Health Canada Issues Warning About Cluster
Doctors in New Brunswick are on high alert for patients exhibiting symptoms of an alarming neurological disease that appears to be linked to environmental causes. The neurotoxin behind the human outbreak is likely impacting livestock and wildlife, too.
Health Canada’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease surveillance system determined that the rising number of cases should be considered a cluster in the Moncton and Acadian Peninsula areas of New Brunswick. There have been 42 cases of this emerging disease reported in the province so far. Six people have died so far.
Symptoms of the disease include muscle spasms, memory loss, atrophy, vision problems and the rapid development of dementia. Symptoms are similar to prion disease, which includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, chronic wasting disease in wildlife and mad cow disease in livestock. If it’s prion disease, sick people and animals are merely symptoms of a bigger problem–a global problem. Suffice it to say, Canadian health officials are falling all over themselves in an attempt to rule out prion disease. The potential liabilities and lawsuits associated with a CJD cluster would send shockwaves throughout the country and around the world.
Scientists are currently looking into the possibility that this is a new variant of a prion disease — or a new disease entirely. Since prions mutate as they move up the food chain, there are now thousands of mutations threatening humans and other mammals. It’s too soon to make a determination, but it’s impossible to rule out prion disease given the numerous prion pathways in every nation.
Excluding the recent coronavirus pandemic, neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death on the planet. Alzheimer’s disease alone is taking the lives of 50-100 million people around the world now. Millions will die of the disease this year, while millions more will be diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Millions of additional people will go undiagnosed. The prion (pree-on) pandemic has been accelerating for years. Prion disease is an infectious disease. It’s always fatal. There is no vaccine.
A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and prions. Prions are infectious, deadly proteins that consume the brain. Prion disease is clinically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). As the name suggests, TSEs are transmissible (contagious).
Prion disease is a spectrum disease. No two cases are identical. This spectrum of rapidly progressive, fatal, and infectious neurodegenerative disorders is affecting both humans and many other mammals. Parkinson’s disease is another prion disease. The difference between Parkinson’s disease and the spectrum above is that Parkinson’s attacks the region of the brain responsible for movement. Alzheimer’s disease attacks the region of the brain responsible for memory. CJD is like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids and it is highly infectious. All people with prion disease are theoretically contaminating the world around them, while exposing family, friends and community members. It demands much stricter protocols to contain the prion pathogen, including infectious waste and wastewater management.
Like many nations around the world, Canada has a history of prion disease and prion mismanagement. Chronic wasting disease among wildlife and mad cow disease among livestock are just two examples. The nation has all but given up on the war against CWD.
Prion-tainted growth hormones obtained from cadavers were injected into people around the world, including Canada, several years ago. In 2013, three people showed up in emergency rooms in British Columbia on the same day–all with symptoms similar to what has been found recently in New Brunswick. One of those victims definitely had CJD, while the others have been swept under the rug.
Today, the nation is dumping prion-laced infectious waste on open lands across rural Canada. Because of the infectious nature of prion disease, infectious waste (past and present) is part of the story in New Brunswick, British Columbia or anywhere else affected by prion disease.
The cases in New brunswick are not genetic, said neurologist Alier Marrero of Moncton’s Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre. A neurotoxin appears to be responsible for the surge, which means that it is still a threat to humans, livestock and wildlife. Canadian authorities have provided little information about the victims although they have indicated that the disease affects people of all ages.
Yvonne Godin, mayor of a small town in the Acadian Peninsula, said the lack of public information is causing concern. She wants to know the cause of this disease as soon as possible.
“We don’t know where this is coming from,” but the leading hypothesis so far is that it’s environmental, Marrero said. “We believe it is acquired from exposure to something in the environment—food, water, neurotoxins.”
The disease cluster was not disclosed to the public until March 17, 2021. A report from health authorities in New Brunswick was leaked to the media. According to the memo, the first case of the disease in this region was diagnosed in 2015. In 2019, 11 additional cases were discovered. In 2020, 24 more cases discovered and another six so far in 2021. Not one has recovered.
Dr. Cristin Muecke, deputy chief medical officer of health, sent the memo on March 5th to the New Brunswick Medical Society and related professional associations for doctors and nurses. Her office describes the cluster as “a progressive neurological syndrome of unknown origin.” The cases have many similarities to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, but the government is clearly reluctant to make such a declaration, which will make it more difficult to dismiss.
The median age for the unknown disease is 59 years old, with a few patients being in their early 50s.
“As the disease progresses, usually over a course of 18 to 36 months, loss of balance and coordination have been observed, and sometimes patients have abnormal and rapidly progressing brain atrophy,” said Marrero. “We cannot say this is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (yet).”
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters that the outbreak is under investigation. Russell confirmed that cases so far are concentrated in the Moncton region and the northeastern part of the province. Marrero and Russell didn’t call the situation a threat to public health. Since they haven’t ruled out prion disease, such a statement is reckless.
“Fear is usually bad advice because it will paralyze us,” Marrero said. “We are working very hard to figure this out.”
It should be assumed that anyone with neurological symptoms has prion disease until proven otherwise. Unfortunately, governments around the world have a problem telling the truth about prion disease and prion contamination. Canada is no exception. The official government response will be scripted. It will frame this cluster as an isolated event and it will kill any science or evidence that suggests the contrary. Prion disease is never an isolated event.
Public Health officials won’t reveal specifically where in New Brunswick more than 40 cases of a mystery neurological disease have been identified, citing the “sensitive” and “confidential” nature of the information. Even more importantly, are these victims under quarantine to prevent further prion contamination and to protect family and caregivers?
Green Party Leader David Coon blasted Public Health’s handling of the cases on several levels, saying it’s “unacceptable that information involving the health of so many people is being concealed.”
“We are very, very worried about it,” said Yvon Godin, the mayor of Bertrand, a village further north on the peninsula, who also chairs the Forum of Acadian Peninsula Mayors. “Residents are asking ‘Is it moose meat? Is it deer? Is it contagious?’ We need to know, as fast as possible, what is causing this disease.”
Dr. Neil Cashman, a neurologist at the University of British Columbia and a specialist in prion disease, says that Canadian doctors “have a problem on our hands.”
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is a prion disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a prion disease. Both diseases are on the prion spectrum and doctors can’t explain where on the spectrum an Alzheimer’s diagnosis becomes a CJD diagnosis. It’s simpler and much more accurate to stop playing these games and call it prion disease. It’s even more accurate to call prion disease by the clinical term, which is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. The operative word is transmissible.
This distinction is important, because prions are found in the bodily fluid and cell tissue of its victims—millions of victims. Blood, mucus, saliva, urine, feces and all tissue are infected and contagious. Once prions are released from the body, they proceed to migrate, mutate and multiply. Prions are impossible to stop because they aren’t a virus or bacteria. They are killer proteins that convert normal proteins into killers. These proteins infect the entire body, but they do most of their damage in the brain.
The cause of the cluster could be environmental, said University of Alberta scientist Debbie McKenzie. Since the cases reported so far are concentrated in two specific areas, the theory makes sense to epidemiologists. On one hand, we need to understand where the neurotoxin came from. However, if we are dealing with prion disease, we must not allow these victims to create additional prion pathways. Unfortunately, victims create a new threat to public health.
Because of these dynamics, there isn’t such a thing as an isolated event regarding prion disease. Avoiding prion contamination caused by prion victims is impossible. Homes, restaurants, dental offices, nursing homes and any other destination visited by people with Alzheimer’s disease or CJD is a threat to your health. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when you consider that we are dumping millions of tons of sewage sludge (biosolids) from our cities on our farmland, ranches, golf courses, parks, playgrounds and schoolyards. The infectious waste proceeds to infect food, water and air.
When Canada began dumping massive quantities of sewage sludge on land, it based this unsavory practice on a risk assessment prepared by the U.S. EPA (EPA 503 Rule, also known as the sludge rule). The sludge rule is based on the premise that no evidence of harm can be taken as evidence of safety. It’s the scientific equivalent of don’t ask and don’t tell. The U.S. government developed EPA Rule 503 before the world knew about prions. Once Stanley Prusiner brought them to light with his Nobel-Prize winning work in 1997, nothing changed at the EPA or in the other nations that rely on EPA Rule 503 to dump millions of tons of toxic, infectious waste on their homelands and their citizens.
In 2018, after standing behind this fraudulent risk assessment for more than 30 years, the U.S. EPA admitted that the risk assessment regarding the dumping of sewage sludge on land is incomplete. It no longer endorses the foolish practice that has created a public health disaster in many nations. Unfortunately, these dumping practices have not been stopped. Millions of tons of sewage sludge, loaded with infectious waste, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and plenty of prions, are still being dumped in just the U.S. and Canada every year.
My guess is that impacted region of New Brunswick has been a dumping ground for sewage sludge. The Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission dumps more than 10,000 tons of biosolids across the region annually. Where are cities such as Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and others dumping their sewage sludge? This toxic, infectious waste is not fertilizer. It’s bioterrorism. As more people contract neurodegenerative disease, the deadlier this waste stream becomes.
Prion contamination is almost impossible to completely sterilize or neutralize. Prevention, containment and aversion are clearly the best strategies. People who have prion disease, even those who have not been diagnosed, are prion incubators and distributors. Everything that they touch becomes hopelessly contaminated. Yes, sewage is the largest prion pathway in the world, but when you think about the things that a prion victim contaminates daily, it’s overwhelming. So, yes, the cluster in New Brunswick could have been sparked by one of several potential pathways, if not all of them. The key now is to contain these victims and keep them from creating new vectors and victims. It’s critical to shut down all prion pathways.
The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged that pathogen risks from land application of sewage sludge have not been adequately evaluated. As the incidence of neurodegenerative disease increases, infectious waste becomes more prevalent and more deadly. Please join us in our quest for truth and reform. Answers begin with the truth.