Hepatitis outbreak shows…

California’s hepatitis A outbreak shows why people need easy access to health care” says the headline.

I don’t think that’s what California’s hepatitis outbreak shows.

This article, San Diego Washing Streets With Bleach To Combat Hepatitis A Outbreak, notes that the hepatitis “has largely infected homeless people in the coastal California city,” and that “part of the issue is an apparent shortage of public restrooms.”

That’s still not quite it, but closer than I expected NPR to go.

UPDATE: I don’t know if this is an accurate description, or if it’s related to anything else, but Mike Hudak says “there is something seriously disturbing about the situation in San Francisco that must not be ignored.”

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Boy Scouts is going to let girls join. At this point with the Boy Scouts, the worse the better. If the organization is going to go under, let it go quickly. Having girls join will hasten its demise, and maybe encourage the development of other organizations for boys.

Curcumin for joint pain

For the last few years I’d been having joint pain that, having taken Latin in high school, I felt competent to diagnose as arthritis. Walking was painful, especially after sitting for a long time.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to read something about turmeric, and then the next day there happened to be some turmeric in the mark-down bin at the local grocery. I bought it, then read more about turmeric and one of it’s active components, curcumin. Since then I’ve been mixing up a half teaspoon of ground turmeric with about a quarter teaspoon of black pepper in a glass of V-8 everyday, and have had no more joint pain. The reduction, really the complete elimination of pain, was pretty dramatic and took less than a week.

It sounds like some people respond to turmeric and some don’t. If you have joint pain, it might be worth trying. The black pepper is said to be necessary to metabolize the curcumin, but I haven’t tried it without.

Remember, I’m just a random guy on the internet. Don’t take medical advice from random guys on the internet.

Is Jahi McMath Alive? | National Review — Head Noises

Winkfield sued, but after an independent medical examination, the judge ruled that Jahi was deceased and allowed a death certificate to be issued. He also played Solomon, and worked out a settlement whereby Children’s Hospital transferred Jahi to her relatives while still on life support. We now know, she was moved to New Jersey, where she […]

via Is Jahi McMath Alive? | National Review — Head Noises

Tetanus vaccination in Kenya

There are credible claims that the vaccine used in Kenya for a WHO/UNICEF tetanus campaign contains a substance that causes infertility and miscarriages. The Kenyan government says the vaccine is safe and approved by the WHO and UNICEF. The Catholic Bishops of Kenya, not a bunch of fringe anti-vaccination wackos, say they had samples tested that confirm the presence of the infertility-causing hormone.

In kindergarten all of us were hustled onto school buses to go get the oral polio vaccine. I get a flu shot every year. The last two years I even got the new quadrivalent vaccine. Public health is one area where government has important work to do, and I always thought serious doctors and nurses were doing it. Lately it seems decisions are driven more by politics and ideology than science. My confidence in US and global health experts is deeply impaired.

The thing to do now is to make public all the data and documents. Let the bishops release their lab reports, let the government release theirs, and do everything with complete transparency. But instead the government will deny, deny, deny. The papers will ignore it or repeat the government’s and WHO’s assurances without doing any investigative reporting. If the bishops release their lab reports they’ll be ignored or impugned, or contradictory reports will be produced. Transparency is the next-to-last thing there will be, just before public accountability. And as a result more people will avoid vaccinations.

UPDATE 14 November 2014: Does the Kenyan UNICEF Tetanus Vaccine contain HCG and make women infertile? “this seems likely to be a misunderstanding centered on false positive lab results…”

UPDATE 15 November 2014: Fresh medical tests set to clear up controversy on tetanus vaccine: “Yesterday, the Parliamentary Committee on Health ruled that a joint team of experts from the Ministry of Health, Catholic Church and other stakeholders would conduct a fresh round of independent medical tests to end the controversy on the safety of the vaccines.”

Underestimating the gravity

The CDC says

“We believe Ebola can remain in semen for up to 3 months. Important for men to use condoms during this period.” — CDC on Twitter

Really, that’s your conclusion, that it’s important to use a condom? Call me crazy, but if there’s a chance a man is carrying Ebola three months after recovery, he should abstain from sex for three months instead of relying on a condom. Because see, we’re not talking about mono here. If something goes wrong, he could infect and kill his partner and everyone he knows.

Free shots

Caution: this makes no sense

Why contraceptives? Why not require Walmart, Costco, and, what the heck, Home Depot, to provide a free flu shot not only for employees, but for anyone who wants one? In fact, why not make every hardware store provide free vaccines for everyone – regular childhood shots, tetanus boosters, shingles, the whole lot.

This part makes some sense

In fact, when people cross our border illegally, the first thing the border patrol should do – whether they afterwards send them back to Guatemala or send them on to Toronto (why not?) – the first thing the border patrol should do is shoot them full of vaccines.

UPDATE 11 July 2014: Charles Pergiel has related thoughts on the Supreme Court and mass media.

We want to be sedated

People – travelers, sick people, voters – want this. Just to be knocked out for an hour or a week until it’s over. Big Pharma could do it if they wanted to. In fact, they probably did do it back in the fifties, but realizing it would put them out of business when it went off patent they covered it all up. And what happened to the researchers who made the discovery? Hint: they were not really harmed.