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mzmolly

mzmolly's Journal
mzmolly's Journal
March 24, 2020

University Of Minnesota Doctor Creates Simpler, Cheaper Ventilator - WCCO News

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/03/22/u-of-m-cardiac-anesthesia-fellow-creates-simple-cheaper-ventilator/
~
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As spread of COVID-19 continues throughout the country, demand for medical ventilators could skyrocket.

Many are already expressing concerns about potential shortages, but there’s a doctor at the University of Minnesota who says he just created a simpler, cheaper ventilator that could save lives.

Related: Coronavirus Resources

Univeristy of Minnesota Anesthesiology fellow Dr. Steve Richardson started work on his ventilator last Sunday, sourcing equipment and resources from biomedical engineer friends and other private companies.

Within hours of starting, Richardson finished a simple, effective prototype that he is now perfecting.




More at link above.

Edited to add link to donate: https://crowdfund.umn.edu/?cfpage=project&project_id=35358&t=1585019092
March 22, 2020

Are Hospitals Near Me Ready for Coronavirus?

Though the U.S. health care system is projected to be overwhelmed by an influx of patients infected with the novel coronavirus, the pressure on hospitals will vary dramatically across the country. That’s according to new data released by the Harvard Global Health Institute, which for the first time gives a sense of which regions will be particularly stressed and should be preparing most aggressively right now. The maps we’ve created based on the data shows why public health officials are so intent on “flattening the curve,” or slowing the spread of infections over a longer period of time, like 18 months instead of six.


More at: ProPublica.org
March 19, 2020

'Coronavirus Could Very Well Slow by the Summer' - Bloomberg

I hope this is so. And if there are areas which see an increase in cases, perhaps there will be time to develop a treatment or preventive.




One great unknown about the coronavirus pandemic currently circling the globe is how it will respond as the weather gets warmer.

...

There’s been suggestive evidence on this front for some time. Iran, which accounts for about 90% of coronavirus cases in the Middle East, is unique in the region for mostly sitting on a plateau where winter conditions resemble those of more northerly countries. At the same time, some Southeast Asian nations with close business and tourism links to China have seen surprisingly few cases, even if you assume their less developed public health systems are missing infections. Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines have each seen fewer cases than Estonia, Slovenia or Iceland, despite a combined population more than 100 times as large.

A study uploaded to medical pre-print server MedRxiv Monday plots recorded cases against climate conditions to suggest that there is indeed a significant correlation between outbreaks and the weather. In extreme cold and very hot and wet conditions the virus is “largely absent,” the researchers from Spain, Portugal and Finland wrote, meaning that people in tropical and polar climates are unlikely to see local transmission of cases.

Arid regions will see a higher rate of infections but the worst-hit areas will be temperate countries and high-altitude areas closer to the equator. The period between June and September should see a slowing rate of infections in much of Europe and North America, they wrote, although areas closer to the poles in Scandinavia, Russia and Canada may see worsening conditions as the climate warms enough to support local infections.

More at LINK
November 11, 2019

Monty Python's John Cleese and Eric Idle on ... the Trump and Brexit Show

THEDAILYBEAST.COM


While Monty Python’s Flying Circus was more subversive than political, both Cleese and Idle are active on Twitter, and are closely following the Brexit “shitshow,” as Cleese calls it, and Trump’s impending impeachment.

Idle admits that, during a break from his busy schedule, he recently became addicted to MSNBC.

“The problem is, the way they cover everything, you constantly think, ‘They’ve got him!’” he says of the coverage of Trump’s travails. “Like they’re coming for him with the handcuffs. The golden handcuffs, of course.”

“It’s been quite clear to me from the very beginning that he is not mentally balanced,” Cleese says of Trump. “He is an extraordinary caricature of an asshole; a person who has no interest in anyone else except himself. Every time he makes a decision, no matter how impulsive it is, it’s the one that makes him feel best about himself for the next 20 minutes. But I think he is now for the first time, because he is really becoming a disaster in foreign affairs, I think some Republicans are beginning to notice it. But the people who support him are basically so ignorant, because they only ever get news from Fox News, I don’t know what you say to people like that. To me, it’s like people who go and watch professional wrestling and don’t realize that it’s fixed. If they can’t see it when it’s right under their nose, I have no idea how they’re going to realize how wrong they are.”


April 1, 2017

Go Fund David Weinlick - Former DFL Party Affairs Director who sadly, has stage four cancer.

Information courtesy of Scienceblogs ~ Greg Laden
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2017/03/19/go-fund-david-weinlick/


Some of you may know David Weinlick, especially if you are active in politics in the Twin Cities, or associated with the University of Minnesota. He is well known around these parts for his political activism and important role in the DFL (that’s how Minnesotans spell “Democratic Party”). He was the Party Affairs Director for the Minnesota DFL until 2014, and until recently the Vice Chair of the Fourth Congressional District for the Minnesota DFL.

...

Dave was a graduate student in my department at the time. He was a cultural anthropology student, and I was a professor in paleoanthropology at a department with inexplicably deep divisions between the disciplines, so naturally we didn’t know each other particularly well. The experiment that David carried out was a bold one, and an interesting one, and was, as I understand it, predicated on the premise that people are not necessarily that good at finding long term mates in the usual ways open to them in American society. The hope was that a more thoughtful process (carried out by friends, many of whom were anthropologists, who should know a thing or two) could produce better results than, say, the bar scene, or the then nascent online dating systems, etc.

And it worked. Elizabeth and David Weinlick had a happy and long lasting marriage, children, all of that.



That is all the good news. The bad news is that David has of late been struggling with illness, and currently has Stage 4 colon, liver, and abdomen cancer. He is nearing the end of his life, but his life can be extended meaningfully with further treatment.
....



Please see the Go Fund Me page HERE for further information, as to how to assist.
February 16, 2015

Fewer than half in USA get flu shots, CDC says ~ USA Today

At a time when many people are preoccupied with the dangers of Ebola and a rare respiratory virus striking children, health officials announced Thursday that fewer than half of Americans are being vaccinated against the flu, which kills an average of more than 30,000 people a year.

The disparity is striking given that influenza vaccines are available more widely than ever — including at supermarkets, drugstores and many workplaces — and there are options to accommodate just about everyone's preferences, from needle-free shots to high-dose versions, said William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone older than 6 months.

The flu season could be tougher than usual this year if it follows the pattern seen in Australia, which has reported the highest number of influenza cases in five years, Schaffner said. He noted that flu is hard to predict. In many years, however, flu outbreaks in the southern hemisphere can predict flu activity in the USA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice on flu shots and other vaccinations aimed at keeping children, pregnant women and senior citizens healthy.

More at LINK:


Of note: Percent of adults 18-49 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 29.6%

Percent of adults 50-64 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 46.5%



Where is the outrage at unvaccinated adults who are "spreading disease to the vulnerable?" And, where is the discussion about mandating vaccines for adults, who are clearly capable if spreading disease?
February 7, 2015

NPR ~ Most People Getting Measles Are Adults. Time For A Shot?

Most of the 92 cases of measles confirmed in California are among adults — more than 62 percent.
Maybe they or their parents chose not to vaccinate, or maybe those people are allergic to one of the ingredients in the measles vaccine.

But it's also possible that a few of those adults happened to slip through the cracks when the measles vaccine first came to the public.



Jackie Carnegie immunizes Mabel Haywood in a Colorado Health Department immunization van in 1972. Shots for measles and other infectious diseases were offered.

... Adults have a few options, according to Schaffner. They can have their blood tested for measles antibodies, which exist in the blood of anyone who has either had measles or received the vaccine. Or they can get the shot; there's no harm in receiving the vaccine an additional time. In fact, most people have had two doses, since that's what's recommended for full coverage.

... "If you're really worried and you and your physician are really not sure, then roll up your sleeve," says Schaffner.

More at: NPR

March 9, 2014

FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough ~ FDA

“There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This resurgence suggests a need for research into the causes behind the increase in infections and improved ways to prevent the disease from spreading.”

....

While the reasons for the increase in cases of whooping cough are not fully understood, multiple factors are likely involved, including diminished immunity from childhood pertussis vaccines, improved diagnostic testing, and increased reporting. With its own funds plus support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the FDA conducted the study to explore the possibility that acellular pertussis vaccines, while protecting against disease, might not prevent infection.

“There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This resurgence suggests a need for research into the causes behind the increase in infections and improved ways to prevent the disease from spreading.”

The FDA conducted the study in baboons, an animal model that closely reproduces the way whooping cough affects people. The scientists vaccinated two groups of baboons – one group with a whole-cell pertussis vaccine and the other group with an acellular pertussis vaccine currently used in the U. S. The animals were vaccinated at ages two, four, and six months, simulating the infant immunization schedule. The results of the FDA study found that both types of vaccines generated robust antibody responses in the animals, and none of the vaccinated animals developed outward signs of pertussis disease after being exposed to B. pertussis. However, there were differences in other aspects of the immune response. Animals that received an acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks and were able to spread the infection to unvaccinated animals. In contrast, animals that received whole-cell vaccine cleared the bacteria within three weeks.

This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.


More at FDA.Gov
August 2, 2013

75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality :)

1. The five levels filled up with people trying to get the perfect spot for the night’s
(well, the morning’s, because the law didn’t take effect until midnight) first weddings.


2. Literally everyone was in a good mood…


3. …even if they got stuck sitting in the stairs.


4. Al & Jeff, the second couple to be married, looked around and waved to friends, families, and those who came to support them.


71 more reasons to smile at: BUZZFEED


Cross posted in the Minnesota forum.

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Member since: Sun Oct 19, 2003, 11:29 PM
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