive.com

►February 3, 2004 - Pain killer didn't contribute to hepatitis death - AP via www.pennlive.com - "There's no evidence that a pain reliever contributed to the death of one of three people who contracted hepatitis A after eating at a western Pennsylvania restaurant that served contaminated green onions, a coroner official said...Cook's wife said he had taken acetominophen because he thought he had the flu. Overuse of the pain reliever can cause liver damage, according to health officials."

Comment:  What kind of evidence were they looking for?  What does it mean that there was "no evidence"?

►February 5, 2004 - Eat Out..... at Your Own Risk - www.kdka.com

►February 4, 2004 - EU drugs agency warns of "hidden epidemic" of hepatitis C infections - EU Business

►February 8, 2004 - Dr. Abdullah Al Madani: Bird flu breeds hot debate on human safety vs economic gains - Gulf News Online - "While the flu epidemic threatens Asia's multi-billion-dollar poultry industry, the real danger lies in the threat to human life. Scientists argue that genes from the H5N1 virus could get scrambled with genes from H3N2, the virus responsible for human influenza, causing a serious threat to millions of people, as the human immune systems is not designed to cope with bird flu...The fact that the Far East is a densely populated region, has a huge number of domestic birds, and a large poultry industry makes the anxiety even more acute."

►February 8, 2004 - Nigerians seek proof of polio vaccine's safety - Some Muslim leaders fear it's a plot to spread AIDS - AP via The Baltimore Sun

►February 8, 2004 - The dangers of mercury to our health - Nevada. USA - Medical News Today - "dangerous mercury can be when dozens of middle school children in Gardnerville were exposed to the element and the vapors it gives off...Less than a week later, severe poisoning from long-term exposure to mercury vapor sent a Las Vegas 17-year-old youth to a hospital's intensive care unit for a week, and the exposure may cause lifelong effects."

Comment:  Just think, if the vapors are that dangerous, what injecting the actual mercury into your body might do.

►February 8, 2004 - The cost of hunger - Feeding the world's children today can produce incredible returns for the global economy in the future - www.indystar.com

Comment:  Well-nourished children are also far more likely to avoid long-term negative consequences (including death) from childhood (e.g., measles) and other diseases.

►February 8, 2004 - Seminar sheds light on autism - 170 people gathered at the Red Lion Hotel in Salem on Saturday to hear experts talk about the condition. - Statesman Journal - "The number of children diagnosed with autism is skyrocketing here and across the nation. In Oregon, 3,955 autistic children were enrolled in public schools during the past school year, according to the Oregon Department of Education. Ten years ago, only 420 children in Oregon schools were diagnosed with the disorder...That amounts to an 841 percent increase in a decade."

►February 8, 2004 - Electing to live Union - County Clerk underwent a stem cell transplant in her fight against cancer - Palladium-Item - "Recovery has taken some time for Hensley, too. Because of her weakened immune system, she's already had influenza and bronchitis. She couldn't have a flu shot because it would have given her the flu. Doctors said it would take up to a year for her immune system to fully recover, Hensley said."

►February 8, 2004 - Lobby Against World Health – Common Sense & Evidence - Daily Nation, Barbados - "THERE IS overwhelming evidence of the causal relationship between obesity and the chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and these lifestyle-related diseases are now the biggest health burden to rich and poor countries (NCDs now account for 60 per cent of global deaths and almost half (47 per cent) of the global burden of disease)...The World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally coordinated a comprehensive Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, to fight the ever-growing epidemic...But surprise, surprise! Big sugar, big money and big money’s connections in the United States, big government, are lobbying against the plan to improve world health."

►February 8, 2004 - China confirms new cases of bird flu in fowl; more countries ban U.S. poultry - AP via www.canoe.ca

►February 4, 2004 - Worldwide flu epidemic reaches ECU - Rare, powerful strain infects students - The East Carolinian - "A substantially higher number of students were diagnosed with the flu this year than in past flu seasons even though Student Health Services gave 1,250 vaccinations."

►February 8, 2004 - Bird Flu Twice as Deadly as Last Outbreak-Doctor - Reuters - "'The data suggests it (mortality rate) is in the range of 60 to 70 percent, so we are quite shocked by this,' David Hui, a specialist in respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Reuters Television. Last time (in 1997), the mortality rate was 30 percent.'"

►February 8, 2004 - Study shows West Coast tuna off the mercury hook - Times-Standard - "Results of an ongoing Oregon State University study suggest West Coast tuna has much less mercury in it than the run-of-the-mill solid-white canned product on most supermarket shelves...Researchers from the university's Seafood Laboratory last year took samples from 91 albacore tuna caught off the West Coast of the United States and Canada. They found that on average, the locally caught fish contained about a third of the mercury in solid white tuna sold in cans...But you won't find "West Coast Albacore" stamped on the pouch. Years ago, some of the major canners did a run of U.S. tuna and labeled it as such, and it sold well. Apparently afraid of creating a demand for a product with a relatively limited supply, the line was discontinued."

►February 6, 2004 - Riggins family copes with loss after mercury mishap - A mercury spill at a Riggins home left family members sick and prompted an EPA cleanup. (requires registration) -  www.ktvb.com

►February 7, 2004 - New threat feared as pigs test positive for bird flu virus - The Independent, UK

►February 6, 2004 - Australia: Scientist warns of super-flu pandemic worse than SARS - An Australian scientist involved in the World Health Organisation’s fight against SARS in China said today a new pandemic resulting from bird flu combining with a human flu could be a thousand times worse than SARS. - New Straits Times

►February 7, 2004 - Trust your gut instinct - Tend intestinal flora like a garden with probiotics and enjoy blooming health - Times Online, UK

►February 6, 2004 - Tuna Industry Contests EPA's Estimates About Mercury Levels in Newborns - U.S. Tuna Foundation via Yahoo!

►February 7, 2004 - Vaccine strategy daunting project for Asia - Experts agree on vaccination for healthy birds, but its role will be different in each affected country - The Straits Times

►February 6, 2004 - Health officials confirm more than 70 cases of whooping cough in Westchester - www.news12.com

►February 6, 2004 - Researchers Determine Reason For Deadly Spread Of 1918 Influenza - Howard Hughes Medical Institute via Science Daily - "The explosive spread of the influenza virus during the 1918 pandemic that killed some 20 million people worldwide was likely enabled by the unique structure of a protein on the virus's surface, researchers are reporting. The newly determined structure of the viral protein reveals that the 1918 strain of influenza underwent subtle alterations that enabled it to bind with deadly efficiency to human cells, while retaining the basic properties of the avian virus from which it evolved...According to the researchers, although their findings do not apply to the new virulent strain of avian flu that is threatening to spread, they do emphasize how subtle alterations in the influenza virus's infectivity could spawn a major epidemic."

►February 7, 2004 - Bird flu: Not a food-borne virus - For an hour yesterday, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan fielded MPs' questions on bird flu, ranging from whether it was safe to eat half-cooked eggs to whether Jurong Bird Park should be shut down. - The Straits Times - "Is it safe to eat half-boiled eggs? This is not a food-borne virus. It transmits and infects through close contact with fecal material or mucus from infected poultry. So there is really no danger from eating well-cooked, well-prepared food. Any time you eat something that's half-cooked or raw, you are running a risk."

Comment:  Wouldn't you have to be very careful re: contamination and spread from handling the eggs, however?

►February 6, 2004 - No Evidence People Passing Bird Flu, WHO Says - Reuters

►February 6, 2004 - We make natural killer cells, they are not born - First evidence of immune cell's activation potential in infection, tumor control - Medical News Today - "Call it the immune system's version of nature versus nurture...For years, scientists regarded natural killer cells as a blunt instrument of the body's immune defense system...Born to kill, these cells were thought to travel straight from the bone marrow, where they are manufactured, to the blood, circulating there and infiltrating the sites of early tumors or infectious agents in the body...Now, Rockefeller University scientists, led by Christian Münz, Ph.D., have learned otherwise. Natural killer cells, Münz and his colleagues say, have to be nurtured. Their ability to destroy tumor and infected cells is not present at birth."

►February 8, 2004 - Health Experts to Re-Examine Autism, Vaccine Links - Reuters via Yahoo! - "A panel from the Institute of Medicine (news - web sites) will examine a raft of new studies on the subject, including a Danish study of nearly 500,000 children that found no link between vaccines and autism and a U.S. study that found a possible mechanism for mercury, lead and other heavy metals to cause such disorders...The panel issued its last report on the subject in 2001, saying there was no evidence that vaccines caused autism, but noting there was not a lot of research either."

Comment:  Note that the IOM also said that a connection between thimerosal and autism was "biologically plausible", as stated by Congressman Dan Burton (as well as the author below).

►February 8, 2004 - Debate grows on vaccine-autism link - Stakes are high as panel reviews risk from mercury - The Boston Globe - "The new vaccines kept coming, each containing a tiny amount of mercury as a preservative. For nearly a decade, until regulators realized the problem in 1999, children who received all the recommended vaccinations could have absorbed an elevated amount of the toxin by the time they were 6 months old...'I feel badly that I didn't pick it up,' acknowledged an adviser to the National Immunization Program, Dr. Neal Halsey of Johns Hopkins University, at a hearing in Cambridge three years ago...The preservative, called thimerosal, is used only in trace amounts or not at all in today's US vaccines, but the debate over the human cost of that public health miscalculation is growing."

Comment:  Although this article is generally a good one, the author appears to be mistaken about the amount of mercury in vaccines.  Click here to see the amount of thimerosal currently in US licensed vaccines, at least according to Johns Hopkins University.  (For some reason, the CDC's pdf file on vaccine ingredients is not working at this time, but it also showed mercury in some vaccines in higher than trace amounts.)

►February 15, 2004 - Public health monitoring of developmental disabilities with a focus on the autism spectrum disorders. - journal article (Am J Med Genet) - "Developmental disabilities (DDs) are conditions characterized by physical, cognitive, psychological, sensory, adaptive, and/or communication impairments manifested during development. Approximately 17% of individuals in the United States 18 years and younger have a DD, and for most children the cause of their condition is unknown."

Comment:  Almost 20% of our children are thought to be developmentally disabled.  Isn't this kinda, sorta a crisis?

►February 8, 2004 - Doctors put on alert as tetanus hits drug users - Scotsman - "AN OUTBREAK of the potentially fatal wound disease tetanus has prompted a warning to doctors to be vigilant...Three people, all injecting drug users, have succumbed to the infection in Scotland and the cases are thought to be part of a UK-wide problem involving contaminated heroin."

►February 8, 2004 - Brunei Keeps Bird Flu At Bay - www.bruneidirect.com

►February 8, 2004 - Notice issued on bird flu prevention, control - China Daily

►February 5, 2004 - A Fayetteville woman fights mercury - News 14 Carolina - "Davis wants them all to unite in getting North Carolina to pass a law mandating mercury-free vaccines...'We don't want people to be afraid of vaccines,' said Davis. 'We want the vaccines to be safe.'...A safety she says will only come if people come together and speak out."

►February 8, 2004 - Avian Influenza: The risk and the need for government policy - The Daily Star - "In recent weeks we have all witnessed the destruction of millions of chickens in South-East Asia. This is an attempt to stamp out bird flu (avian influenza). As of 3 February, four people in Thailand and nine in Vietnam are confirmed as having died of bird flu, which is also spreading through Indonesia and China...The governments of some of these countries have come under heavy criticism for failing to take the correct measures in time to prevent human deaths. Concerned citizens should ask themselves: what would happen if there was a bird flu outbreak here? What measures should the government take to detect it and stop its spread?"

►February 7, 2004 - Milder bird flu strain hits USA - AP via The Statesman - "Delaware officials ordered the destruction of some 12,000 farm chickens yesterday after confirming that the flock was infected by avian influenza. But state agriculture secretary Mr Michael Scuse said the flu strain is different from the one that has devastated Asian poultry stocks and killed at least 16 people...Mr Scuse said the flu strain found in the USA posed no threat to human health."

►February 7, 2004 - WHO says no human tranmission of bird flu yet - www.ctv.ca - "U.S. officials scrambled to contain the first case of bird flu found in the United States Saturday while some good news came out of Asia...The World Health Organization ruled out human-to-human transmission of the virus there."

►February 7, 2004 - Nigeria wants proof polio vaccine is safe - AP via The Seattle Times

►February 7, 2004 - Pigs don't have bird flu: Vietnam - UN officials rule out human transmission of bird flu - AP via The Toronto Star

►February 8, 2004 - Gene fault increases leprosy risk - Scientists have discovered a gene fault which makes people more likely to develop leprosy. - BBC - "Although many perceive it as a "biblical disease", leprosy still affects up to a million people a year...Experts from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found the genetic variation means a person has five times the normal risk of developing leprosy."

►February 8, 2004 - Weighing Obesity - The Manila Times - "Draft global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. The Director-General submits herewith for the consideration of the Executive Board the draft global strategy on diet, physical activity and health."

►February 6, 2004 - Kids TB vaccine fears - icSouthLondon.co.uk - "HEALTH officials have admitted there is a TB problem in South London because of a backlog in the vaccination programme...The innoculation of people "at risk" was halted in 2000 because of a shortage of the drug. The backlog has still not been cleared."

January 30, 2004 - As Autism Cases Rise, Parents Run Frenzied Race to Get Help (requires subscription) - The New York Times

►February 7, 2004 - Whooping cough takes whopping leap in Dutchess - Cases in '04 so far equal total for '03 - Poughkeepsie Journal - "There is more than one reason for the increase, Smith said. In 2003, a new test for whooping cough became available...As a result, some cases that might have gone undiagnosed were identified...Most children are vaccinated against whooping cough, although state law does not require the vaccination to enter school...The vaccine is 80 to 85 percent effective and can only be given to those 7 years old and younger. Its effectiveness wanes after five years."

►February 8, 2004 - Editorial: Smallpox preparations warrant close scrutiny - MySanAntonio.com - "The Department of Homeland Security rolled out its plan for administering smallpox vaccinations to public health officials in January 2003, saying about 500,000 first responders would be inoculated within a month...A year later, only 39,213 civilians had been vaccinated, according to a report issued by Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security...The partisan aspects of the report must be acknowledged. In a letter to Rep. Jim Turner, D-Crockett, the committee's ranking Democrat, panel Chairman Chris Cox, R-Calif., called the report harshly political and partisan."

►February 7, 2004 - Human bird flu vaccine closer - Labs in Atlanta, Memphis pass major milestone - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis said their achievement — breaking the virus apart to remove its most virulent elements and reassembling it — is but one step of many on the road to a bird flu vaccine...If every remaining step goes as well as possible, they said, it will still take four to six months of lab work, testing and manufacturing before a safe, approved vaccine can be made and sold."

►February 8, 2004 - China Confirms 3 Outbreaks of Bird Flu (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►February 7, 2004 - Singapore suspends all poultry imports from US after avian influenza outbreak - www.channelnewsasia.com

►February 7, 2004 - Avian Influenza Found in Delaware; S. Korea Halts Imports of U.S. Chicken - www.agweb.com

►February 6, 2004 - 'The Challenge is to Stay Vigilant' - Can the nation deal with a bioterror attack?  A top health official says that 'substantial' progress has been made since 2001 -- but more work lies ahead. - Newsweek via MSNBC - "But one issue associated with the smallpox vaccine is the potential for toxicity. Because of that, we got involved rapidly in some contract arrangements to develop a second-generation smallpox vaccine. We already have it in phase one clinical trials and have pilot lots. Within a reasonable period of time, we’ll have a smallpox vaccine that is much less reactive, and therefore much more safe, than the current one."

►February 7, 2004 - Relative of mad cow disease leaves researchers befuddled - Chronic wasting disease attacks North American deer and elk, but no one is sure how it spreads or if it infects humans - The Oregonian

►February 7, 2004 - CSU studies method to breed out disease - www.coloradoan.com - "Colorado State University researchers are trying to breed a better elk herd, one that's resistant to chronic wasting disease...About 1 percent of elk in wild and captive populations have a variant gene believed to be resistant to wasting disease, a fatal brain and nervous-system infection. Researchers will try to increase the percentage of animals with the gene through an elk-breeding project near Durango."

►February 7, 2004 - Researchers team up to seek genetic roots in bowel disease cases - The Arizona Republic - "Researchers in Phoenix and Tucson are collaborating on a study to find the genetic roots of inflammatory bowel disease, which affects up to 1 in 500 people in developed countries such as the United States."

►February 6, 2004 - Coeliac Disease - the Tip of the Iceberg - University of Bristol via www.newswise.com  - "The full extent of a hidden condition which goes largely undetected among British children - and unnoticed until adulthood - has been identified by doctors in Bristol...Their research suggests that until now the scale of coeliac disease among UK children has been under-estimated. Currently, fewer than one in 2,500 children is treated for the disease, but the study of children in Bristol has shown that it probably affects one child in 100, although most have no overt symptoms."

December 28, 1994 - Autism and coeliac disease. - Collected Net Articles of Kalle Reichelt, M.D.

►February 7, 2004 - SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Eight Shenendehowa school district students from around southern Saratoga County were recently diagnosed with whooping cough. - The Saratogian - "The cases, while not life threatening, worry public health officials because Saratoga County had only six cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in all of 2003."

►February 7, 2004 - Pregnant women get new mercury warning - 1 in 7 newborns may be affected (requires registration) - Chicago Tribune

►February 6, 2004 - U.N. meeting touts vaccines as way to ward off bird flu - Chicago Sun-Times

►February 7, 2004 - Bird flu challenges the world's vaccine makers - Canada's main provider is 'ready to turn production on a dime' from regular flu to a pandemic vaccine, LEONARD ZEHR writes - The Globe and Mail

►February 7, 2004 - Future of FluMist vaccine in doubt after slow sales - Nasal spray, developed at U-M, didn't catch on - The Ann Arbor News

►February 7, 2004 - Flu vaccine restrictions lifted - The Honolulu Advertiser - "The state Health Department is again offering flu shots to anyone who wants one, ending two months of rationing prompted when Hawai'i's supply of vaccine ran low...Health Department immunization educator Judy Strait-Jones said the state lifted the restrictions on the shots after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released more vaccine."

►February 7, 2004 - Many students immunized against meningitis - AP via The Kansas City Star - "Kansas colleges have immunized hundreds of students against bacterial meningitis after two Pittsburg State University students contracted the disease and a Wichita State University student died."

►February 7, 2004 - Thailand expects to stamp out bird flu in days - PM - Reuters via Forbes

►February 7, 2004 - Avian Flu Imperils Livelihoods in Vietnam (requires registration) - The Los Angeles Times

►February 7, 2004 - Scientists probe deadly 1918 flu virus - www.channelnewsasia.com - "British scientists say they have solved the mystery of the world's deadliest flu epidemic in 1918 - how the virus was able to jump from birds to humans - in a breakthrough that could help efforts to control the current outbreak of bird flu in Asia."

►February 7, 2004 - Vietnam's capital orders all poultry culled over bird flu - Reuters via Forbes

►February 7, 2004 - Young Sentinels of Peril * A decades-long study of Nordic children reveals the damaging effects of prenatal exposure to mercury from tainted seafood. (requires registration) - The Los Angeles Times - "The children of these remote North Atlantic islands, just below the Arctic Circle, have become sentinels for the rest of the world, warning of the dangers of mercury...The 7-year-olds most highly exposed in the womb lag behind their schoolmates in some skills — particularly short-term memory, vocabulary and attention spans — by as much as a school year, comparable to a decline of five or six IQ points. A physical change also has been detected: a slight slowing of the brain's responses to signals...The latest evidence, the results of tests on these children at 14 years published Friday, suggests that at least some of the neurological effects are long-lasting, perhaps permanent...Scientists are now investigating whether mercury in seafood, and a type of mercury called thimerosal formerly used in childhood vaccines, might also contribute to autism and other neurological disorders."

►February 7, 2004 - Nigeria fighting fears that polio vaccine is a plot - The Star Tribune - "With its polio outbreak spreading, Nigeria is sending a team of scientists, officials and Muslim leaders abroad Sunday to bring back proof that the vaccine is neither contaminated nor a Western plot to spread AIDS."

►February 7, 2004 - Autism cases — and costs — on the rise - San Mateo Daily Journal - "The number of autism cases is rising at a rapid rate around the world, and San Mateo County school officials are preparing to deal with the devastating impact it could have in coming years...'These are literally million dollar kids,' said Jim Cox, director of special education in the San Mateo-Foster City School District."

Comment:  If vaccines play any role in creating the epidemic of autism, might it not be prudent to question whether the benefits of vaccines outweigh their risks?

►February 6, 2004 - District creates program for autistic students - Carlsbad Current - "For years, there was only one, but now there are 12 students in the Carlsbad Municipal Schools who have been classified with autism spectrum disorders, including six pre-schoolers."

►February 2, 2004 - FDA Panel to Weigh Safety Of Mood Drugs for Children - Some Data Link Use of Antidepressants, Suicidal Thoughts - The Washington Post - "A government panel of doctors will meet today to weigh disturbing but ambiguous evidence that widely used antidepressants may make some children suicidal, concerns that peaked in December when British authorities warned doctors not to prescribe the drugs to children...Clinical trials conducted by the drug industry in recent years have produced a steady drumbeat of data suggesting that suicidal thoughts and behavior are slightly more likely to develop in depressed children who take antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor than in children who get dummy pills, according to several scientists who have analyzed many of the studies."

►February 8, 2004 - A Mother's Ordeal Forces Britain to Review Crib Deaths (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Angela Cannings spent 20 months in prison, convicted of smothering two of her babies, before an appeals court declared it was all a grave mistake — the murder charges, her trial, her conviction and her life sentence...The court ruled that her conviction relied almost entirely on a tidy presumption of guilt, rather than on solid evidence...The appeals court ruling, along with similar decisions in two other cases last year, constitutes a watershed in Britain for parents who have lost children through crib death and who have been accused and convicted of murdering them on the basis of conflicting opinions, delivered by expert witnesses."

Comment:  One can only hope that the United States will not be far behind in re-examining the evidence against parents now incarcerated, even facing possible death, for the alleged murder of their children.  To learn more about this serious and highly charged issue, go to the Online SBS Conference at www.redflagsdaily.com and visit Alan Yurko's website, the Yurko Project (Alan Yurko is in prison for the highly questionable shaken baby death of his infant son.)

Redflagsdaily.com

 

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