Your healthcare news library

Archive for June, 2013

禽流感/上海1例H7N9病例死亡

_102363602

中國大陸上海市衛生和計劃生育委員會26日通報,上海1例人感染H7N9禽流感病例死亡,無新增病例出現。  新華社今天報導,截至26日16時,上海累計確診人感染H7N9禽流感病例33例,其中2例患者仍在積極治療中,15例患者已康復出院,16例患者醫治無效死亡。  死亡患者姓顧,男性,56歲,上海人。4月11日被確診為人感染H7N9禽流感確診病例,4月19日轉往市公共衛生臨床中心診治,經積極搶救無效於今天凌晨死亡。

via 中央日報網路報-臺灣聚焦.

Advertisements

Help at hand for those wanting to detox from technology | My Sinchew


People looking at their smartphones while waiting for a train at a BTS station in Bangkok. Photo courtesy: AFP

by Marianne Barriaux

PARIS, June 25, 2013 (AFP) – Tired of checking your smartphone every few minutes for new emails, likes or retweets? Do you spend more time looking at your device than chatting to your date? Are you close to a digital burn-out?

Fear not, an increasing number of options are available for those seeking to detox from technology, from wallpaper that blocks wi-fi to Internet-free holidays and software that forces you off addictive sites.

“People connect all the time, everywhere, in every position — lying down on their bed, at the restaurant, in the waiting room,” says Remy Oudghiri, a director at French polling firm Ipsos and author of a book on the subject.

More and more people own devices that allow this. In the United States, over half of adults now have a smartphone, while more than a third own a tablet computer.

“This sudden surge in connection possibilities, after the initial period of enthusiasm, prompts every user to reflect on how to continue to enjoy life while taking advantage of their connection. How to avoid becoming dependent,” Oudghiri said.

French researchers have come up with one solution, creating a special type of wallpaper that blocks wifi, which materials company Ahlstrom is busy developing further with the aim of putting it on the market next year.

Spokesman Robin Guillaud says there has already been significant interest in the invention. Schools in particular have made enquiries, keen to prevent students from spending too much time hooked to their smartphones.

According to an Ipsos survey, nearly a third of French people now feel the need to disconnect, with similar trends recorded in other countries.

Separate research from the same firm found that in 2006, 54 percent of the French population felt people spent less time together due to the advent of new technologies, a figure that leapt to 71 percent last year.

Companies have latched onto this lassitude, particularly in the tourism industry where some hotels and resorts offer digital detox packages.

The upmarket Westin hotel in Dublin, for instance, gives guests the option to surrender their smartphones and tablets on check-in and provides them with a detox pack that includes a tree planting kit and a board game.

But it comes at a price — 175 euros ($230) per person per night.

Other firms are offering more in-depth packages to really get away from it all. The US-based Digital Detox organises tech-free retreats to remote places in the United States or escape destinations such as Cambodia.

“Some of it is marketing”, said Thierry Crouzet, a blogger who went cold turkey and disconnected for six months.

“There are loads of places that are tranquil. No need to book a tour operator that takes you to the North Pole.”

The 49-year-old wrote a book about his experience called “I unplugged”, after suffering from a digital burn-out that saw him so craving technology that he would sometimes check his email, blogs and Twitter at night.

“I see a lot of blogger friends who are easing off. Nearly everyone gradually takes breaks. We’re realising that at the end of the day, it (technology) doesn’t nourish us,” he said.

But Crouzet admits that as a blogger who was going to write a book about his experience, it was easier for him to disconnect than it is for thousands of people who rely on email for work.

As a result, some companies are implementing measures to try and relieve employees from being contactable 24/7.

German car maker Volkswagen, for instance, in 2011 decided to stop sending emails to thousands of employees’ Blackberrys between 6.15 pm and 7:00 am.

And for those who just cannot resist Facebook, Twitter or Google+, the website anti-social.cc offers software that disables a list of distracting sites provided by the customer for a specified time period.

When all else fails, Internet rehabs are starting to spring up, such as reSTART, which bills itself as the first retreat centre programme in the United States.

According to its website, most of those they treat are between 18 and 28, and have checked in because they have had difficulty finishing college due to their Internet use, or establishing and maintaining off-line relationships.

The programme aims to teach participants about healthy eating, getting good sleep and how to address difficult emotions head-on rather than escape online.

The jury is out, however, as to whether those hooked on technology suffer from an actual addiction.

“I wouldn’t use the word addiction, I’d use the word dependence,” said Oudghiri.

“And it’s not the same dependence as drug dependence as you can free yourself of it more easily.”

via Help at hand for those wanting to detox from technology | My Sinchew.

Illegal drug trafficking obstacle to development – UN

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban ki-Moon says illegal drug trafficking is a clear obstacle to development and called for “a robust and coordinated law enforcement response within and among countries.”

Mr. Moon in a message to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which falls today June 26, 2013 spoke of his  visit to the Patrignano drug rehabilitation centre in northern Italy.

He said the facility houses 1,200 young women and men from 28 countries who are learning to free themselves from “the curse of addiction and enjoy dignified and productive lives.”

The UN Secretary-General said all over the world, drugs threaten the health and welfare of youth and children, families and communities, and the billions of dollars generated by the drugs trade feed corruption, enhance the power of criminal networks and create fear and instability.

“Illegal drug trafficking is a clear obstacle to development.  This cross-border problem requires a robust and coordinated law enforcement response within and among countries.  Tackling organized crime and the illicit drugs trade is a shared responsibility.  But the rule of law is only part of the equation,” he said.

According to Mr. Moon, farmers dependent on the cultivation of illicit drugs such as coca, marijuana and opium must be offered alternative livelihoods, while drug users and addicts need help not stigmatization.

He called for a human rights and science-based public health approach, which he says is the only sound basis for preventing and treating addiction and related consequences such as HIV transmission through unsafe injecting practices.

“We must also address threats such as the emerging problem of new psychoactive substances, many of which are not under international control.  Young people, in particular, must be made aware of the dangers of these drugs,” he said.

The UN General Assembly decided by resolution 42/112 of  7 December 1987, to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The theme for this year is “Make health your ‘new high’ in life, not drugs.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

via Ghana Business News » Illegal drug trafficking obstacle to development – UN.

Haze-induced illnesses

Particles emitted by forest fires resulting in the haze can be toxic to the lungs. They can penetrate deep into the lungs and get absorbed by the blood stream.

I LIVE in Muar, where schools have been closed due to the haze and visibility is very poor. I dare not let my children go out at all. We have shut ourselves in the house and switched the air-conditioning on. I am worried for my old parents. Can we die from the haze?

Yes, you can. But it has to be disease-related.

But first of all, you have to understand what the haze is. The haze is an atmospheric condition where particles, smoke, dust and moisture suspend in the air. The more of these particles, smoke and dust there are, the less visible our environment will be.

The haze is only one of the “horizontal obscurations” that we have in the world.

The World Meterological Organization classifies horizontal obscuration into different categories: fog, ice fog, steam fog, mist, haze, smoke, volcanic ash, dust, sand and snow.

A “haze” may be produced by open burning (what is occurring now), farming (if you plough the fields in dry weather), pollution from traffic (it seems that there is a permanent haze in Los Angeles, for example), and smoke from industry and wildfires (like what occured in Australia a few years ago).

What kind of diseases can I get from the haze?

You can get a spectrum of diseases involving your respiratory tract as you breathe in those particles, and your eyes, which is exposed to the environment.

You can get:

·Conjunctivitis or inflammation of the eye.

·Nasal irritation, causing you to produce a lot of mucous and start clearing your throat excessively, or sneeze and cough.

·Throat irritation, leading to a sore throat, which in turn can produce mucous and clog up your pharynx area.

·Lung tissue inflammation and scarring. At high levels of the haze, you may start to cough and even feel breathless. At lower levels of pollution, people with a pre-existing lung or heart disorder may start to feel breathless and cough.

So if your loved ones or friends have conditions such as asthma, heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you should make sure they stay indoors as much as possible and avoid the haze.

It is stated that if the API goes from 50 to 150, you can see a 12% increase in upper respiratory tract diseases, a 19% increase in asthma cases, and a 26% increase in nose inflammation.

How would I know if the haze is affecting me?

You may start to experience these symptoms. These are usually short-term. Look out for:

·Watery or irritated eyes.

·Actual reddening, itchiness and inflammation of the outer lining of your eyes (conjunctivitis).

·Runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing.

·Post-nasal drip (where the mucous from the back of your nose drips into your throat, causing irritability, soreness and cough, especially at night when you are trying to sleep).

·Sore, dry and irritable throat, which you have to keep clearing.

·Coughing.

·Headache and dizziness.

·Fatigue and the feeling of malaise.

·Mental irritability and the feeling of being stressed out.

·Difficulty breathing, especially on exertion, because your lung function has decreased.

·Bronchitis and lung infections.Most of these symptoms are usually mild. They will get better if you stay indoors and do not expose yourself to the haze.

My elderly father has chronic bronchitis. Will the haze affect him more than me?

Yes. You have to be very careful with your loved ones or friends suffering from lung and heart diseases, including asthma (especially for children).

If you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) like chronic bronchitis or emphysema, obstructive sleep apnoea and heart diseases like coronary artery disease or heart failure, be very careful.

You may have acute exacerbations of your existing conditions. For example, if you have asthma, the haze can actually induce an acute attack, which you may have to manage by rushing yourself to the emergency department of the hospital. Will the haze have any long-term effects, like lung cancer?

Particles emitted by forest fires can be toxic to the lungs. They can penetrate deep into the lungs and get absorbed by the blood stream.

Studies have shown that people exposed to the haze (fine particles) frequently experience a faster thickening of their arteries, and this reduces life expectancy by a few years.

Long-term exposure to particles 2.5 micrometers or smaller can increase your risk of developing diabetes.

For pregnant mothers, be extra careful, because this is associated with spontaneous abortion, birth defects and high infant death rates.

It is not known at this stage if the risk of lung cancer is higher.

via Haze-induced illnesses – Health | The Star Online.

NEA reveals haze contingency plans for essential services


Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan shows
a refuse collector the correct way of wearing a face mask during his visit to Bukit Panjang. (Photo: S Ramesh)

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has put in place haze contingency plans for essential services like dengue inspections, waste collection and public cleaning.

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) has put in place haze contingency plans for essential services like dengue inspections, waste collection and public cleaning.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan revealed this during his visit to several blocks in the Bukit Panjang Division on Wednesday morning.

He was there to inspect waste collection and dengue wipeout operations.

For dengue inspections, NEA operations will continue with minimal disruptions.

All officers checking public areas will don N95 face masks in accordance with the health advisories issued.

Dengue inspections have remained in a stepped-up mode as the epidemic is still sustained with 842 cases last week and 268 this week.

In the event the haze worsens again and is prolonged, NEA may consider scaling back the hours of outdoor work.

However, indoor checks in homes and application of insecticides will continue.

On waste collection, NEA will reduce refuse collection frequency from daily collection to alternate days.

This is because manpower is expected to suffer a shortfall during severe haze conditions.

As for ensuring public cleanliness, NEA will reduce the cleaning frequency according to the haze condition.

Urgent work such as the cleaning of animal carcasses and spillages will be given priority.

– CNA/xq

via NEA reveals haze contingency plans for essential services – Channel NewsAsia.

HAZE UPDATE: API for 26th June as at 7am

Below are the Air Pollutant Index readings provided by the Department of Environment as at 7am this morning.

STATE AREA TIME
7:00AM
Johor Kota Tinggi 73*
Johor Larkin Lama 66*
Johor Muar 70*
Johor Pasir Gudang 60*
Kedah Alor Setar 57*
Kedah Bakar Arang, Sg. Petani 66*
Kedah Langkawi 50*
Kelantan SMK Tanjung Chat, Kota Bharu 81*
Kelantan Tanah Merah 75*
Melaka Bandaraya Melaka 93*
Melaka Bukit Rambai 111*
Negeri Sembilan Nilai 148*
Negeri Sembilan Port Dickson 105*
Negeri Sembilan Seremban 118*
Pahang Balok Baru, Kuantan 74*
Pahang Indera Mahkota, Kuantan 65*
Pahang Jerantut 82*
Perak Jalan Tasek, Ipoh 99*
Perak Kg. Air Putih, Taiping 78*
Perak S K Jalan Pegoh, Ipoh 118*
Perak Seri Manjung 137*
Perak Tanjung Malim 110*
Perlis Kangar 62*
Pulau Pinang Perai 60*
Pulau Pinang Seberang Jaya 2, Perai 62*
Pulau Pinang USM 62*
Sabah Keningau 54*
Sabah Kota Kinabalu 67*
Sabah Sandakan 55*
Sabah Tawau 39*
Sarawak Bintulu 57*
Sarawak ILP Miri 65*
Sarawak Kapit 44*
Sarawak Kuching 51*
Sarawak Limbang 43*
Sarawak Miri 69*
Sarawak Samarahan 56*
Sarawak Sarikei 63*
Sarawak Sibu 74*
Sarawak Sri Aman 65*
Selangor Banting 114*
Selangor Kuala Selangor 134*
Selangor Pelabuhan Kelang 140*
Selangor Petaling Jaya 111*
Selangor Shah Alam 118*
Terengganu Kemaman 88*
Terengganu Kuala Terengganu 85*
Terengganu Paka 71*
Wilayah Persekutuan Batu Muda,Kuala Lumpur 100*
Wilayah Persekutuan Cheras,Kuala Lumpur 98*
Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan 63*
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya 112*

API

Status

Areas

%

0-50 Good 4 8%
51-100 Moderate 35 67%
101-200 Unhealthy 13 25%
201-300 Very Unhealthy 0 0%
>301 Hazardous 0 0%

Read more: HAZE UPDATE: API for 26th June as at 7am – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/font-color-red-haze-update-font-api-for-26th-june-as-at-7am-1.307862#ixzz2XHnuJjhB

Health Ministry distributing anti-smog masks

KL24_180613_MIC

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has begun to distribute anti-smog masks to the public as the air quality had declined in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

“Masks have been distributed in schools, shopping malls and government offices,” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He also added that the ministry had prepared one million masks to be distributed in seriously affected areas.

The masks would also be given out to clinics in these affected areas, he told a press conference here yesterday.

“Although there is a short supply for certain types of masks, generally, there is enough supply for most types of masks,” Dr Subramaniam said.

He added that the ministry would look into cases of shortage at pharmacies.

All 3,000 government clinics nationwide will be monitoring the situation.

On the retail price of masks, Dr Subramaniam said the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry informed his ministry on Monday that the prices were controlled and consumers could lodge reports of over-charging.

Regarding people becoming sick because of the haze, Dr Subramaniam said Johor had a 122% increase in asthmatic cases and 40% increase in upper respiratory tract infections last week.

via Health Ministry distributing anti-smog masks – Nation | The Star Online.

Tag Cloud