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Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? - The Atlantic
The egg-based [vaccine manufacture] system depends on chickens, which are themselves vulnerable to flu. And since viruses can mutate within the eggs, the resulting vaccines don’t always match the strains that are circulating. But vaccine makers have few incentives to use anything else. Switching to a different process would cost billions, and why bother? Flu vaccines are low-margin products, which only about 45 percent of Americans get in a normal year. So when demand soars during a pandemic, the supply is not set to cope.

American hospitals, which often operate unnervingly close to full capacity, likewise struggled with the surge of patients. Pediatric units were hit especially hard by H1N1, and staff became exhausted from continuously caring for sick children. Hospitals almost ran out of the life-support units that sustain people whose lungs and hearts start to fail. The health-care system didn’t break, but it came too close for comfort—especially for what turned out to be a training-wheels pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 strain killed merely 0.03 percent of those it infected; by contrast, the 1918 strain had killed 1 to 3 percent, and the H7N9 strain currently circulating in China has a fatality rate of 40 percent.

That the U.S. could be so ill-prepared for flu, of all things, should be deeply concerning. The country has a dedicated surveillance web, antiviral drugs, and an infrastructure for making and deploying flu vaccines. None of that exists for the majority of other emerging infectious diseases.
vaccines  health  diseases  h1n1  flu  pandemics  future  scary 
4 weeks ago by jm
'Wake-up call' over liver disease risks due to weight - BBC News
Scans of nearly 3,000 individuals from the UK Biobank research project showed that 12% had inflamed, fatty livers.

The British Liver Trust said the "very alarming" findings were a 'wake-up call' because the condition can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and death.

Hepatologists said there was a silent epidemic of fatty liver disease.
UK  public  health  crisis  liver  diseases  NAFLD  obesity  overweight  diet  lifestyle  chronic  sick  population  NHS  sickcare  demand  ageing  premature  demographic  bubble 
april 2018 by asterisk2a
NHS England treats too many patients as an emergency, watchdog warns | Society | The Guardian
firefighting // failure to put in place enough services outside of hospitals to keep patients healthier.
NHS  Crisis  chronic  sick  population  premature  ageing  sickcare  demand  prevention  public  health  CVD  diabetes  Cancer  obesity  overweight  COPD  Disease  Diseases  GP  A&E 
march 2018 by asterisk2a
Ultra-processed foods 'linked to cancer' - BBC News
What counts as ultra-processed
Mass-produced packaged breads and buns
Sweet or savoury packaged snacks including crisps
Chocolate bars and sweets
Sodas and sweetened drinks
Meatballs, poultry and fish nuggets
Instant noodles and soups
Frozen or shelf-life ready meals
Foods made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats &! http://www.spiegel.de/gesundheit/ernaehrung/fertignahrung-erhoehen-stark-verarbeitete-lebensmittel-das-krebsrisiko-a-1193713.html
cancer  public  health  CVD  chronic  sick  population  sickcare  demand  NHS  crisis  food–industrial  lobby  food  S.A.D.  western  diet  obesity  overweight  healthcare  diabetes  immune  system  Autoimmune  disease  Diseases  packaging  plastic  pollution  chemical  complexity 
february 2018 by asterisk2a
In search of surrogates, foreign couples descend on Ukraine - BBC News
Foreign couples have been coming to this corner of Europe in droves since 2015, when surrogacy hotspots in Asia began closing their industries one-by-one, amid reports of exploitation. Barred from India, Nepal and Thailand, they turned to Ukraine, one of the few places left where surrogacy can still be arranged at a fraction of what it costs in the US.

"We have so many childless couples coming to our country - it's like a conveyor belt," says Ana, who asked for her identity to be protected.

When she was 21, and after some years of hotel work, Ana finally decided to become a surrogate. By then she had a daughter and realised she was eligible. Under Ukrainian law, a surrogate must have a child of their own before carrying someone else's. If you have your own child, you are less likely to become attached to the one you must give away, those who recruit the women say. [...] Europe's capital of surrogacy
Demand for surrogacy in Ukraine "has increased probably 1000% in the last two years alone," says Sam Everingham of Families Through Surrogacy, a Sydney-based charity that advises would-be parents.

The country, he adds, "has found itself almost accidentally as one of the handful of nation states" which allow surrogacy tourism.
IVF  fertility  public  health  crisis  western  diet  S.A.D.  lifestyle  infertility  autoimmune  disease  diseases  poverty  exploitation  trap  global  south  west  Ukraine  UK  India  USA  surrogate  surrogacy  parenthood  capitalism  Kapital  chronic  sick  population  premature  ageing  neoliberalism  neoliberal  ethics  moral  philosophy  Sociology  adoption 
february 2018 by asterisk2a
Abraham Lincoln Was Our Tallest President Ever. This May Be Why
Standing 6’4″, Lincoln is, to this day, the tallest president ever, edging out Lyndon Johnson by a full inch.Height wasn’t Lincoln’s only distinguishing physical characteristic. While he was in office, a journalist described the president’s “long pendulous arms” and “hands of extraordinary dimensions…far exceeded in proportion by his feet,” according to the book Abraham Lincoln’s DNA. These unique descriptors have led doctors to wonder if Lincoln perhaps had Marfan syndrome, a relatively rare genetic condition that was first identified decades after the politician’s death.Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue, which acts as a “glue” between cells, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The disease is usually passed down through generations, and children who have one parent with the disease have a 50% chance of getting it, according to the NIH. There is no cure for Marfan syndrome, though if its individual symptoms are treated and managed well, those who have it can expect to live a normal lifespan.Common signs include long limbs and phalanges; a long, thin face; heart murmurs, enlarged aorta and other cardiovascular issues; vision problems; and stomach and leg pain,
icons  statesmen  leaders  diseases  Time 
february 2018 by thomas.kochi
Gigi Hadid slams body shamers who call her too skinny - BBC News
Hashimoto thyroiditis // http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-43029158 - "Imagine having a really extreme case of flu." That's how 23-year-old Rachel Hill describes living with Hashimoto's disease. //&! https://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=autoimmune+disease&fwp_content_type=video //&! " I was also part of a holistic medical trial that helped my thyroid levels balance out." Obviously not. Otherwise she would be whole-food plant-based vegan, duh. she did eat a burger on jimmy kimmel late night show and promotes eating animal products
Hashimoto  Autoimmune  disease  thyroid  public  health  chronic  sick  population  sickcare  demand  immune  system  Diseases  inflammation  prevention  S.A.D.  western  diet 
february 2018 by asterisk2a
Ageing immune system linked to cancer - BBC News
cancer as an autoimmune disease //&! https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cancer-as-an-autoimmune-disease/ - Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease //&! Data Source https://www.dundee.ac.uk/news/2018/ageing-immune-system-may-explain-age-related-cancer-risk-increase.php - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br-6zxixWko //&! thymus https://nutritionfacts.org/video/clonal-deletion-theory-of-immunity/ ------ "We're not debating the fact that mutations cause cancer, but are asking whether mutations alone can account for the rapid rise in cancer incidence with age when ageing causes other profound changes in the body."
Cancer  auto  immune  disease  fasting  Valter  Longo  Diseases  Autoimmune  ageing  population  premature  longevity  Gerontology  demographic  bubble  sickcare  demand  NHS  Crisis  prevention  western  diet  lifestyle  S.A.D.  junk  fast  food  obesity  overweight  inflammation  IGF-1  public  health  CVD 
february 2018 by asterisk2a
3 People in Uganda Died From the Marburg Virus. What's That?
The Marburg virus got its name after two large outbreaks occurred in 1967 in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia. The disease is rare, and was last reported in Uganda in 2014 when one health worker was infected. Marburg comes from the same family of viruses as Ebola, and both of the viruses can cause large outbreaks. The fatality rate from Marburg can range from 24% to 88%. So far all the people who have been confirmed to have the virus in the recent outbreak have died. It’s believed that fruit bats are the natural hosts of the virus, and people pass it to one another through direct contact with bodily fluids.
Time  medical  diseases 
november 2017 by thomas.kochi
NHS offers smartphone GP appointments - BBC News
[privatisation cherry picking, another example, the easiest things ]
"We notice there is an extensive list of patient conditions such as frailty, pregnancy and mental health conditions that are the essence of general practice and which GPs deal with every day, but which are not eligible for this service. &! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41111553 - NHS launches £100m drive to recruit foreign GPs &! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39522137 - GP practices close in record numbers &! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41888952 - Online GP consultation: Opportunity or threat? - two-tier system, creaming off the healthiest patients. cherry picking. see privatisation of elective care and non-challenging adult elderly care. [...] The RCGP argues that existing community practices will be left with lower revenue and having to look after the sickest with the most complex conditions, hence the claim that there was a danger of "twin-track" general practice evolving. ALSO How easy will it be to avoid prescribing antibiotics - just to be on the safe side?"
GP  NHS  Crisis  sickcare  demand  healthcare  chronic  sick  complex  diseases  population  ageing  demographic  bubble  recruitment  hiring  training  staff  shortage  locum  Nurses  Doctor  rationing  waiting  times  treatment  delay  Privatisation  profit  maximisation  Austerity  STP  CEP  elective  surgery  time 
november 2017 by asterisk2a
Harper, K.: The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. He takes readers from Rome’s pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a “little ice age” and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague. A poignant reflection on humanity’s intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history’s greatest civilizations encountered and endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature’s violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit—in ways that are surprising and profound."
book  publisher  classics  roman  empire  history  diseases  climate 
october 2017 by tsuomela
Thanks but no thanks, CareRooms. In the NHS we need staff, not beds | Rachel Clarke | Opinion | The Guardian
Trained staff – carers – are what the sector lacks, not physical spaces in buildings. Urgent investment in trained, regulated carers is the only safe way to address this, not outsourcing the problem to random homeowners with no clearly defined standards for safeguarding, clinical governance and infection control, not to mention other risks to patients who are at their most vulnerable.
NHS  Crisis  bedblocking  bed  blocking  adult  social  care  Council  STP  CEP  Austerity  staff  hiring  recruitment  locum  shortage  rationing  waiting  times  treatment  delay  chronic  complex  diseases  ageing  demographic  bubble  population  premature  frail 
october 2017 by asterisk2a
Sex in surgery by BMJ talk medicine | Free Listening on SoundCloud
11:50 - how busy a surgeon is is critial for post surgery outcome. mistakes. burnout. chronic staff // 4% lower worst outcome. - to have female surgeon had statistical significance. //
NHS  patient  safety  staff  locum  recruitment  healthcare  demand  sickcare  chronic  sick  population  hiring  burnout  complex  diseases  gender  gap  gender-based  discrimination  pay  Austerity  rationing  waiting  times  treatment  delay 
october 2017 by asterisk2a
'I am dying but you are already a corpse': the 100-year-old multiple sclerosis diary that became a classic
One hundred years ago today, WNP Barbellion scrawled his final diary entry. “Self-disgust,” he wrote. Ravaged by multiple sclerosis at just 28, this one word was all he could manage, before his hand was too unsteady to go on. He had been recording his daily life – and, latterly, the daily encroachment of death – since his first entry when he was 15: “Am writing an essay on the life-history of insects and have abandoned for the time being the idea of writing on ‘How Cats Spend their Time’.” His diary would be published in 1919 as The Journal of a Disappointed Man, to wide acclaim but it is sadly little known nowadays.WNP Barbellion’s audacious The Journal of a Disappointed Man is so good that HG Wells wished he wrote it – but it is not as well known as it should be.“I wish I was a quarter as clever as that,”
Guardian  books  diseases 
october 2017 by thomas.kochi
Council and NHS in £19.5m funding row over patients staying in hospital too long - Stoke Sentinel
[first NHS Councils blame each other for little progress, now NHS Department withholding funds bc no progress from Council ] But now NHS England is threatening to withhold the cash (one tranche from the Better Care Fund) because the authority is failing to reduce its bed-blocking figures by ensuring care packages are in place. Council leaders say the target – cutting social care-related delayed transfers of care by two-thirds in eight weeks – was unrealistic and set at ‘extremely short notice’. Now they are lobbying the Government on the issue, and working with the local NHS to find alternative ways of paying for the affected services. It comes after the council had to make cuts in areas such as drug and alcohol services after the NHS withdrew £15 million last year.
NHS  England  Council  bedblocking  bed  blocking  elderly  social  adult  care  sickcare  healthcare  demand  health  UK  ageing  demographic  bubble  premature  chronic  sick  population  complex  diseases  CVD  Cancer  diabetes  obesity  disabled  overweight  Austerity  CEP  STP  rationing  treatment  delay  patient  safety  waiting  time  public  Crisis  winter  CCG 
october 2017 by asterisk2a
How your blood may predict your future health | Inequality | The Guardian
New research into bloodstream ‘biomarkers’ aims to unlock the full impact of social status on people’s lifetime health outcomes. The key is exposure to stress - quantitated self. making decisions on your own when presented w data? in case of the weight scale, never worked. why will it now? its just more medicalisation - door open for big pharma so people pop pills. vs inconvenience of changing diet lifestyle and learning something new like cooking and meditation. // &! Deprivation and Poverty Stress: The analysis suggested people in lower socioeconomic groups have a demonstrably longer exposure to chronic inflammation – with all its knock-on impacts on long-term health – even once the team corrected for the “usual suspects” of health inequality, including diet and smoking. There’s clearly something else at work. (inequality = health inequality)
public  health  diet  lifestyle  premature  ageing  CVD  Cancer  diabetes  obesity  overweight  immune  system  Autoimmune  complex  chronic  diseases  sick  population  inflammation  biomarker  mental  microbiome  S.A.D.  western  junk  fast  food  food–industrial  lobby  big  pharma  pharmaceutical  prevention  crisis  sickcare  demand  healthcare  deprivation  inequality  poverty  trap  working  poor  Precariat  Austerity  stress  Burnout  underemployed  unemployment  DWP  sickleave  Productivity  UBI  Universal  Basic  Income  Grundeinkommen  social  isolation  coping  mechanism  addiction  Alcohol  self-medication 
october 2017 by asterisk2a

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