Superbug Infection Crisis? Is It The Next Asbestos?

(NewsUSA) – You can’t see them. You can’t feel them. You can’t fight them once they attack. But they’re there — "natural-born killers" in their tens of trillions. A deadly strike-force of antibiotic-resistant ‘supergerms’ lurking in the shadows of America’s over-burdened, under-resourced hospital system. An army of lethal microbes, silently waiting to infect all who come into contact with them.Just how serious is the superbug threat? Superbugs, aka hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), now affect one in 20 patients in the U.S., killing more than 100,000 people each year — that’s more than AIDS, breast cancer and car accidents combined. Ominously, more than two-thirds of these infections occur after a patient has been admitted.Ironically, HAIs can be prevented if strict disinfection guidelines are adhered to by doctors and hospital staff. Yet, the lack of mass compliance to date suggests that one day soon we could see lawsuits pale the recent asbestos crisis into insignificance.Infections contracted during hospital stays are the fourth largest killer in America. They add an estimated $33 billion to hospital and health care costs each year — a crushing financial burden largely absorbed by overwhelmed hospitals.The need for greater post-admittance infection prevention is, according to many industry pundits, rapidly approaching crisis point. It’s also posing some challenging questions: What if there were a sudden, massive escalation of the avian (bird) flu, or a contagion-like plague, or a large-scale bioterrorist attack? Do we have the infrastructure and mechanisms to cope? Or could any one of the above threaten to sink America’s hospital system "to its knees?"The solution to their eradication may already be here.Largely unknown to the outside world, a team of scientists and bio-medical researchers working out of labs in Innovation Park, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, have spent the past three years developing and perfecting what could become the world’s most effective weapon in the war against HAIs.This patented, new-generation "sterilization and disinfection" technology, AsepticSure, is the brain child of bio-tech company, Medizone International, Inc. Already the recipient of a World Health Organization-sponsored award for innovation and peer-reviewed by the prestigious American Journal of Infection Control, AsepticSure — an ozone vapor-based fumigant — has demonstrated unprecedented 100 percent kill rates against the world’s deadliest superbug strains. These include MRSA, VRE, C.difficile, E.coli, Pseudomonas and more."While there’s no denying that HAIs continue to flourish in hospitals and health care organizations across every state of America and throughout the world at this time, AsepticSure looks set to inflict the first real blow to a pandemic-in-the-making that, for decades, has largely gone unchecked," says Bruce Smeaton, Medizone spokesperson.Will hospitals and health care organizations take the moral high-ground and adopt pro-humanitarian technology like AsepticSure? Will they embrace the economics of saving up to six dollars for every one dollar invested in such technology? Or will they continue to misguidedly believe that hospital infections are unavoidable, thereby shielding them from liability?Perhaps it comes down to how committed they are to stamping out the superbug crisis — or how willing they are to face what’s poised to become ‘the next asbestos.’To learn more about AsepticSure, visit

First Ever Braille U.S. Coin Promises Brighter Future for America’s Blind

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Each year, nearly 70,000 Americans become legally blind, according to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The real problem blind individuals face is not the loss of their eyesight, but the misconceptions and stereotypes that exist about their capabilities and about Braille.

Braille is the most effective and powerful tool ever invented for the blind to become educated, obtain jobs, pursue stimulating careers and enjoy the same opportunities and independence as sighted individuals. However, the Braille literacy rate among blind children today is only 10 percent.

“Literacy should be for all people, but it isn’t,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). “Illiteracy among the blind is on the rise, contributing to a shocking 70 percent unemployment rate among today’s 1.3 million blind Americans. This would be viewed as a national outrage if the same crisis faced sighted individuals, and yet blind people continue to be deprived of the Braille education and resources they need.”

In a recent report to the nation, “The Braille Literacy Crisis in America — Facing the Truth, Reversing the Trend, Empowering the Blind,” the NFB attributed the crisis to numerous factors, including false beliefs that Braille is “too complicated to learn” and that technological advances can substitute for Braille, limited access to quality instruction and the lack of standardized Braille teaching methods and credentialed instructors.

The NFB is determined to double the number of school-age children reading Braille by 2015.

“When the blind can read, the blind can achieve,” said Maurer. “To help us combat illiteracy, the U.S. Mint has issued a new commemorative coin with a special mission — the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar. It’s the first U.S. coin in history to feature tactile, readable Braille, and it marks a turning point for blind people of all ages.”

Issued on March 26th in honor of the 200th birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading and writing code for the blind that bears his name, the coin symbolizes the most significant investment in literacy for the blind. Funds raised through the coin’s sale will support NFB’s “Braille Readers are Leaders” campaign, a national initiative to increase access to Braille instruction, advance new Braille reading and writing technology, expand Braille mentoring, and provide reading materials to tens of thousands of blind children and adults.

Only 400,000 coins have been minted, and they will not be available for purchase after Dec. 31, 2009. To order the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, visit or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). For more information on the NFB and its national Braille literacy campaign, visit