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August 19, 2018

Hey, Get A Load Of This Evil Doctor

Hey, Get A Load Of This Evil Doctor

The Washington Post has a profile today of Dr. Jack Wolfson, an Arizona cardiologist and holistic medicine, uh, doer or whatever, who’s made something of a name for himself by providing a flimsy, fraudulent rime of expertish cover to the reprehensible, morally criminal anti-vaccination crowd in the U.S. It’s really something! Which is a way of saying that, if you read it, it will make you punch a hole in something and mutter things under your breath that will include the word “prison.”

The claims of this lunatic fringe have been debunked so utterly, repeatedly, and absolutely, by literally every single credible authority that has ever, ever, ever examined them, that to acknowledge their existence, even for the purpose of repudiating them, is to lend them a credibility they will never come close to earning for themselves. Unfortunately, the not-completely-derelict segment of the populace occasionally is forced to engage with the stupid, baseless conspiranoia gibberings of these “anti-vax” shitheads, for the sole reason that the proliferation of these gibberings does active harm to the human race—by providing vectors for harmful diseases such as, for example, the measles, currently doing its thing in a California populace left exposed by gaps willfully blasted into herd immunity by the state’s many affluent anti-vax morons. And so it is that a psychotic clownfraud like Jack Wolfson must be treated with more seriousness than the sad raving crazy person wearing a sandwich board in your local city intersection: Wolfson, unlike that feverish, bad-smelling outcast, is an actual danger to the public.

The first point that must be made, as the Post points out, is that Wolfson is neither an infectious disease specialist, nor an epidemiologist, nor a practitioner of any other branch of medicine that would give him more insight into the efficacy of vaccines than the unanimous body of credible scientific and medical authorities who have disproven every goddamn letter of every claim made by anti-vaxxers. He is a trained cardiologist. He has as much to say about vaccination as a proctologist does about macular degeneration. Not that this makes too much of a difference, mind you—he could be King Of Virus Doctors, and if he was saying shit like this, he’d still belong in a fucking circus, or a jail cell, or an inpatient mental health facility:

He said viruses — not vaccines — are a part of the natural world. “Unfortunately, they mean that some people get sick and some people die,” he said. “But the reality is that we can’t inject our children with chemicals.”

Yeah, “chemicals” is a good place to draw the line, when it comes to what we will or won’t put into our kids. I mean, sure, they’ll die in about three minutes from suffocation, but at least they won’t get any of those spooky chemicals like oxygen and nitrogen inside their pure little bodies, which are made up entirely of chemicals.

Oh, but maybe he means spooky non-nature chemicals. Good thing literally none of those exist or will ever exist.

Let’s play a fun game, here. Let’s pretend he was talking about any other harmful part of the natural world, rather than viruses. Here.

He said hurricanes — not storm shelters — are a part of the natural world. “Unfortunately, they mean that some people get injured and some people die,” he said. “But the reality is that we can’t stick our children in enclosed spaces.”

He said parasites — not sanitation — are a part of the natural world. “Unfortunately, they mean that some people get worms and some people die,” he said. “But the reality is that we can’t wash our children’s hands with soap.”

He said bear attacks — not walls — are a part of the natural world. “Unfortunately, they mean that some people get mauled and some people die,” he said. “But the reality is that we can’t obstruct our children’s view of nature.”

He said terminal ignorance — not the preservation of knowledge for future generations — is a part of the natural world. “Unfortunately, this means that some people eat poisonous plants and some people die,” he said. “But the reality is that we can’t teach our children the stuff we’ve figured out.”

Lightning. Subzero temperatures. Food poisoning. Poison ivy. Dangerous creeps who want to steal little kids away from their families and do vile shit to them. All parts of “the natural world” from which reasonable people protect their children, via reasonable applications of the knowledge and technology we’ve developed in all the millennia since the perilous shit-smeared Paleolithic Age this moral dwarf and his batshit compatriots point to as an imaginary purer time while withholding harmless and beneficial medicine from their goddamn children. Does Jack Wolfson shit in the woods? Endurance-hunt bison across the fucking plains? Medicate myocardial infarctions with the judicious application of chanting and human sacrifice?

No. Of course he does not. And so a very stupid person might be tempted to conclude that Dr. Wolfson’s selective adoption of modern practices is a sign of rigor, of an admirable skepticism, if not for the fact that vaccination might well be the most unambiguously good thing human beings ever came up with.

Amid this outbreak, Wolfson actively urges people to avoid vaccines. “We should be getting measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, these are the rights of our children to get it,” he told the Arizona Republic. “We do not need to inject chemicals into ourselves and into our children in order to boost our immune system.” He added: “I’m a big fan of what’s called paleo-nutrition, so our children eat foods that our ancestors have been eating for millions of years … That’s the best way to protect.”

I mean … not to point out the obvious, here, but that shit didn’t work the first time, buddy. That’s why people invented vaccines. Imagine if some very dumb and mentally ill person said that the best way to cure epidemic diseases in our communities was to identify, kill, and eat the member of the rival tribe responsible for casting witchcraft upon us, the way that our Paleolithic ancestors did. That would be no less a ludicrous, flatly incorrect thing to say, whether the person saying it was a cardiologist, a hare-brained former MTV VJ, or a sweaty flower-child with dilated pupils accosting you on your way out of the subway station.

(Incidentally, as a concept, fetishizing the lifestyles of the Paleolithic Age as an ideal for modern humans involves actively pretending that the constant, desperate drive to develop technology and medicine that would render the lifestyles of the Paleolithic Age obsolete was not the defining feature of the lifestyles of the Paleolithic Age. If you want to live like a fucking cave-person, the best place to start is by adopting a frantic all-consuming desire to become a modern non-cave-person. It’s literally the only reason why cave-persons survived cave-personhood. The only thing they were good at was recognizing that Paleolithic lifestyles were awful.)

When some nitwit celebrity withholds vaccines from his or her children, that is its own brand of dereliction, from the responsibilities of a worth-a-shit parent and from those of a member of society who has benefited from public health practice. It puts that celebrity’s children at risk, and also weakens the communal net of immunity that protects those who don’t have access to vaccines from exposure to communicable diseases. Jack Wolfson’s medical certifications, in the context of a disgracefully under-educated culture accustomed to treating the “Dr.” honorific as a badge of expertise in all medical matters, compound the dereliction. He is in a position to mislead, meaningfully and harmfully, even certain people who might be smart enough not to take medical advice from Jay Cutler and his criminally derelict idiot of a wife.

Whipping out the tenets of the Hippocratic oath is the “Oh, you can make stats prove anything” of layperson discussions of medical controversies. Even so: Willfully and publicly disseminating public-health-imperiling pseudoscientific quackery, behind the imprimatur of doctorly credentials, is as unambiguous a violation of the promise to abstain from doing harm as if this toxic insane person were going around hocking flu-mucous onto grade-school cafeteria lunches. That disgraced and cosmically undermined “Dr.” in front of his name transforms Jack Wolfson’s stupid opinions into potent societal poison.

The ongoing measles outbreak—84 confirmed infections so far, in 14 states—is proof of it, and it shouldn’t just jeopardize the credentials this pied piper uses to lend gravity to his insane, irresponsible pronouncements; it should jeopardize his access to his fellow humans. Jack Wolfson is fucking evil. To the extent that any kids ever have been exposed to inoculable disease because their parents followed his medical advice against vaccination, he belongs in prison.

Vaccinate your goddamn children.

[WaPo]

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty

View the original here: 

Hey, Get A Load Of This Evil Doctor

Summer's poisonous plants

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ST. PATRICK’S COUNTY PARK Don’t let nature’s beauty be spoiled by pesky plants. Poison Ivy can grow in both wooded and sunny conditions. In fact, it can grow just about anywhere except wetlands.

Not everyone has a reaction to Poison Ivy, but that can change over time. The oil within the plant is what causes the irritation.

“It depends how much exposure you have with the oil in the leaves,” said Evie Kirkwood, the Director of St. Joseph County Parks.

“Most people get a little bit of a rash, blisters, redness. And it’s really unpleasant especially as the temperatures get hotter and our reaction gets more irritated.”

Poison Ivy can grow on the ground or as a vine on a tree. When it’s in vine form, it’s identifiable because of the hairy stem, which grows thicker as it ages.

The plant can also be spotted by noticing the shape of the leaves. It grows with three leaflets that are somewhat jagged around the ages.

“Usually the left pointing and right pointing leaflets have little ‘thumbs’ pointing to the outside,” said Kirkwood.

“And the middle leaflet has almost like two ‘thumbs,’ like a mitten with two thumbs.”

The good news, there are home remedies that will treat most Poison Ivy outbreaks.

Dr. Rob Riley, of Memorial Family Medicine, says most people struggle with itching.

“A lot of times people will get reasonable relief with cool compresses with a little baking soda in it. Or they can take over the counter medications that contain antihistamines, things like Benadryl and its cousins will often times help reduce the itching.”

Poison Ivy is often confused with plants that don’t cause allergic reactions, like Virginia Creeper and Jack in the Pulpit. Both plants thrive in similar environments as Poison Ivy, so they often grow near each other.

Click here for more information about Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.

Read More: 

Summer's poisonous plants

Summer's poisonous plants

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ST. PATRICK’S COUNTY PARK Don’t let nature’s beauty be spoiled by pesky plants. Poison Ivy can grow in both wooded and sunny conditions. In fact, it can grow just about anywhere except wetlands.

Not everyone has a reaction to Poison Ivy, but that can change over time. The oil within the plant is what causes the irritation.

“It depends how much exposure you have with the oil in the leaves,” said Evie Kirkwood, the Director of St. Joseph County Parks.

“Most people get a little bit of a rash, blisters, redness. And it’s really unpleasant especially as the temperatures get hotter and our reaction gets more irritated.”

Poison Ivy can grow on the ground or as a vine on a tree. When it’s in vine form, it’s identifiable because of the hairy stem, which grows thicker as it ages.

The plant can also be spotted by noticing the shape of the leaves. It grows with three leaflets that are somewhat jagged around the ages.

“Usually the left pointing and right pointing leaflets have little ‘thumbs’ pointing to the outside,” said Kirkwood.

“And the middle leaflet has almost like two ‘thumbs,’ like a mitten with two thumbs.”

The good news, there are home remedies that will treat most Poison Ivy outbreaks.

Dr. Rob Riley, of Memorial Family Medicine, says most people struggle with itching.

“A lot of times people will get reasonable relief with cool compresses with a little baking soda in it. Or they can take over the counter medications that contain antihistamines, things like Benadryl and its cousins will often times help reduce the itching.”

Poison Ivy is often confused with plants that don’t cause allergic reactions, like Virginia Creeper and Jack in the Pulpit. Both plants thrive in similar environments as Poison Ivy, so they often grow near each other.

Click here for more information about Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.

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Summer's poisonous plants

Soothing Facts About Poison Ivy Treatment

With summer upon us, parents are itching to ask me questions about poison ivy, and I certainly want to leave no leaf unturned when it comes to providing information on this common problem.
First the motto: “Leaves of three let them be.” It’s quite true. Especially the “let them be” part: It is only when poison ivy’s leaves, roots, stems, or twigs are damaged or torn that the oil from this plant is released. Poison ivy oil causes an allergic reaction in 70 percent of the population, usually within four hours to four days of exposure. As most of us know, red, itchy patches or blisters appear wherever the oil has touched the skin.

Thus the name of the game is to wash your child thoroughly with soap and water as soon as you suspect they have been exposed to poison ivy. A shower or hosing down is far better than a washcloth, which can spread those oils further onto your child’s body.

And don’t just wash your child. Wash any clothes, shoes, toys, and garden tools that have been exposed – even the towel used after your child’s shower. Unless you wash everything, the poison ivy oil can still make contact with your child and even you. In addition, the family pet might be carrying the oil home from the woods, so if it’s been out and about in the woods during the day, it might need a good hosing down as well.

Once the oil has been removed, your child is no longer contagious. Even if blisters with fluid form, those blisters do not contain the oil, and thus are not contagious –even if they look like they should be. Scratching will not make the rash spread, but it can lead to infection.

Poison ivy treatment is directed at helping reduce the rash’s itch and ease the suffering, while allowing the allergic reaction to diminish and eventually stop.  Cool compresses with drying agents such as in calamine lotion or brown laundry soap or oatmeal baths will sooth the itch. 

An oral antihistamine medication available over the counter may also help relieve the itching. If the rash involves the eyes or spreads all over the body, then contact your child’s physician to see if a brief course of steroids may be needed to decrease inflammation. If the rash is getting worse despite the home treatments I have recommended, or the skin looks infected with pain, warmth, swelling or pus, please contact or recontact your child’s doctor. They can determine if further treatment with an antibiotic is needed if the rash has become infected. 

Hopefully tips like this will do more than scratch the surface of your child’s skin when it comes to dealing with poison ivy.

Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. You can also catch “First with Kids” weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and WPTZ Channel 5, or visit the First with Kids video archives at www.FletcherAllen.org/firstwithkids.

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Soothing Facts About Poison Ivy Treatment

Health talk: Poison ivy dermatitis

It’s that time of year again when patient’s start clamoring for steroids to treat their poison ivy.

However, oral corticosteroids are not always appropriate for treating poison ivy dermatitis. Oral corticosteroids have significant side effects that can change your mood, increase your appetite and disrupt your sleep, as well as affect the metabolic processes in your body. If dosed incorrectly or taken for too short an interval, it can result in a “steroid flare” with the poison ivy dermatitis returning worse than it was originally.

Learn how to identify poison ivy and avoid it. It typically has clusters of three leaves, color can range from green to red, and it grows as vines, single stalks or shrubs. A Google search will provide images to improve your identification skills.

If you know you are going to be exposed to poison ivy, wear long clothing, although the resin from these plants can soak through clothes and come in contact with skin. Heavy duty vinyl gloves are the best option to avoid exposure.

After possible exposure wash all of your clothes (don’t forget your footwear) and clean any tools that may have been exposed to the resin with detergent. The resin can remain on objects for days and each time you contact it, you re-expose yourself to the allergen. Shower and wash with a mild detergent, such as Dial dishwashing detergent — we keep a bar of FELS-NAPTHA laundry soap in the shower and use it after any possible contact with these plants (commercial products are available but are more expensive).

The resin from poison ivy is highly allergenic. It typically takes 12-96 hours to develop a rash, with symptoms peaking between one and 14 days after exposure. Symptoms are redness and intense itching with development of raised bumps and vesicles, often in a linear pattern. The time to develop a rash and the severity of the rash depends on how much resin you were exposed to and the thickness of your skin. This is why people often think the rash is “spreading.” However, the liquid from the vesicles does not spread the rash, and it cannot be spread to someone else. You can continue to re-expose yourself if something has the resin on it, such as your clothes, garden tools or even your pets.

Treat symptoms with cool baths and calamine lotion. Popping blisters can be treated with Burrow’s solution. Contact your physician if you are concerned about secondary bacterial infection, or if the rash is severe, involves your face or genitals or if you do not improve after 2-3 weeks.

Medical treatment with high dose topical corticosteroids can relieve symptoms and shorten the course of the reaction. Oral corticosteroids may be prescribed if the rash is severe covering a significant portion of the body or if it is on the face or genitals. Once again, corticosteroids — topical and oral — can have significant side effects and are often only used in severe situation, so let’s try to prevent “the poison” this summer and avoid side effects of treatment.

Dr. Lara Kauffman is a board certified family physician at Carlisle Family Care. She graduated from Penn State College of Medicine in 2005 and has been practicing in Central Pennsylvania for the past five years.

Kauffman is one of five Carlisle Regional Medical Center staffers contributing to the weekly Health Talk column, to appear in The Sentinel every Sunday.

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Health talk: Poison ivy dermatitis

Poison Ivy An old enemy lies in wait for the unsuspecting

Poison ivy is out in full force, and will be hanging around until a hard frost sends it away.

“Every five years or so, I get poison ivy,” said gardening expert Margaret Hagen of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. “It usually takes me four to six weeks to get rid of it. It’s awful, so I try hard not to get it.”

Exposure to urushiol, an oil produced by the plant and found in its leaves and stems, causes an allergic reaction — the itchy rash. Some people have reactions so severe they need medical attention or even hospitalization.

There are three types of poison ivy common to the Granite State, according to Helaine Hughes, owner of The Poison Ivy Removal Company in Greenfield. There’s the Eastern climbing variety that can take over trees and power lines, Western ivy that grows like a shrub, and Rydberg’s, a creeping variety of poison ivy.

“The biggest problem that people have is they don’t know how to identify poison ivy,” Hughes said.

In the spring, the three-leaved plant is reddish-green and shiny. In the summer, it becomes a dull, matte green almost like poinsettia leaves, Hughes said. And in the fall, poison ivy takes on the quintessential fall colors, turning brilliant red, orange and gold.

Poison ivy thrives in the edges between two landscapes, according to Hagen. The space between a forest and a field, the border between a garden and a lawn, or banks of a riverbed on the side of the road are all prime locations.

“For some reason, poison ivy likes edges,” Hagen said.

The plant spreads through underground runners, said Hughes, but also with the help of birds who eat the seeds from poison ivy berries in the fall and drop them into stone walls or garden beds or into rivers, where they travel downstream and take root.

Getting rid of it

Getting rid of poison ivy is a chore, said Hagen, because the plant is hardy, will grow in just about any conditions, and is invasive. With a small infestation, she recommends going after the plant and its roots with loppers and applying weed and brush killer to the open cut on the stem. Larger patches can be fought back with some persistence and some Roundup or an organic acid-based herbicide — both of which come with drawbacks and controversy.

What Hughes does to remove poison ivy from her clients’ properties is to go after the plant at the roots. Dressed in Tyvek suits with thick rubber gloves taped at the wrist, and overshoes, Hughes and her all-female team seek out the poison ivy and follow it to where it began, yanking it out and depositing it in black plastic bags that will then be hauled to the dump.

Persistence is necessary because it can keep coming back if people aren’t watching for it.

“Poison ivy thrives when people aren’t paying attention,” said Hagen.

When it comes to disposing of poison ivy, the most important rule is to never, ever burn it, said Hagen. When burned, the oil from the plant becomes airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, causing an internal case of poison ivy that could require hospitalization.

It’s also unwise to put poison ivy into a compost heap; anywhere it’s thrown, it can take root and grow anew. The best advice Hagen and Hughes offer is to bag it and bring it to the dump, being careful not to get the oil on the outside of the bag.

Precautionary measures

Hughes and her employees are all susceptible to poison ivy, so they use extreme measures to ensure the urushiol oil doesn’t contaminate their equipment, vehicles or skin.

After handling the ivy, Hughes and company carefully strip off their protective clothing and throw it away, and then scrub with Tecnu, a product that binds to the oil and prevents it from being absorbed into the skin.

“We follow the 15-minute rule,” said Hughes. “You’ve got to get the oil off of you in 15 minutes or less if you’re going to avoid getting the rash. And it’s less than that for people with sensitive skin.”

Using cold water, not hot, is best for washing the oil off the skin, said Dr. Christine Doherty of Balance Point Natural Medicine in Milford. Hot water can open the pores of the skin, allowing the oil to get in.

Another product that helps is Ivyblock, said Doherty. It creates a barrier and keeps the oil from being absorbed into the skin.

Anything that comes in contact with the oil should be washed immediately after exposure — including clothing, shoes, and especially pets, who can track the oil around the house. Unless it’s exposed to rain or some sort of solvent like rubbing alcohol, urushiol can hang around for years, Hughes said.

nfoster@newstote.com

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Poison Ivy An old enemy lies in wait for the unsuspecting

What's Going Around

Physician Assistant Dan Moore at McLaren Greater Lansing Internal Medicine in Lansing is treating poison ivy this week.

Symptoms include:
–Itchy, red, raised rash that appears in lines or streaks
–Blisters that break open and ooze clear fluid
–Localized swelling
–Feeling of warmth at the exposed area

Most poison ivy cases can be treated at home.

It’s a common misconception that poison ivy is contagious. The rash itself isn’t contagious, but the spreading of the plant oil is. That’s why it’s important to wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water. Clothes should also be washed.

Take an oral antihistamine and apply topical hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion. Cool compresses can help, too.

See a doctor if there’s swelling around the face, mouth, neck or eyes. You should also see a doctor if the rash is infected, or appears all over your body.

Moore is also seeing patients with allergies.

Symptoms include:
–Runny nose
–Watery eyes
–Sneezing
–Coughing
–Itchy eyes and nose
–Dark circles under the eyes

Avoid allergens by staying indoors on dry, windy days. Use eye drops and cool compresses, and take antihistamines.

If you have asthma, stick to your prescribed treatment regimen.

Allergies can lead to sinus infections.

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What's Going Around

Lethal Lips: Study Highlights Toxic Content Of Lipstick

Lethal Lips: Study Highlights Toxic Content Of Lipstick

May 2, 2013

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Known for her lethal lips, Batman villainess Poison Ivy might appreciate a new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley who found dangerous levels of lead, chromium and other metals in a number of commonly sold lipsticks.

Previous research, including a 2011 FDA study, has found toxic metals in commercial lipsticks, but the UC Berkeley team has specifically studied how long-term exposure to various concentrations of these metals relates to current health guidelines.

“Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter,” said lead author S. Katharine Hammond, a professor of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley. “Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term.”

The researchers say that the detrimental effects of these cosmetics depend on how often and how much of the product is applied. According to the study, which appeared in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the average user applies lipstick 2.3 times a day and ingests about 24 milligrams of the product. A heavy user goes through as many as 14 applications per day and ingests an average of 83 milligrams, the study said.

Average lipstick users, as determined by this study, already expose themselves to excessive amounts of chromium, which has been linked to stomach cancer. Heavy users of these products may also be overexposed to aluminum, cadmium and manganese, the study warned. Of these metals, manganese has been connected to toxicity in the nervous system.

“Lead is not the metal of most concern,” Hammond told USA Today.

She noted that the heavy metal is found in 24 of the products, but at levels considered to be safe for adults. However, exposing children to any amount of lead is considered unsafe.

“I believe that the FDA should pay attention to this,” said lead author Sa Liu, a UC Berkeley environmental health sciences researcher. “Our study was small, using lip products that had been identified by young Asian women in Oakland, Calif. But, the lipsticks and lip glosses in our study are common brands available in stores everywhere.”

In their conclusion, the authors said that tossing out these products may be premature, but the findings do demonstrate a need for more supervision by health regulators. There are currently no federal standards for metal content in cosmetics. The European Union considers cadmium, chromium and lead to be unacceptable ingredients in cosmetic products.

“Based upon our findings, a larger, more thorough survey of lip products – and cosmetics in general – is warranted,” Liu added.

In response to the study’s findings, Personal Care Products Council spokesperson Linda Loretz said finding trace amounts of metals in cosmetics needs to be put into a larger context.

“Food is a primary source for many of these naturally present metals, and exposure from lip products is minimal in comparison,” Loretz said in a statement.

She added that the trace amounts of chromium or cadmium found in the Berkeley study are less than 1 percent of the exposure people get in a typical diet.

Source: Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online


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Lethal Lips: Study Highlights Toxic Content Of Lipstick

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