Monday, 9 July 2012

Medicine stuff from the week 2-8/7/12

We'll start this week with a series of health warnings:

I realise the 4th of July has now gone, but this is still pertinent information.
Fireworks are dangerous, and this is the general gist:
There are ~10000 firework-related accidents seen in emergency units across the US, every year
"Firework-related injuries in the United States -- especially in the month surrounding the Fourth of July -- are prevalent among children and adolescents."
"Many assume sparklers are a safer alternative for Fourth of July fun, but Slovis says even they burn at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. Sparklers should never be close to clothing or other items that could catch fire, and children should not handle them."
"Burns, lost fingers and blindness are some consequences of fireworks not working properly in close proximity of people"
[video of a firework exploding]
Safety guides:

A repeat warning has been made about the wearing of flip-flops. The hazards are:
- poor arch support, leading to pain
- muscle strain, caused by the necessary technique of gripping with the toes
- sunburn, on skin that is usually covered - wear suncream!

There have been a series of influenza outbreaks, around the world - from the Americas to Asia

An epidemic of H1N1 flu has infected almost 900 people and claimed 11 lives in Bolivia, mostly over the last few weeks. It's not yet known whether it came from pigs or birds. It's behaving most like winter flu - affecting mainly children and the elderly.
An H7N3 avian flu outbreak in Mexico has infected 1.7 million birds, and has killed 870,000, at 10 different farms in the western state of Jalisco
An outbreak of H5N1 avian flu amongst birds in remote Xinjiang, in China, has led to 150,000 birds being culled, and the area being quarantined.
Avian flu has killed an 8-year-old girl from Indonesia. Indonesia accounts for almost half the global deaths so far to this strain of flu.
"China is considered one of the nations most at risk of bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans."


Great news from India - they're planning to extend the range of generic drugs that are produced there to all that are supplied through the Indian health service.
This will cut out the branded drugs of the major international pharmaceutical companies, who pay far more for drugs that work no better than their non-branded counterparts.
The move to supplying many of these drugs free will be a boon for the generic drug industry in India, and from there, the rest of the world.
International aid charities like Medicins Sans Frontiers depend on cheap, generic drugs to treat the millions of sick people around the world that they can get to.
"It's a very welcome commitment by the government," Leena Menghaney, a lawyer with humanitarian group Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) told AFP.
"the government estimates 40 million Indians are forced into poverty annually because of treatment costs. Others are forced to seek loans or sell assets.
"When my brother got ill and was in hospital for weeks, we sold some land," said Raju Choudhary, a junior executive. "Anything like this could help people in such a situation.""

'Study shows spanking boosts odds of mental illness'
"Those who were spanked or hit as kids were between two and seven percent more likely to encounter mental issues later"
The study isolated those who had experienced corporal punishment alone, and so did not include those who had suffered more severe abuse.
"Previous research has repeatedly shown that children who were physically abused as youngsters suffer from more mental disturbances as adults, and are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior than kids who were not hit."

The Philippines is due to vaccinate 700,000 children, this year, to mitigate the number of under-5s that die because of it.
Currently, diarrhoea kills 3500 under-5s per year - the No.4 killer in this age group.

Eradicating the use of coal and charcoal powered stoves across China could dramatically cut the risk of asthma, bronchitis and heart disease, that are caused by the fuels' pollutant byproducts.
Currently, about a fifth of Chinese people are subject to this fossil fuel pollution, regardless of the emissions from power stations, and the like.

In the same vein, a new coal power station has bee damned by independent inspectors due to "water pollution damaging fishing, undeclared destruction of mangrove forests, herdsmen forced off their land and communities who had lost their livelihoods without compensation."

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