Robert Jordan has amyloidosis,
a rare blood disorder that is remarkably fatal. The link has all the info you need, including: "[amyloidosis is] a rare blood disease which affects only 8 people out of a million each year, and those 8 per million are divided among 22 distinct forms of amyloidosis" and "Untreated, it would eventually make my heart unable to function any longer and I would have a median life expectancy of one year from diagnosis."
posted by taumeson
on Mar 27, 2006 -
According to estimates, about 1.5 billion people--about a quarter of the earth's population--are hosts to the Ascaris lumbricoides
parasitic worm. Ascaris worms can grow to be 18 inches in length, and use their host's windpipe and esophagus to migrate between the small intestine and the lungs. A single human host may support dozen of large worms, which can be contracted by contact with fecal matter, animals, or undercooked pork. Under some circumstances (the worms dislike anesthesia, for example) one or more worms may exit from the mouth (a horrifying image
), or the anus (one of the most disgusting images I have ever seen
, and not safe for work, obviously). Here, the removal of a worm is caught on video
Too disgusting to post? Almost. But 1.5 billion people have got these in their bodies right now. That's what's grosser than gross.
posted by washburn
on Mar 4, 2006 -
Is H5N1 flu transitioning
to a human-to-human illness? Recent reports of familial clusters
suggest that it may be, though there are certainly other possible explanations, such as families living in environments contaminated by virus-laden bird feces. On the other hand, it would seem that epidemiologists are growing increasingly interested in the possibility that these clusters are indicative of human-to-human transmissions. Further, the virus may be inching towards being asymptomatic, which isn't as good as it sounds: if people can carry the virus and transmit it to others without showing symptoms, it will be very difficult to impossible to tell who is a vector and highly difficult to control any emerging epidemic.
posted by chakalakasp
on Dec 2, 2005 -
China isn't known for being open
about most things, including the spread of deadly diseases. (Many will remember China's original attempt to cover up SARS
. As the International Society for Infectious Diseases
reports, a prominent WHO
virologist has made a claim that China has now experienced at least 300 human avian flu deaths and is actively attempting to cover this information up. "We are systematically deceived," he is reported to have said. "At least 5 medical co-workers who should be reporting on the
situation in the provinces were arrested, and [other] publication-willing
researchers were threatened with punishments."
posted by chakalakasp
on Nov 23, 2005 -
possibly one of the most common diseases, believed to affect 600,000 to a million Americans, remains obscure. It is what afflicted Julius Ceasar, Alexander the Great, and Dostoyevsky
. Known through the work of Bear
, it is virtually impossible to diagnose except in a severe cases where a seizure can be witnessed by an MRI or EEG, also because of the controversial theories on personality
. While a neurological disorder, it is treated by psychiatrists, and when medicated, artists have often felt that the muse has left them
posted by scazza
on Jan 20, 2005 -
The Church Awakens
"The AIDS pandemic is the greatest humanitarian crisis," Casey said. "It just begs a reaction from the church."
The church is now in full reaction mode. More than 2,000 Christian medical professionals, church leaders, and students gathered for the ninth annual Global Missions Health Conference, November 11-13, at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. They spoke not only of statistics that confirmed the extent of the pandemic (43 million people living with HIV/AIDS; 8,000 deaths each day; 14 million orphans), but of working together.
posted by halekon
on Dec 21, 2004 -
May 12th is International ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
. If you aren't aware of these afflictions, then it's time to become so. "Fibromyalgia (FM)
is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances." The WebMD description
. For those who live with chronic fatigue, systemic immunity problems, and long term pain, I think the rest of us, at least, owe our awareness of what these people cope with every day. Again, via the always excellent Watermark, who writes movingly of her relationship with Fibromyalgia.
posted by Wulfgar!
on May 12, 2004 -
story of a woman in prison for faking her daughter's leukemia to gain thousands of dollars in donations, now says she concocted the scheme to keep her husband from leaving
. Teresa Milbrandt said she regrets what she did, which included shaving her daughter Hannah's head and giving her sleeping pills to make it look like she was undergoing chemotherapy. The husband went to Prison As Well
. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
is a parenting disorder where parents, usually the mother, fabricate symptoms in their children, thus subjecting the child to unnecessary medical tests and/or surgical procedures, though It is a highly controversial
condition, which some doubt
posted by Blake
on Mar 29, 2004 -
Batten down the mosquito netting
In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. "
posted by Postroad
on Mar 18, 2004 -
After reading that beef has been recalled
from my local grocery store, I spent some time reading Mad Cow USA
a book written back in 1997 but not widely published because of fears of repercussions under the Texas food disparagement act. AlterNet has an article
written by one of the book's authors summarizing some of the key points of the book. Some claim that only ground beef is infected, while others claim that's bull
has a lot of good information on the topic, and it seems the powers that be are going to blame Canada
posted by woil
on Dec 30, 2003 -
First Documented Case
of HIV hybridization in a human being was presented at the International AIDS Society conference in Paris. In this case, genetic tests on a superinfected woman showed that the two strains she was infected with swapped genetic material, creating a new hybrid strain of HIV. The actual effects are not yet clear, but this could pose a serious problem for researchers trying to create a vaccine.
posted by Irontom
on Jul 16, 2003 -
"We have an outbreak"
(James Hughes, director of the CDC
). At least 19 people in three Midwestern states have contracted a disease related to smallpox marking the first outbreak of the life-threatening illness in the United States. The disease is known as monkeypox
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 8, 2003 -
WHO lifts Toronto travel ban
And Health Canada
Recommendations: Health Canada continues to strongly endorse travel into and throughout the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] as safe and encourages travellers to maintain their business and/or personal travel plans to the GTA.
That's just great. What, a week after banning all travel to Toronto because of SARS, it's on again?
That's bloody irresponsible, considering the damage it has done and will continue to do so to travel to Canada no less Toronto. [s'more inside]
posted by alicesshoe
on Apr 29, 2003 -
SARS much more deadly than first estimated.
Analysis of the latest statistics on the global SARS epidemic reveals that at least 10 per cent
of people who contract the new virus will die of the disease. The low death rates of about four per cent cited until now by the World Health Organizatio n and others are the result of a statistical difficulty, well known to epidemiologists, that hampers the early analysis of new disease outbreaks. [...] A better current estimate of the deadliness of SARS may be the number of deaths as a proportion of resolved cases. Those numbers for Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore are 15.8, 18.3 and 13.7 per cent
posted by Bletch
on Apr 25, 2003 -
A rather extraordinary applet. Find out about the reportable communicable diseases in the US. Many hidden features.
posted by kablam
on Mar 5, 2003 -
The only fruit to ever appear on a Velvet Underground album cover (not to mention the title of a J. D. Salinger short story) may be on its way to extinction. Facts: I) total disappearance could occur within a decade; II) bananas are the staple diet for half a billion people and III) current genetic tampering mean that, even if the fruit doesn't quite disappear, it will taste and look
different (Guardian article here
). Feeling nostalgic already? Visit the stylish Banana Museum
or give someone you love the Enchanted Banana of Happiness
(not what you're thinking). first link via Fark
posted by 111
on Jan 15, 2003 -
Inventing a new disease?
Some experts are saying that the drug industry is trying lump women’s sexual problems under the term “female sexual dysfunction” to create a market for lucrative new Viagra-like drugs. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [abstract]
found sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%), but the jury is still out
posted by gottabefunky
on Jan 3, 2003 -
3.1 million in 2002 comes out to some 8,500 a day, 354 an hour, and almost 6 a minute. Each minute. Each hour. Each day. Deaths. Of AIDS.
posted by mattpfeff
on Dec 1, 2002 -
The Access to Essential Medicines Campaign
is an initiative by Medecins Sans Frontieres
that seeks to "lower the prices of existing medicines in developing countries, to bring abandoned drugs back into production, to stimulate research and development for neglected diseases that primarily affect the poor, and to overcome other barriers to access
is one target disease. The Campaign's press releases
, press clips
on HIV give a good picture of recent developments. In light of this evidence, does anyone care to step up and defend "big pharma
" and the governments of the wealthy North? Have we/they "done enough"? What would "doing enough" look like, given the scope of the crisis?
posted by stonerose
on Dec 1, 2002 -
"China's catastrophic mismanagement of its AIDS crisis has come to this:
Xie Yan is trying to give away her son. Ms. Xie's husband died last year of AIDS, and she has the virus as well. They are the victims of government-backed blood-selling schemes that have left about one million people infected here in Henan Province in central China. Multiply Ms. Xie's heartache a millionfold, and you understand the cost of the Chinese government's cover-up of its AIDS crisis. If China continues to be more concerned with hiding the tragedy than confronting it, then today's Chinese leaders could kill millions of people over the next two decades. We in the West must exert strong pressure on China to act quickly to address the AIDS challenge."
posted by homunculus
on Dec 1, 2002 -
is being hailed as the key to better treatments for the Parkinson's disease, marking a complete turnaround from a few weeks ago when ecstasy was condemned for causing the disease.
posted by semmi
on Nov 7, 2002 -
Bubonic plague strikes again...
It seems that bubonic plague
has never actually gone away with reports of occurences in Madagascar, Bolivia
and now it seems, from New Mexico. Given that the disease has been diagnosed and treated outside of the host cities in the cases of the Bolivian woman and the couple in New York, I think this highlights how diseases we tend to classify as third world health problems, are merely a plane ride away from causing an outbreak here.
posted by gloege
on Nov 7, 2002 -
"That's not funny, that's sick!" goes the old National Lampoon comic caption. Well, maybe this link
's both... Again, not
for the faint of heart.
posted by BentPenguin
on Oct 24, 2002 -
Strike at Government Lab Enters Third Month.
This is happening at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which studies highly contagious viruses. Maintenance workers are on strike and the replacement workers have been involved with missing equipment and an accident. The official site
boldly declares that "Not once in our more than 40 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from Plum Island." Somehow I am not filled with confidence. And, while they say they only deal with animal pathogens, there is a lot of crossover with Foot and Mouth and West Nile. Should we be worried about this?
posted by sciatica
on Oct 14, 2002 -
Is this the big one?
With some 18,000 sick and over 700 people having died of the flu in a country the size of France over the past couple of months, I find it odd that the media seems obsesessed with the US / Iraq thing and missing children.
The 1918 flu epidemic killed some 675,00 Americans alone, with a global tally in excess of 20 MILLION killed.
Some of the photos taken back then are pretty grim
. It seems the power of influenza is that it (ahhem) mutates
and thats why it could once again be a big killer. Cynical as it might sound, as a race maybe we need
something like this to teach us that we've got a lot more in common with each other than skin colour and religion might otherwise lead us to believe. ObDisclaimer: I'm unemployed right now, have maybe six months of canned goods in the flat; if this hits London, I ain't opening my door to nobody
posted by Mutant
on Aug 30, 2002 -