Edward Snowden: I questioned the Russian president live on TV to get his answer on the record, not to whitewash him
Amid the shiny, happy announcements of new features and new apps this week, file-sharing startup Dropbox quietly revealed another piece of news. Condoleezza Rice — Stanford professor, Iraq War architect, alleged warrantless wiretap supporter — is joining the board at the rising tech startup.
I just threw up in my mouth. What’s the alternative? Google Drive? God help us all
A team of French researchers reports that healthy travelers who had no contact with foreign medical systems brought back extremely drug-resistant bacteria, probably just from drinking water, and that the bacteria persisted in their guts for at least two months after they came home.
In the past several years, travelers from South and Southeast Asia and the Balkans have returned to western Europe with infections caused by bacteria that picked up extra DNA conferring extreme drug resistance. Those resistance factors, which go by the initials OXA and NDM (and more generally by the category name CRE, which the US CDC’s director has called “nightmare bacteria,” or CPE), protect against the killing action of almost every drug in the medicine cabinet, leaving only one or two very old and toxic compounds as possible remedies.
Most of the people who have returned to the West carrying these highly resistant bacteria had the misfortune to be injured, or otherwise need medical care, while they were traveling. Since hospitals even in the industrialized world tend to be places where problematic infections lurk, that made sense. But from time to time, people manifested with these infections when they could not remember doing anything to expose themselves. The assumption was that they had forgotten the exposure. But, it turns out, maybe they hadn’t.
These are bacteria so extremely resistant that, if they escaped the gut, they could cause a life-threatening untreatable infection. And “escaping the gut” is a very normal thing; that’s how people get urinary tract infections, and it’s how many hospital infections start.
The most troubling thing in this report is the authors’ sense that there’s no way for travelers to protect themselves against acquiring these bacteria. To protect Western hospitals, they suggest that anyone who has recently traveled to South Asia and needs health care when they return may have to be considered a contamination risk. That could mean just a flag in a medical chart, or it could mean isolation. Either way, it gives a whole new meaning to “adventure travel.”
Stories like this makes one wonder why isn’t everyone dying left and right.