Pentagon OKs travel to all states save three — so far…

California, Florida and Michigan are the only states to which service members aren’t allowed to travel for permanent change-of-station moves, temporary duty and other non-essential purposes, per a Monday release from the Pentagon, as Minnesota and North Carolina are now green.

As cases continue to climb in those states, several others ― including Texas and Arizona ― are also experiencing an increase in daily diagnoses, though they continue to be green-lit. All told, 48 states and territories and eight countries are good-to-go as of Monday…

Those decisions could be made by a combatant commander, civilian service secretary or the Defense Department’s chief management officer.

Almost anyone with a brain and an inclination to consider reality might soon decide to add in Texas and Arizona. And any other state run by dumbass politicians more concerned with campaign donations than the safety of citizens.

COVID-19 deaths won’t peak in most states for weeks

The model, which uses data from cellphones to determine the impact of social distancing, provides a daily estimate of fatalities from COVID-19 in the United States for the coming weeks.

The findings indicate the number of deaths almost certainly has not yet peaked and is not likely to peak in many states until after May 1, a finding in contrast to one of the most frequently cited models.

The new model, from the University of Texas at Austin…uses data from the US to estimate the impact of recent social distancing measures within each state…

“On average, there seems to be a three-to-four week lag between when someone gets infected with COVID-19 and when they’re at risk of death,” says Lauren Ancel Meyers, who leads the University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

“That means we’re just beginning to see the life-saving benefits — and the clear signal in the data — of social distancing that began in mid- to late March.”…

In addition to using local movement data from individual US states to make projections rather than drawing on patterns observed in other countries, another difference in the new model is that it accounts for greater uncertainty further in the future.

Not that our Fake President and his 19th Century advisors pay much attention to models based on scientific studies. Good sense tells us to minimize deaths from this plague. Fearless Leader is more concerned with fund-raising for the next presidential election.

Why is this man’s nose on his forehead?

A Chinese man has grown a new nose in an unlikely place after losing his original nose to complications following a traffic accident.

Xiaolian, 22, failed to seek medical help for an infection that developed from his nose injury. After several months, it had corroded the cartilage, and doctors were unable to save it.

But surgeons in a hospital in Fuzhou, Fujian province, placed a skin tissue expander on Xiaolian’s forehead, shaping a new nose using cartilage taken from his ribs.

The new nose is in good shape, according to local media reports, and will soon be transplanted to the correct place.

The obvious reason for using his forehead is that – after the transplant – the skin will match the rest of his face. And it’s out of the way. 🙂

Survivors of meningitis from contaminated steroid coming down with a 2nd serious illness

Just when they might have thought they were in the clear, people recovering from meningitis in an outbreak caused by a contaminated steroid drug have been struck by a second illness.

The new problem, called an epidural abscess, is an infection near the spine at the site where the drug — contaminated by a fungus — was injected to treat back or neck pain. The abscesses are a localized infection, different from meningitis, which affects the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. But in some cases, an untreated abscess can cause meningitis. The abscesses have formed even while patients were taking powerful antifungal medicines, putting them back in the hospital for more treatment, often with surgery.

The problem has just begun to emerge, so far mostly in Michigan, which has had more people sickened by the drug — 112 out of 404 nationwide — than any other state…

In the last few days, about a third of the 53 patients treated for meningitis at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., have returned with abscesses, said Dr. Lakshmi K. Halasyamani, the chief medical officer.

“This is a significant shift in the presentation of this fungal infection, and quite concerning,” she said. “An epidural abscess is very serious. It’s not something we expected…”

The main symptom is severe pain near the injection site. But the abscesses are internal, with no visible signs on the skin, so it takes an M.R.I. scan to make the diagnosis. Some patients have more than one abscess. In some cases, the infection can be drained or cleaned out by a neurosurgeon.

But sometimes fungal strands and abnormal tissue are wrapped around nerves and cannot be surgically removed, said Dr. Carol A. Kauffman, an expert on fungal diseases at the University of Michigan. In such cases, all doctors can do is give a combination of antifungal drugs and hope for the best. They have very little experience with this type of infection.

Some patients have had epidural abscesses without meningitis; St. Joseph Mercy Hospital has had 34 such cases.

The meningitis outbreak, first recognized in late September, is one of the worst public health disasters ever caused by a contaminated drug. So far, 29 people have died, often from strokes caused by the infection. The case count is continuing to rise

Compounding pharmacies, which mix their own drugs, have had little regulation from either states or the federal government, and several others have been shut down recently after inspections found sanitation problems.

And no one is surprised. No one.

As often as conservative politicians lecture voters on their theology – ranging from states’ rights to corporations relying on self-policing to prevent crimes and disasters – history proves them wrong.

Whether the market is poisoned by derivative investments based on phony real estate valuations or individuals trying to cure chronic ailments are given contaminated medication – an essential service provided by good government is oversight. Regulations based on common sense, oversight based on an honest assessment of criminal opportunity are both required for a nation that wants health, monetary security and accountability in public and private practices.

Attack of the deadly turtles vs careless parents

Three outbreaks of Salmonella poisoning caused by exposure to tiny pet turtles have burgeoned into five outbreaks, with 124 people infected in 27 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

Sixty-seven percent of those sick from the outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona and Salmonella Poona are children under 10. At least 19 people have been hospitalized…

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of turtles with shells smaller than 4 inches in 1975 because they’re disease vectors, especially for Salmonella. The turtles remain a popular street-vendor item, however. Like other reptiles treated as pets, as well as pet amphibians like frogs, the tiny turtles can carry Salmonella even if they appear to be healthy and clean.

People can become infected by handling the turtles or from exposure to anything in their tanks or aquariums.

Once again, we learn how thoroughly parents keep informed about products that can affect their children. Reading does help, folks. Not everything makes the news on local TV at 5PM.

Plus – we witness what a great job governments at all levels perform at managing the distribution and sale of dangerous goods. The street vendors got these little critters somewhere inside the United States. They didn’t magically appear in chain stores for resale.

A small pill, a large campaign — with positive side effects


Beginning of the campaign in February

On a cool February morning in north Delhi, “35 third graders sat at small desks in a spartan but tidy classroom,”Amy Yee writes in The New York Times. “They wore blue school uniforms and listened as their teacher asked in Hindi if they had had intestinal worms.”

“A third of the children raised their hands, including 9-year-old Arjun Prasad,” Ms. Yee writes. He sometimes felt stomach pain and weakness — symptoms of severe infection — he said. “A few minutes later, Arjun and his classmates were given deworming pills, and took them during the class,” she writes. “They were among the 3.7 million children in Delhi who have taken the pills as part of a recent campaign in India’s capital to stamp out the widespread but neglected ailment.”

The chewable pill, mebendazole, which the Delhi schoolchildren said tasted like peppermint, costs just 3 cents. It is safe, easy to administer in schools (teachers can be trained to do it) and costs 50 cents per child to distribute twice a year. Within a few days the pill flushes worms out of the body.

The Delhi campaign followed others in India. Bihar, a western state for years practically synonymous with poverty in India, last year dewormed a staggering 17 million schoolchildren — nearly double the population of Sweden. Andhra Pradesh, in southern India, distributed deworming tablets to 2 million children in 2009.

If giving deworming pills to schoolchildren is so easy and effective, why haven’t more large-scale programs taken off? Ms. Yee asks. In fact, rolling out mass deworming programs, especially in “infamously bureaucratic and corrupt India, is a huge logistical feat and a notable act of political will,” she writes…

Deworming tablets are widely used (they are sold over the counter in India) and don’t carry the political and ethical sensitivities of vaccines. They are generic, so patents are not an issue. Students do not need parental consent to take them, thus decreasing bureaucracy…

However, the deworming campaigns are just one more important step. Momentum must be sustained; children should take deworming pills twice a year for several years if infection is high…

Bihar is readying for the second round of deworming this May, and Delhi has pledged another deworming day this summer. “Government will take this on, they won’t take it halfway,” pledged Kiran Walia, Delhi’s minister for women and child development, in an interview in Delhi in February.

The world will watch and hope. The world will watch and offer more help if needed.

RTFA for lots more detail.

Dumb crook of the day

Sharon, PA — A man apparently thought the threat of spreading an infectious disease inside a café would be enough to get a cashier to cough up cash.

Police Chief Mike Menster said the assailant then told the clerk if he didn’t cooperate, he’d touch him and infect him with the antibiotic-resistant MRSA staph infection.

It’s our first case of robbery by threat of an infectious disease,” Menster said.

Fred L. Parker, 41, told the cashier he had a deadly and highly contagious disease and offered to walk away if the cashier gave him money, police said. The cashier refused, and Parker left. He was arrested a short time later.

What a dolt!