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Sobriquet 36.1: More Disease

Thursday, November 8, 2007
According to Reuters's Will Dunham, "[a] new and virulent strain of adenovirus, which frequently causes the common cold, killed 10 people in parts of the United States earlier this year and put dozens into hospitals, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."

And it gets worse. Quoth the CDC's John Su: "[w]hether you're a healthy young adult, an infant or an elderly person, this virus can cause severe respiratory disease at any age" and "[w]hat makes this particular adenovirus a little different is that it has the capability of making healthy young adults severely ill. And that's unusual for an adenovirus, and that's why it's got our attention."

Yep.

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Sobriquet 35.8: I'm Not Certain Which is More Frightening

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Bad Thing #1: On the heels of the recent flurry of stories pertaining to Naegleria fowleri, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (henceforth MRSA) has been making waves in newspapers across the country. According to a story by The Washington Post's Rob Stein, United States health officials have reported that MRSA "causes more life-threatening infections than public-health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than AIDS." In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that "[t]he microbe - a strain of a once innocuous staph bacterium that has become invulnerable to first-line antibiotics, is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year." Stein continues,

"The germ, spread by casual contact, rapidly turns minor abscesses and other skin infections into serious health problems, including painful, disfiguring "necrotizing" abscesses that eat away tissue.

The infections often can be treated by lancing and draining sores and quickly administering other antibiotics, such as Bactrim. But the microbe enters the lungs in some cases, causing unusually serious pneumonia, or spreads into bone, vital organs and the bloodstream, triggering life-threatening complications."

Bad Thing #2: The Associated Press reports that "[t]he nation's first baby boomer, a retired teacher from New Jersey, applied for Social Security benefits Monday, signaling the start of applications from the post-World War II boomer generation."

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Sobriquet 35.5: Unreal

Saturday, October 13, 2007
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA (Sobriquet Magazine) - A 28-year-old woman was convicted Wednesday of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault and child endangerment for having used her four-week-old son as a weapon in a fight with her boyfriend. According to reports, Chytoria Graham returned home on October 8 after a night of heavy alcohol consumption and began fighting with her boyfriend, DeAngelo Troop. During the course of the fight, Graham reportedly picked up the couple's infant son, Jarron, by his feet and swung him at Troop, using the boy's head as a bludgeon.

The boy has recovered from a fractured skull and currently lives with Graham's parents.

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Sobriquet 34.3: Another Reason to Avoid Spring Break

Friday, September 28, 2007
Sensationally billed as a "Brain-Eating Amoeba," Naegleria fowleri has been identified as the cause of Aaron Evans's death. According to a story appearing on KPHO-Phoenix's website, the Lake Havesu native "has become the sixth victim to die nationwide this year of a microscopic organism that attacks the body through the nasal cavity, quickly eating its way to the brain."

According to Barnett Gibbs, a doctor writing for eMedicine.com, "[e]arly diagnosis, treatment, and aggressive supportive care hold the only chance for patient survival" of primary amebic meningoencephalitis, the disease caused by N fowleri. Even so, despite having been discovered nearly fifty years ago in Australia, "[f]ew people have survived PAM, and no standard treatment regimen has been developed" for victims of the disease.

At least Jaws was visible.

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