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Britain to Ban Sale of All Diesel and Petrol Cars and Vans from 2040

Plans follow French commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road owing to effect of poor air quality on people’s health

           

Ministers believe poor air quality poses largest environmental risk to public health in UK. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

theguardian.com - Anushka Asthana and Matthew Taylor - July 25, 2017

Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.

The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle. 

The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Electric cars win? Britain to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040

 

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Texas Reports First Locally Transmitted Case of Zika in US This Year

                                                    

CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - Health officials find probable local Zika infection - July 26, 2017

cnn.com - by Debra Goldschmidt - July 26, 2017

A resident of Hidalgo County, Texas who has now recovered from the Zika virus was probably infected within the county, local and state health officials said Wednesday. This represents the first locally transmitted case of the virus reported in the continental United States this year.

"Because the individual has not recently traveled outside the area or had any other risk factors, the infection was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in South Texas sometime in the last few months," according to a joint statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services and Hidalgo County Health and Human Services.

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Hotez Measles Prediction: Something Awful is Happening in Texas

CLICK HERE - PLOS - Texas and Its Measles Epidemics

outbreaknewstoday.com - by Robert Herriman - July 15, 2017

The Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Dr Peter Hotez is concerned about measles in his state of Texas, so much that he is raising the alarm by predicting a measles outbreak could happen as early as the winter or spring of 2018.

In an article published in PLoS Medicine last fall, Hotez writes: Measles vaccination coverage in certain Texas counties is dangerously close to dropping below the 95% coverage rate necessary to ensure herd immunity and prevent measles outbreaks.

He tells me during the interview, “Something awful is happening in Texas,” Dr Hotez said.

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Uptick in Creutzfeld-Jakob Cases Raises Questions

Is chronic wasting disease in deer making the jump to humans?

medpagetoday.com - by MedPage Today Staff - July 10, 2017

Cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal prion disease that's closely related to "mad cow" disease, have risen in Wisconsin and nationally in recent years, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In Wisconsin, there were six cases in 2002, but in two of the last four years, 13 cases have been reported -- which could be attributed to better surveillance, local officials said. Yet the increase tracks with data on chronic wasting disease among deer in the state, raising concerns about whether the illness is jumping from animals to humans.

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CLICK HERE - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Can chronic wasting disease jump from deer to humans? Concerns keep rising

 

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Attacks in Syria and Yemen are Turning Disease Into a Weapon of War

           

A cholera-infected man receives treatment at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, in May.  HANI MOHAMMED/AP

statnews.com - by Homer Venters - July 7, 2017

 . . . Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen.

Targeting health care facilities during conflict has occurred before. But unlike the attacks on hospital ships during World War I, or even sporadic attacks in more recent conflicts, the pace of attacks on health facilities, workers, and resources in Syria and Yemen is massive and unrelenting . . . 

 . . . We must not make the mistake of thinking of these deaths and illnesses as collateral damage of war. They are not accidental, and the destruction of medical and sanitation infrastructure is part of a cruel, illegal, and intentional strategy . .

 . . . there must be independent investigations of violations of international law when it comes to targeting health and humanitarian resources . . .

 . . . Hundreds of thousands have already died in Syria and Yemen. And without accountability and clear condemnation from the international community, millions more lives are at stake.

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Climate Change Pushing Tropical Diseases Toward Arctic

Temperature changes around the globe are pushing human pathogens of all kinds into unexpected new areas, raising many new risks for people.

           

Bathers on the Baltic have recently been confronted with a new threat: dangerous disease that is normally only found in warm water.  PHOTOGRAPH BY PRIIT VESILIND, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

news.nationalgeographic.com - by Craig Welch - June 14, 2017

 . . . It's no secret that climate change can spread illnesses such as West Nile virus, Zika, and malaria, as rising temperatures push disease-carrying mosquitoes into new places, from the highlands of Ethiopia to the United States. But warm temperatures and shifting weather patterns work in subtle ways, too. Changes in precipitation, wind, or heat are shifting the threat posed by other human illnesses, from cholera to a rare freshwater brain-eating amoeba to rodent-driven infections like hantavirus. And the importance of all these changes are only growing more significant.

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Study Links Mosquito Spray to Delayed Motor Skills in Babies

           

cnn.com - by Susan Scutti - June 9, 2017

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Environment International - Prenatal naled and chlorpyrifos exposure is associated with deficits in infant motor function in a cohort of Chinese infants

Naled -- the main chemical ingredient in the bug spray used in Miami to ward off Zika-carrying mosquitoes -- has an association with reduced motor function in infants, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental International.

The University of Michigan researchers found that children in China who had the highest prenatal exposure to naled had, at age 9 months, 3% to 4% lower scores on tests of their fine motor skills, which are the small movements of hands, fingers, face, mouth and feet, compared with those with the lowest exposure.

This is the first general-population study of the insecticide chemical, the researchers said.

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Port Arthur Residents' Concerns Continue After German Pellets Silo Collapses

           

kfdm.com - by Kaily Cunningham - June 4, 2017

PORT ARTHUR — After nearly two months of smoke pouring out of a German Pellets silo in Port Arthur, the silo collapsed early Sunday morning.

Authorities say the silo collapse just after 4 a.m. . . .

 . . . However, they say, their health concerns -- as a result of inhaling the smoke -- continue.

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'Cancer Alley' Residents Say Industry is Hurting Town: 'We're Collateral Damage'

           

In Louisiana’s industrial heart, the shadow of Trump’s deregulation push looms as St James residents fight chemical plants, pipelines and laissez-faire policies

theguardian.com - by Lauren Zanolli in St James, Louisiana. Main image by Julie Dermansky - June 6, 2017

We’re sick of being sick, we’re tired of being tired,” said Pastor Harry Joseph of Mount Triumph Baptist Church, which serves this sleepy riverside town of about 1,000 residents, mostly poor and African American. Once a bucolic village of pasturelands and sugarcane fields on the banks of the Mississippi, St James, Louisiana, is now a densely packed industrial zone in the heart of Louisiana’s petrochemical corridor, commonly referred to as “Cancer Alley” . . . 

 . . . Fifteen large industrial sites – mainly oil storage facilities, pipelines and petrochemical plants – now fill the 13-mile stretch of road that defines the town of St James, also known as the fifth ward of St James parish.

Yet residents here say they’ve seen little economic benefit – either in jobs or tax revenues – from the industry that has taken over the town. Instead, they say, they’ve been saddled with a myriad of health issues, medical bills and environmental degradation.

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Texas Lawmakers Do Little to Address Pregnancy-Related Deaths

           

FILE - In this March 6, 2017, file photo, Texas Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, front, backed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, center, and other legislators talks to the media during a news conference to discuss Senate Bill 6 at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. Just months after a high-profile study revealed that Texas has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, state lawmakers failed to respond by passing comprehensive legislation to combat the crisis during the legislative session. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Obstetrics & Gynecology - Recent Increases in the U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate: Disentangling Trends From Measurement Issues

CLICK HERE - Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) - MacDorman research on U.S. maternal mortality increase featured on CNN

abcnews.go.com - Associated Press - by Meredith Hoffman - June 4, 2017

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