On the 6th of June 2006, Norfolk Council, in response to ill health and opposition to cell phone antennas which had been installed on the town water tower, heard many deputation's listing the adverse health effects of microwave emissions from cell phone antennas. Among the health effects of exposure to microwave radiation, presented to council, was impairment of the immune system. One of the main concerns raised at the meeting was that Norfolk General Hospital is located very close to the cell phone antennas. Senior members of Health Canada and Industry Canada attended the council meeting and supported the antennas staying on the water tower.
Since that date 17 or more patients, in the Norfolk General Hospital have died from C. difficile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions, such as colitis. Whilst I am not aware of any research that directly links this illness to microwave radiation, there is good reason to believe that the people who died, were weakened by exposure to microwave emissions and those emissions could have been an indirect cause of their deaths.
The council had originally voted (sensibly) to seek removal of the antennas but then in a cowardly move, flip flopped (before the municipal elections) and changed their minds. Strong scientific evidence was later presented to the new council, but they did not change their position and the antennas are still spewing radiation over homes, a school, a retirement home and the hospital.
The questions now -
Did the microwave emissions from the cell phone antennas influence the deaths?
Is Norfolk Council, Health Canada or Industry Canada, responsible for those deaths?
Did the councilors act unprofessionally, recklessly, carelessly or incompetently?
Should council re-open the cell phone antenna debate and look more closely at the scientific evidence that shows much ill health being caused by cell phone antennas?
Should an inquest be called to investigate the situation?
Should the police investigate these deaths as homicides?
May 24, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator
Norfolk General Hospital says 17 patients have died of C. difficile or complications from the superbug since the middle of 2006, the date a new strain of the bacterium began its assault on Ontario.
The 120-bed hospital in Simcoe says C. diff caused four deaths, contributed to eight and somewhat contributed to five deaths from April 2006 to March 2008.
It was the latest in a series of disclosures that have elevated C. diff to an issue of wide public concern.
A tally by The Spectator shows at least 170 patients have died of C. diff in Ontario hospitals since the spring of 2006, when an epidemic strain known as NAP1 arrived.
More than 600 mostly elderly patients have been infected in that period, the majority in Burlington, Belleville, Barrie, Mississauga and Sault Ste. Marie, where outbreaks have occurred.
Norfolk did not declare an outbreak, said hospital spokesperson Jason Harnett. But aggressive infection control measures were taken and continue to be in place.
Harnett said Norfolk decided to release the information as other Ontario hospitals have started doing in the past two weeks.
Disclosing information on C. diff and other infections is not mandatory. The province says it will require reporting by year's end.
At Norfolk, 31 patients infected with C. diff have died since 2006, but only 17 have been identified by the hospital as attributable to C. diff.
Oakville Trafalgar Memorial also released figures this week showing 18 deaths of patients infected with C. diff at that hospital from November 2007 to April 2008.
At Oakville, the bacterium was determined to be the cause of three deaths and a contributor to five.
Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman has been under pressure to investigate what happened at the hospitals, and whether the health system is properly equipped to cope with infections such as C. diff.
May 24, 2008
The Canadian Press
The 120-bed Norfolk General Hospital says 17 patients have died of C. difficile or complications from the superbug since the middle of 2006. At least 170 patients have died of the superbug in Ontario hospitals since the spring of 2006, when an epidemic strain known as NAP1 began its assault on Ontario. More than 600 mostly elderly patients have been infected, the majority in Burlington, Belleville, Barrie, Mississauga and Sault Ste. Marie, sites of official outbreaks.
PC leader calls for probe into C. difficile deaths
Posted 14 hours ago
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory is renewing calls for an independent investigation into a C. difficile outbreak in Ontario hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Tory says the death toll is now pushing 200, with hospitals in Kitchener, Cambridge, Oakville and Simcoe reporting more than 30 new deaths attributed to the bacteria.
He says hospitals have independently disclosed the information and he urges the government to take immediate action to mandate reporting.
Responding to a similar request last week, Health Minister George Smitherman dismissed the idea, suggesting the government is doing enough.
Smitherman added recommendations from a recent coroner's inquest into 26 C. difficile-related deaths in Sault Ste. Marie are already being implemented.
Not good enough
But Tory said a commitment by the government to make C. difficile reporting mandatory at hospitals by the end of the year isn't good enough.
"Mr. (Premier Dalton) McGuinty and Mr. Smitherman are really disrespecting all the people who have been through this so far," said Tory.
"I think we owe it to the families of the 200 people we know of so far who have died to get to the bottom of why they died."