WBEZ | West Nile virus http://www.wbez.org/tags/west-nile-virus Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rep. Todd Akin's ridiculous "legitimate rape" comments http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/rep-todd-akins-ridiculous-legitimate-rape-comments-101812 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/todd_akin_ap.jpg" title="(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, file) Rep. Todd Akin, MO" /></p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><p><strong>Lead story:</strong> In case you didn&rsquo;t hear, or if you did and needed to have a rage stroke again, Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP candidate for Senate in Missouri, <a href="http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/todd-akin-legitimate-rape.php">implied that most women</a> who are victims of &ldquo;legitimate rape&rdquo; don&rsquo;t get pregnant.</p><p>Setting aside for the moment Akin&rsquo;s use of the phrase &ldquo;legitimate rape,&rdquo; let&rsquo;s look at what he said and why he&rsquo;s wrong. In <a href="http://fox2now.com/2012/08/19/the-jaco-report-august-19-2012/#ooid=84cTVvNTqIw6Oot8JC0mYfPqHQAjRcwb">an interview KTVI-TV</a>, Akin, who is a 60-plus-year-old white man and reportedly has never been raped, pregnant, or even has a uterus, said, &ldquo;First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it&rsquo;s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.&rdquo; Just like his colleague <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/jon-stewart-rips-jon-kyl-planned-parenthood_n_847920.html">Arizona Senator Jon Kyl</a>, Akin fudged with numbers to misrepresent science and facts to further his agenda.</p><p>As <a href="http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/todd-akin-legitimate-rape.php">Talking Points Memo</a> points out, <a href="http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(96)70141-2/abstract">a 1996 study</a> revealed about five percent of rapes resulted in pregnancy. That <em>is </em>a small percent, but that doesn&rsquo;t take into account other scientific things like rapist&rsquo;s completion of the sexual act, the victim&rsquo;s use of birth control, the victim&rsquo;s fertility or ability to get pregnant, and a myriad of other factors. At least when Kyl lied he used numbers, no matter how made up they were; Akin just pulled this assertion out of thin air and doesn&rsquo;t even pretend to back it up with &ldquo;sources.&rdquo;</p><p>The point is, it <em>does</em> happen and, more importantly, women don&rsquo;t really have a choice in the matter.</p><p>Which brings us back to Akin&rsquo;s notion of &ldquo;legitimate rape.&rdquo; Him being a Republican, Akin was using this moment of <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-pn-missouri-rep-todd-akin-says-he-misspoke-on-rape-and-pregnancy-20120819,0,3932522.story">diarrhea of the mouth</a> as a means to say no one should have abortions ever. And he did it the old-fashioned way by undermining rape victims with his use of &ldquo;legitimate rape&rdquo; and implying if a woman gets pregnant because of rape, well, it&rsquo;s not really rape and it&rsquo;s her fault anyway.</p><p>Apparently, Akin thinks women possess a magical ability to point a wand at their womb and go, &ldquo;Expelliarmus!&rdquo; (Not surprisingly, Akin was a co-sponsor of the GOP House bill <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/republican-plan-redefine-rape-abortion">that wanted to redefine rape</a> as a means to limit abortion funding.) It&rsquo;s one thing to fudge numbers to support your cause but it&rsquo;s another thing altogether to be an old white guy trying to tell women what they can and can&rsquo;t do with their bodies and in the process make <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2010/04/26/icp_define_miracles.php">Insane Clown Posse</a> look like Nobel laureates. And the kicker? He&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/senate/mo/missouri_senate_akin_vs_mccaskill-2079.html">leading in the polls</a>. Good night, America, it&rsquo;s been swell.</p><p><strong>Also: </strong>It was another violent weekend in Chicago as <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/14588101-418/6-dead-36-wounded-in-weekend-shootings.html">at least 36 people</a> were shot across the city over the weekend, killing <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-shootings-roundup-0820-20120820,0,3880376.story">at least six people</a>. The violent weekend followed a public debate in which <a href="http://gawker.com/5934608/chicagos-shootings-didnt-happen-in-a-movie-theater-but-its-still-the-worlds-deadliest-city">Gawker shed a national light</a> on the city&rsquo;s shootings. Not that everyone agreed with their perspective. <em>Chicago Magazine&rsquo;s</em> Whet Moser, one of the sharpest journalists in the city, <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/August-2012/Gawker-Glosses-Chicagos-Murder-Problem/">picked the Gawker story apart</a> and then revisited the oft-cited notion that Chicago is <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/August-2012/Chicago-More-Dangerous-Than-Kabul-Or-Not/">more violent than Kabul</a>. (For what it&rsquo;s worth, <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/no-chicago-not-more-dangerous-afghanistan">also tackled</a> this &ldquo;fact.&rdquo;) And Moser closed the week with this look at the way the CPD is now trying to tackle violence by <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/August-2012/Garry-McCarthy-Talks-I-Bond-and-the-CPDs-Own-New-Violence-Interruption/">refusing I-bonds</a> for gang members.</p><p><strong>And then: </strong>Sad news from Lombard where Bill Mueller, village president since 1993, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/lombard/ct-met-lombard-president-dies-20120819,0,5971672.story">died over the weekend</a> from complications stemming from the West Nile virus. Mueller was also suffering from blood cancer that weakened his immune system and made him susceptible to such diseases. <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120818/news/708109607/">He&rsquo;s the second mayor</a> in DuPage county to die this year following <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120417/news/704179666/">the April death</a> of West Chicago&rsquo;s Mike Kwasman.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong>Singer and songwriter <a href="http://www.contactmusic.com/news/scott-mckenzie-dies_1396427">Scott McKenzie</a> who sung the popular 60&rsquo;s hippie anthem, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bch1_Ep5M1s">San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)&rdquo;</a> and, over 20 years later, co-wrote the Beach Boys hit &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmG-cLf4adU">Kokomo</a>.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere: </strong>Romney advisers confirmed the presumed GOP presidential candidate&rsquo;s campaign is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/romney-advisers-confirm-it-were-running-a-just-trust-me-campaign/2012/08/17/6235b23e-e88d-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_blog.html">adopting a &ldquo;Just Trust Me&rdquo; tagline</a> because they couldn&rsquo;t think of anything else that&rsquo;s both so perfectly ridiculous and condescending</p><p>The Tampa Police <a href="http://www2.tbo.com/news/republican-national-convention/2012/aug/18/3/tampa-police-arrest-16-in-prostitution-crackdown-b-ar-467988/">are ensuring</a> no one is going to have any fun at the RNC because if <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79865.html">the GOP parties when it&#39;s overseas</a>, goodness knows what Florida will do to them.</p><p>I am originally from Alabama and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ala-man-fights-to-keep-wife-buried-in-front-yard-city-wants-remains-moved-to-cemetery/2012/08/19/4fa14ab6-ea13-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html">the story of a man</a> fighting authorities over the right to bury his dead wife in his front yard in no way surprises me.</p><p>The story of San Francisco Giant star Melky Cabrera&rsquo;s steroid suspension <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/exclusive-daily-news-uncovers-bizarre-plot-melky-cabrera-fake-website-duck-drug-suspension-article-1.1139623#ixzz2400k9ftd">has taken a really bizarre turn.</a></p><p>A <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8779052">good reason</a> to not leave the keys in your fire truck.</p><p>Members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot <a href="http://stereogum.com/1129602/pussy-riot-putin-light-up-the-flames/mp3s/">recorded a new single</a> in response to the two-year sentence handed down to three of its members last week.</p><p>Guys, the Mars rover Curiosity <em><a href="http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/mars-curiosity-rover-fires-first-laser">fires laser beams</a></em>!&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Looking ahead: </strong></p><ul><li>News broke late last night that film director Tony Scott <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/08/19/tony-scott-dead-suicide/">committed suicide</a> in Los Angeles yesterday, allegedly by&nbsp;<a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/tony-scott-death.html">jumping off a bridge.</a></li><li>The <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8779243">shooting death of Megan Boken</a> garnered headlines this weekend and the investigation continues to unfold.</li><li>Popular Logan Square restaurant Longman &amp; Eagle <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/08/19/longman_eagle_fails_restaurant_insp.php">failed a recent health inspection</a> but is quickly moving to get a clean check-up.</li><li>The jury is picked and opening statements in the Christopher Vaughn trial <a href="http://www.wgnradio.com/news/ct-met-christopher-vaughn-trial-0819-20120820,0,4970337.story">are slated to get underway</a>.</li><li>Police continue to <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/19/man-shot-by-cops-charged-after-refusing-to-drop-knife-following-loop-crash/">investigate a strange accident</a> in the Loop over the weekend wherein a man purposely crashed his car into another, tried to stab the driver of the other car, and then stabbed a security guard who responded to the crash.</li><li>The state&rsquo;s pension reform <a href="http://www.wbez.org/illinois-lawmakers-fail-approve-pension-overhaul-101803">continues</a> to be a hot mess and Gov. Quinn <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-hell-start-grassroots-campaign-pension-reform-101806">is trying everything</a>.</li><li>And <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120818/ISSUE01/308189980/burned-out-the-droughts-far-reaching-ripple-effect">the drought worsens</a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports: </strong>There <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/post/_/id/4677230/bears-not-reading-too-much-into-preseason-games">were some hiccups</a> on Saturday but holy moly did the Bears&rsquo; offense look sharp on the first few drives in their victory over the Redskins &hellip; Chris Volstad, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0820-cubs-reds-chicago--20120820,0,4019332.story">now 24 games without a win</a> but at least the Cubs have <a href="http://chicago.sbnation.com/2012/8/17/3250594/starlin-castro-contract-extension-chicago-cubs">re-upped Starlin Castro</a> &hellip; Kobe Bryant <a href="http://deadspin.com/5936088/heres-kobe-bryant-playing-electric-guitar-scoring-68-points-in-15-minutes">went to China</a> &hellip; The hottest sports team in Chicago is the Fire <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/fire/post/_/id/2520/fire-win-third-straight-contest">who have won three straight matches</a> &hellip; The White Sox <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_19_chamlb_kcamlb_1&amp;mode=recap&amp;c_id=cws">were swept by the Royals</a> over the weekend but thanks to two straight Tigers losses, they remain 1.5 games up on Detroit.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Finally: </strong>Olympic withdrawal still got you down? Enjoy the below video full of 8-bit fun (and check out more <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/celebrate-the-olympics-with-this-8bit-montage,83156/">here</a>). [via <em><a href="http://www.ohhaveyouseenthis.com/2012/08/more-8-bit-sports.html">Have You Seen This?</a></em>] &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p></div></div><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/47182418?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 09:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/rep-todd-akins-ridiculous-legitimate-rape-comments-101812 Cook County man dies from West Nile virus http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-man-dies-west-nile-virus-92228 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/RS3704_Mosquito skin_Flickr_Jon Hayes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO - Illinois health officials say a Cook County man has become the first person this year to die after contracting the West Nile virus.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday that the man was in his 60s and had underlying health conditions. He was diagnosed with the virus in August and died earlier this month.</p><p>Officials say eight human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois this summer. The first two were reported Aug. 19 - involving a Cook County man in his 80s and a Franklin County man in his 30s.</p><p>The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that pick up the virus after feeding on infected birds.</p><p>Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches - though most people will show no symptoms at all.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 19:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-man-dies-west-nile-virus-92228 Mosquito research feels bite of budget cuts http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-24/mosquito-research-feels-bite-budget-cuts-91013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-25/hannon1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>State laboratories around the country are testing mosquitoes to warn people about the presence of the West Nile virus, but federal and state budget cuts are threatening some of those labs.</p><p>Abbott Brush collects mosquitoes for observation at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. One mosquito trap — a bucket of smelly water — is in a wooded area of New Haven near a pond.</p><p>"It attracts them because they want to come there and lay the eggs," he says.</p><p>A fan sucks them up into a mesh net, which has about 100 mosquitoes stuck in it. Brush visits four sites and brings his mosquito catch back to the lab.</p><p>Since West Nile was first found in the U.S. in 1999, the virus has spread and established itself as an annual concern. Last year, 57 people in the U.S. died of the virus. It causes a mild illness in most healthy adults, but the elderly are particularly vulnerable. So far this year, three people have died.</p><p>In the Connecticut state lab, undergraduate student Tara Hannon and other seasonal workers stare at the mosquitoes through microscopes, identifying the subtle traits that distinguish the 30 or so different species in the state.</p><p>"My supervisor warned me that we'd be looking at mosquitoes so often that they'd be in your dreams, and they are," Hannon says.</p><p>DNA tests confirm whether or not the mosquitoes have West Nile. They also test for Eastern equine encephalitis, a rarer, but more dangerous virus. The head of the program, state entomologist Theodore Andreadis, says the operation costs about $400,000 to $500,000 a year.</p><p>"The only thing that's allowed us to expand this program," he says, "has been this federal [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] funds that were made available to all states throughout the country in an attempt to enhance surveillance to build up capacity to deal with this newly emerging virus."</p><p>Connecticut, like the rest of country, has seen that federal funding significantly cut over the past five years or so. Roger Nasci of the CDC says cutting the federal funding was always their plan.</p><p>"The program was never intended to be a long-term, high-level maintenance," he says, "but to provide the core capacity to the states, with the hope and the assumption that they would pick up the components that were required for their particular jurisdictions."</p><p>However, it's not a great time for state budgets. In North Carolina, the state cut funding for its mosquito-surveillance program earlier this summer, putting Bruce Harrison out of a job.</p><p>"Instead of us finding that West Nile is prevalent and warning people to take precautions and use repellent and stay indoors if the mosquitoes are bad, there's not going to be anybody to do that here in the state," he says, "and any program across the United States that's had cuts is in the same pickle."</p><p>In 2002, there were nearly five times as many deaths from the virus as there were in 2010. Harrison says that means they've done a good job preventing human cases, but he says it also means West Nile is off the radar of those who provide the funding.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 WSHU Public Radio Group.</div></p> Wed, 24 Aug 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-24/mosquito-research-feels-bite-budget-cuts-91013 Human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois; one in Cook County http://www.wbez.org/story/human-cases-west-nile-virus-illinois-one-cook-county-90817 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/mosquito from flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The first human cases of West Nile virus in 2011 have been confirmed by Illinois health officials. One case was reported in southern Illinois, another in Cook County.</p><p>Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She said, "We are seeing an increase definitely in West Nile virus activity especially in Northeastern Illinois. So people do need to take precautions - a lot of people have become somewhat complacent."</p><p>Arnold recommends wearing long sleeve shirts and pants as well as insect repellent - especially around dawn and dusk. Eliminating stagnant water is also advised as pools of water make for ideal mosquito breeding grounds. Regarding infection, officials report that on average two in 10 people who who are bitten and infected by a mosquito will experience any illness. Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches. But those with more compromised immune systems can experience serious illness like encephalitis, meningitis and even death.</p><p>Last year a total of 61 human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois were reported.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 19 Aug 2011 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/human-cases-west-nile-virus-illinois-one-cook-county-90817