Ungrateful Walking Dead

Wolfgang - ClinicaLots of medical news is worth mentioning but not really generating an article: more evidence has been added to the assumption that low PSA levels predict the likelihood of developing prostate cancer, thus the final verdict about the frequency of screening is coming closer.

Unfortunately quite the opposite is happening with breast cancer screening, uncertainty prevails.

New American guidelines for cholesterol abandon magic figures but will make nearly everybody go onto low-dose statins. Will it only be a question of time until they will be added to food?

Faecal microbiota transplantations will be unlikely to become a food supplement, because this means transferring sh.. of a healthy donor via enema, naso-gastric tubes or capsules to a patient – (see Seaside Gazette October/December 2014).

This is an exciting development because medicine is finally about to abandon the mechanistic view of the human body, starting to appreciate that health can only be achieved by nourishing healthy ecosystems inside us, which we unknowingly damage on a daily basis with inappropriate foods, bioactive chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics.

Finally I stumbled across an article stating that 20 – 25% of Canadian female students get sexually assaulted during High School, the place where the elites come from – and means to lower the frequency of those potentially life-changing experiences.

But some secretly life changing developments caught my eye:two new vaccines are in development; one against Chlamydia, frequently causing pelvic inflammation, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and in developing countries also blindness.

100 million infections worldwide each year is a sufficiently large number to search for mass protection. The new vaccine appears promising, delivering immunity to the mucosal linings which need it most, but in a completely different way – directly applied to those linings
the attached nanoparticles (see Seaside Gazette February 2014) make it remain inside those cells at risk of infection.

The second vaccine is against HIV. This illness certainly reminds us of the difficulties in producing vaccines. Like the attempts at developing a malaria vaccine, current ones only activate a response in some people. The new vaccine will not bring a general breakthrough either, but it may be extremely useful for post-exposure prophylaxis or at-high-risk individuals. It relies on creating passive immunity, its protection will only last for a few months.

Whilst new vaccines are being eyed with sympathy or interest the old ones tend to end up in a corner like unloved toys. At best they are seen as part of a necessary program to get through or even as outright physical harm. Even medical staff lack the necessary enthusiasm: the offer of booster vaccinations for illnesses like diphtheria, polio and whooping cough are not pursued enthusiastically, although whooping cough is becoming increasingly common in adults whose immune systems are naturally declining.

The worst press is still reserved for the measles vaccination, one of the Musketeers amongst the vaccinations, having heralded a new age in medicine. More than 40 million people in the United Kingdom have been vaccinated, saving 40.000 people from death or permanent brain damage.

Vaccinations, like all preventive measures in medicine, make us not feel the voids we’d have in our lives without them and from time to time we should be a bit grateful for them.


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