Archive for World Health Organization

Ebola – Is The World Doing Enough?

Posted in America, Environment, Health, Nature, News, Nigeria, Politics, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 03/10/2014 by floroy1942

It amazes me that we have a sickness that could destroy most of mankind on this planet if it got out of control, and on a global basis few people seem interested. There is no cure, and it is highly infectious as we have seen from the events of the past few weeks. And yet, despite this chilling fact, very few people seem to be taking the situation seriously.

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Until recently all the cases were to be found in three West African countries, namely Sierra Leon, Liberia and Guinea and I guess because they are so far away, and in Africa, no-one seems alarmed. However, now a case has been diagnosed in the United States and suddenly people are taking notice. What most people do not realize is that it takes one person to start an epidemic in any country on the planet. This is what we could have seen in the States.

Thomas Eric Duncan, A Liberian National Visiting Family In Texas

Thomas Eric Duncan, A Liberian National Visiting Family In Texas

I know, we have not reached that stage yet thank goodness, but it could happen. One person, Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national was diagnosed with Ebola over a week after arriving in the country. The incubation period for this disease is estimated at two to twenty-one days and once it manifests itself becomes highly contagious through bodily fluids.

The Texas authorities dealing with the case are trying to trace anyone who had contact with Mr. Duncan during his time there, and have so far identified 12 to 18. How many other people has he had contact with in that time?

Texas-Presbyterian Hospital

Texas-Presbyterian Hospital

What is dangerous about this case is that he visited the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on 25 September for a “low-grade fever and stomach pains” but was sent home again. The reason being, they did not recognize it for what it was, despite him saying he came from Liberia. Now the full scale of the problem has been made known it multiplies exponentially. Such diseases are a roller-coaster ride in that an infected person could conceivably infect someone, or several people, who then passes it on to more, who then pass it on to more. And so it goes Ad Infinitum. Before you know it you have a full-blown plague on your hands. OK, you can say that we are a bit more ‘savvy’ in our approach to such things than decades ago, but it is still a risk.

Ashoka Mukpo

Ashoka Mukpo

Now yet another man, a freelance news cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo has been flown to the States for treatment from Liberia. He had been hired by NBC News’ chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman and now the whole team are being quarantined in the USA.

When bodily fluids are the carrier, meaning sweat, blood and saliva, it is very easy for the disease to be transmitted on to someone else by for example, a handshake, a cup or beer glass, plus a hundred other things.

I am glad to say we have not reached the epidemic stage yet and I hope we do not, for you can be sure in America such an occurrence will be treated quickly and efficiently. But what if it was somewhere like India, Azerbaijan, or Mexico where the systems are not so efficient. Food for thought!

The People Who Should Be Controlling The Effort

The People Who Should Be Controlling The Effort

The one thing that surprises me is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not taken more of a lead in this outbreak. They have relied on western countries to offer help to the people battling this outbreak in Africa instead of calling for international help from across the globe. But there again, it is a U.N. organization and they are probably still discussing what to do.

Reaction to the whole episode has been disgracefully slow by everyone, and in the meantime, more people are being infected and more are dying without proper help in Africa. There has been no coordinated response to the problem and that heightens the risk of a traveller from one of these three countries starting an epidemic somewhere. Once you have thousands of victims spread across many countries it will be almost impossible to control.

Liberian Village Life

Liberian Village Life

I am glad that western nations are stepping in to help these poor people, but to be honest, it is too little. Most of the infected areas are small villages where people are not educated and move around as and when they will. There have been many cases where the villagers just do not believe it when they are told by officials that they are in danger. There have been cases where officials have been beaten and even killed whilst trying organize these people to stop the spread of Ebola. They are simple folk with no understanding of such things.

This I believe is yet another reason why the WHO should be taking the lead on this epidemic by providing not only the medical expertise for the victims, but also in organizing the people so it does not spread any further.

Clearing The Bodies

Clearing The Bodies

Already there have been deaths in villages due to Ebola, but the local people do not know what caused the death and have taken no precautions against being infected. They just do not believe that they are in the middle of a plague area. The death toll is rising steadily with, according the the WHO, a total of 3,338 deaths. Liberia has been hit the hardest with some 1,998 deaths, Guinea with 710, Sierra Leone with 622 and 8 in Nigeria.

I certainly think it is time for a more coordinated effort to be made by the WHO in helping these poor people and ridding the world of this scourge.

Roy.

Finally, Some Common Sense From Science

Posted in America, Britain, Children, England, Environment, Europe, Health, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 20/10/2013 by floroy1942

WHOThe World Health Organization (WHO) has just released a report that states “the leading cause of lung cancer is air pollution”. It has always been my belief that air pollution from cars and factories has been a significant cause of this and many other sicknesses, and not the smoker who was deemed by all as the ‘Evil One’. For years, doctors and scientists have been blaming smokers for all the cancers in the world with their ‘Passive Smoking’ hype and telling everyone that if as a non-smoker you get lung cancer it is the fault of those evil smokers who pollute the atmosphere. Well, at last the truth will out, and it seems we smokers are not the ones to blame for all the vile diseases in the world.

Not As Big An Evil

Not Killing Everyone In A 100m Radius As We Were Told!

I am well aware that smoking heightens the risk of smoker’s contracting lung cancer and I do not take that lightly, but I have never subscribed to the idea that to sit across the room from a smoker you are bound to get it as some will have us believe. When I was young I often went to the cinema, and because there were no restrictions on smoking, the smoke inside was as thick as fog at times. It was an every day part of life, just as in the pubs, but the point I am making is that we did not have hundreds of thousands dying of lung cancer every year like we do now, the disease was practically unheard of. It was the same for every leading nation in Europe and North America.

1950's Industrial Scene - The Price Of Burning Coal

1950’s Industrial Scene – The Price Of Burning Coal

The one major thing that changed after then was that people became more affluent and had money to buy cars, evidenced by the fact that since the 1950’s the car population has exploded until we now have over a billion cars on the world’s roads. As you would expect, this came at a price i.e. a massive expansion of the pollutants entering the atmosphere. Not only cars but also the explosion of the manufacturing industry is to blame as more and more factories started up to provide us all with the luxury goods we crave like mobile phones, electric hair-dryers, cosmetics, computers and of course cars. The number of factories in the world has risen beyond imagination when compared to those far off days prior to 1960.

Air Pollutants

Air Pollutants

From the WHO data it becomes clear that our avarice will at some time in the future be the end of us, for as we want more and more so we add more deadly chemicals to the very air that we breathe, and eventually it will kill us! Harsh words for some, but I believe prophetic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has quoted the fast rising economic and industrial expansion of countries like China and other East Asian countries that has resulted in smog in major cities such as we saw in major industrial centres in England in the 1950’s.

Bus Conductor Guides The Bus Driver

Bus Conductor Guides The Bus Driver

I remember a time in Manchester when I was about fourteen that my father made me walk in front of the car to show him the way because otherwise movement in the thick smog was impossible. It took us several hours to travel a few miles to get home.

The catalyst in those days was that since the birth of the Industrial Revolution, every factory and home burnt ordinary coal, and it was only in the 50’s and 60’s that we learnt how to to process coal into such things as coke and other smokeless fuels. Later came the nuclear age which was the cleanest of all, but we sat with the problem of disposing of used nuclear fuel rods. Thankfully for us, such times are history, but not in the Far East.

The  Good Old Days

The Good Old Days

I find it amazing that for decades scientists have blamed the smoker for all the lung diseases of the world, and governments have willingly persecuted these people for their “Filthy Habit”, and many people give disgusted looks or shout abuse at those among us who enjoy it. I remember sitting in the front row of the smokers seats on an aeroplane when going on holiday. I was well within my rights to smoke then, but a Dutch woman in front of me turned and gave me a mouthful of abuse in a very loud voice that “I was killing her with my smoke”. Needless to say, she got short shrift from me. But all the hype against smokers has been exacerbated by continuing ‘scientific’ reports that if you are within 100 yards of a smoker the passive smoke will kill you.

The Effects Of Air Pollution

The Effects Of Air Pollution

Dr Kurt Straif, from IARC, said: “The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.” Cancer Research UK said it was not a surprise. I am no scientist but I reported on the link between air pollution and cancer up to two years ago because to me it was obvious. Thankfully science has now caught up.

The Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

The Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

What has also come to light is that charity organizations like Cancer Research are down-playing the WHO results, probably because it will affect future donations and goes against everything they have been preaching to the masses for the last thirty years i.e. that tobacco smoke is the number one killer. Dr Julie Sharp, the head of health information at the charity, said: “It’s important that people keep the risk from air pollution in perspective. Although air pollution increases the risk of developing lung cancer by a small(??) amount, other things have a much bigger effect on our risk, particularly smoking.” (Oh yes! Let us admit we may have made a mistake, but after all it was was only a teensie weensie one wasn’t it!).

So where do we go from here? That’s a very big question with a very expensive answer! The WHO is asking governments to begin taking action to curb emissions in a big way. They can do this if they wish, but the measures required would be very unpopular with the masses who invariably know nothing of the risks to mankind’s future, and are only interested if it impacts their daily lives. Few people have the brains to look forward and imagine what our current greed is doing to the lives of our children and grand-children, and even their children.

New York City Skyline At Night - A Shocking Waste Of Power, And It's Everywhere

New York City Skyline At Night – A Shocking Waste Of Power, And It’s Everywhere

To clean up the air we breathe before it kills us all we have to make major inroads into our current way of life. It may be as some advocate, finding cleaner sources of energy but in my opinion that is a pipe dream unless you are talking about nuclear power stations. We would be far better off making huge cuts in the amount of energy we use because so much of it is pure waste, like city office blocks with all their lights on all night, garish advertising boards that stay on all night, and all the little electrical gadgets we have around the home like electric toothbrushes, hair dryers and juice mixers. They all add up to a monumental waste of all the world’s precious resources and add to the pollution unnecessarily.

One Of The Largest Polluters

One Of The Largest Polluters

Next in line is of course the motor car, for this is perhaps the biggest polluter of all with over a billion cars on the road. Some families have three and four cars between them, father, mother, son, daughter etc. There will come a time when governments will have to step in and make it law there will be no more than one car per family. Vehicles are a double danger, for not only do they pollute the air in our cities and towns, but are also consuming natural resources at an ever increasing rate, and what will you do when the oil tap is closed for the last time? Keep going on at the rate we are and I can see mankind going back to the horse as a means of transport.

Is This YOUR Child's Future Because Of Our Own Excess?

Is This YOUR Child’s Future Because Of Our Own Excess?

Whichever way you look at it, we all have to start consuming less and reduce emissions drastically if our children, and theirs, are to have a world to live in. It starts with each an every one of us – No-one else!

Roy.

Antibiotics losing their grip?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Health, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17/04/2011 by floroy1942

Disturbing news came to light this week that may worry many people. It would seem a new generation of ‘superbug’ has arrived on which the usual antibiotics are useless, and for many that could spell trouble.

The Wonder Drug

The ‘wonder drug’ has been around in many forms since the first commercially available antibiotic. It was invented by a German research team under Dr. Gerhard Dermagk in 1932, and marketed by the I.G. Farben conglomerate in Germany. Dr. Dermagk received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1939 for his work.

Since that time, the drug has undergone many changes and is used to treat just about any kind of infection. Naturally enough, the bugs have also been around and we are now entering a period where these drugs are beginning to lose the battle.  

In my opinion the reason is quite simple really, these drugs have been over-prescribed during the last forty years. I know from my own experiences that in Britain for example, doctor’s have prescribed antibiotics for just about everything from the common cold to rickets.

Overprescribing Antibiotics:

http://youtu.be/ey_PLFQ_vYI

The NDM-1 Superbug

For this reason, it seems logical that over a period of time the bugs will mutate into a form that is immune to the drugs, and that is what is now happening. So in effect, we have created the problem ourselves by over indulgence in what was once a miracle cure.

We can be certain that unless a substitute for antibiotics or a new strain can be found, we are heading for a major problem in world health. In the EU alone 25,000 people die from ‘super bugs’ that are resistant to antibiotics, and the World Health Organization has described the problem as ‘critical’.

Defacating, Washing And Drinking In The Ganges

Many of the persistent bugs come from India and Pakistan, countries that are synonymous with poor sanitation standards, where tests have shown that water is contaminated.

We are now living in a world where people from all countries travel and mix freely, and this in turn will only exacerbate the situation by allowing the bugs to be introduced by carriers.

The Superbug:

http://youtu.be/VQhIz2LqrYA

There is little doubt this is a problem of global proportions that needs to be addressed quickly, otherwise there exists a strong possibility of epidemics breaking out all over the world with no known cure. Food for thought!

Roy.

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