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Showing posts with label public health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public health. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Tackling airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.

Tackling airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.Preventing airborne transmission of Covid-19 should be the next front of the battle against the virus. In a study published by the City and Environment Interaction journal, scientists from Surrey's Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), together with partners from Australia's Queensland University and Technology, argue that the lack of adequate ventilation in many indoor environments -- from the workplace to the home -- increases the risk of airborne transmission of Covid-19. Madonna posted a video tribute to George Floyd, and it didn't go down well Covid-19, like many viruses, is less than 100mn in size but expiratory droplets (from people who have coughed or sneezed) contain water, salts and other organic material, along with the virus itself. Experts from GCARE and Australia note that as the water content from the droplets evaporate, the microscopic matter becomes small and light enough to stay suspended in the air and over time the concentration of the virus will build up, increasing the risk of infection -- particularly if the air is stagnant like in many indoor environments. The study highlights improving building ventilation as a possible route to tackling indoor transmission of Covid-19.

Friday, February 8, 2019

RESEARCH: Third hand smoke residue exposes children to chemicals.

RESEARCH: Third hand smoke residue exposes children to chemicals.Researchers find that indoor smoking bans may not fully protect children.The harmful effects of exposure to tobacco smoke have been known for many years. Cigarette and cigar smokers are at significantly higher risk of contracting all sorts of respiratory maladies, and research linking secondhand smoke to cancer goes back nearly three decades. But what about the chemicals that stain the walls, ceilings, carpet and upholstery in rooms in which tobacco has been smoked? What about the lingering nicotine on the fingers of smokers? Is there something dangerous in the residue that lingers long. READ: How smoking affects children. Environmental tobacco smoke and children's health Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati have found more evidence of the potentially harmful effects of exposure to the residue and particles left behind by tobacco smoke. In "Nicotine on Children's Hands:

Sunday, January 27, 2019

RESEARCH: Ebola virus found in bat in West Africa for the first time.

RESEARCH: Ebola virus found in bat in West Africa for the first time.The Ebola virus has been found in a bat in Liberia, the country’s government and scientists with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health announced this week. The discovery marks the first time the virus has ever been found in a bat in West Africa, though it has previously been found in bats in Central Africa, according to the Tech Times. The university's Mailman School of Public Health said in a statement Thursday that scientists found “genetic material from the virus and ebolavirus antibodies” in a greater long-fingered bat located in the Nimna District of Liberia. Preliminary testing indicates a specific strain of the virus — Zaire ebolavirus — may have been found in the bat. Zaire ebolavirus is “responsible for causing the West African Ebola epidemic which infected nearly 30,000 people between 2013 and 2016,” according to the Mailman School of Public Health's statement.

Monday, August 13, 2018

New Australian Study Shows GM Crops Cause Leaky Stomachs in Rats.

New Australian Study Shows GM Crops Cause Leaky Stomachs in Rats.A ground breaking new study from Australian experts has shown that so-called “Bt proteins”, produced by some GM crops, may not be as safe as previously assumed. Any two cells that line the stomach are normally held tightly against each other to form a “tight junction”. This stops any bacteria, viruses or food particles from leaking out from the stomach into the tissues of the body. The study found that the rats fed the GM corn had gaps in their tight junctions. This is called “poor apposition”. On average, this was five times greater in rats fed the GM corn diet. Poor apposition should not occur in normal, healthy stomachs. Yet every stomach section seen in rats fed the GM diet had these gaps between a number of cells. Dr. Judy Carman, one of the lead scientists involved in the study, said: “This means that there is a risk that eating GM maize could cause leakage of substances from the stomach and therefore increase the risk of developing allergies, or infections from the microbes in the food you eat or the water you drink.” In addition, the lining of the stomach has microscopic pits in it. Cells in the pits produce mucus to protect the stomach from stomach acid. The bottom of each pit divides into two long, straight glands. These glands produce stomach acid to help digest food. While the researchers saw some dilated (i.e. swollen) glands in rats fed the GM diet and those fed the non-GM diet, the rats fed the non-GM diet had smaller swellings and the cells lining the glands looked normal. In contrast, the glands in the GM-fed group were much more swollen, they often contained debris or mucus, and the cells lining the glands were often abnormal. For example, some cells were stretched or longer than they should have been. More than six times as many rats had glands that were both swollen and lined with elongated cells in the GM-fed group. While every rat on the GM diet showed at least one gland that looked like that, none of the rats fed the non-GM diet showed this pathology.

Pesticides in Foods Can Harm Human Fertility.

Pesticides in Foods Can Harm Human Fertility. Pesticides are widely used chemicals that are impossible for most of us to avoid. Many people are aware that they impact weeds, insects, and fungi – as they are designed to do. But it is widely believed that they are harmless to humans at the low doses that they are exposed to through their diet. However, a study published last year[1] in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that pesticide residues in food may account for a large proportion of the roughly 100,000 unsuccessful pregnancy attempts in fertility clinics across North America. The women in the study were grouped according to the amount of pesticides they ingested, as indicated by US Department of Agriculture data on average pesticide residue levels found in common foods. The study found that the women in the highest quartile (the 25% of women who consumed the most pesticides) had a 26% reduced chance of having a live birth than women in the lowest quartile, who consumed the least amount of pesticides. These findings were statistically significant. In terms of pregnancy loss (getting pregnant and miscarrying), women consuming the least pesticide had a 7% chance of miscarriage, while women consuming the most pesticide had a 34% chance of miscarriage. The authors believe that malfunctioning of the placenta is likely to be involved. The JAMA study, conducted by researchers based at the Chan School of Public Health and other institutions in Boston, Massachusetts, followed women receiving fertility treatments at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center in Boston. At the time that the women enrolled in the fertility clinic, the researchers asked them to recall their dietary consumption of a number of foods – including commonly consumed fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, spinach, and potatoes. What is Food Safety?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could ease Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could ease Alzheimer’s symptoms.According to Israeli researchers, this therapy has potential to improve behavioral and physical problems associated with the disease. This revolutionary treatment for Alzheimer’s disease uses a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which has been shown in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds that were slow to heal,according to Prof. Uri Ashery of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences, who led the research for the study. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, prescribed for conditions including embolisms, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness and fibromyalgia, involves breathing in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. Under these conditions, oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by blood vessels throughout the body. The added oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reverse zoonosis. How human pathogens affect animals.

Reverse zoonosis. The fact that diseases can pass from humans to animals is, perhaps, not such a surprise. An estimated 61.6 percent of human pathogens are regarded as multiple species pathogens and are able to infect a range of animals.

 Also, over 77 percent of pathogens that infect livestock are multiple species pathogens. One of the earliest studies demonstrating reverse zoonosis was conducted in 1988 and looked at dermatophytes - fungi that cause superficial infections of the skin, nails, and hair - including Microsporum and Trichophyton.

The authors found that these fungi could be transmitted from animal to animal, human to human, animal to human, and human to animal.

 From 2000, studies began to emerge investigating the ability of certain parasites to pass from human to animal, including Giardia duodenalis (the parasite responsible of giardiasis), and Cryptosporidium parvum (a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis) A CASE OF .Reverse zoonosis. 

 A study, published in the journal Veterinary Microbiology in 2006, looked at methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pets and its transmission between humans and animals.The paper mentions a specific case in which a couple was repeatedly infected with MRSA.

The re-infections only stopped once their dog was identified as the source and treated. It is presumed that the dog was initially infected by the couple and then passed the infection back to them each time they had been successfully treated.

 The emergence of MRSA in household pets is of concern in terms of animal health and the potential for animals to act as sources of infection or colonization of human contacts.Reverse zoonosis.

 A paper, published in 2004, describes the case of a 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier who arrived at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine with anorexia, vomiting, and a persistent cough. After running a barrage of tests - including, sadly, an eventual postmortem - the authors concluded that it had contracted tuberculosis (TB) (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).

The dog's owner had been receiving treatment for TB for 6 months. This was the first documented transmission of TB from human to canine.

 In 2009, the first recorded case of fatal human-to-cat transmission of the H1N1 flu virus occurred in Oregon. The owner of the cat had a severe case of influenza and had to be taken to the hospital. Her cat - an indoor cat with no exposure to other people or animals - later died of pneumonia caused by an H1N1 infection.
Details of the case were published in the journal Veterinary Pathology. In 2011 and 2012, researchers identified more than 13 cats and one dog with pandemic H1N1 infection that appeared to have come from human contact. Interestingly, the animals' symptoms were similar to those experienced by human carriers - rapidly developing respiratory disease, a lack of appetite and, in some cases, death.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

First brain training exercise positively linked to dementia prevention.

First brain training exercise positively linked to dementia prevention.Aging research specialists have identified, for the first time, a form of mental exercise that can reduce the risk of dementia. The cognitive training, called speed of processing, showed benefits up to 10 years after study participants underwent the mental exercise program, said Frederick W. Unverzagt, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine. The proportion of participants who underwent the training and later developed dementia was significantly smaller than among those who received no cognitive training, the researchers said.

Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine

Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine.For the first time, scientists have been able to prove that the bacterial colonization of the intestine plays an important role in controlling peristaltic functions. Spontaneous contractions of the digestive tract play an important role in almost all animals, and ensure healthy bowel functions. Now, for the first time, a research team from the Cell and Developmental Biology (Bosch AG) working group at the Zoological Institute at Kiel University (CAU) has been able to prove that the bacterial colonization of the intestine plays an important role in controlling peristaltic functions. The scientists published their results derived from the example of freshwater polyps Hydra -- in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Early exposure to pets can reduce allergy and obesity.

A new study by University of Alberta has shown that early exposure to pets can reduce allergy and obesity by altering gut bacteria in immune-boosting ways. This new study has showed that babies from families with pets of which 70% were dogs showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity. The theory is that exposure to dirt and bacteria early in life from the dog's fur or from its paws can create early immunity.The study shed more light by understanding the connection and identifying that exposure to pets in the womb or up to three months after birth increases the abundance of two bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been linked with reduced childhood allergies and obesity, respectively. The numbers of the two bacteria were increased twofold when there was a pet in the house, meaning that the pet exposure was shown to affect the gut microbiome indirectly -from dog to mother to unborn baby -- during pregnancy as well as during the first three months of the baby's life. In other words, even if the dog had been given away for adoption just before the woman gave birth, the healthy microbiome exchange could still take place.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Two cases of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus have been confirmed in Colombia, but there has been no explosion of cases of the birth defect, the health ministry said on Thursday. Public health officials have been concerned about the possibility of a surge in the rare birth defect, seen in worrisome numbers in Brazil, as the mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 1,100 Zika-related cases of microcephaly have been confirmed in Brazil, but the new figures indicated that its neighbor Colombia is not yet experiencing the same type of increase. There have been 33 microcephaly cases recorded this year in Colombia associated with various causes, the health ministry said in a statement. Eighteen were investigated for a suspected link to Zika, and 16 of those cases were ruled out, it said. Babies with microcephaly are born with unusually small heads that can result in developmental problems. “We have not seen an explosion in cases of microcephaly,” vice health minister Fernando Ruiz said, adding that in typical years Colombia records 11 or 12 cases a month. “We have a number of cases within normal range,” Ruiz added. There eventually could be a total of between 95 and 300 cases of microcephaly in Colombia this year, the ministry said. U.S. health authorities on Wednesday announced their conclusion that infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes microcephaly in babies. The World Health Organization has said there is a strong scientific consensus that Zika can cause microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can result in paralysis. Colombia’s national health institute director, Martha Lucia Ospina, said figures previously put forward by the WHO, the U.N. health agency, showing eight babies in the country with Zika-linked microcephaly were incorrect. “There are two confirmed cases in this country,” she said. One of those cases was in central Cundinamarca province. The other was in Norte de Santander, along the Venezuelan border.There were previous reports of Zika-linked microcephaly in Colombia, but until Thursday health officials had said they could not confirm any cases caused by the virus. There have been more than 60,000 reported cases of Zika infections in Colombia, including more than 11,000 in pregnant women, the national health institute said last week.Many Colombian pregnant women infected with Zika are not due to give birth until May or later, but more than 2,700 have already given birth, officials said. Brazil said on Tuesday it had confirmed 1,113 cases of Zika-related microcephaly. Brazil is investigating 3,836 additional suspected cases of microcephaly. Culled from News daily.

Friday, January 29, 2016


A diet rich in fiber may not only protect against diabetes and heart disease, it may reduce the risk of developing lung disease, according to new research. "Lung disease is an important public health problem, so it's important to identify modifiable risk factors for prevention," said lead author Corrine Hanson PhD, RD, an associate professor of medical nutrition at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "However, beyond smoking very few preventative strategies have been identified. Increasing fiber intake may be a practical and effective way for people to have an impact on their risk of lung disease." Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, researchers report in "The Relationship between Dietary Fiber Intake and Lung Function in NHANES," that among adults in the top quartile of fiber intake: • 68.3 percent had normal lung function, compared to 50.1 percent in the bottom quartile. • 14. 8 percent had airway restriction, compared to 29.8 percent in the bottom quartile. In two important breathing tests, those with the highest fiber intake also performed significantly better than those with the lowest intake. Those in the top quartile had a greater lung capacity (FVC) and could exhale more air in one second (FEV1) than those in the lowest quartile. Researchers reviewed records of 1,921 adults, ages 40 to 79, who participated in NHANES during 2009-2010. Administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NHANES is unique in that it combines interviews with physical examinations. Fiber consumption was calculated based on the amount of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains participants recalled eating. Those whose diets included more than 17.5 grams of fiber a day were in the top quartile and represented the largest number of participants, 571. Those getting less than 10.75 grams of fiber a day were in the lower group and represented the smallest number of participants, 360. Fiber-rich diet has been linked to healthy life style free of risk of heart disease,diabetes,colon cancer and bowel diseases emanating from constipation.This new research (according to American Thoracic Society) sheds light on how fiber reduces risk of lung diseases,further reinforcing the need to include more vegetables,fruits,nuts,oatmeal and other fiber rich sources to our menu. The benefits of fiber-rich meals also has the same results in animals, incorporating vegetables,oatmeal and fruits into their meal has been known to reduce risk of cancer, constipation and as a treatment protocol for diabetic patients and also prevention of diabetes in animals.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


The vet has a major role to play in nation building in terms of animal health and production. It has been documented that 75% of diseases affecting humans are caused by animals, so if the health status of the animals are top priority ,then we can prevent a lot of diseases in man. The animal kingdom has a lot to offer the human race ,in terms of food, clothing, medicine, research opportunities, foreign exchange and new improved genetic strain and breeds that can eliminate unwanted traits in certain species. There is a fortune to be made from animal husbandry but management of such projects deny us the expected rewards. I want to talk on an aspect of production that is crucial but its neglected, this is the major reason why we are not raking in the estimated profits. Animal/pet identification project: if farmer has his farm registered, the animals on the farm are microchiped, the information is stored in a data base, the location of the farm is noted using google earth or the simple G.P.S , all activities on the farm are monitored by vets and of course the farm is insured. All products from the farm can be traced up to the market,and all food safety procedures adhered to, and documented. This process alone will give a data base of producers in the country,proper management will be ensured, tracing of products are possible, this will be of importance if there is a problem that mandates a recall of product for investigation. The way forward to achieve the purpose of production is to have a data base that shows what is where, where they came from, where they are off to. The integration of the insurance companies to the livestock industry with strict compliance will boost standard and level of production. The identification project should be extended to pets as well, this will enhance proper planning for effective vet care against Zoonotic diseases especially rabies. Identification will let us know where pets are ,and what types we are dealing with ,the insurance collaboration will be of immense benefit to the pet owners. Identification, monitoring , tracing and tracking in animals and pets will go a long way to ensure a better level of production. The role of vets in nation building cannot be overemphasized and a collaboration between vets and human medics will go a long way to ensure the one health one world initiative. The world has a lot to learn from the vets, according to GILBERT S. KAHN,DEAN OF VET MEDICINE,SCHOOL OF VET MED,UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA,AS REPORTED BY JOAN HENDRICKS IN THE HUFF POST. HE SAID "Most people think that veterinarians are doctors who treat cats and dogs, provide compassionate, expert care but also charge amply for their services. This narrow view means that a vet's work is underestimated and, often, not respected. In reality their role is substantially broader and yet their leadership potential is generally overlooked. While many vets are caregivers for our domestic animals -- and it's very important work -- a larger mission is to focus on minimizing the transmission of infectious disease and help tackle world hunger issues. Vets are trained as rigorously as doctors of human medicine; four years of college, four of vet school and additional internships and residencies if they become specialists. Uniquely trained in comparative biology, veterinarians are the only members of the clinical profession -- including physicians -- who see many different species, and understand medicine fundamentally such that all species benefit. Veterinarians approach medicine with a global perspective and support public health, enormously impacting people's well-being. They also play an integral role in food safety and food production. Since people share many of the same diseases and biology as animals, veterinarians have a large role in preventing and controlling diseases, as well as providing research that helps treat diseases like cancer, neurological disorders and immune diseases. In fact, veterinary medicine is the profession that stands between all of humanity and plague and famine. Disease For instance, many of the infectious diseases (e.g. avian flu, swine flu, AIDS, West Nile Virus, Lyme disease) that spread in humans come from animals originally. The CDC estimates that number to be 75%. Preventing new diseases in humans, as well as potential plagues, is crucial, and well-trained animal care professionals play a vital role. In Pennsylvania, veterinarians developed surveillance technology that provides the ability to stem an outbreak of avian influenza. Within one month, a potentially devastating outbreak was stopped at a cost of $400,000 while a similar outbreak in Virginia at the same time cost the state over $100 million. Undoubtedly, it is safer, cheaper, healthier and more effective to identify a disease before it appears in people. Beyond infectious diseases, many veterinarians transcend the animal world by applying the knowledge they have gained through their research to develop better treatments for animals and people. For example, Dr. Ralph Brinster became in 2011 the only veterinarian ever to win the National Medal of Science. He developed a reliable in-vitro culture system for early mouse embryos. Now the system is used in embryo manipulations such as human in-vitro fertilization, mammalian cloning, and embryonic stem cell therapy. And vets are leading the way in critical advances in gene therapies -- including cures for two forms of blindness in animals and humans, one of which is now in human trials. The American Academy of Neurology cites more than 12 neurological diseases or disorders that animal research has helped cure, treat, prevent, or further understand. Clearly, human and animal health are more connected than most people realize, and doctors can learn much from the breakthrough work of veterinarians. Famine Not only are we concerned about diseases of epidemic proportions but as our world population grows, we also are increasingly faced with issues related to famine. HUNGER is the world's number one public health threat -- killing more people than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, according to James T. Morris, Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Program. Food availability, safety and production are key areas of research and service for veterinarians. Our food sources need to be safe, healthy and plentiful. Veterinarians, for instance, have developed a food safety system whereby poultry eggs can be tested for SALMONELLA 10 times more swiftly, saving millions of dollars and ensuring public safety. And by gathering information from dairy farms, vets can examine this data and advise farmers on how to modify their feed formulations and additives and change milking schedules. Not only does this tremendously increase animal well-being, it also positively impacts the economics. Eating "local food" is a direct result. And beyond eating local, this knowledge has global implications and can be shared with developing countries who demand a higher quality of food and more animal protein, such as meat, milk, and eggs. While the number of dairy cows in the U.S. has decreased, milk production has grown. This isn't the case in developing countries -- the number of cows continues to grow while milk production doesn't. Our knowledge related to increasing yield per animal for dairy cows can help feed developing countries.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Vet and food safety

Tuberculosis a deadly zoonotic disease, and the rise in human cases has been linked to consumption of animal byproducts and flesh of animals with tuberculosis. This is one of the reasons why you must purchase your beef and animal by products from certified slaughter slabs and abattoir. The picture shows tubercles in lymph node,rib cage, and liver, The entire carcass was condemned and destroyed. Do not purchase beef that is tainted, smelly or discolored. Buy your animal products and byproducts from certified slabs and abattoir. Food safety and hygiene is our collective responsibility,do your part.



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