Osterholm on “contagion exhaustion”

From Crof’s H5N1 Blog…

http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2013/05/osterholm-on-contagion-exhaustion.html/

Via The New York Times, Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP, writes today’s must-read: The Next Contagion – Closer Than You Think. Excerpt:

There has been a flurry of recent attention over two novel infectious agents: the first, a strain of avian influenza virus (H7N9) in China that is causing severe respiratory disease and other serious health complications in people; the second, a coronavirus, first reported last year in the Middle East, that has brought a crop of new infections. 

While the number of human cases from these two pathogens has so far been limited, the death rates for each are notably high. 

Alarmingly, we face a third, and far more widespread, ailment that has gotten little attention: call it “contagion exhaustion.” News reports on a seemingly unending string of frightening microbes — bird flu, flesh-eating strep, SARS, AIDS, Ebola, drug-resistant bugs in hospitals, the list goes on — have led some people to ho-hum the latest reports. 

Some seem to think that public health officials pull a microbe “crisis du jour” out of their proverbial test tube when financing for infectious disease research and control programs appears to be drying up. They dismiss warnings about the latest bugs as “crying wolf.” This misimpression could be deadly.  Continue reading

The Dark Suits – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=20fXjwLxyM4#!

Consumer Health Digest for April-11th-2013 by Steve Barrett M.D.

Consumer Health Digest for 4-11-2013 by Steve Barrett, M.D.

Dr. Oz’s irresponsible amalgam attack rebutted. On March 28, the Dr. Oz Show featured a demonstration purporting to show that brushing the teeth that contain amalgam fillings releases toxic levels of mercury vapor within the mouth. Two articles that explain why this demonstration was misleading have been published. One notes that the apparatus did not mimic real world conditions and that the operator’s company is closely linked with Oz and has been a major contributor to Oz’s nonprofit corporation. [Baratz RS, Barrett S. Dr. Oz’s improper amalgam toxicity demonstration. Dental Watch, April 8, 2013] The other article provides a sentence-by-sentence analysis of the program’s transcript. [Barrett S. Analysis of Dr. Oz’s unwarranted attack on
amalgam fillings
. Quackwatch, April 9, 2013] The Dr. Oz Show too often provides a platform for unscientific viewpoints (including anti-vaccination and anti-fluoridation) and promotes useless products. Continue reading

Consumer Health Digest #12-46, December 27, 2012

Consumer Health Digest #12-46
December 27, 2012
Current # of subscribers: 10,994

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Note: This issue is using software that embeds links into the text instead of showing them separately. It is also using styles instead of plain text. If these do not display properly in your computer, please send Dr. Barrett a message describing the problem and indicating what e-mail software you use.

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Herbalife attacked as “pyramid scheme”

Billionaire hedge fund investor Bill Ackman has mounted an attack on Herbalife that he apparently hopes will drive it out of business. The attack was launched with a 3-1/2 hour presentation at the Sohn Conference Special Event on December 20th. During his presentation, Ackman noted:

**Herbalife recruits unwitting “distributors” with the promise they can achieve lofty incomes. However, fewer than 1 in 1,000 do so.

**Herbalife’s products are overpriced but sell because they are bundled with a perceived business opportunity. However, the vast majority of new distributors make nothing.

**Herbalife is a pyramid scheme because its participants obtain their monetary benefits primarily from recruitment rather than the sale of goods to consumers. Continue reading