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Here’s why lettuce keeps getting contaminated with E. coli

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The Public Health Agency of Canada is once again telling Canadians not to eat their leafy greens — especially, romaine lettuce in Ontario and Quebec — while health officials in the U.S. and Canada try to confirm the source of a new E. coli 0157 outbreak.

But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the caesar salad staple is suspected, and not for the first time.

This is the third outbreak in North America suspected to be linked to romaine in the past year. According to the Microbiology Society, 20 to 30 per cent of outbreaks of E. coli poisoning are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables. Lettuce and other leafy greens are often the culprits. Here’s why: 

How it’s grown

Lettuce needs a lot of irrigation water during cultivation. And sometimes the root of the problem is as simple as cross-contamination on the farm where it’s being grown. 

“You can get contamination from animal production facilities, it gets into the sediment, it gets into the water, which gets irrigated onto the crops, which are then harvested within 40 to 80 days,” says Keith Warriner, a microbiologist specializing in food safety at the University of Guelph.

The way lettuce is grown contributes to its susceptibility to contamination. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

The bacteria can also come from birds flying overhead or other wild animals walking through fields. And, short of moving all production into greenhouses, it’s just very difficult to avoid that kind of contamination. It’s equally hard to pinpoint the source.

“By the time public health officials are notified, people have been sickened for a long time,” said Lawrence Goodridge, professor of food safety at McGill University.” And he said, since the shelf life of lettuce is quite short — about five weeks — it may not even be in circulation any longer. 

Raw versus cooked

But it’s not just lettuce and leafy greens. There is currently a salmonella outbreak in western Canada linked to cucumbers. What do these all have in common? Consider this: when was the last time you cooked your lettuce or cucumbers?

That’s another basic reason why people more often get sick from eating contaminated lettuce and other salad greens. Unlike many other vegetables, they are rarely cooked before being consumed. Cooking kills E. coli 0157 and other bacteria. So other vegetables may be getting contaminated just as lettuce is, but because the vegetables are mostly being cooked, there is no widespread outbreak of illness. 

What about washing?

Washing the produce at home is not a reliable way to remove bacteria.

“The bacteria can be stuck on the surface of the lettuce, it can even get inside the lettuce,” Goodridge says. “So if you wash it, you might remove some of the bacteria, but you’re not removing 100 per cent. And we know in some cases, when we look at historical outbreaks of E. coli, even ingesting one single bacterial cell was enough to cause illness.” 

What about pre-washed packaged lettuce?

If you tend to reach for the convenience of pre-washed, pre-cut greens, you’ve probably seen on the packaging that it says they’ve been double- or even triple-washed. But Goodridge says, again, when it comes to E. coli, that means nothing.

“It’s washed to remove dirt, and chlorinated water is used, but really, that doesn’t do much. In fact, studies have shown it tends to spread the contamination around.” And what’s worse, he suggests, when the lettuce is cut in the processing plant, the leaf releases sugars that the bacteria like to grow on. So the bacteria can multiply even faster. 

Consider, too, he says, that to get to that bag or box, the lettuce has gone through a lot of hands and a lot of machinery, all of which could be harbouring bacteria, too. 

A microscopic image shows colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on an agar plate. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control via Reuters)

Why is lettuce contamination so hard to prevent? 

It’s a question being asked by many scientists. 

“Those of us who work in this area, we have much work to do to try to figure out why this apparently seems to keep happening,” Goodridge says. “Is there something specific about romaine lettuce that perhaps now suddenly in the past year has elevated it, or is it just a coincidence?”

At the University of Guelph, there may be the beginnings of some answers to that. 

‘We’ve actually got some current research going on here that suggests, of all the different lettuce types, E. coli 0157 likes romaine lettuce,” Warriner says, “especially if it is breaking out of its dormant state. So there is an association with leafy greens and E. coli 0157. People suggest it’s a pathogen-vegetable interaction going on, where they’re actually adapted to living on lettuce.” 

Minus any conclusive findings, though, both scientists agree it’s not worth the risk to eat romaine lettuce right now. If you have it, they say, throw it out. And don’t buy any or order it in a restaurant for the time being. 

The National’s health panel talked about the latest lettuce contamination this week:

If you fear your lettuce might be contaminated with E. coli, there is no point in trying to wash the bacteria away – just throw it out, say the doctors on the National’s heath panel. And then clean your fridge. 2:44

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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