News stories the mainstream media missed 10/03/09

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* The H1N1 (Swine Flu) is getting ugly. A quietly released CDC paper that you can download here says H1N1 is adapting to everything being thrown at it. The paper says “…humanity faces a dangerous threat. Viruses isolated from a sample of patients with confirmed cases in early phases of the outbreak demonstrated resistance to amantadine and rimantadine…. More recently, pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus resistance to oseltamivir emerged during treatment of 2 immunosuppressed patients in the United States. Such cases demonstrate that oseltamivir resistance can emerge in infected persons treated with oseltamivir. To date, all isolates tested have been susceptible to zanamivir.” The paper is written in med-speak, but it’s quick reading. Stock up on Zanamivir and buy stock in GlaxoSmithKline. [CDC (CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION)]

* Related to the H1N1 (swine flu) mutation and adaptability… not surprisingly it is spreading. A website from the CDC shows “Twenty-seven states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Any reports of widespread influenza activity in September are very unusual.” The website is an overall 2009 H1N1 update and is good a good reference to bookmark. The stats on the bottom of the website are particularly worrisome. “U.S. Influenza and Pneumonia-Associated Hospitalizations and Deaths from August 30 – September 19, 2009… 12,863 hospitalizations and 1,197 deaths.” That’s in just 20 days. Stock up on masks and meds now. [CDC (CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION)]

* Meanwhile, the FDA has released a warning for consumers not to eat or purchase certain imported dried plums because they’re spiced with lead. The problem isn’t with any plums from the US, so check the labels. Or better yet, just skip plums altogether. Yuck. [FDA]

* When blood used for a transfusion is over 30 days old, it doubles the possibility of death for the person receiving the blood according to an article in the LA TIMES. The article says the American Red Cross believes blood has a “shelf life” of 42 days, but the reality now looks like 30 days or less. Seriously, one of the better things you can do on a weekend is go and donate blood. You will not only be helping saving someone’s life, but when this goes mainstream, you can bet the blood banks will need donations more than ever. [LA TIMES]

* Is vitamin water really better for you? Nope. At least according to an article in Food Business News. Vitamin water is better than most sodas, but compared to water? Not so much. And for athletes, sports drinks are superior to vitamin water too. Save your money, folks. [FOOD BUSINESS NEWS]