Connect with us


Hunting for Plastic





Plastic pollution has become an urgent, worldwide problem. The average person now ingests about 100 plastic particles each year from eating shellfish and up to 68,415 plastic fibers each year just from the plastic dust particles landing on their plates during meals. Tap water, bottled water1 and sea salt2 also come with a “side order” of microplastics.

Many of the chemicals used to make plastics disrupt hormones, embryonic development and gene expression, and are linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Marine animals are also gravely affected. Microbeads, tiny plastic pellets that consumer product industries put in body washes, facial scrubs and toothpaste, now fill the bellies of sea animals and act as a sponge for other toxins. The death toll grows.

The Bane of Microbeads

In 2008, researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney showed that tiny plastic particles don’t simply pass through sea creatures unnoticed, as was once thought. Using mussels as an example, the study3 revealed that ingested microplastics first accumulate in the gut but, within three days, travel to the circulatory system where they remain for more than 48 days.

According to a 2016 National Geographic report,4 as many as 4,360 tons of microbeads were used in personal care products sold in the European Union in 2012, all of which were flushed down drains and ended up in waterways. One-third of the fish caught in the English Channel contain microbeads,5 as do 83 percent of scampi sold in the U.K.6

Microfibers from clothing also seriously contribute to plastic pollution. When they are released into waste water systems during washing, the irregular shape of these plastic particles renders them more difficult for marine life to excrete than other microplastics. In addition to physical blockages and chemical poisoning, microfibers consumed by marine life can cause the animals to feel artificially full, eat less and ultimately starve to death.

Plastic Hunter Boyan Slat Gives New Hope to Plastic Pollution

An insightful and encouraging new documentary,7Boyan Slat Hunting for Plastic,” shows how one committed young man and his organization, Ocean Cleanup, are addressing plastic pollution on a global scale.

At the core of Slat’s plastic cleanup efforts is a trash-collecting barge or “barrier.” The barge works like an artificial coastline — long floating arms catch plastic waste swept into its folds by currents. The plastic debris is then offloaded to a boat that sweeps by periodically, likely probably once a month.8

The collection barge relies entirely on ocean currents for energy and does not need an external energy source. Electronics on board are powered by solar panels. (People also “can get their email,” Slat jokes in the documentary, because the collection barge has Wi-Fi.)

It is a completely passive system, says Slat, that works with nature. The difference in speed that the plastic, barrier and the water travel — surface water moves faster than plastic debris, which moves faster than the barrier — ushers the plastic into the barrier. If the plastic and barrier floated at the same rate, “you will never capture plastic,” explains Slat. The barrier is looking for “the path of the least resistance,” he says.

The 600-meter-long (about 656 yards) barge or barrier sports a “skirt” that hangs 2 or 3 meters (6.5 or 9.8 feet) below, in the water, to collect debris. Since the skirt is positioned in the middle but not at the edges, it allows the barrier to assume a U-shape Slat notes is central to collecting the plastic debris.

Even if the wind and water take a different direction or speed, the passive system will still work, says Slat. Moreover, wind and water directional and speed changes will not alter the barrier’s U-shape that is crucial to its ability to pick up plastic.

Slat Has Studied and Perfected His System

Before Slat’s venture, his team, which includes 65 engineers among other staff, conducted “reconnaissance” of the North Pacific. They organized an expedition of 30 ships to measure larger pieces of debris. They also flew over the area to measure amounts of even bigger trash like huge discarded fishing nets.9

While the Slat team originally thought of fixing the barge to the ocean floor, they changed their minds. “We thought ‘wait a minute, instead of fixing it to the seabed, we can fix it in that deep-water layer,'” explained Slat. “The massive sea anchor slows down the system so it travels slower than at the surface, and the plastic still accumulates along the barrier and toward the center of the system.”10

Their first test of the collection barge was planned for the Great Pacific garbage patch, also called the Pacific trash vortex — a 1.6 million-square-kilometer area of ocean between Hawaii and California that is roughly equivalent to 618,000 square miles.

The patch has high concentrations of plastic debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre11 — most suspended and often microscopic plastic particles being in the upper water column.12 Slat predicts that 50 percent of total trash in the Great Pacific garbage patch can be removed in just five years at a cost significantly less than $320 million.13

So far, funding for Slat’s ambitious project has come from crowdfunding and investors from Silicon Valley. Slat does not take such largesse lightly. Financial supporters are investing in a promise, he says, and The Ocean Cleanup has got to deliver on that promise. There will not be a second chance to prove the efficacy of the plan he notes — the support is finite. If all goes well, Slat hopes to build over 120 systems.

The documentary shows The Ocean Cleanup employees moving into their brand-new offices, presumably funded by their financial supporters. Later they throw Slat a gala birthday party. The employees, mostly young, appear to be eager to address plastic pollution of oceans aggressively and to be full of idealism.

All Types of Plastic Pollute the Oceans

Microplastic is the worst kind of plastic, says oceanographer Laurent Lebreton, who appears in the documentary because it can, and does, invade the entire food chain from honey and beer to bottled water, tap water and salt. A big challenge in containing plastic damage is keeping the larger plastic pieces from degrading into microplastics says Lebreton.

Approximately half of the plastic in the Great Pacific garbage patch is fishing nets says Lebreton, displaying the unsightly clusters to the camera. In the middle of the clusters are massive “knots” of plastic twice or three times the size of beach balls which, despite their heft, are able to float.

Finding production codes on the plastic debris is useful in understanding their source and their behavior, says Lebreton, noting that one piece of plastic debris The Ocean Cleanup has collected has a production code from the 1970s.

Another piece of plastic that Lebreton displays for the camera, the size of a baseball, had been in the ocean so long, coral had wrapped around it. Yes, plastic is actually changing the ecostructure of oceans.

Harm to Animals

Many colorful plastics are thought by marine life to be “food” says Lebreton in the documentary, and he displays plastic pieces with teeth marks where animals have pathetically sought to “feed” and ended up with bodies full of plastic.

Lest anyone doubt the harm ocean plastic is wreaking on marine life, employees in the documentary are shown a videotaped autopsy of a sea turtle. Sure enough, as it is sliced open, plastic bags and other plastic objects are retrieved from the turtle’s body –– greasy, black and lethal to the turtle being autopsied.

“This is 30 seconds of what was a four-hour autopsy” of four turtles, explains an Ocean Cleanup employee who was involved with the autopsy. “When we opened them up, the conditions were awful,” and all the cases of their deaths “were related to plastic.” “You are not just here for what the world says, you are here to save animals and they will thank you for that,” he concludes to applause.

Valuable International Friends

Slat and The Ocean Cleanup have the support of important European Union (EU) leaders. One of the group’s advisers is Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, who has an on-camera meeting with Slat in the film.14 Royal DSM is a Dutch multinational active in the fields of health, nutrition and materials, headquartered in Heerlen.15 DSM is also a financial supporter of The Ocean Cleanup.16

Slat and The Ocean Cleanup also have the support of Frans Timmermans, a Dutch politician and diplomat serving as the first vice president of the European Commission and European Commissioner for the Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Agreement.17

“You can ban all plastics,” he says in a meeting with Slat, but if there’s “no recyclable degradable alternative” you have not made much progress. This “entails more than just cleaning up plastic, it’s about producing as little plastic as possible,” he says.

Both men agree that awareness of the ocean plastic pollution problem is finally being raised. The plastic is hidden under the surface says Slat, but once “our ships come back filled to the brim with plastic debris, people will be shocked and motivated.” “Five years ago, they [other EU countries] would have laughed at us,” agrees Timmermans, marveling at how far the movement to clean up ocean plastic has come.

Beyond Cleanup –– Plastic Use Itself

For years I have suggested that plastics should not be single-use and that people should recycle more. The truth is, recycling has been a dismal failure, especially in the U.S. Even as the realities of plastic pollution loom larger than ever, recycling rates remain disappointing in the U.S. and much of the world.

In the U.S., nearly 260 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated annually, but only 90 million tons of this MSW are recycled or composted, making up a recycling rate of close to 35 percent. That’s down from 37 percent in 1995. In other words, even though plastic production and pollution are way up, recycling is less common than it was 24 years ago.

Even though most plastic water and soda bottles are made from highly recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET), most such bottles end up littering oceans and landfills because people fail to recycle them. The Guardian18 reported that fewer than half of the plastic bottles purchased in 2016 were recycled, and only 7 percent were made into new bottles.

In contrast, Norway recycles up to 97 percent of its plastic bottles, the spoils of an environmental tax that plastics producers in the country must pay if they don’t reach a recycling target of 95 percent or more. Producers who meet the target recycling rate do not have to pay the tax, which most accomplish by attaching a deposit of about 15 to 30 cents to every plastic bottle.

Reverse vending machines are found all over Norway, in schools, grocery stores and more, making it easy for consumers to bring their plastic bottles back for recycling and the return of their deposit.

The Spin of Plastic Manufacturers Should Be Ignored

Plastic manufacturers tout the merits of plastics in helping food to stay fresh longer, travel longer distances and avoid contamination but environmentalists know that a better solution is that people buy “local,” purchase sensible amounts of food that don’t go to waste and use reusable containers in home fridges to avoid disposable plastics.

In the U.S., the idea of attaching deposits to plastic bottles has been suggested but lobbied against by manufacturers who worry the increase in price could affect their sales. Even in areas where bottle return centers have been built, like California, they haven’t been widely frequented, and in fact have dwindled in numbers by 40 percent over the last two years.

Certainly, properly recycling plastics, and better yet, opting for items that are not sold in plastic containers to begin with, refusing straws and bottled water, and using refillable bottles and coffee mugs are simple ways to reduce plastic pollution. Nor has The Ocean Cleanup’s project ignored the problem of recycling existing plastic objects, observes Fast Company:19

“The long-term plan is to recycle all the plastic collected into items like car bumpers, chairs and eyewear, and for companies to sponsor each boom with prominent logos. That will help defray the cost, he says. It’s a fail-proof, wonderfully imaginative, scheme. We’ll just have to hope it’s as seaworthy as Slat imagines.”

Addressing Food Plastics Is Not Enough

Luckily, many are now aware of the harm of plastic bags, plastic containers, plastic straws and bottled water. Many are now using refillable bottles and coffee mugs are other simple ways to reduce plastic. Still, fewer people are aware of the significant harm to our oceans from the microfibers in their clothing.

People may believe by avoiding plastic food-related items they have done all they can to help with plastic pollution without looking at their clothing at an important source of plastic pollution. For example, a synthetic jacket may release up to 2.7 grams (250,000 microfibers) with each washing. Wastewater treatment plants filter 65 percent to 92 percent of microfibers, which isn’t enough to prevent environmental pollution.

One “solution” to the microfiber pollution problem would be to install filters in washing machines — similar to lint traps in dryers — that could catch the fibers prior to them being released with the wastewater. The problem with this solution, however, is what becomes of the microfibers when they’re disposed of in landfills? Clearly the plastic pollution problem persists.

What Makes Slat Tick

According to estimates, by 2050 our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight,20 which is exactly what inspired Slat to launch his radical, plastic removing The Ocean Cleanup campaign. In the documentary, Slat says his mission began when, “while diving in Greece I came across more plastic bags than fish.” Slat was in high school then and is now only 24 but clearly helming an idea whose time had come.

It is not a surprise that the Netherlands would lead the way in addressing ocean issues, says The New York Times:21

“That’s because from the first moment settlers in this small nation started pumping water to clear land for farms and houses, water has been the central, existential fact of life in the Netherlands, a daily matter of survival and national identity.

No place in Europe is under greater threat [from climate change] than this waterlogged country on the edge of the Continent. Much of the nation sits below sea level and is gradually sinking. Now climate change brings the prospect of rising tides and fiercer storms.”

What motivates Slat’s efforts? Too many people think of innovation as a way to get rich and not a way to “enrich humanity,” he says.


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes





(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

Continue Reading


Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it





Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading


Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes





In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading