Rare polio like disease cases growing in WA – Seattle Times

What is causing AFM? This is bizarre disease is increasing in the number of cases, and apparently is happening in Washington State.

Hayden Werdal was born “perfectly healthy.” He caught a nasty cold at age 14, and now, four years later, he’s considered a paraplegic and needs a ventilator. Werdal, of Bremerton, has a rare and mysterious illness that’s left Washington families reeling. AFM is spiking, with 127 confirmed or reported cases nationwide this year, including eight in Washington. – Seattle Times

Just today, another case in Yakima:

http://newstalkkit.com/possible-acute-flaccid-myelitis-case-in-yakima-county/

While this is emerging, Trump has cut the budget at the Center for Disease Control. According to Politifact:

Among other changes, Trump’s budget would cut $138 million from the program dedicated to chronic disease prevention and health promotion, cut $59.9 million from programs studying “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases,” and $46 million from a program called “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.” A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people.

Remember this as you decide who to vote for. A vote for Republicans is a vote to continue cutting the one agency that might help find a cause for this emerging illness.

Flu shot time. And a story to prove why.

Flu shots are cheap and available. Time to one. Here’s a story of someone who didn’t get the shot and the outcome of a bad case of flu. We have been very lucky that we have not seen another outbreak of a virus as bad as the 1918 Spanish Influenza. My grandmother started her nursing career with that outbreak and it colored the rest of her life. Here’s a story,  similar to ones she told me growing up.

Last Year, The Flu Put Him In A Coma. This Year He’s Getting The Shot

 

 

 

Measles outbreak in British Columbia

A medical provider I know in B.C. has sent me information about the newly discovered measles outbreak north of the border.

Measles warning issued at Metro Vancouver high school . It’s the third recent case of measles in Metro Vancouver after cases were reported at Vancouver International Airport and Moody Park Pool in New Westminster.

Travelers are being alerted to one case of measles in an infectious individual who traveled through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) twice in recent weeks.

Flight information:
  • July 30: Air Canada flight 0004 departing from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) at 4:05 p.m. and arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 9:25 a.m.  The passenger with measles was at YVR prior to boarding the next flight.
  • July 30: Air Canada Jazz flight 8125 departing Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 1:50 p.m. and arriving at Portland International Airport (PDX) at 2:47 p.m.
  • Aug 6: Alaska Airlines flight 2536 departing Portland International Airport (PDX) at 9:45 a.m. and arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 10:55 a.m.
The individual also traveled on a cruise ship to Alaska:
  • Aug 6: Norwegian Cruise Lines (voyage number 2018080806), departed Vancouver at 4 p.m. with a destination of Seward, Alaska.

For more on this story, go to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control web site.

http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/news-releases/2018/yvr-measles-alert-aug-14

 

Psychological links to anti-vaccination attitude investigated – Consumer Health Digest

And more on the anti-vaccination myths. Worth subscribing to Dr. Barrett’s blog.

All issues of the Digest are accessible through http://www.ncahf.org/digest18/index.html. To subscribe from a new address, send a blank message to chd-subscribe@lists.quackwatch.org.


There is no clear evidence that debunking anti-vaccination myths has a significant effect on anti-vaccination attitudes. To explore why this is so, Australian researchers surveyed people in 24 countries ionn six continents. Based on responses from 5,323 participants, the researchers found that anti-vaccination attitudes scores were associated with:

  • conspiratorial thinking
  • reactance (the tendency to have low tolerance for impingements on one’s freedom)
  • disgust toward blood and needles
  • individualistic and hierarchical as opposed to egalitarian and communitarian worldview

These relationships were not strong among respondents in Asian and South American countries, but in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, U.K., and the U.S.A., beliefs about conspiracies were found to account for 17% to 27% of the variation in anti-vaccination attitude. Gender and education level were not significantly related to anti-vaccination attitude, but conservative political ideology and younger age were each found to be weakly related. [Hornsey MJ and others. The psychological roots of anti-vaccination attitudes: A 24-nation investigation. Health Psychology 37:307-315, 2018]

Discredited, alarmist HPV vaccine study retracted -Consumer Health Digest

Interesting retraction on a study that was jumped on by the anti-vaccine crowd.

The open-access journal Scientific Reports has retracted a 2016 article that claimed to provide scientific support for anecdotal reports alleging that the human papilloma virus vaccine Gardasil had side effects such headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration. The article also claimed that Gardasil administered to mice damages regions of the brain to induce adverse reactions. Soon after it was published, the Respectful Insolence blog blasted its design and the evidence presented. [Orac. Torturing more mice in the name of anti-vaccine pseudoscience. Respectful Insolence Blog, November 18, 2016] The retraction announcement stated:

The Publisher is retracting this Article because the experimental approach does not support the objectives of the study. The study was designed to elucidate the maximum implication of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil) in the central nervous system. However, the co-administration of pertussis toxin with high-levels of HPV vaccine is not an appropriate approach to determine neurological damage from HPV vaccine alone. The Authors do not agree with the retraction.

Although critics welcome the retraction, some have chastised the journal for taking so long to do it. [Normile D. Journal retracts paper claiming neurological damage from HPV vaccineScience, May 11, 2018] And, despite the retraction, the full text of the retracted article is still on the journal’s Web site.

HPV vaccination can prevent most of 30,000 annual cases of cancer in the U.S. caused by some types of HPV. It can prevent cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus as well as oropharyngeal cancer. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact, oral sex, and most commonly through vaginal or anal sex. HPV infection can resolve on its own, but can also develop for many years before symptoms first appear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends HPV vaccination for girls and boy at ages 11 or 12 years, but it can begin as early as age 9. For dosage schedules, see HPV vaccines: Vaccinating your preteen or teen. CDC, updated Aug. 24, 2017.

Consumer Health Digest

http://www.quackwatch.org/00AboutQuackwatch/chd.html

Anti-Vaccine Movement Affecting Kids With Autism – US World & News

Jefferson County has one of the worse vaccination rates in the state. You parents who are not vaccinating your children are putting not only your kids at risk, but others as well. Here’s why.

MONDAY, March 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Vaccine skeptics appear to be swaying many parents of children with autism to forgo critical childhood vaccines, a new study suggests. And the hesitation to fully immunize includes the children’s younger siblings, the researchers added. This means that “children with autism spectrum disorder, and their siblings, may be at greater risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said study author Ousseny Zerbo.

Read the whole story here:

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2018-03-26/anti-vaccine-movement-affecting-kids-with-autism

Support real news. Subscribe to magazines and newspapers. Boycott Fox News. Request it be turned off whenever you see it on.

First Hospital District Commissioner Candidate Forum!

The race for Jefferson County Hospital District Commissioner is perhaps the most contentious ballot position open this coming fall. With three candidates, a primary will be held with ballots being shipped out on July 12th. Much is at stake, as the Hospital District is facing enormous challenges in the next few years with anticipated cutbacks by the Republican controlled Congress and President Trump. Medicare and Medicaid cuts loom, which supply a large percentage of the hospital districts’ reimbursals. So looking towards a new Hospital District Commissioner is important, as they will likely be leading work guiding the hospital administration forward in whatever changes are in store.

With those concerns in mind, that’s why a full house of approximately 20 people showed up for a Hospital District Commissioner candidate forum held by the Jefferson Citizens Healthcare Access group (CHA). CHA is a subgroup of Local2020 and is made up of concerned individuals and representatives of community groups, such as Indivisible PT Huddle, Jefferson County Health Department, The Olympic Community of Health, the hospital administration, ex-healthcare industry professionals as well as others.  These representatives were there on behalf of many dozens of other county citizens, patients and providers.

The three candidates all fielded a wide range of questions on their backgrounds, why they feel they are the right candidates, beliefs in priorities and goals for the county hospital district. The CHA group spent one and a half hours with the candidates, which gave plenty of time to let them introduce themselves to the audience and explain their positions.

All three candidates have significant backgrounds in community health issues for Jefferson County and long time involvement in the community.

Cheri Van Hoover who lives in the Chimicum area, brings the longest record of actually providing healthcare to patients, as a Registered nurse, ARNP, midwife, and mental health clinic counselor.  She also teaches healthcare policy for Philadelphia College and has written award winning articles on midwifery & women’s healthcare. She  has run several small businesses over 40 years.

Bruce McComas brings the most background in corporate management from his experience managing the mill and it’s hundreds of employees. This included working on providing healthcare for the employees. He also is currently involved in volunteer hospital committees exploring issues relevant to patient access and quality control. He was a member of the PT school board between 1993 and 2000. He was voted “Citizen of the Year” in 2008. He currently works for a management consulting firm. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.

Bernie Donanberg brings significant mental healthcare management experience both here on the Peninsula and on the north I-5 corridor.  He has a master’s degree in psychology and worked  as a child therapist. He stated that he was bringing experience that could help with the upcoming purchase of the Discovery Behavioral Healthcare, as he has been a clinical director in the past. He expressed concern about the lack of co-location of mental health from the hospital. He is retired.

There were few surprises in the forum. Ms. Van Hoover and Mr. Donanberg expressed support for Single Payer Health Care while Mr. McComas said he supports universal healthcare. Ms Van Hoover pointed out that it was not likely to be an issue that the local Commissioners would be able to help implement a single payer system without state wide support.

Mr. Donanberg’s response to questions on his support of universal healthcare coverage was that he had questions about how  to achieve the goal given funding levels. He then suggested that we could look to implement some kind of universal funding by having the county run an “insurance pool”. Further details need to be supplied to help us understand that idea.

Ms. Van Hoover stated that she did not see a way for the county to provide this kind of funding level in some kind of insurance pool.

Mr. McComas stated he didn’t have an answer to how create Universal Coverage, and reinforced that by saying that even the best minds in politics hadn’t yet either, but he thought it could be implemented by looking to “quality improvements” as a way to lower costs.

When asked  about what he as a commissioner could bring to the table, Mr. McComas stated, “How do you do more with less.” He provided no details about what areas of the hospital might be looked at on this issue. Mr. McComas stated that he saw the role as overseeing performance, financial oversight and customer advocacy. He said that safety, quality of service and affordability were his main concerns.

Ms. Van Hoover stressed that the Commissioner role was not a management role, but a role of guidance and policy, two of her strengths.  She said that she would bring more adherence to public process and discussion on all topics. She expressed concern with the lack of public input some of the current commissioners seemed to feel was adequate.

Perhaps the biggest difference mentioned over the issue of what could be an issue added to  the Commissioners portfolio was when asked the same question Mr. Donanberg stated that he would have the Commissioners look into the issue of early childhood immunizations. He stated he does not support infant vaccinations around the time of birth, saying it was “wrong and that there are other methods of supporting immunization.” He admitted he did not immediately vaccinate his own children, but offered no scientific reasons as to why the community should support that.  The other two candidates did not  agree with that stand. It was pointed out that Jefferson County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the State, putting us at risk of an outbreak of diseases that are addressed by vaccinations.

Concerns were raised over rising prescription costs, but no candidate really came up with a solution to it that they supported. Mr. McComas stated that “I really am not knowledgeable on this issue.” Ms. Van Hoover said that she was concerned with rising prescription costs but did not see a way to solve the problem locally. She was more concerned with a lack of prescription delivery service in the south county as a local issue that could be addressed. She wondered whether the hospital district could look into better methods of delivery of medications  with the Quilcene Clinic. Her concern was forcing patients to drive to Port Townsend to fill prescriptions. Mr. Donanberg stated that buying via the Internet and other bulk buying options existed and should be further explored.

Additional concerns were raised by Ms. Van Hoover over the ongoing lack of primary care professionals and the turnover of many in the near past. She said she would focus on working with the hospital on retention and recruitment issues. None of the other candidates addressed this issue.

When asked about the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), a multiyear effort by the Hospital District to set healthcare goals, only Ms. Van Hoover had input on areas that could be improved on it, which she outlined were around a potential lack of continuing efforts to reduce teen pregnancy. The county alone has done a great job at lowering teen pregnancy but not including it in CHIP goals concerned her.

Mr. McComas stated that the CHIP was “very ambitious” and that the Hospital Commissioners were only “one part” of the effort. He offered no areas of it he would change.

 

Jul. 12: Ballots mailed
Jul. 24: Deadline for in-person registration – only for those not registered in WA State
Aug. 1: Election Day (Results at 8:00 p.m.)

Web Presence/More info: 

There is no web site for Bernard Donanberg. He will rely on the voter’s pamphlet mailed to county voters in a couple of weeks.

Web site of Cheri Van Hoover – https://www.facebook.com/Cheri-Van-Hoover-for-Community-Health-1879516315656505/

Web site of Bruce McComas  –   http://brucemccomas.org/

 

Bernie Donanberg – Candidate for Hospital Commissioner – Q&A Responses

Q and A Commissioner BRUCE CHA FINAL

Q and As Commissioner CHERI – Answered