Medical overreactions?
Last comment by Sparklebeam 1 year, 6 months ago.

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Watched the news the other morning and a researcher/ representative from CDC was discussing the stomach bug which was "going around" and talking about what an issue it was. 275 people had been infected. No one died. No source is known. And from the charts used, over 40 states were not affected at all. 275 people is 0000009 % of the US population, positing a population of 300,000,000. Now, I'm sure if you are one of the 275 and have severe diarrhea and dehydration, this is a serious health issue for you. But, c'mon, is this news?

Another example is peanut allergy. Here's an interesting link.

Medical overreaction or media creation of a story where none really exists?

Latest Activity: Jul 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM

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theflyonthewall commented on Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 17:00 PM

Yes, it is news because a much higher number of people suffering from this malady would represent the people who were never counted. It is also news because it is a food borne parasite which originates in tropical countries . Since a growing percentage of our food is imported, we should be very concerned about news stories of this type and about the sobering fact that very little food is given even a cursory inspection. We import large large quantities of shrimp raised in fetid tanks, Asian catfish that is really not catfish at all, fish taken from the polluted Mekong River in Vietnam,apples and produce from China and ,of course ,all of that impossibly red meat at Walmart. And I could mention our very own peanut butter scandal right here in Georgia.Why should we laugh it off and give the grifters and the sellers of suspect food a pass? Since our regulatory agencies have been eviscerated in the name of "free trade" we can expect an increasing number of reports from the CDC.

I would also like to mention the deleterious effect cheap imports have had on domestic producers. A variation of Gresham's Law has been taking place ,and we all suffer for it.

dirtroadlady commented on Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 17:05 PM

same old **** different day?! back in the old days a plague could wipe out a whole region and folks in the same time zone would not hear about it until it was too late- now a few people get a case of the squirts and its earth shattering headline news broadcast 24/7-

theflyonthewall commented on Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 17:41 PM

We are certainly headed back to "the good old days." Retrograde civilizations usually don't fare well.

Passinthru commented on Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 23:19 PM

Must have been one of those “slow news days” Bryant. Here are some more examples:

theflyonthewall commented on Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 08:02 AM

Ha! Here's another howler: Acute Fod Borne Illness Costs the Us 152 Billion Annually ( from the funsters at Georgetown U)

Bryant commented on Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 15:18 PM

Fly obviously you know much more than the CDC. I quote, "Because no food item has been implicated to date we're not yet sure the cases in the various states are related," said Dr. Barbara Herwaldt, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC..."

As to your final post, acute food borne illnesses are not limited to cyclospora nor to imported tropical foodstuffs. Not denigrating the impact if food borne illnesses, simply pointing out the difference between your point (all food borne illnesses and their total costs) and the reporting I cited. (And yes I realize that this one incident is part and parcel of the overall cost)

theflyonthewall commented on Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 16:18 PM

Bryant, If the sources are not related, that would indicate that the contamination comes from multiple sources, something more worrisome than a finding that the contamination comes from a single source. A host of illnesses may very well be attributed to environmental factors. For example, Alzheimer's Disease is appearing at younger ages, and autism, ADHD,ADD, and gluten intolerance are increasingly common. Type ll diabetes is attributable to obesity and lifestyle choices but food additives and adulterants also play a role. You are correct when you suggest that the sky is not falling ,but, on the other hand, vigilance and care could prevent needless suffering.Food safety is a serious problem in this country ,and I was addressing the scope of that problem in my response.

Sparklebeam commented on Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 23:15 PM

Well, I honestly did not read the link you posted about peanut allergies. However, as the parent of a grown child who has a severe peanut allergy, I can attest to the fact that a peanut allergy can be very serious. When you develop hives all over your body and your body swells up and your throat closes, you better hope to God that you are in an emergency room or that you have an epipen (and benadryl) on your person.

Bryant commented on Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Well, sparkle, read the link. It in no way minimizes the seriousness of a peanut allergy. It does, however, point out the fallacies of some actions being taken based upon self reporting of an allergy. Which was the point of the original post.

If the source of an outbreak is unknown, and if the impact is minimal, why report it? What action is available to consumers when you do not know what to avoid?

Just sayin'.

Sparklebeam commented on Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Ok, now I have read the article you linked to, Bryant. I can't speak to the issue of self-reporting because that has not been my personal experience. However, I can speak to the possible reasons for the actions. My child was diagnosed at a very early age, before the age of 2. When you dealt with schools and daycare centers and visiting other children's homes, you had to make a big deal about a peanut allergy because so many people did not seem to understand how truly serious it could be. As a parent, you write notes and place those notes in all of your child's belongings, you speak to all teachers, care providers, etc. And you educate your child. They learn to read ALL labels early on...and if there is no label, they most likely won't eat it. Labeling is very important. Even with all of that, it still happens. The daycare still feeds your child a peanut butter cookie (true story) and says they didn't know it was peanut butter. You end up having to rush the child to the ER. This is why a big deal is made of peanut allergies....because people still do not take it seriously or understand the possibly deathly consequences. So, perhaps there is a change in some things in society...does not necessarily mean it is a bad thing. I do understand what you're saying but could we say "better safe than sorry"?

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