Friday, December 19, 2008

What Was the Last Disease Cured?

Are you thinking polio in the late 1950's?

If so, you're wrong. It's smallpox, and it has the distinction of being the first human infectious disease completely eradicated (according to the World Health Organization in 1979 ). The last known case being in Somalia in 1977.

Polio, on the other hand, is still out there. As late as 2005, there were 105 confirmed cases discovered to have spread from Nigeria to the Sudan. This latest outbreak illustrates "the high risk posed to polio-free areas by the continuing epidemic in west and central Africa" (WER, 80 (1), 2005, p.2).

But that's not my point. I am not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but doesn't it seem a little odd to you that in a century where we can create stem cells, isolate someone's DNA and clone animals, we can't seem to find a cure for not only Alzheimer Disease, but muscular dystrophy, MS and cancer????

And doesn't it irritate you just a little bit when you read something like this: "Studies have shown that if you eat more X and less Y, you have a decreased risk of bonkus of the konkus?"

Well it irritates the Hell out of me, because it makes me think that if I only lived in a certain climate and ate only vegetables and yogurt and drank only water or red wine, I'd be more healthy now!

The fact is no one knows that for sure! You can make figures and demographics read any way you want them to, and yeah, they fill up copy space in newspapers and magazines, but by themselves, those little factoids aren't doing a damn thing to keep us healthier.

So where does that leave us?

Are we doing enough to hold our drug companies responsible in making their research more transparent, or are they just selling drugs to help the symptoms but do nothing for the disease itself?

I have written before that I'm the "new kid on the block" and heretofore I haven't had a dog in this hunt, but I do now, and I plan to inform myself even further about what's being done and what is being withheld and for what reasons.

To borrow a phrase from a popular tv show, I believe "The cure is out there".

Thanks for reading.



Timespanner said...

If the governments allowed more stem cell research (I understand the Bush II administration just ending banned it completely), then perhaps more maladies may be sorted. Our own government here in NZ is dithering over stem cell research using unused embryos from fertility programmes. Nothing to do with abortion, but the right to life lobby would prefer that the embryos remain on ice as they are now for 10 years, then dumped.

Sorry about the controversial comment, but I'm with you, Bill -- more needs to be done to improve the quality of life for millions out there in the world with diseases which should be curable, and so far it ain't happening.

NinetyWt said...

This is very near and dear to my heart as well, Bill, my mom had Parkinson's (she passed away in 1990).

Anyway! I got the surprise of my life at the P.O. today! Thank you so much for the thoughtful gift, Bill!! The tea table cloth is gorgeous ! I love it. You are such a kind and generous person. I'm also enjoying perusing the German tour magazine. I'm going to hide the chocolate bar so my kids don't find it!

Have a very Merry Christmas, hon.


Bill Craig said...

Santa's got two more stops to make, but I don't know if he'll make it before "the day". ;)

And I don't know where to find the answers to all of the questions I have, but I plan to start looking and hopefully put some folks "on the spot".


Billy Baroo said...

I believe the cure is out there too. Pharmaceutical companies won't increase profits for their shareholders if people get better and stop using their products. For the same reason (money) they downplay healing that does not involve drugs/surgery. I encourage you to try prayer and meditation for your condition.