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Tag Archive: World Health Organization


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news.com.au

Bacteria containing mcr-1 gene resistant to all known antibiotics found in Denmark

Lethal tummy bug … A strain of the common e. coli bacteria resistant to all known treatments has been found in Denmark.

Network WritersNews Corp Australia Network

JUST weeks after the discovery in China of bacteria resistant to all known forms of treatment, the same strain has been found in Denmark. Worse: It’s been there since 2012.

Late last week researchers at the Technical University of Denmark announced they had found the feared ‘invulnerability’ gene among E. coli bacteria samples taken from humans and food.

The scientists had been conducting a review of a genetic database of some 3000 different E. coli samples taken since 2009.

Specifically they were seeking the mcr-1 gene, a mutation which gives bacteria a frightening resistance to the last effective family of antibiotics — colistin.

ANTIBIOTIC APOCALYPSE: A new dark age of medicine looms

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NewsMax Health

New Superbug Resistant to Last-line Antibiotics: Study


Sunday, 06 Dec 2015 11:19 AM

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Agricultural Use Of Antibiotics Could Create Health Crisis, Experts Warn China’s use of thousands of tons of antibiotics in agriculture is a major cause for concern.

Asian Scientist Newsroom | November 24, 2015 | In the Lab
AsianScientist (Nov. 24, 2015) – Two medical experts from The University of Queensland are urging China to curb its use of antibiotics in animals to avoid what could be a ‘major health catastrophe’ for humans, following their research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Polymyxin antibiotic class is a “last-defence” antibiotic for patients, including in intensive care units, but its extensive use in agriculture in China was leading to resistance in humans, warned Professor David Paterson, Head of the Infection and Immunity group at UQ Center for Clinical Research.
“It will be very dangerous if people stop responding to this treatment. A key part of many intensive treatments relies on antibiotic success to fight life-threatening infection and keep further infections at bay. However, resistance to this antibiotic is now becoming widespread in chickens, pigs and other animals across Asia, and has now been detected in humans,” cautioned Paterson.
In the report, Paterson said the resistance was directly linked to agricultural use of the antibiotic in the food-chain. “When humans eat the food derived from these animals fed with antibiotics, this leads to antibiotic resistance. By the end of 2015, China is projected to use thousands of tonnes of polymyxins. Chinese leaders needed to take urgent and decisive action to curb this use.” Paterson said.
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MNT home

New antibiotic resistance gene that breaches ‘last line of defense’ found in China

Published: Thursday 19 November 2015 at 3am PST

A new gene that makes bacteria resistant to polymyxins – the last-resort antibiotics for treating infections – is widespread in a large family of bacteria sampled from pigs and people in South China, says a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Bacteria
The researchers first found evidence of transferable resistance to the polymyxin drug colistin in bacteria isolated from a pig on an intensive farm in China.

The researchers say some of the bacterial strains that have acquired the new resistance gene – called MCR-1 – also have epidemic potential.

The discovery is particularly alarming because the researchers found the new gene on plasmids – a mobile form of DNA that is easily shared and spread among different bacteria via horizontal gene transfer.

It echoes an earlier discovery in India a few years ago of the resistance gene NDM-1 that makes bacteria resistant to nearly all antibiotics, including the last-resort antibiotics carbapenems.

In their study, the researchers, led by members from South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, conclude:

“The emergence of MCR-1 heralds the breach of the last group of antibiotics, polymyxins, by plasmid-mediated resistance. Although currently confined to China, MCR-1 is likely to emulate other global resistance mechanisms such as NDM-1.”

Co-author Jian-Hua Liu, a professor specializing in antimicrobial resistance in animals, says the results are “extremely worrying” because the polymyxins were “the last class of antibiotics in which resistance was incapable of spreading from cell to cell.”

Polymyxin resistance transferring readily among common bacteria

 

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dentis-with-mercury-amalgam-model

Mercury Amalgam is Driving Up Healthcare Costs

by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News

The silvery-gray dental fillings called amalgam are a toxic trigger for rising healthcare costs. Amalgam dental fillings are approximately 50% mercury by weight. They have been commonly used since the 1850s, and have been declared safe by the American Dental Association without proper testing.

They are being implanted in the mouths of millions of people worldwide every year even though the mercury in these fillings is the most toxic non-radioactive substance on the Earth. The US government refuses to require mercury amalgam be tested for safety despite the mountain of evidence proving that great harm to human health and the environment is produced by the use of this product.

In a previous article, I discussed the health dangers of mercury amalgam, and the safe methods for removing it from the mouth. The lives of thousands of people have been saved by having mercury amalgam properly removed from their teeth. Children have been spared exposure to mercury poisoning when their mothers had mercury amalgam removed prior to pregnancy and nursing. Children are given an advantage in life when parents prevent dentists from giving their children mercury amalgam fillings.

See:

The Origin of Your Health Problems may Actually be in Your Mouth

In this article, I will discuss the true cost of using mercury amalgam fillings. Amalgam is driving up the cost of healthcare, because it is making us sick. People are becoming sicker earlier in life and are living with greater levels of chronic illness, because of mercury poisoning. I will refute the claims that mercury amalgam is more durable and provides cost savings when compared to white composite fillings. Finally, I will also look at another source of chronic illness that has its origin in the mouth – namely, root canals. Dead teeth that have been preserved in the mouth through root canal treatment are a constant source of bacterial infection and toxins, which weaken the immune system and also cause life-threatening disease.

Mercury from Dental Fillings is a Worldwide Environmental Concern

In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged that the predominant source of human exposure to mercury is from dental fillings. [1]

On the basis of environmental contamination alone, mercury amalgam fillings should be banned worldwide, but the proponents of amalgam fillings strenuously object! Their objections are simple. First they say that amalgam fillings are safe. The facts that refute this belief were stated in the previous article. They also assert that amalgam fillings are the most cost-effective method for restoring teeth that have begun to decay. They say the fillings are much less expensive and last longer than the alternative white composite fillings.

Are the claims of cost savings and additional durability true? Let’s take a closer look at the facts. Let’s also take a look at the political protection that is being given to mercury amalgam to insure that trade associations and corporations continue to receive their income stream without the threat of product liability lawsuits.

9/21/2015 10:53:12 AM

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RSOE EDIS Event Report

  Biological Hazard Iraq Capital City, Baghdad Damage level Details

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Biological Hazard in Iraq on Monday, 21 September, 2015 at 02:36 (02:36 AM) UTC.

Description
A Baghdad official on Sunday said cholera cases in the area of Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad are on the rise. “Suspected cholera caused the death of four women and 48 cases were diagnosed with the illness across the country,” the Iraqi Ministry of Health said. “There are, so far, 141 suspected cholera cases, including 37 cases diagnosed with the illness in Abu Ghraib, all of them are currently under treatment in the town’s hospital,” Osman Almaadidi, mayor of Abu Ghraib town, told Anadolu Agency. “The lack of pure drinking water in Abu Ghraib caused the outbreak.” Meanwile, Qutaiba al-Jubouri, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s health and environment committee, on Sunday called on the government to declare a state of emergency in the country because of the growing number of cases. “This deadly epidemic requires the government to declare a state of emergency and to take all necessary measures to contain its outbreak as soon as possible,” Jubouri said, appealing to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to help the Iraqi government fight the outbreak. This is the third cholera outbreak in Iraq in less than eight years, according to a WHO report.
Biohazard name: Cholera (outbreak)
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: suspected

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The Daily Star

Saudi Arabia reports five new MERS deaths

May 18, 2014 09:19 AM Agence France Presse

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has reported five new deaths from the MERS respiratory virus, bringing the death toll in the world’s worst-hit country to 168.

In its latest tally, issued Saturday, the Health Ministry said the total number of infections in the kingdom from the coronavirus since it first appeared in 2012 now stood at 529 people.

Among the latest fatalities were two men aged 67 and 55 and an 80-year-old woman in Jeddah, the port city where a spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital last month led to the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

In addition, a 71-year-old man and another aged 77 died in Riyadh and Medina respectively, the ministry website reported.

 

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Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia records more MERS deaths

Three more people die from coronavirus, days after an emergency WHO committee called on countries to improve prevention.

Last updated: 17 May 2014 10:16
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The World Health Organisation called for better prevention measures [AFP]

Health authorities in Saudi Arabia have reported three more fatalities from the MERS respiratory virus, taking the death toll in the world’s worst-hit country to 163.

The health ministry website also revealed on Saturday that 520 cases have been recorded in the country since MERS appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

It said three women died on Friday; a 48-year-old in Riyadh, a 67-year-old in Taif, and woman in Jeddah whose age was not disclosed.

A spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah last month sparked public panic and the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

Other nations including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the UAE and the US have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said its emergency committee, which includes global medical and policy experts, had flagged mounting concerns about the potentially fatal virus.

 

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Second MERS Case Shows Hospitals Are Ground Zero for MERS

The patient started feeling ill as he sat on a packed flight from Jeddah to London. Things didn’t get any better after he boarded another flight to Boston, or a third flight to Atlanta, or even as he took one last miserable leg to Orlando.

If he’d been watching the news, he should have known it was at least possible that he had MERS, the mysterious new Middle East respiratory virus. It’s been spreading in Saudi Arabia and has infected more than 570 people globally, killing 171 of them. The biggest risk factor is being a health care worker, like the patient.

Still, he boarded multiple flights and came into an Orlando hospital without warning he had respiratory symptoms and had come from Saudi Arabia. He spent hours in a public emergency room, potentially exposing other patients to his infection.

Showing up in an emergency department without warning results in just what has happened in Orlando — 20 health care workers in quarantine for two weeks. Patients who were in the waiting room are being tracked down just to be sure they know what to do if they develop cough or fever.

Two workers who helped care for him did develop respiratory symptoms, causing a great deal of concern, but they have tested negative for MERS.

The case shows just how important it is to control infections at hospitals.

“We feel like getting infection control is issue number one,” the World Health Organization’s Dr. Keiji Fukuda told a news conference on Wednesday.

“If you get sick within 14 days of being in the Arabian Peninsula, call a doctor and tell the doctor where you traveled.”

There’s little excuse for not knowing about the possibility of infection now — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is posting signs at major airports, warning of the symptoms. “If you get sick within 14 days of being in the Arabian Peninsula, call a doctor and tell the doctor where you traveled,” the signs advise.

And now the World Health Organization, has too, even as it stopped short of declaring MERS a global health emergency.

CDC has repeated this advice at regular intervals, most recently after an Indiana man who’d been working in a Saudi hospital became the first U.S. MERS patient. He doesn’t remember having treated anyone with MERS but did work at a hospital in Riyadh with MERS cases.

The second patient also worked at a hospital where MERS was being treated, this one in Jeddah, his doctors said.

The 44-year-old health care worker laid low with relatives in the Orlando area for a few days, finally feeling bad enough to go to the emergency room at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. He was admitted May 9, and tests confirmed on Monday he was the second patient to show up in the United States with MERS.

But the professionals who treated him on Friday night already suspected he might have MERS. Anyone coming from the Arabian peninsula with respiratory symptoms should be considered a potential case, CDC says. That means extreme hygiene measures, including an isolation room.

“I have to wear a special mask called an N-95 (respirator). I have to wear a gown and gloves. Once we get out of the room we dispose of everything,” said Dr. Antonio Crespo, infectious disease specialist and chief quality officer for the P. Phillips Hospital.

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Press Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 12, 2014
Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC announces second imported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States

MERS case in traveler from Saudi Arabia hospitalized in Florida

A second imported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was confirmed late night on May 11 in a traveler to the United States. This patient is a healthcare worker who resides and works in Saudi Arabia. This case is unlinked to the first U.S. imported case of MERS reported May 2 in Indiana. Despite this second imported case, the risk to the U.S. general public from MERS still remains very low. Both imported MERS cases are healthcare workers who recently worked in and traveled from Saudi Arabia.

“This second confirmed case of MERS in a person who worked in health care from an area of risk is not surprising,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “To continue to strengthen our own health security, we need to increase our global ability to support other countries to help them find and stop threats such as MERS promptly, and to prevent them whenever possible.”

On May 1, the patient traveled by plane from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to London, England, to Boston, Massachusetts, to Atlanta, Georgia, and to Orlando, Florida. The patient reported feeling unwell during the flight from Jeddah to London and continued to feel unwell on subsequent flights with reported symptoms that include fever, chills and a slight cough. On May 9, the patient went to the emergency department of a hospital in Florida and was admitted the same day. The patient is isolated, being well cared for, and is currently doing well.

Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, the Florida Department of Health officials tested the patient for MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the virus that causes MERS. Those tests were positive, and CDC confirmed MERS-CoV infection in the patient late last night.

“Given the dramatic increase in MERS cases in the Arabian Peninsula, we expected and are prepared for additional imported cases,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. “The reason for this increase in cases is not yet known, but public health investigations are ongoing, and we are pleased to have a team in Saudi Arabia supporting some of those efforts.”

CDC and Florida health officials are not yet sure how the patient became infected with the virus.  Exposure may have occurred in Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks of MERS-CoV infection are occurring. Officials also do not know at this time exactly how many people had close contact with the patient.

Federal, state, and local health officials are taking action to minimize the risk of spread of the virus.  The hospital is using standard, contact, and airborne isolation precautions, to avoid exposure to MERS-CoV within the hospital.

As part of the prevention and control measures, officials have begun reaching out to healthcare professionals, family members, and others who had close contact with the patient to provide guidance about monitoring their health and recommending they see a healthcare provider for an evaluation. Public health officials are working with airlines to identify and notify U.S. travelers who may have been in close contact with the patient on any of the flights.

“The rapid identification and response to this case are a reflection of all of the work that CDC and partners have done over the past two years to prepare for MERS entering the United States,” said Schuchat.

All reported cases of MERS have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula. In some instances, the virus has spread from person to person through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS-CoV in community settings. “The risk to the U.S. general public from MERS still remains very low,” said Schuchat.

While experts do not yet know exactly how this virus is spread, CDC advises Americans to help protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by washing hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching their eyes, nose and/or mouth with unwashed hands, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

At this time, CDC does not recommend anyone change their travel plans. CDC advises people traveling to the Arabian Peninsula who work in a healthcare setting to follow CDC’s recommendations for infection control. Other travelers to the Arabian Peninsula should take general steps to protect their health. Anyone who develops fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula should call ahead to a doctor and mention their recent travel.

Background
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a virus that is new to humans and was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. So far, including this U.S. importation, there have been 538 confirmed cases of MERS in 14 countries. Most of these people developed severe acute respiratory illness, with fever, cough, and shortness of breath; 145 people died. Officials do not know where the virus came from or exactly how it spreads. There is no available vaccine or specific treatment recommended for the virus.

For more information about MERS-CoV, please visit:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESExternal Web Site Icon

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Antibiotic resistance now ‘global threat’, WHO warns

Lab research into new antibiotics WHO called for more preventative measures against infection

It analysed data from 114 countries and said resistance was happening now “in every region of the world”.

It described a “post-antibiotic era”, where people die from simple infections that have been treatable for decades.

There were likely to be “devastating” implications unless “significant” action was taken urgently, it added.

The report focused on seven different bacteria responsible for common serious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and blood infections.

It suggested two key antibiotics no longer work in more than half of people being treated in some countries.

What we urgently need is a solid global plan of action which provides for the rational use of antibiotics”

Dr Jennifer Cohn Medecins sans Frontiers

One of them – carbapenem – is a so-called “last-resort” drug used to treat people with life-threatening infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and infections in newborns, caused by the bacteria K.pneumoniae.

Bacteria naturally mutate to eventually become immune to antibiotics, but the misuse of these drugs – such as doctors over-prescribing them and patients failing to finish courses – means it is happening much faster than expected.

The WHO says more new antibiotics need to be developed, while governments and individuals should take steps to slow the process of growing resistance.

In its report, it said resistance to antibiotics for E.coli urinary tract infections had increased from “virtually zero” in the 1980s to being ineffective in more than half of cases today.

In some countries, it said, resistance to antibiotics used to treat the bacteria “would not work in more than half of people treated”.

 

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Antibiotic resistance: 6 diseases that may come back to haunt us

Still think of TB, typhoid and gonorrhoea as infections from the past? WHO’s terrifying report will make you think again
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Photograph: Dr. David M. Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited

Diseases we thought were long gone, nothing to worry about, or easy to treat could come back with a vengeance, according to the recent World Health Organisation report on global antibiotic resistance. Concern at this serious threat to public health has been growing; complacency could result in a crisis with the potential to affect everyone, not just those in poor countries or without access to advanced healthcare. Already diseases that were treatable in the past, such as tuberculosis, are often fatal now, and others are moving in the same direction. And the really terrifying thing is that the problem is already with us: this is not science fiction, but contemporary reality. So what are some of the infections that could come back to haunt us?

Tuberculosis

TB ought to be treatable within six months once people are prescribed a course of drugs including the once potent antibiotics isoniazid and rifampicin. But today, resistance has emerged not only to these medicines, but to the wider range of pharmaceuticals used to treat the disease. This has led to the emergence of multi-drug-resistant TB, the still less treatable extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), and even to total drug-resistant TB, which has only officially been confirmed in India. Countries such as South Africa have run out of treatment options for many of their patients and are having to discharge them from hospital. Resistance to TB has reached a global scale with XDR-TB now reported in 92 countries.

Gonorrhoea

The sexually transmitted nature of this infection makes it something many are reluctant to talk about or admit to having. However, it’s long been thought of as easily treatable and nothing much to fear. Once fixable with penicillin and tetracycline, the bacteria behind the disease have developed such high levels of resistance that there is only one drug left that can treat it. Even this antibiotic, ceftriaxone, is becoming less effective. With last-resort drugs losing their impact, this sexually transmitted infection (STI) could spread throughout the population.

Klebsiella

It’s likely that you’ve never heard of this common bacterium, which can cause a wide range of conditions including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicaemia, meningitis and diarrhoea. It fits into a wider group of bacteria with the apt acronym of Eskape owing to their ability to avoid the effects of the antibiotics used against them. The acronym stands for the names of the bacterial group members: Enterococcus faecium; Staphylococcus aureus; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Acinetobacter baumannii; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; and Enterobacter. Klebsiella and the rest of this group are increasingly being acquired in hospitals. While we fear MRSA, it is in fact a declining threat in hospitals; at the same time Eskape pathogens are causing more and more problems. As the WHO report highlighted, routine hospital visits or treatments could result in these previously treatable bacteria having fatal consequences.

 

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 FILE - Undated electron microscope image of novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colorized in yellow.

FILE – Undated electron microscope image of novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colorized in yellow.

Lisa Schlein

— The World Health Organization (WHO) says it believes the recent spike in cases of  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS Corona virus is probably due to a seasonal increase of the disease rather than to any changes in the behavior of the virus.

WHO says similar upsurges have occurred around the same time in the past two years.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says the increase in cases is most likely due to the warmer weather in the Arabian Peninsula and to outbreaks of the disease in two or three hospitals in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

He says health officials do not know how the virus is transmitted from person to person.  But it is clear, he says, the disease does not spread with the same ease that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, did.

Countries reporting new MERS cases, 2014.

Countries reporting new MERS cases, 2014.

“We do not think it does transmit very efficiently,” said Hartl. “It certainly is not anything like SARS or like diseases like influenza…There is no way we can predict the future.  But, for us, at the moment, certainly this virus MERS does not have the ability to infect in the same way that SARS did.  So, that is a good sign.”

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Prevent Disease

 

April 30, 2014 by DR. SUZANNE BARTOLINI

The levels of radiation that we are constantly exposed to have risen dramatically over the last half century. Ambient fallout from nuclear catastrophes is impacting our environment, and ultimately our health, as we all come in contact with radioactive materials. Here’s how to protect yourself.

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and the most recent 2011 Japan Tsunami calamity at Fukushima nuclear power plant have each had devastating consequences for the environment, damaging the ecosystem and the quality of our air, water, and soil.

The greatest health consequences of a nuclear accident or explosion are linked to radioactive materials (radio-nuclides) that can travel through air and water for thousands of miles, contaminating the world with radioactive particles. Once the human body is exposed to nuclear fallout, radioactive isotopes can remain in the body for many years, causing unpredictable chemical reactions. Absorption of radiation, especially over prolonged periods of time, can result in free radical damage, mutational damage to DNA, and cellular dysfunction, inducing several diseases. Symptoms of radiation toxicity can include fatigue, migraines, infertility, allergic reactions, hypertension, disorders of the central nervous system, anxiety, memory loss, rheumatic pains, flu-like symptoms, low red and white blood cell counts, etc.
Ionizing and Non-Ionizing RadiationThere are two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Both types cause DNA damage and form harmful free radicals. Ionizing radiation is produced from nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, nuclear waste, and diagnostic equipment like x-rays and CT scans. Ionizing radiation is considered the most harmful. The most common diseases linked to ionizing radiation include thyroid disease, leukemia and various cancers, anemia, bone and blood disorders, endocrine (hormonal) disruption, reproductive abnormalities and birth defects, kidney and liver damage, and overall severely damaged immune systems.Non-ionizing radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation produced by electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones and towers, wireless devices, computers, high voltage electrical lines, radios, microwaves, etc. Non-ionizing radiation disrupts molecules as it passes through the body, and there is an increasing body of research demonstrating that exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) can alter the behaviour of cells and hormones. For example, EMFs can cause the body to reduce production of the hormone melatonin, affecting immune processes and causing increased defects, sterility, and fetus mortality rates in laboratory animals. In 1987, scientists discovered a significant link between increased incidence of childhood cancer and close proximity to high tension power lines and commonly used electronic devices.Radiation-induced Thyroid DiseaseA variety of dangerous radioactive materials are known to be released during nuclear power plant accidents. Among the most worrisome are cesium-137 and iodine-131, which emit Gamma rays and have affinities for parts of the human body. Cesium-137 mimics potassium inside the body and accumulates mainly in the liver, kidneys, and the reproductive system. Iodine-131 is rapidly absorbed by the thyroid gland and increases the risk of thyroid growths and cancer.

And radioactive emissions are not limited only to nuclear accidents. According to Professor Ernest Sternglass of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, an expert on radiation physics: “By design, nuclear power reactors must regularly release steam to lower the intense heat produced. Invisible radioactive particles are emitted into the atmosphere along with the steam and are carried on air currents, eventually falling to the ground with rain and snow… Many cancer hot spots are related to nuclear fallout carried by wind currents from distant locations, which later come down with rain or snow over a particular area, raising the cancer risk among a local population that received the precipitated radioactive fallout.”

The thyroid gland is the first to uptake radioactive iodine, and even when small amounts are inhaled or ingested they will concentrate in the thyroid gland. Most North Americans are iodine deficient which makes them more vulnerable to radioactive iodine. If there is an iodine deficiency in the diet, radioactive iodine-131 will be absorbed and accumulate in the thyroid gland because the thyroid does not distinguish between radioactive and non-radioactive iodine. Having adequate iodine in the body therefore prevents radioactive iodine from attaching to the thyroid gland.

Potassium iodide pills can be taken to prevent the uptake of radioactive iodine in the event of a nuclear accident. Supplementing with potassium Iodine (KI) in either pill form or saturated liquid form (super saturated potassium iodide or SSKI), is the best way to quickly load iodine into the thyroid. Potassium iodine (KI) can be administered in prophylactic doses within 24 hours of exposure in radiation emergencies, and for a short period of time after exposure. In 1986 after the Chernobyl accident, people who were administered potassium iodide experienced less childhood thyroid cancers compared to those who were not. The World Health Organization also recommends potassium iodide supplementation to prevent the thyroid’s uptake of radioactive iodine.

Consuming natural sources of iodine helps offset the side effects of radiation exposure. The best natural source of iodine comes from seaweeds (also referred to as sea vegetables), however there is renewed controversy surrounding seaweed that may be harvested from polluted ocean waters. Kelp is perhaps the most well-known seaweed; others include wakame, kombu, dulse, nori, hijiki, and arame.

In North American studies, seaweed was found to neutralize radioactive isotopes in the human body. Researchers discovered that certain radioactive materials can bind to the algin in brown seaweeds to create “sodium alginate” which has a unique quality in that it can bind heavy metals and radioactive elements, preventing their absorption by the body. In one Canadian study, sodium alginate from kelp reduced radioactive strontium absorption in the intestines by 50 percent to 80 percent.

Other Nutritional and Antioxidant Treatments for Combating RadiationA large number of nutrients and foods are suggested as being helpful in preventing or limiting, or even counteracting, the effects of nuclear radiation. Below are some that are especially noted for their beneficial effects:

MISO — this fermented food made from soybeans has long been used in Japan for both protection from radiation, detoxification, and for stimulating the immune system. Miso is also well-documented to benefit circulation and remove blood clots. Miso soup was used as the primary antidote for the effects of radiation poisoning after the Hiroshima bombing. A 1990 Hiroshima University study concluded that people who regularly consume miso soup may be up to five times more resistant to radiation poisoning than people who do not.

SPIRULINA — is a blue-green algae that is extremely rich in nutrients. It contains beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron, chlorophyll, GLA fatty acids, and much more. Spirulina has been studied extensively in Russia and China, where research has shown it chelates radiation from the body, as well as provides general protection from radiation toxicity. One study in particular demonstrated how children on a protocol of spirulina after Chernobyl had improved immunity and T-cell counts. Chlorella algae is often listed along with spirulina as an equivalent radiation chelator. However, although chlorella is well-regarded as an excellent heavy metal detoxifier and is also known to reduce chemotherapy side-effects, it has not been demonstrated in research to counter the effects of nuclear radiation.

R-LIPOIC ACID — is a unique, vitamin-like antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. Research performed in Russia found that lipoic acid is one of the most effective anti-radiation nutrients available. Research continues to demonstrate that it has many benefits as a super antioxidant and metal chelator, working to repair liver damage, combat radiation sickness, treat diabetes, and protect against free radical damage.

Glutathione (GSH) and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) — Glutathione is an internally produced antioxidant that enhances the ability of immune system cells and protects against radiation damage. Studies have also shown that GSH can reduce side effects of chemotherapy, xrays, and alcohol. In addition, it is well-known as a detoxifier of heavy metals, and is extremely useful in the treatment of blood and liver disorders. Supplementing with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor, stimulates glutathione synthesis. NAC itself is a powerful antioxidant that is effective in detoxifying the liver. Sulphur-containing foods such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale also help the body to produce GSH.

SELENIUM — is a cofactor of glutathione production and activates the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is believed to protect the body from cancer in large part by increasing white blood cell counts. The largest study performed with selenium demonstrated that people supplementing with selenium developed less prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers. While there are no human studies to support the theory that selenium directly protects against radiation, research performed on rats has demonstrated that selenium decreased death rates in rats who were directly exposed to radiation.

GREEN AND BLACK TEAS — Studies have shown that both green and black teas provide some degree of protection against radiation. Tea catechins seem to absorb and eliminate radioactive isotopes. The polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) derived from green tea has been shown in animal studies to protect from whole-body radiation. Regular black tea exhibited the same anti-radiation effects in several Japanese studies.

BENTONITE CLAY — Has also been recommended for detoxing after radiation exposure, but this is not confirmed by research. Bentonite clay is well-documented in traditional medicine to bind heavy metal toxins and effectively flush them from the body.

Botanical Medicines as Potential Radiation ProtectorsOngoing research on several plants and herbs is demonstrating their potential radioprotective abilities. The natural chemicals, referred to as polyphenols, that are present in various botanicals have been shown to counteract the oxidative stress that is induced by ionizing radiation. They tend to do this either by scavenging radiation-induced free radicals and/or by elevating antioxidant levels in the body.

Many of the botanicals currently being researched have medicinal properties and have been safely used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. These include various plants such as: Podophyllum hexandrum, tinospora cordifolia, phyllanthus amarus, piper longum (pippali) fruit, arctium lappa (burdock root), and zingiber officinale (ginger). The most notable research, however, has been performed on panax ginseng and gingko biloba.

PANAX GINSENG — Studies have successfully demonstrated that treatment with panax ginseng extract aided recovery of cells involved in blood clotting (thrombocytes) and red blood cell counts in blood after radiation exposure. Clinical trials reported that people who took panax ginseng extract for thirty days following exposure to radiation showed a faster recovery rate from injuries to their bone marrow, organs, skin, and blood cells. In animal studies, ginseng extract prevents bone marrow injury and accelerates the recovery of both red and white blood cell counts.

GINGKO BILOBA — Solid research has been performed on extracts of ginkgo biloba, which contain antioxidant compounds that protect cells from free radical damage. Specifically, the results suggest that the gingko biloba extracts prevent cells from undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death). A study was performed on healthy white blood cells that were then exposed to gamma radiation. Half of the sample was treated with the ginkgo biloba extract and these cells showed protection from the radiation while the untreated cells underwent apoptosis. The study concluded that the extracts of the leaves of the gingko biloba tree may protect human cells from radiation damage.

PECTIN — Ongoing studies are researching pectin as a natural chelating agent. Pectin is a structural polysaccharide (fiber) found in cell walls of plants and fruits. Some studies have demonstrated it to be beneficial for binding and removing radioactive residues from the body. Pectin-rich foods include apples, guavas, plums, gooseberries, and citrus fruits.

Caveat, re: Iodine — While Dr. Joseph Mercola recognizes that optimal amounts of dietary iodine are important to nourish the thyroid, he warns about the risk of getting too much iodine: “Taking too much iodine may lead to subclinical hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone. It’s an ironic association, since hypothyroidism is often linked to iodine deficiency, But research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that study participants taking relatively higher doses of supplemental iodine — 400 micrograms a day and more — paradoxically began developing subclinical hypothyroidism.”

Dr. Mercola also points to a major culprit in the epidemic of iodine deficiency in North Americans today:bromine exposure. “When you ingest or absorb bromine (found in baked goods, plastics, soft drinks, medications, pesticides and more), it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate — cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today.”

Food IS MedicineBuckwheat is an important food to include, according to researchers. Buckwheat is high in the bioflavonoid rutin, and research supports its protective effects against radiation, and stimulating new bone marrow production. Also important to include in the diet are dried beans, especially lentils, which have been shown to reverse DNA damage caused by radiation. Incorporating medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and chaga mushrooms into the diet can also protect from radiation-induced, cancers according to research.

Much of the damage caused by radiation can be attributed to a high level of acidity and the inflammation that results in several diseases. Consuming alkalizing foods can have a multitude of benefits, and is protective against radiation-induced illnesses. Alkalinizing foods include whole grains, fruits, leafy green vegetables, essential fatty acids, lean proteins, etc, whereas acidifying foods are processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.

Sources:
psr.org
vitalitymagazine.com
mercola.com

townsendletter.com

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Daily International News

Rose Komono poses for a picture at a health clinic after overcoming the Ebola virus, in Gueckedou, Guinea, April 3, 2014.

Rose Komono poses for a picture at a health clinic after overcoming the Ebola virus, in Gueckedou, Guinea, April 3, 2014.

VOA News
The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to at least 135.In a Thursday statement the WHO says Guinea’s health ministry had reported a total of 122 deaths, while 13 deaths had been reported by Liberian health officials.The WHO says officials are investigating more than 200 suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Daily International News

WHO: Ebola Death Toll Tops 120

Health workers walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry, April 14, 2014.

Health workers walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry, April 14, 2014.

VOA News

WHO says health ministries in Guinea, Liberia and other affected countries have reported about 200 confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.

The vast majority of victims are in Guinea, where officials have reported 168 cases, including 108 deaths. Liberia reports 13 deaths from the disease.

News reports Tuesday said Gambian authorities have ordered airlines not to pick up passengers from affected countries.

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The New Zealand Herald

The Gambia bans flights from ebola-hit countries

Health workers wearing protective suits walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea. Photo / AFP

Health workers wearing protective suits walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea. Photo / AFP

The Gambia has banned flights from Ebola-hit west African countries from landing in its territory, airport officials said.

Staff at Banjul International Airport said on condition of anonymity that President Yahya Jammeh had ordered airlines to cancel all flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

“This decision by the Gambian authorities has left prospective passengers travelling to Banjul … stranded in these west African countries,” said an airport official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Brussels Airlines, which transits in Freetown from Europe, is only allowed to drop passengers there, but not pick anyone up.”

The outbreak in Guinea is one of the deadliest in history, with 168 cases “clinically compatible” with Ebola virus disease reported, including 108 deaths, since the start of the year, according to the World Health Organisation.

The outbreak began in the impoverished country’s southern forests, but has spread to Conakry, a sprawling port city on the Atlantic coast and home to two million people

Neighbouring Liberia has reported 20 probable or suspected cases, six lab-confirmed cases and 13 deaths.

Mali also had suspected cases but was given the all-clear on Tuesday after samples taken from patients tested negative for Ebola in laboratories, the health ministry told reporters in Bamako.

There was no official confirmation of the ban from the Gambia but AFP has seen a letter dated April 10 from the transport ministry notifying airlines of the measures while Sierra Leone’s government said it was in talks with Banjul over the issue.

It was not immediately clear if sanctions were being threatened against airlines or airport authorities for ignoring the ban.

“I went to the Gambia Bird (airlines) office in the Greater Banjul area to purchase an air ticket for my elder brother currently in Monrovia but was informed by the travel agent that they are not selling tickets to passengers travelling from Monrovia and Freetown,” Banjul resident Nyima Sanneh told AFP.

 

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