Daily Archives: January 26, 2012

Thursday was coldest day of the year globally since 2002

merrittnews.net | Jan 24, 2012

Bitter cold winter weather broke some records last week in Merritt and around the world.

The thermometer’s Jan. 18 reading of a high of -21 degrees in Merritt was the coldest Jan. 18 since Environment Canada began recording temperatures in 1968. An arctic front plunged the Nicola Valley and much of the province into a deep freeze last week, with Environment Canada issuing extreme wind chill alerts that brought temperatures down between -35 and -45.

The following day, Jan. 19, the AMSU satellite of 251.858K recorded the coldest day of the year globally since 2002, based on the daily global average temperature.

Things warmed up considerably in the valley by the weekend with temperatures hovering just below and above zero.

Environment Canada forecasts mild temperatures throughout the week and this weekend with highs and lows between -5 and 7 degrees.

Hongkong shivered through coldest Lunar New Year holiday in 16 years

Fortune favors the brave in big chill

merrittnews.net | Jan 26, 2012

by Kenneth Foo

Hongkongers shivered through the coldest Lunar New Year holiday in 16 years, with the mercury plunging to seven degrees Celsius in urban areas yesterday and going under three degrees in Ngong Ping on Lantau.

The third day of the Year of the Water Dragon brought frost to high places in the Northern New Territories and a chilling 5.6 degrees outdoors for residents.

The Hong Kong Observatory said it was the coldest Lunar New Year holiday since 1996 and that the cold snap will continue for a few days, though it will be slightly warmer at the weekend.

Hong Kong Union Hospital said 13 people were admitted to its accident and emergency ward with hypothermia over the past two days.

The Home Affairs Department opened temporary shelters throughout the territory last night.

But the cold snap failed to stop thousands of worshippers from flocking to Che Kung temple in Sha Tin in search of luck, fortune and blessings.

Businessman Ronnie Loh Kim-sum was one of them, taking his wife and three children along.

“Year after year, I come to pray for my family’s health as no amount of money or power can buy you good health,” said Loh.

Teacher Amy Ko Kin-yam said she prayed for the recovery of her father, who suffered a stroke last year and is bedridden.

Most worshippers stuck to plan – drawing fortune sticks carrying inscribed numbers, a traditional Taoist practice that is said to predict one’s fortune in the year ahead.

Property agent Lee Soon-fai was told he would have a
“sudden windfall” shortly after his 36th birthday this year.

On Tuesday, Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat drew, on behalf of the people of Hong Kong, “average” stick number 29.

A fortune stick reader said Hong Kong faces problems in the year ahead, but if they are resolved, the rewards can be great.

Renowned fortune-teller James Lee Shing-chak said the stick indicates Hong Kong will see a lot of falsehood and gossip this year.

Meanwhile, many vendors at the Che Kung Festival Fair said the many patches of drizzle and biting cold hit profits, forcing business down by 20 to 30 percent and sending many of them home early.

CDC: “Morgellons Disease is all in your head”

CDC Releases Results Of Morgellons Disease Investigation

CBS | Jan 26, 2012

Morgellons Disease images from the Charles E. Holman Foundation http://www.thecehf.org (click photo to see a graphic zoom into Morgellons fibers)

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Five years ago, CBS 11 News began investigating a bizarre medical condition known as Morgellons Disease. Those who claim to have it describe unusual symptoms like strange fibers poking through their skin. But, the question all along has been is it real, or is it just in the patient’s mind?

In 2008, CBS 11 was the first to report that the Centers For Disease Control would be launching its own investigation to determine if Morgellons was in fact a new and real disease. (Click here to read the CDC Morgellons press release.) Now, the agency is making its findings public in this report. But, it may not be what patients hoped to hear.

Related

I feel the itchy and the creepy crawly,” said Cindy Casey when we first met her in 2007. “It’s been extremely disfiguring… every part of my body, hands, legs, arms, and back.”

Casey has been dealing with effects of a mysterious illness for more than a decade.

“I don’t escape it for one moment of the day,” she said. “I’m constantly aware of it.”

She’s one of thousands around the country who claim to have the condition known as Morgellons Disease. Symptoms include lesions, and the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin. But, the most unusual of all the symptoms are tiny fibers that patients say literally grow out of their skin.

“It’s miserable,” Casey said. “It feels like splinters, like you have splinters coming out all over.”

Casey and many other patients have been turned away from numerous doctors who tell them it’s all in their head.

“He basically told me I was delusional,” said another patient. “Delusional Parasitosis is the common diagnosis.”

In January 2008, patients saw hope when the CDC announced it was launching an investigation to determine if Morgellons was indeed a newfound infectious disease.

“We believe that the suffering many people associate with this condition is best addressed by a careful objective scientific analysis,” Dr. Michele Pearson, with the CDC, explained during a 2008 conference call to announce the study.

Four years later, that study is complete, and CBS 11 obtained a copy. Inside, the CDC concludes that “no…infectious source was identified.”

Click here to read the entire CDC Morgellons study

As for the fibers found on the patients in the study, the CDC says those fibers were “consistent with skin fragments or materials such as cotton.”

But, the CDC stops short of saying the condition is all in the patient’s mind. The study says they were “unable to conclude whether this unexplained dermopathy represents a new condition, or a wider recognition of an existing condition such as delusional infestation.”

Doctors Rhonda Casey and Randy Wymore – who research Morgellons at Oklahoma State University and believe it’s a real condition – say while the study doesn’t offer much hope for those suffering, it did not exactly shut the door all together.

“Morgellons is real,” said Dr. Casey. “We know it’s real. What they decided is these patients don’t have this thing we’ve looked at.”

“If this was a delusional disorder and their study proved that, they would’ve said it,” said Dr. Wymore.

We also spoke to Cindy Casey – the North Texas patient – about the findings. She said she’s thankful the CDC made some kind of effort, but doesn’t believe it was a fair study.

Click here to read Cindy’s full response to the CDC findings

While the CDC’s investigation came to a conclusion about the fibers, it did not determine what was causing the lesions on the patient’s bodies. CBS 11 asked if the CDC was planning any further studies, but a spokesperson said further CDC involvement was unnecessary.

.   .   .

Response from Cindy Casey, Morgellons patient and founder of the Charles E. Holman Foundation:

First and foremost, I want to thank the CDC for making a very preliminary effort to investigate this emerging infectious disease that should be of great concern to everybody worldwide.

The study is flawed from the very beginning in the method of patient selections. Only one of these patients was familiar to me and was known to have the symptoms and manifestations we identify as Morgellons Disease.

Sadly, that patient is now deceased. The CDC was strongly resistant to any dialogue with those of us who offered to provide information on what we describe as manifestations of Morgellons Disease.

The CDC describes purulent drainage and associated with the lesions which were investigated in the study. I have seen thousands of Morgellons lesions and one remarkable finding is that Morgellons lesions are never purulent and rarely ever is a Morgellons patient found to have any signs of infection within or surrounding the lesion. It appears that the patients selected by the CDC for this study were not patients who exhibited the characteristic symptoms that we know to be consistent with Morgellons.

It is unfortunate for all that valuable resources were used rather recklessly and no advancement was made in the understanding of this unique pathological condition. In the absence of and resistance to any dialogue or collaboration, the CDC has unfortunately chosen the wrong patient population to study. Thus the results lend no further insight into this mysterious condition.

Delusional Parasitosis and neurotic excoriations are conditions that could easily be mistaken for Morgellons, especially if the investigators are unfamiliar with what we have found to be consistent with Morgellons.

Science is a moving target, and as new scientific information emerges the views of scientists will shift. We are at the very beginning of the Morgellons saga in terms of scientific investigation, and people need to keep an open mind about a disease that is disfiguring, disabling, poorly understood and very frightening. As more physicians and researchers are becoming actively involved with the condition WE identify as Morgellons, science will be forthcoming and a better understanding of the etiology will be determined.

The Charles E. Holman Foundation will be holding our annual conference in Austin, TX on March 24th and 25th of 2012. A lot of new information will be presented by Morgellons researchers. This year we have some interesting new speakers. Dermatologist Peter Mayne will discuss a structured dermatological approach to Morgellons Disease. Microbiologist Marianne Middelveen will discuss her findings from examining the evidence under light microscopy. The conference is geared primarily toward medical professionals but everyone is invited to attend. For more information on our upcoming conference, please visit our website at www.thecehf.org