Author's posts

On This Day in History: April 26

Apr 26, 1954: Polio Vaccine Trials Begin

On this day in 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere.

Woman dies in iron lung after outage


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A woman who spent nearly 60 years of her life in an iron lung after being diagnosed with polio as a child died Wednesday after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing, her family said.

Dianne Odell, 61, had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.


Odell was afflicted with “bulbo-spinal” polio three years before a polio vaccine was discovered and largely stopped the spread of the crippling childhood disease.

She spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents and other family members. Though confined inside the 750-pound apparatus, Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children’s book.

The iron lung that she used was a cylindrical chamber with a seal at the neck. She lay on her back in the device with only her head exposed, and made eye contact with visitors using an angled mirror above her head. The lung worked by producing positive and negative pressure on the lungs that caused them to expand and contract so that she could breathe.

World Malaria Day: 2010


World Malaria day – A Day to Act

25 April is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world. This year’s World Malaria Day marks a critical moment in time. The international malaria community has less than a year to meet the 2010 targets of delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment to all people at risk of malaria, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

On This Day in History: April 25

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

This Week in Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

Africa making “dramatic” headway against malaria


Sulay Momoh Jongo, 7, is seen inside a mosquito net in a mud hut in Mallay village, southern Sierra Leone, on April 8, 2008. Credit: Reuters/Katrina Manson

(Reuters) – Africa is making dramatic progress in tackling malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that has killed a million people a year on the continent and stunted economic growth, a top expert said on Thursday.

Infection rates in Zambia, for instance, more than halved from 2001 to 2008 due to widespread distribution of mosquito nets, targeted spraying of insecticides and better and cheaper diagnosis and treatment, said Rob Newman, director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Malaria Program.

Zambia’s success augurs well for similar programs in their relative infancy in much larger countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the one with the heaviest malaria case-load, he said.

“Where we are in Africa today compared to even a few years ago is dramatic,” Newman told Reuters from WHO headquarters in Geneva. “The steepness of the decline surprises even me, and I’ve been doing this for a very long time.

WHO approves diagnostic tests to aid malaria fight

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Friday it had added 16 more malaria diagnostic tests to its approved list to help health workers quickly identify which patients have the disease and need immediate treatment.

U.S. effort to fight malaria focuses on women

(Reuters) – The U.S. government announced on Thursday it would focus part of its $63 billion, six-year Global Health Initiative plan to accelerate efforts to fight malaria, mostly in Africa and aimed at women and children.

New book urges reversal of DDT ban to fight malaria

Reuters) – Six years after the insect killer DDT was globally outlawed on grounds of environmental damage, two researchers say there are new reasons for doubting the chemical is harmful and are urging its use against malaria.

Colin Powell and Bill Gates join malaria campaign

(Reuters) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, billionaire Bill Gates and Queen Rania of Jordan will put their fame to work this week as they join a Twitter campaign to end malaria deaths.

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.  

The Lowden Medical Plan

This is a quick calculator for figuring how many chickens you may owe your doctor.

Chicken Doc

The Lowden Plan Medical Calculator

“Doctors are reasonable people”

Senate hopeful Sue Lowden’s plan for Healthcare reform is to barter chickens for medical procedures. But you may be unsure how many chickens are required for your medical care. This handy calculator converts many common procedures into chickens so you won’t look like an idiot at your next Doctor’s Appointment.

Warning: Please refrain from eating or drinking while reading

h/t to Aravosis at AMERICAblog

For Your Consideration: The Shock Doctrine for Afghanistan

In this mornings Editorial in the NYT, the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is labeled as “frustrating, difficult and – as his recent anti-American rants make especially clear – not a reliable partner.” Not necessarily an inaccurate description but then the US government backed him and is now whining because he is acting as the head of a sovereign nation and criticizing the policies of the US and NATO Allies

For Your Consideration: Yes, They are Serious, Nevada Senate Race Edition

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have nothing to worry about if this is an example of the caliber of Republican candidates that are vying to challenge him in November.

Haiti: Three Months: Up Date

For Your Consideration: “Yes, They are Serious” The Georgia Version

I thought that the South Carolina State Legislature was a little weird when they passes a Subversive Registration Act.

Now the Georgia State legislature is considering a bill to prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips in human beings.

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding torts, so as to prohibit requiring a person to be implanted with a microchip; to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide for penalties; to provide for regulation by the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Warning the continued reading while eating or drinking may cause damage to you computer.

Open Thread: Midnight eruptions

Iceland Volcano Aurora Borealis

The Iceland Volcano and the Aurora Borealis

This Week in Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

Eruption may hurt people with breathing problems: WHO

Iceland Volcano

Smoke billows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull April 16, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Ingolfur Juliusson

(Reuters) – The eruption of an Icelandic volcanic that has paralyzed air traffic in much of Europe could also harm people with breathing problems, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The U.N. health agency said the fine particles in the ash cloud were not harmful so long as they remained in the upper atmosphere, but could be more problematic if they fell to earth.

About a quarter of the ash particles were believed to be less than 10 microns in size, the most dangerous because they could penetrate deeper in the lungs, the WHO said in a statement.

Health Officials and the WHO are advising that patients with chronic lung diseases and cardiovascular disease listen to local news reports about air pollution level and take appropriate precautions such as staying indoors. Even though there are no warnings here in the US, large volcanic eruptions have in the past affected the air quality around the world.

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.  

For Your Consideration: Sacrificing Principles

In an Op-Ed on 4/12/2010, Robert Wright wrote about President Obama’s authorization to target a US citizen for assassination and his use of unarmed drones to kill Al Qaeda leaders in villages in Pakistan.

I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me 20 years ago that America would someday be routinely firing missiles into countries it’s not at war with. For that matter, I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me a few months ago that America would soon be plotting the assassination of an American citizen who lives abroad.

Shows you how much I know. President Obama, who during his first year in office oversaw more drone strikes in Pakistan than occurred during the entire Bush presidency, last week surpassed his predecessor in a second respect: he authorized the assassination of an American – Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical Imam who after 9/11 moved from Virginia to Yemen, a base from which he inspires such people as the Fort Hood shooter and the would-be underwear bomber.

Load more