Archive for August 6, 2009

Per Breitbart, Chinese Man Got Pneumonic Plague From Flea Bites from Dead Dog

From Breitbart:

A dog is suspected to be the origin of an outbreak of pneumonic plague in northwest China that has killed three people and left 10,000 under strict quarantine, state media reported.
Ziketan, a remote town in a Tibetan area of Qinghai province, has been locked down since Saturday in an effort to contain the spread of the highly virulent disease.

One patient was in critical condition and eight others were infected, most of them relatives of the first fatality, a 32-year-old herdsman, or local doctors, Xinhua news agency said.

Initial tests had shown that the herdsman’s dead dog was the likely origin of the outbreak, Xinhua reported late Wednesday, quoting professor Wang Hu, director of the Qinghai disease control bureau.

Wang said it was likely that the dog died after eating a plague-infected marmot and that the man became infected when he was bitten by fleas while burying the dead dog. He died three days later.

Uh, nice try, guys, but you don’t get pneumonic plague from flea bites. Aren’t there any editors anymore, or at least somebody with a rudimentary knowledge of the subject they are writing about? Here’s some help for y’all:

•Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. pestis infects the lungs. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria, which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs.

•Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague. This occurs when an infected flea bites a person or when materials contaminated with Y. pestis enter through a break in a person’s skin. Patients develop swollen, tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever, headache, chills, and weakness. Bubonic plague does not spread from person to person.

•Septicemic plague occurs when plague bacteria multiply in the blood. It can be a complication of pneumonic or bubonic plague or it can occur by itself. When it occurs alone, it is caused in the same ways as bubonic plague; however, buboes do not develop. Patients have fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into skin and other organs. Septicemic plague does not spread from person to person.

Symptoms and Treatment

With pneumonic plague, the first signs of illness are fever, headache, weakness, and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and sometimes bloody or watery sputum. The pneumonia progresses for 2 to 4 days and may cause respiratory failure and shock. Without early treatment, patients may die.

Early treatment of pneumonic plague is essential. To reduce the chance of death, antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. Streptomycin, gentamicin, the tetracyclines, and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague.

Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct, close contact with infected patients. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection.

A plague vaccine is not currently available for use in the United States.

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Hitler and Obama Health “Care”

From GCP, where else! I love it!

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Heh. No Jobs=No Recovery

This guy has another righteous rant that sounds a lot like what I’ve been saying around the house whenever I hear that we’re in a recovery or the economy is improving. It starts at .30, right after the ad for silver.

I just hope that nobody mentions the improving economy when I’m in a grocery store or restaurant because I’ll probably start destroying stuff, too. Stuff that I can’t afford to pay for because I ain’t got no job!

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Does Anybody Know of a Good Catastrophic Insurance Policy?

While I was still insured, I took care of routine doctor visits for check ups and routine age appropriate tests. It is time to acquire a catastrophic insurance policy to protect against unexpected, high dollar stuff. We can take care of the routine expenses like medications and routine doctor visits.

BCBS had given me a quote for a catastrophic policy with $3,000 deductible and 80/20 thereafter. I, of course, promptly lost it (grin). I fear that I absentmindedly grabbed it from the chubby fingers of one of the grandkids and stuck it somewhere “safe” or, alternatively, that I DIDN’T grab it and put it somewhere safe and it was tossed. I don’t even remember the name of the salesman.

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More Green Shoots!

From Reuters via Yahoo News:

Of prime conforming loans, 41 percent will be “underwater” by the first quarter of 2011, up from 16 percent at the end of the first quarter 2009, it said. Forty-six percent of prime jumbo loans will be larger than their properties’ value, up from 29 percent, it said.

“The impact of this is significant given that these markets have the largest share of the total mortgage market outstanding,” the analysts said. Prime jumbo loans make up 13 percent of the total market.

Deutsche’s dire assessment comes amid a bolt of evidence in recent months that point to stabilization in the U.S. housing market after three years of price drops. This week, the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales rose for a fifth straight month in June. A widely watched index released in July showed home prices in May rose for the first time since 2006.

Covering 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, Deutsche Bank in June forecast home prices would fall 14 percent through the first quarter of 2011, for a total drop of 41.7 percent.

The drop in home prices is fueling a vicious cycle of foreclosures as it eliminates homeowner equity and gives borrowers an incentive to walk away from their mortgages. The more severe the negative equity, the more likely are defaults, since many borrowers believe prices will not recover enough.

Homeowners with the riskiest mortgages taken out during the housing boom have seen the greatest erosion in equity, in part because they were “affordability products” originated at the housing peak, Deutsche said. They include subprime loans, of which 69 percent will be underwater in 2011, up from 50 percent in March, Deutsche said,

Of option adjustable-rate mortgages — which cut payments by allowing principal balances to rise — 89 percent will be underwater in 2011, up from 77 percent, the report said.

Regions suffering the worst negative equity are areas in California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and West Virginia. Las Vegas and parts of Florida and California will see 90 percent or more of their loans underwater by 2011, it added.

“For many, the home has morphed from piggy bank to albatross,” the analysts said.

Anybody that needs to sell their house for a job change/relocation when their mortgage is underwater is not going to be able to sell and may have no choice but to walk away from their mortgage.

The bigger issue to me is how much longer can the governments and taxpayers continue to prop up banks that are failing? If this prediction is anywhere near correct, I fear that a banking failure will occur before 2011.

If your bank is a known troubled bank, now would be a good time to quietly withdraw funds and either keep them in the Bank of Seely (grin), or spread around various solvent financial institutions (never in just one). *sigh* We don’t have any savings to worry about, having used all of ours, including our retirement savings, when our business collapsed after 9/11.

Not worried because the FDIC will protect you? Well, the FDIC is nearly out of funds (again) and they can take a very, very long time to pay out, limiting withdrawals to $1,000 or less per month.

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