Sunday has to be the biggest brunch day of the week, so it is only fitting that our lead story looks at the many (delicious and nutritious) uses of maple syrup. We also look at Dengue fever in Brazil, missteps in the U.S. fight against Ebola, and other stories you may have missed.
Once you’re updated, get out there and enjoy the rest of your weekend and the beautiful weather! Have a great week!
It seems like we look at growing antibiotic resistance every week here at Pandora Report. This week, researchers at McGill University in Montreal reported that a “concentrated extract of maple syrup makes disease-causing bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics.” This finding suggests that combining the extract with antibiotics could increase their effectiveness and lead to lower antibiotic usage overall. Honestly, is there anything maple syrup can’t make better?!
Infection Control Today—“‘We would have to do in vivo tests, and eventually clinical trials, before we can say what the effect would be in humans,” [Professor Nathalie] Tufenkji says. “But the findings suggest a potentially simple and effective approach for reducing antibiotic usage. I could see maple syrup extract being incorporated eventually, for example, into the capsules of antibiotics.’”
Brazilian soccer teams are on high alert because of a dengue fever outbreak that has already affected some of the country’s top teams. This week three players were diagnosed with the mosquito borne disease, which normally takes about two weeks to recover from. Players have been forced to use insect repellent during games and practices and health officials have been asked to check fields and training centers for mosquito breeding sites.
USA Today—“Cases of dengue fever have increased significantly across Brazil this year, with most of them reported in Sao Paulo state. Brazil’s health ministry said there have been more than 460,000 cases of the disease in the country in 2015, which accounts for almost 5,000 cases a day. More than 130 people have died so far this year, the ministry said.”
After spending hundreds of millions of dollars and deploying 3,000 U.S. troops to build Ebola treatment centers (E.T.C.) in Liberia, the facilities have largely sat empty. Only 28 Ebola patients have been treated at the 11 E.T.C.s built by the U.S. military. Nine of the centers never had a single Ebola patient. Looking back, the emphasis on building E.T.C.s had far less of an impact than the “inexpensive, nimble measures taken by residents to halt the outbreak.”
The New York Times—“Had the Americans and other donors been more flexible, critics and some officials contend, the money could have been put toward rebuilding Liberia’s shattered health care system—or backing the efforts of local communities—instead of focusing on treatment centers that would scarcely be used.”
Stories You May Have Missed
- Can’t get enough of pandemic TV shows? You’re in luck! Fox is working on a new drama series centered on a global flu pandemic.
- There is currently a bill stalled in the California state legislature that would require children who are unvaccinated due to ‘personal beliefs exemptions’ to be homeschooled. Children who are medically unable to receive vaccines would still be allowed to attend public school.
- Speaking of California, the Coachella music festival wraps up this weekend. Experts warn that this and similar outdoor festivals are breeding grounds for viral and bacterial infections. Be smart out there!
- This week, the World Bank unveiled a $650 million recovery assistance plan for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The African Development Bank also pledged $300 million in the recovery efforts.
- An interesting study was released this week looks at rates of tuberculosis in Norway from 1997-2011. The results indicate that approximately 90% of new TB cases were diagnosed in asylum seekers and other immigrants. This underscores the importance of disease surveillance worldwide, not just were diseases are endemic.
- A class of Ohio 11th graders wrote thank you letters to Ebola fighters in West Africa and the students got some enlightening responses from those on the front lines. If you’re a softie like me, you may need to grab a tissue!
Image Credit: Dvortygirl