Thursday, May 31, 2007

I have my doubts

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:42 AM Permalink

As usual.

The XDR TB guy, the one the CDC is freaking out about...
Excerpt: A man infected with a potentially deadly form of tuberculosis is being held in isolation and under armed guard at a US hospital after a transcontinental saga that prompted a global health alert
....has me wondering.

For one thing, the reason the man was on a plane to begin with is he wanted to get married. Someone who has XDR TB does NOT have that much hope for the future. Second, no matter how infectious TB is, you still need to have close, long-term exposure to the person to contract it. Third, he may have only tested positive for exposure to the disease. Lots of people test positive for exposure to TB and don't have TB. They may develop it later on, but until it starts to grow in their lungs, they can't pass it on.

So here's what I think. Since the CDC hasn't done this in around 40 years, it's obviously a big deal. And as far as I can think, and granted, it's not that far, there are only two reasons for this whole hullabaloo.
  1. Either the guy has something else MUCH worse and MUCH more experimental (read: not something our government wants anyone to know we're working on) and they need to contain him and fast. Or,
  2. The whole thing is being orchestrated to create more fear and trepidation, make us all feel more comfortable with the concept of "voluntary quarantine" and police-state tactics.
Well, that's just my two cents... which is worth about .625 cents in today's 2007 USD.

Update: As stated in the comment below, "things that make you go hmmmmm."
Excerpt: * How did Andrew Speaker become infected with this very rare form of XDR TB?

* Why did the border agent disregard orders and simply allow Mr. Speaker and his wife, Sarah to proceed back into the US?

* Why did Mr. Speaker bother to fly home via Canada, if he had intended to turn himself in as he stated. If he had landed at JFK or in Atlanta, the CDC would have met him and taken him directly to the hospital. Why go to, yet, another country?

* Mr. Speaker is purported to be a successful lawyer. Didn't he realize that he can be held liable and sued if any of the people he put at risk test positive for TB?

* How much did Dr. Cooksey know about Mr. Speaker's plans and when did he know them? As father of the bride, I would think Dr. Cooksey played a large part in the wedding preparations for his daughter. He knew that Speaker was TB-infected, MDR TB at that. His expertise with TB should have compelled him to convince his daughter and Mr. Speaker to postpone the wedding.

* Was Dr. Cooksey part of the wedding? Was he in the US during the time that Speaker went abroad?

* Was Mr. Speaker given special privileges by the CDC because he is related to Dr. Cooksey at the CDC?

* Was Mr. Speaker's oddesy planned by Dr. Cooksey as some sort of epidemiological test? Was he allowed to travel as a means of helping the CDC to get more quarantine laws into effect or to enable the US government to access foreign air carrier lists? Was this part of some pandemic simulation?

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At 3:39 AM, Blogger Cookie Jill said...

The sad thing, though...when I first heard about this story (his leaving the country, sneaking back in, no legal charges, etc.) I thought to myself, he's a well to do white guy.

Just imagine the outrage if it had been a brown skinned fellow with TB sneaking into the country to wash people dishes.

Some job Homeland Security is doing. We're taking off our shoes and this guy is coughing on people with no problem.

It is really bizarro though that his father in law is a CDC TB researcher. Things that make you go...."hhhhmmmmmm...."

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to toss out a challenge to your readers. I have a very strong hunch that XDR TB is somehow connected to livestock, in particular, cattle (both dairy and beef). As a resident of a state whose cattle population exceeds its' citizens - I know firsthand about how most cattle are raised - in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). According to the "law on the books" these facilities are regulated by various State Departments of Agriculture, as well as USDA. Their solid and liquid waste are disposed of by "land applications". BILLIONS of pounds of UNTREATED waste, spread willy, nilly, with NOBODY testing or even paying attention. The worse part is the application of the "effluent" (liquid waste) usually as a means to empty their "lagoons" (huge, multi-million gallon liquid shit ponds). This application is accomplished by spraying out this liquid shit through a center pivot system, where anything present in the liquid waste would also be aerosolized and carried in the wind. When I say anything, I am of course referring to all sorts of pathogens, viruses, bacteria, hormones, antibiotics, you name it. We know cattle are carriers of M Bovis, and that it is transmittable to humans. We also know that these dairy and beef cattle in industrial animal production facilities are routinely given hormones and low-dose antibiotics in order to survive in the filthy conditions in which they are raised. I think there is a distinct link that needs to be investigated. I tried to get copies of TB testing of the herds in my state - guess what - "proprietory and protected confidential information belonging to the producer". No matter that this may be a direct threat to we humans, those handful of people who own the dairy and beef CAFOs have more rights than we do. Anybody care to begin investigating this link?

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