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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 12, 2010


WW Drums - Anthrax is a bacteria that exists naturally in certain parts of the world. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores, when they eat soil containing Anthrax spores. But it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or to tissue from infected animals.

Can I get Anthrax from playing African or Djembe Drums? The risk of acquiring anthrax from an animal hide drum is very low. Of 236 cases of anthrax reported to CDC from 1955 through 1999, only one case of cutaneous anthrax was associated with a goat hide bongo drum purchased in Haiti.

Can importers of African Drums guarantee their drums are Anthrax free? Some importers claim to "inspect" for Anthrax. However, drums can not simply be inspected for Anthrax. The detection process for determining if Anthrax is present requires a culture or sample from each goat skin or animal. The culture then needs to be grown in a lab certified to handle Anthrax. Only a laboratory can produce accurate results. . .

Should I buy a Djembe with a synthetic drum head? This is a matter of personal preference. Natural skin drum heads are more gentle on your hands than plastic or synthetic heads. Synthetic heads have no risk of containing Anthrax. According to CDC the risk of Anthrax from playing a Djembe drums is very low.


Blogger GotchaLookin said...

Anthrax spores - not live anthrax bacteria - are the problem. Protected by a tough protein coating when dried - the spores have been shown to be viable after 50 years of dried storage. The spores are highly resistant to normal chemical antibacterials and require toxic fumigation or direct radiation to kill. In Africa, the problem has been the increasing spread of the virulent B. anthracis Vollum variety, due to the war to liberate Zimbabwe wherein South Africa provided Vollum as a bioweapon to Rhodesia for use against Robert Mugabe's rebels. During the wet season, animals sharing water holes will spread the disease over a wide region. After eating their kills, wildlife hunters in Africa have routinely become infected with gastrointestinal anthrax during the wet season in Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The dry season causes anthrax to enter its spore cycle. This is also the time when a large number of animals will die from thirst and disease, and their hides harvested for export. The natural drying of animal skins actually improves the preservation of anthrax spores. As to the cases of death by drums carrying anthrax spores, two deaths were registered in England in the last three years - both linked to new animal hides used as drum heads. The US media chose to ignore the UK deaths as fringe reports, in the same way it has ignored December 2009's New Hampshire drummer's gastrointestinal anthrax case and the 8 deaths in Scotland by anthrax spore laced heroin in the last month. As of January 18th, 2010, France issued a public alert to the danger of anthrax infected heroin, recognizing that this may actually be an act of bioterrorism by Afghani and Pakistani heroin producers. It is important to note that the HHS and FDA recommend a course of inexpensive DOXYCYCLINE after exposure to anthrax. The problem is that inhalation anthrax disease will initially show symptoms very similar to a severe influenza or pneumonia infection: Congested breathing is the common symptom. If inhalation anthrax is suspected, patients must inform emergency health care staff so that DOXYCYCLINE can be started immediately. If not treated promptly with antibiotics, inhalation anthrax can kill from 5 to 7 days after exposure with severe edema of the lungs: Patients drown in their own beds. Both cases in the UK resulted in death because the patients were initially diagnosed as having the flu and were sent home. So much for the UK's Health Protection Services. For more information, see Scott Miller's documentary about the human anthrax vaccine scandal in the US military, "A CALL TO ARMS 2009 EDITION." This is a vaccine program that must be stopped because its active ingredient is an exotoxin of anthrax - a poison - which can trigger severe auto-immune diseases AND cancers. It is a mandatory vaccine for all US military personnel entering Iraq and Afghanistan. Please write Defense Secretary Robert Gates to have this vaccine removed from the mandatory inoculation program for deploying servicemen. No other allied forces are required to receive the human anthrax vaccine with the same threat of court-martial and/or non-judicial punishment if they refuse it. And, please support H.R. Bill 1478 to reinstate the right to sue the US for medical malpractice to all military personnel. Since 1990, over 685,000 US military have already been injured by the human anthrax vaccine, including severe birth defects among the children of servicemen, with over 20,000 deaths. If you are offered the human anthrax vaccine, just say "No"!

January 21, 2010 11:07 PM  

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