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DAILY DOSE: The antibiotic resistance crisis is still here and getting worse; Americans eating salt like its going out of fashion.

A new report has called attention to the worsening antibiotic resistance crisis. It isn’t pretty. Per CIDRAP, “Addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and ensuring the continued effectiveness of the drugs that underpin modern medicine is going to require a broad effort that cuts across scientific disciplines, medical specialties, and government agencies, according to new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).” People weren’t really paying attention to the problem before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, it doesn’t even register even though, if antibiotic doomsday ever comes, it will be millions of times worse than any coronavirus outbreak.

China is moving aggressively to stamp sporadic outbreaks of Covid-19. According to the Associated Press, “Children as young as 3 will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in China, where 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks. Local city and provincial level governments in at least five provinces issued notices in recent days announcing that children ages 3-11 will be required to get their vaccinations.” By decreasing the number of susceptible individuals as much as possible, it should make controlling outbreaks a little easier. That said, SARS-CoV-2 has shown that total control is impossible.

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Reports carrying bad news continue to be issued. Just about every environmental report short term failures and signal disaster down the road. The United Nationas weather agency has called attention to increases in carbon dioxide. Per Al-Jazeera, “Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere hit a new record high in 2020, the United Nations’ weather agency reported in a stark warning about worsening global warming. Monday’s annual report on heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed that carbon dioxide levels surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, increasing at a faster rate than the annual average over the last decade despite a temporary dip in emissions during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.” Like the antibiotic crisis, this environmental crisis is ultimately preventable if the necessary steps are taken. It won’t be easy, but it is doable. People just have to put in the effort.

In America, bigger is better, or at least that’s how the saying goes. This is particularly true when it comes to food. Serving sizes are famously immense. The problems that stem from that go beyond obesity. It also causes cardiovascular problems due to sodium intake. A report in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report investigated how much salt is eaten by Americas. According to the authors, “Total mean energy intake among adults decreased from 2,216 kcal/day during 2003–2004 to 2,105 kcal/day during 2015–2016. During the same period, average daily energy intake increased among men (by 146 kcal) and women aged ≥70 years (by 50 kcal). During 2003–2004, mean energy intake among Mexican American persons was 2,386 kcal/day. During 2015–2016, the data are presented for all Hispanic persons (because of sampling methodology implemented in NHANES 2009–2010); Hispanic persons consumed 2,179 kcal/day on average. Additional reports suggest significant nonlinear declines in energy intake from 2003–2004 to 2009–2010 among U.S. adults aged 20–74 years, and among several subgroups (9). Thus, temporal changes in sodium intake observed in this study could be attributable to some changes in the amounts of sodium added by manufacturers to some foods, or the types and amounts of sodium-dense foods consumed from 2003–2004 to 2015–2016, which warrants further investigation.” In case you haven’t heard, processed foods are the trojan horse to all sorts of non-communicable diseases.

Recent scientific research indicates that the earliest Europeans to reach America were the Vikings. Scientists studied various wooden artifacts in order to determine a precise date. According to the authors of the paper, Evidence for European presence in the Americas in AD 1021”, “Here we provide evidence that the Vikings were present in Newfoundland in AD 1021. We overcome the imprecision of previous age estimates by making use of the cosmic-ray-induced upsurge in atmospheric radiocarbon concentrations in AD 993 (ref. 6). Our new date lays down a marker for European cognisance of the Americas, and represents the first known point at which humans encircled the globe. It also provides a definitive tie point for future research into the initial consequences of transatlantic activity, such as the transference of knowledge, and the potential exchange of genetic information, biota and pathologies.”

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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