Category Archives: history

USA Only: My opinion on what could Happen with Our Country.

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It has been a long time since I have written a word on my blog but I feel this issue is important enough that I wanted to give my opinion. This will be my one and only online opinion about the upcoming election.

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Good Morning everyone. Those of you that have known me a long time know that I’m not very political but as everyone else in this country, I do have my opinion. I was listening to the television yesterday, and there was a young college age) talking that got my attention. She was talking about how even knowing his issues she was going to vote for Trump just because there hadn’t been any change in Washington and she was going to encourage all she could to do the same.

It got me to thinking about what could happen to this country if he is elected and it scares me. On one side we have Hillary who has made poor choices in some areas but has worked who entire life for the public. Her husband was the President and not a bad one in my opinion. She already knows all of the foreign leaders, and they know both she and her husband. In my mind, we are getting Bill’s experience also if she is elected.

The email debacle with Hillary is not too different than President Bush’s teams problem with their lost emails. You can watch this short clip and find out what happened. http://www.pbs.org/…/w…/web-video/missing-white-house-emails
It happens on both sides of the isle.

It seems that the so-called Millenials and others in this country could be cutting off their nose to spite their face just for the sake of change right now. Donald Trump is a disaster waiting to happen for this country. He is unstable and the thought that because of his inability to keep his temper in check can through this country in necular war. There are some things he can do as president that congress or the senate can’t stop. Is the change in the white house for the next four years worth all the instability and potential hazards that can happen if Donald Trump is elected? I think not.

I am old enough to have followed Trump throughout his life and witnessed the choices that a spoiled rich man made. He didn’t let anything get in his way. If he wanted it to happen, whether good or bad it happened. I don’t want this man held up as an example of someone to follow to my great-grandchildren or anyone’s child as far as that goes.
I will be glad to discuss my opinion with anyone that can keep it civil and clean. Twice I have written what I thought, and I won’t be doing it again, but I thought maybe this might give someone reason to stop and think about what can potentially happen to our country. Thanks for reading.

President Kennedy Assassination (graphic picture)

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I found this video from a former FBI man who investigated President John F. Kennedy’s assination very interesting. For me there has always been to many questions left unanswered. Maybe now the truth is beginning to be told.  Take a look and let me know what you think about it.  Shirley

 

Kennedy2

My Book Review

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This is the last day of the year and I’m doing what I’ve done every day since May. I’m talking to people about my book, Dobyns Chronicles. I never realized how hard it is to get people to read a book you know they will enjoy.

My blog today is a review of my book by Motorwriter.com. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with everyone. It is a wonderful feeling when people like what you have put on paper.  Ok, I’ll have my arm casted tomorrow from patting myself on the back but today, since it’s the last day of the year I’m going to keep patting.

I also want to everyone to know how much I appreciate the support that has been given to me. I’ve made some new friends, and connected again with some old ones. Life is full of struggles and heartbreak but it is also full of love and kindness and I have been blessed with a abundance of the love and kindness.

As this year ends I want everyone to know how much they are appreciated and lets continue to make this world a better place to live for as long as we are here.  Blessings to all and Happy New Year.

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The Finest Generation – A review of the novel ‘Dobyns Chronicles’

dobyns cover Picture2

“It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams” – Don DeLillo

Author Shirley McLain’s latest novel ‘Dobyns Chronicles’ is a historical fiction loosely based on the life and times of her grandfather Charles Kenly Dobyns. Charles orCharley to those close to him was the eldest son of Kennerly, an American cowboy and Eliza, a Cherokee Indian and was raised in a farm in Red River in Bonham near Northeast Texas. The book chronicles his life story from the late 1800’s when he was a young boy in a Texan farm to mid 1950’s when he became a great grandfather in McAlester, Oklahoma. The book paints a moving real life story about a young man’s resolve dealing with the various tragedies life threw at him while also caring for his two siblings, younger brother David and sister Viola. This novel presents a fascinating look at vintage Americana and will fill your mind with nostalgia about a simpler life led in much simpler times.

Right off the bat, the first thing that you are going to notice and that too barely a couple of pages into the book is the wonderful use of the English language. It has become almost a rarity in mainstream literature to come across such beautiful phrases and prose that make you stop and read a line twice just for the sheer literary pleasure it gives you. The next best thing about this book is the pitch perfect way in which the author has been able to portray the laid back and lazy times with the back breaking, difficult and adventure filled day in an old western town. It is so descriptive that the character’s spirituality, the numerous odd jobs done around the house, cattle drive and horse breaking somehow become second nature to you by the time you are done with the book. And for people of this century where everything is available to them at the touch of a button, this book will be a throwback to our older and harsher times when day to day living meant a constant battle with the various elements of the nature.

Blending the fiction seamlessly with the many historical and factual events of the late 18th century and early 19th century, Shirley has made good use of various events like the yellow fever epidemic, the great depression and the absurd tax laws to good effect and has used them strategically at various points in the novel to underline the emotions of her characters in that setting beautifully. The changes happening over time and the various developments too have been captured nicely; case in point isCharley staying at a hotel for the very first time. Shirley also seems to have a knack in getting children’s behaviour and their conversations right, the change in tone and content when the conversation moves from a child to an adult is always bang on target.

The entire book will tug at your heart strings and make you think about your own family, it will also make you reminisce about your childhood as you read about the childhood of the Dobyn kids. And even though your childhood may have been vastly different from theirs, you will still feel a connection to the various commonalities that affect us humans across time and different nationalities. The epilogue and the photographs at the end really get to you and even though a life that you have been witness to from a young age has come to an end, you are in a strange way left with so many memories of this man. And this is because of the way the author has captured these scenes and emotions, by taking you right into the lives and homes of these people instead of merely narrating a story.

Great authors have often talked about the secrets that make a book appeal to audiences everywhere. They stress upon having a standout first chapter to make the readers commit to the book, a good first page that will blow them away and a great first line that will stay etched in their memory forever. If they are right then Shirley’s book has scored a definite ace on all three fronts and has emerged a clear winner.

Product Details

Print Length: 260 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499024096

Publisher: Xlibris US (May 23, 2014)

ASIN: B00KNMM46S

Buy Fromhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KNMM46S/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Football Can Be Harmfull

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This is a repost from DNews on Football and one of my blogs on just how unhealthy football is. The season has started again and I cringe. I’m married to a college football fanatic plus anything else that has to do with a ball of any kind.

I hate football just because of the damage that it does to it’s players and now it seems to the audience also. Why do we humans participate in things that cause others pain for our enjoyment? Remember Rome and the Gladiators. Even after 100’s or thousands of years nothing hasn’t changed. I can visualize the cave man playing dodge ball with rocks and people cheering as the rock bounced off his head. I don’t see the attraction at all.

I’m sure there will be people who can’t understand my side either. They think I just don’t know how great the game is. My son and my husband can talk on the phone for an hour about who’s playing and where they playing,along with spouting numbers who has done this or that. I don’t get the attraction.

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Football has an intellectual attraction that keeps fans interested, according to Almond.

The game requires understanding a vast, complex series of rules (that are amended each year), and players can move in many different and unexpected directions (unlike baseball, for example). There are big swings in momentum, and it’s satisfying to watch.

“What’s happening in football for a fan is that you are combining this primal aggressive buzz (with) this unbelievably strategically dense game. Baseball players are static. Football is carefully controlled chaos.”

Despite the pull football exerted on Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

According to an article I read today in “The Week“, a losing football team can kill you.  The University of California did a study of the death rate following the Rams Superbowl trips in 1980 and 1984.  The record review revealed some very scary numbers.  After the team lost their bid for the Superbowl, heart attacks deaths went up fifteen percent in men, twenty-seven percent in women, and twenty-two percent in senior citizens.  Four years later when the Rams won the Superbowl the numbers didn’t change at all.

This study shows how much emotion is put into your favorite football team.  The lead researcher felt people reacted due to making the team “a family member.”  A die-hard becomes very emotional, causing stress.  This stress increases the pulse rate, raises blood pressure and can trigger a cardiac event.  Is ranting and raving because your team lost the game worth the possibility of having a heart attack and possibly dying?

Take a look at this video and you can see what it is feels like to experience a heart attack.  This video was made in England and says to call 999, but here we call 911.  Please pay attention, it could save your life.  That’s my two-cents for today.

http://youtu.be/LUt1xXASm_s

Life in Texas 1850

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???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The weather here in Oklahoma has been over 100 for the past several days. I have stayed close to the air-conditioning to stay comfortable. I was remembering this morning when I was a kid, it was nothing to have summers with temps at 110 that lasted for many days. We didn’t have air conditioning but we always had a good trusty box fan to blow hot air around. That was a big help. Anything to keep the air moving because with the humidity if it wasn’t moving it felt as if it were taking your breath away.

Homestead jpgAt this point you’re probably wondering why I titled this blog Life in Texas in 1850. That has to do with a branch of my family that lived on the Red River during that time. I can’t even begin to understand what their life was really like. I know it was at times almost intolerable and at other times laughter was happening because that is life.

A family had to worry about survival on a more intimate basis than we are. You know, just even getting hot water was a chore, not only in hauling, but then you had to heat it up. So, all the daily chores than required a lot more forethought—as well as just physical labor. Men, women and children—everybody’s working towards family survival. It didn’t matter if it was 110 outside that fire still had to be built. It went on every day of their life. The struggle to survive.washboard

OuthouseDrawing-150x150We take so much for granted in this day and time. How do you think you would do without electricity and running water? The family back then did what they had to do. That was the life they knew and was accustomed to living. I have a great appreciation and respect for what people have accomplished in the past. Imagine what our life would be like today if our families had not dealt with the life they had.
Have a blessed day.

Your Childs Education

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History2I have to tell you, right up front that this post is strictly a commentary on my part. I belong to a Historical Fiction group on LinkedIn and yesterday during a history discussion the direction of the conversation turned and my mouth hit the floor (so to speak). It seems that during my absence from the educational system for myself and my children the system has taken a giant leap backwards.History3

I was not aware that history is no longer taught in the schools as it once was. I could not get my mind wrapped around that thought. How could our future not be taught about the past of our country and of the world? And if they are taught it is skewed.
History
I am going to be posting the statements made by the people of the group. That way you can read and make up your own mind about how HISTORY should be in our educational system.

Carole Schutter
Owner, Carole Whang Schutter
I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Christine Gibbs commented on a discussion in Historical Fiction.

I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Lu Ann Worley
Book Review and Marketing

I know a wonderful History teacher who took an early retirement because there is no real history in the new history books…He refused to teach this farce of a history curriculum. These books were presented during the Clinton administration. Tax dollars were withheld from any school not agreeing to the new History & English books (In the English books the students only have to look up the answers to two out of seven questions at the end of a chapter. Basically, the students do not have to search for answers and learn to think for themselves- many students did not even look up the two questions…many didn’t even read the chapters!)
We are definitely in a “Dumb down America” that most parents are not even aware of because of the way it is presented to them. history4

ART HENDRICKSON
WRITER OF FICTION AND COMEDY

On the morning of 9/11, I was teaching in a Bakersfield, Ca school. When news of the first tower invasion was relayed to me by another teacher, I immediately switched on the TV and found a channel covering the event. What a great learning experience for my kids. The TV was on for about five minutes when the principal entered the room and demanded that the set be turned off and kept off and for us to get back on curriculum. Seriously? I was dumbfounded. How could she (later I found that it was a district ultimatum) deny observing history in the making. She did and I made formal protest as did some students in other classes. The district backtracked in the coming days and even blamed the teachers. It was their choice to watch or not watch or so they said. I wrote a editorial letter of response to the district whitewash and was promptly admonished…with no union backing. I retired the following year when even more restrictions were placed on the teaching of history in the Bakersfield Middle schools.

M.N. Stroh
Freelance Writer with Her View from Home

Sadly, these facts are all too common. History was barely taught in my school. My last high school class covering American history was a joke. The teacher didn’t even teach from the books. Lessons were totally on his lectures of HIS perception of history. The downgrading of history and education in general is one of the prime reasons that I homeschool my children.

Now that you have read a few of the statements made, how do you feel about it? I think a big disservice is being done to the children of this country and that is very sad. How can are children really understand what and why things have happened the way it has if they are not taught in our educational system.

Yellow Fever

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people-infected-with-yellow-fever Hello because of the research I did on Yellow fever epidemics for my book “Dobyns Chronicles.” Buy Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/BOOKNMM468 I thought I would share it with you.

Yellow fever epidemics struck the United States repeatedly in the 18th and 19th centuries. The disease was not indigenous; epidemics were imported by ship from the Caribbean. Prior to 1822, yellow fever attacked cities as far north as Boston, but after 1822 it was restricted to the south. Port cities were the primary targets, but the disease occasionally spread up the Mississippi River system in the 1800s. New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, and Charleston were major targets; Memphis suffered terribly in 1878. Yellow fever epidemics caused terror, economic disruption, and some 100,000-150,000 deaths. Recent white immigrants to southern port cities were the most vulnerable; local whites and blacks enjoyed considerable resistance. As you read it killed thousands so we have been blessed as a country to not have it now. It had to be scarey times back then. Did you have relatives who died from Yellow Fever.

This information is from Wikipedia

mosquitoYellow fever, known historically as yellow jack or yellow plague[1] is an acute viral disease.[2] In most cases symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and headaches.[2] Symptoms typically improve within five days.[2] In some people within a day of improving the fever comes back, there is abdominal pain, and liver damage begins causing yellow skin.[2] If this occurs there is also an increased risk of bleeding and kidney problems.[2]

The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of the female mosquito.[2] It only infects humans, other primates and several species of mosquito.[2] In cities it is primarily spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species.[2] The virus is an RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus.[3] The disease may be difficult to tell apart from other illnesses, especially in the early stages.[2] To confirm a suspected case blood sample testing with PCR is required.[4]

A safe and effective vaccine against yellow fever exists and some countries require vaccinations for travelers.[2] Other efforts to prevent infection include reducing the population of the transmitting mosquito.[2] In areas where yellow fever is common and vaccination is uncommon, early diagnosis of cases and immunization of large parts of the population is important to prevent outbreaks.[2] Once infected, management is symptomatic with no specific measures effective against the virus.[2] In those with severe disease death occurs in about half of people without treatment.[2]

Yellow fever causes 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths every year,[2] with nearly 90% of these occurring in Africa.[4] Nearly a billion people live in an area of the world where the disease is common.[2] It is common in tropical areas of South America and Africa, but not in Asia.[5][2] Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing.[6][2] This is believed to be due to fewer people being immune, more people living in cities, people moving frequently, and changing climate.[2] The disease originated in Africa, where it spread to South America through the slave trade in the 17th century.[1] Since the 17th century, several major outbreaks of the disease have occurred in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.[1] In the 18th and 19th century, yellow fever was seen as one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.[1] The yellow fever virus was the first human virus discovered.[3]

Signs and symptoms
Yellow fever begins after an incubation period of three to six days.[7] Most cases only cause a mild, infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.[8] In these cases the infection lasts only three to four days.

In fifteen percent of cases, however, sufferers enter a second, toxic phase of the disease with recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract will cause vomit containing blood, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vomito negro (“black vomit”).[9] The toxic phase is fatal in approximately 20% of cases, making the overall fatality rate for the disease 3% (15% * 20%).[10] In severe epidemics, the mortality may exceed 50%.[11]

Surviving the infection provides lifelong immunity,[12] and normally there is no permanent organ damage.

Cause
Yellow fever virus
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Order: Unassigned
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Yellow fever virus
Yellow fever is caused by the yellow fever virus, a 40 to 50 nm wide enveloped RNA virus, the type species and namesake of the family Flaviviridae.[3] It was the first illness shown to be transmissible via filtered human serum and transmitted by mosquitoes, by Walter Reed around 1900.[14] The positive sense single-stranded RNA is approximately 11,000 nucleotides long and has a single open reading frame encoding a polyprotein. Host proteases cut this polyprotein into three structural (C, prM, E) and seven non-structural proteins (NS1, NS2A, NS2B, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, NS5); the enumeration corresponds to the arrangement of the protein coding genes in the genome.[15] Yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

The viruses infect, amongst others, monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. They attach to the cell surface via specific receptors and are taken up by an endosomal vesicle. Inside the endosome, the decreased pH induces the fusion of the endosomal membrane with the virus envelope. The capsid enters the cytosol, decays, and releases the genome. Receptor binding as well as membrane fusion are catalyzed by the protein E, which changes its conformation at low pH, causing a rearrangement of the 90 homodimers to 60 homotrimers.[15]

After entering the host cell, the viral genome is replicated in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and in the so-called vesicle packets. At first, an immature form of the virus particle is produced inside the ER, whose M-protein is not yet cleaved to its mature form and is therefore denoted as prM (precursor M) and forms a complex with protein E. The immature particles are processed in the Golgi apparatus by the host protein furin, which cleaves prM to M. This releases E from the complex which can now take its place in the mature, infectious virion.[15]

Transmission

Aedes aegypti feeding

Adults of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. The male is on the left, females are on the right. Only the female mosquito bites can transmit the disease.
Yellow fever virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, but other mosquitoes such as the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can also serve as a vector for this virus. Like other Arboviruses which are transmitted via mosquitoes, the yellow fever virus is taken up by a female mosquito when it ingests the blood of an infected human or other primate. Viruses reach the stomach of the mosquito, and if the virus concentration is high enough, the virions can infect epithelial cells and replicate there. From there they reach the haemocoel (the blood system of mosquitoes) and from there the salivary glands. When the mosquito next sucks blood, it injects its saliva into the wound, and the virus reaches the bloodstream of the bitten person. There are also indications for transovarial and transstadial transmission of the yellow fever virus within A. aegypti, that is, the transmission from a female mosquito to her eggs and then larvae. This infection of vectors without a previous blood meal seems to play a role in single, sudden breakouts of the disease.[16]

There are three epidemiologically different infectious cycles,[6] in which the virus is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans or other primates. In the “urban cycle,” only the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is involved. It is well adapted to urban centres and can also transmit other diseases, including dengue fever and chikungunya. The urban cycle is responsible for the major outbreaks of yellow fever that occur in Africa. Except in an outbreak in 1999 in Bolivia, this urban cycle no longer exists in South America.

Besides the urban cycle there is, both in Africa and South America, a sylvatic cycle (forest cycle or jungle cycle), where Aedes africanus (in Africa) or mosquitoes of the genus Haemagogus and Sabethes (in South America) serve as vectors. In the jungle, the mosquitoes infect mainly non-human primates; the disease is mostly asymptomatic in African primates. In South America, the sylvatic cycle is currently the only way humans can infect each other, which explains the low incidence of yellow fever cases on the continent. People who become infected in the jungle can carry the virus to urban centres, where Aedes aegypti acts as a vector. It is because of this sylvatic cycle that yellow fever cannot be eradicated.[6]
epidemic 1820
In Africa there is a third infectious cycle, also known as “savannah cycle” or intermediate cycle, which occurs between the jungle and urban cycle. Different mosquitoes of the genus Aedes are involved. In recent years, this has been the most common form of transmission of yellow fever in Africa.[17]

Pathogenesis[edit]
After transmission of the virus from a mosquito, the viruses replicate in the lymph nodes and infect dendritic cells in particular. From there they reach the liver and infect hepatocytes (probably indirectly via Kupffer cells), which leads to eosinophilic degradation of these cells and to the release of cytokines. Necrotic masses known as Councilman bodies appear in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes.[18][19]

Fatality may occur when cytokine storm, shock, and multiple organ failure follow.[10]

Diagnosis[edit]
Yellow fever is a clinical diagnosis, which often relies on the whereabouts of the diseased person during the incubation time. Mild courses of the disease can only be confirmed virologically. Since mild courses of yellow fever can also contribute significantly to regional outbreaks, every suspected case of yellow fever (involving symptoms of fever, pain, nausea and vomiting six to ten days after leaving the affected area) is treated seriously.

If yellow fever is suspected, the virus cannot be confirmed until six to ten days after the illness. A direct confirmation can be obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction where the genome of the virus is amplified.[4] Another direct approach is the isolation of the virus and its growth in cell culture using blood plasma; this can take one to four weeks.

Serologically, an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay during the acute phase of the disease using specific IgM against yellow fever or an increase in specific IgG-titer (compared to an earlier sample) can confirm yellow fever. Together with clinical symptoms, the detection of IgM or a fourfold increase in IgG-titer is considered sufficient indication for yellow fever. Since these tests can cross-react with other flaviviruses, like Dengue virus, these indirect methods cannot conclusively prove yellow fever infection.

Liver biopsy can verify inflammation and necrosis of hepatocytes and detect viral antigens. Because of the bleeding tendency of yellow fever patients, a biopsy is only advisable post mortem to confirm the cause of death.

In a differential diagnosis, infections with yellow fever have to be distinguished from other feverish illnesses like malaria. Other viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Marburg virus and Junin virus, have to be excluded as cause.

Prevention[edit]
Personal prevention of yellow fever includes vaccination as well as avoidance of mosquito bites in areas where yellow fever is endemic. Institutional measures for prevention of yellow fever include vaccination programs and measures of controlling mosquitoes. Programs for distribution of mosquito nets for use in homes are providing reductions in cases of both malaria and yellow fever.

Vaccination

The cover of a certificate that confirms that the holder has been vaccinated against yellow fever
Main article: Yellow fever vaccine
Vaccination is recommended for those traveling to affected areas, because non-native people tend to suffer more severe illness when infected. Protection begins by the tenth day after vaccine administration in 95% of people,[20] and lasts for at least 10 years. About 81% of people are still immune after 30 years. The attenuated live vaccine stem 17D was developed in 1937 by Max Theiler.[20] The WHO recommends routine vaccinations for people living in affected areas between the 9th and 12th month after birth.[4] Up to one in four people experience fever, aches, and local soreness and redness at the site of injection.[21]

In rare cases (less than one in 200,000 to 300,000[20]), the vaccination can cause yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD), which is fatal in 60% of cases. It is probably due to the genetic morphology of the immune system. Another possible side effect is an infection of the nervous system, which occurs in one in 200,000 to 300,000 cases, causing yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease (YEL-AND), which can lead to meningoencephalitis and is fatal in less than 5%[20] of cases.[4][10]

In 2009, the largest mass vaccination against yellow fever began in West Africa, specifically Benin, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.[22][23] When it is completed in 2015, more than 12 million people will have been vaccinated against the disease.[22] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mass vaccination cannot eliminate yellow fever because of the vast number of infected mosquitoes in urban areas of the target countries, but it will significantly reduce the number of people infected.[22] The WHO plans to continue the vaccination campaign in another five African countries—Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria—and stated that approximately 160 million people in the continent could be at risk unless the organization acquires additional funding to support widespread vaccinations.[24]

In 2013, the World Health Organization stated “a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease.”[25]

Compulsory vaccination[edit]
Some countries in Asia are theoretically in danger of yellow fever epidemics (mosquitoes with the capability to transmit yellow fever and susceptible monkeys are present), although the disease does not yet occur there. To prevent introduction of the virus, some countries demand previous vaccination of foreign visitors if they have passed through yellow fever areas. Vaccination has to be proven in a vaccination certificate which is valid 10 days after the vaccination and lasts for 10 years. A list of the countries that require yellow fever vaccination is published by the WHO.[26] If the vaccination cannot be conducted for some reasons, dispensation may be possible. In this case, an exemption certificate issued by a WHO approved vaccination center is required.

Although 32 of 44 countries where yellow fever occurs endemically do have vaccination programmes, in many of these countries, less than 50% of their population is vaccinated.[4]

Vector control

Information campaign for prevention of dengue and yellow fever in Paraguay
Control of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is of major importance, especially because the same mosquito can also transmit dengue fever and chikungunya disease. A. aegypti breeds preferentially in water, for example in installations by inhabitants of areas with precarious drinking water supply, or in domestic waste; especially tires, cans and plastic bottles. These conditions are common in urban areas in developing countries.

Two main strategies are employed to reduce mosquito populations. One approach is to kill the developing larvae. Measures are taken to reduce the water accumulations in which the larva develops. Larvicides are used, as well as larva-eating fish and copepods, which reduce the number of larvae. For many years, copepods of the genus Mesocyclops have been used in Vietnam for preventing dengue fever. It eradicated the mosquito vector in several areas. Similar efforts may be effective against yellow fever. Pyriproxyfen is recommended as a chemical larvicide, mainly because it is safe for humans and effective even in small doses.[4]

The second strategy is to reduce populations of the adult yellow fever mosquito. Lethal ovitraps can reduce Aedes populations, but with a decreased amount of pesticide because it targets the mosquitoes directly. Curtains and lids of water tanks can be sprayed with insecticides, but application inside houses is not recommended by the WHO. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are effective, just as they are against the Anopheles mosquito that carries malaria.[4]

Treatment[edit]
As for other flavivirus infections, there is no cure for yellow fever. Hospitalization is advisable and intensive care may be necessary because of rapid deterioration in some cases. Different methods for acute treatment of the disease have been shown to not be very successful; passive immunisation after emergence of symptoms is probably without effect. Ribavirin and other antiviral drugs as well as treatment with interferons do not have a positive effect in patients.[10] A symptomatic treatment includes rehydration and pain relief with drugs like paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the United States). Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) should not be given because of its anticoagulant effect, which can be devastating in the case of internal bleeding that can occur with yellow fever.

Epidemiology

Endemic range of yellow fever in South America (2009)

Endemic range of yellow fever in Africa (2009)
Yellow fever is endemic in tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Africa. Even though the main vector (Aedes aegypti) also occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Pacific and Australia, yellow fever does not occur in these parts of the globe. Proposed explanations include the idea that the strains of the mosquito in the East are less able to transmit the yellow fever virus, that immunity is present in the populations because of other diseases caused by related viruses (for example, dengue), and that the disease was never introduced because the shipping trade was insufficient, but none are considered satisfactory. [27] [28] Another recent proposal is the absence of a slave trade to Asia on the scale of that to the Americas. [29] The trans-Atlantic slave trade was probably the means of introduction into the Western hemisphere from Africa. [30] Worldwide there are about 600 million people living in endemic areas. WHO officially estimates that there are 200,000 cases of disease and 30,000 deaths a year; the number of officially reported cases is far lower. An estimated 90% of the infections occur on the African continent.[4] In 2008, the largest number of recorded cases were in Togo.

Phylogenetic analysis identified seven genotypes of yellow fever viruses, and it is assumed that they are differently adapted to humans and to the vector Aedes aegypti. Five genotypes (Angola, Central/East Africa, East Africa, West Africa I, and West Africa II) occur only in Africa. West Africa genotype I is found in Nigeria and the surrounding areas.[31] This appears to be especially virulent or infectious as this type is often associated with major outbreaks. The three genotypes in East and Central Africa occur in areas where outbreaks are rare. Two recent outbreaks in Kenya (1992–1993) and Sudan (2003 and 2005) involved the East African genotype, which had remained unknown until these outbreaks occurred.

In South America, two genotypes have been identified (South American genotype I and II).[6] Based on phylogenetic analysis these two genotypes appear to have originated in West Africa[33] and were first introduced into Brazil.[34] The date of introduction into South America appears to be 1822 (95% confidence interval 1701 to 1911).[34] The historical record shows that there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Recife, Brazil, between 1685 and 1690. The disease seems to have disappeared, with the next outbreak occurring in 1849. It seems likely that it was introduced with the importation of slaves through the slave trade from Africa. Genotype I has been divided into five subclades, A through E.[35]

The evolutionary origins of yellow fever most likely lie in Africa, with transmission of the disease from primates to human beings.[36] It is thought that the virus originated in East or Central Africa and spread from there to West Africa. As it was endemic in Africa, the natives had developed some immunity to it. When an outbreak of yellow fever would occur in an African village where colonists resided, most Europeans died, while the native population usually suffered nonlethal symptoms resembling influenza.[37] This phenomenon, in which certain populations develop immunity to yellow fever due to prolonged exposure in their childhood, is known as acquired immunity.[38] The virus, as well as the vector A. aegypti, were probably transferred to North and South America with the importation of slaves from Africa, part of the Columbian Exchange following European exploration and colonization.

The first definitive outbreak of yellow fever in the New World was in 1647 on the island of Barbados.[39] An outbreak was recorded by Spanish colonists in 1648 in Yucatán, Mexico, where the indigenous Mayan people called the illness xekik (“blood vomit”). In 1685, Brazil suffered its first epidemic, in Recife. The first mention of the disease by the name “yellow fever” occurred in 1744.[40]

Although yellow fever is most prevalent in tropical-like climates, the Northern United States was not exempted from the fever. The first outbreak in English-speaking North America occurred in New York in 1668, and a serious one afflicted Philadelphia in 1793.[41] English colonists in Philadelphia and the French in the Mississippi River Valley recorded major outbreaks in 1669, as well as those occurring later in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The southern city of New Orleans was plagued with major epidemics during the nineteenth century, most notably in 1833 and 1853. At least 25 major outbreaks took place in the Americas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including particularly serious ones in Cartagena in 1741, Cuba in 1762 and 1900, Santo Domingo in 1803, and Memphis in 1878. Major outbreaks have also occurred in southern Europe. Gibraltar lost many to an outbreak in 1804, in 1814, and again in 1828.[42] Barcelona suffered the loss of several thousand citizens during an outbreak in 1821. Urban epidemics continued in the United States until 1905, with the last outbreak affecting New Orleans.[43]

Due to yellow fever, in Colonial times and during the Napoleonic Wars the West Indies were known as a particularly dangerous posting for soldiers. Both English and French forces posted there were decimated by the “Yellow Jack.” Wanting to regain control of the lucrative sugar trade in Saint-Domingue, and with an eye on regaining France’s New World empire, Napoleon sent an army under the command of his brother-in-law to Saint-Domingue to seize control after a slave revolt. The historian J. R. McNeill asserts that yellow fever accounted for approximately 35,000 to 45,000 casualties of these forces during the fighting.[44] Only one-third of the French troops survived for withdrawal and return to France. Napoleon gave up on the island, and in 1804 Haiti proclaimed its independence as the second republic in the western hemisphere.

Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 can still be found in New Orleans’ cemeteries.
The yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia, which was then the capital of the United States, resulted in the deaths of several thousand people, more than nine percent of the population. The national government fled the city, including President George Washington.[45] Additional yellow fever epidemics struck Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and traveled along steamboat routes from New Orleans. They caused some 100,000–150,000 deaths in total.[46]

In 1858 St. Matthew’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina, suffered 308 yellow fever deaths, reducing the congregation by half.[47] In 1873, Shreveport, Louisiana lost almost a quarter of its population to yellow fever. In 1878, about 20,000 people died in a widespread epidemic in the Mississippi River Valley.[48] That year, Memphis had an unusually large amount of rain, which led to an increase in the mosquito population. The result was a huge epidemic of yellow fever.[49] The steamship John D. Porter took people fleeing Memphis northward in hopes of escaping the disease, but passengers were not allowed to disembark due to concerns of spreading yellow fever. The ship roamed the Mississippi River for the next two months before unloading her passengers.[50] The last major U.S. outbreak was in 1905 in New Orleans.[6][51]

Ezekiel Stone Wiggins, known as the Ottawa Prophet, proposed that the cause of a Yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1888 was astronomical.

The planets were in the same line as the sun and earth and this produced, besides Cyclones, Earthquakes, etc., a denser atmosphere holding more carbon and creating microbes. Mars had an uncommonly dense atmosphere, but its inhabitants were probably protected from the fever by their newly discovered canals, which were perhaps made to absorb carbon and prevent the disease.[52]

Yellow fever in Buenos Aires, 1871
Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor and scientist, first proposed in 1881 that yellow fever might be transmitted by mosquitoes rather than direct human contact.[53][54] Since the losses from yellow fever in the Spanish–American War in the 1890s were extremely high, Army doctors began research experiments with a team led by Walter Reed, composed of doctors James Carroll, Aristides Agramonte and Jesse William Lazear. They successfully proved Finlay’s ″Mosquito Hypothesis.″ Yellow fever was the first virus shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes. The physician William Gorgas applied these insights and eradicated yellow fever from Havana. He also campaigned against yellow fever during the construction of the Panama Canal, after a previous effort on the part of the French failed (in part due to mortality from the high incidence of yellow fever and malaria, which decimated the workers).[6]

Although Dr. Reed has received much of the credit in United States history books for “beating” yellow fever, he had fully credited Dr. Finlay with the discovery of the yellow fever vector, and how it might be controlled. Dr. Reed often cited Finlay’s papers in his own articles, and also gave him credit for the discovery in his personal correspondence.[55] The acceptance of Finlay’s work was one of the most important and far-reaching effects of the Walter Reed Commission of 1900.[56] Applying methods first suggested by Finlay, the United States government and Army eradicated yellow fever in Cuba and later in Panama, allowing completion of the Panama Canal. While Dr. Reed built on the research of Carlos Finlay, historian François Delaporte notes that yellow fever research was a contentious issue. Scientists, including Finlay and Reed, became successful by building on the work of less prominent scientists, without always giving them the credit they were due.[57] Dr. Reed’s research was essential in the fight against yellow fever. He should also receive full credit for his use of the first type of medical consent form during his experiments in Cuba, an attempt to ensure that participants knew they were taking a risk by being part of testing.[58]

Max Theiler
During 1920–1923, the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board (IHB) undertook an expensive and successful yellow fever eradication campaign in Mexico. The IHB gained the respect of Mexico’s federal government because of the success. The eradication of yellow fever strengthened the relationship between the US and Mexico, which had not been very good in the past. The eradication of yellow fever was also a major step toward better global health.[59]

In 1927, scientists isolated the yellow fever virus in West Africa. Following this, two vaccines were developed in the 1930s. The vaccine 17D was developed by the South African microbiologist Max Theiler at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. This vaccine was widely used by the U.S. Army during World War II.[39] Following the work of Ernest Goodpasture, Theiler used chicken eggs to culture the virus and won a Nobel Prize in 1951 for this achievement. A French team developed the French neurotropic vaccine (FNV), which was extracted from mouse brain tissue. Since this vaccine was associated with a higher incidence of encephalitis, FNV was not recommended after 1961. 17D is still in use and more than 400 million doses have been distributed. Little research has been done to develop new vaccines. Some researchers worry that the 60-year-old technology for vaccine production may be too slow to stop a major new yellow fever epidemic. Newer vaccines, based on vero cells, are in development and should replace 17D at some point.[4]

Using vector control and strict vaccination programs, the urban cycle of yellow fever was nearly eradicated from South America. Since 1943 only a single urban outbreak in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, has occurred. But, since the 1980s, the number of yellow fever cases have been increasing again, and A. aegypti has returned to the urban centers of South America. This is partly due to limitations on available insecticides, as well as habitat dislocations caused by climate change. It is also because the vector control program was abandoned. Although no new urban cycle has yet been established, scientists believe that this could happen again at any point. An outbreak in Paraguay in 2008 was thought to be urban in nature, but this ultimately proved not to be the case.[4]

In Africa, virus eradication programs have mostly relied upon vaccination. These programs have largely been unsuccessful because they were unable to break the sylvatic cycle involving wild primates. With few countries establishing regular vaccination programs, measures to fight yellow fever have been neglected, making the future spread of the virus more likely.[4]

Back Then

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depression2One of the readers of my book Dobyns Chronicles compared my book to “The Walton’s” and I have to say I really like that. I thought The Walton’s was one of the greatest shows that TV has produced for the family. I put it right up there with Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven. I can definitely tell that I am ageing because nothing is a good as it was “back then”. That got me to thinking about how things were “Back then.”

depression3My dad came from a family where he had thirteen siblings and they lived in a three room house with a path plus a chicken house. He had to eat water gravy and biscuits many times because they didn’t own a cow. Mom would tell how she never had to go hungry because her grandparents had cows and pigs and everyone hunted and fished. Charley Dobyns took care of his family during those tough times but several members of his family left and headed to California because there was work there. Mom’s parents was part of that group that left Oklahoma. They worked in the fruit orchards or the canneries. Times were still hard but it was easier there than in Oklahoma.
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cannery2

My mother always told stories of her family and the way it was “back then”. My sister and I were taught how to prepare and survive just in case there was another depression. Living through the depression left a big imprint on both my mother and my father. I truly believe that the underlying fear of having nothing made the need to work and save very strong. I think that’s why “The Walton’s” was such a favorite around our house because my parents could identify with the time. I could identify with it because of all of mom and dads stories.
depression3

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It’s Here

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dobyns cover Picture2I’m excited so I have to share it. My book, Dobyns Chroncles is now for sale on Amazon. Have you ever had something that nagged at you until it was finished? This book was that way for me. From the start it nagged and kept it up until I finished it.

This was a labor of love. It brought me much closer to my Great Grandfather, Charley Dobyns. This book is loosely based on his life. My mother told me stories over the years about her Grandfather. He was a man of pioneering stock. He was a horseman and enjoyed the country life.

I met him only once. I must have been about five years old. I can see him and my Great Grandmother telling us goodbye as we headed back to our home in California. It’s funny how one memory can result in a creation of a celebration of life.

I am giving away five Kindle ebooks today for the first five people who sends me their email address. Even if you don’t own a Kindle you may still read the book on line by downloading Amazon’s Kindle reader.

I now have a store at my site shirley-mclain.com that sells my books. I’m enjoying this process. Have a blessed day.

Passover, Good Friday and the First Blood Moon

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red moon
((Reuters file photo))

“I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all. … I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Ex. 12:12-13).

“Then Moses said … ‘Go … slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. … When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down’” (vv. 21-23).

“Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7).

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31).

What could Passover, Good Friday and the first lunar eclipse of 2014 have in common? Think about it with me.

Passover began at sundown Monday. It is a time set aside by God’s people to remember their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Other than creation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there has never been a more dramatic demonstration of God’s power than the event we refer to as the Exodus.

Passover remembers the time when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. When Pharaoh defied God’s command to let His people go, his mind had to be changed. So God sent to Egypt a series of plagues one at a time, each giving Pharaoh opportunity to repent of his defiance: the water turned to blood; then frogs, gnats, and flies covered the land, followed by the death of the livestock, boils on men and animals, hail, locusts, and darkness. When Pharaoh hardened his heart against God and refused to let God’s people go, the final plague was sent. And it was the worst.

At midnight, God executed His final judgment on Egypt. The angel of death went throughout the land and struck down all the firstborn. From Pharaoh on his throne to the prisoner in the dungeon to the livestock in the barn, the firstborn died. The only ones saved from His judgment were those who placed the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their homes and remained inside, Israelite and Egyptian alike. As a result, Pharaoh repented of his resistance and let God’s people go.

But Passover is not only a remembrance of the power of God to save His people from judgment and to set them free from bondage. It is also a beautiful prophetic picture of another event that will be celebrated this week.

Good Friday is a sacred, holy day that commemorates an event that took place 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was not just crucified but was sacrificed as God’s Lamb on the actual day of Passover. When you and I apply by faith the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to our own hearts and lives, then the judgment of God for our sin passes over us, and we are not only saved from the penalty of sin but saved from the power of sin. We are set free from spiritual bondage.

On this year’s Passover, in a unique way, God seems to be putting a sign of His blood on the doorposts of the heavens. Because on that very day, the moon was to turn to “blood” as it entered into a total lunar eclipse. Could God be warning Planet Earth that judgment is coming and giving us opportunity to repent before it does? Could God be reminding you and me that the only salvation from His judgment is to take refuge under the blood of the Lamb?

I can’t answer those questions, but I do know one thing. I want to make sure that I have been to the cross, repented of my sin and rebellion against God, and claimed the blood of Jesus as my covering. I want to make sure I am safe—saved from God’s judgment whenever it does come, whether it comes this year on earth or at death, when I step into eternity and face a holy God.

This Good Friday, would you thank God for the blood of Jesus by making sure you have applied it to the doorposts of your heart and life?

Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGeL ministries, has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her newest book, Wounded by God’s People, is available at AnneGrahamLotz.com.