Tag Archives: death

Flu or Ebola?

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The following blog is written by a emergency room doctor who is comparing today’s Ebola epidemic to the Flu epidemic of 1918. It does make sense that since flu season is upon us that we are more than likely to get the flu than Ebola. Flu is contact and airborne, so that quick trip to Walmart could be the time that someone sneezed into their hands and then grabbed hold of that shopping cart. Disgusting isn’t it.

https://shirley-mclain.net/2013/01/12/are-you-sharing/ This link takes you to a previous blog I did a year or so ago on the flu called “Are You Shring”. Take a look at it. It might just save you a lot of misery. Shirley

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I’ve been walking the earth for a half a century, so I’m sure I’ve picked up a bit along the way. I know the Gettysburg Address by heart. I can recite all the presidents. I can taste the difference between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, and I’m fairly certain I can tell you the starting lineup from the 1976 Cincinnati Reds. But if you ask me if I’m worried about Ebola, if our hospital is ready or if our nurses and staff are up to the challenge, chances are you will probably hear me say this:

“Hell if I know.”

I have been practicing emergency medicine for more than 20 years and I’ve seen close to 100,000 patients. I’ve written a few books, published some papers, lectured a bunch of times, pissed off about 10,000 soccer moms when I wrote an article telling them their kids weren’t playing the pros. I once even testified in front of a congressional sub-committee on hospital disaster preparedness. I’m still beating myself for at least not stealing a pen, but it was part of my duty as the physician director of mass casualty preparedness for our emergency department.

So you would think if anyone in the emergency department trenches would be versed as to how this Ebola scare will unfold, if it will spread, what to expect, how to diagnose, screen, protect and treat, then I suppose it would be me.

If an investigator for Joint Commissions or some other oversight agency, a member of the press or a committee trying to ensure CDC compliance were to pull me aside to spot check my Ebola acumen, they’d be satisfied with my answers and I’d leave them feeling like they had done due diligence as an administrator.

“Dr. Profeta, do we have enough protective stuff and does everyone know how to use it?”
“Yup.”
“Are the screening plans in place?”
“Yeah, ya betcha.”
“Is the staff versed in transmission and spread of Ebola?”
“Darn tooten.”
“Has everyone read all the CDC and hospital communiqués regarding Ebola?”
“Sure have.”
“Have you practiced the drills in the ER in case we have someone show up with a possible exposure?”
“More times than Lois Lerner has hit her hard drive with a hammer.”

But if they were to ask me if there are any other issues they should be aware of, I’ll just stare with round blank eyes and keep my mouth shut until the right question is asked; the question they will pretend does not exist.

“Dr. Profeta, will they – the staff, you, your partners – show up? “
“That, I don’t know.”

Some years ago when I first started in practice, a very large hospital in our area was having trouble getting patients rapidly admitted from the ER to the floors. This resulted in a tremendous backlog of patients and extreme ER overcrowding. This naturally increased patient wait times and directly impacted the health of those coming to the ER. So, naturally, the hospital system formed a committee and hired consultants. They looked at every single variable: time to laboratory, time to X-ray, nursing changeover, bed request time and on and on and on. Do you know what they found? The roadblock in the movement of patients through this major medical system was housekeeping. Think about that. Housekeepers, traditionally the lowest paid and least-skilled division of employment of the hospital, were responsible for the movement and throughput of patients more than any other factor.

If the rooms on the floor were not cleaned fast enough, then no patients could move from the ER to the floor, and no patients from the waiting room to the ER. ER wait times rose and patient care suffered. Housekeepers handcuffed the entire system, and not because they were lazy. The regulations, protocols and procedures put into place to clean a room are so extensive that rapid room turnover was next to impossible with the current staffing model. That stuck with me. What is the rate-limiting step in a mass casualty scenario or massive patient influx that would handcuff us? Where will all the preparedness collapse? What is the leaking O-ring? What am I afraid will fail?

As I alluded to a bit earlier, I appeared before members of Congress who were investigating Midwest medical centers and regional hospital preparedness for a mass casualty event. The focus was on our readiness should a major earthquake hit the Midwest. The congressmen wanted to know if we had the capacity to mobilize our staff; they asked what assistance we needed. Toward the end of the discussion, they asked each of us what we were most afraid of. The responses were typical answers you would give to a member of Congress if you were seeking money (not having enough resources, not enough congressional or governmental support, not having enough staff or equipment or infrastructure, etc.)

When they got to me, asking what I worried about, I simply said: “The flu.”

Now, flash forward. I wonder if what I really meant to say was “Ebola.”
IV push
When it comes to our ER and our ability to provide the best care during the worst extremes, I have no doubt we can mobilize our hospital to care for hundreds and hundreds of seriously injured patients. We have modeled our Emergency Department response to a mass-casualty incident in much the way Israeli hospitals have structured their programs. (As a side note, Israel is light years ahead of us in terms of all mass casualty – chemical, biological, environmental, mad-made – preparedness.) Specifically, we model our plan after Western Galilee hospital on the border of Israel and Lebanon. This is a large, major, modern-day medical center under constant threat from Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon. They train and drill with a level of involvement, passion and commitment that exceeds anything we can muster.

The staff at my hospital in Indianapolis, however, has bought into it and I truly believe that there is no ER in Indiana, and few in the Midwest, that have a better plan in place. We also gained a better understanding of the type of injuries we would see in each scenario. More specifically, we wanted to know from a pure number standpoint how many patients would have to go to the operating room the minute they hit the door, how many would need to be on ventilators and how many would need emergent life-saving intervention. Fortunately, and not so fortunately, the proliferation of research in this area has provided plenty of hard data well documented in the literature. Ultimately, all things being equal, the data seems to indicate a suicide type bomb loaded with ball bearings or other projectiles placed in a crowded area will result in the largest number of patients requiring immediate, emergent and life-saving intervention. While a disaster like a major earthquake will result in far more fatalities, far less people will require absolute immediate operative or life-saving intervention. All we really need to know is, what type of event, how many patients, and it’s pretty easy to calculate what to expect from an acuity standpoint. In the ER, it isn’t the total number of patients that concerns us, it’s the number we get that will die if not treated in minutes or a few hours. The rest we have no problem letting wait.

Ultimately, though, what I am getting at is that the trauma from a major incident like an earthquake or terrorist attack is very predictable. All you really need to know is the type of event and the numbers and you almost immediately have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

But a real bad flu?

There is no way you can prepare for it. The goal should be to protect your hospital from it.

We have seen influenza pandemics before, the most notable being the Spanish flu of 1918. Researchers estimate between 20 and 100 million peopled died from this strain of flu. What was even more concerning was the number of deaths that occurred in previously healthy people. Each year in the United States, about 30,000-40,000 deaths and 200,0000 hospitalizations can be attributed in part to influenza. Most deaths are in the elderly with pre-existing serious health problems. The Spanish flu of 1918 was different. It killed the healthy, able bodied. It unleashed an incredible degree of viral savagery with an infection rate of nearly 50 percent. It was a biological holocaust.
Field Hospital
Doctors and nurses treat flu patients lying on cots and in outdoor tents at a hospital camp during the influenza epidemic of 1918. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Thus my biggest fear has always been a strain of flu that is highly contagious with a high mortality rate. The Spanish-flu mortality rate of 1918 was 2 to 5 percent. Ebola has a 20 to 90 percent mortality rate, but it fortunately is not quite as contagious as Influenza. However, I still keep going back to flu and envisioning an epidemic of the Spanish type that will quickly fill all our inpatient beds, every ICU bed, every ventilator, every outpatient bed, every cot, gurney and chair in the ER and in all the waiting rooms. I’m afraid that a flu virus this aggressive will bring five dying flu victims to our ER each day and dozens more with a real possibility of dying.

This would occur on top of a department that is always operating at capacity and drowning in documentation and electronic medical record bureaucracy. After 30 days in our ER, nearly 150 people will have died, providers will be physically and mentally spent and morale will be at below-despair levels. Multiply it by 20 or so other hospitals in the area and now we are talking about 3,000 members of our community dead in only a single month. The obituary pages of the local paper will be thicker than the advertising section the day after Thanksgiving. Expand that number statewide and nationwide and the numbers become so immense they aren’t even real.

Now imagine a realistic scenario in which the flu vaccine only provides immunity to 50 percent of the recipients. That means that half of our ER staff who are seeing all these patients will have little protection, outside of gowns, masks, and gloves, against a virus that is spread primarily though coughing, sneezing and saliva. Simply put, some of us in the trenches in damn near every ER in America will almost certainly die. It could be me, it could be any one of my partners, colleagues and co-workers and it could be one of our children or a spouse who gets infected when one of us comes home thinking the headache and fatigue they are feeling is simply exhaustion from the workload of the day. Can you picture it?

Now imagine that huge numbers of hospital staff – from doctors to housekeepers, from food services to registration, from security and parking to transportation will decide not show up. They will call in sick or simply just say: “No, I’m not coming to work today.” In just a few days, human waste, debris, soiled linens, the sick, the dying and the bodies will pile up. We will be overwhelmed and unable to offer much in the way of assistance because the labor-intensive protocols that allow us to safely care for even one patient are just too exhausting. These procedures are barely repeatable more than once or twice of day, and fraught with so many steps and potential for mistake that it becomes too physically and emotionally taxing for the staff to do … so they simply wont show up.

And I am not sure I will, either.

I love emergency medicine. I love helping people and saving lives and I think I’m pretty good at it, but I am also a person and I have a wife and three children that I love and want to see grow up. I also am keenly aware that not a damn thing I do will have any real impact on the survivability of a patient with either the Spanish flu or Ebola. Fluids, rest and prayer is about all there is to offer. There is an old adage that says a hospital is no place for a sick person. I think whoever first said that had Spanish flu and Ebola in mind.

So we drill and we prepare and we post placards and do screening but no one is asking why in the hell are they coming to us in the first place? Fluids and rest can be provided anywhere: an empty warehouse or a huge tent in the middle of farmland. Why would we not just take the care to them in the form of special traveling Ebola-mobiles that triage and treat the patients at home? Why can we deliver the mail, pickup the garbage and recyclables at damn near every house in America, but we can’t pull up a retrofitted UPS van, drop off a mid-level provider in a hazmat gown, let them do an assessment, draw some blood, drop off cans of rehydrating formula to their doors, clean linen, biohazard bags, gowns and gloves for family members, slap a warning sticker on the front door, tell them you will stop by tomorrow and move on to some other location? I know I sound crass, perhaps like I don’t really have sympathy for these very ill patients. This could not be further from the truth. I’m just kind of angry. I know there is a better way than risking the infrastructure of a medical center for the sake of a few patients that will either do OK at home with simple supportive care or die no matter what care I provide. We’ve had years to prepare for this, we’ve hung all our hopes on a vaccine and not nearly enough thought on containment should a vaccine fail.

Today’s Ebola is tomorrow’s Spanish flu. We’ve had nearly a hundred years to get ready and the best we can come up with is plastic suits, double gloves, respirators, and masks. The battleground of this problem can’t be in the hospital. It is unwinnable in our emergency rooms.

I think I might just call in sick.

Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He’s God.

Why Ebola Is Such A Uniquely Terrible Virus

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This is another article on Ebola. These articles are to educate and not cause unnecessary fear. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Have a blessed day. Shirley

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ebola biohazard suit hose
Physician Thomas Klotzkowski cleans Florian Steiner, a doctor for tropical medicine, in a disinfection chamber at the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin.
The Ebola virus is uniquely terrible for many reasons, but it doesn’t actually kill you. Your own immune system does.
In its struggle to beat back the virus, your immune system’s reaction ravages the rest of your body, leaving your blood vessels weak and leaky.
Soon, blood and plasma start pushing through, sometimes coming out of your pores and every orifice.
But long before the body begins to fail — around the time Ebola first enters the blood — the virus starts tripping up our defenses.
Here’s how it kills, how it spreads, and how it can be treated. In every step of the way, this deadly virus is uniquely terrible.

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ebola virus
The Ebola virus. So small. So deadly.
Ebola is a filovirus, a type of virus made from a tiny string of proteins that coat a single strand of genetic material. Particles of the virus live in an infected person’s blood, saliva, mucous, sweat, and vomit.
When someone is at the height of the illness (typically after five or more days), one-fifth of a teaspoon of that person’s blood can carry 10 billion viral Ebola particles, The New York Times reports.
An untreated HIV patient, by comparison, has just 50,000 to 100,000 particles in the same amount of blood; someone with untreated hepatitis C has between 5 million and 20 million.
If those particles find an entry point, like a cut or scrape, or if a person touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes with fluids that contain them, they get to work quickly.

How It Kills
ebola patient blood sample sierra leone
Ebola how it kills
Touch is integral to patient care — and the best way to spread Ebola.

Once inside the bloodstream, the virus targets a compound called interferon. Interferon, named for its role in “interfering” with the virus’ survival process, alerts the rest of the immune system to the presence of a foreign invader. Normally, interferon would deliver its warning message straight to the cell’s command center via a special “emergency access lane.”
Ebola is too smart for that old trick.
The virus hijacks the delivery process — preventing the immune system from organizing a coordinated attack — by attaching a bulky protein to the messenger. In its misshapen form, the messenger can’t enter the cell. The immune system remains unaware of the problem, and the virus gets free range to attack and destroy the rest of the body.
This is when Ebola goes on a replication rampage. Once the virus starts growing, few things can stop it.
The virus starts infecting organs, killing the cells inside and causing them to burst. All of their viral content pours into the blood. By this time, the immune system begins responding to the crisis in turbo mode, but it’s far too late. Rather than destroying the virus, our defenses simply rip our own bodies to The World Health Organization has said the virus seems to kill about 70% of people infected, though it’s hard to know the true numbers while the outbreak is still in progress.

How It Spreads
Ebola how it spreads
ebola patient escaped liberia
Ebola doesn’t need to be airborne to cause an epidemic. Anyone who touches a sick patient is at risk.
Although Ebola spreads less easily than a cold, because it isn’t airborne, the Ebola virus is far more persistent.
Like cold germs, Ebola virus particles survive on dry surfaces, like doorknobs and countertops, for several hours. But unlike a cold virus, which primarily infects the respiratory tract, Ebola can also live in bodily fluids like blood and saliva for several days at room temperature.
Doctors have found Ebola in the semen of men who have survived the virus up to three months after they recover.
It’s important to remember that someone with Ebola isn’t contagious until he or she starts showing symptoms. This happens when enough of a person’s cells have been overtaken by the virus, a process that scientists say appears to require a hefty load of viral particles in the body.
There’s also the prospect of Ebola mutating into something more deadly. Peter Jahrling, one of the head scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks the virus could already be changing into something more dangerous, Vox reports.
In recent tests with Ebola patients in Liberia, Jahrling has noticed that the infected seem to have more of the virus in their blood, which could presumably make them more contagious.
And even worse, it preys on our human need to touch and care for the sick, which is why much of its spread is to caregivers and healthcare workers.
“The mechanism Ebola exploits is far more insidious,” as Benjamin Hale wrote in Slate. “This virus preys on care and love, piggybacking on the deepest, most distinctively human virtues.”
That’s why the virus strikes children, their parents, families, and communities. All it takes is one small slipup, one uncalculated act of humanity, and the disease spreads even further.

How It Is Treated
Ebola treatment
Bellevue Hospital Workers Ebola Prep
Ebola treatment is dangerous — and expensive.
It’s tough to believe that anyone could survive Ebola, given its quick and violent progression. But two Americans did, and thousands of people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have as well.
The virus’ quick progression makes comprehensive treatment in a well-equipped facility key for raising one’s chances of survival. If doctors can keep a person strong enough for long enough, that person’s immune system can eventually clear the virus on its own.
In Atlanta, two Americans were nursed back to health with a combination of experimental drugs and traditional treatment. By keeping their patients’ organs working with intravenous fluids (to replenish the body with the fluids it is quickly losing), ventilators (to keep the lungs pumping oxygen throughout the body), and drugs to keep blood pressure from dipping dangerously low, they gave them the best chance of survival.
That sort of treatment is pricey, though.
The bill for the average Ebola patient treated in the US is a lofty $1,000 per hour. In West Africa, where that sort of money isn’t available, most patients simply go home to die.
To date, no federally approved vaccine or medicine for Ebola exists.
by:ERIN BRODWIN

Ebola and Sneezing

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Can You Get Ebola from a Sneeze?

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Do you have of fear of getting Ebola? I’m not talking about panic just the thought that it could happen. There is a lot known about the disease but there is also unknowns. I am thinking about it because my husband flies frequently to Washington DC and Dallas. I know on those flights he is with people from all over the world. He was in the airport on the day the man who eventually died was there.
I know if he contracts the disease, I will also. I’m not so much afraid for myself as I am for my children and their families. I live close to my daughter and I am of the age that if I get sick she comes to me to help. What do I do from now on just tell her to stay away. I know if it’s not flu like symptoms then there won’t be an issue. I just have to leave this in God’s hands.
I think it is important for everyone to stay aware of what is happening. Knowledge about the disease will keep down panic, no matter what is happening in the world.

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While experts argue over whether Ebola will mutate and become airborne, questions linger about what exactly airborne means in the first place.

For example, could you get Ebola from a sneeze? And, if so, would that mean it was airborne?

“With airborne illnesses, like influenza or tuberculosis, you can easily get sick by inhaling tiny pathogenic particles floating around in the air,” according to NPR, based on interviews with two virologists, Alan Schmaljohn at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Jean-Paul Gonzalez at Metabiota.

That’s not the case with Ebola, which requires large droplets to transfer.

Could Ebola Become Airborne?

“That means an Ebola-infected person would likely have to cough or sneeze up blood or other bodily fluids directly in your face for you to catch the virus,” Schmaljohn told NPR. “If that drop of blood doesn’t land on your face, it will just fall to the ground. It won’t be swimming in the air, waiting to be breathed in by an unsuspecting passerby.”

So while it’s theoretically possible for someone with Ebola to sneeze and emit a large drop of saliva into someone’s eye, it’s so unlikely that health officials don’t waste much time parsing out those hypothetical scenarios, Schmaljohn said.

“WHO is not aware of any studies that actually document this mode of transmission. On the contrary, good quality studies from previous Ebola outbreaks show that all cases were infected by direct close contact with symptomatic patients,” the World Health Organization says.

Quick Ebola Test, Not Quarantine, Could Be Best Defense

Doctors tend to have a different definition of “airborne” than the general public, Reuters points out. To doctors, it means that the germs are so tiny that they can float in the air for long periods, even when dry. They can infect people from a distance because they make their way deep into lungs when inhaled. Chickenpox, measles and tuberculosis are examples of airborne diseases.

A more appropriate term for Ebola, then, may be “droplet-borne.”

With Ebola, “when someone coughs, sneezes or … vomits, he releases a spray of secretions into the air,” according to Reuters. “This makes the infection droplet-borne. Droplet-borne germs can travel in these secretions to infect someone a few feet away, often through the eyes, nose or mouth. This may not seem like an important difference, but it has a big impact on how easily a germ spreads.”

And the good news? Droplet-borne diseases are much harder to spread than airborne illnesses.

BY SHEILA M. ELDRED

Rapture

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Rapture

Rapture1Here is the 50 million dollar question – will there be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Tribulation, or will all of God’s people living at that time have to go through the Tribulation and possibly be martyred for their faith?
I am going to go ahead and give you the main verses from Scripture that deal with the possibility of a Rapture. There is major divided opinion in the Body of Christ right now as to whether or not there is going to be a Rapture.

Each one of you will have to come to your own conclusion on this issue per your own interpretation of the Scripture verses I will list below. I will give you my opinion on this subject, along with pointing out key words and phrases in the following verses.

As you will see in the following verses, I believe there is very strong evidence from Scripture that there will be a Rapture – and that it will occur before the Antichrist starts the persecution of God’s saints, and before God starts to pour out His wrath upon the earth during the 7 year Tribulation. In other words, it will be a pre-tribulation Rapture.

1. This first verse is very interesting. You already know that one of the names of the Antichrist is the “lawless one” per the Scripture verse I gave you in my first article. This verse is definitely talking about the Antichrist. Here is the verse:

“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

You know the lawless one is referring to the Antichrist because then the verse says that Jesus will destroy him when He comes back for the second time.
But look very closely at the phrase, “only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed …” The “H” in the word “He” is a capital H in the New King James Version of the Bible. This means “He” is either referring to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
Since God and Jesus are in heaven right now, the “He” has to be referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been referred to as the One who restrains evil from getting out of control on this earth.

It says that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. Since we know the Holy Spirit still has to be down here even if there is a Rapture, then who is “He” referring to?
If there is a Rapture, there still will be a multitude of people who are going to get saved and then martyred. If they are saved, then they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which means the Holy Spirit is living on the inside of them like He is with us.

I believe the “He” may be referring to the “Holy Spirit operating through the Church.” This means that the Body of Christ, the Church, will be what is taken out before the Antichrist can be revealed.
Think about this. The Antichrist is going to be very easy to spot once he starts to enter onto the world scene. All of the Scripture verses I gave you on the Antichrist and 7 year Tribulation spell out exactly what is going to occur, and there will be more than enough astute Christians out there who are going to be able to pick up who he is once all of these events start to occur.

With some of the powerful TV ministries that we now have in place, I am sure that the Body of Christ will be shouting from the rooftops once the Antichrist is spotted.
The word would be spread very quickly and it would then become very hard for the Antichrist to rise to the kind of power that the Bible is foretelling.

I believe the Church has to be taken out as the above verse is stating before the Antichrist can be revealed to the rest of the world. And the above verse states that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “He” who is restraining him is taken out of the way!
Once the Body of real believers are raptured off the face of the earth, there will nothing left that will be able to stop the Antichrist from rising to full power. The rest of the world is going to be easily duped into believing in this man – especially with all of the false signs and wonders that will be performed on his behalf by the False Prophet.

I believe the above verse alone is very strong Scriptural evidence that there will be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Antichrist actually rises to full power.
2. This next verse talks about those who are “alive” will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the “air.” Here is the verse:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

This verse really seems to be implying that there will be a group of saints who are going to “caught up” or pulled up to meet the Lord in the air while we are still alive! These words spell possible Rapture to me.

3. The next verse tells us of a “mystery” – that not all of God’s saints are going to “sleep” – and that this group is going to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and that this event will occur at the last trumpet.

I believe the Last Trumpet is God’s last call to His people, and that it implies that whoever is saved and born again when this trumpet sounds off will be raptured and spared from having to go through the horrors of the 7 year Tribulation.

I believe the word “mystery” is being used to let us know that God is keeping the possibility of a Rapture a secret and a mystery to the rest of the world. This is why many of the Scripture verses pertaining to this event do not perfectly spell it out. However, there is enough of a hint in these verses for God’s own people to pick it up, but not the rest of the unbelieving world. Here is the verse:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
I believe the words “last trumpet” tells us this event will occur at the end of times. The words “shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” really do describe what could be a Rapture – the immediate vanishing and disappearance of God’s people from the face of the earth in the snap of a finger.

4. This next verse is coming direct from Jesus Himself out of the Book of Revelation. Here is the verse:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
This verse could be literal interpretation – that Jesus will keep His Body of believers who are living at this time out of the hands of the Antichrist. He obviously will do it by either rapturing them off the face of the earth, or by providing them with some kind of physical protection if there will be no Rapture. My guess is that He will do this by rapturing them off the face of this earth.

5. Here is another verse from Jesus stating that we watch and pray that we be counted worthy to escape all the things that may be coming our way in the end times.
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
This verse really seems to be implying once again that God is going to allow His own to escape or be prevented from having to go through the horrific events of the Tribulation.

6. Now here are some additional verses that are not quite as strong as the above verses, but do suggest the possibility that God will keep us from these horrific events.
“… and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
This verse either means Jesus will deliver us before the wrath comes, which would line up with a Rapture, or it may mean when He comes down for the second time at the battle of Armageddon to put an end to all of the carnage with the Antichrist.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
This verse could be implying that His Body will not be appointed or be subject to the events of the Tribulation – or the wrath could simply be pointing to people going to hell for refusing to accept Jesus and His gift of eternal salvation.

Conclusion
If there is going to be a Rapture, I believe that God will rapture His believers off this earth sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation.
I do not think He will wait to the midpoint of the Tribulation where the Antichrist seats himself in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God and then starts the persecution of God’s saints.
I believe the Antichrist will be fully revealed to the world near the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation when he enters into a peace treaty and covenant with Israel, and then allows them to start rebuilding their Temple so he can eventually get into it at the midpoint of the Tribulation to proclaim himself to be God.

And remember the very first verse above, that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. And when “He” is taken out of the way, then the Antichrist can be fully revealed to the rest of the world. And the “He” in my opinion may be the main Body of believers who are living at the time of these events.

The other reason I think the Rapture will occur sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation is that the Antichrist is going to need some time to set things up.
Once the Church is taken out, he will be free to start operating at full throttle.
The first thing he is going to do is convince and persuade the rest of the world to follow him, and I feel he will first do this by trickery and deception. If he starts the mass persecution too early on those who will not accept and take his mark, he will risk not being able to gain full control of everything.

I believe he will first suck everyone in by peace and diplomacy and the promise of a better world.
Then once he has enough of the nations on his side and the Jewish Temple has once more rebuilt, that will be the time he will then go for all of the marbles. He will seat himself up in the Temple at the midpoint of the Tribulation, proclaim himself to be God, kill anyone who will not accept his mark, and will then seek total world domination and control.

Think about this. This one man, through the power of Satan, will get a chance to have more power and more control over the entire world than any other man has ever had during the entire course of our human history. This will be the ultimate ego trip for a power hungry human being.
I believe that the last three and half years of the Tribulation are going to be the last and final history lesson from God to us.

With the Church being taken out of the way so Satan and the Antichrist can operate at full throttle, I believe that God is going to show all of us how much terror, death, and destruction humans and demons are capable of committing if given half the chance without God directly intervening.
In three and half years, Satan and the Antichrist are going to cause so much death and destruction on this earth, that Jesus Himself says that had these days not been shortened by God the Father Himself – that no flesh would have been saved! I really feel that Satan, if he knew he had the chance, would set up the entire scenario with the Antichrist to destroy the entire world through nuclear weaponry.
Satan already knows he is defeated. He already knows he will eventually end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for all of eternity. He knows that this will be his last chance for mass destruction and terror.

If God would allow Satan anymore time than these three and half years, I really believe Satan would set the world up for mass destruction through nuclear weapons. He would then have the satisfaction that he literally destroyed the entire world before he goes to his final fate.

But thank our God, He will not allow this scenario to go this far. But God is going to allow it to go far enough to teach all of us a lesson that we will never, ever forget.
He is going to show us how quickly humans can be deceived by Satan and his demons, and the only thing that has kept this world in one piece throughout human history has simply been the power and restraining force of God the Father Himself operating through the Holy Spirit.
Bottom line – there is only maximum life with God or maximum death without Him.

The last three and half years of the Tribulation will show us what maximum death will really be like when God removes His Church off the face of this earth, and then allows the Devil and the Antichrist to do what they want with the power that will be given to them.

After we watch and see all of these horrific events unfold, we will never, ever want to forsake our God again. We will come to the full realization that without God in our lives – we can never have true happiness, joy, love, peace, or fulfillment in our lives.

Without God in our lives, there is only eventual maximum death – and the last three and half years of this Tribulation is going to prove that point once and for all to all of us. It will be the greatest history lesson that the world will ever receive – and something that we will never, ever forget for the rest of our eternal lives.

Will there be a Rapture? rapture2

You will each have to decide for yourselves on the way the above Scripture verses are being worded. My own personal conclusion, after putting all the above verses together like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, is that there will be a Rapture, and that it will occur sometime before the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.

I believe the Rapture is a “mystery” from God and that it is “hidden” in the above verses. God does not want the rest of the unbelieving world to have full access to this mystery, otherwise people will be accepting His gift of eternal salvation for the wrong reasons – to escape the coming horrors of the Tribulation and not with a true, repentant heart to want to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior for the sinners that we all truly are.

Again, you may want to put this article on the shelf in the event that we start to fast approach end time events in our lifetime. This article will make for good debate with other Christians who may not believe in the Rapture.

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.

****
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

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]

Slowly Swallowing Us

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English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doli...

English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doline im Oman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not going to write about the mechanism by which we ingest food. I want to spend a little bit of time writing about the earth opening up and swallowing us mere mortals. I feel so bad for the family that lost their son and brother down a sinkhole in Florida.

Sinkholes are one of the biggest fears my home town of McAlester Oklahoma has due to all of the mining that went on during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The majority of the area has mine shafts running underneath. If one has occurred, I am not aware of it at this point in time.

I remember as a child seeing pictures of a house in Alaska in which the ground opened up and the entire house went down into a very big hole. You could at least see the roof. That was due to an earthquake. I think it was the late 1950,s when it happened. Growing up in California I was not surprised when the side of the road fell off due to the ground giving way because of so much rain.

The Bible even tells us in Numbers 16:32 KJV: “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods.” From that verse it sounds like the earth was opening up and swallowing people and things back then. Science tells us that sinkholes are very common when the foundation underneath the dirt is limestone and it washes away over time. That’s a very non scientific interpretation of an action that can take thousands of years.

Some sinkholes are caused by nature, but many more are caused by man’s activity.

Decline of water levels –

drought, groundwater pumping (wells, quarries, mines)

Disturbance of the soil – digging through soil layers, soil removal, drilling

Point-source of water – leaking water/sewer pipes, injection of water

Concentration of water flow – storm water drains, swales, etc.

Water impoundments – basins, ponds, dams

Heavy loads on the surface – structures, equipment

Vibration – traffic, blasting

So as with most of our other problems we are contributing to them in a major way. Is there anything we can do to help ourselves? The obvious would be not to build houses over limestone, and stop doing everything I’ve listed above. Somehow I just don’t see that happening. I think most of us will stay oblivious to what is going on underground. I know I don’t think about the ground dropping out from underneath me, do you?

sinkhole2 sinkhole4 sinkhole5images sinkholes-picture-3

Dying to Be Me

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Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong...

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi everyone today I’m going to discuss the book by Anita Moorjani, called Dying to Be Me. I read this book over the past couple of days. I am a big fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer. In case you don’t know who he is, as far as I’m concerned he’s the guru of self-help. He recommended this book so I bought it the first opportunity I had.

Anita Moorjani is a young Eastern Indian who lived through an amazing event. She and her husband live in Hong Kong. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphatic cancer.  Anita did not use any western medicine, only alternative types. She became ill enough after four years she died in the hospital. She had the choice if she wanted to come back to her body and she chose to, after speaking with her father and best friend who had passed before her. It is absolutely amazing to read. I was eating it up like candy.

I enjoyed the book, up to the point I read a question and answer session which she placed at the end of the chapters. Anita says we are pure love and you feel nothing but unconditional love when your on the other side. A question asks “Are you saying that a criminal–say, a murderer–would go to the same place and feel the same nonjudgement as a saint?” Her answer absolutely stunned me and I immediately turned off inside. Here is her answer, as written. “Yes, that’s what I’m saying. In that state, we understand that everything we’ve done, no matter how seemingly negative, has actually come from fear, pain, and limited perspectives.  A lot of what we do or feel is because we know no other way. Once we’re in the other realm, however, our physical limitations become clear to us, so we’re able to understand why we did things and we feel only compassion.”

“It felt as though those whom we label “perpetrators” are also victims of their own limitations, pain, and fear.  When we realize this, we feel only connection with everyone and everything. I understood that in the other realm, we’re all One. We’re all the same.”

“If everyone knew this, we wouldn’t need laws and prisons. But here, we don’t understand, so we think in terms of “us” and “them,” causing us to operate out of fear. This is why we have judgement, laws, prisons, and punishment. In this realm, at this time, we need them for our own protection. But on the other side, there’s no such thing as punishment, because once we’re there, we become aware that we’re all connected.”

I am a Christian and Anita is not. I have spoken with people who have had near death experiences and they have told me about seeing the light of God. I have a hard time believing that evil would suddenly disappear because the evil one died and they would be on the same level with someone like Saint Theresa.

I am thinking that maybe we see what we know. It is an amazing story and made me do a lot of thinking about the afterlife.  What are your thoughts? Have you ever talked with anyone who has had a near death experience? Let me know.

 

 

Darius Figgaro: Legends of the Shoemaker (Short Story)

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“I swear it’s true, every single word.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Giorgio, I’m unable to accept your statement. What made you think a story  so far-fetched, would  be believed?”

“Why would I lie about something that could cost me my life, Detective Johnson? That man died just as I said he did. I’m an honest man, and I do not lie.”

Detective Johnson got up from the table and walked from one corner of the room to the other. He couldn’t get his brain around the story that Mr. Giorgio was telling. “Do you care if I smoke, Mr. Giorgio?”

“No, I don’t care, Detective.”

“Thank you. Now let’s stop the formality. I’ve known you all of my life. You call me Peter, and I’ll call you, um, um. I don’t know your first name. I’ve never called you anything but Mr. Giorgio.”

Mr. Giorgio smiled as he listened to Peter. “Peter, my first name is Tony. Actually, it’s Antonio, but everyone calls me Tony. I guess it’s easier to remember.”

“May I call you, Tony? I’m sure I will fall back into old habits and call you Mr. Giorgio, but I’ll do my best to call you by your name. Ok, let’s start from the beginning, once again. Don’t leave anything out.”

“I haven’t left out anything, yet. Peter, there is more to this world than what’s here in Summerton. Things people have no idea is happening in this world. Have you ever heard of Darius Figgaro?”

“No, I can’t say I have. Is that the guy’s name we found in your shop?”

“No, I don’t know who that man was. Darius was from the third century BC and a shoemaker as I am. He lived in a small village, in Armenia. He was known everywhere for his excellent shoes. In fact, he was so talented he was chosen to make shoes for the God’s as an offering, when the festival happened, in a few months. Aramazd, and his attendant, Grogh were made boots. For Aramzd’s son, Mehr, he made the softest, kid, leather shoes, and finally for the Goddess Anahit, he made slippers from a new shiny material from China made by worms. Nothing was finer in the entire world.”

“If anything was going to bring the town prosperity, it would be Darius Figgaro’s shoes. The God’s would certainly think of Artashavian as their favorite place. The village leaders were so confident in their plan, they already had a sign made for outside of town. In large red letters, it read: Artasavian, home of the God’s shoes.”

“You’re kidding, towns back in the third century BC didn’t put up signs.”

How do you know, Peter? Were you there? People are remarkably resourceful, no matter when or where they lived. Think about the pyramids in Egypt, or the great lighthouse in Alexandria. All through the ages, people have accomplished exciting and beautiful things. Now back to my story. Are you going to interrupt me anymore?”

“I’m not planning to,” remarked Peter.

“The time for the great festival of the gods arrived in Artashavian. You could palpate the excitement in the air. Everyone was happier and looking forward to the three days of fun and homage to their gods. Darius’s excitement ended abruptly when he went to gather his offering and found the shoe cupboard empty. I know I put those shoes in this cupboard. What am I going to do now? Darius sat on his cobbler’s bench and prayed to the gods to help him find his offering. A loud booming voice sounded in Darius’s head.

“Darius sweep the floor using your new broomstick.”

Darius stood as he thought a moment where his new broom was located. Once he thought of the location, he walked to his back porch and grabbed the broom. “Ok, god, I have the broom, and I am obeying you even though I don’t know what good sweeping the floor will do.”

Sweeping the dirt floor was not an easy thing to do. You had to sweep but not stir up the dust and yet sweep aggressively enough to remove the debris on the floor. Sometimes Darius would place a course woven material down on the floor is he could buy the yardage at a cheap enough price. It’s been awhile since he purchased any, so his floor was bare.

He swept the center out of the floor but then decided he’d best do the corners. There’s a box here. I don’t remember this. When Darius looked inside the box, he yelled aloud, “Thank You, thank you”. There were all of the god’s boots and shoes. Tomorrow I will present them as my offering to the gods.

Before sunrise, the next morning, Darius gathered his box of shoes and headed to the temple. He felt fantastic and had extra energy. It was a glorious day. There were other people gathered at the temple also. Sunrise was the appointed time for giving of gifts. If your gift was accepted by the gods, you received a special blessing. Darius was hoping they would give him continued good health, so he could continue to make his shoes.

Just as the sun was coming over the horizon, Darius placed his offering on the altar. The ground shook and lightening streaked the sky. Women were screaming and running away, but Darius stood his ground. He looked at the altar, and his offering was gone. Everyone else’s was still there. What does this mean? Have I displeased them with my offering?”

“You have not displeased us Darius. You have used your talents to make a personal offering to us. Because you have pleased us so much, we are going to bless you for each pair of shoes you made. Kneel Darius facing the sun.”

Darius was on his knees with the sun shining brightly in his face. He heard a female voice call his name. “Darius, my slippers are magnificent and feel glorious on my feet. For this, you shall have eternal life. You will continue to share your shoes with all you meet. Everyone will want a pair of your shoes. My child’s feet are protected with the soft leather of his shoes. Because you have given him protection, I shall protect you.”

“Thank you, goddess, for your blessing. I could not ask anything more. I will continue to work and make my shoes”, Darius said.

“You shall prosper though your work,” Grogh commanded. “You shall never go without food or fine housing.”

Aramazd asked Darius if there was anything else he desired. Darius declined. “Then go Darius, knowing you will be protected, have a long life and will be sharing your shoes with the world for all time.”

Darius bowed his head as the bright light was removed from his face. He stood, not quite believing what occurred. “I’ve been blessed. What more could I want in this world.”

When Tony finished his story, he looked at Peter and asked, “Do you understand now?”

“Understand what? You told me a fairy tale that has nothing to do with the man’s body in your shop.”

“You are no different than the thousands of other people I have told my story to. You go through this life thinking you know everything, and you actually don’t know anything at all. I can’t explain it any further than what I already have. You have to open your mind, and actually listen to what I said.”

“I don’t have enough evidence to hold you for the man’s murder. I’m going to let you return home but do not try to leave town.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Peter. I will be at my shop working on some shoes. I have a particular order from the Pope. He likes his kid, soft leather shoes.” Tony left the room, heading back to his shop.

Peter kept running Tony’s story around in his mind. Maybe when I hear from the Coroner’s office everything will fall into place. Returning to his office, Peter pulled out the evidence folder on the dead man. It was empty, not one thing to go on so far.

“Peter, the Coroner’s Office is on-line 1.”

“Thanks Sam. Hello, Doc, what do you have for me? You are kidding me, not one thing. What was the cause of death? Heart failure, so it’s natural causes. Sure, I’ll let the prosecutor know about the findings. Thanks, Doc, for the info.” Shaking his head, Peter couldn’t believe it all meant nothing. He knew he wanted to talk to Tony again about the legend of the shoemaker and to tell him about the findings.

When Peter opened the door to go into the shop, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The room was empty. Not one shoe or even a sign anyone had been in the building. Cob webs hung from the ceiling corners, with thick dust on the windowsill. A desk sat up against the wall. It was polished to a brilliant shine and had a paper lying on top. When Peter walked over to the desk and looked down at the paper, it made him take in a deep breath, before reaching down to pick it up. His name was printed on the folded paper. He opened the paper, and he knew his world would never be the same. It read, I am Darius.