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Why an increase in Disease Outbreaks, part 2

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posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:50 AM
This is the 2nd part of chapter 15 of my book Fever Rising. To read the other chapter visit this thread Why an increase in Disease Outbreaks, part 1 and at the beginning of that thread you'll find the links to the first 14 chapters.

Chapter 15: The Dangerous Gas Theory and Disease Outbreaks, continued

Before I go into the viruses that are mutating and spreading throughout the globe, I’d like to compare the differences between a virus and bacteria. For example, the bacteria are anywhere from 10 to 100 times larger than a virus. The virus is sub-microscopic and there is even debate whether they are actually living organisms or just an organic particle that invades a host cell. This is another difference between the two; the bacteria are an intercellular organism, meaning it lives between cells, while the virus is intracellular, meaning it actually invades a cell and then lives within it.

Bacteria are one-cell living organisms that come in different shapes, such as spheres, rods, curving rods and spirals, while virus are not even considered cellular. That’s why there is some debate whether they are living or not. Bacteria have DNA that floats inside cytoplasm within a cell wall and a cell membrane. Viruses on the other hand have DNA that resides inside a coat of protein.

Bacteria are localized infections while viruses are systemic, meaning they infect whatever system as a whole. A bacterial infection is usually in the one spot where the bacteria are living, such as a cut, a strep in the throat or pneumonia in the lungs. A virus will invade the cells of the host throughout the body, such as the flu and body aches, sniffles, diarrhea, and vomiting.

As far as reproduction and multiplying, bacteria have everything they need for their growth and reproduction. They usually reproduce asexually but they have plasmids genetic material that can pass between them. Viruses, on the other hand, carry their DNA packaged in a protein and sometimes a membranous coat. The virus has to use the host cell in order to reproduce. A virus attaches its legs onto the surface of the cell it’s invading and then injects its genetic material contained in the head of the virus right into the cell. Once injected, the virus can either use the cell’s machinery to produce its own proteins and/or virus bits or it can integrate for a later date. That later date comes when enough offspring are developed inside the cell, it bursts releasing the new viral particles. Once this happens the cell is destroyed.

Back to the theory, first, the Flu has unquestionably risen in the amount of reported cases and the degree of how ill victims of the virus become. The 2012-13 winter flu season started very early and peaked a month too soon. The headlines came quick and they were bold. The same pattern followed for the 2013-14 season.

As January progressed, the flu soared past peak season into epidemic levels hitting the elderly particularly hard. The 2012-13 outbreak had hit 48 states and 30 of these were at high levels with hundreds of deaths and hospitalizations, despite the illness slowing down in some areas., January 18, 2013
by Shannon Pettypiece
The worst U.S. flu season since 2009 intensified last week, killing hundreds more people as the viral epidemic spread to additional states, health officials said.

About 8.3 percent of all deaths nationwide were due to the flu and pneumonia for the week ended Jan. 12, more than the 7.3 percent level for an epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. About 90 percent of those deaths are people older than age 65, who are being hit particularly hard by this year’s flu strain, the Atlanta-based agency said.

The season of 2012-13 saw a huge push for the vaccine. It used to be important for the elderly and small children to get the flu vaccine since they were the most susceptible to the virus, but all of a sudden there was a huge push for everybody to get it. You were bombarded with it in advertisements, the news, regular doctor visits, at work, in schools. You name it, and guess what? We have a flu outbreak like we haven’t seen in decades.

Officials tell us that it’s just a particular strain of the virus, nothing to worry about. Their explanation was that they guess at what strain of flu will hit each year and then choose their vaccine based on that. They said this year they were wrong, they chose one particular strain but another chose to show up. The one that did show up is the one that hits a little harder, they said. Many people who were sick with the flu this year complained that it lasted at least two weeks and sometimes three.

It wasn’t long into the epidemic we began hearing many complaints that people who had received the vaccine were sick with the flu and the great debate began. It was reported that 30% of those who got sick had received the shot. The CDC admitted that the vaccine only has a 60% success rate, “so if you haven’t had your shot yet, what are you waiting for?”

It’s obvious that the pharmaceutical companies were wrong this year in predicting what strain would be prevalent. They assumed the weaker strain so they made millions of vaccines for that strain but then a much more virulent mutated strain showed up so that the shot was rendered useless. Those who got the shot were or weren’t going to get sick while those who didn’t get the shot were or weren’t going to get sick. The vaccine made no difference either way and the pharmaceutical companies won’t admit that they were wrong, so they had to push the rest of their 145 million vaccines that remained. Either way, a much stronger virus appeared from what had been predicted or expected.

Following right along with the virulent flu was the norovirus, a stomach flu. The winter of 2012-13 saw an alarming increase in norovirus cases worldwide. The food-born illness was also reported to be affecting millions of more people than on a usual year and the new emerging strain is more potent.

Huffington Post, Jan. 7, 2013
By Joe Satran
Reports of illnesses caused by norovirus are spiking this winter in parts of the world as far-flung as Canada, the United Kingdom and Taiwan this year, prompting food safety advocates to take extra measures to warn the public about the dangers posed by the extremely common virus, which sickens tens of millions of people around the globe every year.

In the UK, norovirus cases are expected to be 72 percent more common this winter than last, making them likely to hit a million more Brits than they did in 2012. It's become such a big public health problem that many people are too sick to donate blood, putting a strain on the UK's blood supply.

Indeed, many of the recent illnesses in the Vancouver area have been linked to a new, particularly virulent strain of norovirus. Certain strains of the virus are often spread to different parts of the world on cruise ships, which have historically been closely associated with norovirus outbreaks.

The story also says that norovirus is so common that it is significantly underreported and most people won’t go to the hospital for their symptoms, but based on the cases so far, it is definitely on the rise.


posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:53 AM
Norovirus hits cruise ships on occasion and in January of 2014, the worst cruise ship norovirus outbreak occurred on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea when over 700 people became sick. The ship cut its cruise short by a couple of days and returned to port. Another cruise ship also cut its voyage short the same week when the Royal Princess returned to port with nearly 200 sick people on board. These cruise ship outbreaks are fairly common, but 700 people on one ship is a bit remarkable.

Over the winter of 2013-14, my family was struck several times by illness, which included the flu and the norovirus. The first time we became ill was when we were in Florida. I was sick for nearly a month. The first week was the worst with something that felt like Bronchitis. I took some Bronkaid and it relieved it in a day, but then I had a terrible harsh cough that lasted for three more weeks. While my kids were sick during this time, we brought them to the hospital and they were diagnosed with the flu. The illness reminded me more of bronchitis than the flu. It just seemed to me that the doctors weren’t even sure anymore.

Two months later, my family was back in Wisconsin when we were struck again. This time, it appeared to be the norovirus. The 24-hour stomach flu swept through the family, but then, rather than exiting the household, we all caught head colds which eventually migrated into the lungs for the children. They had the harsh cough that I had experienced earlier in the winter and it took them several weeks to knock it out. I remember the days when you got sick, it was for a week at the most, not a month.

The very scary Ebola virus that has been known to exist in African nations since it was first discovered in 1976 was reported to have made its way into Asia. Africa has some regular small outbreaks in places like Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and the Congo. This is a terrifying scenario if this disease should start spreading to other parts of the world.

An outbreak of Ebola killed dozens of people in 2012 in Africa, but now it seems that the virus, or a relative, has been found in Bangladesh. The disease that kills 80% of its victims is very contagious and spreads quickly, so quickly that it hasn’t been able to escape Africa because it kills its victims so speedily that containment hasn’t been that difficult. Ebola Zaire, the deadliest version of the disease, was discovered in 1976. It hasn’t been detected outside of Africa, until now. A less-deadly strain, Ebola Reston, has been found in monkeys in labs around the world, but has never caused a human disease.

A 2013 report stated that the disease had emerged in Bangladesh. Researchers tested several species of bats for any evidence the virus had infected them and caused an immune reaction. They found anti-Ebola antibodies in 5 of the 276 bats (3.5 percent) they tested. All the antibodies were a specific reaction to Ebola Zaire, the most deadly strain. The researchers did point out that this is the first time bats have been screened for the virus in the region, so they aren’t entirely sure if the virus has always been there, or just arrived.

According to Business Insider, January 16, 2013, in an article by Jennifer Walsh, what the researchers can say, though, is that this evidence extends the known range of the Zaire Ebola virus to mainland Asia. This could have important consequences for human health, they write.

“Authorities in Asia should be on the lookout for hemorrhagic fevers that could be Ebola, or related to Ebola,” the article stated.

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever that strikes in the African nation of Uganda quite frequently. The latest deadly outbreak struck in November of 2012 and many had concerns that it was a mutated form of the virus. It seemed to be more contagious spreading quicker making it harder to quarantine. This outbreak followed an earlier outbreak in 2013 in Uganda that killed dozens of people followed by another deadly outbreak in the Congo.

Scores isolated after outbreak in Uganda
Associated Press, Nov. 15, 2012
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Scores of Ugandans were isolated on Thursday to prevent the spread of a new outbreak of Ebola which has already killed three people.

Uganda has experienced increasingly regular outbreaks of deadly hemorrhagic fevers that have left health officials grappling for answers.

The new Ebola outbreak was confirmed Wednesday in a district 40 miles from the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The outbreak comes roughly a month after Uganda declared itself Ebola-free following an earlier outbreak in a remote district of western Uganda. Last month at least five people in a southwestern district of Uganda were killed by Marburg, a hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.

Ebola has symptoms of fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. This sounds like the flu, until you hear about the other symptoms that hit the more sickly patients, such as a rash, red eyes, hiccups, and internal and external bleeding, then death.

Officials believe that Ebola is first contracted into humans through some sort of contact with a ‘reservoir,’ an infected animal that is often a monkey. So, as the story says about bats in Asia, right now they may be the reservoirs and could easily spread over to humans there.

The last two viruses that I want to talk about are carried by mosquitoes. The first is the popular West Nile Virus. According to a news story from the Washington Post, November 8, 2012, the reoccurring theme is present again as it is in so many of these bacteria and virus stories, “it seems to have mutated into a nastier form.” The title of the story is Hints of a more virulent, mutating West Nile virus emerge.

The article stated that the epidemic of 2012 was the worst in a decade. Doctors claimed that the virus may have mutated into a nastier form and was attacking the brain more aggressively, as well. Two doctors who have extensive experience dealing with the disease, Art Leis and Elizabeth Angus, both said they have seen brain damage in young, previously healthy patients, which is a change from past epidemics that saw the damage only affect older, sicker patients.

A CDC doctor claimed the opposite. He said that they haven’t seen an increase in brain damage, but, he did confirm that there are more cases and this may be why doctors are seeing more brain damage. In essence, he contradicts himself by agreeing they may have seen more brain damage, but only due to the fact there are more cases.

Both doctors who claim the changes are considered possibly the most experience doctors of any in the country for dealing with West Nile Virus. Who are you going to believe?

Washington Post, Nov. 8, 2012
By Brian Vastag
Leis said he is seeing much more severe encephalitis — inflammation of the brain — than he has in the past. “It is clearly much more neuroinvasive, neurovirulent,” he said.

Four patients Leis treated this summer had lost their ability to talk or write. Another was paralyzed on one side, as often seen in strokes, not West Nile infections. Others experienced recurring seizures.

In all, 11 of the first 12 patients Leis saw this year at the Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson had more severe brain damage than he had seen previously. The outlook for such patients varies, but most will face years or a lifetime of disability.


posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:56 AM
Doctors in the story argue that West Nile may have mutated because they have found harsher symptoms, or attacks on the brain. The CDC, of course, tried to argue a different angle on this and said the virus isn’t a new one, but said that the doctors are only seeing harsher symptoms because there are more cases. So, one side said it’s a mutated virus while the other side said it is more widespread. Either way, the disease is on the rise.

Here are several key phrases used in the article on the West Nile Virus’
“More aggressive than in the past”
“The worst in a decade”
“Brain dysfunction very much worse”
“Something he has never observed before”
“Something’s different, something’s changed”

These are all the same tunes heard throughout this disease chapter, and actually, the same tune that echoes throughout this entire book on all the different phenomena.

Regardless of all the arguments with each disease I’ve mentioned in this chapter, the same acknowledgment rings throughout, they are all rising in numbers at an alarming rate, as is stated in the first paragraph of this story that states the World Health Organization worries Dengue Fever could become a global epidemic.

Dengue showing global ‘epidemic potential’: WHO, Jan. 16, 2013
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate.

"In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years," the Geneva-based UN agency said in a report.
The increased transmission rate of the deadly mosquito-borne disease was due to climate change and a greater movement of people, the agency said.

An annual two million cases of dengue fever were reported over the last two years by 100 countries, with between 5,000 to 6,000 of them resulting in death.

Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne illness that causes fever, headaches, itching and joint pains. The advanced stage of the disease has hemorrhaging and death. In the story, it is said that 100 countries has the disease with 2 million cases a year in the last two years, but one person from the WHO believes that there are most likely up to 50 million cases worldwide because of underreporting.

Here is a link to a thread at started in early 2013 about a sars-like disease that made its initial appearance and claimed 10 lives, two in the UK, up to that point. The latest victim returned to the UK from a trip to the Middle East.

On a side note, I’d like to share news about a fungi spreading not to humans, but to the Central American coffee industry. Farmers are in a desperate race to stop the spread of a coffee-eating fungus that has invaded a third of the crops. Keep in mind this is an impoverished region that depends on the coffee exports and this fungus threatens to cost them hundreds of millions in lost crop. The story clearly states that they believe this is from the warming temperatures and droughts.

From, Jan. 18, 2013
The parasite has latched on to 35 percent of the 958,000 hectares of sown crops, which will mean a loss of two million coffee bean bags of 46 kilograms (100 pounds) each, industry officials told AFP. This would represent a loss of $300 million at the current price of $150 per bag, the sources said.

But in September, two months before the annual harvest, the fungus known as roya began to spread due to a lack of preventive measures and the effects of climate change, including high temperatures and drought, according to experts, government officials and industry sources.

After all that I’ve discussed in this chapter, some theorize that it may not all be bad. A story from Fox News published in 2007 stated that methane-eating microbes may save the world because they eat the methane before it’s released which is stabilizing the levels in the atmosphere, which, in turn, will keep the heating of our planet at sustainable levels.

Earlier in this chapter I discussed all the different forms of methane-eating microbes that live in the mud of rivers and lakes, deep underground, high in the atmosphere, in the oceans, landfills, rice paddies and volcanoes. In all these situations, you’ll find these little bugs feasting on the hydrates still held under pressure in the earth, or released as a plume of gas into the air. Although I do believe that these microbes are feasting on the methane, I just don’t think they are having the effect that was originally expected when this story came out.

The article stated that the specialized bacteria could help climate change by sucking up the methane from the Earth’s crust before it has a chance to spew into the atmosphere. Two separate papers were published in the journal Nature describing these mud-loving microbes.

Methane-eating microbes could save the world, November 14, 2007
By Jeanna Bryner, Live Science
The hellish temperature and pressure conditions beneath the Earth's surface can turn rock into goopy mud, which along with a soup of gases (including methane) and other chemicals, can stream gently (or eject violently) from surface vents called fumaroles.

These "mud volcanoes" support a range of conditions, with some areas reaching temperatures of 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) and pH's close to that of battery acid.

Mike Jetten of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and his colleagues discovered a bacterium dubbed Acidimethylosilex fumarolicum in a fuming vent in the Solfatara volcanic area near Naples, Italy.

Lab experiments revealed A. fumarolicum could grow at a very acidic pH, as low as 0.8, and at a temperature of about 130 degrees F (55 degrees C), consuming methane for energy.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, from acidic to basic with water having a neutral pH of 7, while battery acid has pH below 1, and pH of household bleach can reach about 12.5.

The article stated that bacteria can use oxygen too, but their muddy habitat is nearly devoid of such luxuries, making for a stressful life.

"The only oxygen the bacteria get is from the bubbling of the volcano, which puts air into the liquid," Jetten told LiveScience. "They are always stressed for air, so they're always living under oxygen limitation. The ecosystems themselves are completely devoid of oxygen, so every molecule that enters is immediately consumed."

Researchers in New Zealand also discovered a methane-munching bacteria, Methylokorus infernorum. The bacteria could thrive at a pH as low as 1.5 and temperatures of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).

Up to this point, the lowest pH found to support methanotrophs was in peat bogs, where bacteria thrived down to a pH of about 4.


posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:56 AM
The researchers believe that both bacteria are able to withstand such harsh conditions while consuming methane because of genetics. They made this claim after they analyzed the genomes for the two bacterial species.

"The new bacterium has a completely new repertoire of genetic elements to do this job," Jetten said of A. fumarolicum. "And it's also quite different from the known methane-oxidizing bacteria."

Instead of these methane-eating microbes eating all the methane and keeping it at a stabilized level that’s not threatening the earth, my theory suggests that instead, these microbes have themselves grown at epidemic proportions (because of the feeding frenzy of rising levels of methane) and spread that growth into other species of bacteria, as I have detailed throughout this chapter. Over and over again the words, “at an alarming rate” are repeated. I’ve described a dozen different diseases in just the past year alone that have mutated or grown drug-resistant. The bottom line…the earth contains too much methane for these little buggers to do the job we all hoped they could do and instead the methane has contributed to their rapid growth.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 09:07 AM
Having been deemed "medically interesting" by the professionals at UCLA and their ID grand rounds team, I am one of many who have given up on doctors and their pigeonholing everyone. I am living proof that not all bacteria act as expected. 73 experts later, I am back at square one. What I got out of this is a ginormous bill and a fried thyroid. It is unfathomable to me that the medical profession are unashamed by their lack of not caring. I am more than a petri dish and a opportunity to get recognition by your piers.

Thanks for letting me vent.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 09:36 AM
a reply to: Ultralight

You aren't alone and your situation is not special. It is happening all over. Dr's do try, but the training they get is not correct. They cannot comprehend something they have never experienced. I would take an experienced older doctor over a younger one. But the problem is that experience is nothing without a desire to learn more about things.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 09:38 AM
a reply to: Rezlooper

Excellent information. Good book. I suppose it is only good to those who have an interest in this though.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 10:36 AM

originally posted by: Ultralight
Having been deemed "medically interesting" by the professionals at UCLA and their ID grand rounds team, I am one of many who have given up on doctors and their pigeonholing everyone. I am living proof that not all bacteria act as expected. 73 experts later, I am back at square one. What I got out of this is a ginormous bill and a fried thyroid. It is unfathomable to me that the medical profession are unashamed by their lack of not caring. I am more than a petri dish and a opportunity to get recognition by your piers.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Sorry to hear of your plight. Bacteria and viruses have been changing rapidly. For the last two winters now my family has caught a bug that hangs on for over a month. This same bug has affected many other folks I know. If its the same common cold I grew up with, then she has gotten persistent. Used to be that a bug got you for about a week then went on its way, but not anymore.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 10:38 AM

originally posted by: rickymouse
a reply to: Rezlooper

Excellent information. Good book. I suppose it is only good to those who have an interest in this though.

Thanks, Ricky. You're right. The subject matter isn't the best topic around, but it is interesting and sobering when you dive in.

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 03:15 PM
Have you looked into how the earths cycles mirror the suns cycles and how before the advent of antibiotics pandemics followed the same cycle?

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 06:22 PM
a reply to: Rezlooper

Part two was excellent also, boy your sure do make a person think even when they don't feel like thinking :-)
Myself and the wife have both noticed that when we get sick now it sticks around for weeks on end instead of being shaken off in a week.

This time last year I was in the hospital and kept for some time, what struck me as odd was they were doing anal swabs on anyone whom was kept over night. I was then re-admitted 3 weeks later and they again did the anal swab and It made curious as to why. They never told me why and I never asked to be honest but now I wish I did.

Awaiting the next chapter in your book.
Regards, Iwinder

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 07:06 PM

originally posted by: Iamthatbish
Have you looked into how the earths cycles mirror the suns cycles and how before the advent of antibiotics pandemics followed the same cycle?

No, I haven't, but I have noticed recently that a lot of emphasis has been put on the sun's cycles here at ATS. What do you think is our current cycle? I mean, this recent solar cycle was a dud, so we are seeing a major increase in all these events while we may be entering a maunder minimum. My only problem with this is that, according to ice core data in Greenland, we haven't seen methane levels like we are seeing right now in 400,000 years. The maunder minimum period from 1645 to 1715 didn't see methane levels like this. So, what is the difference now?

posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 07:25 PM
a reply to: Rezlooper
I discovered many interesting articles writing a paper a few years ago. Even Googling the phrase "solar cycles and disease" will show you many articles. I really found it intriguing that history records disease while the magnetic record is recorded distinctly seperate in the Earth itself. I didn't take the time to check it myself, I think this could go well with your research. I enjoyed your chapters. Thank you for sharing.

posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: Iamthatbish

well done thread, part 1 and 2...for the poster wondering why he got an anal swab when he was in the hospital, they were probably testing for MRSA

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