posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 05:27 AM
reply to post by zookman44
Really the only good way to track an outbreak is for someone (usually a doctor, simply because they're the ones in a position to do so) to notice
increases and the health department to be notified. The CDC maintains a list of infectious diseases (called Notifiable Diseases) for which every case
must be reported to them, but beyond that reporting generally lies on state and local requirements.
Unfortunately, there's not really a good way for you or I to track things on our own, because the data largely isn't there and that which is
generally isn't publicly available.
The key to remember is that media tends to report things that get people's attention. More reports of NF is more likely a sign of increased interest
than increased cases, especially considering that the US sees somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 cases a year. Most of these never get media attention
(at least not beyond local media) unless there's a good reason to (like the heroic story of the woman battling it for so long). Now if there were
multiple cases in the same town/hospital close together, that would be an interesting report to see.
As for the affecting the immune system, it is very true that fairly large doses of radiation can harm the immune system. I'm not sure of the exact
amounts needed, but they're fairly large quantities. Seeing how tiny the doses that Fukushima is delivering into the atmosphere, I am confident it
wouldn't have any impact. If we were talking, however, about the workers cleaning up the mess at the site of the accident, that's another story