Saturday, February 9, 2013

True Light News: Your Invited To An Outbreak Party

You’re Invited To An Outbreak Party!
By: Cole

What is an outbreak party you ask? And why are you invited? Well honestly it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re invited, either way you’re going to attend. To help you get ready for an outbreak party you will have to know what it is.
  •  An outbreak is a sudden occurrence, something unpleasant or dangerous, like an illness or fighting.
Sounds Like Fun Right?

 What exactly is this party your invited to?
 When talking about a party you can break it down to many things.
A party could be a gathering of people that is usually celebrating something; another is a political organization like your democratic or republican who share similar political views and goals. In a non-political aspect, it is a group of people who are doing something together.
Either way my fellow people, all of these definitions lead to the same meaning, its one or more participating or being involved in an activity/event.
When saying an outbreak party; invited or uninvited, your age, race or even your lifestyle doesn’t matter. An outbreak party comes to you at no expense, whether it may seem good or bad to you. It’s an open house for all.
Since the past and present there have been multiple outbreaks of not only viruses or bacteria, but your weather as well. Looking into the year of 2012, it holds some past events and the near future events to be spectacular and even a bit distasteful (literally!). We have had over 13 outbreak parties in the year 2012.

The most recent outbreak party is the Meningitis outbreak.

First let’s observe what Meningitis is: A serious and sometimes fatal illness in which a viral or bacterial infection aggravates the meninges, your protective spine and brain membrane. Meningitis could develop in a number of causes, usually bacteria or viruses, and can develop from a physical injury, cancer and certain drugs.

There are 5 types: Bacterial (this is life-threatening), Viral (this is serious, but rarely fatal), Parasitic (this is caused by parasites less common in developed countries), Fungal (this is rare and not contagious), and Non-infectious.

This illness causes symptoms like severe headaches, vomiting, stiff neck, and high fever.

This outbreak is still under investigation of a multiple state fungal meningitis outbreak, among the patients who received contaminated steroid injections. Other infections linked to the use of injectable steroids from three recalled lots of preservative-free Methylprednisolone (meth·yl·pred·nis·o·lone) Acetate (MPA) this was distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Patients got fungal meningitis after taking medications that weaken the immune system, for example steroids (prednisone), usually given to you after an organ transplantation. Several patients suffered strokes that are assumed to have resulted from their infections. The investigations also consist of fungal infections related with shots in a peripheral joint, the knees, shoulders or ankles. As of October 22, 2012, a total of 54 patients have CDC laboratory-confirmed fungal meningitis. November 7, 2012; 414 are infected people, of which 31 have died and 10 have developed joint infections, this form of fungal meningitis is not contagious.

The medication was packaged and marketed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC); the NECC is a compounding pharmacy. A compounding pharmacy is authorized to combine, mix or alter ingredients to generate specific drugs to meet the definite needs of patients. Some doctors and clinics use compounding pharmacies because they charge lower prices than the major manufacturers. Ameridose is a sister company of the U.S. pharmacy, state licensed, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) & DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) registered nationwide supplier of sterile admixing and oral syringe repackaging services to hospital pharmacies.

 The members of the staff pharmacy were interconnected to the deadly outbreak, and documented dozens of cases of mold and bacteria growing in rooms that were thought to be sterile, according to federal health inspectors. In a primary report on conditions at the pharmacy, FDA stated that even when the contamination at New England Compounding Center surpassed the company's own safety levels. No evidence found whether the members of staff inspected or corrected the problem, the FDA uncovered four dozen reports of possible contamination in company records, going back all the way to January of 2012!  In early October 2012 after steroid injections were made by the company, were found to be tied to an outbreak of fungal meningitis. FDA officials recognized that the black fungus found in the company's vials was the same fungus that has sickened 338 people in the U.S, and lead to 25 deaths. The company recalled three loads of steroids made since May 2012; these are 17,676 single-dose vials of medicine, which is 20 gallons of medicine for patients. Trusting a company whose main job is supposed to sterilize, and yet a simple clean-up did not take. The shipping of the vials to customers started on Aug. 17, just two weeks before the pharmacy received test results from an outside laboratory confirming the sterility of the drug. But when FDA scientists went back and tested the same load, low and behold they found contamination in 50 vials. Patients recovering from the meningitis then fall ill again. Sufferers of the new infection were coping with epidural sores, these infections are near the site where the drug was initially injected. CDC and FDA have identified bacterial and/or fungal contamination in unopened vials of:
  • Betamethasone (be·ta·me·tha·sone) (steroids, used to prevent the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation),
  • Cardioplegia (car·dio·ple·gia) (drug for cardiac surgery)
  • Triamcinolone (tri·am·cin·o·lone)  (a synthetic corticosteroid(cor·ti·co·ste·roid) or synthetic version of your body’s hormone cortisol (cor·ti·sol) or stress hormone it is used for allergies, itching, redness,  scaling, inflammation, and discomfort of various skin conditions, etc.) these were solutions distributed and recalled from NECC.
Some of the fungal organisms identified, are also known to cause disease in humans.

On October 23, 2012, the CDC issued an “Official Health Advisory Issuance of Guidance on Management of Asymptomatic Patients Who Received Epidural or Paraspinal Injections with Contaminated Steroid Products”. They indicate that the greatest risk of developing an infection is within the first six weeks after being injected. People with meningitis will have to take antifungal drugs for least three months and for some as long as a year. Treatment time is determined by the status of your immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection. For people with immune systems that are weak due to AIDS, diabetes, or cancer, treatment takes longer.
Outbreak Party? Are there different Games aka Types?
Yes! There are 2 Types aka Games of outbreak parties, whether separate, or just a ball of fun of being together they are:
Epidemic and Pandemic -
Is an outbreak affecting a large number people, occurring naturally with no human introduction of disease causing agents.

Looking at it separately:

Epidemic –
A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease where many people are infected at the same time. They usually spread very easily and quickly, and cause severe and often life-threatening symptoms.

Pandemic –
 An epidemic that affects multiple geographic areas at the same time.

These are very important to over stand, especially in this day and time. When dealing with a virus, whether contagious or non-contagious it’s important to track and over stand its origins. To dig deeper than just this current situation of an outbreak think back to what happened early 2012, and ask yourself this: Why is there comic published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2011 about a “zombie pandemic” that took place specifically in the South-East of the United States?

It’s not only a comic strip, but also information that provides elaborate details on how to evade a zombie pandemic.

CDC: Zombie Comic Strip

The CDC, giving thorough details on how to evade a “zombie pandemic” goes to say and I quote in part:

“As it turns out what first began as a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform.”

What is Tongue in cheek? Basically it means that it should not be taken seriously. If it was not to be taken seriously, then why make elaborate plans on how to prevent it?

Know this, the CDC website have PDFs worksheets for our youth to prepare for a zombie pandemic, but to not focus so much on the zombie pandemic; it says this information can be used not just in a zombie pandemic but can be used for other outbreaks as well.

*History Lesson, Past, Present, Future*

*Prepardeness 101: Zombie Pandemic*

Looking at the word zombie it is originally the name of a snake god in West Africa, 
By the time Voodoo is being recognized in New Orleans, this great spirit, the snake, is called either, “Li Grand Zombi” or “Ouncongo.” The origin of Li Grande Zombi can be traced to the serpent deity Nzambi from Whydah in Africa. Later as the African languages began to merge with Louisiana French, the spirit is remembered as Papa Labas or St. Peter. In New Orleans.
Zombi is the name of a snake-deity in some cults of West African Vodun and Haitian Vodou. Zombi is a Creole word, thought to be derived from Nzambi,supreme god of the Bacongo people of Angola. The deity is connected with water and appears in different impersonations, one being Zombi-Damballah, the rainbow serpent.

 A "reanimated corpse" in voodoo culture, and is said to be a dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force.

A zombie doesn’t necessarily mean, to brought back to life from the dead.

In a literal meaning: a person who is or appears to be lifeless, indifferent, or entirely missing in independent judgment; robot-like. If you associate it with the movies of zombies, it is usually an infectious viral/bacterial outbreak or pandemic that gets out of hand leading to apocalyptic events and the government tries to cover it up. The zombies are cannibals on a free for all, out of their natural mind, infecting others with bites, scratches, open wounds being exposed to their blood and saliva.

But in terms of what  if it happens, could you level with the presumption that it could be a parasite altering your mind?

We have to look at all the facts, is it contagious or non-contagious? That is the question.

Open your mind and eyes fellow people look at diseases such as:  
Mad Cow -disease from 1985-present [There is a link between this and a rare brain condition that affects people, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). People who cows that have mad cow disease are at risk of developing a form of vCJD. vCJD is caused by an abnormal type of protein in the brain called a prion. When people have vCJD, cells in the brain die until the brain eventually has a "sponge-like" appearance, at this state the disease you slowly lose control of your  mental and physical abilities.]
Measles -from 1275-present [a contagious severe viral disease with the symptoms of small bright red rash that spread and cover body; Koplik's spots, are small white spots that appear in the mouth on the inside of the cheeks a few days before measles appear.]

Rabies - from 1655-present [Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system, it results in death if not treated. Rabies symptoms and signs occur after exposure and may consist of some or many of the following: odd behaviors, hallucination, combativeness, loss of muscle function, muscle spasms, drooling, fits, pain, etc.]

Prion (from 1980-present)  [An infectious particle of protein that, unlike a virus, contains no nucleic acid the support of all living organisms on Earth, does not trigger an immune response, and is not destroyed by extreme heat or cold. All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other nerves or nervous system and all are currently untreatable and universally fatal. Prion causes a loss of structure or function in nerve cells, their connection and supportive tissue. The symptoms include seizures or fits, dementia, and ataxia (a·tax·i·a) loss balance and coordination or lack of muscle control, behavioral and  personality changes.
 Prion is responsible for causing other disease likes:

1.       Scrapie - a fatal disease for sheep and goats affecting their nervous system by intense itching and loss of muscular control

2.        Kuru- a fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system it affects some people in New Guinea. It is believed to derive from the practice of eating the brains of an ancestor.

3.       vCJD  

And So Many More....

There are ladies and gentlemen parasites known to present zombie-like symptoms. Another example is a parasite that can live in the brain cells in a number of other warm-blooded animals, and yes, this does include human beings causing major changes in the behavior: increasing in aggression, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and imagined illness.

The CDC was aware of this parasite, and in the past had denied the existence. This is mainly found in rats and in the guts of cats, a single-cell parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii. Toxoplasma alters the brain of rats to force the rats to search for areas with not only cats, but mainly their urine. Toxoplasma thus makes a rat suicidal; The cat is the perfect host used to complete breeding for the parasite, so this parasite will breed inside the cat, and then gets inside the feces, then rats eats the parasite when they eat food or water tainted with cat feces, then again gets back to the rat’s brain and the rat gets eaten by a cat.
And that my fellow people there you have it, the ever-going life of a parasite: finding a host, manipulating it, breeding, and do it all over again, and again and again…..forever

Their story sure does repeat itself, don’t it?

Insanity Or Genius?


Humans are unfortunate hosts to Toxoplasma, this parasite could end up anywhere in the brain,

Human symptoms depends on where parasite ends up.

The parasite produces and releases a normal amount of dopamine in infected brain cells.

Dopamine or DA is a natural chemical which sends messages to your brain controlling movement, your process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception and behavior. It helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure center and controls emotional responses like happy, sad fear etc.

Dopamine is known to be both irregular in schizophrenia and in depression. It's not that Toxoplasma itself causes schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, but it being there affects behavior through a disruption of the dopamine.

Toxoplasma is a leading cause of death due to foodborne illness in the United States. Americans can be infected with the parasite when you eat undercooked meats (like lamb and pork); it’s in water, garden soil, children's sandboxes, etc., infected by cat feces; or through pregnant mothers who become infected (e.g., by changing the cat litter) and passing to the baby. Pigs are also carriers of the parasite, and oh F.Y.I, pigs are known to eat anything and are in fact cannibalistic.  
Reflecting on the CDC and a zombie outbreak;
I quote in part from the official CDC website:
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas….”

These scientists are called epidemiologists (ep·i·de·mi·ol·o·gist), they trace an outbreak to its source and identify the microscopic organism that causes it, and then they interview the people afflicted with the disease. Acting as outbreak detectives they try to find common links between these people and the ways the disease has spread. Taking samples from anything that might contain that or more microscopic organisms relating to the outbreak, this would be from blood by local insects, and animals, from people to food and water, and even drugs.
The steps to investigate and control an outbreak may effect new public health measures or focus attention on a previously unknown microscopic organism.

Basically in a nutshell, Epidemiologists count cases of disease or injury, outline the affected population, and then analyze amounts of disease or injury in that population. Then they compare these amounts with those found in other populations and make suggestions about the patterns of disease to determine whether an issue exists.

In the movie “The Bay”, you see videos and images of fish washed up dead (which has in fact has happened on many occasions) on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, due to severely cold water and algae bloom. A good amount of the story is based on facts and presumptions; the parasite portrayed in the movie does in fact exist, but not like you see on the movie.
This a parasite they are mimicking in the movie is called a tongue-eating louse, it is known to enter through the fish’s gills, the female attaches to the tongue and the male to the gills, this parasite basically replaces the fish’s tongue, the fish is not whatsoever affected by it. The parasite is now the take the place of its hosts tongue, feeding off of its blood and mucus, and it will remain as the fish’s tongue permanently.

 Don’t fear, your tongues will not be replaced, it is not harmful to humans, but it will bite if you decide to take a closer look; note to you DON’T PICK IT UP. It is a regular diet to some fearless humans who dare to eat it. This film leaves you to question whether it did happen or not, although it is a considered a fake documentary with a couple of facts, WHO KNOWS. A mutant parasite could happen, due to adaptation and evolution. advancing in its species and even others.

It also helps to know that when a situation does occur to make sure you get your “Hush, Hush” check, they sure do help out a lot.