Protect Songbirds from Salmonella Poisoning

Click to download and share this infographic!

An outbreak of avian salmonellosis is killing songbirds in the Bay Area.

Please take down your birdfeeders IMMEDIATELY if you see sick or dead birds in your yard!

Update February 18, 2021:
WildCare continues to admit multiple songbirds ill with salmonellosis every day. Although the numbers have decreased slightly, the outbreak is NOT over.

This disease is spread from bird to bird primarily at bird feeders and bird baths.

Just since the new year began, WildCare has admitted over 40 Pine Siskins with the symptoms of salmonellosis. Sadly, the vast majority of these beautiful little songbirds have died.

WildCare’s Hotline 415-456-7283 has received multiple calls about ill and dead songbirds in people’s yards from throughout the Bay Area, indicating there is a widespread outbreak of bacterial disease.

The disease salmonellosis is a common causes of disease and death in wild birds.

Bird feeders bring large numbers of birds into close contact with each other, which means diseases can spread quickly through multiple populations. The bacteria are primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so birds at a crowded feeder are much more likely to be exposed than birds in a wild setting.

Sick birds may be lethargic, puffed up and thin and may have swollen eyelids. A sick bird may also be seen resting with beak tucked under wing, and may be the last bird to take flight if the flock is startled. You can tell these sick birds don’t feel very good!Donate today to help WildCare care for the flood of sick songbirds we’re admitting due to the outbreak!

Guidelines:

A healthy Pine Siskin shows his sleek plumage. Photo by Tom Grey

If you have dead or sick birds in your yard:

  • Immediately REMOVE bird feeders and birdbaths.
  • Disinfect with 9:1 bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.)
  • Scrub well to remove all debris and allow to soak 10 – 20 minutes.
  • Rinse very well and allow to dry in the sun.
  • Do not rehang feeders or bird baths for at least three weeks after the last sick or dead bird is seen in your yard.
  • Resterilize and allow to dry before rehanging.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

If you have not yet seen sick or dead birds:

Please use the following guidelines as preventative measures to protect your local birds from a outbreaks of Salmonella and other avian diseases. These measures should also be practiced as regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure healthy birds:

  • Bird feeders should be disinfected every other day, or at least once a week, while the outbreak is active.
  • Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily, regardless of disease outbreaks.
  • For feeders: Do not use wooden feeders (they easily harbor bacteria and other pathogens). Immerse feeders in a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.) Soak 10 minutes, scrub, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry fully, ideally in the sun, before refilling (a dry feeder will deter mold growth on seeds).
  • For baths: You can make a 9:1 bleach solution in a jug to bring outside. Scrub with a hard brush, cover with board while soaking to prevent birds bathing in bleach, rinse very thoroughly, allow to dry before refilling.
  • For hummingbird feeders: NO BLEACH! Change food often. Clean and fill with only enough to last 1-2 days (sooner if gets cloudy/moldy). Use vinegar and water in a 9:1 solution (9 parts water to 1 part vinegar) and special bottle brushes to get into small holes. Rinse thoroughly!
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

Additional Tips

  • Always wear gloves (latex or dishwashing) to keep bleach off your skin and a facemask to keep from accidentally ingesting feces, bleach, etc.
  • Always keep a large tray under feeder to collect hulls/seed that fall. Empty discards every evening. This will prevent mold & disease spreading to ground-feeding birds and will also prevent rodent infestations.
  • Keep cats indoors if you have birdfeeders.
  • Another suggestion to prevent wildlife problems (from rats, raccoons, skunks, etc.) is to bring feeders inside at night.
  • Bird feeders should be disinfected every two weeks regardless of disease outbreaks.
  • Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily regardless of disease outbreaks.

Click here to download and print this information (will open as a PDF.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How likely is it that kids or adults could get Salmonella from handling the bird feeder or feed?

Salmonella is primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), avoiding hand-to-mouth contact during, and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with birds or their fecal matter will minimize or eliminate any risk.

The following recommendations from the CDC pertain to avoiding contracting Salmonella from domestic or exotic pets, but the general rules apply to wild bird feeders too.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching animals, their food (e.g., dry dog or cat food, frozen feeder rodents, etc.) or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Running water and soap are best. Use hand sanitizers if running water and soap are not available. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water as soon as a sink is available. Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, older individuals, or people with weakened immune systems handle or touch high-risk animals (e.g., turtles, water frogs, chicks, ducklings), or anything in the area where they live and roam, including water from containers or aquariums.

How can I avoid transmitting Salmonella from the birdfeeder in my yard into my home?

The CDC recommends always cleaning items that have been in contact with animals outside. If it is necessary to clean a feeder indoors, the sink or tub used for cleaning should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a bleach solution afterward.

Common sense precautions to avoid tracking bird feces into the house should be taken including checking shoes for fecal matter.

Are the domesticated birds in my home at risk?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet birds. Salmonella bacteria are transferred between birds from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic birds do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

Can my cat get salmonellosis from an infected bird?

Check with your veterinarian if you are worried about your cat. Studies have shown that it is possible for predator animals to get salmonellosis from eating their prey, and cats can contract the disease. Cats under stress or with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the infection.

WildCare strongly recommends keeping your cat indoors to prevent him or her from coming in contact with sick birds or other hazards, but also to protect the songbirds that are drawn to your yard by your feeder.

Is my dog likely to get salmonellosis from playing in the yard?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog or other pets. Salmonella is transferred from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic pets do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

How often should I rake the hulls and fallen seed under my bird feeders?

According to Melanie Piazza, WildCare’s Director of Animal Care, for optimal bird health, and especially in an outbreak situation like this one, hulls should be removed every night.

The problem with feeder seed and hulls is that the birds sit above and knock seed down to the ground, but also drop their droppings down. As Salmonella and other bacteria are transmitted through feces, this means a concentration of potentially infected feces beneath the feeders which can be dangerous to ground-feeding birds, even when there isn’t an epidemic.

In fact, Melanie says that raking the hulls isn’t necessarily sufficient. The best choice is to put a pan or, even better, a sheet held down by rocks under the feeders and remove it and dispose of the hulls every night. This will also prevent rat and mouse infestations which is a bonus.

I’ve heard wood is better for cutting boards in the kitchen. Why do you recommend against wooden bird feeders?

This is a somewhat controversial issue in the kitchen— there are studies both proving and disproving the bacteria-killing properties of wooden cutting boards, and many chefs do prefer wooden cutting boards.

Whatever the best choice is for the kitchen, WildCare still recommends against wooden bird feeders for the following reasons:

  • Wooden bird feeders sit outside 24 hours a day and get cracked, soft and moldy which, Salmonella aside, can be detrimental to songbirds.
  • The wood used for bird feeders is usually not the same hardwood used for cutting boards and softer woods are more likely to mold and rot, trapping bacteria.
  • People are often less likely to want to bleach their wooden feeders because frequent soaking in bleach (especially of feeders made of pine and softer woods) will ruin them.
  • A plastic feeder will last longer through the recommended bleach soakings and can be rinsed and dried more thoroughly.

The main point, however, is no matter what kind of feeder you have, be sure to keep it clean!

Connect With Us:
Found an ill, injured or orphaned animal?

Call: 415-456-7283

Wildlife Emergencies (after 5pm pst)

Call our Wildlife Emergency Nightline at 415-300-6359

© 2021 WildCare, All Rights Reserved.

Location

76 Albert Park Lane, San Rafael, CA 94901 https://www.google.com/maps/embed/v1/place?q=76+Albert+Park+Ln.San+Rafael%2C+CA+94901&key=AIzaSyD09zQ9PNDNNy9TadMuzRV_UsPUoWKntt8

https://discoverwildcare.org/salmonella/

Live Facebook Event… Have questions about your pet, they can give answers

Why Do Elephants Rarely Get Cancer?

FIREPAW, Inc.

The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare [FIREPAW] is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit research and education foundation

The rules of nature tell us that large, long-lived animals should have the highest risk of cancer. The calculation is simple: Tumors grow when genetic mutations cause individual cells to reproduce too quickly. A long life creates more opportunities for those cancerous mutations to arise. So, too, does a massive body: Big creatures — which have many more cells — should develop tumors more frequently. Why, then, does cancer rarely afflict elephants, with their long lifespans and gargantuan bodies? Scientists went looking for the answer…

The first discovery was that elephants possess extra copies of a wide variety of genes associated with tumor suppression.  But this phenomenon is not unique to elephants, so they pressed on for more information…

“One of the expectations is that as you get a really big body, your burden of cancer should increase because things with big bodies have more cells.  The fact that this isn’t true across species — a long-standing paradox in evolutionary medicine and cancer biology — indicates that evolution found a way to reduce cancer risk.”

-Vincent Lynch, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences

The research concluded that duplication of tumor suppressor genes is quite common among elephants’ living and extinct relatives, including in small ones like Cape golden moles (a burrowing animal) and elephant shrews (a long-nosed insectivore). The data suggest that tumor suppression capabilities preceded or coincided with the evolution of exceptionally big bodies, facilitating this development.

“We found that: Elephants have lots and lots and lots of extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, and they all contribute probably a little bit to cancer resistance.”

-Vincent Lynch, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences

The final analysis:  Elephants do have enhanced cancer protections, compared with relatives.  Though many elephant relatives harbor extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, the scientists found that elephant genomes possess some unique duplications that may contribute to tumor suppression through genes involved in DNA repair; resistance to oxidative stress; and cellular growth, aging and death.


Journal Reference:  Juan M Vazquez, Vincent J Lynch. Pervasive duplication of tumor suppressors in Afrotherians during the evolution of large bodies and reduced cancer risk. eLife, 2021; 10 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.65041


Elephants evolved to have enhanced protections against cancer

https://firepaw.org/2021/02/05/why-do-elephants-rarely-get-cancer-study/

COVID-19 Vaccine: Will It Protect Against New Variants And Do You Need A 2nd Dose?

Southern Californians celebrate at a mass vaccination site in Disneyland’s parking lot in January. CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky cautions that for strongest immunity, recipients get both doses of the Pfizer or of the Moderna vaccine. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Mario Tama/Getty Images

As the virus that causes COVID-19 continues its global attack, it has done what scientists predicted it would do — it has given rise to new, slightly different strains. How significant some of those strains will be to the pandemic is now under intense study. Meanwhile, demand for the currently available vaccines is outstripping the early supply, and some scientists have sparked controversy by suggesting holding off on booster shots until more people have had their initial shots. That’s something the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not endorse — but the agency has extended the timing on the second dose a bit.

What does this all mean for you? Let’s start with the question of second doses.

Why do the manufacturers and CDC advise two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

Simply put, because that’s what was tested — Pfizer BioNTech went for a 21-day interval in its large trial, and Moderna went for 28 days. The companies wanted the highest chance of success; while a one-dose shot would be easier to administer, two-shot vaccinations offered the insurance that if the first shot wasn’t enough, the second one could finish the job. It’s the two-jab immunization that has been shown to be 94% or 95% effective in preventing symptoms of COVID-19.

How protective one dose of these vaccines would be over the long run remains unknown. A Moderna spokesperson told The Hill in late December that it expected the double dose would produce the most durable immunity and was not considering a trial of a single dose.

How does my protection build after the first shot and after the second?

The two vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. — Moderna’s and Pfizer’s — are based on helping your immune system recognize certain proteins in the virus’s outer coat. “That stimulates the immune system to make antibodies, and it also stimulates other parts of your immune system,” says Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Those protective antibodies are relatively easy to measure in blood samples, and studies have shown them increasing in quantity a week or so after someone gets their first dose of vaccine. A week or more after the second dose the level of protective antibodies peaks and then falls off only slightly over four months. How long they last beyond that is under study.

But another part of the immune response — a longer-term response — is much harder to measure. Not much is known yet about when that type of immune protection kicks in or when, if ever, it disappears. Infectious disease specialists think this second part of immunity could prove to be important in providing long-term protection against reinfection. They just don’t have a lot of data on that yet.

What would happen if I stretched the time period between doses? Would that reduce the vaccine’s protection?

While the studies looked at the effect of a strict 21-day interval (for the Pfizer vaccine) before getting the second shot and a 28-day interval for Moderna’s, immunologists say there’s a bit of wiggle room, judging from experience with other vaccines. At a White House press conference last week, new CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “We also know that life can get in the way — that some of those doses may be missed. … In these rare circumstances, the second dose may be given up to six weeks or 42 days after the first.”

In an effort to get more people vaccinated, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service is allowing for a 12-week gap between doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but the CDC strongly urges not going beyond a six-week interval.

If there’s some immune protection gained after the first dose, why should I bother getting the second jab?

This question greatly concerns vaccine experts. They worry that because the vaccine sometimes causes temporary redness, discomfort or brief fever, some people will not show up for their second dose. Remember that with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in December found that protection didn’t start until 12 days after the first shot, reaching 52% effectiveness a few weeks later. Participants then got their second shot — so whether that 52% effectiveness would have worn away if they hadn’t got the second dose is unknown. What is known is that a week after the second vaccination, the effectiveness rate hit 95%.

And in its application for emergency use authorization in the U.S., Moderna reported a protection rate of 51% two weeks after the first immunization and 94% two weeks after the second dose.

By definition, that means 94 or 95 out of every 100 people fully vaccinated with both doses of these vaccines can be expected to not get sick with COVID-19 symptoms when they run into the most common version of the virus, but it likely takes both doses to reach that level of effectiveness. In early January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reiterated that changing course and going to a single dose now — i.e. skipping the second dose — would be “premature and not rooted solidly in the available evidence.” The agency renewed its strong recommendation that the two-dose schedule be followed.

Is it OK if my second dose comes from a different manufacturer?

No one has tested this sort of mixing and matching of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That lack of testing makes virologist John Moore at Weill Cornell Medical College a little unhappy. But, he says, “the two vaccines are sufficiently similar that there’s no reason to doubt that that would still work and be safe.”

The CDC says every effort should be made to get the same vaccine in both jabs, but the agency’s guidance also allows for a switch between the Pfizer and Moderna products “in exceptional situations in which the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available.” Several vaccines based on different technologies are coming down the line soon; scientists are more hesitant about mixing and matching with those vaccines until tests are done to see how well that works.

I’m hearing about different variants, or strains, popping up. Will the current vaccines protect me from them?

Important new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus — the “variants” you’re hearing about — have been identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), Brazil (P.1) and South Africa (B.1.351), and all three have now been found in the U.S. as well. Those variants are more infectious than the original strain, and researchers in the U.K. have said B.1.1.7 may be more frequently lethal.

Scientists’ concern right now is mostly with the P.1 variant. It has a particularly worrying cluster of mutations that allow the virus to spread more quickly and help it evade the immune system, which might make it easier for people who have already had COVID-19 and have some immunity to, nonetheless, still be vulnerable to reinfection with this new strain.

Early investigations are suggesting the current vaccines, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s candidate vaccine (not yet authorized for use), may be slightly less effective against some of the new variants, in terms of preventing all symptoms. But even against the variants, the vaccines do prevent a lot of mild and moderate cases, the data gathered so far suggest, and are very effective, health officials say, against preventing severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 mutate all the time, notes Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and that’s another reason to get people fully immunized as quickly as possible.

“Viruses cannot mutate if they can’t replicate,” Fauci said Monday at a press conference by the White House’s COVID-19 response team. “If you stop their replication by vaccinating widely … not only are you going to protect individuals from getting disease, but you are going to prevent the emergence of variants.”

Given these new variants, is there anything I can do to improve my chances of avoiding COVID-19?

Sure. Fauci and Walensky, the CDC’s chief, both recommend getting immunized with one of the vaccines authorized in the U.S. as soon as you are eligible — widespread vaccination will very likely help stop the spread of whatever strains of the coronavirus are circulating in your area and lessen the development of new mutations and strains.

And continue to keep your distance from people outside your household, wear a mask, and avoid travel and crowds even after you’re fully vaccinated, until the level of virus spreading in your community and any place you go is very low.

I’ve been hearing about new vaccines nearing FDA authorization. What’s coming and should I wait for them?

Don’t wait, all those in the know advise. Take whatever vaccine comes your way when you are eligible. All vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. will be very effective; they are just made via different technologies.

Last week, preliminary research results on the effectiveness of two more candidate vaccines were announced — one from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary and another from the biotech company Novavax.

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is a bit of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material hooked onto a harmless virus. It has been tested in the U.S., Brazil and South Africa, and, according to the company’s report of its data, seems to be slightly less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in preventing all symptoms of COVID-19, but is highly effective in preventing death and hospitalization from the illness. “When one looks at potential impact on severe disease, it’s 85% percent [effective],” Fauci notes, adding, “There are many people who’d rather have the convenience of a single dose.”

The J&J vaccine also can be transported and kept for long periods of time at refrigerator temperatures — it doesn’t require the deep-freeze storage the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines need. Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, told NPR last week that his company will apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization in the U.S. this week.

A different candidate vaccine — one from the biotech firm Novavax — is a little further back in completing its clinical testing and consists of a bit of protein from SARS-CoV-2’s outer coat. Last week, the company announced that preliminary evidence from studies in the U.K. indicate the Novavax product is nearly 90% effective, suggesting it can handle the B.1.1.7 variant now prevalent there. But in a separate, smaller part of the study — in South Africa, where 90% of the recorded cases were likely due to the troublesome variant B.1.351 — the effectiveness of the Novavax candidate vaccine in preventing all symptoms was a lower 49%.

Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna are both actively working on ways to incorporate added protection against the new variants into their existing vaccines.

That pattern of developing and tweaking existing vaccines as more is learned is actually the usual strategy in stopping the spread of infections, public health officials note.

At a recent NPR/Harvard forum, immunologist Barry Bloom of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health noted that the history of vaccine manufacture back to smallpox is one that follows continual tinkering and frequent improvements on an initial vaccine before the virus is finally squelched in a big population. “I don’t think the virus is going to win this war,” Bloom says.

How soon might these updated vaccines be available?

Bloom estimates that coming up with a new version of the Pfizer and Moderna products — one that is targeted against problematic variants — would only take about six to eight weeks. After that, of course, it would have to be tested and go through FDA evaluation. Dr. Jesse Goodman, a former FDA chief scientist and now at Georgetown University, notes that the regulatory review could actually go quite quickly if the new vaccines that are developed are essentially the same as the older version, with just a new bit of RNA added. “You might not need the months of placebo-controlled trials” in that case, he says.

Health officials say the process of staying ahead of COVID-19 may eventually prove to be more like what we’re used to seeing with the flu vaccine — where the mix of strains addressed by an annual vaccination is tweaked each year to reflect the predominant strains circulating that season. In that same way, people may eventually be advised to get an annual COVID-19 shot, as well as an annual flu shot.

Should I wait on vaccination until I can get one of those updated shots?

Definitely not. Vaccine experts are clear about the need for us all to get fully immunized as soon as we’re eligible this year. “We need to vaccinate as many people as we can as quickly as we can,” says Fauci. That will help prevent further dangerous mutations and strains from arising.

It seems like the public health advice and what’s known about COVID-19 changes every day. How do I know what’s trustworthy?

It might help to think of COVID-19 science as developing rather than changing — accumulating knowledge can lead to better ways to fight the pandemic. “As science evolves, the application of that new information will too, and there could be changes in the recommendations,” says Dr. Bruce Gellin, president of global vaccination at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. The recent discoveries of variants did not surprise scientists, nor did the slight differences in effectiveness among the new vaccines.

Remember, SARS-CoV-2 is still a very new virus, and more is being learned every day. The CDC’s website is now being updated regularly, so that’s one good place to check for the latest guidance. Or watch this space for updates.

Joanne Silberner, a former health policy correspondent for NPR, is a freelance journalist living in Seattle.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/02/02/963047878/covid-19-vaccine-will-it-protect-against-new-variants-and-do-you-need-a-2nd-dose

A Little Trick Pet Owners Are Using To Save BIG on Pet Prescriptions at Regular Pharmacies

Please note: This website includes an accessibility system. 🎄Items Still Ship In Time For Christmas – Order Now!DealsThe Feed3SubscribeAccount

iHeartDogs.com

by Justin Palmer

If you’ve ever purchased a prescription for your dog at a regular people pharmacy, you might be in for a BIG surprise!

Many pet owners don’t realize that there are ways to save on pet prescriptions. Yes, and I mean WITHOUT insurance! You’ve probably realized that even if you have a good pet insurance policy, it’s unlikely to cover costly pet meds. This means that if you’re buying your dog’s prescription at a regular pharmacy, you’re likely paying a hefty price, since no insurance co-pays are involved. The iHeartDogs Rx Savings Card might just be a HUGE help!

What kind of medications are eligible for discounts?

Now let’s be upfront. The iHeartDogs Rx Savings Card will not help you if you’re buying a pet only medication (like flea or heartworm prevention) through an online only pharmacy or through your vet. However, a large percentage of pet drugs are available at your local pharmacy. If this is in fact the case, you may receive a substantial discount by using this card.

But wait, what’s the catch? Nothing is really free right?

Yes and no. The reality is local pharmacies want your business. (In fact, they make most of their money from other products people buy when they come in to fill prescriptions!) For this reason, pharmacies will pay a small fee in order to drive business into their stores. Because we can bring a large volume of customers to them, discounts are negotiated on your behalf, and you benefit from bulk discount pricing. This allows you to receive a price that in most cases is much lower than the usual and customary price your pharmacy charges when you are buying a pet prescription using no insurance.

Our Card Is Accepted by Nearly Every Pharmacy!

That’s right. Below you’ll see a sampling of the pharmacies that accept the card. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, simply present the card to see if the pricing we offer is better than what you’re normally charged.

Will the card ALWAYS save me money?

In most cases, our negotiated pricing will be cheaper than what your pharmacy’s cash price is. In some cases however, certain pharmacy chains will already have the lowest price available. If you present the card, you can be assured that you will ALWAYS pay the lowest price available. In some cases, your pharmacy already has a lower price in which case that is the price you pay. In other words, you lose nothing by at least printing the card and presenting it to your pharmacy.

How Much of a Discount Will The Card Provide?

The largest savings are realized on generic brand drugs and can be up to 80% off. The average savings is around 30%, with brand name drugs in the 5-15% range. You can use the price search tool on our program page here to lookup your pet’s drug price. Please be aware that savings do vary based on pharmacy location.

Get Your Free Card

5 Low-Cost Ways To Boost Your Dog’s Existing Food
Finding Free Peace of Mind Can Help You Save Your Dog’s Life
Syringes: A Thorough Breakdown
Fursure Gives You Free Pet Insurance Advice
RECALL ALERT: Dog Food Company May Have Salmonella Contamination
What You NEED to Know Now About Your Dog’s Pancreas

Categories Health, Health & Behavior

Bar Dog Wine Is Giving $1,000 And Vacation To The Dog With The Ugliest Sweater
Bar Dog Wine Is Giving $1,000 And Vacation To The Dog With The Ugliest Sweater
The 75 Best Holiday Gift Ideas For Dogs & Dog Lovers
The 75 Best Holiday Gift Ideas For Dogs & Dog Lovers
Leash Struggles A Dog Parent Knows All Too Well
Leash Struggles A Dog Parent Knows All Too Well
Should you home test your diabetic dog? A deep dive into the specifics:
Should you home test your diabetic dog? A deep dive into the specifics:

Shop Now

Discover, Shop and Feed Shelter Dogs 3 weeks ago

Warm Hearts, Full Bellies!

Introducing our ‘Warm Hearts, Full Bellies’ ornament collection! Each adorable character comes full of personality, and with an amazing mission: to feed hungry shelter pups this Christmas! discover more

FEEDS 10 SHELTER DOGS 4 days ago

Shop Tall Tails gifts designed for dogs who love a good snooze!

Take $10 of your purchase of $50+ with free shipping! Use the code HOWLIDAY at checkout. discover more 1 month ago

Gorgeous Crystal Ornaments For Your Tree

Make memories! – Engrave your pup’s name on some of these ornaments. discover more

FEEDS 4 SHELTER DOGS 1 month ago

Collectible Artisan Wood Ornaments Feed Shelter Dogs

These gorgeous 3d layered, artisan wooden ornaments do something wonderful – Each one provides 10 meals for shelter pups. Grab all 8!

discover more

FEEDS 10 SHELTER DOGS In The Press

Be first to see new products!

Be a Hero – Sign up to receive our emails today and we’ll donate a meal to a shelter dog on your behalf. ABOUT

CUSTOMER CARE

INFO

Join The Community

Veteran Owned ©2020 iHeartDogs | A Project of HomeLife Media, LLC | A Family Focused Company

https://iheartdogs.com/a-little-trick-pet-owners-are-using-to-save-big-on-pet-prescriptions-at-regular-pharmacies/?iid=TheFeed_475

we’ve known this but media wouldn’t report it……..

Eye Health Threatened by Toxic Chemicals in the Air

Chemical Free Life

We have published numerous articles over the years reporting on scientific studies linking serious health problems to toxic chemicals in air pollution.  Adverse health reactions to air pollution include neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain/obesity, allergies, asthma, COPD and other breathing-related conditions, autism, lowered IQ, cognitive impairment and language delays in children and adolescents, memory problems and cancer, to name a few.  But there is another potentially serious reaction humans can have when exposed to toxins in the air:  threats to eye health and vision. 

Toxic chemicals in the air

Toxins in air pollution can occur in the greater outdoor environment (from vehicle traffic/exhaust, roadwork, industrial sites, construction sites, fracking sites, pesticide/herbicide use, fires, dirt roads and the like), from business indoor environments (such as toxic chemicals leaching from carpeting and other flooring, building…

View original post 322 more words

Petition: Health Insurance Companies Should Cover Medical Marijuana Now

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: United, Anthem, Aetna and Cigna Health Care

93,303 SUPPORTERS 95,000 GOAL When California became the first state to approve medical marijuana in 1996, the idea was groundbreaking. Now, however, more than half the United States has legal protections for medical marijuana in some form or another — that translates to 70% of the American population. Medical marijuana products are now readily available throughout much of the country and have been used to treat everything from multiple sclerosis and cancer to anxiety and migraines.

But despite being legal for nearly a quarter century and its growing list of proven benefits. Marijuana patients that suffer from debilitating diseases get absolutely no help from their health insurance company. Even when the doctor has written them a script similar to one for any other doctor prescribed medicine.

While prices have dropped in states with full legalization of marijuana, medicinal cannabis in states where it is the only legal form are still quite pricey. In Ohio for example, your first two grams may cost you up to $50 and that’s after a $300 medical consultation required to get your card and a $50 activation fee. In Arizona the “startup” costs are similar, costing between $225 and $450 just to get certified.

Currently, insurance companies refuse to help cover costs for marijuana-related remedies.
That means some patients who would benefit from medicinal cannabis may not even be able to afford because the cost is too steep. This is unacceptable. Study after study has proven that the medicinal benefits of marijuana for certain conditions are real and effective. Access to the drug has allowed millions to benefit from a natural, potent salve to ailments from which they suffer, but without full recognition and coverage from insurers, some of the people who need it most, won’t get a chance to benefit.

Please call on insurers to step up. Sign the petition and ask United, Anthem, Aetna and Cigna, the country’s largest insurers to cover medical marijuana for their patients.EMBED

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/303/550/231/?z00m=32574471&redirectID=3053016322

Hi everyone ☺️

On August 31st I went into the hospital for emergency surgery for appendicitis… I’m home and need 7-weeks to completely recover.

I will answer your comments as soon as possible and stop by and visit your blogs.

Stay healthy and stay safe🙏

FDA’s list of hand sanitizers to avoid grows again with more than 100 identified that may contain methanol

amp-usatoday-com.cdn.ampproject.org

Kelly Tyko | USA TODAY | 11 hours ago 13-16 minutes


As of Saturday, the FDA’s “do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products” now includes 101 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided – some that have already been recalled and other products being recommended for recalls – as they may contain methanol, a potentially fatal ingredient. 

Methanol is a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested.

“FDA continues to find issues with certain hand sanitizer products. FDA test results show certain hand sanitizers have concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products,” the federal agency said. “The agency urges consumers not to use these subpotent products and has expanded its list to include subpotent hand sanitizers, in addition to hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated with methanol.”

In a warning July 27, the FDA says it is “urging consumers not to use any hand sanitizer products from the particular manufacturers on the list even if the product or particular lot number are not listed since some manufacturers are recalling only certain – but not all – of their hand sanitizer products.”

The agency says that in most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label but that it is “not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label.”

The FDA said it has taken steps to prevent the products from entering the country by placing them on an import alert. Most of the products appear to have been produced in Mexico and, according to the alert, should be avoided because they pose a health risk.

“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,”  FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. “Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated.”

In June, the FDA warned consumers not to use nine kinds of hand sanitizers because they may contain methanol, and added to the list in early July and further expanded the list multiple times in July.

Methanol is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to it can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.

The FDA says it has seen an increase in number of “adverse events, including blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health.”

Hand sanitizer has been a popular product to combat the coronavirus since February, and many new types have entered the market after shortages of brands including Purell.

Avoid these hand sanitizers that may contain methanol

The FDA is advising consumers not to use the following hand sanitizers because tests found them to contain methanol or they were “purportedly made at the same facility as products in which FDA has tested and confirmed methanol contamination.” The FDA also says to avoid sanitizers from the manufacturers.

Find more information, including the product code where available, on the FDA website.

  • Eskbiochem’s All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • Grupo Insoma’s Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Mystic International’s Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Be Safe Hand Sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Wave Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Cleaner Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free 70%    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Handzer Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Urbane Bath and Body Hand Sanitizer    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Parabola Hand Sanitizer  
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Kleanz Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Advanced
  • AAA Cosmetica’s bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer 
  • AAA Cosmetica’s QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer  
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
  • 4E Global’s Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s Assured Aloe
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
  • 4E Global’s KLAR and DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s KLAR AND DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled with Greenbrier International Inc.)
  • 4E Global’s MODESA Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
  • DDI Multinacional’s Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
  • DDI Multinacional’s Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • DDI Multinacional’s Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Andy’s
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Andy’s Best
  • Limpo Quimicos’ NeoNatural
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Plus Advanced
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Maquiladora Miniara’s Selecto Hand Sanitizer
  • Maquiladora Miniara’s Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 70%
  • Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto’s   DAESI Hand Sanitizer
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Cavalry
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 65% Alcohol
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 70% alcohol
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • MXL Comercial’s Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol
  • MXL Comercial’s Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70%  Alcohol
  • Laboratorios Jaloma’s Jaloma Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 62% with Vitamin E
  • Leiper’s Fork Distillery Bulk Disinfectant per 5 gallon
  • Leiper’s Fork Distillery 16-ounce bottle
  • Healthy Foods & Nutrition Lab de Mexico’s Medicare Alcohol Antiseptic Topical Solution
  • Incredible Products’ GelBact Hand Sanitizer
  • Incredible Products’ Hand Sanitizer
  • Incredible Products’ TriCleanz
  • JG Atlas Comercios’ Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 100
  • Tritanium Labs USA’s TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s NEXT Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol extra soft with glycerin and aloe
  • Albek de Mexico’s NuuxSan Instant Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s NuuxSan Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Moisturizers
  • Albek de Mexico’s Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Vitamin E and Aloe
  • Albek de Mexico’s Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Aloe Vera
  • Albek de Mexico’s Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Vitamin E

View | 18 Photos

Recalled hand sanitizers

The following products have been recalled as of Aug. 1:

  • ITECH 361’s All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant: UPC code 628055370130.
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer: NDC numbers include 75477-435-02, 75477-435-10, 75477-435-12, 75477-435-25, 75477-435-50 and 75477-534-10.
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, 1-liter bottles: Two distributors. The UVT hand sanitizer is labeled with lot number 0530 and an expiration date of 04/2022 and the Saniderm Products hand sanitizer is labeled with lot number 53131626 and “Manufactured on April/1/20.”
  • 4e Brands North America’s Blumen brand is “voluntarily recalling all lots of Hand Sanitizer brands to the consumer level.” This is an expansion of an earlier recall.
  • Real Clean Distribuciones is voluntarily recalling all lots it manufactured within expiry of the following brand names of hand sanitizers: “Born Basic ANTI-BAC HAND SANITIZER, Scent Theory KEEP CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer, Scent Theory KEEP IT CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer and Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel to the consumer level.”
  • LIQ-E S.A. de C.V. is voluntarily recalling all lots and all bottle sizes of “The OPTIMUS Instant Hand Sanitizer” manufactured between April 27 and May 8.
  • Resource Recovery & Trading LLC is “voluntarily recalling all the lots manufactured by MXL Comercial S.A. de C.V.” with the following information: “Hand Sanitizer 70% Ethyl Alcohol Disinfectant Gel, packaged in 6.7 FL Oz. (200 ml) bottles, UPC 650240026020 and Hand Sanitizer Non-sterile Solution 70% Topical Solution, packaged in 20L (5.28 Gal) liter plastic containers, UPC 37710600013 to the consumer level.”
  • Broncolin is “voluntarily recalling all lots of Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol to the consumer level.” The hand sanitizer comes in four different sizes, according to the recall notice.
  • Albek de Mexico is “voluntarily recalling all lots and all brands of hand sanitizer currently in US distribution to the consumer level.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

https://amp-usatoday-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/5562366002?usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fmoney%2F2020%2F08%2F01%2Fhand-sanitizer-warning-methanol-risk-fda-avoid-these-sanitizers%2F5562366002%2F#referrer

Vaccines to implant tracking devices? Bill Gates goes public

VERIFY: Face mask facts vs. falsehoods | fox43.com

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/507-b81fdfa2-d93c-45b6-b46a-6fecc2116010/amp#amp=1 verify

VERIFY: Face mask facts vs. falsehoods

The VERIFY team breaks down some of the most asked questions about wearing face masks. Author: VERIFY, Jason Puckett (TEGNA), David Tregde Published: 11:26 AM EDT July 21, 2020

The VERIFY team is constantly getting questions from viewers about wearing face masks. Here are some of the most frequently asked.

DO MASKS WORK?

While there is still research being done to determine how effective masks are – experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University all say that they serve an important purpose right now. null

The CDC explains that masks aren’t primarily meant to stop the virus from getting to you. They’re meant to stop you or other contagious people from spreading the virus to others.

COVID-19 typically spreads via respiratory droplets, Masks, even those made of cloth, are effective at catching those droplets as people expel them. Since COVID has been shown to be contagious before patients experience symptoms, experts say it’s important to wear a mask before you feel sick.

Do OSHA or other government groups warn against masks?

Multiple claims cited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration along with claims that face masks could be harmful and should be avoided.
The VERIFY team checked with OSHA, who said these claims are false. 

OSHA openly supports wearing masks in public and for employees returning to work. 

While some politicians debate the use of masks there are currently no government or medical groups that warn against wearing them.

Can wearing masks cause carbon dioxide poisoning or harm my oxygen levels?

One of the more popular claims against masks says they trap carbon dioxide and cause you to breathe it back in. According to the CDC, that claim is not true. 

The CDC explains that carbon dioxide build-up is incredibly rare and only really a concern with sealed respirators and medical-grade devices. 

The CDC explained: “Specific to the viral image, it is unlikely that wearing a mask will cause “anoxia,” “asphyxiation,” “hypercapnia,” or “hypercarbia.” While CO2 will slowly build up in the mask over time, any symptoms experienced with low levels of CO2 are resolved upon removal of the mask and breathing room air for a minute. null

Can I use the “Americans With Disabilities Act” to get out of wearing a mask?

Certain viral posts claim that you can cite ADA if you don’t want to wear a mask – there are even printable cards you can carry. But the Department of Justice says these aren’t real and don’t carry legal weight.

It’s also important to note that stores may not be able to force you to wear a mask, but they can legally refuse to serve you if you choose not to wear one.

RELATED: VERIFY: COVID-19 vaccine syringes to have trackers on the outside, not in vaccine

RELATED: VERIFY: ‘Rockefeller document’ doesn’t prove theory coronavirus pandemic was planned in 2010 https://d-20578272081057857687.ampproject.net/2007040248002/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/verify/verify-facts-vs-falsehoods-on-face-masks/507-d4f287fb-1207-4dd5-a616-d39b0b355dc0?__twitter_impression=true

Now if you can find some…

MUST READ: Body Cam Transcript Tells An Interesting Story About George Floyd’s Death

Sunday, July 12, 2020

by Eric ThompsonJuly 12, 2020 in Uncategorized00 SHARES708.5k VIEWS Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

CORRECTED ARTICLE: The official cause of death for George Floyd is related to the pressure applied by Derek Chauvin, to his neck. This article is merely speculation based on possible findings in the official autopsy. We are in no way trying to say that drugs or other conditions during the apprehension was the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death.

Some people are saying George Floyd’s respiratory crisis was caused by the Fentanyl he had ingested before the police showed up on the scene. Is that true? We are not sure, but it brings up some very concerning scenarios.

BLM blasted questionable narratives about people who have been in similar circumstances.https://lockerdome.com/lad/11388557595982694?pubid=ld-4774-3402&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fdjhjmedia.com&rid=&width=940

The unnecessary and abusive conduct, I believe, of Derek Chauvin, who kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck when already subdued, is probably guilty of violating police force procedures, and perhaps not of causing the death of the at least 5 times incarcerated George Floyd. But we still do not really know. We should allow all the evidence to come out, for a fair trial to be conducted, and if found guilty, fair sentencing by the judge.

From Gateway Pundit

It Now Looks Like George Floyd, Not Derek Chauvin, Killed George Floyd

The transcript from the body camera worn by J. Alexander Kueng shows evidence that George Floyd was suffering respiratory distress before the police laid hands on him. The Pundit claimed he died from a Fentanyl overdose, not from being choked out by Minneapolis police. This news will not bring joy to the crazed, leftist mob screaming to lop off the heads of the Minneapolis police officers who stand accused of “murdering” George Floyd.

First a note about Officer J. Alexander Kueng. He also is a black man. He was adopted shortly after birth by a white woman and a single mother. Can’t have that story out there. Simply does not promote the meme that white Americans are inherently and irredeemably racist. How can a racist white woman be a loving mother to a black child? Racists don’t do that.https://lockerdome.com/lad/11388553368124774?pubid=ld-2492-2424&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fdjhjmedia.com&rid=&width=940


Officer Kueng and George Floyd

Once you read the transcript you will understand why the Minnesota Attorney General seemed to withhold the video evidence from the public and why the defense attorneys are trying to get the information out–it exonerates the police.

Here’s the link to the full transcript.

The incident starts with a store manager reporting that George Floyd had just given him a counterfeit bill.

The transcript of Officer Kueng’s body cam gives us a better picture of what happened prior to the video, we all saw. In the end, we should want justice, if Mr. Floyd died from a drug-induced heart attack, or from suffocation from Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, the punishment must fit the crime, not what people think it was.

https://djhjmedia.com/eric/4057/

How to relax in 5 minutes

Pet Pantry veterinarian offers advice on keeping pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks

fox43.com

Dr. Bryan Langlois, medical director of the Lancaster County-based Pet Pantry, said the days leading up to July 4 can be a stressful time for pet owners

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The Fourth of July weekend is a time of celebration for many Americans, but it can be a stressful time for pet owners who struggle to keep their furry friends calm as more and more fireworks displays happen in the runup to the holiday.

Dr. Bryan Langlois, Medical Director of the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County and past president of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, recently offered some advice on what pet owners can do.

“This is always a difficult time of year for many pet owners,” Langlois said in a press release. “In fact, the July 4th Holiday is one of the biggest times when pets go missing or get lost from their homes because they are so frightened by the fireworks displays.

“While some pets seem to adapt just fine, many others will suffer mild to extreme stress and anxiety over it. That can translate into pets causing harm to themselves and your homes trying to escape the noise of fireworks. Fortunately, over the years veterinarians have been able to obtain new medications and methods to help control this anxiety to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.”

Langlois said some of the things pet owners can do to help reduce anxiety because of fireworks include:

  • Set them up in a room that has distractions such as an air conditioner going or a TV or radio playing in the background. Many cable and online platforms even have dedicated channels now that are geared towards cats and dogs to keep them entertained. Just providing this type of distraction (sometimes with you spending time in the room with them) helps to keep their focus on what is going on inside, and not outside.
  • Offering treat puzzles, treat balls, catnip toys, or kongs filled with things like peanut butter can all help act as a distraction for dogs and cats as well.
  • If your pet is one that gets extremely frightened or anxious to the point of being destructive or harming themselves, then you definitely want to discuss with your veterinarian about getting some anti-anxiety medications for your pet. These medications make can make a world of difference for your pet in being able to remain calm.

Langlois also said that now, and not the day of July 4th, is the time to discuss with your veterinarian about these issues and develop a plan of action.

“It used to be that vets would give a straight sedative for these animals,” he said. “Over the years it became known that, while they were sedating the animal, they were really not taking the anxiety away. Veterinarians now will look to prescribe a true anti-anxiety medication for your pet, and there are many to chose from. 

“That is why it is important to talk to your vet about which one is best for your pet, as all pets react differently. Talking with your vet now allows for you to decide which medication is best and provide time for you to get it from your vet or a pharmacy.”

Improvements in the way medications are made is also an important advancement making administration a lot easier, Langlois said.

“Probably the biggest hurdle we have faced in being able to medicate pets properly has been in owners being able to give these medications to their pets without difficulty,” he said. “As we all know many pets, especially cats, can be exceedingly difficult to medicate even if we try to hide the medication in food or treats. 

“Fortunately, the world of compounded medications now allows us to create these medications in various forms that can be flavored and therefore become quite easy to give to your pets. It is important that you talk with your vet about this opportunity as well since many compounded medications do take a few days to produce.”

Langlois offered this final piece of advice for anyone with questions.

“As we always say, if you have any questions at all about the health and well being of your pet and how to help keep them stress free this holiday, the only place you should go to is your local and trusted veterinarian.”

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/life/animals/pet-pantry-veterinarian-offers-advice-on-keeping-pets-calm-during-fourth-of-july-fireworks/521-04ade2bf-9cd8-40b0-be28-c0fc6070bb7e?__twitter_impression=true

FDA warning: These 9 hand sanitizer brands could be toxic

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/602-b0df6673-b835-4c70-92ff-9b9e32f4a6c2/amp#amp=1 nation-world

The FDA is warning that the public should stop using 9 brands of hand sanitizer because the products may contain methanol, or wood alcohol. Author: TEGNA Published: 6:56 AM EDT June 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in hand sanitizer purchases, but now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that nine brands may be potentially toxic. 

The FDA said Friday that consumers should stop using any hand sanitizer from Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV, due to the potential presence of methanol, or wood alcohol, in its products. The FDA warned that methanol can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin.  null

The agency said that it contacted Eskbiochem last week to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer from the U.S. market, but it has yet to do so. 

“Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain,” the agency warned

The FDA warned that young children who accidentally ingest these potentially toxic hand sanitizers and those who may drink it as an alcohol substitute are most at risk of suffering methanol poisoning. The symptoms of substantial methanol exposure includes nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. 

RELATED: Safety tips to consider when returning to restaurants

RELATED: FDA asks hand sanitizer producers to make them taste worse

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” the agency warned. “Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”

The FDA listed the following products in its warning: 

– All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)

– Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)

– Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)

– The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10) null

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)

– Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

According to the FDA, it tested product samples and found Lavar Gel contained 81% methanol and CleanCare No Germ had 28% methanol. 

The agency said Friday it’s not aware of any reports of illnesses related to these potentially toxic hand sanitizers. 

The FDA stressed that washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best defenses against coronavirus. But if soap and water isn’t available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol.  https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/602-99781d2c-509d-4b4f-be74-bb2f46138395/amp#amp=1 https://d-2941301612144650950.ampproject.net/2006050512001/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/nation-world/fda-warns-9-brands-of-hand-sanitizer-made-in-mexico-may-be-toxic/507-a2ea53cf-b51b-4a49-8459-443f44f1d5c8?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&__twitter_impression=true

Could flushing a public toilet really spread COVID-19?

api.nationalgeographic.com

By Sarah Gibbens 10-13 minutes

PUBLISHED June 19, 2020

An employee places facial masks in the bathroom of a suite of Berlin’s famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski on May 26, 2020, one day after it reopened for tourism as restrictions were eased amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images) Photograph by Tobias Schwarz, AFP via Getty Images

Few people have the bladder fortitude to last through drinks, dinner, or long road trips without having to use the restroom. But as more restaurants, bars, and other public spaces start to re-open this summer, questions have been swirling around whether using a public toilet could become a more serious health risk in the era of COVID-19.

Such worries came to a head this week when researchers in China published a study suggesting that flushing a toilet can create a plume of coronavirus-laden particles, which are flung into the air by the watery vortex inside a toilet bowl.

Several studiesusing genetic tests have previously detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus in stool samples, and at least one investigation shows that the coronaviruses in these feces can be infectious. When a person infected with COVID-19 defecates, the germ at first settles into the toilet bowl. But then “the flushing process can lift the virus out of the toilet and cause cross-infection among people,” says Ji-Xiang Wang, a physicist at Yangzhou University in China and coauthor on the paper published June 16 in the journal Physics of Fluids.

While the toilet plume effect has been studied for decades in relation to other diseases, many questions remain over its role in spreading germs, including the one that causes COVID-19. Neither the World Health Organization nor the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thinks it’s very likely COVID-19 can be spread by bowel movements leading to accidental consumption of virus particles, a route medically termed fecal-oral transmission.

Despite these uncertainties, experts say there are precautions you should take before answering nature’s call in publicly shared restrooms.

How risky are restrooms?

For the latest study, Wang’s team used computer models to show that tiny droplets called aerosols, created by the turbulence of water sloshing inside a toilet bowl, could be ejected up to three feet into the air. Shortly after flushing, water rushes into the bowl, striking the opposite side with enough force to generate a vortex that forcefully pushes not only the liquid, but also the air inside the toilet.

According to their simulations, this combination launches aerosols that can last in the air for just over a minute. The more water used in a toilet bowl, Wang’s team found, the greater the force of the flush.

So what does that mean if you use a restroom after someone infected with COVID-19 flushes? That depends a lot on whether the infectious virus survives in human feces, and that’s still an active area of research.

To start, studies of MERS, a coronavirus relative that flared up in 2012, indicate that this particular virus can survive in the human digestive tract, which is a sign the same might be true for SARS-CoV-2. Flu viruses and coronaviruses are considered “enveloped viruses” because they’re protected by a thin layer called a membrane. Unlike noroviruses, the most common culprit of food poisoning, enveloped viruses are easily degraded by acids, which make them vulnerable to the chemical make-ups of soap and stomach bile.

When cities were cesspools of disease

One hypothesis, based on influenza research, suggests that these kinds of viruses might survive in the human gut if mucus from infected patients protects the germs during their journey through the digestive tract. The question then is how long the virus lasts in fecal matter, and that’s another area that needs more research, says E. Susan Amirian, a molecular epidemiologist at Rice University in Houston.

“Fecal transmission is unlikely to be a major mode of transmission, even if it proves to be plausible,” Amirian says in an email. She notes that the CDC’s assessment of fecal-oral transmission cites one study in which scientists were able to detect only broken bits of the coronavirus’s genetic codein infected patients’ feces. These genetic snippets are an indicator the germ was once present in the body, but the virus has been degraded so much, it can no longer cause an infection.

However, these broken viral bits appear quite often in COVID-19 defecations. Another study published in April found traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the fecal matter of more than half of 42 patients tested. And a May 18 report published by the CDC found viable and infectious SARS-CoV-2 in fecal excretions from a handful of patients.

What’s more, past studies show that fecal-oral transmission may have occurred during the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, another coronavirus cousin of COVID-19. Airborne fecal matter was thought to have exacerbated a cluster of 321 SARS cases at a Hong Kong apartment complex in 2003. Later examination of the incident found poor ventilation, contact with neighbors, and shared spaces such as elevators and stairwells also contributed to the event.

“Using a public restroom, especially while taking precautions like maintaining physical distance from others and practicing good hand hygiene, is quite likely to be less risky than attending a gathering with people from other households,” Amirian says via email. She emphasizes that “the major mode of transmission for COVID-19 is person-to-person through respiratory droplets.”

What can you do to protect yourself?

Still, “less risky” isn’t the same as no risk, and exactly how well the virus survives in feces, on surfaces, and in the air are questions scientists are still trying to answer.

A study published last April in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the virus could live on steel and plastic surfaces for up to two and three days, respectively. A simple solution of soap and water can easily destroy the virus. But that means public restrooms can harbor COVID-19 germs if establishments don’t take care to wipe down surfaces.

“At the end of the day, we need to remember that stool can be a reservoir for many diseases, and people sometimes don’t wash their hands as well as they think they do,” says Amirian. “Good hygiene, especially thorough hand washing, is important for reasons beyond COVID-19.”

In public restrooms with multiple stalls that don’t limit the number of people allowed in, clusters of individuals represent an additional risk, as person-to-person contact is still the primary way people become infected with coronavirus.

Joe Allen is the director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program, where he researches how our offices, schools, and homes can influence our health. In investigations of buildings that adversely impact human health, Allen says, “I always remind people to check the exhaust in the bathroom.” He adds that improving ventilation that moves dirty indoor air outside is one of the best ways to safeguard against a contaminated restroom.

“[Public] bathrooms should have exhaust fans that are constantly running,” Allen says.

If possible, he also recommends that establishments install touchless features such as water faucets, soap dispensers, and towel dispensers that turn on with the wave of a hand.

Absent more hygienic upgrades, Wang advises wearing a face mask when using a public restroom. And one of the most effective ways to keep potentially infected aerosols of any kind from flying into the air, Wang adds, is to simply install lids on public toilets.

“Manufacturers should design a new toilet, in which the lid is automatically put down before flushing,” says Wang.

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/06/could-flushing-public-toilet-plume-spread-coronavirus-cvd?__twitter_impression=true

The right diet and exercise make a world of difference for this dog

Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here Are Seven Ways To Help Him

thedodo.com

By Danielle Esposito 6-8 minutes

dog has bad breath
DodoWell

Because doggy kisses don’t have to be stinky.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

While doggy kisses are one of life’s greatest pleasures, getting close to a pup with bad breath is not.

And believe it or not, bad dog breath isn’t as normal as you’d think.

In fact, if your dog suffers from obnoxiously stinky breath, it’s a good idea to get him checked out by your vet for any underlying health issues.

Why does my dog have bad breath?

“A dog’s bad breath is not normal and may be a clue to underlying oral disease — such as periodontal disease or a tumor in the mouth,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian with Animal Medical Center in New York City, told The Dodo. 

  A serious case of bad breath should send you and your dog to the veterinarian’s office ASAP, she said.

While the issue could be a simple plaque buildup, it’s always better to make sure.

Your vet might check your dog for a variety of issues including:

– Poor oral hygiene
– Dental disease
– Diabetes
– Gross dietary habits (like eating poop)
– Kidney disease
– Liver disease

How do I help my dog’s stinky breath?

If you’ve gone to the vet and your dog has been cleared of any serious underlying health issues, there are other ways that you can help get his breath a bit more tolerable. 1. Brush his teeth regularly  “Veterinarians recommend daily brushing,” Dr. Hohenhaus said. 

  Just like with people, brushing your dog’s teeth will help to combat his breath. Find a toothpaste flavor that your dog will love to make it a better experience for you both.

  We recommend: Virbac CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste. Buy it now from Amazon for $9.99.
  2. Get some dental chews Dental chews are a great way to help your dog’s breath — and they can be mistaken for treats!

  “Chewing helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup and assists in boredom relief,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo. While there are a lot of dental chews on the market, make sure to look for ones that contain breath-freshening chlorophyll or delmopinol for the best results. 

  We recommend: OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Dogs. Buy them now from Amazon for $14.99+.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on your dog’s food Believe it or not, cinnamon is actually a great trick for freshening breath!

  We recommend: McCormick Ground Cinnamon. Buy it now from Amazon for $5.78.
  4. When in doubt: coconut oil Coconut oil isn’t just beneficial for humans — it can also help your dog’s breath! You can drizzle some over your dog’s food in the mornings, or even use it in combination with his toothpaste and brush his teeth with it. 

  “Just be careful of the fat content in any oil supplement!” Dr. Austin said.

  We recommend: Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Buy it now from Amazon for $13.22
  5. Add probiotics to his diet Probiotics work by introducing good bacteria into your dog’s mouth, helping to combat the ones that cause bad breath. Get a probiotic specifically made for dogs, and you’ll likely see (or smell) an improvement. 

  We recommend: Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites. Buy them now from Amazon for $25.97. 
  6. Give your dog some wheatgrass A great source of chlorophyll, wheatgrass helps to neutralize odors to fight off bad breath. You can chop up some fresh wheatgrass to sprinkle on his food, or try a shelf-stable powder. You can even freeze some into ice cubes to use as a treat.

  We recommend: Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass Powder. Buy it now for $19.99.

  While bad breath is something to look into with your vet, once your dog is given a clean bill of health, these tips will help you get your sweet-smelling pup back!

https://www.thedodo.com/amphtml/dodowell/does-your-dog-have-bad-breath?__twitter_impression=true

A Reminder of COVID-19 Symptoms

West Nile virus is still here, and it’s spreading among U.S. birds

api.nationalgeographic.com

By Jason Bittel 15-19 minutes


PUBLISHED June 4, 2020

Chief, a white-and-orange English setter, knifes through a forest of pale-barked aspen, so thick in places the trees seem to gobble him up, the ding ding ding of his collar the only clue to his whereabouts.

These impenetrable thickets in central Pennsylvania known as the Scotia Barrens make for hard hiking. But they’re prime habitat for ruffed grouse—crow-size birds whose mottled, russet coloring blends into the fallen leaves Chief is sniffing feverishly. If he flushes out a ruffed grouse on this November afternoon, he’ll get an extra hearty pat from his owner, Lisa Williams. That’s because Pennsylvania’s official state bird is getting harder to find.

“Depending on who you talk to, the ruffed grouse is either the king of the game birds, or it’s a forest chicken,” says Williams, grouse biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, a state agency whose mission is to conserve birds and mammals for present and future generations. Hunters prize ruffed grouse because they’re canny—elusive on the ground and tricky targets in the air.

They’re native to the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes region, and large swaths of Canada. In the spring mating season, males hop onto a log and beat their wings rapidly and rhythmically in a crescendoing womp womp womp“drumming” that carries more than a quarter of a mile,even through thick cover such as we’re tromping through following Chief’s helter-skelter lead.

But after a few hours of searching, the setter comes up short.

A male ruffed grouse in Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, puts on a courtship display. These spectacular, elusive birds are a favorite among hunters.

A ruffed grouse perches on a branch in Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog. In 2005, a biologist found West Nile antibodies in birds killed at the Annual National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt, in north-central Minnesota. Crows, blue jays, and owls are some of the 300 species hit hard by the mosquito-borne disease.

Photograph by Michael Quinton, Minden Pictures (top) and Photograph by Benjamin Olson, Minden Pictures (bottom)

Between 1978 and 2000, flush rates for ruffed grouse reported by hunters in Pennsylvania declined by 2 percent, reflecting the aging of the thick, young forests the birds need for food and shelter, Williams says. But then, between 2001 and the end of 2018, flush rates plummeted by 54 percent.

The culprit?

West Nile virus: a mosquito-borne pathogen that dominated the news when it appeared in New York City in the summer of 1999. Many expected the virus to race through the human population as a pandemic, but the disease peaked four years later with just under 10,000 cases nationwide. The fear waned.

The virus lingered in the woods, however, spreading from bird to bird— not just ruffed grouse but more than 300 species, causing brain lesions, and killing millions of birds. “Some of our best-loved backyard birds are missing,” Williams says. Crows, owls, and blue jays are among those that have suffered severe losses to West Nile virus. Ruffed grouse numbers have fallen in states from Minnesota and Michigan to North Carolina and New Jersey, a problem exacerbated by climate change.

In Pennsylvania, Williams says, ruffed grouse declined by an estimated 23 percent between 2017 and 2018—­“a horrendous year.” West Nile virus, she adds, is “a classic climate change disease.” Earlier springs in the forests give mosquitoes more time to pump out larvae, and increases in precipitation, also spurred by climate change, create more stagnant pools in which the insects can reproduce.

For all the seriousness of the situation, ruffed grouse numbers have yet to fall to a level that would trigger Endangered Species Act protections. That’s all the more reason to act now, Williams says. “The time to intervene is before you’re in that emergency-room situation. You want to do something while you still have enough animals to respond and work with.”

Following a hunch

Williams spent nearly two decades as a bat expert at the Pennsylvania Game Commission before switching to ruffed grouse in 2011. She had witnessed firsthand how white nose syndrome, a fungus that infects the faces and wings of bats, devastated local bat populations, and the more she examined ruffed grouse population information, the more she suspected that something similar was happening to the birds. But no one could say for sure, because in the early years after the virus showed up, most research focused on human health. (Read more about the killer fungus wreaking havoc on bats.)

In 2004, for example, Pennsylvania’s largest breeder of captive grouse reported that 24 out of 30 birds died during a two-week period. This prompted him to send one of the dead birds to a lab for testing, which determined West Nile virus as the cause of death. In 2005, a biologist found West Nile antibodies in birds killed at the Annual National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt, in north-central Minnesota. In 2006, experiments showed that West Nile could be particularly lethal to greater sage grouse, a relative of ruffed grouse native to the American West.

“There were all these different things that came together as I was sort of working through this hunch,” Williams says.

To get a better idea of what was going on, Williams mined information provided by hunters—an “amazing” trove going back to 1965. In Pennsylvania, ruffed grouse hunts are permitted from mid-October to the end of November, as well as for another 10 days in mid-to-late December. Each hunter is allowed to take up to two grouse a day but isn’t permitted to have more than six in the freezer at one time to prevent overexploitation of the birds.

In November 2019, I joined Duane Diefenbach, a wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and his English setter Chelsea, in Susquehannock State Forest, in north-central Pennsylvania. Diefenbach is one of hundreds of hunters who report to the commission everything from the number of hours they spend looking for grouse and where they search to how many times their dogs flush out birds.

When cornered, a ruffed grouse explodes out of the forest undergrowth with thunderclapping wings. So when Chelsea freezes, signaling that she’s scented a grouse, Diefenbach closes in, shotgun poised. But no bird erupts. “This is probably where the grouse was 10 minutes ago,” he says ruefully.

By the end of our outing, though, Chelsea and a younger setter named Parker have flushed out eight grouse. Diefenbach doesn’t bag a single one, though. “That’s how it goes with grouse hunting,” he says with a grin.

Eight ruffed grouse may seem a good number, but 30 years ago, a day in this forest would likely have yielded 20 or so, according to Diefenbach. “Everyone I know agrees there’s fewer grouse, and that’s because there’s less habitat…but if you’re a dedicated grouse hunter, you know that the changes over the past 10 years have nothing to do with habitat.”

To get a deeper understanding of the effects of West Nile virus on ruffed grouse, in 2014 Williams began asking hunters to mail in feathers and blood samples, which she tested for the disease. Counterintuitively, she says, in a bad West Nile year, only about 4 percent of hunted birds have antibodies that indicate previous West Nile infection. But in years when West Nile ebbs, up to a quarter of the hunted birds may test positive for antibodies. That’s because when the virus is hitting hard, exposed grouse don’t survive long enough to be shot by hunters in the fall.

Williams says this suggests that the virus’s true toll is likely even higher, because there’s no way to estimate how many ruffed grouse die from it before the hunting season begins.

Fighting back

Since 2014, states from Minnesota to Maine and North Carolina have followed Pennsylvania’s example and collected ruffed grouse blood samples. Most places register declines similar to Pennsylvania’s, but Maine, inexplicably, seems largely unaffected. This could be because most hunting—and 98 percent of the testing—takes place in the northern part of the state where the climate is generally cooler, says Kelsey Sullivan, migratory bird biologist at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Or, he adds, it could be “that quality habitats reduce occurrence and increase the ability of grouse to withstand and diffuse the virus.” And Maine’s north woods are as close to paradise for ruffed grouse as it gets.

Lisa Williams has been pushing the importance of habitat for a while. And in 2019, she teamed up with Bob Blystone and Jeremy Diehl, geographic information system analysts at the Pennsylvania Game Commission, to develop a computer model to assess habitat quality. It’s called the Grouse Priority Area Siting Tool (G-PAST), and it can help wildlife managers identify the best and worst areas for conserving ruffed grouse.

G-PAST predicts, for example, that the Scotia Barrens—previously some of the best ruffed grouse habitat in the state—is unlikely to regain that status region-wide because of its low elevation (where mosquitoes tend to thrive), its flat terrain (conducive to standing water where mosquitoes breed), and its lack of proximity to existing grouse populations (which hold potential for repopulating the area). By contrast, G-PAST finds that parts of Susquehannock State Forest, where the terrain is higher, could serve as critical ruffed grouse sanctuaries.

With that information, the Pennsylvania Game Commission can target forest areas for management strategies such as cutting stands of older trees to encourage the new growth preferred by ruffed grouse, which will also invigorate more than 30 other species, including deer, bears, turkeys, and rattlesnakes.

Another way to help grouse is by adjusting the pressures people put on them. New Jersey has banned ruffed grouse hunting indefinitely and is working with Pennsylvania to create its own version of G-PAST. Both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have shortened their hunting seasons, and Ohio is considering doing the same. Hunters have been supportive of the measures.

“Grouse hunters are their own unique breed,” Williams says. “They’re highly passionate about the species, and they’re willing to give up their own recreation to try to help.”

Meanwhile, in coordination with hunters and other Great Lakes states, Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, based in Saint Paul, recently started a two-year study of West Nile virus in ruffed grouse. According to Charlotte Roy, the department’s grouse project leader, the state is experiencing more frequent extreme rainfall events, which may lead to more West Nile-carrying mosquitoes.

“I think we should be aware of the impacts that we’re having on natural processes and potentially take corrective action where we can,” she says. “West Nile virus is going to be out there whether we pay attention to it or not.”

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2020/06/west-nile-virus-spreading-among-us-birds?__twitter_impression=true

600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident’

forbes.com

Grace-Marie Turner 6-7 minutes


224,476 views|May 22, 2020,12:00pm EDT

More than 600 of the nation’s physicians sent a letter to President Trump this week calling the coronavirus shutdowns a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing negative health consequences” to millions of non COVID patients. 

“The downstream health effects…are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error,” according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles. 

“Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties:  “150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.”

From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.”  

Patients fearful of visiting hospitals and doctors’ offices are dying because COVID-phobia is keeping them from seeking care. One patient died at home of a heart attack rather than go to an emergency room. The number of severe heart attacks being treated in nine U.S hospitals surveyed dropped by nearly 40% since March. Cardiologists are worried “a second wave of deaths” indirectly caused by the virus is likely.

The physicians’ letter focuses on the impact on Americans’ physical and mental health.  “The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.

“It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” the letter says. “Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million [now 38 million] other people.  Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.” 

While all 50 states are relaxing lockdowns to some extent, some local officials are threatening to keep stay-at-home orders in place until August.  Many schools and universities say they may remain closed for the remainder of 2020.

“Ending the lockdowns are not about Wall Street or disregard for people’s lives; it about saving lives,” said Dr. Marilyn Singleton, a California anesthesiologist and one of the signers of the letter. “We cannot let this disease change the U.S. from a free, energetic society to a society of broken souls dependent on government handouts.” She blogs about the huge damage the virus reaction is doing to the fabric of society

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, also warns that restrictions are having a huge negative impact on non-COVID patients. 

“Even patients who do get admitted to hospital, say for a heart problem, are prisoners. No one can be with them. Visitation at a rare single-story hospital was through closed outside window, talking via telephone,” she wrote us.  “To get permission to go to the window you have to make an appointment (only one group of two per day!), put on a mask, get your temperature taken, and get a visitor’s badge of the proper color of the day.”

How many cases of COVID-19 are prevented by these practices? “Zero,” Dr. Orient says.  But the “ loss of patient morale, loss of oversight of care, especially at night are incalculable.”

Virtually all hospitals halted “elective” procedures to make beds available for what was expected to be a flood of COVID-19 patients.  Beds stayed empty, causing harm to patients and resulting in enormous financial distress to hospitals, especially those with limited reserves. 

Even states like New York that have had tough lockdowns are starting to allow elective hospital procedures in some regions.  But it’s more like turning up a dimmer switch. In Pennsylvania, the chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute, Dr. Alfred Casale, said the opening will be slow while the facility is reconfigured for COVID-19 social distancing and enhanced hygiene.  

Will patients come back?  COVID-phobia is deathly real.

Patients still are fearful about going to hospitals for heart attacks and even for broken bones and deep lacerations. Despite heroic efforts by physicians to deeply sanitize their offices, millions have cancelled appointments and are missing infusion therapies and even chemotherapy treatments. This deferred care is expected to lead to patients who are sicker when they do come in for care and more deaths from patients not receiving care for stroke, heart attacks, etc. 

NPR reported about a Washington state resident who had what she described as the “worst headache of her life.”

She waited almost a week before going to the hospital where doctors discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.  She had multiple strokes and died. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent,” said her neurosurgeon, Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Wash. 

As the number of deaths from the virus begin to decline, we are likely to awaken to this new wave of casualties the 600 physicians are warning about. We should be listening to the doctors, and heed their advice immediately.

Get the best of Forbes to your inbox with the latest insights from experts across the globe.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2020/05/22/600-physicians-say-lockdowns-are-a-mass-casualty-incident/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Social distancing one week earlier could have saved 36,000 lives in US, study suggests

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/65-cadece88-8f64-4973-9ba3-4d5e16f5cc0d/amp#amp=1 coronavirus

Researchers say the new models show how even small differences in timing could have prevented the worst exponential growth of coronavirus cases. Author: TEGNA Published: 5:39 AM EDT May 21, 2020

New modeling shows that if the U.S. adopted coronavirus social distancing measures one week earlier in March, the country could have saved nearly 36,000 additional lives from COVID-19. Researchers say its a sign of how quickly the virus can spread when no measures are in place.

The estimates are from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. It’s based on modeling that looks at how reduced contact between people starting in mid-March slowed transmission, according to The New York Times. null

On March 16, President Donald Trump announced guidelines from the White House coronavirus task force aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. He asked Americans to avoid discretionary travel, avoid gathering in large groups and encouraged schools to teach remotely.

Columbia researchers say that had such measures been enacted on March 8, the number of total deaths, as of May 3, could have dropped by nearly 36,000. If the restrictions had gone into effect March 1, the researchers projected that the number of deaths could be 54,000 less, as of May 3. 

The leader of the research team told the New York Times that even small differences in timing could have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had already hit New York City, New Orleans and other towns. 

The team estimated that in New York City alone, the number of coronavirus deaths reported on May 3 could have dropped by nearly 15,000 to just 2,838. The researchers’ findings have yet to be peer-reviewed and were shared online to the preprint site medrxiv

RELATED: Repeating 50-day strict lockdown, 30-day relaxing could solve pandemic, study suggests

RELATED: CDC says coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ on surfaces, objects

As of early Thursday morning, there were more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes more than 93,000 deaths.

RELATED: 5 million cases: World COVID-19 count reaches new milestone

RELATED: CDC says coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ on surfaces, objects

In response to the new estimates, the White House released a statement late Wednesday night to the New York Times that reiterated the president’s “assertion that restrictions on travel from China in January and Europe in mid-March slowed the spread of the virus.”

The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/health/coronavirus/social-distance-earlier-more-lives-saved-models-columbia/507-53295ef6-fd24-4830-b854-a55d4c7a661c?__twitter_impression=true

Celiac Disease Linked to Common Toxic Chemicals

Chemical Free Life

Celiac disease is an immune disorder that triggers severe gut reactions, including diarrhea and bloating, to foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Now new research has linked an increase risk for celiac disease in young people to toxic chemicals commonly found in pesticides, nonstick cookware and fast food packaging, and fire retardants, among other sources.

Study overview

Researchers analyzed levels of toxic chemicals in the blood of 30 children and young adults, ages 3 to 21, who were newly diagnosed with celiac disease at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. Test results were compared with those from 60 other young people of similar age, gender, and race.

Results overview

The results of the scientific study revealed that children and young adults with high blood levels of pesticides, including high levels of pesticide-related chemicals called dichlorodiphenyldichlorethylenes (DDEs), were twice as likely to be newly diagnosed…

View original post 231 more words

Atlantic City casinos will look very different once they reopen. Here’s their new plan.

nj.com

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 4-5 minutes


Atlantic City - coronavirus
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, left, and The Water Club Hotel, right, are dark after Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the casinos to close Monday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

No eating on the casino floor. Contactless check-ins for hotel rooms. And wear a mask unless you’re drinking while gambling.

MGM Resorts, owner of the Borgata, released the health and safety plan its casino properties will follow once state officials allow them to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our properties will not look the way they used to for a while, and that’s not only okay, it’s critically important,” said Bill Hornbuckle, acting president and chief executive.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered Atlantic City’s casinos closed in March. He said Monday that he hoped to provide “hard dates” as early as this week on when the state’s economy could begin reopening.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

The MGM plan released Tuesday offered a first look at how Atlantic City casinos plan to operate to protect both employees and guests from the coronavirus.

The new rules include:

— Daily temperature checks for all employees, as well as screening measures to determine whether they have infection symptoms and where they are in contact with those who have been infected, such as someone in their household or someone they care for.

— Guests who think they may have been exposed will be “strongly encouraged” to stay at home and not travel.

— All employees must wear masks, and all guests will be encouraged to do so in public areas. The casino will hand out free masks to guests.

— Workers will be trained on proper cleaning procedures and other steps to protect against the virus.

— Employees who handle food, clean public areas and enter guest rooms must wear gloves. Other workers also may required to wear personal protective equipment.

— Guests still will be able to order beverages but not food on the casino floor, and can remove their masks to drink.

— Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of slot machines, tables and kiosks.

— Stations for handwashing and hand sanitizing in high-traffic areas.

— A six-foot social distancing policy will be followed whenever possible, with signs and floor guides to help separate patrons. In areas where the distancing policy cannot be followed, plexiglass barriers will be installed or employees will be given eye protection.

— Poker rooms may not reopen when the rest of the casino does, depending on guidance from state officials and medical experts.

— Plexiglass barriers throughout the casino and lobbies.

— Medical personnel on staff to respond in case a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. Exposed areas will be sanitized and efforts will be made for contact tracing, notifying those who may have been in contact with the individual.

— Limits on how many people can share an elevator cab.

— Allowing guests to check in to their hotel rooms digitally without having contact with anyone at the front desk.

— Digital menus and text notifications when tables are ready, eliminating the need to wait in line.

It remains to be seen if the steps are sufficient to win the approval of Unite Here, the union that represents 10,600 Atlantic City workers. Their plan called for having the state gaming commission ensure that the casinos were taking the necessary steps to protect employees and guests.

The union said that the six-foot distance between customers needed to be followed at slot machines and table games, dice and chips needed to be frequently sanitized, buffets needed to be suspended and spas and pools needed to close temporarily.

“It’s good that the company is talking about it, but we need them to work in partnership with frontline workers to come up with a full plan to protect guest and workers,” said Mayra Gonzalez, a line server at Borgata and a member of Unite Here.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/05/atlantic-city-casinos-will-look-very-different-once-they-reopen-heres-their-new-plan.html

To prevent the next pandemic, it’s the legal wildlife trade we should worry about

National Geographic Logo

Wildlife WatchCoronavirus Coverage

Millions of live animals enter the U.S. each year without disease screening—leaving us vulnerable to another outbreak, a former wildlife inspector says.

By Jonathan Kolby PUBLISHED May 7, 2020

Camels, the source of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak that started in 2012, await sale at a market northwest of Cairo in 2015. The legal trade in wildlife is as serious a risk for the spread of zoonotic diseases as the illegal trade, experts warn.
Photograph by Ahmed Gomaa Xinhua / eyevine/R​edux

Twenty thousand live bullfrogs from China that will be cooked and eaten as frog legs. Forty green monkeys from St. Kitts and Nevis for biomedical research. Three hundred giant clams from Vietnam and 30 stingrays from the Brazilian Amazon for home aquariums. null

That motley assortment is a miniscule glimpse of what the legal international wildlife trade might look like on a given day in any of the 41 ports of entry staffed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors. I routinely saw consignments like these—alongside crates filled with shampoo bottles, cucumbers, and freshly cut roses—at the Port of Newark, New Jersey, when I was a wildlife inspector, from 2004 to 2010.

At airports, seaports, and land border crossings in 2019, $4.3 billion of legal wildlife and wildlife products was imported into the U.S. Approximately 200 million live animals are imported to the U.S. annually, according to a five-year trade report: 175 million fish for the aquarium trade, and 25 million animals comprised of an array of mammals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles, spiders, and more. On top of that, thousands of illegally traded shipments of wildlife are intercepted each year. In 2019 alone, the agency opened more than 10,000 illegal wildlife trade investigations.

The diseases that hitchhike into the country on legally imported wildlife continue to go largely unnoticed.

But along with such a diversity of wildlife, a kaleidoscope of pathogens is also entering the country. My experience with the Fish and Wildlife Service, where I worked for 10 years, first as a wildlife inspector and most recently as a policy specialist regulating and managing the international wildlife trade, showed me that although many controls have been implemented to combat illegal trade, the diseases that simultaneously hitchhike into the country on legally imported wildlife continue to go largely unnoticed.

Importing any live animal brings with it the risk of disease—to native wildlife, to livestock, and to people. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, theorized to have jumped from bats into humans and then spread at a wet market in Wuhan, possibly through an intermediate host, has shined a spotlight on how easily zoonotic diseases can emerge from wildlife. Indeed, an estimated 60 percent of known human diseases originated in animals, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.

Much of the public discussion around COVID-19 has focused on the potential role of the illegal wildlife trade in spreading pathogens. But as a wildlife trade specialist and conservation biologist—I studied the spread of disease among imported frogs—I’ve learned that we need to think just as critically about the risks and vulnerabilities presented by the massive legal trade, which continues to place both ourselves and the world at risk of more pandemics. null

With few exceptions, the U.S. has no laws specifically requiring disease surveillance for wildlife entering the country, and the vast majority of wild animal imports are therefore not tested. Inspectors with the Fish and Wildlife Service are the first to set eyes on an imported shipment of animals, and they’re charged with enforcing a variety of national and international laws, regulations, and treaties that focus on preventing illegal and unsustainable trade. But its mandate doesn’t extend to monitoring animal or human health. Its only responsibilities related to disease are the enforcement of rules limiting trade in certain fish and salamander species, which have the potential to spread devastating disease to other animals of their kind.

In fact, no federal agency is tasked with the comprehensive screening and monitoring of imported wildlife for disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the importation of wildlife and wildlife products known to “present a significant public health concern,” focusing primarily on bats, African rodents, and nonhuman primates, Jasmine Reed, a CDC spokesperson, wrote in an email. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intervenes only if there’s a disease risk to poultry or livestock animals of agricultural importance.

This leaves millions of animals that come into the U.S legally each year unchecked for diseases that have the potential to spill over to humans or other animals. null

The CDC insists it’s keeping an eye out. “CDC works closely with other federal agencies to ensure animals and animal products that present a public health concern are regulated,” Reed says. “Through our partnerships with international agencies, we are constantly evaluating and assessing what we and the international public health community do to detect, prevent, and control zoonotic disease threats.”

“I’m confident that our authorities are doing the best they can with the resources they have,” says Catherine Machalaba, a policy advisor for EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit focused on the connections between human and wildlife health. “But I’m not confident that’s a good enough benchmark when we’re talking about leaving the door open [to potential diseases that are] a threat to our health and security.”

About two million American bullfrogs are imported live to the U.S. from factory farms abroad each year to be eaten. Legally imported frogs have been found to carry the devastating chytrid fungus at high rates, putting all North America’s amphibians at risk. With no government agency responsible for comprehensive pathogen screening and monitoring of imported wildlife, scientists have little understanding of the range of diseases being imported.Photograph by Jonathan E. Kolby

The problem isn’t unique to the U.S.—most countries do not have a government agency that comprehensively screens wildlife imports for pathogens. “The absence of any formal entity dedicated to preventing the spread of diseases from the wildlife trade is such a chronic gap around the world,” Machalaba says. “When multiple agencies have to be called in for any given shipment, personnel is limited, and coordination is lacking, there’s bound to be gaps—a false sense of security that another agency has it covered.”

Outbreaks from legal trade

Many recent zoonotic outbreaks affecting people sprang from trade that was allowed at the time, says Lee Skerratt, a wildlife biosecurity fellow at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. null

In 2003, for example, people in six U.S. states became ill from exposure to the monkeypox virus after it entered the country in a pet trade shipment of 800 rodents from Ghana. In that shipment, African giant pouched rats, rope squirrels, and dormice carried the virus. It spread to prairie dogs held in the same pet trade facility, which were then sold to the public, starting the animal-to-human outbreak. Luckily, although human-to-human transmission of monkeypox can occur, no cases were confirmed.

Three months after the infected animals had been imported, the CDC banned the import of all African rodents into the U.S. That gave the Fish and Wildlife Service the legal power to detain shipments in violation of the ban and alert the CDC, which could choose to require quarantine, re-exportation, or euthanization of the animals.

https://assets.nationalgeographic.com/modules-video/stable/assets/ngsEmbeddedVideo.html?guid=00000169-c514-d209-a9fd-d7b585d70000&account=2423130747#amp=1 Amphibians ‘apocalypse’ driven by globalization, wildlife trade

Although this outbreak led to an import ban on African rodents, the government stopped short of doing any risk assessments to consider whether rodents from other places might also carry diseases that would require regulation, Machalaba says.

“Wildlife coming into the U.S. are sourced from many countries that are ‘hot spots’ for emerging diseases—of potential concern for human health but also posing threats to other sectors via our food systems and ecosystems,” Malachaba says.

Warnings about shortcomings

Officials have long known about the gaps in the U.S.’s regulatory system. In 2005, the National Academies of Science published a report that found a “significant gap in preventing and rapidly detecting emergent diseases” from imported wildlife.

Five years later, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which audits government spending and operations, published a report on live animal imports and diseases. It found that the Fish and Wildlife Service “generally does not restrict the entry of imported wildlife that may pose disease risks.” Furthermore, the report says, the CDC doesn’t use its full power to prevent the import of live animals that pose a risk of zoonotic diseases.

The 2010 report recommended that the CDC, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA develop and implement a coordinated strategy to prevent the import of animals that may be carrying diseases. But a follow-up assessment in 2015 found that the agencies did not take action. There simply weren’t the economic or staffing resources to make it happen, it says. null

The ability to prevent and control emerging zoonotic diseases requires an understanding of the diversity and abundance of pathogens being imported. But without monitoring and surveillance of imported wildlife, we don’t have this information, Skerratt says. “This is a problem for the wildlife trade as there is much that we don’t know, especially for diseases that could affect other wildlife,” he says.

The CDC also acknowledges the lack of research. “We need more data through risk assessments and basic research before adding any new regulations,” Reed says.

But it’s a Catch-22: For an agency to systematically collect pathogen data from wildlife imports, it would need a legal mandate from the government. But the government is only likely to do that once it has pathogen data to guide its decisions.

Amphibian cataclysm

Pathogens passed from animals to humans aren’t the only cause for concern. Amphibian chytrid fungus, the aquatic fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is the first disease known to infect hundreds of species simultaneously and drive many of them toward extinction. It’s so dangerous because it can jump between nearly any amphibian—a class with more than 8,000 species. It has already spread to remote protected areas around the world. From my Ph.D. research, I discovered that imports of factory-farmed American bullfrogs—nearly 2.5 million a year, more than any other live amphibian species—introduce frighteningly high numbers of chytrid-infected animals into the U.S.

The deadly amphibian chytrid fungus, introduced to the U.S. through the legal wildlife trade, has spread to native frog species across North America, even in protected areas like King’s Canyon National Park, in California. The U.S. continues to allow the import of species known to carry the disease.
Photograph by JOEL SARTORE, Nat Geo Image Collection

Scientists note the role of legal transcontinental trade in driving the chytrid pandemic—yet the trade continues, despite the biological and economic cost. Domestically, for example, the Fish and Wildlife Service has spent millions of dollars to prevent chytrid-driven extinctions of native species, such as the endangered Wyoming toad, through captive breeding and reintroduction efforts, while continuing to allow legal importation of amphibians that spread the very pathogen threatening those native species.

Humans have never been part of a pandemic on the scale of that now affecting amphibians. Even tragedies such as the Black Death, in the mid-1300s, and the 1918 influenza pandemic devastated only one species of mammal: humans. By contrast, emerging wildlife diseases, notably chytrid, have been much less picky in the diversity and numbers of animal hosts they infect and kill. Imagine what it would be like if the next pandemic could infect hundreds of the world’s 5,000 species of mammals—including humans—causing many to become extinct.

The best way to minimize risk

An enormous variety of plants and animals are involved in the international wildlife trade, and many are a regular part of our daily lives: Imported seafood for dinner; timber for building homes and musical instruments; pet birds and frogs and aquarium fishes; mother-of-pearl buttons on dress shirts; medicinal plants like ginseng; cosmetic essential oils such as argan and frankincense; and even many of the orchids and cacti for home decoration. This is why ending the legal trade in wildlife seems unlikely, and why, Skerratt says, controlling disease at the source is the best way to minimize the risk to public health.

There seems to be a lack of economic incentive to create a wildlife health law in the U.S. to regulate the pathways of spread of wildlife pathogens.

Priya Nanjappa, Director of Operations, Conservation Science Partners, Inc.

Key to reducing the spread of pathogens is a “clean trade” program, in which private industry and government officials work together to implement safer strategies, according to Matthew Gray, associate director of the University of Tennessee Center for Wildlife Health, in Knoxville.

Gray says that clean trade could involve testing either before transport or at the border, so that animal health certificates could accompany wildlife—similar to what’s required for livestock. “If clean trade is not economically sustainable, government subsidies could be provided, as done often with agriculture,” he says.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to develop a program in the U.S. to monitor imported wildlife for pathogens and develop risk assessments, says Peter Jenkins, senior counsel for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an environmental nonprofit. “We have a very good model of this, and it’s the U.S. livestock trade.” The USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Service implements a comprehensive system of veterinary services and trade controlsto reduce the risk of importing pathogens that can harm animals, including cattle, sheep, poultry and others.

Jenkins estimates such a program could be implemented for a reasonable cost, with just $2 million and six full-time government employees, a figure developed with Congressional staff in 2015 when Jenkins was lobbying to expand the Fish and Wildlife Service’s “injurious wildlife” program. “We’re not talking about a Cadillac program. We just need people doing the research, making risk-based predictions, and then operationalizing those predictions to reduce risk.”

Yet it hasn’t happened.

“There seems to be a lack of economic incentive to create a wildlife health law in the U.S. to regulate the pathways of spread of wildlife pathogens, but the COVID-19 disease highlights the consequences of our lack of understanding of these pathogens,” says Priya Nanjappa, director of operations at Conservation Science Partners, Inc., a nonprofit that provides research and analysis for conservation projects.

The lack of incentive, Najappa says, seems to stem from the false belief that if an imported disease doesn’t immediately threaten public health or agricultural animals, it’s not a major threat to economic interests. But take white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has decimated millions of bats, across several species, in the U.S. Some of these bat population crashes led to Endangered Species Act protections, which in turn place restrictions on economic activities such as logging within the species’ habitats.

The CDC, Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA did not comment on what kinds of resources the agencies would need to do additional risk assessments, implement monitoring for diseases in the wildlife trade, or whether the pandemic would prompt them to push for increased disease surveillance.

With COVID-19 aiming a spotlight on long-existing deficiencies, now is the time for the best minds in the Fish and Wildlife Service, CDC, USDA, industry and academia to come together and consider what steps can be taken to sew this hole shut, before the next animal-origin pandemic is thrust into our daily lives.

Jonathan Kolbyis a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officer and policy specialist focusing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). His Ph.D. research at James Cook University focused on biosecurity and the spread of wildlife pathogens through international trade. He is a National Geographic Explorer and helped establish the Honduras Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center, working to combat the amphibian extinction crisis caused by chytrid fungus. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Wildlife Watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners focusing on wildlife crime and exploitation. Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at nationalgeographic.org. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to ngwildlife@natgeo.com.

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2020/05/to-prevent-next-pandemic-focus-on-legal-wildlife-trade?__twitter_impression=true

Sign Petition: Ban the Use of Asbestos in Cosmetics!

thepetitionsite.com

by: Care2 Team recipient: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Update: Yet another U.S. cosmetics manufacturer, Beauty Plus Global (BPG), has had to recall its products bcause they were contaminated with toxic asbestos. In fact, this is actually the second time in five months that BPG has had to recall its products due to lethal contaminants. It’s time the U.S. FDA gets its act together, takes health seriously, and ban the use of asbestos in cosmetics now! Recently, jewelry and makeup retailer Claire’s Accessories recalled several cosmetic products after a customer raised concerns that they may contain asbestos. Thankfully, Claire’s Accessories was committed to taking the allegations seriously and having an independent lab test the products for asbestos, but how would asbestos get into the cosmetics in the first place? Well, it turns out that, despite its many known health risks, asbestos is not banned from use in cosmetic products. Please sign this petition to change that now. While it is against the law to use any ingredient in a cosmetic that makes the product harmful to consumers when used as directed, asbestos is not specifically included in the list of ingredients prohibited from use in cosmetics. But it absolutely should be. Once asbestos fibers enter the body, they never dissolve and can cause inflammation and permanent changes to the body’s cells. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and mesothelioma. The U.S. is far behind when it comes to restricting the use of harmful chemicals in personal care products. Whereas the E.U. has banned 1,400 chemicals and Canada has banned 600, the U.S. has banned just 30 harmful chemicals. We need to catch up.

Take Action, Sign a Petition | The Autism Site, a GreaterGood project

The Autism Site

In order to support medical personnel and struggling families during this crisis you can now click 4 times daily. Learn more >

As those who help shape public mindset about disabilities, journalists must do better to represent and respect this population.

We Need Ethical Standards for Journalists Writing About Autism and Disability

5,113 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal 17.04% Complete

Sponsor: The Autism Site

As those who help shape public mindset about disabilities, journalists must do better to represent and respect this population.


Tell the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ) to create a guide for journalists writing about disability.

The way the media portrays disabilities can have a profound effect on the way the rest of the world views them, as many people do not have firsthand experience with them — after all, only about 12.6 percent of the U.S. population has some sort of disability [1] — so the general public must derive their opinions from what they read or hear. That is why journalists need to write about disabled people in the way they want to be portrayed.

Oftentimes, however, the worldwide media is not terribly good at this. Though journalists have certainly improved at covering stories about disability, [2] they sometimes still fall short of writing about it in a way that is respectful, neutral (rather than negative), and humanizing.

For example, people with disabilities who are able to speak for themselves deserve to have their voices heard, but oftentimes their words are treated as an afterthought, if even included at all. News stories often focus on how the parents or caregivers, rather than the individuals themselves, are affected by the disability.

People with disabilities also deserve to be treated like human beings, but the media often treats them more like pets or objects — things that should be treated with love and care but don’t really have their own thoughts, feelings, or autonomy. They are infantilized, treated like burdens on families and societies, [3] and portrayed as pitiable creatures that deserve praise for doing average, everyday things (such as graduating from school or holding down a job). They are often characterized by their deficits, which sometimes can be very personal and private (i.e. inability to use the toilet).

Even in cases of filicide, journalists often get things backwards and sympathize with the parents “who killed their child out of ‘mercy‘” or “snapped under the immense burden of caregiving.” [4]

When people read these stories, they may begin to internalize these negative messages and form the subconscious opinion that those with disabilities are sub-human and less worthy of life than “normal” people.

We simply cannot let this happen.

The Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ) is an organization that, in part, strives “to stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.” [5] As part of that, they have a Code of Ethics that gives guidance to journalists. We believe that this organization should include guidelines on writing ethically about disability. Doing this may lead more journalists to cover it the way they should: with respect.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Lu, W. (2017, September 5). What journalists can do better to cover the disability beat. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.cjr.org/the_feature/journalism-disability-beat.php

[2] Rosa, S. D. (2013). Autism in the Media: Stop with the Awful Stories! Retrieved January 12, 2018, from http://www.sheknows.com/community/parenting/autism-media-stop-awful-autism-stories

[3] Lohr, D. (2017, March 15). How Murder Victims With Disabilities Get Blamed For Their Own Deaths. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/murder-victims-disabilities-mercy-killings_us_58bd5abfe4b05cf0f401b603

[4] SPJ Missions – Society of Professional Journalists. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.spj.org/mission.aspTo Top

The Petition:

Dear Society of Professional Journalism,

We believe that the press has immense power in our society. The simple act of stringing together words to form a story can do an incredible amount of good in our world…but it also has the potential to do just the opposite.

For too long now, journalism has been unintentionally harming some of the most overlooked individuals in our society: those with disabilities. Through subtle word choices and overarching tone, people with disabilities have been portrayed as burdens, sets of deficits, and objects of pity or inspiration for doing nothing out of the ordinary (called “inspiration porn”).To Top

https://theautismsite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/aut/petition/autism-journalism?utm_source=aut-ta-health&utm_medium=email&utm_term=04292020&utm_content=takeaction-f&utm_campaign=petition-autism-journalism&oidp=0x4a568a63ec7cab2cc0a82937

The Navajo Nation Has Only One Official COVID-19 Relief Fund If You Wish To Donate

Mining Awareness +

It appears best and safest to give directly to the official Navajo Nation Covid-19 Relief Fund through their governmental web site. They take monetary and non-monetary donations. Donations are tax deductible. Some other fundraising activities may or may not be legitimate, and may take a percentage.

Click on the Donate button on this Navajo Nation Governmental (Dept. of Health) web site to donate: https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19

At the Donate Button linked page it explains:
Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Navajo Nation COVID-19 Fund has been established to help the Navajo Nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the Navajo Nation’s only official COVID-19 fundraising and donation effort.

The Navajo Nation is accepting monetary and non-monetary donations to address immediate medical and community needs. Charitable donations to the Navajo Nation are deductible by the donor for federal income, estate, and gift tax purposes…” Read more here, including

View original post 214 more words