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It Took Just 2 Weeks for One Man to Infect 3 Dozen People With This Highly-Contagious Potentially Fatal Disease

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He drove from New York City to Michigan last month, stayed in different people’s homes during his two-week trip fundraising for a charity. When he first arrived he felt ill, and sought a doctor’s care. He was diagnosed with bronchitis.

As The Washington Post reports, he didn’t have bronchitis. He had a disease so contagious “that if an unvaccinated person walks through a room up to two hours after someone” with the disease “has left, there’s a 90 percent chance the unvaccinated person will get sick.”

That disease is measles. And in the Americas it had been declared eradicated in 2016.

“During the next two weeks, the traveler would become Michigan’s Patient Zero, spreading the highly contagious respiratory virus to 39 people as he stayed in private homes, attended synagogue daily and shopped in kosher markets. His case offers a cautionary tale about how easily one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet spreads within close-knit communities — especially those whose members live, work and socialize outside the mainstream,” The Washington Post reports.

“Michigan’s Patient Zero,” as the Post calls him, “had had hundreds of contacts with community members that health officials needed to trace. He had stayed mostly in private homes in the areas of Oak Park and Southfield. He had visited synagogues three times a day to pray and study and frequented kosher markets and pizza parlors, among 30 locations in one week.”

Related: As 10 States Cope With Measles Crisis Top Trump Official’s Anti-Vaxx Wife Issues Call to ‘Bring Back’ Deadly Diseases

In the Michigan case, a “close collaboration between health officials and the religious community appears to have controlled the spread of the disease, which can cause severe complications including deafness, pneumonia, brain damage and death.”

Those who most frequently die from measles are young, often under five years of age.

“Michigan’s Patient Zero” thought he had had the measles as a child, but clearly he was mistaken.

“He put his head down and was very emotional. I could tell from the look on his face that he was devastated,” Steve McGraw, head of Oakland emergency medical services, told the Post. “He was doing the math in his head.”

At least in this case the contagion did not spread out of anti-vaccine ignorance.

There are currently 555 measles cases across 20 states, and the number is growing, up nearly 20% over the past alone, the CDC says.

And Tuesday afternoon Buzzfeed reports measles outbreaks are being called “the new normal.” You can thank “overseas epidemics and growing misinformation efforts by anti-vaccination activists.”

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CHRIS CHRISTIE TOURS VACCINE MANUFACTURER, OFFERS SUPPORT TO ANTI-VAXXERS

 

Image by Dawn via Flickr and a CC license

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

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Local Texas Cops Blocked Specialized Federal Tactical Team That Killed Shooter From Engaging for One Hour

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When a specially equipped U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, local police who were already on the scene wouldn’t allow them to engage with the shooter, The New York Times reports.

“The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known,” The Times’ report stated. “But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.”

But officials speaking to The Times say the Uvalde Police Department prevented the agents from going in sooner.

The new details further call into the question the thinking behind how law enforcement responded to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. The Border Patrol and ICE agents say they did not understand why they were force to wait. All of the 21 victims died in the area where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in.

IN OTHER NEWS: Christian summer camp ‘rebuked’ girls who reported assault and told them to ‘forgive’ assailant: report

Read the full report at The New York Times.

 

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