AbledResearch-Diabetes-Stem-Cell-Breakthrough

POSTED ON October 10th  - POSTED IN AbledConditions, AbledHealth, AbledResearch, AbledWellness
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AbledResearch Post banner shows a close-up photo of someone holding a lancet in one hand just after pricking the forefinger of their other hand to be able to take a blood sugar reading from the drop of blood on that finger. The headline reads: Abled research: Diabetes breakthrough: 15 years of work pays off getting stem cells to produce insulin.
AbledResearch photo shows an image of highlighted cells in a mouse. The caption reads: Human stem cell-derived beta cell islet-like clusters are producing insulin in a mouse.

A Giant Leap Forward Towards A Cure For Diabetes

Researchers never want to jinx their work by using black and white terms like ‘cure’, but Harvard stem cell researchers are tantalizingly close to what amounts to a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

For millions of diabetics around the world, this is the biggest hope yet that might bring an end to daily insulin injections, the thousands of times each year they have to prick their finger with a lancet to test their blood sugar levels, or having to wear external insulin pumps while also fearing the disease’s potential long-term side effects such as blindness, kidney disease, amputations, strokes and heart attacks.

Doug Melton, Harvard’s Xander University Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who leads the team of researchers at the lab that bears his name, says  “we are now just one-pre-clinical step away from the finish line.” That’s about as close to saying ‘cure’ as you can get without actually saying it.

And he’s got two good reasons for not wanting to over-state the possible outcomes before the definitive conclusions are reached – he has two grown children with Type 1 diabetes. When his, then, infant son Sam was diagnosed 23 years ago, Professor Melton dedicated his career to finding a cure for the disease.

In work that has just been published in the journal Cell, the Melton lab researchers have, after 15 years of trying and failing and trying and failing, have finally made a giant leap forward in diabetes research by being able to use human embryonic stem cells to produce human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally-functioning beta cells.

As Professor Melton told the Harvard Gazette“There have been previous reports of other labs deriving beta cell types from stem cells. No other group has produced mature beta cells as suitable for use in patients,” he said. “The biggest hurdle has been to get to glucose sensing, insulin-secreting beta cells, and that’s what our group has done.”

Part of that hurdle is being able to produce those beta cells in the massive quantities needed, not only for cell transplantation, but also for pharmaceutical purposes. In this research, some stem cells came from human embryos, but Professor Melton’s team was able to reprogram human skin cells into a stem-cell-like-state  – a technique that is obviously more ethically acceptable.

The challenge with Type 1 diabetes is that it’s a metabolic response in the body’s immune system that goes rogue and kills off all the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. About 150 million beta cells are needed for transplantation into a single patient and the final pre-clinical step involves protecting those cells from the immune system by using an implantation device. The device Melton is collaborating on with Professor Daniel G. Anderson and his colleagues at MIT and the Koch Institute has, so far, protected beta cells implanted in mice from immune system attacks for many months while they continue to produce insulin.

The lab-grown cells, currently being tested in primates, are just one step – albeit a few years – away from being clinically-trialled in humans.

And what do the Melton offspring think of this? Their father who also is Co-Scientific Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology  — both of which were created more than a decade after he began his quest — said that when he told his son and daughter, they were surprisingly calm. “I think like all kids, they always assumed that if I said I’d do this, I’d do it,” he said with a self-deprecating grin.

Others are more willing to make a big deal about this. Richard A. Insel, M.D., the Chief Scientific Officer at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) which along with the Helmsley Charitable Trust has contributed funding, says“JDRF is thrilled with this advancement toward large-scale production of mature, functional human beta cells by Dr. Melton and his team.”

Elaine Fuchs,  the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at Rockefeller University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who is not involved in the work, hailed it as “one of the most important advances to date in the stem cell field.”

Jose Oberholzer, Associate Professor of Surgery, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, as well as Bioengineering, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Director of the Islet and Pancreas Transplant Program and Chief of the Division of Transplantation, called the discovery bigger than the discovery of insulin and says the work “will leave a dent in the history of diabetes. Doug Melton has put in a lifetime of hard work in finding a way of generating human islet cells in vitro. He made it. This is a phenomenal accomplishment.”

Felicia W. Pagliuca, Jeff Millman and Mads Gurtler of the Melton Lab are co-first authors on the Cell paper.

Other funding for the research, for which Professor Melton and his colleagues are extremely grateful, came from the National Institutes of Health, The Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the JPB Foundation, and Howard and Stella Heffron.

Description of Video

The beginning shows a spinner flask containing red culture media and cells, the cells being too small to see. Inside the flask you can see a magnetic stir bar and the flask is being placed on top of a magnetic stirrer. 

This is followed by a time-lapse series of magnified images showing how cells start off as single cells and then grow very quickly into clusters over the next few days. The size of the clusters is the same as the size of human islets at the end.

The final image shows 6 flasks, enough for 6 patients, spinning away. If you look closely, you can see particles spinning around, the white dust or dots are clusters of cells, each containing about 1000 cells.

Credit: Mikey Segel

AbledResearch photo shows Harvard's Xander University Professor Doug Melton whose team has announced a major breakthrough in Diabetes Research.
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Transcript of NPR Report

Copyright ©2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We’re going to turn now to health news of an advance that could eventually lead to a cure for diabetes. Before the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, diabetes was a feared disease that often led to a rapid death. Today, insulin injections to control blood sugar levels are a mainstay of therapy for Type 1 diabetes. They’re also used by many with the Type 2 form of the disease.

But insulin injections aren’t a cure. People can still suffer complications, including heart attacks and blindness. NPR’s Rob Stein reports on work by scientists at Harvard that could someday eliminate the need for injections.

ROB STEIN, BYLINE: For Harvard cell biologist Doug Melton, the search for something better than insulin shots for diabetes has been a very personal quest.

DOUG MELTON: My six-month-old son Sam came down with diabetes some 20 years ago. And some years later, my 14-year-old daughter Emma also came down with Type 1 diabetes. Since that time, I don’t know how to say it except that I’d do what any parent would do, is to say that I’m not going to put up with this. And I want to find a better way.

STEIN: Now, Melton and his colleagues are reporting in the journal Cell that they finally found that better way. They figured out how to mass-produce the kind of cells that naturally produce insulin in the body – cells that could be transplanted into patients so their bodies could control their blood sugar normally.

MELTON: We are reporting the ability to make hundreds of millions of cells – the cell that can read the amount of sugar in the blood which appears following a meal and then squirt out or secrete just the right amount of insulin.

STEIN: They did this using human embryonic stem cells. They can be turned into almost any kind of cell in the body. But for 15 years the researchers tried and failed and tried and failed to find just the right mix of chemical signals that would coax human embryonic stem cells into becoming insulin cells. Finally, they came up with a recipe that works.

MELTON: A short way of saying this might be like if you were going to make a very fancy kind of new cake – like I do know, a raspberry chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or something. You pretty much know all the components you have to add. But it’s the way you add them and the order and the timing, how long you cook it, et cetera. The solution to that just took a very long time.

STEIN: And when Melton and his colleagues transplanted the cells into mice with diabetes, the results were clear and fast.

MELTON: We can cure their diabetes right away in less than 10 days. This finding provides the kind of unprecedented cell source that could be used for cell transplantation therapy in diabetes.

STEIN: Other scientists are hailing the research as a big advance.

MELTON: Well, it’s a huge landmark paper. I would say it’s bigger than the discovery of insulin.

STEIN: Jose Olberholzer is a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois.

JOSE OLBERHOLZER: The discovery of insulin is important and certainly saved millions of people. But it just allowed patients to survive but not really to have a normal life. The finding of Doug Melton would really allow to offer them really something that I would call a functional cure, you know. They wouldn’t really feel any more being diabetic if they got a transplant of these kinds of cell.

STEIN: Now, Melton and others caution there’s still a lot more work to do before they’re ready to try this in people with diabetes. For one thing, they need to come up with a way to hide the cells from the immune system, especially for people with Type 1 diabetes, so the immune system doesn’t attack and destroy the cell. Melton and his colleagues are working on that. And they think they may have come up with a solution – a kind of protective shell.

MELTON: We’re thinking about it as sort of like a teabag were the tea stays inside, the water goes and then the dissolved tea comes out.

STEIN: And so if you think about a teabag analogy, we would put ourselves inside this teabag.

STEIN: But that’s not the only problem. Some people have moral objections to anything that involves human embryonic stem cell research because it destroys human embryos. Daniel Sulmasy, a doctor and bioethicist at the University of Chicago shares that view.

DANIEL SULMASY: If, like me, someone considers the human embryo to be imbued with the same sorts of dignity that the rest of us have, then in fact this is morally problematic. It’s the destruction of an individual unique human life for the sole purpose of helping other persons.

STEIN: Melton says he’s also found a way to use another kind of stem cell – cells that don’t destroy any embryos. He’s trying to figure out if they work as well and hopes to start testing his insulin cells in people with diabetes within three years. Rob Stein, NPR News.

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Previous Breakthrough Discovery About New Hormone To Treat Type 2 Diabetes

In 2013, HSCI Co-Director Doug Melton and postdoctoral fellow Peng Yi discovered a hormone that holds promise for a dramatically more effective treatment for type 2 diabetes. The researchers believe that the hormone might also have a role in treating type 1, or juvenile, diabetes.

Harnessing The Potential Of Stem Cells

HSCI Co-Director Doug Melton speaks at TEDxBeaconStreet in 2013 about the potential of stem cell biology for regenerative medicine, with a focus on finding new treatments for diseases such as diabetes.

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AbledHealth-Obamacare-Beware Of Automatic Renewal To Avoid Insurance Premium Sticker Shock

POSTED ON July 28th  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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ObamaCare is the un-official nickname given to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. 

ObamaCare’s main focus is on providing more Americans with access to affordable health insurance improving the quality of health care and health insurance, regulating the health insurance industry, and reducing health care spending in the U.S.

Source: ObamaCareFacts.com

ObamaCare explained in 214 words from WhiteHouse.gov

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, putting in place comprehensive reforms that improve access to affordable health coverage for everyone and protect consumers from abusive insurance company practices. 

For those Americans who already have health insurance, the only changes you will see under the law are new benefits, better protections from insurance company abuses, and more value for every dollar you spend on health care. If you like your plan you can keep it and you don’t have to change a thing due to the health care law. The President addressed concerns from Americans who have received letters of policy cancellations or changes from their insurance companies in an interview with NBC News,watch the video or read a transcript

Key Elements:

AbledHealth Photo shows U.S. President in the Oval Office at the White House surrounded by invited politicians and other people as he signs into law the Affordable Care Act that has since become known as Obamacare in March of 2010.

Don’t Let Big Premium Increases Catch You By Surprise

 

If you’re one of the 10.3 million U.S. consumers who have signed up for what’s been nicknamed ‘ObamaCare’, you’ll have to be extra vigilant when your coverage comes up for renewal. You could end up paying more if you’re not paying attention to some of the ‘fine print’ items.

Health and Human Services, hoping to prevent logjams during the 2015 open enrollment season, have proposed making automatic renewals available to the 10.3 million who have already enrolled saying they will get ‘the exact dollar amount’ they are currently receiving.

But the worry is that HHS isn’t taking into account a whole bunch of things such as cost of living adjustments, new plans and bids from insurance companies, and changes in the community benchmark plans because millions of new customers will be signing up for coverage when open enrollment begins on November 15.

If you currently have coverage, you’ll have almost a month to renew or make changes to your policy, otherwise you’ll suffer a gap in coverage come January 1, 2015.

And because the financial aid subsidy that benefits about 80% of those who signed up for private coverage is, to put it politely, is quite complex, you’d probably do yourself a favor by contacting your health insurance exchange to update any changes in income, job status, family size, whether you’ve moved, or anything else that could have an impact on your subsidy.

You can do that anytime before the open enrollment floodgates open. If you want to change over to a new plan, you’ll have to wait until November 15. But in the meantime, you would do well to check on new and upcoming insurance plans and shop around because it will be quite likely that your current policy and subsidy formula will be out-of-date come the fall.

Despite the initial launch issues and partisan political naysaying along the way, HHS announced this week that those 10.3 million consumers have saved a total of $9 billion dollars on health insurance premiums.

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AbledHealth-Samonella-Poisoning-Two-Reports-Slam-Poultry Safety-One-Finds-97-per-cent-Infection-Rate

POSTED ON December 21st  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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AbledHealth Post Banner shows a background photo of an industrial poultry shed with thousands of broiler chickens crowded together. In the foreground are two screengrabs - one of the ConsumerReports.org website showing their story The High Costs of Cheap Chicken with a photo of a package of raw chicken breasts with yellow tape wrapped around it and the word caution printed twice. The other is the cover of the PEW Report on the Weaknesses in the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service's Salmonella Regulation. It features a photo of packages of poultry products in a grocery store display. The headline reads: Salmonella Poisoning: Two reports slam poultry safety - One finds 97 per cent infection rate.

US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service Is Failing To Protect The Public

 

Two new reports shine a scathing spotlight on serious failures in protecting the U.S. public from food contamination. Consumer Reports and The Pew Charitable Trusts have exposed serious shortcomings in regulating, monitoring and controlling contamination in poultry products.

 

The reports were prompted by two multi-state outbreaks of the so-called Heidelberg strain of salmonella infections that, since June 2012, have sickened at least 523 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico and put 40 percent of them in the hospital, as covered in our AbledALERT report on the outbreaks.

 

The outbreaks were linked to chicken produced by Foster Farms, the sixth largest poultry producer in the United States. Based on these figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they estimate these outbreaks may have sickened as many as 15,000 people across the country because of the under-diagnosis of salmonella.

 

Consumer Reports Magazine exposed even more shocking facts: 97% of the 300 raw chicken breasts they tested that were purchased at stores across the country tested positive for bacterial infection. More than half of them contained fecal contaminants, while about 50% harbored at least one bacterium that was resistant to three or more commonly prescribed antibiotics.

 

 

Antibiotic-­resistant infections are linked to at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and more than 48 million people fall sick each year from eating contaminated food. According to an analysis of outbreaks from 1998 through 2008 by the CDC, more deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity.

 

What to do about the problem?

 

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Health Initiatives division found significant weaknesses in existing federal regulations and policies aimed at controlling salmonella contamination in poultry products. As their report points out, “

Current limits on salmonella contamination for chicken, known as performance standards, and related policies do not adequately protect public health.

 

  • As opposed to other pathogens such as Ecoli O157:H7, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) does not consider salmonella to be an adulterant in raw poultry, but treats it as an indicator organism used to determine whether a company is producing safe food based on the level of salmonella found.
  • Performance standards, which are not updated regularly, are based on the national prevalence of the pathogen in a specific product instead of public health impact.
  • There are no salmonella performance standards for chicken parts, which are purchased more widely than whole chickens.
  • As part of prevention-based safety requirements, poultry plants are not required to treat the presence of salmonella as a “hazard likely to occur”, or a significant risk that needs to be controlled during processing and production.
  • There are no requirements for farm-level control measures that would help reduce salmonella contamination in chickens before they arrive at slaughter facilities.

 

Among the recommendations from the Pew Charitable Trusts report:

 

  • Issue performance standards for chicken parts.
  • Conduct unannounced salmonella testing.
  • Consider establishing limits on salmonella contamination for chickens when they enter into the slaughterhouse, which may require legislation.
  • Communicate outbreaks to consumers via public health alerts as early as possible when there is sufficient epidemiological evidence linking illnesses to a company’s product, even if there is not a definitive link between specific products and patients.
  • Close facilities under investigation for failing to produce safe food, and keep them closed until adequate control measures are in place.
  • Be given mandatory recall authority.

 

As the Pew report was being finalized in December 2013, FSIS released a salmonella action plan highlighting the steps the agency is taking to better control the pathogen in meat and poultry.

 

In official speak, “The FSIS Administrator established the Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) to perform recurring critical reviews of the information and data will allow the agency to identify deficiencies and successes that warrant particular attention.”

 

Much of the action plan calls for reviewing and evaluating the growing amount of so-called ‘performance ‘ information and data available to establish new strategies and rules for poultry ‘pre-harvest’ and slaughter practices, inspections, sampling, and enforcement.

 

Some new information that comes out of the action plan as a result of reviewing agency data is contained in one of the footnotes: “Outbreak data indicate that pork products contribute to Salmonella illnesses. FSIS stopped sampling pork carcasses because the percent of pork carcass samples positive for Salmonella was consistently very low. Pork products are not currently sampled for Salmonella testing.”

 

Another piece of information emerging from the data is that “research results from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), indicate that lymph nodes could be a source of Salmonella contamination.”

 

What’s curious is that it appears ARS is just clueing into this fact, despite relevant data from 65 years ago showing the possible connection.

 

A paper published in 1948 by Utrecht’s Rijksinstituut voor de Volksgezondheid (National Institute for Public Health) in the Netherlands documents cases of Salmonella being reported in the mesenteric lymph nodes of health pigs in countries such as the United States, England, Uruguay and other parts of South America, as well as Mexico.

 

In fact, the paper shows that the Heidelberg strain of Salmonella that’s been leaving people sick across the U.S. since the summer of 2012, was only showing up in Mexico in 1948.

 

The Dutch study examined 503 slaughtered pigs that did not have any reports of health problems, and found that 14 out of the 503 pics (2.78%) showed the presence of Salmonella in the mesenteric lymph nodes. There was no trace of the bacteria in the feces of the animals, with the report saying such a result doesn’t preclude an infection of the lymph nodes from the intestinal tract.

 

How to keep safe when preparing poultry

 

With the Christmas holiday feasts approaching, how can you limit your chances of salmonella contamination if you’re roasting a turkey or chicken?

 

The USDA outlines the following advice:

 

Fresh or Frozen?

Fresh Turkeys

  • Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
  • Buy your turkey only 1 to 2 days before you plan to cook it.
  • Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.
  • Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.

 

Frozen Turkeys

  • Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
  • Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.
  • Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within 1 year for best quality.
  • See “Thawing Your Turkey” for thawing instructions.

 

Frozen Pre-Stuffed Turkeys

USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or State mark of inspection on the packaging. These turkeys are safe because they have been processed under controlled conditions.

Image of seal of inspection for poultryDO NOT THAW before cooking. Cook from the frozen state. Follow package directions for proper handling and cooking.

Allow 1¼ pounds of turkey per person.

Thawing Your Turkey

There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.

In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days


Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.

In Cold Water
Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound
4 to 12 pounds 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours


Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.

In the Microwave Oven

  • Check your owner’s manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing.
  • Remove all outside wrapping.
  • Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.
  • Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.

REMINDER: Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.

Roasting Your Turkey

  • Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.

  • Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

  • For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F  (73.8 °C ).

  • If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

  • A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F  (73.8 °C ) as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

  • If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F  (73.8 °C ) for safety.

  • For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

  • Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.


Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 °F oven temperature)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

 

Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours


It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Optional Cooking Hints

  • Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as “akimbo.”

  • Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

  • If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent over-browning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.

  • If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 °F  (73.8 °C ), check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F  (73.8 °C ) throughout the product.

  • If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the package.

REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.

For information on other methods for cooking a turkey, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
www.fsis.usda.gov

Storing Your Leftovers

  • Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F (32.2 °C).
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
  • If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.

 

 

 

AbledFood Turkey Tip

 

A member of our Editorial staff had great success by cooking a 13.5 lbs (6.1 kg.) fresh turkey at 400°F (204 °C) and it was perfectly browned and very juicy and tender in 3 hours.

 

When preparing, spray with olive oil and over with foil.  Remove the foil for the last half hour or so – but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

 

Pour a cup of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to keep it from drying out, and to blend with the juices for gravy; replenish as needed.

 

Make sure the meat thermometer reads 165 °F  (73.8 °C ) – your cooking time may be more or less depending on your type of oven. Then, enjoy!

 

 

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AbledNews-H7N9-Bird-Flu-Mutation-Makes-It-Resistant-To-First-Line-Treatment

POSTED ON December 11th  - POSTED IN AbledNews
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AbledNews post banner with the headline: H7N9 Bird flu: Mutation makes it resistant to first-line treatments like Tamiflu. A photograph by flickr user M M (Padmanaba01) shows to women working in a stall at a chicken market in Xining, Qingai province China. There are cages of brownish-red hens and white roosters all crowded together and a table laid out with processed chicken meat in unsanitary conditions.

Researchers recommend doctors avoid using common first-line drugs like Tamiflu which could help build resistance 

 

In April of this year, researchers in China discovered the first examples that the Influenza A (H7N9) ‘bird flu’ virus had the ability to mutate and develop resistance to oseltamivir, more commonly know as Tamiflu.

 

Now a separate team of researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has confirmed it and published their results in the journal Nature Communications.

 

Nicole Bouvier, who led the team, emphasized there is no cause for alarm . . . yet, saying, “these H7N9 viruses seem to transmit fairly inefficiently overall”.

 

Photo shows greyscale photo of the H7N9 strain of the Influenza A virus as seen under an electron microscope taken at the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, showing the filaments and spheres of the virus that look like a string of pearls.

 Photo of the H7N9 strain of Influenza A as seen under an electron microscope. Source: CDC

 

For their study, Bouvier’s team worked with a mutated version of the H7N9 virus which was sampled from an infected patient in China to assess its resistance to drugs and how infectious it was before and after treatment.

 

They found it highly resistant to Tamiflu, and that it was still infectious. In fact, it infected  human cells in a laboratory dish, and spread between laboratory animals just as efficiently as a non-mutated virus.

 

“This is unusual, as it is known that when seasonal influenza viruses gain resistance to drugs, it usually happens at a cost to the virus – the cost being a reduced ability to transmit between hosts and to grow within them,” they wrote.

 

The researchers make a point of saying that while this doesn’t make it any more likely that H7N9 will develop into a global human pandemic, it does mean doctors should be cautious with their use of anti-viral medicines to treat H7N9 cases, and should evaluate using drugs other than Tamiflu, such as GlaxoSmithKline‘s Relenza.

 

A different team of researchers in the United States counters that it’s not impossible that H7N9 could eventually become easily transmissible between humans, but it would have to undergo multiple mutations first.

 

Nevertheless, scientists around the world are on alert for any signs that the virus is developing that ability.

 

You can follow our ongoing coverage of the spread of the H7N9 virus here.

 

The Latest H7N9 Stats To Date:

 

A map of Asia from the World Health Organization shows the locations of confirmed cases of H7N9 infection as of the 25th of October, 2013. The map also details the progression of cases from the beginning of the year with 4 cases and 3 deaths in february; 33 cases and 18 deaths in March; 94 cases and 23 deaths in April; 2 cases in May; no cases or deaths in June; 2 cases and 1 death in July; no cases or deaths in August or September; 2 cases in October for a total to date of 137 cases and 45 deaths.

 

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AbledHealth-Meningitis-The-Princeton-Vaccine

POSTED ON November 25th  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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AbledHealth Special Report post banner has the headline: Meningitis: The Princeton Vaccine - Unapproved by the FDA but deemed necessary. Photos in the background show on the left a 3D rendering of the meningococcal bacteria next to a wide photo of the front of Princeton University's Nassau Hall which features a large bell tower.

8th Meningitis Case Since March Now Reported At Princeton – No Effect On Vaccination Plans

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE: 10/12/13 : Almost 2,000 of the estimated 6,000 students at the Princeton University campus lined-up on Monday to get the first emergency vaccinations of Bexsero, a vaccine approved in Canada, Europe and Australia, but not yet approved in the United States. Administrators at Princeton agreed to provide the vaccinations after officials at the CDC requested special permission from the FDA. The vaccinations will continue through Thursday and booster shots will be given in the new year.

 

Photo provided by Princeton University shows students lined-up in a large hallway with round pillars and between roped-off rows to get the Bexsero vaccination against meningitis B.

 

The vaccinations were given under the shadow of an unrelated outbreak of meningitis B at the University of California, Santa Barbara where at least 4 students have been infected in the past month. One of them, 18 year old freshman lacrosse player Aaron Loy had to have his feet amputated following complications from the infection. He is slowly recovering.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

After developing symptoms Wednesday night, November 21st, a female student at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized the next day. Health officials are awaiting test results to see if her infection is related to the seven meningococcal serotype B cases reported in the University community since March of this year.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE: 26/11/13 : New Jersey Department of Health officials have confirmed that this 8th case of meningitis at Princeton is a serotype B case. The student involved has been treated at hospital and discharged and is now recovering. Meanwhile, a student at Monmouth University in New Jersey has been hospitalized in stable condition with meningitis serotype C which is the more common strain found in the United States. College students in New Jersey must get the approved U.S. form of the vaccine before attending colleges in the state. 

Princeton University officials have now confirmed that two rounds of vaccinations with Bexsero will be made available, starting for four days as of December 9, with a second follow-up round in February next year.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The Daily Princeton quotes CDC spokesperson Allison Patti as saying this latest case shouldn’t change the current response to the outbreak. The University has issued a health advisory to all students and parents and will sponsor two rounds of free and voluntary vaccinations with the Bexsero vaccine from Norvartis which has won approval in the European Union and Australia, but has yet to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is allowing the Bexsero vaccine to be administered under an Investigational New Drug Application.

 

Photo provided by Novartis Pharmaceutical company shows a lab technician stacking some boxes of the Bexsero meningitis vaccine. The boxes are white with purple printing.

 

All incoming college students are required by state law to receive licensed meningococcal vaccines, but those that have cleared the FDA only cover the A, C, Y and W-135 serogroups.

 

All undergraduates, all graduate students who live in dormitories, and other University community members who have existing medical conditions predisposing them to meningococcal disease can opt to receive the Bexsero vaccination.

 

The CDC says  based on studies of serogroup B meningococcus that cause disease in the United States, this vaccine would cover 91% of circulating strains. Lab testing has been done to confirm that the vaccine would help protect against the exact strain of meningococcal bacteria that is causing the outbreak at the University. The outbreak strain at Princeton University is ST409.

 

The CDC has made the following information available on meningococcal disease and serogroup B meningococcal vaccine:

 

What Is Meningococcal Disease?

 

Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness that is caused by the type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus. Fewer than 1,000 cases of meningococcal disease occur each year in the United States.

These bacteria can cause serious infections like meningococcal meningitis (infection of the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord) and meningococcal septicemia (bloodstream infection causing bleeding into the skin and organs).

There are five main serogroups (“strains”) of meningococcal bacteria: A, B, C, Y, and W. The most common ones that cause disease in the United States are B, C, and Y. In 2012 there were about 500 total cases of meningococcal disease, and 160 of those cases were caused by serogroup B.

View CDC’s guidance for evaluating and managing meningococcal disease outbreaks.

 

Symptoms of Meningococcal Infection

 

Two photos show an infant with meningococcal disease with red rashes on the arms and face and dark purple bruises and spots on its legs and feet. The attached infographic reads: How can you tell if a baby has meningococcal disease? Not all these symptoms may show at once. Fever, refusing feeds or vomiting, fretfulness, child is difficult to wake, high pitched moaning cry, pale or blotchy skin, rash of red - purple spots or bruises.

 

Part 1 of 3 Infographics by Novartis are titled Meningococcal Disease - A Story by numbers. A red circle clock with the hands at 11 o'clock  against a global map with the text: Every 10 minutes 1 person dies from meningococcal disease worldwide. Every minute 1 new person is diagnosed world-wide. It can kill within 24 hours and is easily misdiagnosed. In the next level of the infographic 10 small teddy bears are shown - 9 are brown and one is red. The text reads: 1 out of 10 cases ends in death. Two large teddy bears are shown in the next level with the text 2 out of 10 survivors suffer permanent disability, incuding brain damage, kidney failure, hearing loss or loss of limb.

 

The second panel of the Novartis infographic on Meningococcal disease reads: The most vulnerable population: Infants. A baby bottle half full of milk accompanies the text: 50 percent of meningococcal disease cases in the UK occur in infants.  17 baby carriages accompany the text: Infants are 17 times more likely to contract the disease compared to the general population in europe. The next section is titled: The Unmet Need. The bacteria that causes meningococcal disease includes five main types, classified as serogroups (A, B, C, W and Y). A set of children's alphabet blocks show the first letters of each serogroup: A,B,C, W and Y with the text: These five serogroups cause the majority of all meningococcal disease cases around the world. The next set of blocks are A, C, W and Y with the text: These four sergroups are vaccine-preventable. One block containing the letter B accompanies the text: Serogroup B has no broad effective vaccine - at the time of the infographic's printing.

 

Panel three of the Novartis infographic on meningococcal disease reads: In many countries, the majority of meningococcal disease in infants is caused by meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) disease. Outlines of each country mentioned show the percentage of serogroup B cases: UK 96 percent; France 86 per cent; Australia 86%; Canada 81 per cent; Germany 85 per cent; Italy 56 per cent. The next section reads: Scientific Breakthrough for MenB shows a quote by Rio Rappuoli, Glibal Head of Vaccines Research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics and reads - Most of the time, treatment is given too late, and the best way to win with this disease is to prevent it. This info graphic was prepared by Novartis in presenting its Bexsero vaccine for MenB.

 

 

FAQ’s Related To Princeton Vaccination Program

 

A serogroup B meningococcal vaccine is being considered for use at Princeton University. The FDA is allowing the use of the vaccine at Princeton University under an Investigational New Drug application.

 

Q: Who is investigating the meningococcal disease outbreak at Princeton University and is a vaccine being considered to help protect the University’s population?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Princeton University officials, and local health authorities have been working closely together since the first case of meningococcal disease was reported in association with Princeton University in March 2013. At the request of the NJDOH, CDC reviewed the seven cases of meningococcal disease that occurred among Princeton University students and visitors since March 2013. All of these cases were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as serogroup B (“strain” B).

The number of cases and lack of direct connection among the cases means this is an outbreak. Given cases have occurred during two school years, it is anticipated that there will be more cases and vaccination may be an option to control the outbreak. A new vaccine that helps protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B is being considered. The vaccine under consideration is licensed for use in Europe and Australia, but not in the United States.

 

Q: Who would the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine be recommended for and why?

A: Pending final approval by CDC, the vaccine would be recommended for all Princeton University undergraduate students (those who live in dormitories or off-campus) as well as graduate students who live in dormitories. Certain other individuals associated with the University may be evaluated for vaccination if they have specific medical conditions, including problems with their spleen (including sickle cell disease) or complement pathway (a specific type of immune deficiency). These groups would be recommended vaccine because young adults and people with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of getting this infection, especially those who live in close quarters, such as dormitories.

Meningococcal disease can be very serious and sometimes life-threatening. The best way to protect students may be vaccination. If vaccination is recommended, it will be important to get as many students vaccinated as possible to help stop the outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease at the University.

 

Q: How soon could a vaccine campaign begin at Princeton University?

A: Everyone involved is working hard to organize a potential serogroup B meningococcal disease vaccine campaign as quickly as possible that fits into Princeton University’s academic calendar. Expanding access for use of an investigational vaccine that helps protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease requires careful review of the particular circumstances of the outbreak, including the number of cases, the duration of time between cases, and the characteristics of the bacteria causing the outbreak. This work also involves making sure the vaccine can be safely administered in a timely manner and ensuring the appropriate systems are in place for safety follow up after vaccination. The campaign can begin once all approvals are gained and the vaccine is on hand.

 

Q: What additional approvals are required before the vaccine can be recommended and used at Princeton University?

A: Agreements between all the partners involved need to be finalized. In addition, CDC’s Institutional Review Board will need to approve the vaccine use procedure.

 

Q: Why wasn’t the vaccine considered earlier?

A: In similar college outbreaks, disease prevention recommendations include encouraging behaviors that minimize the likelihood of catching meningococcal disease and recommending vaccination against meningococcal disease. However, the outbreak at Princeton University is caused by a strain of the bacteria that is not covered by any vaccine licensed in the United States. Once the outbreak was recognized at the University, CDC began looking into whether a vaccine licensed in other countries could be made available.

The initial recommendation for University students was to encourage behaviorsExternal Web Site Icon that minimize the likelihood of catching meningococcal disease. Given the pattern of cases since March 2013, with the most recent case reported in November 2013, we believe there is a strong likelihood that even with such measures in place there will be more cases.

 

Q: I thought the school was doing other things, like telling students not to share cups, to help prevent the disease from spreading. Why would a vaccine be needed?

A: The University and NJDOH have taken appropriate public health measures to prevent cases, including offering preventive antibiotics to close contacts of ill students and educating students about meningococcal disease. Students should:

  • Know the symptoms of meningococcal disease;
  • Avoid activities — like smoking or sharing respiratory secretions (such as saliva, by kissing or close coughing) — that can increase their risk of illness; and
  • Seek medical attention immediately if they have any symptoms of meningitis or a bloodstream infection. Symptoms may include sudden onset of a high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, or a rash. It is important to remember that someone with meningococcal disease may have a high fever and no other symptoms.

Getting plenty of rest and not sharing saliva are good general hygiene recommendations, but their effectiveness at protecting against meningococcal disease is probably limited. The best protection may come from getting vaccinated.

 

Q: Do students who have already gotten a meningococcal vaccine need this one, too?

A: If recommended, yes. In the United States, the vaccine students can routinely get protects against four serogroups (“strains”), known as serogroups A, C, Y, and W, but not against B. New Jersey regulation requires that all students who enter a four-year university and reside in a campus dormitory get the shot against the four serogroups. There is very high vaccine coverage among students at Princeton University for the vaccine that protects against serogroups A, C, Y, and W. Serogroup B is the cause of the outbreak at Princeton University. The vaccine under consideration helps protect against serogroup B. Students did not have the opportunity to get this vaccine in the past because there wasn’t one available or licensed that would have been effective.

 

Q: Will the vaccine help protect students against the strain of meningococcal disease identified at Princeton University?

A: Yes. Based on studies of serogroup B meningococcus that cause disease in the United States, this vaccine would cover 91% of circulating strains. Lab testing has been done to confirm that the vaccine would help protect against the exact strain of meningococcal bacteria that is causing the outbreak at the University. The outbreak strain at Princeton University is ST409.

 

Q: How safe is the vaccine?

A: More than 8,000 infants, children, adolescents, and adults were safely vaccinated with the vaccine as part of the studies that resulted in its approval in Europe and Australia. The most common side effects take place where the shot was given (in the arm), which can include pain and tenderness, swelling, and hardness of the skin. Other common side effects for adolescents and young adults include nausea, feeling a little run down, and having a headache. These reactions usually last a short amount of time and get better on their own within a few days. Like any vaccine, this one can potentially cause a serious problem such as a severe allergic reaction, though the risk of serious harm from the vaccine is extremely small.

 

Q: Does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) think it’s safe to get this vaccine?

A: Yes. FDA has allowed the use of the vaccine at Princeton University under an Investigational New Drug application. FDA has stayed informed about development of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines over the years and recently reviewed the latest available data. From this review, FDA has concluded that the benefits of using the vaccine to prevent meningococcal disease outweigh the risks of possible adverse events, supporting its possible use during the serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak at the University.

FDA and CDC would work with Princeton University to monitor the safety of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine when the proposed vaccination program begins.

 

Q: Why is the vaccine referred to as an “investigational new drug”?

A: This is a term FDA uses to describe a medication or vaccine that is not licensed (approved) in the United States, but which may be used in certain specific situations.

 

Q: Is this vaccine considered “experimental”?

A: CDC does not consider this vaccine to be experimental. FDA is allowing the use of the vaccine at Princeton University under an Investigational New Drug application, which is a term FDA uses to describe a medication or vaccine that is not licensed (approved) in the United States but which is made available for healthcare providers to use it in certain situations. Clinical trials in other countries have shown the vaccine to meet safety and efficacy standards to allow licensure in the European Union and Australia. Before these countries approved the vaccine’s use, their regulatory agencies — those similar to the FDA in the United States — completed a thorough review of the available data.

 

Q: Would those recommended to get the vaccine be required to get it?

A: No, getting the vaccine would be voluntary.

 

Q: Why is the vaccine not approved for use in the United States?

A: Novartis, the company that makes the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, has completed phase II clinical studies in the United States. After careful review of requirements for licensure, existing vaccination schedules, and feedback from public health experts, the company has decided to advance a meningococcal vaccine that helps protect against five serogroups (A, B, C, Y, and W) into late stage development. Such a vaccine would cover the most common serogroups that cause meningococcal disease circulating in the United States. The exact timeline for approval in the United States depends on many factors. The serogoup B meningococcal vaccine is approved in Europe and Australia. Approvals in additional countries are expected soon. Questions regarding Novartis’ plans to seek licensure in the United States should be directed to them.

 

Q: Will a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine eventually be licensed for use in the United States?

A: It is possible that manufacturers will get this type of vaccine licensed in the United States in the future. In April, 2011, an FDA advisory committee discussedExternal Web Site Icon the data available at that time about serogroup B meningococcal vaccines and approaches for getting those vaccines licensed in the United States.

 

Q: Where is the vaccine licensed and how new is it?

A: The vaccine is currently licensed for use in Europe and Australia. The European Union approved its use in January 2013, and Australia approved its use in August 2013. These countries have higher rates of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B compared to countries like the United States. Before these countries approved the vaccine’s use, their regulatory agencies — those similar to the FDA in the United States — completed a thorough review and concluded the vaccine was effective and met safety standards.

 

Q: Have vaccines similar to this one been used before?

A: Yes. The vaccine is similar to, but likely more effective than, a serogroup B vaccine (MeNZB) that was used for several years in New Zealand. The vaccine used in New Zealand protected against one type of serogroup B. More than 1.1 million people were vaccinated with MeNZB in New Zealand from 2004-2011, helping to stop a country-wide outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease.

The company (Novartis) who makes the vaccine under consideration for use at the University produces another meningococcal vaccine (Menveo®) that has been licensed and recommended for use in the United States since 2010 to help protect against serogroups A, C, Y, and W. However, Menveo® does not offer protection against serogroup B, the bacteria causing the outbreak at the University. Students would need to get the vaccine in order to be best protected against serogroup B meningococcal disease.

 

Q: Has this vaccine been used at other colleges or universities in the United States?

A: No. This is the first time the vaccine is being considered for use in the United States. However, more than 8,000 infants, children, adolescents, and adults have safely received this vaccine worldwide. More than one million people got a similar vaccine in New Zealand and no unusual pattern or occurrence of serious reactions was seen with that vaccine.

 

Q: How many doses of the vaccine are needed?

A: Two doses are needed for maximum protection. The second dose should be given one to six months after the first dose (but not sooner).

 

Q: How long does it take to get protected after getting the first dose of the vaccine?

A: After getting the first dose of the vaccine, it will take about 2 weeks for the body’s immune system to develop enough protection (antibodies) to help prevent serogroup B meningococcal disease. Since that protection declines over time, a second dose is needed to maintain protection. It is critical that high levels of protection are achieved during an outbreak if the vaccine is recommended.

 

Q: Can the vaccine give someone meningococcal disease?

A: No, since the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine does not include any live bacteria, but is instead made of inactivated parts of the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, the vaccine cannot give someone meningococcal disease.

 

 

Q: Is it safe to get the vaccine right after getting another meningococcal vaccine, like Menveo® or Menactra®, or after getting a flu vaccine?

A: Yes, it is safe to get the vaccine after receiving another meningococcal vaccine or a flu vaccine.

 

Q: Is there anything someone should tell the doctor or nurse before getting the vaccine?

A: Yes. They should tell the doctor or nurse if they:

  • Are not feeling well. If the person has a severe infection with a high temperature, vaccination should be delayed. But the vaccine should be given on time if there is only a minor infection, such as a cold.
  • Have a chronic medical problem, like hemophilia.
  • Have a severe (life threatening) allergy to any vaccine component.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding. There is not enough data to know if the vaccine is safe to use during pregnancy. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not get the vaccine.

 

Q: Who is paying for this vaccine?

A: Princeton University would cover the cost of the vaccine for all eligible groups who receive it.

 

Q: What kind of consent would be needed to get the vaccine?

A: Those who are 18 years of age and older would give their own informed consent. Those younger than 18 years old of age would need a signed consent form from their parent or guardian before receiving the vaccine. Before the vaccine campaign, the University will provide further information to everyone who would be recommended to get the vaccine and parents of students to assist in the decision-making process.

 

Q: Would the vaccine be offered to other people?

A: No. As of this time, the vaccine is only being considered for specific groups at Princeton University who are at increased risk for getting meningococcal disease. These groups include undergraduate students, regardless of where they live, and graduate students who live in dormitories. Certain other individuals may be evaluated for vaccination if they have specific medical conditions.

 

Q: Why would the residents of the town of Princeton not be eligible to receive the vaccine?

A: Tracking for cases of meningococcal disease is very good and no cases have been seen in the town of Princeton during this outbreak, which indicates that members of the general public are not currently at increased risk. Rates of meningococcal disease have been declining in the United States since the late 1990s. There are now fewer than 1,000 cases reported each year, and 98 out of 100 cases are sporadic (not associated with an outbreak).

Since the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine is not licensed for use in the United States, an Investigational New Drug application is being used to allow the vaccine for everyone associated with Princeton University who is considered at increased risk for meningococcal disease. The vaccine could not be given to anyone who does not fit the eligibility criteria established in the Investigational New Drug application. For that reason, only undergraduate students (regardless of where they live), graduate students who live in dormitories, and certain other individuals associated with the University who have a medical condition that puts them at increased risk for meningococcal disease could receive the vaccine.

While anyone can get meningococcal disease, adolescents and college-aged adults are at increased risk. The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease require prolonged (lengthy), close contact in order to spread. The bacteria are much harder to spread than the virus that causes the flu and cannot live outside of the body for very long. The bacteria are not spread by casual contact like being in the same room as someone who is sick or carrying the bacteria or handling items that they touched. You must be in close contact with the person’s saliva (spit) or other respiratory secretions in order for the bacteria to spread. Close contacts include people in the same household, roommates, or anyone with direct contact with a patient’s saliva (such as a boyfriend or girlfriend through French kissing).

 

Q: Should Princeton University students cancel their holiday plans or be quarantined until the outbreak is over?

A: We recognize that when cases of meningococcal disease occur, there is increased concern about the potential spread of disease and desire to take appropriate steps to prevent additional cases. There is no evidence that family members and the community are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease from casual contact with Princeton University students. Therefore, CDC does not recommend curtailing social interactions or canceling travel plans during the upcoming holidays as a preventive measure for meningococcal disease. Instead, we continue to recommend that Princeton University students remain vigilant to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek treatment immediately if they experience any of those symptoms.

 

Q: Should outside sports teams, clubs, or other people who plan to visit Princeton University, or host Princeton University students, cancel their plans?

A: No, plans should not be cancelled or delayed. Please see more information about this questionhere Adobe PDF file.

 

Q: Why can’t antibiotics be used for everyone instead of the vaccine?

A: Antibiotics are given to close contacts of those who have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease. Anyone who is a close contact of a person with meningococcal disease is at extremely high risk for getting the infection. Close contacts are identified by asking people about the extent of their contact and interactions with the person who got meningococcal disease. For example, living with the person who got sick puts you at high risk, but working together in an office generally does not.

Recommending antibiotics to the entire student body is not an effective strategy. Meningococcal bacteria are spread from person to person and cause “carriage” in the nose and throat. Carriage means that the bacteria live in the nose and throat, but don’t invade your body and make you sick. Most carried strains are unlikely or unable to cause disease. Though certain strains are more likely to cause disease, at any given time only a very small number of people may carry the outbreak strain. If you are exposed to the outbreak strain you either develop disease within a few days or you develop immunity and the carried bacteria disappear from your nose and throat.

If you wanted to try and control an outbreak with antibiotics, you would have to treat every single person at risk in the outbreak at the same time. Otherwise, if one person is still carrying the bacteria in their nose and throat, it can continue to spread since people would not have lasting protection like a vaccine can provide. Even if you can treat everyone at once, antibiotics are about 85% effective at eliminating the carried bacteria in the nose and throat, but not 100%. The strain could still circulate at the University. For the same reason, it is not possible to test everyone and treat the carriers with antibiotics.

On the other hand, the vaccine helps protect people for a much longer period of time. Even if you are exposed, the vaccine helps protect you against the bacteria. It is also possible for the vaccine to decrease or stop spread of the bacteria, which would help protect the community as a whole by stopping carriage in the nose and throat.

In addition, about 1 in every 100 people is allergic to an antibiotic. Some may not even know it. Treating many people unnecessarily with antibiotics also carries risks, possibly causing more harm than good. To help prevent the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, it is critical that antibiotics only be used when necessary and appropriate.

 

If you have further questions about the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, please emailmeningvaccine@cdc.gov.

 

 

 

AbledFacts infobox reads: Pirnceton Meningitis Outbreak: 8 cases of MenB since March; FDA clears use of Bexsero vaccine unapproved in U.S.; Voluntary vaccination program planned"

 

AbledFacts box is titled Meningococcal Disease Signs and symptoms in white text over a blue background. There are two columns. The left is titled Meningococcal Septicemia and lists the following signs and symptoms: Shivering, chills, cold hands or feet; skin color change; Sudden, severe pain in arms, legs, joints or stomach; Fever, thirst, nausea, vomiting, maybe diarrhea; Drowsiness, loss of consciousness, rapid breathing; Spots or pinprick rash (develops to purple blotches). The second column reads: Meningococcal Meningitis and lists the following signs and symptoms: Severe headache; Stiff or painful neck; Sensitivity to light; Drowsiness, loss of consciousness, fits; A rash may develop in the later stages.

 

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AbledHealth-Longevity-Eating-Nuts-May-Prolong-life

POSTED ON November 24th  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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AbledHealth post banner shows a selection of mixed nuts on a glass background with the headline: Longevity-Eating nuts may prolong life | Walnuts are the healthiest.

Study also sees 29% reduction in heart disease

 

It’s the largest study of its kind that followed close to 120,000 people over 30 years which not only saw reductions in the death rates of participants, but also reduced risks of deaths from heart disease and cancer.

 

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and found that the biggest benefit was seen from eating a daily portion of nuts. Eating nuts has been associated with a decreased risk of developing a number of major diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, but there had never been a study examining the association between nut consumption and mortality.

 

What likely has an impact on the study is that the participants consisted of  76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980–2010) and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2010). Participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke were excluded.

 

The research team said nut eaters were also likely to have healthy lifestyles, including being less likely to smoke or be overweight and more likely to exercise, but they say the nuts themselves were also contributing to the longer lifespans.

 

Among the results:

 

Eat nuts 1x a week = 11% reduction in death rate

Eat nuts 4x a week = 13% reduction in death rate

Eat nuts 7x a week = 20% reduction in death rate

 

Lead researcher Dr Charles Fuchs, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: “The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease, but we also saw a significant reduction – 11% – in the risk of dying from cancer.”

 

Funding for the study came from the US National Institutes of Health and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (nuthealth.org).

 

 

Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women

 

Increasing nut intake has also been associated with reduced risk of diabetes mellitus, which is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. After adjusting for age, height, smoking, physical activity, and total energy intake from the same study group, NutHealth.org found that women who consumed a 28-g (1 oz) serving size of nuts up to 2 times per week experienced a significantly lower risk of pancreatic cancer (RR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47–0.92; for trend=0.007) when compared with those who largely abstained from nuts. 

 

 

Walnuts Are The Healthiest Nut

 

Photo shows whole and half-shelled walnuts on a white counter top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania told the American Chemical Society that walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts and should be eaten more as part of a healthy diet.

 

Dr. Joe Vinson analyzed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and found that the antioxidants found in walnuts were 2 to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E and 2 times more powerful than any of the other nuts in the sample.

 

He mentions the walnuts should be eaten raw or unroasted to get the full benefit as the heat from roasting nuts reduces the quality of the antioxidants.

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AbledHealth-Heart-Disease-And-Stroke-200-thousand-preventable-deaths

POSTED ON September 9th  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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AbledHealth story Banner shows a computer-generated image of a red heart and arteries visible through a bluish x-ray effect of a human chest that shows the ribcage and the outline of the shoulders and arms with the title: heart Disease and Stroke: 200 thousand deaths each year are preventable

 

Many deaths can be prevented, and improving care can save more lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , about 800 thousand people in the United States die of heart disease and stroke every year. That’s 1 in 3 annual deaths and more than 50% occur in people under 65 years of age, with African American men at highest risk.

Of those 800 thousand, the CDC estimates at least 200 thousand of those deaths could have been prevented. How? By changes in health habits, such as:

  • Stop smoking
  • Cut down or eliminate salt in your diet
  • Be more physically active – take a 10 minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week
  • Manage your high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Communities need to create healthier living spaces, such as more smoke-free areas and safer places to exercise

 

AbledHealth-Heart disease and Stroke statistical chart shows the number of preventable deaths in people over 65 has steadily decreased from 118 thousand in 2001 to 88 thousand in 2010 while the number of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke among those under 65 has increased from 110 thousand in 2001 to 112 thousand in 2010.

 

EU death rates from heart disease decline

In the European Union, the picture is just the opposite. 

Death rates from heart disease across the EU have dropped by more than 50% in many countries since the early 1980s, according to new research published recently in the European Heart Journal.

In the majority of countries, there have been ongoing steady reductions in heart disease death rates in both sexes and most age groups, including among younger people, despite increases in obesity and diabetes during this time. However, heart disease remains a leading cause of death in Europe.

 

Abledhealth - global map of heart disease deaths shows a range of colors assigned with yellow being the lowest and red being the highest . The map shows North America and Western Europe to be mostly yellow with increadingly darker coloring in South America, Africa and the MIddle East evolving to red across the Baltics and Russia.

 

The study found that Denmark, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K. had the largest drops in mortality for both sexes, ranging from minus 72% for men in Denmark to minus 57% for men in Malta.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were only small and nonsignificant drops among men in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, contrasting with a 29% spike among Romanian men.

The CDC’s report found that about 80 percent of deaths from coronary artery disease — a name for heart disease caused by narrowing of the arteries which leads to reduced blood flow to the heart — can be attributed to preventable factors like obesity, poor physical activity, heavy drinking, eating unhealthy foods and not keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

The report’s authors say these lifestyle changes could also prevent about 50 percent of stroke deaths:

 

AbledHealth - Heart Disease and Stroke chart from the Centers For Disease Control shows risk factors and solutions with red clip art and the following text: Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year from heart disease and stroke. Most of the major risk factors can be managed or prevented Risk factors and solutions for managing them  High blood pressure – Make control your goal. High cholesterol – Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your cholesterol. Diabetes – Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your diabetes. Tobacco use – If you don't smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke get help to quit. Unhealthy diet – Eat a healthy diet, low in sodium and trans fats and high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Physical inactivity – The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderateintensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week. Obesity – Work to maintain a healthy weight.

Source: CDC

You can read more about the report at the CDC’s VitalSigns page.

You can learn about the ABC’s of heart attack prevention from CBS News:

 

 

 

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AbledConditions-Lyme-Disease-My-2-years-of-hell

POSTED ON September 8th  - POSTED IN AbledConditions
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AbledConditions story headline shows a photo of HLN 'In Session' producer Erik Nivision looking to his left with his hands in his pockets and wearing a blue, green and white striped shirt along with a grey fedora with white trim. He was diagnosed with Lyme Disease last month after 2 years of what he calls 'hell'.

 

Erik Nivison was diagnosed with Lyme Disease last month after suffering symptoms for 2 years 

Erik Nivison is a producer for HLN TV’s ‘In Session’ program. Before moving to Atlanta, he grew up in one of the hot belts for Lyme Disease – Connecticut. 

His journey through the medical system over the past two years reads like a parallel diary to other people who develop mysterious and unexplainable symptoms that are misdiagnosed by physicians who are ill-schooled in the complexities of tick-borne diseases – chief among them – Lyme Disease.

Like other patients he had no recollection of being bitten by a tick and didn’t remember any characteristic rash, but went on to develop neurological symptoms, numbness and muscle weakness, as well as Bell’s Palsy, which paralyzed part of his face. 

And like other Lyme patients who were diagnosed late into their battle with the disease, Erik faces an unknown future of possible continuing health complications.

He’s sharing his story at CNN.com to raise awareness in the hope that others won’t suffer the same fate. Here’s an excerpt :

‘For most people it starts with a telltale, bulls-eye rash and flu-like symptoms. It then develops into neurological problems, such as numbness in the limbs or facial paralysis, leaving the patient in excruciating pain.

About 300,000 Americans each year are infected with Lyme disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number, the CDC reported last week, is about 10 times higher than they had previously estimated.

But what if you never get the rash? What if you blow off your symptoms as a bad case of the flu?

I spent the first 30 years of my life in New England, where talk about Lyme disease was prevalent. When I was little my mother would have us slather on the DEET before we went outside made sure we had long pants and socks on, especially when we’d play in the woods. She’d check us for ticks and remove any she found with a match and tweezers. Problem solved — no rash, good to go.

Then in 2006 I moved to Atlanta, and Lyme disease faded from my mind. Common in the Northeast, Lyme disease is found less often in the South. The year I arrived, eight cases were reported in Georgia, compared to 1,788 in my home state of Connecticut.

I am now one of the cases for 2013.

At least once a week, my muscles start to twitch uncontrollably; they tighten so much my fingers turn into fists. I can feel my fingernails digging through my skin. My heart races out of control and my blood pressure skyrockets.

My doctor holds me down, consoling me, telling me to breathe because he has no idea what’s going on. My face is numb, and it feels like I have the flu. I have trouble breathing. The pain is so bad I start to cry.

A few years ago I noticed a pain radiating down my leg, starting from the small of my back. I had had artificial disc surgery in my spine a couple years prior and thought this new pain was due to scar tissue from the surgery.

Then I went to work one day and lost all feeling in my legs. My arms were tingling and it felt like I had pins and needles everywhere in my body.’  

 

Read more of Erik’s story at HLNTV.com and CNN.com.

 

And read our special coverage on Lyme Disease.

 

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POSTED ON September 8th  - POSTED IN AbledHealth
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AbledHealth story headline shows a photo of a computer animation depicting a pair of tweezers grabbing at the jaws of a tick embedded in human skin with the headline: Lyme Disease: 10 times more cases - How to keep safe and how to treat it.

 

The new global epidemic grows as physicians bicker over its existence and treatment 

New estimates released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint an alarming picture of how big the Lyme Disease threat is in the country. Based on findings from three ongoing CDC studies, the preliminary estimates spike the number of Americans diagnosed each year with Lyme Disease to around 300,000 versus the previous estimate of 30,000.

That’s 821 cases per day.

A screengrab from the documentary 'Under Our Skin' shows a sign that says 'Warning - tick infested area - through a chain-link fence. Click on the photo to go to the documentary website.

 

Most Lyme Disease cases in the United States reported to the CDC through national surveillance are concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 96 percent of cases in 13 states:

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

However, the non-profit Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA), has compiled information from various sources that it says shows that Lyme Disease has been reported in all states, and believes, along with the CDC that many cases are going unreported or undetected. 

Global map from Gideon-Online shows various shaded areas depicting countries where Lyme Disease has been reported.

 

World-wide, the World Health Organization reports the bacterium that causes Lyme DIsease is found in forested areas of Asia, north-western, central and eastern Europe, although the LDA claims it has spread to other continents in over 80 countries.

Lyme Disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete (identified in 1981 by Willy Burgdorfer) and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Its name comes from the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme in Connecticut after a number of cases were diagnosed in 1975.

A screen grab from the documentary 'Under Our Skin' shows a microscopic view of the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. Click on the photo to go to the documentary website.

 

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called ‘erythema chronicm migrans’ which can resemble a bullseye target. But what makes it difficult to fully diagnose and gauge the true number of cases is that not everyone develops this rash or even remembers they were bitten by a tick.

Illustrations show different sizes of ticks compared to the size of a dime as well as the characteristic bullseye pattern left by a tick bite on the back of a man. The illustration also shows tips to prevent Lyme Disease such as: Wear repellent; check for ticks daily; shower soon after being outdoors; Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash.

 

This, in turn, can lead to diagnostic errors, especially since the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease is also called ‘The Great Imitator’ because it can spread to almost every part of the body and ‘imitate’ the symptoms of other diseases. It has been misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and other auto-immune disorders.

 

Protect yourself against tick bites

Photo shows three people hikinh in a hillside using walking polls with dark-green fir trees in the background.

 

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society has some tips on protecting yourself from exposure to tick bites and preventing Chronic Lyme Disease:

1. Know that Lyme disease is a nationwide problem

Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease is not just an “East Coast” problem. In fact, in the last ten years, ticks known to carry Lyme disease have been identified in all 50 states and worldwide. Although the black legged tick is considered the traditional source of Lyme disease, new tick species such as the Lonestar tick and a pacific coast tick, have been found to carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the corkscrew-shaped bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Avoiding a tick bite remains the first step in preventing chronic Lyme disease. One needn’t have been “hiking in the woods” in order to be bitten by a tick. There can be ticks wherever there is grass or vegetation, and tick bites can happen any time of year. Spraying one’ s clothes with DEET-containing insecticide, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and “tucking pants into socks”, continue to be the best ways to avoid ticks attaching to the skin. But don’t forget the post-walk body check.

(Editors note: Also, keep sticky tape on hand at home to easily pick up any ticks you find around your home, and after any outdoor activity in an area where ticks have been found, throws your clothing into a hot clothes dryer for about 10 minutes to kill any ticks hiding in folds or seams.)

2. Check your tick facts

Ticks can vary in size from a poppy-seed size nymphal tick to a sesame-seed size adult tick. The ticks can carry other infectious agents besides the spirochete that causes Lyme disease, including Ehrlichia, Anaplamosis, Babesia, and Bartonella. Lyme disease can sometimes be hard to cure if these other infections are not treated at the same time.

3. Show your doctor every rash

(Editor’s note: If you find a tick, try to pull it out by lifting it with tweezers by grabbing as close as possible to the biting area. Do not squeeze the body or that will send blood and infection back into your body.)

Although the bull’s eye rash is the most famous, there are many other types of rashes associated with Lyme disease. In fact, Lyme disease rashes can be mistaken for spider bites or skin infections. Take photos and make sure a medical professional sees the rash before it fades.

4. Don’t assume that you can’t have Lyme disease if you don ‘t have a rash

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose without a rash, Bell’s palsy, arthritis, or meningitis, but you can still have Lyme and not have any of those signs or symptoms. Many people react differently to the infection and experience fatigue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, crying, sleep disturbance, poor memory and concentration, chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, joint pain, numbness and tingling.

5. Do not rely on test results

Currently there is no reliable test to determine if someone has contracted Lyme disease or is cured of it. False positives and false negatives often occur, though false negatives are far more common. In fact, some studies indicate up to 50% of the patients tested for Lyme disease receive false negative results. As a result, the CDC relies on physicians to make a clinical diagnosis based on a patient’s symptoms, health history, and exposure risks. Doctors who are experienced in recognizing Lyme disease will treat when symptoms typical of the illness are present, even without a positive test, in an effort to prevent the development of chronic Lyme disease.

Read the other 5 Prevention Tips at www.Ilads.org

 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease infection

Photo shows results from a Google image search of Lyme Disease rashes including the bullseye pattern and other patterns.

 

Lyme Disease is one of 28 conditions that can be spread by ticks, and if left undiagnosed or untreated, it can quickly spread throughout the organs, the central nervous system and the brain, sometimes even before the ‘bullseye’ rash appears. Couple this with mis-diagnoses and a lack of proper treatment, and the Lyme Disease Association says the following symptoms can develop:

Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, a patient usually experiences flulike symptoms such as aches and pains in muscles and joints, low-grade fever, and/or fatigue. But no organ is spared. Other possible symptoms include:

· Jaw — pain, difficulty chewing

· Bladder — frequent or painful urination, repeated “urinary tract infection”

· Lung — respiratory infection, cough, asthma, pneumonia

· Ear — pain, hearing loss, ringing, sensitivity to noise

· Eyes — pain due to inflammation, sensitivity to light, sclerotic drooping of eyelid, conjunctivitis, blurring or double vision

· Throat — sore throat, swollen glands, cough, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing

· Neurological — headaches, facial paralysis, seizures, meningitis, stiff neck, burning, tingling, or prickling sensations, loss of reflexes, loss of coordination, MS-like syndrome

· Stomach — pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, anorexia

· Heart — weakness, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, myocarditis, pericarditis, palpitations, heart blockage, enlarged heart, fainting, inflammation of muscle or membrane, shortness of breath, chest pain

· Joint — arthralgias or arthritis, muscle inflammation and pain

· Other Organs — liver infection, elevated liver enzymes, enlarged spleen, swollen testicles, irregular or ceased menses

· Neuropsychiatric — mood swings, irritability, poor concentration, cognitive loss, memory loss, loss of appetite, mental deterioration, depression, disorientation, sleep disturbance

· Pregnancy — miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects, stillbirth

· Skin — single or multiple rash, hives

The symptoms may occur in any combination, in any sequence, and over any time frame.

A screengrab from the documentary 'Under Our Skin' shows a closeup of a newspaper with the headline: 'Battle Lines Drawn In Bitter Lyme Wars

 

Treatment of Lyme Disease infection and the debate over ‘Chronic’ Lyme Disease

The frontline of primary treatment for Lyme Disease is the use of the antibiotic Doxycycline for one to four weeks, which is effective against the Borrelia spirochete bacterium and other infections spread by ticks. Other antibiotics may be used for children under the age of 8  and women who are pregnant or nursing.

If caught early, the prognosis is usually good, and depends on how long the tick was attached. It takes 36 to 48 hours for the bacteria to move from the ticks body to its saliva. A single dose of doxycycline given within 72 hours after the removal of a tick that’s engorged or has been attached for 36 hours may reduce the risk of developing Lyme Disease.

However, late diagnosis and treatment results in a more dismal picture. In 2005, a meta-analysis which studied results from a number of studies concluded that some late-stage Lyme Disease patients present a level of symptoms and physical disability on par with patients suffering from congestive heart failure.

The big and bitter debate between scientists, physicians and patients occurs collides when patients claim a long-term or ‘chronic’ case of Lyme Disease and want antibiotic treatment beyond the recommended duration, something the majority of scientists and physicians say is ineffective and dangerous.

A patient advocacy group, the Lyme Disease Association, sums it up by saying, ‘Those working in academia and conducting clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies and government tend to assert that Lyme disease is overdiagnosed, while hands-on Lyme clinicians say it is underdiagnosed. 

The issue is critical. If a doctor sees Lyme disease as under-diagnosed and thus treats all comers, the actual diagnosis might remain unrecognized and untreated while unnecessary use of antibiotics might lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in the human blood reservoir at large.

On the other hand, if a doctor sees Lyme disease as overdiagnosed and thus hesitates to treat, patients will go on to develop late stage, disseminated Lyme disease.

Tens of thousands of Americans are tragic testimony to option number two. By the time such individuals are finally diagnosed, they are often simply too sick to respond to a single month of antibiotics. Either they must accept the guidelines of IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) and Yale physicians that they now have the incurable and debilitating autoimmune disorder known as “Post-Lyme Syndrome,” or they must find a physician who believes that longer-term antibiotic treatment at a higher dose may eradicate the spirochete that conventional therapy could not.’

 

A screengrab from the documentary 'Under Our Skin' shows someone holding a foam hand with the words 'Hands Off My Lyme Doctor'

 

Such physicians have been harder to find as many have abandoned treating Lyme Patients because insurance companies won’t pay for long-term treatments and many risked facing malpractice charges and losing their licenses if they administered long-term antibiotic treatments.

It’s likely the revised estimates that began this article will fuel even more rancorous debate and we will continue to follow it, so check back often for additional information and links in our ongoing coverage of Lyme Disease.

More to come . . . in the meantime here are some thought-provoking moments in an extended trailer from a 2008 film called, ‘Under Our Skin’, made by Andy Abrahams Wilson whose sister contracted the disease.

 

AbledLinks:   Lyme Disease Association  |  American Lyme Disease Foundation

 

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