Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of the deadly MERS virus in the United States.

AZFamily reports:

Middle East respiratory syndrome — or MERS — first surfaced two years ago. Since then, at least 400 cases of the respiratory illness have been reported, and more than 100 people have died.

Saudi Arabia was been the center of the outbreak. All the victims have had ties to the Middle East or to someone who traveled there.

The virus has been found in camels, but officials don’t know how it is spreading to humans.

The CDC said the infected person is a healthcare worker who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana:

On April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Saudi Arabia to London, then from London to Chicago,” the CDC said. “The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana. On the 27th, the patient began to experience signs of illness, including shortness of breath and coughing. The patient went to an emergency department on April 28th. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, Indiana public health officials had him tested for MERS.

MERS is related to SARS, the virus that killed nearly 800 people in 2003. Both are caused by coronaviruses, members of a family of viruses that usually cause common cold symptoms and that infect a wide range of mammals.

The virus can survive on surfaces, and kills approximately one-third of people who show symptoms. Some people have been found to have the virus, but never develop symptoms or become ill.

Here are the symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Mucous
  • Shortness of breath
  • Malaise – a general feeling of being unwell
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea (in some cases)
  • Renal (kidney) failure

The person who brought the virus to the US traveled via airplane and bus.

It is too soon to know if the virus will spread and how many will be impacted, but just in case…are you prepared?

Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition provides the following tips:

So what can you do to be ready for a pandemic outbreak?

  • Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand.
  • Have a supply of face masks to wear around those who may be ill or exposed to the illness.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
    Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Prepare a sick room for the home to limit family member’s exposure to the virus.

To decrease the chances of the virus spreading and infecting other household members as well as members of your community, it is important that every effort be made to limit exposure to the illness.  Some considerations on how to prevent exposure to a pandemic outbreak are:

  1. Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
  2. Stay inside and avoid contact with others.
  3. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes during any pandemic.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  5. Keep your hands clean. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub or make your own natural hand sanitizer.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. If you are ill, stay indoors or keep your distance from others.
  7. Keeping your immune systems up by getting lots of sleep, having a good diet and taking antioxidants in protecting your health.

Remember, MERS is a virus and has no cure. Preventing the spread of the disease is crucial.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

 

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By FullSpectrumSurvival

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Rare Bird Flu Case May Signal Growing Pandemic Possibility — Congo Military Fights Back Violent Coup Attempt — US Authorities Ready Skies For More Drones — Bahrain Claims To Have Thwarted Terror Attack Amid Growing Discontent — Erupting Volcano Causes Thousands To Evacuate.

Links:
All Links Available at http://FullSpectrumSurvival.com

21-things-for-pandemic-survival

By Ken Jorgustin

A pandemic may incapacitate a significant portion of the population, crippling the infrastructure due to lack of manpower and possibly leaving you without utilities for the duration.

If a deadly virus were able to infect people and spread easily from person to person, an influenza pandemic (worldwide outbreak of disease) could begin. No one can predict when a pandemic might occur.

Are you ready to self-impose a quarantine for 30, 60, 90, 120 days?
 
Surviving a pandemic is simply a matter of isolating yourself from the source — OTHER INFECTED PEOPLE.

Since you won’t know who all is infected, you will need to stay away from everyone outside of your established (hopefully healthy) group within your home sphere. Therefore in order to be fully prepared, you must have the ability to hunker down in your home without the need to go out where other (potentially infected) people are present… working, or getting food and supplies, etc.

During the onset of a pandemic, most people will not fully realize the ramifications and will continue to go about their daily habitual routines… going to work, going to the grocery store, etc. exposing themselves to the potential mortal consequences of exposure.

Almost every transmissible disease has an incubation period during which the person is infected but not yet showing signs of disease. Quite often, a person can be contagious for one to several days before exhibiting symptoms.

During the unfortunate circumstance when someone within your group becomes infected, the person will have to be quarantined to avoid infecting everyone else. If you take in any new members to the group, they should also be quarantined to assure that they are not infected (many viral infections will manifest themselves within a period of 3-5 days, and most within 10-14).

Ideally the quarantine area will be a separate building from your own living quarters, such as an outbuilding, garage, empty house, or barn. If you choose to offer a room within your home, choose one vented to the outside, without ducting connecting to the rest of the house. Make sure the room has a negative pressure by leaving a window cracked, so the air flows into the room from the remainder of the house and exits through the window.

 
The following starter-list of prep items for pandemic should be considered in order to better cope with survival.

The list and ideas are in part excerpted from the LDS Preparedness Manual which offers a well rounded set of advice on survival preparedness in general.

Pandemic Survival List

5 gallons of liquid bleach per person of the household to sanitize everything

4 boxes of latex gloves (different sizes for every member of the household)

40 N95 masks for every member of the household

Antibacterial soap for meticulous hand washing

100′ roll of clear 4 mil plastic – for setting up an isolation room

Duct tape – for setting up an isolation room

HEPA filters – enough for whole house air filtration

Several boxes of Borax – for provisional toilets

25 lbs. of lime per person – for provisional toilets

50 heavy duty black garbage bags per person – for provisional toilets and garbage

100 “kitchen” bags per person – for provisional toilets and garbage

25 lbs. of kitty litter per person – for sick people’s body fluids clean up

100 rolls of toilet paper per person – for personal sanitation

20 rolls of paper towels per person

Washboard and Clothesline – for washing clothes by hand

Laundry soap – for washing clothes by hand

Good dish soap like “Dawn” or other aggressive anti-grease formula

Water filtration and purification devices

Water collection, storage and carrying containers

Water, water, and more water

Food storage that is adequate for all members living in the household

 
A good resource for more related information is CDC.gov
CDC (Flu page)
CDC (Flu maps)

 
While this is only a starter-list, feel free to add your comments regarding more tips…Modern Survival Blog

Image courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., United States

The “wonder drugs” that we have been using since the middle of the last century are rapidly losing their effectiveness, and medical authorities are warning that the emergence of very powerful antibiotic-resistant superbugs represents “one of the gravest threats in the history of medicine“.  Of course the “wonder drugs” that I am talking about are known today as antibiotics.  These drugs attack bacteria, and when they first began to be developed back in the 1950s and 1960s they were hailed as “miracles” that would save countless numbers of lives.  Well, it turns out that nature is having the last laugh.  All over the planet bacteria are developing resistance to these drugs, and scientists are warning that they can’t really do anything to stop these superbugs.  With each passing year these superbugs are gaining ground, and there appears to be not much hope on the horizon of being able to fight them.  In fact, no new classes of antibiotics have been invented since 1987, and none are being developed right now.  Meanwhile, scientists are telling us that many current antibiotic treatments will be completely obsolete by the year 2030.  Are you starting to understand why so many high profile members of the scientific community are using the words “catastrophic threat” to describe this crisis?

An article about these superbugs that appeared in the Independent the other day got a lot of attention all around the world.  That article claims that prominent British doctors are warning that these superbugs could undo “a century of medical advances”…

Drug-resistant “superbugs” represent one of the gravest threats in the history of medicine, leading experts have warned.

Routine operations could become deadly “in the very near future” as bacteria evolve to resist the drugs we use to combat them. This process could erase a century of medical advances, say government doctors in a special editorial in The Lancet health journal.

That sounds quite serious.

So what would life be like without antibiotics?

Well, before antibiotics were invented if you scraped your knee and got an infection, there was a good chance that they would cut off your leg

In the period before World War II … people that got infections, they had to cut it out. They had to cut off limbs, cut off toes, because there weren’t antibiotics. And oftentimes, when people talk about the fact that we might have to go back to a pre-antibiotic age, that’s what they mean — that a simple scrape on the playground could be fatal.

Are you ready to go back to such a time?

You might not have to wait long.  According to one very prominent doctor quoted by the Daily Mail, we have already reached the end of the age of antibiotics…

A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end.

‘For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about “The end of antibiotics, question mark?”‘ said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. ‘Well, now I would say you can change the title to “The end of antibiotics, period.”’

And all over the world the number of people becoming infected with these superbugs is rapidly growing.

In fact, right now 23,000 people a year are being killed by these superbugs in the United States alone…

More than two million people are infected by drug-resistant germs each year, and 23,000 die of their infections, federal health officials reported Monday. The biggest killer by far is C. difficile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in its first big overview of a growing problem.

Doctors have been warning of the problem for decades, yet up to half the prescriptions written for antibiotics are unnecessary, the CDC report says. And all these unneeded antibiotics are making the superbug problem worse.

Most Americans have never even heard of many of these superbugs, but they can be extremely deadly…

C. difficile has become a scourge of hospitals and infection is often made possible when patients are heavily treated with antibiotics to fight other infections. It can cause unstoppable diarrhea and the latest treatment doesn’t even involve antibiotics, but a transplant of so-called good bacteria from healthy patients.

CREs are a group of bacteria that resist even the strongest antibiotics. They include Klebsiella pneumoniae, which saw its infection rate jump 550 percent between 2001 and 2011.

“CRE is a nightmare bacteria we reported on in March, bacteria that can resist virtually all antibiotics,” Frieden said.

Gonorrhea may not be immediately life-threatening, but it’s developing resistance to the drugs that used to easily treat it. Patients can be left infertile, and, in January, Canadian researchers reported that seven percent of patients weren’t cured by the only pill left to treat gonorrhea.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Experts are warning that we could soon see millions of people a year die from these superbugs all around the globe.

So why haven’t we heard more about this?

Why is this not being widely publicized?

Some are suggesting that some of the governments of the western world are engaged in an effort to keep this under wraps.  For example, just check out what has been going on in Canada

The federal government is hobbling efforts to control antibiotic-resistant microbes by sitting on reports about bacteria that sicken and kill thousands of Canadians each year, several doctors say.

Infectious disease experts say Ottawa is treating national microbial surveillance reports like “sensitive government documents.” And the doctors are so frustrated, they are releasing the data they can obtain on their own website.

“Otherwise, it’s years before we see it on the federal website,” says Dr. Mark Joffe, president of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (AMMI), which represents physicians, clinical microbiologists and researchers.

What would the motivation be for doing this?

Are they trying to avoid panic?

Or is a more sinister motive at work here?

Ultimately, this is a crisis that is only going to get worse as time goes by.

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are rapidly spreading and becoming more powerful.

Meanwhile, scientists all over the world are telling us that there is not a thing that they can do to stop them.

The era of antibiotics has come to an end, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next. – The American Dream

Small-Farmers-GOOD-940x626_muvi5j

This would seem to embody the USDA’s advisory, “Know your farmer, know your food,” right? Not exactly.

For the USDA and its sister food regulator, the FDA, there’s a problem: many of the farmers are distributing the food via private contracts like herd shares and leasing arrangements, which fall outside the regulatory system of state and local retail licenses and inspections that govern public food sales.

In response, federal and state regulators are seeking legal sanctions against farmers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, among others. These sanctions include injunctions, fines, and even prison sentences.

Food sold by unlicensed and uninspected farmers is potentially dangerous say the regulators, since it can carry pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, leading to mild or even serious illness.

Most recently, Wisconsin’s attorney general appointed a special prosecutor to file criminal misdemeanor charges against an Amish farmer for alleged failure to have retail and dairy licenses, and the proceedings turned into a high-profile jury trial in late May that highlighted the depth of conflict: following five days of intense proceedings, the 12-person jury acquitted the farmer, Vernon Hershberger, on all the licensing charges, while convicting him of violating a 2010 holding order on his food, which he had publicly admitted.

Why are hard-working normally law-abiding farmers aligning with urban and suburban consumers to flaunt well-established food safety regulations and statutes? Why are parents, who want only the best for their children, seeking out food that regulators say could be dangerous? And, why are regulators and prosecutors feeling so threatened by this trend?

Members of these private food groups often buy from local farmers because they want food from animals that are treated humanely, allowed to roam on pasture, and not treated with antibiotics. “I really want food that is full of nutrients and the animals to be happy and content,” says Jenny DeLoney, a Madison, WI, mother of three young children who buys from Hershberger.

To these individuals, many of whom are parents, safety means not only food free of pathogens, but food free of pesticides, antibiotic residues, and excessive processing. It means food created the old-fashioned way—from animals allowed to eat grass instead of feed made from genetically modified (GMO) grains—and sold the old-fashioned way, privately by the farmer to the consumer, who is free to visit the farm and see the animals.

Many of these consumers have viewed the secretly-made videos of downer cows being prodded into slaughterhouses and chickens so crammed into coops they can barely breathe.

These consumers are clearly interpreting “safety” differently than the regulators. Some of these consumers are going further than claiming contract rights—they are pushing their towns and cities to legitimize private farmer-consumer arrangements.

In Maine, residents of ten coastal towns have approved so-called “food sovereignty” ordinances that legalize unregulated food sales; towns in other states, including Massachusetts and Vermont, and as far away as Santa Cruz, CA, have passed similar ordinances.

The new legal offensive isn’t going over well with regulators anywhere. Aside from the Hershberger action in Wisconsin, and a similar one in Minnesota, Maine’s Department of Agriculture filed suit against a two-cow farmer, Dan Brown, in one of the food-sovereignty towns, Blue Hill, seeking fines and, in effect, to invalidate all the Maine ordinances.

In April, a state court ruled against the farmer, and in effect against the towns; sentencing is due within several weeks, and the case could well be appealed.

The jury in the criminal misdemeanor case of Minnesota farmer Alvin Schlangen last September acquitted him of all charges after several hours of deliberation. But the regulators’ push against privately-distributed food continues unabated.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has moved forward with a local prosecutor in Schlangen’s rural county, pressing similar criminal charges as the ones he was acquitted of in Minneapolis. He is scheduled to go on trial again in August. And in Wisconsin, prosecutors sought, unsuccessfully, to have Vernon Hershberger jailed for allegedly violating his jail terms since charges were filed in late 2011.

At its heart, this is a struggle over a steady erosion of confidence in the integrity of our industrial food system, which has been hit by disturbing disclosures seemingly on a weekly basis. In just the last few weeks, for example, we have seen shrimp, cookies, and veggie burgers recalled by the FDA for being sold with undeclared ingredients.

Also in recent weeks, members of Congress and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have escalated warnings about the growing danger of antibiotic resistant pathogens emerging from farm animals, which consume about 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. The Atlantic reported last summer that medical specialists are seeing a spike in women with urinary tract infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, likely transmitted by chicken meat.

This erosion in the confidence of the food system carries serious implications. It financially threatens large corporations if long-established food brands come under prolonged and severe public questioning.

It threatens economic performance if foods deemed “safe” become scarcer, and thus more expensive. And it is potentially explosive politically if too many people lose confidence in the professionalism of the food regulators who are supposed to be protecting us from tainted food, and encourages folks to exit the public food system for private solutions like the consumers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, and elsewhere.

Just look at the vituperative corporate response to recent consumer-led campaigns to label foods with genetically-modified ingredients.

As more consumers become intent on making the final decisions on what foods they are going to feed themselves and their families, and regulators become just as intent on asserting what they see as their authority over inspecting and licensing all food, ugly scenarios of agitated citizens battling government authorities over access to food staples seem likely to proliferate.

It’s an unfortunate recipe for a new kind of rights movement centered on the most basic acts—what we choose to eat.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by David Gumpert of Govt Slaves

How to Prepare for Allergic Reactions When the Grid Goes Down

By P. Henry

According to the CDC the prevalence of food and skin allergies has increased at an alarming rate in children under the age of 18 from the year 1997 to 2011. Additionally, they say that Allergic conditions are the most common medical conditions affecting children in the US so it is highly likely that you will have to plan for dealing with allergies in one form or another if the grid goes down. Your plan may involve members of your own family or if you are working within a larger group, chances are that one of the members will have some level of allergic concern.

Allergic Reactions: What’s Normal, What’s Not?

Allergies are common and usually not life-threatening. But there can be cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that needs immediate medical treatment. If you aren’t able to get to medical treatment, you will need to know the difference in a normal allergic reaction and one that will require treatment. If you have a family member who has allergies you will need to take that into consideration when you are planning your family’s medical supplies and even food stores. It is great to have plenty of stored food for your family, but you will also need to take precautions that members with allergies are protected, planned for and you know what to do if they are faced with a serious allergic reaction.

Allergy Symptoms: What’s Normal

Kids with mild allergies (such as seasonal allergies) will usually have these symptoms:

  • Watery, runny eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • An itchy rash or hives

Swollen eyes due to allergic reaction

Swollen eyes due to allergic reaction

These symptoms usually aren’t serious and often work themselves out. Actually, I believe that some types of allergies (not food allergies) are helped by exposure but this is completely anecdotal and is just my opinion. For example, I used to sneeze my head off years ago every time I would cut the grass and it got worse as I got older. A few years ago I started walking outside every day at lunch and since that time; I have not had many allergy symptoms at all. At least they didn’t last more than a few hours tops and they are very infrequent.  I believe that my exposure to the common elements outside that were making me sneeze reduced my allergic reaction to cutting the grass. It’s kind of sad if that is true though because that means I used to spend entirely too much time indoors.

A box of tissues and plenty of water help in some of these situations, but you should stay on the lookout for more serious allergy symptoms (see below), especially in kids who have a history of asthma and severe allergic reactions. For children on an inhaler make sure you have plenty of stores in your medical kit. You don’t know if you may be unable to get to the store again.

Anaphylaxis Symptoms – Much more dangerous

Get medical help right away if possible at the first sign of anaphylaxis. Watch for trouble breathing, low blood pressure, and change in consciousness. Other symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the throat, face, lips, or tongue
  • Tightness in the lungs
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Sweating
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

What Can Cause Anaphylaxis

Foods

Peanuts – Peanuts are the most common cause of food-related allergy death. They can trigger anaphylaxis — a reaction that may be fatal if not treated right away. Symptoms usually start within minutes of exposure. But they can also start within seconds or take hours to develop. You may need to take action at the first sign of swelling, hives, trouble breathing, a rapid pulse, or dizziness. If your food stores involve peanuts or you know your children have this allergy, make sure they are replaced immediately. This is probably something you have done already if the children are yours but may need to adjusted for a larger survival group.

Shellfish and Fish – About one half of anaphylaxis cases are related to food. Shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab are triggers for some people. Shellfish and fish allergies can be so serious that just the cooking vapors can sometimes trigger an allergic reaction. As a reaction gets worse, tissues swell, blocking airways, and people can have deadly heart and circulation problems. If your survival plan has as one of its legs fishing for your food in the ocean, you should make sure this will not affect your family.

Sesame Seeds, Tree Nuts – The tiny sesame seed can cause an anaphylactic reaction. Legumes such as lentils, peas, soy beans, and other beans can also cause reactions. They’re related to the peanut, which is actually a legume. Real nuts such as cashews and walnuts also tend to cause problems for some adults. Make sure you have tried out all of the food you are storing up and if possible, you should be eating your food stores to develop a good rotation system. Finding out you are allergic to beans when you have hundreds of pounds of them stored will not be good.

Dairy and Wheat – In addition to peanuts, children are often allergic to wheat, milk, and eggs. Because triggers can be hidden in other foods, read labels carefully. By law, the eight most common allergenic foods — milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and wheat — and ingredients made from them such as lecithin (soy) and whey (milk) should be listed. All of the hard red winter wheat in your food storage pantry won’t be much good for someone who is gluten intolerant. For someone who has full blown Celiac disease, the initial reaction produces inflammation which damages the lining of the small intestine. This prevents the absorption of some nutrients. If a change isn’t made, weight loss, bloating and diarrhea can start. Neither is good in a grid down scenario.

Drugs

Prescription medicines – Penicillin and other antibiotics are common causes of drug-related anaphylaxis. Chemotherapy drugs, imaging dyes, and muscle relaxants used in anesthesia can also cause problems. To prevent medication-related anaphylaxis, your doctor may suggest allergy shots or prescribe different medications. This is probably less of a concern long term, but could impact you short term if someone has just recently started taking medication like this.

Over the counter pain relievers – Even medications you can buy over the counter can trigger anaphylaxis in some people. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some that may cause severe allergic reactions.

Insect Stings

Bees – Venom from honeybees, yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets cause anaphylaxis in about 3% of Americans. If you have had a reaction to a sting or suspect an allergy, see an allergist about allergy shots. Allergy shots are 97% effective at preventing anaphylaxis from insect stings. Some sources suggest that you should avoid wearing perfume or cologne and bright colors as they can attract stinging bugs. I don’t know how accurate that is, but then again I don’t wear cologne or bright colors usually.

Ants and ticks – Crawling, biting insects like ants and ticks can cause severe allergic reactions just like flying, stinging bugs. Fire ants can inject their venom over and over. Watch out for ant nests to avoid the painful bites of these bugs. Wearing closed-toed shoes, pants, and long sleeves outside may also help you avoid bug bites.

Latex

Latex – Latex-related anaphylaxis is rare. People who’ve had many surgeries and health care workers tend to be most at risk. Triggers can include gloves, IV tubes, syringes, and other items made with natural rubber latex. Even non-medical items like balloons, elastic, and condoms can cause reactions. Look for non-latex, synthetic choices.

Handling an Allergy Emergency

Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q are used for immediate treatment of Anaphylaxis

Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q are used for immediate treatment of Anaphylaxis

A child who has had a severe allergic reaction should carry an emergency kit that includes an epinephrine auto-injector such as Auvi-Q or EpiPen and you and probably everyone in your group should know how to use the injector. Your child may also be old enough to use it on themselves.

Epinephrine can prevent or reverse anaphylaxis symptoms. If you’ve been prescribed epinephrine injectors, carry two doses with you and practice using them. Make sure you have extra in your Bug Out bags and your Get Home bags. If you think you’re or your child is having an anaphylactic reaction, immediately inject epinephrine.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that needs emergency medical treatment. It can happen in seconds or even hours after contact with something the person is allergic to, like foods, insect venom, latex, or medication. In rare cases, exercise and physical activity also can trigger anaphylaxis.

If an epinephrine shot (such as Auvi-Q or EpiPen) is available, that may temporarily stop symptoms, but it’s not a cure — you still need to get emergency medical care for the person, even if they seems to be OK after treatment. If this isn’t possible, continue to monitor them for signs of another attack.

How to Use an Epinephrine Injector

  1. Inject epinephrine at the first sign of a life-threatening reaction. Do not move the person who’s having symptoms unless he is in an unsafe place.
  2. Have the person sit down, lie down, or stay in the most comfortable position for breathing.
  3. Stay calm.
  4. Be aware that epinephrine may cause short-term symptoms that are like those of anaphylaxis.
  5. If an insect stinger is present, remove it with a gentle brushing motion. Do not pinch the stinger. That may release more venom.
  6. Listen and watch to make sure the person’s airway stays open.
  7. If you are trained in CPR, give it if needed. If the person has asthma as well as allergies, you can give them their inhaler. Do so after you have given them the epinephrine.

In an emergency, a second shot of epinephrine may be used if symptoms persist. Doctors and nurses may also give other medications.

Anaphylaxis: Are You Ready?

  • Make sure you have plenty of injectors and store epinephrine in a dark place and at room temperature. You can probably speak with your doctor to obtain a prescription for more if needed.
  • Check the expiration date regularly. If expired, replace it. But remember, it’s better to use expired epinephrine in an emergency than nothing at all.
  • Check the liquid through the window of the auto-injector. If it is not clear, replace the unit.
  • Have more than one auto-injector available at all times. For instance, keep one at home, in your car, and at your child’s school, if you have a child with allergies. Make sure the person wears a medical alert bracelet or neck tag.
  • If you have a child with allergies, write an anaphylaxis emergency action plan for your any other adults he or she spends time with. Make sure this is part of your preps. – The Prepper Journal

This would seem to embody the USDA’s advisory, “Know your farmer, know your food,” right? Not exactly.

For the USDA and its sister food regulator, the FDA, there’s a problem: many of the farmers are distributing the food via private contracts like herd shares and leasing arrangements, which fall outside the regulatory system of state and local retail licenses and inspections that govern public food sales.

In response, federal and state regulators are seeking legal sanctions against farmers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, among others. These sanctions include injunctions, fines, and even prison sentences. Food sold by unlicensed and uninspected farmers is potentially dangerous say the regulators, since it can carry pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, leading to mild or even serious illness.

Most recently, Wisconsin’s attorney general appointed a special prosecutor to file criminal misdemeanor charges against an Amish farmer for alleged failure to have retail and dairy licenses, and the proceedings turned into a high-profile jury trial in late May that highlighted the depth of conflict: following five days of intense proceedings, the 12-person jury acquitted the farmer, Vernon Hershberger, on all the licensing charges, while convicting him of violating a 2010 holding order on his food, which he had publicly admitted.

Why are hard-working normally law-abiding farmers aligning with urban and suburban consumers to flaunt well-established food safety regulations and statutes? Why are parents, who want only the best for their children, seeking out food that regulators say could be dangerous? And, why are regulators and prosecutors feeling so threatened by this trend?

Members of these private food groups often buy from local farmers because they want food from animals that are treated humanely, allowed to roam on pasture, and not treated with antibiotics. “I really want food that is full of nutrients and the animals to be happy and content,” says Jenny DeLoney, a Madison, WI, mother of three young children who buys from Hershberger.

To these individuals, many of whom are parents, safety means not only food free of pathogens, but food free of pesticides, antibiotic residues, and excessive processing. It means food created the old-fashioned way—from animals allowed to eat grass instead of feed made from genetically modified (GMO) grains—and sold the old-fashioned way, privately by the farmer to the consumer, who is free to visit the farm and see the animals. Many of these consumers have viewed the secretly-made videos of downer cows being prodded into slaughterhouses and chickens so crammed into coops they can barely breathe.

These consumers are clearly interpreting “safety” differently than the regulators. Some of these consumers are going further than claiming contract rights—they are pushing their towns and cities to legitimize private farmer-consumer arrangements. In Maine, residents of ten coastal towns have approved so-called “food sovereignty” ordinances that legalize unregulated food sales; towns in other states, including Massachusetts and Vermont, and as far away as Santa Cruz, CA, have passed similar ordinances.

The new legal offensive isn’t going over well with regulators anywhere. Aside from the Hershberger action in Wisconsin, and a similar one in Minnesota, Maine’s Department of Agriculture filed suit against a two-cow farmer, Dan Brown, in one of the food-sovereignty towns, Blue Hill, seeking fines and, in effect, to invalidate all the Maine ordinances. In April, a state court ruled against the farmer, and in effect against the towns; sentencing is due within several weeks, and the case could well be appealed.

The jury in the criminal misdemeanor case of Minnesota farmer Alvin Schlangen last September acquitted him of all charges after several hours of deliberation. But the regulators’ push against privately-distributed food continues unabated. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has moved forward with a local prosecutor in Schlangen’s rural county, pressing similar criminal charges as the ones he was acquitted of in Minneapolis. He is scheduled to go on trial again in August. And in Wisconsin, prosecutors sought, unsuccessfully, to have Vernon Hershberger jailed for allegedly violating his jail terms since charges were filed in late 2011.

At its heart, this is a struggle over a steady erosion of confidence in the integrity of our industrial food system, which has been hit by disturbing disclosures seemingly on a weekly basis. In just the last few weeks, for example, we have seen shrimp, cookies, and veggie burgers recalled by the FDA for being sold with undeclared ingredients.

Also in recent weeks, members of Congress and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have escalated warnings about the growing danger of antibiotic resistant pathogens emerging from farm animals, which consume about 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. The Atlantic reported last summer that medical specialists are seeing a spike in women with urinary tract infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, likely transmitted by chicken meat.

This erosion in the confidence of the food system carries serious implications. It financially threatens large corporations if long-established food brands come under prolonged and severe public questioning. It threatens economic performance if foods deemed “safe” become scarcer, and thus more expensive. And it is potentially explosive politically if too many people lose confidence in the professionalism of the food regulators who are supposed to be protecting us from tainted food, and encourages folks to exit the public food system for private solutions like the consumers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, and elsewhere. Just look at the vituperative corporate response to recent consumer-led campaigns to label foods with genetically-modified ingredients.

As more consumers become intent on making the final decisions on what foods they are going to feed themselves and their families, and regulators become just as intent on asserting what they see as their authority over inspecting and licensing all food, ugly scenarios of agitated citizens battling government authorities over access to food staples seem likely to proliferate. It’s an unfortunate recipe for a new kind of rights movement centered on the most basic acts—what we choose to eat.

David Gumpert is a writer who covers the conflict between food rights and food safety. His latest book is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat”. His previous book was “The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights”. He has written for Modern Farmer, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Huffington Post, Grist, and Food Safety News. He is a former reporter with The Wall Street Journal and a former editor with The Harvard Business Review.

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Contributed by David E. Gumpert of Waking Times