Tag Archives: pandemic

Infectious Disease Expert Gives Insight on Flu Vaccine in New Novel, We Should Pay Attention

26 Jul

Ebola virus. From wikipedia.

When I read this article about Dr. Tim Kuberski’s new book “The Trembling Flu” based on his experiences in the field as an infectious disease expert and clinician, I immediately thought of a book I am currently reading called “The Final Jihad.” Four years prior to the OKC bombing, it was written by Martin Keating, brother of Frank Keating, the Oklahoma City Mayor at the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Under Reagan, Frank Keating was appointedto serve as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and later was elevated to United States Associate Attorney General, making Keating the third ranking official in the justice and treasury departments, and highest ranking Oklahoman during the Reagan administration, overseeing many agencies, such as United States Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, all 94 United States Attorneys, the United States role in Interpol and the United States Secret Service. Keating was also the highest ranking Oklahoman in the federal government under President George H.W. Bush. Apparently, because of Keating’s connections, his brother Martin was privy to confidential documents that he then used to write his prophetic story.

In The Final Jihad, Martin Keating writes about a key terrorist in his fictional novel named Tom McVey, and at one point in the story McVey is pulled over for a broken tail light by an Oklahoma highway patrolman.  Coincidentally, on the morning of the OKC bombing, Timothy McVeigh was pulled over by a state trooper for a missing license plate.

From goodread.com

The Final Jihad is a prophetic blueprint, a warning of horrifying upcoming acts of terrorism targeted against the United States. It’s a wake-up call no one should ignore.

The Final Jihad brings readers, for the first time, actual intelligence gathered by espionage operatives worldwide. It has been fashioned into a blockbuster novel by Martin Keating, who employs “predictive analysis” of classified information-the same technique used by government security agencies to anticipate terrorist assaults. The plans, strategies, and assassination techniques of the terror masters in this book are real. Their chemical and biological tools of destruction are real. And their ever-increasing threat to our survival is real.

If Keating was able to formulate accurate predictions just by viewing documents, think what a specialist that has worked in the infectious disease field could bring to light. I have seen some interesting news articles regarding disease and outbreaks. Besides the various news reports on infectious disease, there was also the 2010 Rockefeller paper predictions of pandemic. I suppose we’ll just have to watch and see if Dr. Kuberski’s novel becomes a reality.

“Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development

In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit. Unlike 2009’s H1N1, this new influenza strain — originating from wild geese — was extremely virulent and deadly. Even the most pandemic-prepared nations were quickly overwhelmed when the virus streaked around the world, infecting nearly 20 percent of the global population and killing 8 million in just seven months, the majority of them healthy young adults. The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains…”
“The pandemic blanketed the planet — though disproportionate numbers died in Africa,
Southeast Asia, and Central America, where the virus spread like wildfire in the absence
of official containment protocols. But even in developed countries, containment was a challenge. The United States’s initial policy of “strongly discouraging” citizens from flying
proved deadly in its leniency, accelerating the spread of the virus not just within the U.S. but across borders. However, a few countries did fare better — China in particular. The Chinese government’s quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing off of all borders, saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier than in other countries and enabling a swifter postpandemic recovery.”

“China’s government was not the only one that took extreme measures to protect its citizens from risk and exposure. During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified. In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems — from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and rising poverty — leaders around the world took a firmer grip on power.”

“Criminal networks also grew highly skilled at counterfeiting licit goods through reverse engineering. Many of these “rip-offs” and copycats were of poor quality or downright dangerous. In the context of weak health systems, corruption, and inattention to standards — either within countries or from global bodies like the World Health Organization — tainted vaccines entered the public health systems of several African countries. In 2021, 600 children in Cote d’Ivoire died from a bogus Hepatitis B vaccine, which paled in comparison to the scandal sparked by mass deaths from a tainted anti-malarial drug years later. The deaths and resulting scandals sharply affected public confidence in vaccine delivery…”

Mutant bird flu would be airborne, scientists say (cnn.com)

Here’s what it takes to make a deadly virus transmissible through the air: as few as five genetic mutations, according to a new study.

This research, published in the journal Science, is the second of two controversial studies to finally be released that examines how the H5N1 bird flu virus can be genetically altered and transmitted in mammals. Publication of both studies had been delayed many months due to fears that the research could be misused and become a bio-security threat.

Bird Flu: Flown the Coop (economist.com)

“SOME said Ron Fouchier’s work would help fend off a pandemic. Others called it a terrorist’s cookbook. Authorities on either side of the Atlantic spent months examining the research. Now the rest of the world can read it, too. In a paper just published in Science, Dr Fouchier explains how bird flu might adapt to spread easily from person to person. The publication caps a long fight over whether the paper’s benefits outweighed its risks. But this controversy will not be the last.”

MRSA Outbreak Hits Cheerleader at New Mexico High School (abc.com)

“One female cheerleader was sickened with the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA and 12 others tested positive for staph and were treated with antibiotics at Belen High School in New Mexico.

The sometimes lethal bacteria was probably spread on mats in the wrestling and weight room, which is also used for the cheerleaders.”

Video Laurie Garrett on studying pandemics: Dual uses for avian flu research (economist.com)

Congress investigates air leak, possible safety lapses at CDC lab (cnn.com)

“Washington (CNN) — It’s a highly secured, sophisticated research lab studying deadly diseases such as bird flu, monkeypox, tuberculosis and rabies.

It’s in a facility called Building 18, which cost taxpayers $214 million.

And now, the Biosafety Level 3 lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is also the subject of a congressional investigation after a potentially dangerous airflow leak at that lab, CNN has learned.”

Families Fighting Flu (vaccinews.net)

Flesh-Eating Bacteria No Cause for Panic, Experts Say (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news)

California Researcher Dies From Infection He Studied (abcnews.com)

“The death of a 25-year-old researcher studying a sinister strain of bacteria has highlighted the hazards of infectious disease research.

The man, whose name has not been released, died Saturday at the San Francisco VA Medical Center from a meningococcal infection he may have acquired while working at the hospital the day before.”

TSA To London Olympics: Don’t Worry, We Got This – Forbes

19 Jul

TSA: Don’t worry, we got this (Getty).

With the London Olympics dangerously short on security personnel, organizers have contracted the U. S. Transportation Security Administration to help protect against terrorist attacks during the Games, according to reports late Tuesday.

The news follows a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing where Nick Buckles, head of security firm G4S, admitted his company agreed to provide 10,400 security personnel for the Olympics, but has only hired and trained 4,000.

via TSA To London Olympics: Don’t Worry, We Got This – Forbes.

Rudy Eugene: No Bath Salts, Only Marijuana, Found In Face-Eater Toxicology Tests | HuffingtonPost

27 Jun
Rudy Eugene Toxicology Drug Tests No Bath Salts

It wasn’t bath salts.

According to a full toxicology report released Wednesday afternoon by the Miami-Dade medical examiner, the only drug detected in the lifeless body of infamous Miami face-chewer Rudy Eugene was marijuana.

“The department’s toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana,” the medical examiner said in a statement, according to NBC Miami. “The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs…This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Extasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.”

CBS Miami reports that the medical examiner’s office sought the assistance of an “outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory” to help confirm the absence of common ingredients of bath salts, a synthetic amphetamine cocktail blamed in severalrecentincidents that bear some similarity to Eugene’s attack.

“Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories,” stated a press release from Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma, “marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”

The report did not address previously reported autopsy findings of what appeared to be undigested pills in Eugene’s stomach, according to the Miami Herald, and an expert told the Associate Press marijuana alone was not likely to cause such an attack.

“The problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida.Goldberger said that the medical examiner’s office in Miami is known for doing thorough work and that he’s confident they and the independent lab covered as much ground as possible. But it’s nearly impossible for toxicology testing to keep pace with new formulations of synthetic drugs.

“There are many of these synthetic drugs that we currently don’t have the methodology to test on, and that is not the fault of the toxicology lab. The challenge today for the toxicology lab is to stay on top of these new chemicals and develop methodologies for them, but it’s very difficult and very expensive.” Goldberger said. “There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”

Read the rest of the story here.

“A New Era of Preparedness” Natural Disasters, Pandemic, and Violence (includes video)

27 Jun

Preparedness messages are now being tweeted, because preparedness is super trendy.

Look what Center for Disease Control (CDC) tweeted Sunday morning, June 24, 2012.

cdc.gov

Watch this video by the CDC, A New Era of Preparedness

You can view a transcript in PDF form here.

Here is an excerpt:

[Narrator] Today, there are many different kinds of threats. We are in a new era of preparedness.
[Boy] Hey, Dad!
[Narrator]And kids are a little more in-tune than we think.

Continue reading

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