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All the News posted January 24-31, 2004



Nothing posted January 29 - February 3 due to illness

Posted January 28, 2004:

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) & "Hot Lots"  - www.nvic.org

Vaccination Information Service - revamped website

Lack of Attention to Physical Problems in Autism - Center for the Study of Autism

►January 26, 2004 - Pay-as-you-go therapy - Trenton Times via www.nj.com - "Priscilla Purnick of West Windsor thought things couldn't be much harder than having a disabled daughter...Now she's dealing with that plus the prospect of having to stop her 2-year-old daughter's therapy, which previously was provided through the state's Early Intervention Program."

►January 27, 2004 - More and More Autism Cases, Yet Causes Are Much Debated - Schafer Autism Report

►January 28, 2004 - China Finds Birds With Virulent Strain of Flu in 3 Provinces (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►January 28, 2004 - Some Migraines Linked to Brain Disease - Reuters via The New York Times - "Researchers have identified brain lesions in some victims of migraines, a finding that could indicate that those severe headaches can be a symptom of progressive brain-damaging disease, a new study says...The research, which has possible implications for treatment, involved 295 Dutch adults 30 to 60 years old, some of whom had migraines along with vision problems while the others had migraines without any such problems. They were compared with 140 similar people who were migraine-free."

►January 28, 2004 - Blood Transfusion Suspected in New Mad Cow Case in Britain (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "A Food and Drug Administration policy announced on Monday banning the feeding of cattle blood to calves was partly based on a new case of mad cow disease in which a Briton may have been infected through a blood transfusion, a Food and Drug Administration official said on Tuesday...At a Senate hearing, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, questioned why the food agency had instituted the ban when, he said, scientific evidence indicated that infectious particles that are believed to cause mad cow disease, misfolded proteins called prions, had never been found in blood."

►January 27, 2004 - State might have seen worst of flu for this season - But experts say threat remains until spring - The Detroit Free Press

►January 27, 2004 - Malaysia adopts SARS measures to keep out bird flu - www.channelnewsasia.com

►January 27, 2004 - An ounce of prevention: Why bird flu has put health officials on alert - The Washington Post via The Seattle Times - "The metaphor that public-health officials invoke when talking about a global flu epidemic is the same one that lies at the heart of the scariest horror movies...It is the idea of a small and deadly thing that is poking and prodding for a weak spot in whatever is protecting its intended victims. It is patient because it knows it will eventually succeed. When it does, a horrible metamorphosis makes it huge and unstoppable."

►January 23, 2004 - Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Act 2004  - www.cogforlife.com - "On Tuesday, Jan 20th Children of God for Life presented proposed legislation to Congressman Chris Smith’s office titled, the Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Act 2004 (FLICA) This bill would require any prescription or non-prescription drug, vaccine or medical treatment that contains or is produced using embryonic or fetal cell lines obtained from procured abortion – or produced sexually or asexually through embryonic stem cell research or human cloning, to be labeled as such on the product labeling or package insert.  The language includes protection of conscience and religious freedom for medical professionals, pharmacists, researchers and consumers who wish to abstain from using or dispensing such products.  What this also means is that parents, physicians and all health care providers will be given full knowledge of these products so that they can make a moral and informed choice of ethical alternatives."

Year 2003 Tax Benefits for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities - www.schwablearning.org

►January 28, 2004 - Difficult to find new vaccine soon - Search is getting complicated, say scientists - The Straits Times

►2004 - Smallpox fear at cemetery - Fears have been raised that rotting coffins contained in a South London cemetery may contain traces of smallpox - ic SouthLondon

►January 27, 2004 - WHO - Unprecedented spread of avian influenza requires broad collaboration - www.medicalnewstoday.com

►January 28, 2004 - MMR jab uptake rises for first time in a year - Independent, UK

►January 28, 2004 - Rise in mumps cases prompts call to use triple MMR vaccine - The Herald, UK

►January 23, 2004 - Brain imaging provides a window on speech and learning problems (requires subscription) - The Wall Street Journal

►January 27, 2004 - Appeal for Aid to Fight Growing Bird-Flu Threat in Asia (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "China said late today that avian influenza had been found in fowl in three regions, and three international agencies issued a global appeal for donor nations to help bankroll Asia's fight to forestall a lethal flu epidemic in humans."

►January 27, 2004 - More children given MMR vaccine - The number of children having the MMR jab has increased for the first time in over a year, statistics have shown.  - BBC

►January 27, 2004 - More children receiving MMR vaccine - icBerkshire.co.uk

►January 27, 2004 - 6 months needed to formulate bird flu vaccine: WHO - www.chinaview.cn

►January 27, 2004 - Concern over rise in mumps cases - Parents in Glasgow have been warned about a rise in the number of mumps cases in the city.  - BBC

►1993 - Aluminum as an adjuvant in vaccines and post-vaccine reactions - journal article (Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig)

►January 27, 2004 - Rise in MMR jab take-up - Wales has seen the highest increase in young children receiving the controversial measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab. -  BBC

dayAfterday - An original pop opera from writer and director Steve Allen - www.poac.net - "The Story- "Day After Day is a pop opera written and directed by Steven Allen about people affected by autism.  It shows the everyday lives of the families of three children with autism, each with a very different case. "

►January 27, 2004 - UN urges Nigeria to resume immunization after polio spreads to seventh country - www.un.org - "With poliovirus now confirmed in a seventh previously polio-free country, the United Nations health agency called on Nigeria today to resume at once the immunization campaigns it suspended last August lest outbreaks of the paralyzing and sometimes fatal disease spread across west and central Africa."

Autism - The Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia via http://about.com

►January 26, 2004 - Bush Speech in Arkansas on Medical Malpractice - Center for Justice and Democracy - "Today, President Bush is holding a roundtable discussion at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, with "area medical leaders" to call for limiting the legal right of patients injured by medical malpractice, saying such laws will lower health care costs.  This is a blatant misrepresentation of facts."

►January 27, 2004 - New brain disease could be affecting many thousands - New Scientist - "A newly discovered neurodegenerative disease could be affecting tens of thousands of men around the world, say researchers...The disease closely resembles Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and senile dementia, but appears to be caused by a genetic defect linked to fragile X syndrome. Until now carrying the defect was not thought to be harmful."

Posted January 27, 2004:

►January 27, 2004 - Caution Urged on Anti-Psychotic Drugs - Doctors Urge Cautious Use of Anti-Psychotic Drugs, As Studies Link Them to Serious Side Effects - AP via ABC News - "People taking certain drugs for schizophrenia, manic-depression, autism, dementia or several other psychiatric disorders should be carefully watched for signs they are developing diabetes, obesity or high cholesterol, four medical societies say...The recommendation follows recent studies that link those potential side effects to certain anti-psychotic drugs...The statement deals with six now available in the United States: Abilify, Clozaril, Geodon, Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa."

►January 26, 2004 - Make vaccine voluntary - editorial - Army Times - "Five years after the Defense Department began forcing service members to roll up their sleeves for the anthrax vaccine, the battle over whether the shots are safe, effective or even legal still rages...But there’s another question that gets far less attention: Has anyone reassessed the potential threat that prompted the vaccine program in the first place?...More than eight months after major combat operations ended in Iraq, U.S. officials have failed to find a single drop of the thousands of gallons of anthrax supposedly stockpiled by Saddam Hussein."

►January 27, 2004 - Early Virus Likely Set Stage for Bird Flu - AP via www.kansascity.com - "A virus that weakens the immune system of chickens is likely to have set the stage for the rampant spread of bird flu across Asia, a Hong Kong scientist said Tuesday...Frederick Leung, a zoology professor at the University of Hong Kong, said his studies conducted since 1996 showed that Hong Kong chickens hit by bird flu were usually struck by the infectious bursal disease virus, or IBDV, about six months earlier."

►January 27, 2004 - Flu a bigger threat than Aids? - www.news24.com - "World health officials have a store of evidence to back their warning on Tuesday that if bird flu mutated into a more contagious form it could kill millions of people...That assertion may seem overblown to those for whom influenza is just a cold with attitude - a bad case of the snuffles with fever, headache, coughing and muscular aches thrown in for good measure...But the truth, say researchers, is quite darker...Flu is a changeling, a survivor, a stealthy assailant which, in its most pathogenic strain, could rip around the world."

►January 27, 2004 - Bird flu has not infected humans in Pakistan - Pak Tribune

►January 27, 2004 - Deadly Bird Flu Leaps Into China; Kills Thai Boy - Reuters

►January 2004 - Diet and Dioxins (pdf) - NIH

►January 27, 2004 - Anthrax kills nine cows in western Saskatchewan, farm quarantined - Canadian Press via http://cnews.canoe.ca

►January 26, 2004 - Study Links Ear Drops With An Increase In Resistant Bacteria - Temple University via www.sciencedaily.com -  "Eardrops, widely prescribed for the treatment of pediatric ear infection, can lead to an increase in resistant bacteria and fungi in the ear, according to Glenn Isaacson, MD, professor and chair of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, Temple University School of Medicine. Isaacson presented his findings yesterday (January 25, 2004) at the Eastern Sectional Meeting of the Society of Laryngology, Otology and Rhinology...Traditionally, doctors have prescribed oral antibiotics for the treatment of ear infection, one of the most common disorders in children. In 1998, however, eardrops containing a very broad-spectrum antibiotic, fluoroquinolone, were introduced and billed as the treatment of choice. Recently, experts have raised concerns about overuse of the ear drops and the development of resistant bacteria."

Comment:  Why don't the "experts" concern themselves with the fact that the pathogens being "prevented" by vaccine also seem to develop such "resistance"?  It's obvious, however, why some of them wouldn't.  Those with ties to the industry don't have any incentive to do so because resistance to vaccines simply creates the opportunity for them to cook up demand for new ones.

►January 21, 2004 - Rights group joins fight to extend autism treatment - Hearing set in case of 8-year-old Toronto boy - The Toronto Star

►January 26, 2004 - Health Agencies Discuss Mercury Levels In Fish - Pregnant Women, Children Should Avoid High Mercury Fish - www.thesandiegochannel.com

►January 27, 2004 - Gov advises against complacency at launch of Meningitis awareness campaign - www.politics.ie

►January 27, 2004 - New smallpox vaccine being tested in the Valley - www.kesq.com - "'Only half of the population of the United States is immune to small pox right now and should something go wrong, everyone should be vaccinated.'...Kelly Morris, who's researching the test, says there is not enough of the old smallpox vaccine for everyone in this country. So now the goal is to find a new more effective vaccine then make more of it."

Comment:  Let me get this straight, half the population is thought to be immune but everyone needs to get vaccinated in the event of reemergence of smallpox?  And then because everyone will need the vaccine, we need to find a new, more effective one because there isn't enough of the old one for everyone, even though half are already immune?  How about instead, if there is a need for a a newer, more effective (how about safer, too?) vaccine, then go ahead and develop one.  But only vaccinate those who are not immune and choose to be vaccinated, knowing that at the outset half the population is already immune and may not want or need it.

►January 27, 2004 - Influenza deserves more respect as killer  - Kalamazoo Gazette via www.mlive.com - "One illness -- influenza -- kills as many as 30,000 Americans every year and scores of thousands worldwide... The other -- SARS -- didn't kill a single American last year and killed just 813 worldwide."

►January 27, 2004 - Pandemic influenza plan ready: Official - Program to focus on vaccine, not anti-virals or antibiotics, official  says - Canadian Press via The Toronto Star

►January 27, 2004 - Meridian Bioscience Awarded New Rubella Patent - Business Wire

►January 26, 2004 - Concern About Bird Flu, But Where Is The Concern About Using Avian Cell Cultures To Create Vaccines? - Comment by RFD Columnist, Sandy Mintz - www.redflagsdaily.com

►February 2004 - Autism Calendar - Schafer Autism Report

►January 26, 2004 - Bacterium That Causes Food Poisoning May Lead To Better Anti-viral Vaccines - American Chemical Society via www.sciencedaily.com

►January 16, 2004 - Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule --- United States, January--June 2004 - MMWR/CDC

►January 26, 2004 - AFGHANISTAN: Major polio campaign aims to vaccinate five million -  IRIN

►January 26, 2004 - Central African Republic: Polio Case Detected in Bossembele - IRIN via www.allafrica.com - "A case of "wild" polio has been detected in the Central African Republic (CAR) town of Bossembele, 157 km north of the capital, Bangui, three years after the last reported case in the country, the head of the Pasteur Institute's polio laboratory, Didier Menard, told IRIN on Monday..."The laboratory confirmed on Friday that it was a case of wild polio," Menard said...He said the girl had a doubtful immunisation background and was first suspected on 16 December 2003 of having polio."

►January 26, 2004 - Fat Cells Boost Immune System - HealthCentral

Safety Data-Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary with Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) information and Vaccine Inserts. - Critical Decisions Count

►January 27, 2004 - Mercury fears with dead dolphins - The Australian - "Record levels of mercury have been found in dozens of dead dolphins recovered from South Australia's Spencer and St Vincent gulfs...'There's no such thing as a good (heavy metal) level,' Dr Bossley said.

Comment:  Why is this point so hard for the unquestioningly pro-vaccine camp to understand?

IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee Meetings - http://www4.nas.edu 

►January 26, 2004 - Americans Who Eat Canned Albacore Tuna Ingest Too Much Mercury, New Data Shows - www.commondreams.org

Comment:  Ingesting mercury is not okay, but injecting it is.  Right. (Oh, yes, I forgot.  Not to worry - it's the good kind of toxic mercury that we are injecting.)

►January 27, 2004 - Bird flu closing in - commentary - The Straits Times - "THE spread of bird flu afflicting humans is getting uncomfortably close to Singapore. Thailand and Indonesia reported at the weekend mass infections among poultry. In Thailand one person, a child, has died of the ailment and another child is confirmed sick with bird flu. Health authorities there have reported 10 more suspicious cases, of whom four have died. If tests under way verify even some of these to be bird flu cases, alarm bells will start ringing across South-east Asia. Arresting the trend would depend greatly on quick disclosure of outbreaks and culling of chickens - the only known mass prevention method - even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) confesses it has to rely on guesswork on the probability of the virus mutating into a human-to-human pathology."

►January 27, 2004 - Accusations of bird flu cover-up in Indonesia - www.abc.net.au - "When chickens in Indonesia began dying by the thousands last September, Matin Malawla and other senior veterinary researchers feared the worst. By November they had the results from overseas that they say conclusively showed the birds were dying not from Newcastle disease, as the Government was declaring, but from the virus H5N1 – the same deadly bird flu that has since killed poultry and humans further west in Asia...When they took those results to the Government in Jakarta though, the reaction wasn't what they expected."

►January 27, 2004 - Bird Flu Hits Pakistan - Arab News

Posted January 26, 2004:

►January 26, 2004 - Cow Herds In Three States Quarantined - AP via www.intelihealth.com

►January 26, 2004 - U.S. Venture Aids Haiti Health Care - AP via www.intelihealth.com

►January 26, 2004 - Mom Urges School To Protect Allergic Kids - AP via www.intelihealth.com

►January 26, 2004 - Anti-Clotting Drug May Be More Effective Than Aspirin In Preventing A Third Stroke Or Heart Attack - American Heart Association via www.intelihealth.com

►January 22, 2004 - Agent Orange study finds raised cancer risks - Air Force veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have a higher-than-average risk of prostate and skin cancer, military researchers reported on Thursday. - Reuters via CNN

►January 23, 2004 - Self-assembling scaffold for spinal-cord repair - 'Liquid' bridge could help severed nerve cells grow. - Nature

►January 23, 2004 - Pollution hits clouds on high - Car fumes tamper with cirrus cloud chemistry. - Nature

►January 22, 2004 - Sleep boosts lateral thinking - Study shows the value of sleeping on a problem. - Nature

►January 22, 2004 - How fluoride firms up teeth - Computer models show that fluoride locks calcium into your pearly whites. - Nature

►January 16, 2004 - New rotavirus vaccine could be licensed this year  (requires registration) - BioMedNet

►January 26, 2004 - Pakistan detects bird flu strains - Pakistani officials say a strain of bird flu has been found in chickens in the southern port of Karachi. - BBC

►January 26, 2004 - Chicken deaths in Chiayi, Tainan are not H5N1 related, COA says - The China Post

►January 25, 2004 - Major polio vaccination campaign to begin in Afghanistan - AFP via Afghan News Network

►January 26, 2004 - Aggressive action helps HK stave off bird flu -  The Standard, China

►January 26, 2004 - McGuinty government emphasizes prevention in health-care spending - The Globe And Mail

►January 26, 2004 - Antigenics Announces Proposed Equity Sale - Business Wire

►January 26, 2004 - Women’s health and safety risks at work “underestimated” - A new report published by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, entitled Gender Issues in Safety and Health — A Review, claims that health and safety risks of women at work tend to be underestimated and neglected. - www.healthandsafety-centre.net

►January 26, 2004 - AVI BioPharma Reports Successful NeuGene Antisense Approach to Regulation of the Immune Response in Transplantation - Midwinter Conference of Immunologists via Business Wire

►January 26, 2004 - Tea's Benefits From Head to Toe - Lessons about Health From the Latest Research - PRNewswire via Yahoo!

►January 26, 2004 - Doctors Fear Untreatable Russia Tuberculosis Boom - Reuters

►January 26, 2004 - Recipe for Recovery - Rita Myers fought cancer by returning to the Garden of Eden - The Daily Times

►January 26, 2004 - Miracle In A Bottle - Dietary supplements are unregulated, some are unsafe—and Americans can’t get enough of them. - The New Yorker

►January 26, 2004 - Rise in biotech lawsuits Industry blames law firms looking for new targets, but some investors claim companies misled them - San Francisco Chronicle

►January 26, 2004 - Coping with needs of two boys with autism - Toronto Star - "Lillian wanted to tell me a little about life with her beautiful boys, both of whom are autistic...She also wanted — very kindly and gently — to talk a little about the rest of us, about the judgments we make and the little things we do that can be very painful to parents of special needs children."

►January 25, 2004 - Bird Flu Vaccine Not Likely for 6 Months - AP via The Herald-Sun 

►January 25, 2004 - Local group forms to push for national health care - Focus will be on Pa., neighboring states - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

►July 24, 2003 - Prevention and genetic testing for breast cancer: variations in medical decisions - journal article (Social Science & Medicine) 

►January 16, 2004 - Applying Public Health Strategies to PrimaryImmunodeficiency Diseases - A Potential Approach to Genetic Disorders - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

►January 25, 2004 - Web Site Warns Against Canadian Drugs - AP via The Herald-Sun

►January 25, 2004 - Kansas Cryptosporidium Worse Than Thought - AP via The Herald-Sun

►January 26, 2004 - Scientists sound alarm on lack of oversight for release of biotech insects - AP via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

►February 2004 - Childhood Vaccine Development: An Overview - journal article (Pediatric Research)

Comment:  Dr. Samuel Katz is one of the developers of the measles vaccine.

►January 2004 - Insulin sensitization early after menarche prevents progression from precocious pubarche to polycystic ovary syndrome - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

►November 2003 - Quality of Life in Children with Pityriasis Rosea: A Prospective Case Control Study - journal article (Pediatric Dermatology)

►January 21, 2004 - Study: American taxes pay for most obesity-tied health ills - AP via USA Today

►January 21, 2004 - Computer resources help doctors answer patient care questions - University of Iowa via www.eurekalert.com

►January 21, 2004 - Experts demand 'cowboy cloners' ban - Maverick scientists attempting to clone humans should be outlawed across the world, a leading expert has said. - BBC

►January 22, 2004 - Gender Bender - Our Sexual Identity Has Little to Do With Sex Organs, Researchers Find - ABC News

►January 24, 2004 - F.D.A. Begins Push to End Drug Imports - The New York Times

►January 27, 2004 - Bird flu vaccine may be months away - www.abc.net.au

►January 26, 2004 - U.S. to Begin 1st Tuberculosis Vaccine Trial in 60 Years - www.kron4.com

Comment:  TB declined in the United States without the use of vaccine.

►January 26, 2004 - State could require chicken pox vaccine - AP via www.news-leader.com - "Missouri children could be required to be vaccinated against chicken pox before starting school under a rule proposed by the state Department of Health and Senior Services."

►January 25, 2004 - Medical van helps fill a need - The Miami Herald

►January 25, 2004 - Better education increases health - (opinion) Journal Standard

►January 25, 2004 - Montana lab studies clues to mad cow - www.montanaforum.com

►January 25, 2004 - Fears Grow as Drug Firms Quit Antibiotic Research - Reuters - "With 'superbugs' stalking hospitals and old killers such as tuberculosis re-emerging, the world badly needs more powerful antibiotics...Yet the pipeline of new treatments is drying up as drug firms -- citing poor financial returns -- focus instead on chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol, where medicines are taken for years rather than curing patients in one or two weeks...The shrinking of the medical armory is a growing worry for healthcare officials and has sparked a debate between regulators and pharmaceutical companies over ways to kick-start investment."

Comment:  Is it really poor financial returns which are keeping the pharmaceutical industry from developing new antibiotics?  Or is it the knowledge that we will make it worth their while if they balk at doing so?

►January 26, 2004 - Physicists to provide solution to BSE? - Ways for industry to avoid losing billions of euros and dollars through mad cow disease could find their solutions in maths and physics, claim researchers at the university of California. - NOVIS via www.foodnavigator.com

►January 25, 2004 - Holistic medicines call for dose of good sense -  Do your homework when turning to natural remedies for winter ailments - www.sunspot.net

►January 25, 2004 - Bay School settling into new location in Live Oak - Santa Cruz Sentinel

►January 26, 2004 - Autism Skyrockets In Quebec: A Secret No More - by RFD Columnist, F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP in the Online Autism Conference at www.redflagsdaily.com

►January 25, 2004 - Winnipeg expert excited by findings of investigation of Chinese SARS cases - Canadian Press via www.canada.com - "Maybe CBS ought to contemplate yet another spinoff of its hugely popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise. They could call it CSI: Winnipeg...That's because Health Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is the base for Dr. Heinz Feldmann, virologist and expert in the environmental sources of infectious disease transmission."

►January 25, 2004 - US-Backed Controversial HIV/AIDS Vaccine Trial Starts on 16,000 Thai Volunteers - www.voanews.com

►January 26, 2004 - Health: WHO links SARS virus to animals - Daily Times, Pakistan

►January 26, 2004 - India remains one of last polio outposts - The Times of India

►January 26, 2004 - Governor Denies Vaccine Report - Arab News - "Makkah Governor Prince Abdul Majeed has denied the report that a group claiming to be members of the Health Ministry medical team was providing contaminated vaccines to children. “There is no such gang in Jeddah and the report is totally false,” the governor said. Prince Abdul Majeed said the report had caused panic among Saudis and expatriates in the city. He urged Saudi newspapers to depend on official sources for their reports."

►January 25, 2004 - Ohio National Guard Member Charged For Refusing Anthrax Vaccine - AP via www.wcpo.com - "An Ohio National Guard member has been charged by the Army with disobeying a lawful order after he again refused to take the anthrax vaccine...Hickman could go to jail and be discharged if convicted...Pfaff said the charge is separate from Hickman's court martial in Ohio last month."

►January 26, 2004 - More and More Autism Cases, Yet Causes Are Much Debated (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Over the years, a host of other environmental factors have also been nominated as culprits, including a variety of infections, like German measles in pregnant mothers; the sedative drug thalidomide; the drug Pitocin, used to induce labor; synthetic compounds like plastics and PCB's; and food additives."

Comment:  Perhaps it is not just rubella (or German measles), but the rubella vaccine, which can cause autism.  For more on this go to Scandals: Is Rubella Vaccination Playing A Role In The Rise In Autism?

►January 24, 2004 - Polio Vaccine Controversy Rages On - Weekly Trust (Kaduna) via www.allafrica.com

►January 26, 2004 - Taiwan suspects mild avian flu as bird deaths mount - Reuters AlertNet

►January 26, 2004 - New bird flu outbreak in South Korea - www.theage.com.au - "A new suspected case of bird flu has been reported in South Korea, prompting massive quarantine efforts after a two-week lull, officials said today."

►January 26, 2004 - Timeline: Bird flu crisis unfolds - Since South Korea confirmed a bird flu outbreak in December, authorities have been scrambling to crack down on a disease which has already resulted in human deaths and is ravaging chicken farms in Asia. - CNN

►January 26, 2004 - Wary Japan extends bird flu ban - Japan's agriculture ministry says it has suspended imports of chickens and chicken products from Indonesia and Cambodia due to outbreaks of the avian influenza virus in the two countries. - Reuters via CNN - "The ban will remain in force until the two countries confirm the disease is under control, the ministry said."

►January 25, 2004 - Fears Grow as Drug Firms Quit Antibiotic Research - Reuters - "With 'superbugs' stalking hospitals and old killers such as tuberculosis re-emerging, the world badly needs more powerful antibiotics...Yet the pipeline of new treatments is drying up as drug firms -- citing poor financial returns -- focus instead on chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol, where medicines are taken for years rather than curing patients in one or two weeks...The shrinking of the medical armory is a growing worry for healthcare officials and has sparked a debate between regulators and pharmaceutical companies over ways to kick-start investment."

Comment:  Is it really poor financial returns which are keeping the pharmaceutical industry from developing new antibiotics?  Or is it the knowledge that we will make it worth their while if they balk at doing so?

Posted January 25, 2004:

►January 25, 2004 - Give unbiased truth about Colo. vaccination rates - letter - Denver Post

►January 24, 2004 - New flu strain may follow lull - Clinics get fresh vaccine supplies - The Sun News via www.myrtlebeachonline.com - "The flu that swept through the Carolinas with a vengeance in December is no longer widespread, but health officials say another, less severe flu strain could strike the area in the next month or two."

►January 25, 2004 - Other deadly avian diseases - Avian influenza is only one of several deadly diseases which have the potential to devastate poultry populations and the communities that rely on the poultry industry for their livelihood - Bangkok Post

►January 25, 2004 - Facts about bird flu - Here are the most frequently-asked questions about bird flu, and the answers - Bangkok Post

►January 25, 2004 - Unhealthy lifestyle puts one third of Beijing at risk - AFP via Yahoo! - "One third of all residents in the Chinese capital are putting their health at risk by overeating and under-exercising."

►January 25, 2004 - Sunny D - It's the great cancer cover-up. Panicked into avoiding sunlight by health experts, we are now dying in our thousands from diseases linked to deficiencies of vitamin D. But still the exaggerated warnings come. Oliver Gillie reveals how sunbathing can save your life - The Independent, UK

►January 25, 2004 - Sunny D (part 2) - Diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency - The Independent, UK

►January 25, 2004 - Forum addresses prisoners' health concerns - Speakers stressed that inmates with infectious diseases needed compassion and good medical care. - The Philadelphia Inquirer

►January 25, 2004 - Scientists' nightmare: Bird flu will evolve into human pandemic - Canadian Press - "Their foreboding: A catastrophe they say is among the worst imaginable, a global outbreak of an entirely new form of human flu...There is no clear sign that will happen. Nevertheless, avian influenza's sudden sweep through Asia, along with its tendency for wholesale mutation, leave many wondering about the bug's potential for rampant spread among humans. It is a possibility the medical journal The Lancet calls 'massively frightening.'"

►January 25, 2004 - Supporters gather to fight for Cottonwood center - Southeast Missourian

►January 25, 2004 - Ministers told child harm theory was flawed - The Guardian, UK - "Ministers were warned that the controversial scientific theory Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP) was responsible for serious miscarriages of justice as far back as 1996, according to documents seen by The Observer...Our investigation has uncovered a systematic failure on the part of the health authorities, social services and scientific advisers to question the validity of Professor Sir Roy Meadow's theory, which claims that some parents harm their children to draw attention to themselves."

►January 25, 2004 - Center probes mind's mystery - The Boston Globe - "Researchers at the 34-year-old center are conducting some 40 projects aimed at understanding neurological and behavioral development...The center focuses on such topics as how important brain systems assemble themselves; the effect of genetic and environmental factors on neurological and behavioral development; and the social policy implications of advances in genetics."

►January 25, 2004 - Difficult choices - Variety of treatments face parents of autistic children - The Boston Globe - "Anke Kriske's 14-year-old son, Derek, has been on medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Prozac. He is on a special diet that limits yeast, wheat, and milk. And recently, he has been trying neurofeedback, where sensors on his head monitor and stimulate brain waves...The approaches may be diverse, but the intention has been uniform: helping Derek overcome his autism."

►January 25, 2004 - State could see another wave of flu cases - AP via www.aberdeennews.com - "One strain of the flu has already peaked in South Dakota, but another could be on the way, state health officials said...'Influenza A peaked in the second week in December. It parallels what happened nationally,' said state epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger. 'The fear is Influenza B could hit us. So we could still have an outbreak of Influenza B, which happened last year.'"

►January 24, 2004 - Bird flu: What you need to know - CNN

►January 26, 2004 - Flu outbreak is instructive - Bangkok Post - "The government has learned a costly lesson from its attempt to cover up the presence of bird flu in the country...The Agriculture Ministry initially attributed the death and culling of millions of chickens to fowl cholera and bronchitis. But it was forced to accept the truth after the Public Health Ministry confirmed that two people had contracted bird flu, one in Kanchanaburi and the other in Suphan Buri...One cannot hide the truth, particularly when it involves an incurable disease. China learned this the hard way when it tried to cover up last year's outbreak of Sars."

►January 23, 2004 - Amputation claim is considered - The parents of a two-year-old whose legs had to be amputated, may sue a health trust for damages. - BBC

►January 25, 2004 - Officials to begin immunization push - Galveston County Daily News - "Doctors and health officials have long worried that the low childhood immunization rates on the island were a quietly ticking time bomb...Less than half of the children up to age 2 on Galveston Island were fully immunized, according to county health district estimates from 2002, the most recent data available...'The only reason I can see why people would permit this is people don’t understand their children are at risk,' said Dr. Martin Myers, an associate director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical Branch and a professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine."

Comment:  But maybe they DO know they are at risk, only they see the risk coming from the vaccine more than from the diseases they are designed to prevent.

►January 25, 2004 - Front lines local in bioterror war - State dependent on county agencies to take lead in fighting health emergencies - www.ljworld.com - "When a bioterrorism attack happens in Kansas, officials say, local health departments will be on the front lines, and Douglas County is no exception."

Comment:  "When", not "if"?  Is this merely careless speech or reporting?  Do they know something we don't, but should, know?   Or is this just more scare-mongering?

►January 25, 2004 - Health Dept. Taking Shot With Vaccine Volunteers - The New York Post - "Calling all doctors and nurses: The city wants you to join its medical militia...Faced with the chilling realization that a biological attack on New York City could leave millions in need of quick vaccinations, the Department of Health put out a call this month for volunteers in the newly developed New York City Medical Reserve Corps."

►January 25, 2004 - Brain chemical suspected in hyperactivity - Chicago Tribune

Comment:  If true, while it is all well and good to identify a brain chemical associated with a behavior disorder, it is at least equally important to figure out why that brain chemical exists in the brains of those with the disorder.  If there is an external/environmental cause, i.e., something that can be avoided, determining what that is should be of paramount concern.

►January 25, 2004 - Thai Government Suspected Bird Flu Two Weeks Ago - The Scotsman - "Thailand’s prime minister admitted today that his government suspected “a couple of weeks” ago that bird flu had hit its billion-dollar poultry industry, but did not tell the public in order to avoid panic."

Comment:  Ah yes, the tried and true, "Ostrich Policy".

►January 25, 2004 - WHO Is Alarmed by Spread of Avian Flu in Southeast Asia  Vietnam's most recent fatality shows that the virus leaped from the north of the country to the south. Officials say it could outstrip SARS. (requires registration) - The Los Angles Times

►January 25, 2004 - Thailand to host crisis talks as bird flu hits six Asian nations - www.channelnewsasia.com

►January 25, 2004 - Thailand Bird Flu Outbreak Spreads - "PA" News via The Scotsman

►January 25, 2004 - Bird flu hits Indonesia, WHO concerned over drug resistance - AP via www.startribune.com - "Scientists believe people get the disease through contact with sick birds, raising concerns it might mutate and link with regular influenza to create a form that could be transmitted from person to person, fostering the next human flu pandemic...Concerns are particularly high because the bird flu virus caught by humans appears resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, the cheaper anti-viral drugs used to treat regular influenza."

►January 25, 2004 - Legal fight puts Marine in limbo - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "For the last three years, Ocean Rose of Marietta has been trapped in the military version of purgatory...In January 2001, the Walton High School graduate pleaded guilty to disobeying a superior officer. Busted to private, he was drummed out of the Marine Corps with a bad conduct discharge...The refusal of all of them stems from their concern about the safety and effectiveness of the shots. Yet their punishment has been far from uniform."

►January 25, 2004 - Meningitis Student Dies - The Scotsman - "A 20-year-old student has died after being the second person from the same university to fall ill with suspected meningitis in a week."

►January 25, 2004 - Thailand Brings in Troops to Fight Bird Flu (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Provincial governments in west-central Thailand dispatched hundreds of soldiers and prisoners today to slaughter chickens in flocks infected with avian influenza, as hospitals across southeast Asia remained on high alert for further human cases of the disease."

►February 2004 - Children and Adolescents with Chronic Daily Headache - journal article (Current Pain and Headache Reports)

►February 2004 - The relative efficacy of two brief treatments for sleep problems in young learning disabled (mentally retarded) children: a randomised controlled trial - journal article (Archives of Diseases in Childhood)

►January 10, 2004 - Childhood stunting: measuring and stemming the staggering costs of inadequate water and sanitation (requires registration) - journal article (The Lancet)

►January 10, 2004 - Water and sanitation in children in Peru - 'Improved and more reliable water sources should discourage water storage at risk of becoming contaminated, decrease diarrhoeal incidence, and improve linear growth in children' (requires registration) - journal article (The Lancet)

►January 15, 2004 - Influence of Promoter Variants of Interleukin-10, Interleukin-9, and Tumor Necrosis Factor Genes on Respiratory Syncytial Virus Bronchiolitis - journal article (Journal of Infectious Diseases)

►January 15, 2004 - Induction of Cellular and Humoral Immunity after Aerosol or Subcutaneous Administration of Edmonston-Zagreb Measles Vaccine as a Primary Dose to 12-Month-Old Children - journal article (Journal of Infectious Diseases)

►January 15, 2004 - Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever in Infants: A Study of Clinical and Cytokine Profiles - journal article (Journal of Infectious Diseases)

►January 22, 2004 - Doctors Say Scrap Age Guidelines for Downs Tests - Reuters via Yahoo!

►January 22, 2004 - Study Supports Prenatal Testing for All Women - HealthDay via Yahoo!

►January 22, 2004 - Pregnancy Hormones Not Tied to Childs Asthma Risk - Reuters via Yahoo!

►January 22, 2004 - UF research adds to evidence that unborn children hear melody of speech - University of Florida via www.eurekalert.com

►January 23, 2004 - Study Devalues a Popular Idea on Evaluating Medical Trials (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►January 24, 2004 - Preventing Premature Births - Healthology Press via ABC News

►January 23, 2004 - CDC: U.S. Flu Activity Continues Decline - CDC Says U.S. Flu Cases Have Declined, With Only Five States Reporting Widespread Illness - AP via ABC News

►January 22, 2004 - Hunting the home of the Ebola virus - New Zealand Herald

►January 22, 2004 - UN health agency scaling up measures to help those with both HIV and TB - UN News Service

►January 22, 2004 - Thailand Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Epidemics Spread In Waves Emanating From Bangkok - Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health via ScienceDaily.com

►January 21, 2004 - WHO Launches Program to Curb TB/HIV Co-Infection - United States Department of State via AllAfrica.com

►January 22, 2004 - Multiple sclerosis not as progressive or disabling as once thought - Mayo Clinic via www.eurekalert.org

►January 22, 2004 - Scientists grow neurons using nanostructures - Northwestern University via www.eurekalert.org

►January 21, 2004 - Scientists identify cell defects that limit immune system's impact on late-stage tumors - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via  www.eurekalert.org 

►January 21, 2004 - Cell-Passage Activity Is Required for the Malarial Parasite to Cross the Liver Sinusoidal Cell Layer - Public Library of Science 

►January 23, 2004 - CDC: U.S. Flu Activity Continues Decline - AP via The Herald-Sun

►January 23, 2004 - FDA: Misusing Painkillers Can Be Deadly - AP via The Herald-Sun

►January 23, 2004 - 2nd physician sues Magee over Paps - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

►January 22, 2004 - 'Pittsburgh' compound helps track Alzheimer's - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

►January 22, 2004 - Do cancer patients in clinical trials have better outcomes than non-participants? - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute via www.eurekalert.org

►January 25, 2004 - Man Arrested for Injecting Contaminated Vaccine - Arab News

Comment:  Note that there was no mention of how it or with what it was contaminated.

►January 25, 2004 - Many Surprised by Bold Moves at the F.D.A. (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►January 23, 2004 - Avian Influenza Infection In Humans: Urgent Need To Eliminate The Animal Reservoir - WHO via www.sciencedaily.com

►January 24, 2004 - Bird flu, regular influenza called risky combination - The Seattle Times - "People hit by the bird-flu outbreak in Asia should be quarantined to avoid contact with sufferers of regular influenza, because a combination of the two viruses might accelerate the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization said yesterday...However, a senior official at the U.N. agency said he saw no need for the kind of travel warnings WHO issued during last year's SARS epidemic."

►January 25, 2004 - How smallpox affected our cemeteries - Corsicana Daily Sun - "My only experience with smallpox occurred when I was vaccinated as a child for the disease. My memory of the incident is that the vaccination left an ugly round scar on my shoulder. I also remember everyone saying don't touch or scratch the scab until it was completely healed. As a teenager, I was very self conscious of the scar especially when we went swimming. I really don't know why I had these thoughts since everyone I knew had a similar looking mark."

►January 20, 2004 - Wider cot deaths review considered - Thousands of parents whose children were taken into care may have their cases re-opened as part of a wider review of cot death legal cases. -  BBC

►January 21, 2004 - Bacterial Meningitis risk appears small - Officials get word out after death - Tri-Valley Herald Online - "'It's important to emphasize that it really requires ongoing, close intimate contact with somebody that has been diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis to put you at risk for exposure,' said Dr. Peter Dietrich, medical director of Berkeley's University Health Service. 'So casual exposures like eating in the same dining hall together or attending a class together, or going to the training room or the weight room or passing each other on the campus is not the type of exposure we're worried about.'"

Posted January 24, 2004:

►January 22, 2004 - Panel Says Zoloft and Cousins Don't Increase Suicide Risk (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "dding to the debate over using antidepressant drugs for depressed teenagers and children, a group of prominent researchers issued a report yesterday saying that Zoloft and similar medicines did not increase children's suicide risk...The group, drawn from members of the American College of Neuro- psychopharmacology, also found that the drugs were effective in treating children's depression...Critics pointed to weaknesses in the report...Critics of the medicines noted that 9 of the 10 task force members had significant financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, although such ties are common among prominent researchers. The panel said no industry money financed the report."

Comment: Give me a break.  9 out of 10 have financial ties but "no industry money financed the report".  What do they think we are, stupid?

►January 22, 2004 - Doctors Take Case to Annapolis - Md. Physicians Urge Lower Caps on Malpractice Awards - The Washington Post

►January 22, 2004 - Scientific, Lay Press Starting to Label Autism "Epidemic" - Schafer Autism Report

►January 22, 2004 - Scientists fear bird flu may become pandemic - USA Today via The Desert Sun

►January 22, 2004 - Flu Vaccine Didn't Curb Symptoms, Study Says - www.newsday.com

►January 22, 2004 - Little interest shown for small pox vaccines - The small pox inoculation is coming up small among first responders, according to the Montgomery County health department. - The Mercury

►January 22, 2004 - Actors and poet give their support to Christian Aid report on Corporate Social Responsibility  - www.christianaid.org.uk

►January-February 2004 - Sleep problems as possible predictors of intensified symptoms of autism - journal article (Research in Developmental Disabilities)

►January 21, 2004 - Scientists identify cell defects that limit immune system's impact on late-stage tumors - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via www.eurekalert.org

►January 2004 - Down syndrome and epilepsy: a nutritional connection? - journal article (Med Hypotheses)

►January 2004 - MMR And Nurseries - BBC Radio - "Day nurseries may be considering excluding children if they haven't had the MMR vaccine. Some parents whose children are not yet old enough for the vaccine are worried that mixing with children who are not immunised may be putting their babies at risk. The director of public health in the North West, John Ashton, and Magda Taylor from the Informed Parent helpline discuss parents are right to consider immunisation as a factor when choosing childcare."

►January 23, 2004 - UI scientists study effects of alcohol on immune system - The Daily Iowan - "In ongoing efforts to study the effects of chronic alcoholism on the human immune system, which makes users more susceptible to infectious diseases, UI Hospitals and Clinics scientists have conducted the first successful experiments in the country using mice for research involving long-term alcohol use."

►January 23, 2004 - Many dogs lack rabies vaccinations - www.montereyherald.com - "An estimated 87,000 dogs live in Monterey County, as calculated using U.S. Census figures and a formula from the 2002 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook...By state law all of them must be vaccinated against rabies. Since vaccinations are needed every three years, on average, 29,000 county dogs should be vaccinated every year. But veterinarians only reported issuing about 6,500 rabies certificates in the county in 2003."

►January 23, 2004 - Zim anti-polio vaccines dwindle - The Zimbabwe Independent - "STOCKS of anti-polio vaccine BCG have begun to dwindle at a number of government-run medical centres in the country which has forced the government to scout for international bidders to supply the medicine, it emerged this week."

Comment:  The problem is, BCG is the anti-TB vaccine.

►January 23, 2004 - India News: India, Pakistan to collaborate on drive to end polio - Kerala News - "Among six trouble spots for the crippling and often fatal polio disease, India and Pakistan are discussing a joint programme to check the spread of the disease across the border. 'The genetic sequencing data shows that the polio in India and Pakistan is of different type and that there is no cross border transmission. Still we are discussing ways to see that this does not happen,' S. Sarkar, deputy commissioner of child health in the health ministry, told IANS."

►January 23, 2004 - Avian flu raises vaccine questions - Jab could take months to make, say experts. - Nature - "Researchers eyeing the outbreak of bird flu in Asia are stepping up efforts to ready a vaccine - but the process could take months, they warn...The vicious strain of avian flu called H5N1 has killed five people in Vietnam, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Another two cases were reported in Thailand on Friday. These patients - both children - are still alive."

►January 23, 2004 - Groups sue over taconite plant mercury rules - Duluth News Tribune

►January 25, 2004 - Irish grant to fund new MMR vaccine refuels safety fears - Sunday Herald, UK - "The Irish government has given a leading scientist around £482,000 to develop a safer measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab...The grant to a head virologist at Trinity College Dublin has prompted claims that confidence in the controversial vaccine, which has been linked to bowel disease and autism in some children, is waning at the highest level."

►January 23, 2004 - Pfizer sets aside $403m for possible settlement - 4th-quarter charge is aimed at closure in drug fraud cases - The Boston Globe - "If Pfizer settles the criminal and civil cases for close to that amount, it would be one of the largest settlements for drug fraud in US history. In June, drug maker AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $355 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company inflated the price of its prostate cancer drug and bribed doctors to prescribe it."

►January 25, 2004 - The slow unfolding of Hepatitis C - www.paktribune.com - "People infected with hepatitis C through blood transfusions they received shortly after being born had remarkably slow disease progression after 35 years, says an Italian study in the January issue of Hepatology ."

►January 24, 2004 - "Let food be thy medicine..." - editor's choice - journal article (BMJ)

►January 24, 2004 - Suspension of doctors - The process is badly handled at present, and new guidance is welcome - Editorial - journal article (BMJ) - "For any employee to be excluded from work is a devastating blow, whatever the circumstances. In the case of doctors the safety of patients may be a justifiable reason, but the process that leads to that decision is not straightforward and in many cases the individuals concerned, their colleagues, and the patients feel confused and uninformed."

►January 24, 2004 - Parents convicted of killing to have their cases reviewed  - journal article (BMJ) - "Major changes in England and Wales relating to the handling of cases in which mothers are suspected of killing their babies were announced this week by the Court of Appeal and the attorney general...Hundreds of parents convicted of killing their babies are to have their cases urgently reviewed, said the attorney general after the appeal court called for an end to the prosecution of parents when experts' opinions on the cause of death differ."

►January 24, 2004 - Whistleblower vows to fight on  - journal article (BMJ) - "A Canadian haematologist at the centre of a cause célèbre over academic freedom and research funded by a drug company vowed this week to continue her crusade after failing in her attempt to challenge the European marketing authorisation granted for the thalassaemia drug deferiprone."

►January 24, 2004 - New infectious diseases will continue to emerge  - journal article (BMJ) - "Dozens of new infectious diseases are likely to emerge over the next 25 years unless humans acquire an ecological perspective on infectious diseases rather than seeing microbes as simply an invading entity that should be blindly attacked with antibiotics or used as a tool for biological warfare, a conference was told last week."

Comment:  Note that there was no mention of possible problems with using vaccines  to "blindly attack" microbes.  This is particularly telling in light of the recent admission that 'the virus has to change to escape that immunity...' in reference to the development of antibodies to a particular virus.

►January 24, 2004 - Comparison of three methods for estimating rates of adverse events and rates of preventable adverse events in acute care hospitals - journal article (BMJ)

►January 24, 2004 - Vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcus in children with diabetes: telephone questionnaire survey - journal article (BMJ)

►January 24, 2004 - Is folic acid the ultimate functional food component for disease prevention? - journal article (BMJ)

►January 24, 2004 - Rethinking management of chronic diseases - journal article (BMJ)

►January 25, 2004 - Rush to produce bird flu vaccines - The Sunday Mail

►December 2003 - Prescription Drugs - OxyContin Abuse and Diversion and Efforts to Address the Problem (pdf) - GAO - "

►January 23, 2004 - Trials 'do not benefit patients' - There is little proof that taking part in clinical trials alone is enough to improve outcomes for cancer patients, research has found.  - BBC

►January 22, 2004 - Future looks bright for Mariposa School - The Cary News - "The Mariposa School, for children with autism, was in danger of closing its doors in 2002. But the school is still open, making a difference and planning to expand...The school has 15 students enrolled in the building and its staff consults with six other children. Cindy Peters, executive director, said that Mariposa has been fortunate to have the support of many people. When the school was running low on funds in 2002, doing everything possible to publicize it helped pull Mariposa out of trouble."

►January 15, 2004 - Finding their own rhythm - Daily Journal

►January 24, 2004 - Plan and Prepare for Pregnancy - When is the best time to prepare for pregnancy? - UAB Health System

►January 23, 2004 - Healthy Habits Big Part of Home Schooling - HealthDayNews via www.healthfinder.gov

►January 23, 2004 - France: Impact of a Patient Education Program on Adherence to HIV Medication - A Randomized Clinical Trial - Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes via www.aegis.org

►January 23, 2004 - Health Highlights: - Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay: - via www.lifeclinic.com

►January 24, 2004 - Emergency medical team gets portable hospital - The Globe And Mail

►January 23, 2004 - Emotional connection - A play-oriented approach helps autistic children learn how to socially interact - Mail Tribune

►January 23, 2004 - WHO Expert: Bird Flu's Rapidly Changing Genetic Makeup Likely Behind Its Rapid Spread - AP via www.intelihealth.com

►January 24, 2004 - Rx for Growth - Merck is moving to bolster its pipeline and forge alliances. Its stock looks cheap (requires subscription) - The Wall Street Journal -"Although rivals like GlaxoSmithKline are working on similar vaccines, Rubin thinks Merck might get there early. She says the product could be especially big if it were required for admissions from middle-school through college, as other vaccinations are already. In fact, some analysts put potential annual sales at $4 billion."

Comment:  Nothing like forcing a product on consumers to spell big sales for a company!

►January 23, 2004 - Human Bird Flu Cases Confirmed in Thailand - Reuters - "But the World Health Organization was clearly alarmed...It said in a statement the near simultaneous bird flu outbreaks in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and now Thailand and Cambodia were 'historically unprecedented' and it was worried a new, virulent strain of influenza could sweep around the world.  

Comment:  The experts have long been concerned about a flu pandemic which it is expected would be caused by cross-species transfer of flu.  Wonder why more concern hasn't been aroused about the potential problems re: contamination of vaccines with avian viruses.

►January 21, 2004 - Colo. last in giving kids shots - Data: Whooping-cough rate triple U.S. average - The Denver Post

►January 21, 2004 - Colorado whooping cough rate soars; poor vaccination rate blamed - AP via www.9news.com - "Colorado children are nearly three times more likely to get whooping cough than children nationwide, and the state's poor vaccination rate is to blame, experts said...'We've got a serious problem in Colorado,' said Dr. James Todd, chief epidemiologist at The Children's Hospital in Denver. 'There is a correlation between low vaccine rates and actual disease.'...Only 62.7 percent of Colorado children got timely vaccinations for whooping cough and other childhood diseases in 2002, the lowest rate in the nation, federal authorities said last summer."

Comment:  Not everyone agrees with this assessment.  For more on this, read a letter from NVIC rep, Cindy Loveland, to the governor of Colorado.

►January 23, 2004 - Pediatrician John Cohen - www.thebostonchannel.com - "Should parents worry about giving children the MMR vaccine because of worry over autism?...The fact of the matter is that the study was done years ago and was actually recanted by the doctor that did it. The MMR vaccine is safe and doesn't cause autism and people should pay attention to their doctors."

Comment:  This issue has hardly been settled.  To get a taste of some of what has been happening, click here.

►January 23, 2004 -New Date for 2004 National Adult Immunization Awareness Week (NAIAW) - 18th Annual NAIAW to Take Place September 26 - October 2, 2004 - "NAIAW's new date allows immunizers and the general public to better prepare for the start of influenza vaccination season, which typically begins October 1."

►January 22, 2004 - Long illness takes life of CB 8's Katz - Times Ledger via FreshMeadowsTimes.com via www.zwire.com - "Katz, who lived in Jamaica Estates, was a community leader and a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at PS 131 for 25 years before she retired in 1991. Three years later she developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological disease that causes impermanent paralysis, after taking a flu shot."

►January 23, 2004 - CDC plans biodefense testing www.govexec.com

►January 23, 2004 - Advice on Influenza and Pneumococcus Vaccinations for Diabetic Children Varies in Untied Kingdom - BMJ via www.docguide.com

►January 24, 2004 - Pakistan Committed To Eradicate Polio By 2004 - www.paknews.com

►January 24, 2004 - Thais Infected With Bird Flu; Virus Spreads (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Human cases of avian influenza, contracted from birds, have turned up in a second Asian country, Thailand, showing the virus has spread in recent weeks. The announcement, made by the Thai government on Friday, has deepened fears of a global epidemic if the virus combines with another that can be transmitted from person to person."

►January 24, 2004 - Study Links Some Hair Dyes to Kind of Cancer (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Scientists have found more evidence for a possible link between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and long-term use of dark hair dye. A study of more than 1,300 women in Connecticut shows that those who began coloring their hair before 1980 increased their chance of developing the disease by 40 percent."

►January 20, 2004 - The price of structure and stability - The Salt Lake Tribune - "Few have been able to penetrate Carson Smith's world since he was 22 months old...That's when he stopped talking, became compulsive about seemingly random objects and lost his social skills...A year later came the diagnosis: autism, a developmental disorder characterized by language difficulties, compulsive behavior and social incompetence."

►January 24, 2004 - Shots Have Healthy Repercussions  Smallpox Vaccination Effort Helped Officials Learn How To Prepare For Disaster, Doctors Say - The Hartford Courant - "A year ago today, with the impending war with Iraq as a backdrop, three Connecticut doctors rolled up their sleeves and kicked off the nation's smallpox vaccination program...Anxiety about a smallpox attack and the vaccination program itself have almost disappeared. In retrospect, say those who were involved, it wasn't the vaccination effort that was important but the act of preparing for disaster."

►January 16, 2004 - Officials fear closure of program - Coshocton Tribune - "For some 30 years, the Hopewell School has been at the forefront of public education for the area's most severely disabled students...That will change at the end of the school year if the community again rejects the proposed 2.8 mill levy, according to Hopewell Superintendent Heather Kendall."

►January 24, 2004 - 10 years away from a vaccine - The Times of India - "If ever India needed a wake-up call on the reality of HIV/Aids in here, it has come from one of the pioneering doctors battling against the disease."

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