Bedbugs attack U.N. and other health headlines
October 28th, 2010
04:18 PM ET

Bedbugs attack U.N. and other health headlines

Bedbugs are no fan of the United Nations.  They've been making a home at some of the chairs at the international organization. Along with their march toward world domination, a few other headlines caught our eye this week:  news about pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest; who is and isn't getting a flu shot; and the drinking habits of smart people.

A few quick hits:

UN infected by bedbugs

It’s not enough for the bedbugs to take over Manhattan.  It turns out they want to invade the United Nations too.

Over the weekend, dogs detected bedbugs in conference room chairs at one office building in the complex. A U.N. spokesman said in a briefing Wednesday that the infested chairs were fumigated and none of the building occupants have reported bites.

This is not the first time the UN has been invaded by bedbugs – another building was fumigated last year for the pests. Bedbugs creep out New York

To be fair, it’s not only New York.  A Pennsylvania campus was closed after a student showed up to class with a bug on his clothing, according to the Pittsburgh newspaper.

Chemical in plastics a male birth control?

BPA, the seemingly ubiquitous chemical found in clear plastics could be hurting your sperm count.  The chemical has  been found to affect erectile function too.  More about plastics and sperm

BPA is found pretty much in almost all plastics such as water bottles, baby food containers and etc.  It has also been thought to increase the risk of birth defects, early puberty, obesity, brain damage, and some forms of cancer.

This alarmed Canadians so much that their government declared the substance a toxic earlier this month.

Progress on pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer has claimed the lives of Jefferson Thomas, one of the so-called "Little Rock Nine," actor Patrick Swayze and professor Randy Pausch (author of "The Last Lecture").  It's one of the leading cancer killers as 95 percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

Because it’s relatively rare, the research on pancreatic cancer has been scant.

But new findings, published in Nature, suggest that pancreatic cancer can take a long time - an average of 21 years to become fatal. It’s a step towards understanding how pancreatic tumors develop, suggesting that there may be ways to detect it earlier before it becomes so lethal.

Thanks, but no thanks to flu shots

A survey by Consumer Reports finds that more than half of Americans will skip the flu shot this year.

The top reason for skipping the vaccine was “the mistaken belief that it’s best to build one’s own natural immunities,” according to Consumer Reports.

It's not only the lay people spurning the vaccine.  The survey also points out that 28 percent who work in health care settings such as nursing homes and hospitals indicated  they would definitely not get the vaccine.

Smart people drink more

People who are "very bright" drank more alcohol compared with the "very dull" counterparts.  That finding comes from the National Child Development Study in the United Kingdom and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States, according to Discovery News.

These findings don't really provide any explanations.

So does drinking make you smarter?  Or do smart people naturally gravitate towards alcohol?

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Ituri

    Smart people drink more? Ever heard the phrase "knowledge brings fear"... its true! And drinking dulls the harsher parts of reality when needed, so its no wonder. I doubt drinking *makes* people smarter though, we'd have seen a huge correlation if that were true. Rednecks living on guinness would be the smartest people around.

    As for the flu shot issue, its not surprising. I personally avoid vaccines save the most necessary since my immune system is particularly unhappy most of the time. But after all the big flu scares that have turned out to be nothing, is it shocking people are avoiding the yearly stab? I get the whole herd immunity thing, I think vaccines are great, but you aren't going to be able to scare people into getting them year after year.

    October 28, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Victor Delucchi

    It must be thanks to the Iranian and Venezuelan presidents visit...

    October 28, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bud

    I stayed at the Yosemite Cedar Lodge last month and got eaten alive by bed bugs. That's the gift that keeps on giving! First time in my life I've run into them.

    October 28, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Claire

      After reading an article about them, I started putting my suitcases in the bathtub and doing a room check for them–but that's still no guarantee. And even the most expensive hotels are infested. Yuk!

      October 29, 2010 at 00:08 | Report abuse |
    • JustInCase

      If you did not properly wrap your suitcase, you will need to fumigate your home immediately. The nimph is translucent in the daytime and fills up with blood at night (so that it appears bright red). You have probably carried nimps home with you. Once they are in your house, the extermination costs into the $$$$$$$$$$ to get rid fo them. I know, because my son came home from Summer Camp with nimps that infected my place for a couple of months!!! It was hell...but bits are the worse ever!

      October 29, 2010 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
  4. r

    Smart people get tired of thinking so sometimes they just need some alcohol.

    October 28, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. drunkbugisagoodbug

    well if their so damn smart I say on the house for all bed bugs!!

    October 28, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Liberated from Taxation

    The United Nations picked up the bed bugs the same exact way that the United States became infested with them. Travelers from Second and Third World countries. One more reason out of thousands to shut our border and be selective about who we admit. Also, another reason to eject the United Nations from our soil.

    October 29, 2010 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. moldandbugsgone

    Heat is the only 100% Safe GREEN method to stop the spread of and kill Bed Bugs.
    As per the US Armed Forces guidelines (dating back to WW1) the whole structure and everything in it needs to be heated to be effective in getting rid of Bed Bugs. A simple steam wand or shot of frozen gas can not get deep into the areas where Bed Bugs live and don’t be fooled by 1 hour heat treatment. Pesticides usually take 3 treatments and would you want your children to sleep where they just sprayed toxic chemicals!
    Call Frank the BedBug Chaser we're the only true nationwide HEAT SPECIALISTS at 908-510-8110 or visit me on Facebook @ "BedBug Chaser" to see if heat is right for you.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. petvet

    "Bedbugs are no fan of the United Nations"...Uh, isn't it the other way around, the UN is not a fan of bedbugs? It sounds like bedbugs ARE a fan of the UN. Also, just a tidbid of knowledge in response to someone's post, bed bugs don't infect anything, they infest. Infect does not refer to external parasites.

    October 29, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.