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tv   Open Phones with Donald Mc Neil  CSPAN  April 19, 2017 10:36pm-11:11pm EDT

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the end of our time. this is live television, i'm so sorry this isn't fun for me really but anyway, we do want to thank the authors for a rich discussion about these epidemics.me [applause] and i want to thank all of you for your support of the festival and complete forgets to become a friend to support programs in the community and remember donald will be about 20 minutes late due to a live interview. thank you for coming. >> is the seven a new disease?>.
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>> no. it was discovered for the first time in uganda in 1947 and then i pretty much disappeared. it pretty much disappeared. there was some awareness in africa but in those days a routine test you have to inject literally hundreds of mice with different antibodies to see ifbo whatever was killing the mice was different from yellow fever or other viruses circulating out there. it then drifted to asia at some point we don't know when and then sometime in the early 2000n blank they investigated the
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outbreak and there was a problem of a temporary paralysis but it was only when they go to brazil in early 2014 people were nervous there was a new disease but they were all mildly ill and when they realized it was zika they realized it was good news, they thought it was something truly dangerous. but only nine months later did all these babies with microcephaly starts turning up and they realized that if something reallthere wassomethid devastating going on. >> had the cdc or anybody thanth monitoring if traveling across? >> yes but we get the flu from all over the world. the track bird flu and animal
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diseases. you don't know which one will be the one that causes the problem. i had a docto the doctor write r in 2009. zika was in the paper but his top choices for japanese encephalitis and there is no big outbreak of either of those. oua >> the subtitle is the emerging epidemic. is it not an academic he is? >> it is endemic and africa and parts of asia and an epidemic now spreading rapidly. >> how many people are currently infected? >> you onl >> you only stay infected a further couple of weeks. right now with the beginning of spring at least in the northern hemisphere there inorthernhemiso
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transmission going on. probably the transmission is going on in some places in brazil and down south where it is summer, but they had such an epidemic some people might be immune to it. when you have widespread immunity you can't spin up a ney epidemic you have to wait untilo more children are born and have a lot of people who've not had the virus. >> how prevalent is zika in the u.s. right now? in porter rico it was a major outbreak we are not quite sure how many got infected probably a quarter of the population or a little bit more of the work hasn't been done to know the answer.t' other than that there was an outbreak in miami and brownsville texas pitted and spread beyond that. there were isolated cases all over the country but they had
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come bacthat come back and there been cases of microcephaly in new york city and hawaii.in the (200)748-0002 in the mountain and pacific time zone as i've mentioned before the notes say you specialize. cado you have faith with its -- favorites tracks to the >> i have some i can't talk about at lunchtime they won'ttt let me or if i'm doing a
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terrific piece about the trumpmp administration and all of a sudden stop, i'm eating. i don't want to hear about any diseases while i'm eating. i don' don't write about charac, heart disease. when i came to the science section i've been a correspondent in africa and after writing a lot about a there were already several reporters two of them with mds and i said how about letting me write about malaria, worm diseases, tuberculosis. >> why are those not as prevalent in the u.s. as otheros parts of the world? >> we are richer and have houses
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with screens and windows and ain conditioning so mosquitoes can't get in and spread disease, flyers can't get in and spread but our troops used to get it working intends they would often get bit by the flies. a great deal of protection comes from screens, windows, clean water because that's how you get most diseases. >> your colleagues at the times has advocated for the return of ddt to prevent malaria. >> you have to look at it specifically.
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it was a fantastic chemical for things but it became so popular that it was spread on every croe and field so the levels built up in the eggs and birds and people to quite dangerous levels so there's a big backlash. using it indoors on houses before a meal is a great way to kill mosquitoes and fight malaria you do not want to go back and spray all over the befr landscape again. people make that easy call. you have to look at the individual mosquito.vi those that spread zika became anyone in the 60s and they still have that gene that makes them immune.
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the little pocket that remained in venezuela and that gene spread out.misphere >> were you amazed at the full house you have for talking about epidemics of disease? >> i was pleased. >> people seem to care about these. >> yesterday when i gave a talk people would say i'm thinking of traveling to costa rica, should i worry. i would say you should get your medical advice from a doctor, not a reporter and i would say you are a 54-year-old man comina for chances of getting pregnant or low. this time though i love the questions.that
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>> we are going to ask you to believe that cord for your microphones that people can heaa you and first up is donald mcneil.call. >> i became interested in malaria and wondered about howrg important and what advances have been made. thank you.rogress >> huge progress has been made. it used to kill millions per year most of them children under five and it's now down to 400,000 mostly children under five in africa. the old way of diagnosing is a blood sample from somebody in the book for the pair decided in the microscope and that meantea you have to hav had to have somt was trained to do that.
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now there are tests that work about as fast as the pregnancy kit. you put in a couple of drops and a little lion appears to. they were in vietnam and cambodia area and we would need a new drug and it takes 30 years >>metimes to develop. >> would you travel to areas ars would you take the antiviral? >> usually not that i sometimes carry -- i'm not saying somebody else shouldn't. i don't spend nights and nights. i sometimes go to a hotel where there's air-conditioning. it's not the mosquito bite that gives you all area. i do not fret but i also carry a
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test case with me. i usually don't take the prophylactic medicine that ita carry the medicine. >> the next call, portlandtland. oregon. it used to the people be peopled systems and elderly and now it's like every single person has to have a flu shot so i wonder if it is drug companies or has something happened if you do have a compromise that's happened and you are an otherwise healthy person what is wrong with getting over its? i'm just wondering about the changes and if that is something
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that you noticethat few noticedd prompt that and also if you don't mind saying if you get a flu shot. >> thank you. >> guest: in answer to the second question, yes i get a flu shot every year. i figure i'm building up enough antibodies if i don't have enough this year i did have some from two years or something like that. >> the flu shot has been recommended particularly strongly for the elderly and people with compromised system because their defenses against the flu. people need to understand it isn't just a bad cold.
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there is dozens of viruses and they don't make you sick but the reathink thatthe real viruses lg hit by a mack truck and you are really sick. about 20,000 people die give it- die of aids every year. i interviewed a mother and actually she was a pregnant woman and got the flu. she was hospitalized for eight months and died four times during that stay and was revived. she lost her baby and when i saw hurt she was toher she was too p a book. you can get knocked out badly.
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pregnancy lowers your immune system something the body does naturally because you don't want the mother's body to reject the baby that has different dna so the immune system is depressed and it is urgent that women that are pregnant get a flu shot. >> host: next call is fromgeorg. georgia and nebraska. >> caller: i wanted to ask about jonbene g.. he has had plasma exchange, physical therapy. my question is in your opinion
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what are his chances of fully recovering or recovering enough to help himself to the bathroomt stand beside a sink, transferred from transferfrom a wheelchair r toilet or whatever.ter. >> first, i'm not a doctor, i'm a reporter. even if i were a doctor a doctor wouldn't give an opinion without having an examination. it is an autoimmune reaction. i have a colleague at work and he got over it, he recovered completely. some people do not recover but r can't say anything about your husband's case i'm sorry. >> how does one catch or get ane autoimmune disease?
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>> guest: you get something else and then your body reacts so strongly that it starts to contact you. ge zika is one of the things that triggers it but so do in sections like if you eatis undercooked chicken that has salmonella and you get an infection one side effect is this.ct if you have a bad flu, a couple weeks later you might get it. it's rare. i don't remember if it is one in a million, but it's one in many thousand. it's a terrible thing that could happen but we are all at risk at some time or another. there are some vaccines that triggered this. in 1976 swine flu shots may have
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but they didn't know the background rate so when everybody's looking for a disease you find more cases than you would when you're not looking for it and the cases may be there anyway. when they had a government-sponsored campaign they start paying attention but the risk almost always exists. >> we are sitting here in the desert in tucson. should we worry about different things than you do in manhattan or washington? >> guest: yes, heat exhaustion t for one and that strange valley fever that is an airborne i think fungus that comes from disturbed sites it's called them in the southwest. we don't have it in new york.
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there are viruses down here in mouse droppings that we don't have in new york and we have things you don't have here. one, you don't freeze to death. we tend to have more flu and other diseases. i talked t to an etymologist frm the university. eventua it's possible the virus will get here in mosquitoes and peopleto need to pay attention to the fact that it would be bad for pregnant women. you don't want to find out that you have zika nine months later. you want evidence that it's here and take precautions. >> another call from nebraska.
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get was interested in the challenge to get the government to make a decision and i sort of experienced the same thing here. the final conclusion was a they didn't want my mosquitoes because it would throw off thef number is that my theory is that deet doesn't work, find another chemical.i'm thank you. >> guest: i'm not sure if there was a question in there. west nile virus is not endemic in the united states there's not a lot of point looking for it.
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we know that it tends to surge and disappear. it's cropped up in places like dallas had an outbreak two or three years ago. you wouldn't take a sample from someone that's squashed atheir d windshield.d mcneill' >> the book is called zika the emerging epidemic and the next call is from joe in pittsburghtt pennsylvania. go ahead. >> caller: i want to ask about the ebola virus i understand the government spent a great deal of money but they were not too many cases of the ebola virus.cure. >> guest: is no cure there is a vaccine against it.
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it's too bad it wasn't ready ten years ago because it was designed ten years ago by a doctor in texas and it was proven to be safe in humans and worked in monkeys that there was no money to be made in the vaccine nobody went ahead and whewent to dig a protected i dot know what you mean by not very many cases.w 1,000 people in africa can'teb ebola and i think 6,000 of them died. that is a pretty substantial outbreak and did it come to the united states and killed somebody in texas and before he died it was transmitted to two other people and it's a pretty horrific death. you don't want a disease like that spreading or changing so that it can spread more easily.
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you don't want to have physical contact with someone in order to pass it on and we are pretty good about isolating patients and if you know a disease is around in your town you will take precautions. i don't subscribe to the idea that the government overreacted. i think they under reacted for ten years and could have been more ready if saddam to be for someone would have spent the money to get the vaccine ready to go. fortunately the foundations into the bricks and norwegians and the japanese got together and put $500 million into making vaccines against fevers and his three syndromes. these are not things you probably heard about but you will end you will be glad that the vaccines were startedthe against them. >> is the cdc response if?
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it's a large organization can it still be nimble? it is definitely not instant. i had struggles over why they were not issuing travel warnings and it became clear they were talking about an epidemic spreading in january at a time when people from other parts of the country headed from the caribbean. why are you not doing something to tell them not to go and it took them two week weeks to isse this morning and it could have happened faster. it's fast for some bureaucracien and slow when you are worried about a deadly disease. >> host: is age and older disease or newer disease? >> guest: it's a newer disease and probably made the jump from
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chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early part of the 20th century. we know that it actually is a combination of viruses that came from two different monkeys and they are both monkeys thatateat. chimpanzees eat. probably some unlucky chimpanzee managed to eat one of each of those kinds and probably cut himself or herself in the mouth while crunching up a bone and eventually that chimpanzee dot a. virus that was a blend of the two viruses and then it started spreading in the populations. we know that it's new to them because it helped them. it was probably in there for thousands of years and they adapted it. it. those that were vulnerable would
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have died off years ago. those that were immun a new andt on to repopulatedith the area. it's a relatively new disease compared to others. >> are there potential other new diseases that could make the jump at some point? >> somewhere between hundreds and thousands. there is a project to try to find every virus. not to say anything bad against bats.seful ea they are very useful but they carry a lot of viruses and they are the source of the virus that is the source of sars and respiratory virus but they make the jump from bats and then from bats to camels.
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people in the arabian peninsula not just from eating milk but then there's also the beauty camels, people keep them as petm essentially. and especially you tend to get the virus in the population ando some people get it and go to a hospital and may pass o they pao the doctors and nurses. >> host: has brazil done a good job containing zika? >> guest: they haven't been able to stop it. no city in the western hemisphere has successfully stopped the spread except miami him and miami successfully stopped a small limited outbreak in three neighborhoods and theyi did i multiple, multiple applications of pesticides, adult pesticides and one that kills more of a. in the water and also going after people's houses and say please throwro
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these tablets in your swimming pool and get rid of standing water and things like that. .. miami is the best city in the world for fighting mosquito-spread diseases. >> host: peggy in denver go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: yes. i've never heard anybody say what the life expectancy might be for the mike >> i think that would be important when we were trying to decide between abortion and keeping the child and how much suffering the child was doing. >> the answer is every child is different. there's no way to generalize about it. many mothers, the children die in the womb after the zika infection.e s they have miscarriages.ho some children are born and live only a few hours.
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a lot of the children have one seizure after another and ultimately die of disruption of heart rhythm or breathing. a lot of kids are born with badly formed jaws and airway so they end up with aspiration pneumonia.niha some of them are going to live. they may live, if they don't die of aspiration or pneumonia or bedsores from being unable to move, there's all thing kinds of things that can happen to people that are bad ridden. if that doesn't happen to them, they may live many years. in most cases, the most severely affected one's will never be able to talk, never be able to recognize people around them, never be able to communicate, have no memory. they're basically missing their
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entire forebrain, the seat of learning, seed of emotions and everything else. simply not there. they are what we rudely used to call vegetable. >> joyce is in north carolina. go ahead. >> hi doctor mcneil this is joyce. i appreciate you taking my call. i would like to ask you, there's a problem that people in this area and other people are having right now. in fact, my friend in virginia granddaughter school has been closed because of some of this whatever it is. in early 2016, i came down with something that the doctor never put a name too, and i had it for about six months, often on. it would go away and come back. at that time, i had five rounds of antibiotics and about four rounds of cortisone.
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it did help a little bit, but i never really felt well and never got rid of that cough. >> i apologize, we have to leave it there. she did bring up the antibiotics. >> i need to emphasize, i am not a doctor. i am a reporter. i report story. >> what about the use of antibiotics. we could drive 50 miles south and pick up any in about x we want too. >> antibiotics are incredibly important. they are one of the great health inventions ever but they are widely overused in people and animals and as a result there's a lot of anti- resistant. they just put out a list of the 12 most dangerous ones about three or four weeks ago. that list was essentially saying we absolutely have to work on antibiotics that will fight
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these particular types of germs. they are pretty common germs spread the germs that live in our gut and noses but trans are becoming antibiotic resistant. if we don't do better we will be in serious trouble. we could be back to where we were in the pre-antibiotic age where if you get an infection, you die. >> the new york science and health reporter, zika the emerging epidemic is the name of the book. you can read his work at nytimes.com. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thursday, book tv is in prime time with a look at science. biochemist discusses her book the secret life of fat. richard muller talks about physics in his book now. physicist helen on her book storm in a teacup. also the book beyond infinity. book tv on c-span2.
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>> sunday night on "after word words", member of the freedom caucus discusses his book drain the swamp, how washington corruption is worse than you think. >> when you arrive in d.c. and you have the surroundings that i've described earlier, you get very comfortable in that situation. you don't want to give up those comforts and the way to continue to earn those comforts is to spend more money and to grow government and to not solve problems, but to create programs and take credit for those programs, whether they are efficient or effective to take credit for those programs. many of the members of congress are here, it's the best job they've ever had, it's the highest paying job they've ever had, and it's a job they don't want to give up so their reelection is more important
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than the actual problem solving that needs to go on in d.c. >> watch "after words" sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> now to the 2017 virginia festival of the book in charlottesville virginia where a panel of authors discusses the role and credibility of the media. >> good afternoon everyone. that afternoon charlottesville. how are you. >> all right. yes, you can clap. welcome to the virginia festival of the book and the panel discussion, a hot discussion this afternoon. questions, expertise.

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