CDC Denies Banning Words; Rights Group Projects Disputed Terms Onto Trump D.C. Hotel

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The Human Rights Campaign, working with artist Robin Bell, projected words like “fetus” and “transgender” onto the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night, to protest the words being included on a “forbidden” list circulating at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Washington Post report says staff were instructed not to use the words in budgetary documents.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the CDC, has denied the report, calling it a “complete mischaracterization” of conversations about the annual budget. The CDC says that the words are not banned and that the organization remains “committed to our public health mission as a science-and evidence-based institution.”

According to the Post, high-level officials at the CDC were told not to use seven words — diversity, entitlement, evidence-based, fetus, science-based, transgender and vulnerable — while writing documents connected to next year’s budget.

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CDC used 40% less sensitive Zika test, punished whistleblower for raising concerns – investigation

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The US health agency in charge of fighting Zika used a less effective test to diagnose the virus and punished a whistleblower who raised his concerns both internally and to health officials, an investigation revealed.
Dr. Robert Lanciotti, a microbiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accused the federal agency of prioritizing a substantially less sensitive test versus an alternative approach that in his studies proved to be more effective in detecting Zika.

He claimed that the CDC “created a substantial and specific danger to public health” when it did not disclose lower sensitivity of the test it used.

The tests Lanciotti was talking about are the Trioplex and the Singleplex. The first detects not only Zika, but also dengue and chikungunya, and is recommended for testing by the CDC. The second test is only used for diagnosing Zika, the virus transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas known to cause microcephaly in newborn babies.

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

The NRA has blocked gun violence research for 20 years. Let’s end its stranglehold on science

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Image: LA Times

The Orlando massacre reminds us that there’s an enormous amount we don’t know about gun violence — what causes it, what its consequences are for surviving families, how to stop it. You can blame our ignorance on the National Rifle Assn. – and on the federal officials the NRA has intimidated away from this crucial field of public health for 20 years.

It’s widely supposed that Congress enacted a “ban” on federal funding for gun violence research in 1996. That isn’t quite true, says Mark Rosenberg, a gun violence expert who was head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the time. But the truth is even more demoralizing.

Infuriated by CDC-funded research suggesting that having firearms in the home sharply increased the risks of homicide, the NRA goaded Congress in 1996 into stripping the injury center’s funding for gun violence research – $2.6 million. Congress then passed a measure drafted by then-Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ga.) forbidding the CDC to spend funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” (The NRA initially hoped to eradicate the injury center entirely.)

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FBI investigating vials of smallpox uncovered in unsecured lab near Washington, DC

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Smallpox virus

Image: Camazine Scott | Photo Researchers | Getty Images

The FBI is investigating several vials of smallpox that were found in an unused laboratory storage room on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the vials for testing.

Only July 1, employees found the box of vials when they were cleaning out the storage room in preparation to move the lab, which has been operated by the Food and Drug Administration since 1972, over to the FDA’s main campus in nearby Silver Spring.

The six freeze-dried vials were labeled as containing variola, which the CDC says is “the severe and most common form of smallpox.” Another 10 vials were also found, but the labels on them were unclear as to what they contained, Dr. Steven Monroe, who directs the CDC’s division of high consequence pathogens and pathology, told ABC News.

No one knows how long the smallpox has been in the storage area, which is kept at 5 degrees Celsius. But the boxes they were stored in may date back to the 1950s, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

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Research says ADHD greatly over-diagnosed

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The report shows the number of kids diagnosed and treated for ADHD has skyrocketed in just over two decades.

In 1990 there were roughly 600,000 prescriptions written for kids said to suffer from ADHD.

That number stands at more than 3.5 million today.

That ranks ADHD as the second most diagnosed long term illness among children, trailing only asthma.

“The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” Dr. Keith Connors told The New York Times.

Connors is a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University and was himself an early leader in making the diagnosis more mainstream.

But research shows roughly 5% of the population suffers from ADHD while the CDC points out 15% of high school age kids have been diagnosed and treated.

Money seems to be one of the main culprits.

Drug companies have targeted parents with ads that promise better grades and less acting out if kids are treated.

Some have gone to celebrity endorsements and even teachers to give their product more impact.

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Associate director at Centers for Disease Control: We’ve reached ‘the end of antibiotics, period’

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In an interview that aired on PBS’s Frontline, an associate director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, said that “for a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about ‘The end of antibiotics, question mark?’ Well, now I would say you can change the title to ‘The end of antibiotics, period.’”

“We’re in the post-antibiotic era,” he continued. “There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t.”

As an example, Dr. Srinivasan discussed the spread of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which recently made headlines when word spread that three players from the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were battling it. The options for treating it have always been limited, but until the past decade, MRSA infections were rarely seen outside of health-care facilities.

But about a decade ago, Dr. Srinivasan began to see “outbreaks in schools [and] health clubs. And what most of these people were getting was something very different from what we saw in hospitals.”

“In hospitals, when you see MRSA infections, you oftentimes see that in patients who have a catheter in their blood, and that creates an opportunity for MRSA to get into their bloodstream,” he continued. “In the community, it was causing a very different type of infection. It was causing a lot of very, very serious and painful infections of the skin, which was completely different from what we would see in health care.”

Because such infections can’t be treated with conventional antibiotic therapies, doctors have begun to “reach back into the archives” and use older antibiotics. “We’re using a lot of colistin,” Dr. Srinivasan said. “And we’re using more of it every year. It’s very toxic. We don’t like to use it. It damages the kidneys. But we’re forced to use it in a lot of instances.”

By Scott Kaufman/The Raw Story

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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