Bombs, Starvation, And Cholera

The citizens of Yemen now face a new threat, as though life there was not already harsh enough. Over 300,000 Yemeni already suffer from cholera (40% of whom are under the age of 15,) and the estimates show that up to 500,000 could face immediate starvation as a result, or many more if conditions deteriorate further.

Resources from food programs had to be shifted in order to provide the necessary vaccine doses to combat the problem and contain the spread of the disease. A record nearly one million doses was put aside for the people of Yemen, but, as has just been announced, critical shortcomings in infrastructure and security have put the project in jeopardy. The Saudi coalition, actively supported by the US and UK, has not only targeted and bombed a large number of hospitals, but has closed off nearly all of Yemen’s seaports and airports making delivery of critical medicine and food practically impossible. Power shortages have crippled water treatment plants and hospitals which only exacerbates the problem. Lack of refrigeration also puts certain medicines out of reach. Problems with the central bank have prevented healthcare workers from being paid, and they now depend upon humanitarian organizations for help, as well.

“Yemen is facing critical stoppages of hospitals and a lack of doctors and nurses. The health system has essentially collapsed, with an estimated 55 percent of facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds. Some 30,000 health care workers have not been paid in nearly a year and no funding has been provided to keep basic infrastructure such as hospitals, water pumping and sanitation stations operating.” -U.N. chief of aid, Stephen O’Brien

The initial shipment of 500,000 vaccine doses which is already in Djibouti would probably be re-routed to Africa instead of going to the war-torn country, according to WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier. The vaccine is an oral form and is intended as a preventative measure as it would do no good once the disease strikes. The vaccine only immunizes about 65% of those who take it as well, so the problem is likely to keep growing before it is eventually controlled.

“The speed of the spread of the disease is unprecedented,” Doctor Nevio Zagaria, the World Health Organization’s representative in Yemen said.

The situation is further complicated because deciding who gets the limited supply of essentials is likely to cause tensions between the warring parties.

The UN sought $2.1 billion to provide food to the millions people facing famine in Yemen but has received only a third of that amount. Up to eight million people are at risk of starvation. An appeal for $250 million in funding for cholera relief has only raised $47 million. Compared to the hundreds of billions which Saudi-Arabia has spent on weapons (from the US, the UK, Canada, and others,) it seems like a drop in the bucket. Saud has, ironically, pledged $3 billion to alleviate hunger in Yemen, but nobody expects much of it to go to the people of Yemen. The money will probably be spent on rebuilding infrastructure after the conclusion of hostilities and will certainly be given to British and American companies, instead.

The people know this somehow, and it leads to the mistrust which only amplifies the problem of disease. Many people in need of aid would simply refuse it claiming that the western powers who were there to help actually wanted to kill them all and their children, so they routinely refuse vaccines and medical attention. Trust, or lack of it, has become an issue which further increases the misery of those so affected. There is a great mistrust of the schizophrenic west who bomb them by day and seek to offer their help by night. Using illegal munitions like cluster-bombs and white phosphorus (as against the Palestinians) does not help the situation either.

The question raised is that with millions of Yemeni susceptible to cholera, will one million doses actually be enough? Originally, 3.4 million doses were requested, but due to simultaneous outbreaks in other countries such as Somalia, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Sudan, the stresses placed on supply, production, and transport infrastructure are overwhelming. Continued war, of course, leads to all these miseries and is the greatest continuous threat, and with continued weapons sales to the middle-east, the end of their suffering is nowhere in sight.

Let’s not forget that when there is no food, the only way for some of the older children to avoid starvation is to join the rebel forces. This is portrayed in the media as a recruitment of child-soldiers. The oppressed rebels are always to blame when dealing with regimes and empire.

Adding to all these horrible facts and adding to the prolonged misery of the people caught as prisoners in the war zone is that journalists have been barred from entering the country. This also serves a purpose, though; it means that all the atrocities committed against Yemeni civilians by western powers will go unnoticed. There will be nobody to report on the illegal weapons and munitions, nobody to recruit outside sympathy and financial assistance to those suffering, nobody to speak for the voiceless masses, and nobody to tell the story of an atrocious situation in horrific conditions under the oppressive impulse of invading forces.

American forces supply jets, bombs, illegal and inhuman munitions, training, and even refueling planes. British forces supply much of the same. Even Israel supplies pilots. Canada has provided transport trucks. Many other countries such as Qatar have contributed and are helping Saudi Arabia restore the deposed and oppressive government to power despite the will of the people. As the Americans said with Egypt’s Mubarak, “He might be a dictator, but he’s OUR dictator.”

So why does the west support this war? Why are we selling our weapons to these forces? Why are we involved in this ‘legitimate’ civil war (unlike the mercenary war in Syria,) if such a term can be used? Why are we involved, once again, in regime change halfway across the world? Why have we formed this coalition of the usual suspects? In a word: Iran. Iran (read: Hezbollah) backs the Huthi rebels. It is simply another proxy war, another reason to vilify our enemies, and once again, the people paying for it, living in misery, suffering through disease, starvation, death, and destruction, are innocent and helpless civilians.

Help shine a light any way you can. Use social media to do the job that the press either will not or cannot do, lobby your governments, donate to relief funds, crowdfund the purchase of BAE or Raytheon, do whatever it takes, do whatever you can. Us little guys should stick together against the forces of tyranny; we are their only defense and their very last hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZIKARIO is not a Brazilian Footballer

Is it snobbery, is it paranoia, is it legitimate fear, or is it all nonsense?

Seventeen athletes have, so far, declined the invitation to got o the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil citing the danger of zika. Even the USOC has said it ‘would understand’.

The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.

A few athletes from Britain have chosen to remain at home, as well. Greg Rutherford froze some sperm before leaving.

Australian athletes have been issued thicker, coated, zika-proof condoms, and will attend. (It’s Rio, after all; who’s kidding whom?)*

The Koreans have developed a zika-proof uniform. (Presumably, a larger version of the Australian solution.)

The Chinese athletes got some health advice.

Some have  gone very far out of their way to find a necessarily convoluted reason to slip the word ‘zika’ into their article, obviously trying to capitalize on the click-bait nature of the modern wwweb. It goes to show to what lengths some will go to in order to hype a story. Stories that are broadly good for the media raise all their boats and so see the most attention. It has precious little to do with what’s really going on. Besides, the press are not under any obligation to tell you everything. They don’t have the resources to cover everything, after all. The following article is a good example of click-bait.

Rio 2016 Olympics: Zika threat bugging Chinese shuttler Wang Yihan

“The threat of Zika at the Rio Olympics is on the mind of many athletes but few more so than China’s former badminton world champion Wang Yihan, who was attacked mercilessly by insects while competing in Indonesia last week.”

“They’re itchy,” she told Reuters…

Itchy?!? Is that all? That seems pretty weak. So what?

“I’m really not sure what kind of bugs they were. I don’t think they were mosquitoes. Maybe it was on the bed that I was sleeping on.”

Oh, bedbugs. Indonesian bedbugs, no less.

“I bought some cream for them, but they’re still itchy.”

Great setup for the zika scare story. By the way, ‘Zika’ is always capitalized.

When asked about zika:

“Yes, I think everyone’s been thinking about (Zika),” Wang said. “But obviously we’ve been told about how to be safe, wearing repellent and staying indoors and so on.”

She doesn’t seem too concerned, does she?

What’s with all the hype?

Thankfully there is some truth out there, if you read Portuguese.

“I don’t know where it comes from this information that children up to seven years would be the most susceptible, but it is not so,” he says. -trans. (Yandex)

There is a lot of evidence (and common sense) which indicate that zika should not be a significant threat, not to mention the fact that many tourists would be going to Rio, Olympics or no Olympics.

Anyhow, as Vox reports, August isn’t mosquito season in Rio.

“It’s going to be winter [during the Olympics], so the risk is going to be low in terms of mosquito transmission,” said Duane Gubler, a leading researcher on mosquito-borne diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School.

But if you like your fear even more ‘porny’, here’s a scary story from China, which rebuts the ‘winter’ claim. It hasn’t deterred Chinese athletes from attending, though. I suppose, when one grows up with dragons, a little mosquito isn’t really  that bad.

*There’s also a more disturbing plot affot. Remember those Australian condoms? Reuter’s, CNN, RT, the Guardian (and several other British papers) have all pushed the story, but it turns out to have been a marketing gimmick. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Here’s the thing: all condoms protect against Zika infection when used correctly.

So is this a case of snobbery? Do certain athletes from certain countries not want to participate because of Brazil’s third-world status? It didn’t keep them out of the world cup, did it? Or is this a political move aimed at the scandalous behaviour of the government? Maybe it’s just good old-fashion fear-mongering. Should we all be afraid all the time? Or is this something else?

Are mosquitos (humanity’s natural vaccinators – they hold disease in check by exposing everyone’s immune system to very small doses of it) to be the new ‘boogey-man’? Whatever could be the reason? Is a vaccine in the works? You bet!

The discovery “could lead to the development of a universal vaccine” against both diseases, they hoped.

Much of South America suffers from pollution, economic strife (which causes shortages in medicine,) and food shortages, and  and the CDC states that microcephaly is caused primarily by toxins, infections, and malnutrition. Is it any wonder Brazil is a ‘hot-spot’ for zika, mosquitos or not?

A bit of advice for those going to Brazil: Don’t lose your pretty little heads over it.

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*Update*

Q: “Who Owns the Zika Virus?

A: “Of significance, the Zika virus is a commodity which can be purchased online from the ATCC-LGC for 599 euros, with royalties accruing to the Rockefeller Foundation.”

 

 

 

 

Measles Cures Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.” It affects bone marrow.

Researchers at Mayo think that introducing a strain of measles into a cancer patient has ‘cured’ her condition.

“Two patients in the study received a single intravenous dose of an engineered measles virus (MV-NIS) that is selectively toxic to myeloma plasma cells. Both patients responded, showing reduction of both bone marrow cancer and myeloma protein. One patient, a 49-year-old woman, experienced complete remission of myeloma and has been clear of the disease for over six months.”

The paper goes on to state,

“In their article, the researchers explain they were reporting on these two patients because they were the first two studied at the highest possible dose, had limited previous exposure to measles, and therefore fewer antibodies to the virus, and essentially had no remaining treatment options.”

Is it safe to say that measles vaccines would prevent treatment of this condition in this way?

What other diseases are vaccinations preventing us from curing? And how long has this been known? The theory has, in fact, been posited since before vaccines were commonly administered.

“Oncolytic virotherapy – using re-engineered viruses to fight cancer – has a history dating back to the 1950s. Thousands of cancer patients have been treated with oncolytic viruses from many different virus families (herpesviruses, poxviruses, common cold viruses, etc.). However, this study provides the first well-documented case of a patient with disseminated cancer having a complete remission at all disease sites after virus administration. 


 

*Update*

Multiple Myeloma Measles Vaccine Clinical Trial Now Open at UAMS

“A major factor of eligibility is that patients have no detectable measles antibody. If this is present, it prevents the vaccine from working. About a third of all myeloma patients tested will have this lack of measles antibody, regardless of whether they have had measles before or have been vaccinated.”

“Two tests are run to see if patients are measles antibody-negative.”

Perhaps we will need an anti-vaccine vaccine if we end up with a treatable cancer.


 

*Mayo update*

Dr. Kapoor, in turn, has informed us that the principal investigators leading the Phase 2 trial have confirmed that there were, indeed, no responses to the vaccine therapy observed in the first 12 patients treated in the Phase 2 portion of the trial. “