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January 1, Public Health Emergency Looms Amid Supply Shortage



In the great land of opportunity, one would never expect to face a shortage of fundamental treatments for one of the oldest known sexually transmitted diseases: syphilis.

Yet, here we are, with healthcare providers across states from Michigan to Texas rationing out penicillin G benzathine, the frontline defense against syphilis, due to supply constraints.

These are the times that test the strength of our nation’s public health system and its capacity to respond to crises.

As per Bloomberg’s report, syphilis cases have surged to alarming levels, causing the federal government to consider the announcement of a public health emergency.

The numbers are hard to ignore. In 2021, there was a 32% jump in reported cases of syphilis, with rates being the highest since the early ’90s.

The ‘Remarkable Shortage’

“This is a remarkable shortage,” commented Joseph Cherabie, an esteemed assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis’s medical school.

He mentioned the daunting task of having to prioritize treatments, saving the best for pregnant patients.

The risk with syphilis is not just to the patient but also to unborn children, with congenital syphilis, passed from mother to fetus, witnessing an alarming spike of 32% in cases from the previous year.

Looming Questions on Drug Shortages

The question on the mind of the common American is: how did we get here?

Drug shortages are nothing new to the U.S. market. In recent times, the nation has seen shortages in medicines ranging from antibiotics to ADHD treatments.

However, the origins of these supply challenges often go unnoticed.

A combination of under-investment in manufacturing and unanticipated changes in demand has created the perfect storm.

For example, a shortage of a common antibiotic for strep throat led to an increased demand for penicillin.

With Pfizer Inc. being the sole producer of penicillin G benzathine for the U.S., this unexpected surge in demand for a syphilis treatment and the alternative antibiotic for strep throat put a heavy burden on their supply lines.

Addressing the Broader STD Problem

Beyond syphilis, the larger concern is the noticeable increase in sexually transmitted diseases in recent years.

Ironically, while the rate of HIV cases has seen a decline, possibly due to the efficacy of modern treatments, other STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea have found a foothold.

An unanticipated consequence of the HIV drug’s success seems to be a decrease in condom use. This complacency has made many vulnerable to a whole range of STDs.

Moreover, state and local health departments, which shoulder the heavy responsibility of STD prevention, have faced cuts in resources and staff.

These institutions were further strained with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing away the already limited resources.

Bottom Line

Our fathers and grandfathers built this nation on resilience, community, and responsibility.

This current health crisis demands a return to those values.

As the nation’s decision-makers debate the best way forward, perhaps it’s time for ordinary Americans, especially our seniors who have seen far greater challenges, to become advocates for better healthcare practices and policies.

After all, safeguarding public health is not just the duty of the government but of every responsible citizen. It’s our shared legacy and our collective future.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.



Sorry Joe! New Bill Bans Federal Mask Mandates



In a bold and decisive move, Senator J.D. Vance (R., Ohio) has introduced new legislation aimed squarely at halting the controversial federal mask mandates that have riled up countless Americans over the past few years.

Dubbed the “Freedom to Breathe Act,” this legislation will shield citizens from any future attempts by President Joe Biden or other federal agencies to impose mask requirements on public transit riders and students in schools.

Notably, if it successfully passes and gets signed into law, this protective act will stand firm until December 31, 2024.

Senator Vance, known for his direct approach, did not mince words when explaining his motivation for introducing the bill.

“We tried mask mandates once in this country. They failed to control the spread of respiratory viruses, violated basic bodily freedom, and set our fellow citizens against one another,” he stated to Fox News.

“This legislation will ensure that no federal bureaucracy, no commercial airline, and no public school can impose the misguided policies of the past.”

The proposed legislation spells trouble for federal officials who might entertain the idea of imposing face mask mandates on U.S. commercial airlines, public transit systems, or schools.

Vance’s press release details the far-reaching implications of this bill: it would block these institutions from denying service to anyone who declines to wear a mask and will also prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from setting mask requirements in the face of public health emergencies.

Furthermore, it insists on withholding federal funds on such overreaching restrictions, guaranteeing all federal agencies align with this new direction.

Seemingly anticipating potential resistance, Vance asserted, “Democrats say they’re not going to bring back mask mandates – we’re going to hold them to their word.”

However, this pivotal legislation arrives amidst mounting concerns surrounding a new coronavirus variant named EG.5. Reports from Axios highlight how this strain has caused anxiety among school boards.

Several schools have backpedaled on their previous stances, reinstating mask mandates, or considering more safety measures, including mandatory mask-wearing.

Case in point, the Rosemary Hills Elementary School in Maryland defied the county school district’s voluntary mask policy by reinstating a mask mandate after three confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The school’s approach blatantly overlooks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, leading to further confusion and consternation.

While some entities, such as Morris Brown College in Georgia and Hollywood studio Lionsgate, dabbled with temporary mask mandates, their short-lived stances were soon reversed.

Yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently urged Americans to heed the CDC’s mask suggestions, contradicting his 2020 remarks where he cast doubt on the efficacy of masks, stating they don’t offer the “perfect protection” many believe.

Bottom Line

In the face of this maelstrom, Senator Vance’s move appears as a beacon of clarity and determination, reminding all of the importance of personal freedoms and the dangers of overreach.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.


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Tech Firm Uses AI to Help Detect Diseases Early and “Reverse Biological Age”



In the continuous journey to live longer, healthier lives, the spotlight is on technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI).

This technology is now taking bigger strides in the healthcare sector.

A medical tech company in California, Prenuvo, is using full-body MRI scans combined with AI. This helps screen patients for over 500 conditions, such as tumors, cysts, and aneurysms, and all within an hour.

Now, there’s more in store. Prenuvo is joining forces with Cenegenics, a company from Las Vegas.

Cenegenics uses “personalized performance health age management,” keeping an eye on patients’ bloodwork and looking at over 90 markers. This method is believed to help slow down the aging process.

With this new partnership, Cenegenics patients can get Prenuvo’s full-body AI scans.

Andrew Lacy, Prenuvo’s CEO, expressed the shared goal of both companies: transforming healthcare from just reacting to issues to preventing them.

He believes that using both companies’ expertise will give patients a clear and early insight into their health. This way, they can make changes before health issues become serious.

The Cenegenics team is all about helping patients feel and act younger than their age. CEO Kristy Berry shared how the decisions we’ve made in our lives about food, exercise, and rest show up in our blood markers.

By focusing on proper nutrition, exercise, good sleep, supplements, and certain medicines, Cenegenics says patients can “reverse their biological age.”

Now, AI will play a bigger role in this. Berry sees AI as a useful tool that adds to Cenegenics’ years of experience. This tech can offer even deeper insights into a patient’s health.

A big part of this new partnership is early disease detection. Prenuvo’s AI aims to spot the tiny signs of disease that even trained doctors might miss.

CEO Lacy shared that their goal is to spot diseases in their early stages, hopefully even before we thought we could.

One patient, Mona, a young mom, had a feeling something wasn’t right with her health. A Prenuvo scan discovered she had thyroid cancer. Because it was caught early, she got treated and is now cancer-free.

Another, Ryan Crownholm, despite feeling healthy, found out through a Prenuvo scan that he had stage 3 kidney cancer. It was early enough for treatment, and he’s now continuing with his life cancer-free.

But as AI gets more popular, Lacy warns about its potential misuse.

He believes that while AI is promising, the focus should be on how it can detect early signs of diseases and help track a person’s health.

In healthcare, it’s vital to ensure that AI genuinely benefits patients.

Lacy stressed, “We know this will take time, so we are investing carefully in AI in innovative and scientifically based ways.”

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.


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Life-Threatening Illness On the Rise — and Doctors Don’t Know About It



Triggered by a Lone Star tick’s bite, a seldom-recognized, life-threatening food allergy known as Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS), is reportedly affecting an increasing number of people across the U.S., according to a recent warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This unique allergy, also referred to as the “red-meat allergy” or the “tick bite meat allergy,” has been a point of focus in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The Lone Star tick, predominantly found in Southeastern and Eastern states, carries the sugar molecule alpha-gal in its saliva, which, when injected into the body during a bite, can incite allergies to certain kinds of red meat (primarily pork, beef, rabbit, lamb or venison) or products derived from mammals (such as cheese, milk, other dairy products and gelatin).

The affected individuals might experience serious allergy symptoms within a few hours of eating any foods containing these allergens.

Dr. Johanna Salzer, a CDC epidemiologist and a senior author of the report, reveals that awareness of AGS within the CDC only dates back to 2008.

“We have seen an annual increase in the numbers of suspected Alpha-Gal Syndrome cases between 2010 and 2022,” Salzer shared with Fox News Digital.

The report shows that a significant 30% of 300,000 tests conducted between 2017 and 2021 were positive for AGS.

The CDC has officially recorded over 110,000 suspected cases. Yet, it is believed that the actual count could be around 450,000 people.

This discrepancy stems from a likely underdiagnosis as many patients are reluctant to get tested and a considerable number of doctors remain oblivious to the condition.

Salzer explained, “Based on our survey of 1,500 physicians and medical professionals, nearly half of them had never even heard of the syndrome. Another third of them said they have heard of it, but that they have little confidence in their ability to diagnose [it] or manage a patient [with it].”

This syndrome, Salzer reminds us, varies in presentation and geographic locations, emphasizing the importance of physicians being well-informed about this health issue.

The wide range of reactions people experience when suffering from AGS adds complexity to diagnosing and treating it.

Symptoms may include hives, itchy or scaly skin, swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing or shortness of breath, stomach pain, diarrhea, upset stomach or vomiting, as per the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Furthermore, the same person can exhibit different reactions at different times.

Dr. Scott Commins, a co-author of the CDC reports, also observed patients reporting “middle-of-the-night symptoms” such as hives, itching, and abdominal pain, along with persistent itchiness at the bite site.

Getting a diagnosis of AGS is a lengthy process, requiring antibody testing and a clinical exam.

On average, it takes a patient seven years to get diagnosed.

Accessibility to allergists, necessary for a diagnosis, poses another barrier for many people.

Once diagnosed with AGS, the condition could potentially be lifelong, although some people might experience a drop in antibody levels over time if they eliminate triggering foods from their diet.

Currently, there is no treatment or cure for AGS; however, symptoms can be managed with the help of physicians.

Despite its severity, no fatalities from Alpha-Gal Syndrome have been recorded by the CDC.

The Lone Star tick, suspected to be the primary carrier of Alpha-Gal Syndrome in the U.S., is predominantly found in the Eastern, Southeastern and South-Central states.

Salzer noted, “We’re seeing that the geographic pattern is kind of a contiguous region between the South, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic region, which follows very closely to the Lone Star tick’s established populations.”

Bottom Line

Preventive measures against tick bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks, avoiding grassy, brushy and wooded areas, and using EPA-approved insect repellent are recommended.

Salzer also advises conducting a thorough body check after returning from an area known to have ticks.

With this rising health concern, the CDC aims to increase awareness about AGS among physicians and patients.

It’s critical for physicians to accurately evaluate, diagnose and manage their patients and educate them about tick-bite prevention, said Dr. Ann Carpenter, an epidemiologist and the lead author of one of the papers released recently.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.


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