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Friday, Sep 19th

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Deadliest, Rarest Form of Plague Contracted Near Denver

Plague in DenverA Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.

It is the first case of pneumonic plague seen in the state since 2004, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The man, who hasn’t been identified, may have been exposed in Adams County near Denver, health officials said in a statement. While House said the man has been hospitalized and treated, she wouldn’t release other details about his situation.

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Hospitals continue to shut down in rural America

Hosptial closures in rural AmericaWhen Pungo Hospital, the only emergency health facility in Belhaven, North Carolina, closed its doors earlier this July, barely anyone outside this coastal community took notice. But for the town’s mayor, Adam O’Neal, the shutdown was a matter of life and death.

“Our health and well-being depend on this hospital,” O’Neal said, as he was gearing up for a town council meeting.

Pungo Hospital provided health services to 25,000 people in two of North Carolina’s poorest counties, Beaufort and Hyde. Vidant Health, a nonprofit network that owns hospitals and clinics in eastern North Carolina, decided to replace Pungo with a 24/7 urgent care clinic offering treatment for minor illnesses and non-life threatening injuries. If the clinic cannot serve their needs, Belhaven residents will now have to travel 30 miles to the next closest hospital.

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CDC admits improperly sending dangerous pathogens five times in last decade

Thomas Frieden of the CDCThe laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, are one of only a few places in the world allowed to handle dangerous pathogens like anthrax and smallpox, and one would think they'd take that responsibility very seriously.

But in a new report outlining protocol breaches, the CDC admitted to having improperly sent dangerous bacterium, viruses or other microorganisms five times over the last decade. That's one potentially deadly mistake every two years.

"These events should never have happened," CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters this week.

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Inquiry into US government labs finds flu virus cross-contamination

CDCSenior US science officials have shut down two government laboratories that were the subject of "serious and troubling" safety lapses, and suspended some transfers of potentially dangerous germs.

Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, revealed on Friday that in addition to the exposure of anthrax and the discovery of insecure smallpox vials, which had already been disclosed, inquiries had discovered the cross-contamination of flu viruses.

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Monsanto's Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic

RoudupMonsanto's herbicide Roundup has been linked to a mysterious fatal kidney disease epidemic that has appeared in Central America, Sri Lanka and India.
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka.

The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The "u" differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.

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'Bleak picture' for mentally ill: 80% are jobless

Mentally ill joblessEighty percent of people with mental illness are unemployed, a statistic that says more about the lack of support for this group of people than it does about the economy, according to a new study.

As in so many other areas of mental health, solutions to this problem exist, but simply aren't utilized, says Mary Giliberti, executive director of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

"These statistics paint a pretty bleak picture," she says. "We think we can do a lot better."

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Why Did America’s Only Pot Researcher Suddenly Get Fired?

Dr. Sue SisleyIn April 2014, University of Arizona assistant professor Dr. Sue Sisley made headlines after winning federal approval to test marijuana on veterans suffering from PTSD. That made her the only academic in America to get a government go-ahead for cannabis research—and one of just 15 people to get such approval in the last two decades. The occasion hailed not only as a historic shift in public policy for the marijuana community but a huge victory for the 21.2 million veterans living in the U.S. today.

Three months later, it’s turned to defeat.  

Terminated from the University of Arizona last week, Sisley is now both jobless and moneyless—stripped of the institution, people, and funding on which her study hinged. America’s only federal-approved academic marijuana researcher just got the floor pulled out from under her.

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