…What followed has shaken public confidence in one of the world’s most popular immunisation programs. In April last year… Professor Jim Bishop, made the unprecedented decision to ban nationally all the seasonal flu vaccines for the under-5s. Fluvax, the predominant vaccine, was triggering febrile fits in one in every 100 children – 10 times the expected rate. The side-effects, in some cases, were severe, and no-one could explain what had caused them. As the mystery continues, even eminent scientists and medical specialists are now quibbling over the efficacy of flu vaccines, how they are tested and how well they are monitored. With another flu season upon us and the medical community divided, what are we, the public, to make of it all?…
A two-sentence clause included in the U.S. spending bill approved by Congress a few weeks ago threatens to reverse more than three decades of constructive U.S. engagement with the People’s Republic of China.
The clause prohibits the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from coordinating any joint scientific activity with China.
Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), a long-time critic of the Chinese government who chairs a House spending committee that oversees several science agencies, inserted the language into the spending legislation to prevent NASA or OSTP from using federal funds “to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement or execute a bilateral policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company.”…
Bottle water produced in the northern Gyeonggi Province of South Korea may be contaminated with the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus plus other harmful organic substances, says an environmental group.
According to Citizens’ Institute for Environmental Studies, 32 FMD burial sites for more than 23,000 pigs and cows were made near four drinking plants in Pocheon and Yeoncheon. The plants in those areas produce bottle water by purifying underground water.
A member of the environment group said it is feared contaminated fluid leaked from burial sites into the underground water zone…
(By Jason Gale, Bloomberg’s disease guy in Singapore, who was the ace-est flu reporter in Asia when we cared about flu. - m.)
Shane Greenstein only vaguely recalls being told that a prostate biopsy he had in June was negative for cancer. That’s because within two days of the exam he was in the hospital with a potentially deadly blood infection.
“It was the worst illness I have ever felt in my life,” said Greenstein, 50, an economics professor at Northwestern University who sought emergency-room treatment in Evanston, Illinois, 10 hours after feeling “mild flu-like symptoms.”
Doctors gave him intravenous fluids to maintain blood pressure and prevent shock, a complication that could lead to a cascade of symptoms including organ failure and death. Greenstein was saved when the third antibiotic he was prescribed, an intravenous one, managed to kill the bacteria.
Among the millions of men tested for prostate cancer around the world each year, doctors are detecting an alarming trend: An increasing number of patients are getting sick from potentially lethal, drug-resistant infections…
The United States seems to be on track to have more measles cases than any year in more than a decade, with virtually all cases linked to other countries, including Europe where there’s a big outbreak.
Already there have been 89 cases reported so far. The U.S. normally sees only about 50 cases of measles in a year thanks to vaccinations.
Health officials are reluctant to make predictions, but acknowledge the pace of reports is unusually hot. “It’s hard to say, but we’re certainly getting a lot,” said Dr. Greg Wallace, who leads the measles, mumps, rubella and polio team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…
“OH JUST GREAT. “A shipment of potentially infectious polio virus destined for a South African research centre is missing after the vehicle carrying it was hijacked in Johannesburg, officials said Wednesday. The potentially deadly virus is considered a biohazard, said South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), though the government research centre’s deputy director downplayed the threat of a polio outbreak. “The risk is fairly small, but we’d like to advise that if the package was found for the public not to tamper with it. Simply return it to the NICD or to the police,” Adrian Puren told AFP. He said there was no risk the package could be used in a terrorist attack and that the carjackers who stole the courier vehicle carrying it probably did not realize what the box contained — stool specimens from the Congo being sent to the NICD for polio testing. The NICD said the vehicle was stolen Tuesday and later recovered, but that the specimen shipment was missing. Carjacking is a pervasive problem in South Africa, which has some of the highest crime rates in the world. Nearly 14,000 carjackings were reported to police last year.”—Polio virus missing after S.Africa carjacking
Got an article, essay or opinion that’s too fun for a journal, too long for a blog post, too strange to fit anywhere else? The web journal-mag-chapbook Incongruous Quarterly is lining up its Science issue. To submit, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org