Posts Tagged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monkeypox mix-up caused by bedbugs.

Human monkeypox lesions

Human monkeypox lesions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mom\\\\\\\’s monkeypox mix-up caused by bedbugs and concerned grandma, son says – HealthPop – CBS News.

Ok, I just read this article and I read it this way: grandma calls the hospital about bug bites.  Hospital calls the CDC.  CDC goes Rambo and quarantines the plane.

Which brings up the legitimate question, who was playing with monkeys?  If monkey pox can only be transmitted by monkey “blood, bodily fluids, or rashes” then when did anyone suspect these children had been wrestling with monkeys?  Wouldn’t that have been a really good question to ask mom before quarantining a plane?  “Ma’am, have your children had intimate contact with a monkey recently?  Sharing food, rubbing bodies, that sort of thing?  Did they perhaps eat raw monkey or drink monkey blood before boarding?”  Now that would be an interview I’d like to see online.  Instead, they didn’t do any interviewing and decided it was monkey pox because children overseas are all obviously monkey pox candidates.

It occurs to me that all I’d need to do these days is mention the word “pox” or even sneeze wrong in an international flight to see myself in quarantine.

So, eerily, when does it all end?  Who monitors the CDC to let them know when they are out of line?  Who watches the Watchmen?  And who makes the next monkey pox call?


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Morgellons In Your Mind Or In Your Skin? Also in cows?

English: This 1992 photograph shows three form...

Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite cop-outs is the term “somatoform disorder.”  It says that you do have actual physical symptoms from something, but that those symptoms are coming from the stress in your mind.  “It’s all in your head.”  In other words, go take an antidepressant and/or sedative and stop bothering us because we don’t think anything is really wrong with you.  It’s the medical equivalent of giving someone the finger.

Morgellons Disease has just received the medical bird.  A CDC study found absolutely nothing in common with sufferers and lumped them in with the delusional infestation folks.

The reason for this treatment is clear.  It wasn’t named by an M.D., but by Mary Leitao, a mom, found something like it in a 17th century French medical record.  Clearly this was a doomed disease because we simply cannot have laypeople naming diseases.  That would lead to names like “crotch itching disease” and “wanting chocolate all the time disease.”  If people can diagnose themselves, then most of them won’t come to their doctors and get the latin equivalents.

So the Morgellans community is now suffering from:  “punch the CDC in the face disease.”  They lobbied hard to get their illness investigated, and the investigators pulled on their non-latex gloves and gave them the bird.

Ok, now the internet has had a laugh at the Morgellons’ folks, let’s look a little farther than our own high church of we’re in charge of medicine, so there!

An interesting study found that evidently cows are almost as stressed as people and capable of the same level of “delusional infestation.”  Bovine digital dermatitis also has similar filaments to Morgellons, but unlike the humans, the cow fibers did not seem to be due to cotton clothing.  Darn, a slight hole in the “all in your mind” conclusion.

Did the CDC have any gaps to truly consider Morgellons as anything but delusional?  I think not.  They never truly seriously considered any other possibility.  Look at the literature on Morgellons dating back to 2008.

So is there ANY possibility that the Morgellons’ folks are NOT just bell tower crazy and MIGHT have some legitimate concern?  Well, yes.

See, the way we view the body is pretty darn elementary.  Doctors are taught that each organ does its thing and that such-and-such happens over here and that organ generates that goop.  But it isn’t the case.  The body isn’t like an office building, it’s more like Burning Man (hip reference?  check.)  Everything is happening everywhere, all at once.  Most of it might be happening most of the time in this general area, but it can all happen anywhere.

SO, is there any possibility that being really stressed about life/your skin could ACTUALLY, FACTUALLY generate skin changes like filaments and other weirdness?  Yep.  Welcome to the brave new world where the skin ” acts as a true peripheral endocrine organ.”  That’s right, it’s making hormones and reacting to hormones, especially stress hormones.  We know that drug stress hormones (the steroids that don’t make you look like a certain ex-governor) will basically kill the skin, so what’s so far fetched about the skin having lesions, itching, and even scarring (looking like filaments) from very high chronic stress?  Oh, and if you drop the stress, they get better.  Not because it was all in their mind, but because the steroids are no longer wreaking havoc.

Ok, end of lecture (here’s the study) back to the mayhem.

In other news, the IRS has reported that there will be tax refund delays.  They cited identity theft concerns.  Those waiting for refunds are taking the IRS to court to sue for interest and penalties.  Good luck with that.



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It’s Official: You Have a Greater Chance of Dying In Your Bathroom Than On the Highway.

Pain or Nausea

Image by Michael @ NW Lens via Flickr

In a fairly stunning announcement, a national survey has found that prescription drugs are now more likely to result in accidents than driving your SUV in traffic.  If you are between 35-54, opioids are more of a problem than semis.  Mind you, many of these people were ingesting the opioids for recreational purposes, but many others just wanted pain relief.  No one was planning to die, so the deaths are accidental.

As this continues, I predict a new trend in safety campaigns.  Instead of “buckle up” it will be “snort? abort!”

Maybe we should combine driver’s safety with this new threat.  It certainly would make driver’s ed more interesting.  I can just see junior telling his buddy: “I can’t parallel part but I nailed the LD50 for Percocet!  (LD50 is a measure of how much of a drug will kill you.)

Of course, there’ll need to be changed for the driving exam.  “Left turns, right turns, calculate your toxicity level of oxycodone given intranasally based on body weight and approximate liver passage capacity.  Now do it when you’ve been drinking shots.”

In all seriousness, how serious does this issue have to be before we start getting educated about how much is too much?


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CDC: Prepare For A Zombie Apocalypse Drill.


Image via Wikipedia

Is it just me, or is the world getting stranger than fiction?  Not only are we supposed to prepare for a zombie apocalypse according to the CDC, now we’ll be treated to a zombie apocalypse preparedness drill in Columbus, Ohio.

Yes, that’s right.  In the name of emergency preparedness, people will be dressing up as zombies and going to be “treated” to make them normal again.  Would that be possible, should an actual zombie apocalypse arise?   Wouldn’t they be too busy eating our brains to allow themselves to be detoxified?

I’m glad I was notified of the upcoming drill.  I don’t usually watch the nightly news, and a sudden outbreak of zombies going berserk in Topeka might just push me into a Zombieland type scenario, and nobody wants that.

What are we to make of this tongue-in-cheek style behavior by the very people who are in charge of our emergency preparation?  It isn’t true that I would prepare for a zombie attack in the same way I would prepare for a hurricane.  For one thing, I’d be a LOT more focused on ammunition.  I’d also be getting out of Dodge about as fast as I could go.  So I know they’re getting a lot of attention, but someone might want to check on how that attention is translating into action.  For example, if stores are being depleted of Twinkies, then the message isn’t clear.

Pardon me, I’ve got to go duct tape some things.  It’s just a drill, but you never know.


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