Chagas Disease

Definitely worse than Zika, this disease is not receiving much attention, because in the USA it is mostly immigrants that have it, and there are no visible signs that you are infected.

Chagas kills 10,000 people evert year, and 100,00 Americans are infected. Yep, and you haven’t heard of it?

  • Chagas is not typically transmitted from person to person. The insect that spreads it is called the kissing bug, because it tends to bite people on the face, near the lips or eyes, while they sleep.
  • Thirty percent of those infected develop life-threatening complications years later ― for some it’s an enlarged heart or heart failure, for others it’s an enlarged esophagus or colon. For many, though, Chagas is asymptomatic. A massive heart attack might be the first clue the parasite is there at all.
  • Chagas is treatable, but not if the case is too advanced.
  • The only available medications are hard to obtain, come with terrible side effects and don’t guarantee a cure.
  • Only 1 percent of people with Chagas ever get treated for it.

Clearly this disease needs to be better known, and cures sought. But as long as the suffers are poor immigrants, there’s little chance of that happening…

Source: HuffPost

Antibiotic Resistance in Wild Animals

In a study published this September in PLOS ONE, Cristóbal-Azkarate and a team of researchers from Cambridge, the University of Washington, and Fundación Lusara in Mexico City reported that they had detected an abundance of bacteria resistant to clinical antibiotics in the feces of seven wild species in the Veracruz region of southeast Mexico. In addition to howler monkeys, the superbugs were present in spider monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, a puma, a dwarf leopard, and jaguarundis—small wildcats native to the area. Moreover, monkeys that lived far from humans were just as likely to harbor drug-resistant bacteria as those that were closer to people.

While the discovery surprised Cristóbal-Azkarate, who primarily studies hormonal influences on primates, other researchers have documented antibiotic resistance in animals all over the world—from wild rodents in Britain to iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. “Resistance is everywhere.  It is found in places that are ‘pristine’ and in places that are ‘polluted,’” said Randall Singer, an epidemiologist at University of Minnesota.

Source: The Scientist

Antibiotic Superbug found in Aussie chicken meat

Scientists from the School of Biology from the Australian National University took 281 samples from three major supermarkets and a butcher around Canberra.

In those chicken samples contaminated with the common bacteria E.coli, almost two thirds of the bugs were resistant to some form of antibiotic.

…Researchers were particularly concerned to find four samples resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which are banned from use in Australian food-producing animals.

[Source: ABC]

It is a mystery, for the bacteria shouldn’t be able to gain resistance without exposure to the antibiotic. Scientists suggest some form of cross-contamination between the slaughterhouse and their testing, but only humans, cats and dogs receive fluoroquinolone antibiotics in Australia.

Warnings ignored :(

In 1945, Alexander Fleming, a pioneer in antibiotics, said, “the misuse of penicillin could be the propagation of mutant forms of bacteria that would resist the new miracle drug.”

Even now, few are listening, and the consequences could be severe. It could mean that friends and family won’t live as long in the future. Please read on…