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Consequences of global warming–healthcare

Combining global warming- and evolution-denialism.

When we hear about global warming these days, it’s usually about melting ice in polar regions or rising ocean levels, which has already had some disastrous effects.  The global warming denialists continue to call it a “scientific controversy”, which it isn’t, and resist all efforts to halt or reverse human activities that may contribute to climate change.  

Some scientists have speculated whether it’s too late to reverse global warming, since the earth has a strong positive feedback mechanism where as it gets warmer, things happen to make it even warmer.  For example, ice reflects sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the earth.  As the ice melts, and is replaced by dark land or water, more heat is absorb, melting more ice, then absorbing more heat.  Once the earth hits some tipping point, it may be impossible to reverse course.  Read More »Consequences of global warming–healthcare

Measles–2011 measles outbreak largest in 15 years

According to a CBS report, the CDC has reported that the number of measles cases in the US in 2011 was the largest since 1996.  In 2000, measles had been eliminated from the US, but that’s changed dramatically in the ensuing decade.  There were 222 cases in the US in 2011, about quadruple the number in an average year.  Read More »Measles–2011 measles outbreak largest in 15 years

More whooping cough outbreaks, now Wisconsin

This week must be whooping cough news week, which means it’s not a good week.  The Wausau (Wisconsin) Daily Herald reports that a whooping cough outbreak has hit the Wausau area.  According to the report, more than 100 cases have been seen in the area since the beginning of 2012.  And as we have discussed, although the disease is not usually dangerous, it has significant consequences for a number of people including children and those who are immune compromised.Read More »More whooping cough outbreaks, now Wisconsin

Whooping cough outbreak in British Columbia

According to the CBC, the whooping cough outbreak is still growing in Fraser Valley, British Columbia in Canada. Fifty cases have been reported recently, bringing the total to around 250 cases in one small area. And now there are cases in Vancouver, a large city, where the highly contagious whooping cough infection will spread quickly to those who are unvaccinated, or whose immunity from vaccination has worn off.  Read More »Whooping cough outbreak in British Columbia

Early onset Alzheimer’s disease ends coaching career of Pat Summitt

 

Pat Summitt's trademarked glare.

Pat Summitt, probably one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, has stepped down as the coach of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team.  She announced that she had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in August 2011, and she had coached the 2011-12 season, but today, as a result of the disease, she resigned.  During her career, she won 8 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Championships, a record that is almost impossible to comprehend.  Her reputation and success is the envy of college sports.  

Early onset AD is usually defined as a diagnosis before the age of 65.  Early onset AD may occur in individuals as young as their 30’s (very rare), but with most diagnoses in patients in their 50’s.  Summitt was diagnosed at the age of 58 (and without knowing everything, she might have had symptoms earlier), so the age of onset is not unusual.Read More »Early onset Alzheimer’s disease ends coaching career of Pat Summitt

Chickenpox outbreak in Florida

According to Vaccine News Daily, Chickenpox spreads to five Fla. public schools, the chickenpox (Varicella zoster) outbreak in Florida is increasing in size:

Health officials in Florida added 25 students who are not vaccinated against chickenpox to a list of those barred from attending class in five public schools in High Springs and Alachua on Wednesday.

There have been 65 cases of chickenpox reported in the northwest part of Alachua County, prompting the health department to prohibit unvaccinated students from attending the Alachua Learning Center.

Read More »Chickenpox outbreak in Florida