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this page at CDC about zombies was too tempting not to comment

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by taniaaust1, May 6, 2014.

  1. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/

    I bet my comment to the CDC zombie blog will get moderated out.. but anyway, this is the reply I just sent to them re their page here

    "Unfortunately CDC has been proven to ignore zombie Apocalypse situations. The general public could well find with any new outbreak that it goes unchecked.

    Back in the 1980s, there was a Myalgic Encephalomylitis (ME) outbeak at Lake Tahoe, with hundreds sick. The CDC was brought into investigate and didnt even recognise the illness. At first they put it down to an outbreak of EBV but then tests came back showing that was incorrect. So what did they do then? They put it down to hysteria. Later on the called it CFS still not aknowledging the outbreak for what it was.

    Myalgic Encephalomylitis is an illness in which there has been outbreaks of throughout history all over the world eg what was called Royal Free Disease an outbreak which occurred at a hospital in UK was an outbreak of this, so if the CDC cant recognise this, can people trust them to recognise another serious illness.

    This very sick patient group walk around like zombies every day (I myself cant even do that, this illness has put me into a wheelchair and regularly sends me to hospital) and is one of the lowest funded for research illnesses out there. The cause of this illness still isnt known.

    So yeah stock up but dont trust the CDC to save you. Like the current zombie plague (some of us have infected others with this disease!), you may find the CDC do not save you. You can feel just a tiny bit more safe, seeing a few years ago, we were banned from donating blood so now you just need to watch out from a kiss or bite (or using anothers glass, that's how my sister got it from me).

    Tanya Selth
    (a long term severe ME sufferer/zombie) "
     
  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Whoah, seriously though? On a larger note I have never heard of wide spread M.E. break outs before, that makes things pretty interesting and definitely laughed really hard at the article and your comment was important to put across.

    If there are versions of M.E. that are wide spread this would signify an underlying pathogenic cause for some, if clearly it would not be genetic or an auto immune thing in these cases, kind of makes wonder as to what can do that and stay in ones system to create long term severe illness.

    I am really scratching my head here on this one, what are the theories so far about possible causes in M.E. break outs? Just seems like something that is extremely rare, so to hear a break out sounds very important to look into.
     
  3. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    You raise an interesting question regarding these past outbreaks, that being whether it is compatible with current hypotheses such as genetic abnormalities and/or an autoimmune process. However while it may at first seem the two are incompatible I think that they are in fact very compatible if we think it through logically. Firstly we have the outbreaks, I think it goes without question that these are undoubtedly caused by some sort of pathogen given that they often involve many members of a community but as I've said before I'm of the opinion that pathogens may provide the crucial spark that ignites the immune dysfunction that eventually leads to an ongoing autoimmune process. This develops as a result of a genetic defect in the patient which has yet to be identified. The actual pathogen that causes the outbreak then could be any number of different things and for the most part it doesn't really matter since the autoimmunity is now causing the ongoing illness and the pathogen has likely long since been eradicated by the aberrant immune system.

    This however doesn't explain why we still get the outbreaks, I mean how can we account for so many people in a small place having the same genetic defect..? Well thinking about it logically this isn't something isolated to ME/CFS. Purely by nature, members of a community are likely to be much more related to one another than people living hundreds of miles away, yes we live in a world where travel is much more common-place and families can be spread out over huge distances but generally families still all live within quite close proximity to one another. Just assume 3-4 families of 150+ in a community have this defect along with a few people who have it just by pure random genetic mutation, introduce a pathogen suitable for triggering off the unfortunate chain of events and all of a sudden you have an outbreak.

    This is all a case of Occams razor. We need to find the simplest explanation to explain the events that also satisfies all the available evidence. I think we've now reached a point that we can say ME/CFS as an entity is not caused by a single infectious agent, even with the somewhat dire research into ME/CFS there have been enough studies looking for it to have found it by now. This therefore doesn't satisfy the avaliable evidence so must be discarded. The idea I've just outlined however is still reasonably simple once thought through logically and is supporting the current research that is going on in ME/CFS as of now. That's not to say it will prove correct but I think for now that it certainly is worth consideration!
     
    PennyIA likes this.
  4. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Not the one I suspect.
     
    Min likes this.
  5. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    The problem here is that ME/CFS is likely to be more than one entity so you could very well be correct that for some this pathogen you suspect may be the underlying issue but I'm of the opinion that autoimmunity is a likely majority perhaps 60+% and then you have smaller breaks downs such as 30%, 5%, 2%, 1% etc etc etc

    Furthermore these two ideas are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You could have the aberrant autoimmune problem as well as a chronic infection underlying it.
     
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  6. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    I agree
     
  7. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years First Do No Harm

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    If you weren't around at that time or don't have CFS/ME yourself, you missed out on a lot of history. The following is courtesy of the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association news (email) written by Alan Gurwitt, MD:

    A QUIET AND MOSTLY IGNORED MEDICAL EPIDEMIC
    By Alan Gurwitt, M.D.

    In the 1980's in this country there was an epidemic of significant proportions that began to afflict people over much of the nation. It may have appeared earlier but there were noticeable numbers of this disease in upstate New York, the Lake Tahoe area, and in North Carolina where astute doctors recognized that there was an illness they had not seen before. Their patients were reporting extreme fatigue, all sorts of cognitive problems, inability to recover normally from exertion, difficulties sleeping with little refreshment from that sleep, difficulties with standing plus many other symptoms. Often the illness came on abruptly, sometimes slowly. It afflicted all age groups but was particularly common in adults and mostly in women, though one epidemic affected mostly children. It was a strange multi-systemic illness.

    Judging from the experiences of many patients, a quiet epidemic also hit New England in the mid 1980's. Sometimes other family members came down with the illness as well.

    After the two physicians in the Lake Tahoe area notified the CDC of a cluster of patients with this new illness there was a CDC investigation. The investigators, for unknown reasons, didn't take the mysterious malady seriously. A sloppy investigation was carried out and a hugely important opportunity was missed.

    In 1988 the CDC at least recognized that there was an illness that became chronic. The origins were unknown, the course of the illness not clear. They gave it the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS and initiated the first American set of criteria for diagnosis. These criteria were not complete nor very useful. Practicing clinicians did not have much to go by.

    Apparently not known then by the CDC, a similar illness had occurred 30 years previously in the UK. The epidemics there were carefully studied by physicians in London. Melvin Ramsey and others described what looked like a neurological disorder. They recognized that many other body symptoms were present but they chose to call it benign Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME.

    It was not long after the publication in both countries of articles in medical journals that psychiatrists began to throw about terms like "mass hysteria" and theories of supposed psychological causation were expounded. In the U.S. patients were labeled with "Yuppie Flu". The same psychiatrists in the UK who propounded the psychological causation theory became consultants to the CDC—a transatlantic contamination. Even though some American physicians recognized that there was indeed a new biological illness that was often severe and disabling, they were ignored or made to look foolish. As the tidal wave of psychological theories flooded American medical establishments, ignorance abounded and patients were misdiagnosed, inadequately treated, and sent for unnecessary psychiatric evaluations. It was the rare healthcare provider who publicly admitted he or she was willing to say that CFS was a real biological illness and quietly agreed to see patients with CFS. Most either dismissed their patients as having a psychosomatic illness or, if they recognized the illness as real, biological and crippling, they kept their views to themselves.

    At first in the U.S. this seemingly strange illness that looked like no other had been seen as an infectious malady with the Epstein Bar virus implicated as the culprit, but as the psychosomatic school began to prevail, attempts to carry out needed biological research mostly collapsed at the CDC, NIH, in the UK. The relatively few physicians who treated patients or did research were either dismissed or found their careers in jeopardy.

    When advocates for patients reached members of Congress some pressure was put on federal health agencies. Those agencies went through the motions of responding but quietly dismissed any really significant attempt to do appropriate research. The CDC absconded with 12 million dollars of research monies that were to be spent on CFS, diverting that money to other illnesses. The NIH, with over 30 billion dollars, has only provided miniscule amounts to CFS research over the years.

    Medical journal editors were reluctant to publish any papers on CFS except examining the psychological aspects. The New England Journal of Medicine has never published any article on CFS. Only a tiny proportion of medical schools teach anything about the illness.

    CFS occurs in children and adolescents but the prevalence was unknown. Only recently has a definitive study been initiated.

    In the mid to late 1980's patient advocacy and help groups began to organize to assist patients with CFS, the Massachusetts CFIDS Association being the first.

    We are nearing the 30 year mark since the epidemics of the mid-1980s in the U.S. Some progress has been made. Most healthcare professionals still think CFS is a psychosomatic phenomenon but more and more physicians are beginning to believe it is real but don't know how to diagnose and treat it. Primers to help medical personnel do just that have been published privately in the USA, in Australia and the UK for international audiences. There is no longer any absence of educational sources.

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recognizes CFS as a medical illness, now also known as Myalgic Encephomyelitis (or Encephalopathy).

    There has been significant progress over the years in understanding the basic body pathologies underpinning ME/CFS. Most of the wonderful advances in our understanding have come from courageous clinicians and researchers now mostly funded by private foundations. (Except for the FDA and Social Security Administration federal government assistance has been feeble.) More countries have recognized ME/CFS as a medical illness. Researchers are striving to find biomarkers that definitively show that patients have the illness. We are close but not quite there.

    While some patient advocacy groups have fallen, many of those remaining are starting to work together so as to have greater clout.

    May 12th, started by Tom Hennessy in 1992, has long been CFS Awareness Day. We have much reason to be hopeful but there is much more work to be done in terms of basic and clinical medical research, advocacy, education of healthcare providers, and obtaining funds for research.

    There is much reason for hopefulness, but we all need to keep up the good work.

    Alan Gurwitt, M.D.

    Dr. Gurwitt is a past president of the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, and now serves as chair of the Association's Medical Advisory Committee. He was one of the authors of the first CFS Primer, published by our Association, in 1992. He is also on the authoring committee for the IACFS/ME Primer for Clinical Practitioners (2012, revised in 2014) and is now working with others on a Pediatric Primer.
     
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  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Last time I checked there were about 113 known epidemics, about 50 of which were investigated, and a handful of which were intensely investigated. These occurred all over the world.

    These days for outbreaks ME is not diagnosed, and CFS is ignored, I think. We do however hear of post-SARS and post-Q-fever. I think epidemics possibly still occur but are being recorded differently. I think its a similar story with other viral infections, including Ross River Fever. What is different now is we know the pathogen that triggers it, so a generalized syndrome is being ignored. ME outbreaks closely matched polio outbreaks, and we used to hear about post-polio syndrome, but that is now buried in the history.

    For anyone interested in the history, Hillary Johnson's Osler's Web is a must-read.

    PS I suspect we might be hearing more about mass hysteria and conversion disorder in the future if this pseudoscience is not stopped.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  9. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    The trouble here is that the people advocating these things have the choice between what is right and what is easy (quoting Albus Dumbledore of course...), calling something 'mass hysteria' is easy but I think we all know that they are far from right... indeed I think such ideas are sheer idiocy heralding from the dark ages. What is the difference between calling diseases a result of demons and 'mass hysteria'... a simple change of wording perhaps?
     
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  10. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I got stuck on page 84 and its been bookmarked on same page for the last year :( Wish it was available on kindle as its like doing a session at the gym trying to lift it :rofl:
     
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  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This is Freudian babble that has not died yet. Even though Freud has been caught out falsifying claims, and most of his theories are discredited, conversion disorder and mass hysteria persist. Its kept alive by empty claims that do not have solid research to support them, so far as I can see. If they claim they have solid research, any paper anywhere, I think we should ask them to give a reference. I doubt any such paper exists. I suspect we would get hit with an avalanche of low credibility papers instead. "See, my paper stack is big, I must be right."
     
    biophile likes this.
  12. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    http://www.forbes.com/sites/melanie...preparing-for-a-zombie-apocalypse-not-exactly

    Add your own swipe towards the CDC here!

    zombie_science.png

    I think phenomena such as mass hysteria may exist on some level or to some degree, but have been defined too ambiguously and used far too liberally or literally at the expense of alternative explanations. Many claims around hysteria in general have been debunked and what remains should be subjected to further skepticism and investigation. There is also a difference between people getting caught up in the latest craze for a while versus developing a chronic debilitating illness.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
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  13. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    ME,but on a really good day.
     
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  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I think mass hysteria gets conflated with mass panic/anxiety. Mass panic is a real phenomena, where anxiety in more and more people leads to an expanding spread of anxiety. Mass hysteria is about anxiety leading to actual illness, and there is NO substantive evidence it exists aside from direct and specific consequences of anxiety itself. Its like conflating health anxiety with ME.

    Chronic anxiety can be highly disabling if unmanaged. It does not however shut down mitochondrial function, create orthostatic intolerance, or lead to pervasive hypoperfusion or neurological inflammation.

    Historically the "panicked over nothing" line is used to manage the public when something bad happens. Its public manipulation, not science. Indeed it can be used as justification to shut down scientific inquiry into disasters.

    As for zombies, maybe the CDC should redefine the term? What should they call it? Persistent disturbance of rest, PDoR? Refusal to pass on, RtPO? Surely they can come up a name that does not panic the public.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
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  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    You are right, we should print that zombie picture (it really suits some of us haha) and add our own comment into it .. then scan it and send it to CDC. Start our own zombie campain back to them!! It could be an easier way to advocate for ourselves then doing letters like we usually try.

    We could do a copy of whatever we are sending to them and put it into a thread of zombie pictures and of what our zombies are saying. Obviously the general public like zombies hence why CDC is using them, so why dont we do so to for advocacy? :) wonder what they'd think if we stole the idea from them.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
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  16. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    You've missed a huge part of history Here's a list of 63 ME outbreaks. http://www.name-us.org/ResearchPages/ResEpidemic.htm#M.E._Epidemics (I know there was one not on this list a few years back in one of those countries we dont hear much about.. one ME specialist mentioned there was an outbreak there going on and he was looking into it)

    There is more interesting info on some of the outbreaks eg gives numbers affected etc and tells more about a couple of the outbreaks at http://www.mecfsforums.com/wiki/ME/CFS_Timeline

    My grandmother lived right next to suburb where the Adelaide ME outbreak was in the early 1950s, she has now 4 grandchildren from 3 different sons of hers affected by ME/CFS. Coincidence or what? I guess I'll never know but obviously something from her has passed down to us... genetic? or did she pick up something during that outbreak which only in her manifested in FM, IBS and insominia and not ME/CFS? Something dormant she was able to pass on down?

    Info on these outbreaks which one comes across at times is very interesting when one reads of the details. Outbreak descriptions describe my ME far better then any of the CFS stuff.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  17. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    I understand how a town may have many related people who may be more susceptable in an outbreak. It thou doesnt explain things in which the location of those affected seems to be just mostly a hospital esp if it affects just mostly the medical staff and not the patients there. eg as in the Royal Free Hospital Outbreak

    "
    1955, Royal Free Hospital Outbreak.

    • 292 members of staff come down with an infectious outbreak, that forces the hospital's closure between 25th July and 5th October.
    "

    anyway its a mystery. What did was different about the medical staff? Did something like vaccines they may of had lead them to being more susceptable? or was it something else?

    one wouldnt expect an outbreak to be concentrated in an hospital but rather spread all over a community. Strangely many ME outbreaks seem to be quite concentrated.
     
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  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    curious about which you you suspect?
    HHV-6a? I always thought that hasnt been well ruled out yet.
     
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  19. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    I think the ones the cfs researchers suspect are just opportonists. So none of them.
     
  20. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Yes. I already agreed to that
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
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