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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

By Mike Davis
Special to the OC Voice

2 May 2009

The hordes of US students on spring break returned from Cancun this year with an invisible but sinister souvenir.

Pawns of corporate power/Wikipedia.org

Pawns of corporate power/Wikipedia.org

The Mexican swine flu, a genetic chimera probably conceived in the fecal mire of an industrial pigsty, suddenly threatens to give the whole world a fever.

Initial outbreaks across North America reveal an infection rate already travelling at higher velocity than the last official pandemic strain — the 1968 Hong Kong flu.

Stealing the limelight from our officially appointed assassin — the otherwise vigorously mutating H5N1, known as bird flu — this porcine virus is a threat of unknown magnitude.

It seems far less lethal than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003. As an influenza, however, it may be more durable than SARS.

Domesticated seasonal Type-A influenzas kill as many as 1 million people each year. Even a modest increment of virulence, especially if coupled with high incidence, could produce carnage equivalent to a major war. (more…)

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By Lisa Wells
OC Voice Staff Writer

Over 24,000 patients are helped each year by the H.B. Community Care Health Center

Over 24,000 patients are helped each year by the H.B. Community Care Health Center

Over 40 million Americans are uninsured and the nation’s 1,300 public hospitals cannot handle the resulting burden.

So many patients are flooding hospital emergency rooms that one in five E.R. doctors knows of a patient who died due to waiting too long for care, according to a survey conducted last year by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The privatization of public health care by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in the 1980s means that Orange County is now one of three counties in California without a public hospital. And because 500,000 O.C. residents lack health insurance, emergency rooms often serve as their only option.

One small but vital exception to the county’s lack of affordable healthcare is the non-profit Huntington Beach Community Care Health Center. (more…)

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By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

“We think our healthcare system is actually pretty good right now.”-State Senator Tom Harman, Sept. 2006.

At the time the senator uttered this astonishing remark to Laguna Beach’s Coastline Pilot, the U.S. was spending nearly twice as much per capita on health care as other developed countries, while rating 37th on most measures of quality of care, and it’s worse now.

Nearly 2 million Americans are driven into bankruptcy each year due to illness, and three-quarters of them had insurance when they got sick. Meanwhile, 22,000 Americans die every year from lack of medical service due to being uninsured-up from 18,000 at the time of Harman’s remark-equivalent to a Sept. 11 attack every 51 days. (more…)

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