Dear Friends: Proving that I am descended from Romanian gypsies who could foresee the future, my previous post described the Occupy Movement as a disease. Prescient, that. It seems Occupy Atlanta’s main tent has tested positive for DRUG RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS (TB) (hat-tip Instapundit).
The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.
It was just a short time ago that this country that was in a panic to vaccinate everyone from a flu that proved to be mild. Now, I see a complete lack of action responding to the potential infection of hundreds of citizens (if not more) to a deadly disease. As an infectious disease specialist, this is disturbing to me.
Most Americans do not recall the heady days of sanitoriums. I, therefore, offer this reminder as to why my fellow mothers and I get regular TB tests when we volunteer for school activities. (Yes, I am TB free!)
“TB” is short for tuberculosis. TB disease is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
Millions of people have died over the course of over 4,000 years from this disease. Famous sufferers include Honoré de Balzac, Emily Brontë, Dashiell Hammett, Vivien Leigh, Paul Gauguin, Frédéric Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, Cardinal Richelieu, and Saint Bernadette Soubirous. Here are the recent statistics on TB:
Despite all the drugs available today, tuberculosis is still a problem in many nations. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, each year, 8 million people worldwide develop active tuberculosis and nearly 2 million die. While the overall rate of new tuberculosis cases has continued to decline in the United States since national reporting began in 1953, the annual decrease in tuberculosis cases has slowed dramatically. TB continues to kill between 2 and 3 million people every year. The WHO estimates that 36 million people will die of tuberculosis by 2020 if it is not controlled.
TB has the potential to kill many more people that student loan defaults. I had little comment when the OWS crowd was giving itself STDs. However, this disease is highly communicable, especially in the environs of a typical Occupy camp. I am a small government supporter, and I feel the government is regulating too much. However, protecting its citizens is the first order and prime duty of government. Now, it is up to state, local, and federal jurisdictions to begin acting on the behalf of all citizens.
Shut the Occupy movement down, now. It has become a danger to public health. It seems to me that if the Obama Administration was so keen on preventing an H1N1 epidemic, then they should be as diligent is stopping the spread of TB.
The Occupy Movement is just like the Tea Party….minus the personal hygiene, civic responsibility, and respect for private property.