- As California finds itself in the grips of the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak in more than two decades, health officials are taking emergency measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in light of the outbreak that has killed at least 18 people, hospitalized 386 and infected at least 578 in the state as of this past weekend.
- According to the WHO, each year environmental pollutants cost an estimated 1.7 million lives among children under 5. The causes include unsafe water, lack of sanitation, poor hygiene practices and indoor and outdoor pollution, as well as injuries.
- A new poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan finds many parents struggle with the right answers. Only half of those surveyed said they were confident that they would know what to do if their child were choking. The survey included responses from three hundred eighty six parents from across the United States with at least one child age five or younger.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
As California finds itself in the grips of the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak in more than two decades, health officials are taking emergency measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease. On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in light of the outbreak that has killed at least eighteen people, hospitalized three hundred eighty six and infected at least five hundred seventy eight in the state as of this past weekend, according to the California Department of Public Health or CDPH.
The outbreaks are affecting multiple counties in California, with the San Diego Jurisdiction bearing four hundred ninety infected cases. Since early spring, more than eighty thousand vaccine doses have been distributed to the public and some municipalities have purchased their own supplies. San Diego County said it has administered more than sixty eight thousand five hundred vaccines since the outbreak began. Also unique about this outbreak is that the homeless population and illicit drug users are the hardest hit. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease, and the Governor’s state of emergency proclamation has given the CDPH the authority to directly purchase vaccines from manufacturers in order to quickly distribute them to the community.
Hepatitis A can spread by simply touching objects, or through contaminated food or drinks. People may also be infected by eating uncooked food that has been contaminated, sexual contact with an infected person and travel to a country where Hepatitis A is common. The virus can be spread to others before any symptoms are apparent.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent getting Hepatitis A is through vaccination, given in a two-dose series.
Each year, environmental pollutants cost an estimated one point seven million lives among children under five, according to World Health Organization reports released Monday.
The causes include unsafe water, lack of sanitation, poor hygiene practices and indoor and outdoor pollution, as well as injuries. The new numbers equate to these pollutants being the cause of one in four deaths of children one month to five years old. One new report highlights that the most common causes of child death are preventable through interventions already available to the communities most affected. These causes are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia, which can be prevented using insecticide-treated bed nets, clean cooking fuels and improved access to clean water.
“A polluted environment is a deadly one — particularly for young children,” Doctor Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, said in a statement. She added: “Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.” Infants exposed to indoor or outdoor air pollution, including secondhand smoke, have an increased risk of pneumonia during childhood as well as an increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases — such as asthma — for the rest of their lives, one report states.
The global body also highlighted the increased risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer from exposure to air pollution. More than ninety percent of the world’s population is thought to breathe air that violates quality guidelines set by the WHO. The growth of electronic and electrical waste is also a concern, according to the report. If not disposed of correctly, waste can expose children to toxins that can harm intelligence and cause attention deficits, lung damage and cancer. An estimated 44% of asthma cases among children worldwide are thought to be related to environmental exposures, the reports say.
According to a new poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan, only half of those surveyed said they were confident that they would know what to do if their child were choking. One in ten respondents would immediately take their child to the emergency room for a minor burn, while about a third would rush a child to the hospital for swallowing pills. The survey included responses from three hundred eighty six parents from across the United States with at least one child age five or younger. The authors note that while bringing a child to the ER may provide reassurance for parents, there are times it could actually be a harmful decision. For example, a child who is choking may need immediate help — such as the Heimlich maneuver —rather than delayed action through a trip to the hospital.
Only half of the parents surveyed said they were confident that they would know what to do if their child swallowed pills. Responses included trying to remove any medication from the child’s mouth (fifty three percent) or making the child throw up (twenty six percent). Sixty-one percent of parents would call Poison Control, while twenty five percent would call their child’s doctor and about the same number would call nine one one to get advice. About a third said they would immediately take the child to the emergency room. Doctor Gary Freed from Mott notes that parents may forget to bring the source of the poisoning to the hospital in the heat of the moment, leaving ER staff with limited information to determine the appropriate treatment. And Poison Control experts warn that in some cases, inducing vomiting can actually do more harm than good. The survey also asked parents if they had ever received first aid training; those who had were more confident in their decision-making abilities for when to bring a child to the ER.