Tag Archive for CDC

Age of the Super Bug has dawned: Are you ready for a bio-catastrophe?

Why should you care about what I am writing about today?  “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  This is about to get potentially unimaginably worse.

Back in 2013, I wrote an article entitled, “Head of CDC Says It’s Time to Sound the Alarm on Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs” http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/tag/incurable/.  In it, I explained that we were reaching a point where the spread of antibiotic resistant diseases would fundamentally alter our lives.  In a world of resistant bacteria, even simple infections from cuts and scrapes will be deadly.  Modern surgical medicine will be highly risky to impossible because of the untreatable bacterial infections.  Perhaps most terrifying, the resistance will spread to previously eliminated diseases like Tuberculosis and allow for them to reemerge in a much more lethal form.  I warned that if new antibiotics were not developed, we could soon be facing a time where cities become nothing more than death zones.  Now, only three years later, we have crossed a major milestone of the worst case with the confirmed emergence of bacteria in the US resistant to the last resort antibiotic treatments.

Let me be clear.  The US government is in panic mode behind the scenes.  Although, government officials are sounding the “stay calm,” doctors and infectious disease specialists are much blunter about the dire implications of bacteria that are totally resistant to our treatments of last resort.  Lena H. Sun writes in the Washington Post; “For infectious-disease experts, the nightmare scenario is for the gene to spread to bacteria that are now susceptible only to colistin.  That would make them invincible to any antibiotic, unstoppable by the most lifesaving drugs of modern medicine.” (Source:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-these-biomedical-detectives-identified-the-dreaded-new-superbug-in-us/2016/06/06/96ac8922-2bda-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_most-draw6)  As soon as the resistance is spread to other bacteria and they become more wide spread, the consequences could be catastrophic.  It is so serious; it isn’t a coincidence the discovery was made by the Department of Defense (DoD).  The DoD has conducted research into biological weapons for decades and views the development of last resort resistant bacteria in the US like a nuclear weapon about to be unleashed.  In fact, it actually could be far worse.  Read more

The Real Threat from Ebola is Economic Vapor Lock and Collapse

Liberian Military Seal Slums to Prevent Spread of Ebola_ Source: NBC News

Liberian Military Seal Slums to Prevent Spread of Ebola_ Source: NBC News

Outside of three West African nations, which are being ravaged by Ebola, the health threat from Ebola still remains small.  Am I dismissing the risk of further spread? No.  Am I dismissing the fact the numbers infected are still exponentially increasing? No.  Am I even claiming that Ebola won’t return to the US and spread globally?  No.  What I am saying is that for those of us in the US, the biggest danger Ebola poses to the masses in the near term is economic.  In fact, if you want to best prepare for an Ebola pandemic, you should prepare for an economic collapse, which will affect you long before you run a real risk of infection. Read more

An Inside Look at the “Ebola” Gay

 

The Ebola Gay...our modern day doomsday plane.

The Ebola Gay…our modern day doomsday plane.

Compliments of Zerohedge.com we get a look inside the aircraft I like to term the Ebola Gay.  I just wonder what the fail safe is for an unexpected cabin depressurization.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-16/peek-inside-ebola-transport-jet

Guiles Hendrik

October 16, 2014

 

 

Ebola: When to Act

Recently, many of our readers have become very concerned about the on-going Ebola outbreak that has spread across West Africa. In particular, they want to know if this disease is something to worry about and when and how they should hit the bug out button. The answers to these questions now are relatively simple, but as this disease evolves, possible contingencies may arise where one must be prepared to take more drastic measures.
To begin, Ebola is a fatal communicable disease where up to around 90% of patients die. This particular strain does not appear to be as fatal, but has spread over a much broader region. There is no known cure and treatment is generally limited to providing pain management and fluids. The disease is transmitted by close contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids that include sweat, vomit, and most likely saliva. It does appear possible that the disease has some persistence and items contaminated with infected body fluids can transmit the disease until sterilized or disinfected. Also, the virus can be transmitted from an infected corpse after the person has died making burial and handling of bodies very risky. At this time though, the disease is not airborne and effective precautions can be taken to mitigate the spread. Nonetheless, to date, over 100 health care workers that did take “proper precautions” have become ill with the disease and most have since died. Further, it is important to note that a virus by its design mutates to survive. It is possible that in a worst case scenario, Ebola could mutate to be an airborne virus. This would constitute a biological worst case scenario that would quickly become a worldwide pandemic. Still though, for the virus to rapidly spread, it doesn’t require it to be airborne. In an area like West Africa where diseases are already endemic, understanding of the disease is poor, and hygiene and health care services are inadequate, the disease is now spreading like wildfire. In fact, since the virus has made its way out of the jungles and into the cities, Ebola escaped our best chance to contain the virus and is now exponentially spreading.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has instructed the public not to worry and said that Ebola does not pose a threat to Americans. However, actions speak louder than words. The CDC declared a Level 1 health emergency, which is its highest threat level, making one wonder why the CDC would go on its highest state of alert if the public has “nothing to fear” as the government claims. Since then, a growing number of Americans are being tested for Ebola “symptoms,” but the government has not released the details of these possible cases even as the numbers grow. This leads one to conclude the government is trying to suppress the true danger of this disease to prevent panic all while hiding behind medical privacy. Further, other countries are taking Ebola very serious. Nigeria recently declared a state of emergency after at least five people in and around Lagos were confirmed to have Ebola and Sierra Leon and Liberia are deploying troops and closing borders. The World Health Organization has also declared the Ebola outbreak as out of control and declared it a health emergency. So, even if the CDC says not to worry, it is clear governments are very worried. In fact, when the government says stay calm and don’t panic, it is probably time to become worried.

Extremely worrisome is the fact it appears that the US government and CDC are trying to calm nerves with faux action designed more to prevent hurt feelings than to stop the spread of a deadly disease. Instead of closing down our borders and restricting travel to and from countries known to have active Ebola outbreaks, the US government announced it was only stepping up the screening of passengers for symptoms coming from countries in West Africa. Those that understand the disease should quickly realize the ridiculous ineffectiveness of this strategy. Specifically, the disease can take up to 21 days for a patient to become symptomatic after exposure to Ebola. Although a patient is only believed to be contagious while actively showing symptoms, the infected person could easily move through international airports around the world for weeks before any symptoms arise. This means individuals with Ebola could already be inside the US and easily pass through our ports of entry with the disease. Further, once here, it would likely be a number of days before an infected person sought medical help for their worsening symptoms that first present like any other bad flu. During this time, even one infected person could come into contact with thousands of other people and unknowingly infect many. As this disease spreads into the urban populations, it has the potential to quickly overwhelm medical facilities and fuel very real panic.
So to answer your questions, yes, Ebola is something you should worry about, but radical action at this time would be premature. I have read many articles that claim Ebola is being used to create panic and sell vaccines. These articles often seem to imply that because a pharmaceutical company may seek to profit off of this disease that somehow the disease is overblown or not a threat. This logic is plain stupid and although companies may indeed exploit this situation, it by no means mitigates the disease threat to you and your family. Ebola has not yet spread to the point that one should consider bugging out/in. However, after analyzing the spread of the disease in West African cities, it is clear the numbers of infected hit a critical tipping point approximately two weeks ago and is now exponentially spreading. As such, I predict with a high level of assurance that Ebola will begin to be confirmed in major cities around the globe over the next two weeks. As the cases are confirmed and patients are moved to quarantine in hospitals, a growing number of health care workers will contract Ebola. This will begin a cycle that could quickly strain the health care system if the disease is not contained within days from this post.

If Ebola breaks out in major cities around the world, as it now looks increasing likely, this is when you will need to start looking at a bug out/in option. Right now, if you have not done so, you should be stocking up on decontaminates like hydrogen peroxide and Clorox as well as medical grade masks, gloves, face shields, and gowns. These items will become nearly impossible to get once Ebola goes mainstream in major cities around the world. Note that these items alone will not protect you from Ebola contamination if you are in direct close contact with an infected patient, but they will give you some stand off and ability to decontaminate your own living spaces. For proper precautions against Ebola, one would need to be fully covered in duplicate full body suits and ideally have a totally contained suit with its own oxygen supply. Depending on how the outbreak develops, if it becomes clear hospitals in the US are receiving a growing number of Ebola patients, which almost definitely would correspond with a growing number of health care workers contracting the disease, it would be wise to go ahead and pull your kids from school and take a long term leave of absence from work. In short, this is when one should be ready to leave town.

My personal trip wire for bugging out parallels this logic, but is a tiered response. Specifically, as I monitor the disease outbreak, I initially self-segregate from others and highly populated areas as much as possible. This includes restricting my travel through major transportation hubs and completely avoiding large public gatherings. I also mandate constant hand washing and implement more severe disease mitigation strategies around my work and home. Further, I try to get what I can delivered to my house and do any residual necessary shopping when the fewest number of people are out, usually in the early morning or late evening. I also will not shake hands and forego any type of hugs or physical contact with others. If the disease spread worsens, I then close up shop and move all my operations to an offsite interim bug out location. This location is far safer, more secure, and requires only the most minimal contact with the outside, but one which is still in contact with my work, small town America, stores, and supplies if needed. If the disease outbreak moves to Middle America and continues to spread, I execute my full scale bug out contingency and lock down my retreat. Until the disease has a vaccine or burns itself out, I remain completely isolated from anyone that wasn’t a part of the initially quarantined group. This makes bugging in a poor choice for those located in urban areas where the disease spread will always be worse. If at all possible, remove yourself and your family/group to a remote bug out location and monitor the crisis safely from the radio, internet, and TV. Your guiding principles should be the sooner you leave the better and the fewer people you have contact with the safer. You also should not advertise your plans and destination, but rather use a viable cover story if necessary for work and school to explain the absence. Ultimately, each one of your situations is unique and will require a custom tailored response; however, always trust your good judgment and maintain a bias for action. Do not rely on the government to help you or to tell you when it is too late. Remember that when the government steps in, it will be because it is already too late and their mission is not to protect you, but rather, retain their control. This will almost certainly not work out well for you if your plan for survival relies on the government to save you so act now, the clock is ticking.

Stay safe and healthy,

Guiles Hendrik
August 8, 2014
All rights reserved.

Head of CDC Says It’s Time to Sound the Alarm on Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs

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Last Minute Survival continues to track and follow the emerging threat of anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria.  For months now we have been monitoring this development, but it wasn’t until recently that the major media outlets have begun running the story.  Just as LMS warned in previous articles http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2013/02/27/emergence-of-extensively-drug-resistant-tuberculosis-threatens-to-turn-cities-into-deathtraps/, the danger of superbugs reaching the point of becoming untreatable will soon become a reality according to the Centers for Disease.

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference: “It’s not often that our scientists come to me and say we have a very serious problem and we need to sound an alarm. But that’s exactly what we are doing today. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work, and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections.”   The statement is indeed ominous given the authority of the source.  Even worse, resistant bacteria “can spread the genes that destroy our last antibiotics to other bacteria, such as E. coli, and make E. coli resistant to antibiotics also,”  according to Frieden.

Based on the facts provided by the CDC, you must begin to sound the alarm bells.  The CDC’s director could not have been more frank in his statements about the dangers of resistant bacteria.  In effect, these resistant “superbugs” will soon turn once easily treatable conditions such as a sinus infection, abscessed tooth, urinary tract infection, or bronchitis into an untreatable and often fatal condition.  Many venereal diseases such as gonorrhea have already achieved near resistant status and now have the potential to become “incurable.”  Further, resistant strains of diseases such as Tuberculosis have the potential to become global menaces and wipe out literally millions of people and make living in urban, densely populated centers suicide.  This evolution in diseases has already begun to affect and kill Americans.  Soon, within our lifetimes, it will grow in seriousness to the degree that quarantine will again be necessary, mass transit will need to screen for illnesses and not terrorists, and simple infections will once again rob millions of life.

LMS analysts have spoken to various health care providers and assess the current risk as moderate within the United States.  However, if one deals regularly with individuals on “skid row” such as homeless, immigrants, or works in hospitals, the potential to acquire a resistant strain of a superbug dramatically increases.  Further, if you travel outside of the United States and have close contact with individuals in developing nations experiencing high rates of resistant bacterial diseases such as Tuberculosis, you should speak with a doctor and to take appropriate steps to protect yourself.  As the threat from resistant diseases increase, one can protect themselves by practicing good hygiene to include vigorous and regular hand washing, safe sex, and a general avoidance of high risk groups.  To provide your family the best long term protection, it may be necessary to eventually move out of any densely populated areas; especially those areas with large immigrant populations.  Note, it is not the intent of this article to spread xenophobic rhetoric, but to inform.  In respect to this, the primary breeding ground for resistant bacteria is outside of the United States.  Therefore, one of the primary vectors of these diseases entering the United States is by person to person contact and transfer.

By Guiles Hendrik

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-warns-of-rise-in-nightmare-bacteria/2013/03/05/5596b952-85cb-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_print.html

Food Poisoning FAQs for tough times learned abroad

One thing no one wants to deal with during a survival situation is illness.  In many parts of the world today, food poisoning is one of the most common ailments afflicting countless millions annually.  Typically, the onset of symptoms occurs rapidly after ingesting spoiled or contaminated food and includes violent abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.  The symptoms usually pass within a few days, but in severe cases of being sickened by bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella, death can occur.  Further, studies now have linked even mild cases to long-term health problems such as immune system disorders, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure.

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.  The 2011 estimates provide the most accurate picture yet of which foodborne bacteria, viruses, microbes (“pathogens”) are causing the most illnesses in the United States .  According to the 2011 estimates, the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.html

When traveling in less developed parts of the world, food poisoning is even more common.  Conditions in many of these countries mimic conditions one may experience in the event of a major collapse to include long-term power outage.  Compounding the problem in both the underdeveloped world and in a disaster situation, advanced medical help is not likely available.  As such, knowing how to prepare for, prevent, and treat it, as well as what not to do will be critical to a quick recovery and potentially survival.

The first thing is to dispel some common myths.  Drawing from my experiences over the last decade in impoverished and war-torn countries around the world, food borne illness will eventually afflict everyone given enough time.  No matter “how tough” you think your stomach is, I guarantee, there is a stomach bug out there meaner with your number.  Further, you never really seem to be able to become “immune” to getting sick.  The bottom line is if you eat bad food, you will get deathly ill for most likely at least 24 hours and during that time wish you were dead.  Anyone that has experienced true food poisoning knows this first hand.  Thus, the first rule is better safe than sorry.  When in doubt about food, just ask yourself; is it really worth violently throwing up while simultaneously having uncontrollable diarrhea for 24+ hours?

Next, although foods like seafood and mayonnaise can go horribly bad very fast and certainly are infamous for making people very sick, they are not the only culprits.  In fact, anything you put in your mouth that is contaminated can cause severe illness.  This includes not just meats and poultry, but vegetables and even the water you drink.  Further, if you are one of those people that like to put your fingers in your mouth, pick your teeth, or some other nasty habit, don’t.  Your hands will pick up some of the worst of the worst stomach bugs and if you put them in your mouth you are likely to get sick.

Another myth is that people often think that as long as they don’t swallow “bad” food they will be okay.  False.  Again, going back to the, “if you think it is bad it isn’t worth it,” motto.  Once the bacteria or parasite is introduced to your mouth and digestive track, it can make its way via your saliva into your digestive track and make you very ill as it grows and multiplies.

Another myth is that in cases of food poisoning you immediately get ill.  That is indeed the case in some circumstances, but in many others, it can take on average 24-48 hours as the pathogen embeds in your digestive track, multiplies, and releases toxins into your blood stream.

All bottled water is good.  Be very aware that not all bottled water is the same.  In fact, the U.S. State Department tested all of the major brands of bottled water in Pakistan, which includes U.S. name brands, and found only TWO in the entire country met minimal safe drinking standards.  In fact, water table in some countries is so contaminated that the only water that is suitable for drinking is water that has been distilled or purified through a mix of processes that include adding chemicals, exposing it to UV light, filtering it, and reverse osmosis treatments.

I especially like the myth that if you drink hard liquor it will kill any potential stomach bugs.  Although, anecdotally, I have seen some cases where there may be some truth to parasites such as worms that are adversely affected by alcohol and spicy foods, it doesn’t protect you.  In fact, heavy drinking probably means you are more likely to eat some nasty stuff from a street vendor at a late hour and then not only be deathly ill, but also add a hangover and dehydration to the mix.  Poor choice.

Okay, so besides knowing what doesn’t work, know what does work.  Wash your hands with hot soap and water as if you have an obsessive compulsive disorder.  Use alcohol based hand sanitizer before you eat any meal or touch food.  Always wash anything that was used to prepare raw food with hot soapy water or even boil it.  Before eating “fresh” fruits and vegetables grown in local soil, soak and or scrub them lightly in a weak solution of bleach and water.  Cook everything “well done.”  Yes, raw eggs and bleeding steak may be macho, but you are not going to be tough when you are balled up in the fetal position on the ground.  Drink only purified or water bottled by a reputable dealer from a known source.  Finally, when in doubt, don’t eat it.

Now, as I mentioned before, I don’t care how careful you are, if you spend enough time in underdeveloped places, you are going to get sick.  That is a fact, 100% true, can’t get around it.  It is just a matter of how often, how bad, and what type of illness.  Celebrate if you only are sickened by short duration treatable and or curable diseases and illnesses.  So, if you have access to pharmaceuticals, stocking up on the following drugs will go a long way to take the edge off of a bad case of food poisoning.  The following is a baseline treatment for an average, healthy adult, with no allergies.  Always consult a doctor before taking any medications.

  • Phenergan in 25 mg tablets taken 1 every 6 hours will alleviate nausea and vomiting (*cease taking once symptoms subside)
  • Azithromycin in 500 mg tablets taken 1 a day for 3 days to kill the bacterial infection (*note, it is critical to complete the full cycle of antibiotics once begun)
  • Tramadol in 50 mg tablets taken once or twice every 6 hours for pain (*Tramadol is a controlled pain reliever)
  • Bentyl in 20 mg tablets taken 1 every 6 hours to alleviate serve stomach cramping
  • Oral Rehydration Salts mixed with the proper ratio of water (usually one packet for a liter or quart).  Make sure you stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the biggest problems in cases of severe food poisoning and only makes your situation worse.  Drink as much fluid as you can keep down (*note, ORS tastes nasty, but IS what you need as it is properly formulated to not cause increased cramping, bowel irritation, and diarrhea)
  • Imodium tablets for diarrhea taken as needed (*note, don’t take anti-diarrhea tablets right away so as to let your system cleanse itself…only take if diarrhea persists after the second day)

At the end of the day though, if you could only have two of the above, get the Azithromycin to kill the bacteria and ORS to keep from dehydrating.  Phenergan may be a tie for second place if you can’t keep anything down and certainly makes you feel much better.

Finally, a few short lines on what not to do.  Don’t immediately run to take anti-diarrheal medicine.  Let your body cleanse itself.  Only use anti-diarrheal medication if symptoms persist for more than a day and dehydration is becoming a factor.  Do not allow yourself to become dehydrated.  With that said, use ORS for rehydration.  If none are available, attempt to find Pedialyte used for infant rehydration.  If that is unavailable, you can mix a very weak mixture of Gatorade and water or add a bit of salt and sugar to water.  If you mix full strength, such as in the case of Gatorade or drink pure water, it is difficult for your bowels to absorb and will cause increased cramping and possibly worsen the situation.  In fact, if you consume a mixture of Gatorade or some other electrolyte replacement that is too concentrated, it can actually pull water from circulation into the bowels and cause greater dehydration.  Nonetheless, if nothing else is available, it would still be better to plain drink water than dehydrate.  On a final note, be cautious about misdiagnosis.  Be very careful not to confuse the symptoms of food poisoning or stomach flu with those of more serious situations such as a ruptured appendix, which will cause death if the patient isn’t able to undergo surgery within a short period of time.  The most common way of assessing this is to locate where the pain is localized and if it is off to one side or in the lower abdomen.  Normally, cramping from food poisoning comes in waves and is centrally located in the abdominal region.  Symptoms of a life threatening appendix rupture are persistent, acute, and the abdomen can become inflamed and very painful to the touch beyond the central region of the abdomen.