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This blog is to store what I consider to be important - or weird - stories about health and science. To read these, you will need the Adobe Reader; you may download it at: Be sure to check out my political blog at: Welcome to my friends from LeftWingRadicals!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Mad Cow or Chronic Wasting Disease or Scrappie or other prion diseases making headway while we sit, doing almost nothing

I've noticed a trend: yes, Mad Cow or CWD or scrappie or any of the other prion diseases becoming more common, yes, but that's not the trend I've noticed. I've been saying for years that the Chronic Wasting Disease that infects deer, elk and moose in this country is but yet another wake-up call for people, just like the AIDS virus was in monkeys.

The trend I've noticed is a repeat of the AIDS crisis: the governments keep telling us that there is nothing to worry about. Yet, the US government has investigated a cluster of CJ (brain wasting) in humans in the Northeast and found 'no problem' Ten people in one area, when the infection rate of CJ, an infection that we know nothing about, is supposedly less than 1 in a million, is just a bit much to look at and then say, "No problem."

The governments said that about global warming, yet there is a major report out that was a collaboration of eight nations, that says that not only is global warming real, but that it's already here, in a big way, and that it has come on much, much faster than anyone would have anticipated. Take, for instance, the ocean conveyor that the Gulf Stream is part of. I've been watching the Gulf Stream reports for a year, and for the past 6 months, the Gulf Stream strength has been described by the agency that monitors it, as 'strikingly weak'. The Movie "The Day After Tomorrow" was about the exaggerated effects of the ocean conveyor stopping, but they were only exaggerated, not imaginary. The problem is is that we are already past the point of no return on the ocean conveyor, but people still have their heads in the sand.

Politicians won't do anything major about these problems for 3 reasons: 1) it would panic the people if they were told the truth about what's coming and 2) it would cost a lot of money to reduce the coming problems - if we could and 3) the politicians would lose their job in a 'kill the messenger' move by the people.

So, we return to the Mad Cow/CWD problem. While the government has said, "No problem there for humans", a report from the AP in 2002, discusses 3 men who, as friends, at wild game together in the 1980's, only to die in the 1990's. However, it was enough of a problem for the CDC to investigate, though they did not come to any CWD-connected conclusion.

Yet, on October 27, 2004, the Rocky Mountain News, one of the 2 Denver papers, reported that the fear of CWD is waning.

People must not be paying attention. Take a look at the chart from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center that runs through 2003: here. Like the AIDS crisis, it has started out slowly, but in just 6 years, the number of diagnosed cases has more than tripled. Remember, these are just the diagnosed cases. CWD/CJD/or whatever, can look an awful lot like Alzheimer's, so I would imagine that there are quite a few undiagnosed cases out there, and you can be the undiagosed have also tripled in the past 6 years.

This is, I believe, one of the major crisis of our time - long term, though the coming flu epidemic - perhaps as early as this year, is calculated to kill more than a billion people. In the long run, AIDS and CWD/CJD/whatever will kill far more.

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