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Two new polio cases surface in Bajaur district

F.P. Report

KHAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department on Thursday has confirmed that two new cases of polio have surfaced in the Bajaur district.

According to official of Health Department, a five-year-old girl from Kut Kot fell victim to the virus while a seven-year-old boy has also been diagnosed with polio.

The officials said both the children had been administered the polio vaccine seven times.

The latest cases in Bajaur take the number of polio cases in the region to three for this year, and eight in Pakistan overall.

Pakistan has been battling polio for the past several years and is close to completely eradicating the disease. The number of cases declined from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and eight in 2017. In 2018, eight polio cases have so far been reported.

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People using E-Cigarettes to vape their vitamins

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: Forget smoking nicotine, cannabis, and even Viagra. The latest fad is to vape vitamins. That’s right – the tobacco industry is now rebranding itself with a new, “healthy” image to appeal to a wellness-orientated generation.

When e-cigs first hit the market, they were sold as a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes with one study in 2015 claiming they were “around 95 percent less harmful”. The jury’s still out on exactly how much healthier they are and more recent studies have also linked vaping to lung inflammation, cancer, immune system repression, and windpipe damage.

And so, while the consensus is that they probably are better for you than regular cigarettes, the vaping industry is changing tack. Several companies are now selling e-juice concoctions made from vitamins and essential oils, and skipping the nicotine.

So, what’s the medical verdict?

“To me, [using vitamins and nutrients] is a marketing ploy to sell this product and make it look healthier. Consumers associate vitamins with health,” Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist at Purdue University, told Scientific American. “These products might be completely safe, but they might not be. We know literally nothing about the safety or efficacy of inhaling vitamins.”

Even the vape companies themselves debate the relative merits (and safety) of inhaling different vitamins, picking and choosing scientific studies like they are at a pick n’ mix stand at your local cineplex.

Take George Michalopoulos, who started his vitamin vaping business to provide vitamin B supplements to vegans like himself. He told Scientific American he specifically chose not to include vitamin D in his products because “inhalation of vitamin D might be toxic”.

Avi Kwitel, who is co-founder and CEO of Sparq, thinks differently. Vitamin D is incorporated into his products because of research he says shows that “inhaling vitamin D is a potentially promising and safe strategy”. That was one study – and it was on neonatal rats.

The moral of the story? There isn’t enough evidence to either prove or disprove the health benefits (and dangers) of inhaling various vitamins but until there is, it just isn’t worth the risk. The language used by these companies mirror the language used by many in the supplement and cosmetic industries – vague, misleading, and sometimes downright false statements dressed up as scientifically credible facts.

For example, Michalopoulos’ companies, Breathe and VitaminVape, even include a “science” page, that makes various unsubstantiated claims like “vitamin B12 is NOT sensitive to the heat associated with vaporizing” and “[B12 inhalation] is many times more efficient than pill absorption, and comparable only to injections.”

As always, the best way to make sure you are getting the recommended daily doses of vitamins is to eat them or, as in the case of vitamin d, get some sunlight, unless you are specifically told to take them by your medical practitioner (ie you have a deficiency or are pregnant). Most healthy adults should be able to get the nutrients they need through their diet, not through pills, not through IV drip, and definitely not through vaping. Let’s just say, it’s incredibly telling when even Dr Oz – known for his endorsement of certain questionable “health” practices – is telling readers “Don’t be fooled!”


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New Zika cases reported in Florida

ORLANDO (FOX 35 WOFL): More Zika cases have been confirmed in Florida.

State officials report that there have been three more cases statewide, bringing the total to nearly 90 this year. There are 11 cases in Orange County and three in Osceola.

In most cases, officials say the infection was brought to Florida from out of state.



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Three fresh polio cases reported in Afghanistan

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Three new polio cases were detected in southern and eastern Afghanistan, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by the public health ministry, the first fresh polio case was confirmed in a five-month girl in Paroon district, capital of Nuristan province. The second case was confirmed in a two-year girl while the third fresh polio victim was a 14-year girl in Maiwand district in Kandahar. It raised the number of fresh polio cases to 13 in the southern zone and six in the eastern zone.

A total of 19 cases were registered in the entire country.

According to health ministry, nine cases were confirmed in Kandahar, three in Helmand, one in Uruzgan, three in Kunar, two in Nangarhar and one was registered in Nuristan.

Health Minister Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz expressed concern over the rising cases of polio in the country this year.

Currently, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are facing the challenge of polio in the world.



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90% of world’s children are breathing toxic air: WHO

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: Poisonous air is having a devastating impact on billions of children around the world, damaging their intelligence and leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, according to a report from the World Health Organization.

The study found that more than 90% of the world’s young people – 1.8 billion children – are breathing toxic air, storing up a public health time bomb for the next generation.

The WHO said medical experts in almost every field of children’s health are uncovering new evidence of the scale of the crisis in both rich and poor countries – from low birth weight to poor neurodevelopment, asthma to heart disease.

Dr Tedros Adhanom, WHO director general, said: “Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives. This is inexcusable – every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfill their potential.”

The findings coincide with the start of the first global conference on air pollution and health in Geneva, including a high-level action day at which nations and cities are expected to make new commitments to cut air pollution.

The WHO study found that children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution because pollutants are often more concentrated nearer to ground level. It added that their developing organs and nervous system are also more susceptible to long-term damage than those of adults.

“Air pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO director of public health and the environment.

The study found that 600,000 children die from acute lower respiratory infections caused by dirty air and 93% are exposed to one of the most damaging pollutants – PM2.5. In poorer countries, 98% of all children under five are exposed to PM2.5 above WHO guidelines.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable, with dirty air linked to premature and underweight children. Air pollution also increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.

Tedros, writing in the Guardian on Saturday, described air pollution as the “new tobacco”, saying the simple act of breathing is killing 7 million people a year and harming billions more.

In the UK, most urban areas have illegal levels of air pollution and ministers have lost three times in the high court after challenges over the inadequacy of their action. The latest government action plan, called “pitiful” by environmental lawyers, revealed air pollution was actually much worse than previously feared.

Globally, with smoking on the decline, air pollution now causes more deaths annually than tobacco. However, researchers think the harm known to be caused by air pollution, such as heart attacks and lung disease, is only “the tip of the iceberg”.

Today’s report found that both indoor and outdoor air pollution was causing significant health problems. It said burning fuel such as wood or paraffin for heating, cooking and light in poorer countries was having a drastic impact on children’s health and called on governments to promote the clean alternatives as a matter of urgency.

Neira said there were “many straightforward ways to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants ”, including “accelerating the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies, [and] promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning. We are preparing the ground for low-emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management.”

Mark Watts, executive director of the C40 Cities group, which represents cities around the world working to tackle the climate crisis and air pollution, said the report was an urgent call to action.

“The moral and practical case for urgent, bold and far-reaching action to reduce emissions, including calling an end to the fossil fuel era, is now utterly irrefutable,” he said.

“Citizens are demanding action to protect their children, mayors of the world’s big cities are regulating to take dirty vehicles off the streets and slash emissions from buildings and waste. Now is the moment for governments, car manufacturers and other big polluters to step up.”

Neira said the air pollution crisis and the climate emergency could only be tackled together.

“The solutions are a basic public health agenda that will have plenty of benefits for public health and the environment,” she said. “No matter what else, we know that we need to decarbonise our society sooner rather than later and the benefits of that for our health and our economy are indisputable.” (The Guardians)


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“World Psoriasis Day” to be observed in RMI

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Rehman Medical Institute (RMI), Peshawar will observe “World Psoriasis Day” on October 29 to raise awareness among the people about Psoriasis.

In this connection, an awareness campaign is being held in RMI to commemorate  this day. RMI Dermatology department also offered consultation and treatment by specialists in dermatology, said a statement.

Psoriasis is a chronic, lifelong, relapsing inflammatory skin disorder. It is  characterized by thickened, red skin covered with silvery scales and presents itself on various areas of the body, like scalp, trunk, elbows, knees, joints and nails.

Psoriasis is associated with cardiovascular disorders, Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome and Depression. it said.

An appropriate treatment regime for a patient is usually selected from the available medication, topical and systemic as well as photo therapy. Recent advancement in the treatment of Psoriasis has opened a new era in its management with the advent of biologic treatment.

From the Dermatologists view point, the possibility of better compliance, more complete clearance, and fewer adverse events is the goal of treatment.


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Eighth child dies at New Jersey center hit by viral outbreak

NEW JERSEY (Reuters): An eighth child has died at a New Jersey rehabilitation center where 23 people have been infected in a deadly viral outbreak, state health officials said.

The outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey, was first reported by the New Jersey Department of Health on Tuesday with the deaths of six children with compromised immune systems. The seventh death was announced the next day.

The department said in a statement on Friday that the latest death involved a child who was “medically fragile with respiratory illness.” It said it did not have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in the child.

The department said that the facility, which includes a pediatric center, had agreed not to admit new patients until the outbreak ended.

Adenovirus frequently causes mild to severe illness with cold-like symptoms, particularly in young children. The infection can cause other illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea and bronchitis, the department said.

“The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness, especially in those with compromised immune systems,” the department said on Friday.

The Wanaque Center, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of New York, serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are “medically fragile.”

The department said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were helping with lab tests and expertise.

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Several flu cases reported in New Hampshire

Monitoring Desk

MANCHESTER: Several cases of the flu have been reported in New Hampshire so far, and doctors are urging residents to get vaccinated.

State Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan tells WMUR-TV the flu vaccine protects not only the people getting vaccinated, but also others around them who may be more susceptible to the flu and its complications.

Getting the vaccine annually is also important because the strains of the virus change.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says last year was one of the worst flu seasons on record.

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Breathing through nose likely to improve memory

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: According to recent study, nose breathing could enhance one’s memory. It also helps to influence respiration on human perception and cognition, reported Times Now.

The researcher was conducted on nose breathers and mouth breathers. It found that nose breathers, whose mouths were taped over during the consolidation period, showed increased odor recognition compared to mouth breathers, whose noses were clipped during consolidation.

“Nose breathing might facilitate communication between sensory and memory networks as memories are replayed and strengthened during consolidation,” researchers recommended.

The research has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Eradication of Polio inevitable for healthier, brighter Pakistan

F.P Report

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said eradication of Polio from Pakistan is inevitable for attaining a status of a healthier society and for brighter Pakistan.

On the occasion of World Polio Day, he has, in his message, said that it is imperative to ensure a Polio-free Pakistan for the generations to come. He expressed his fervent satisfaction on a consensus on eradication of the virus from Pakistan. He said that he is hopeful that Polio would soon be eradicated from the surface in Pakistan.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that polio eradication was the dream of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, which would one day come true. The PPP Chairman felicitated and saluted those polio volunteers who laid their lives in this noble cause in corners of the country and said that they are the real; heroes of the nation, who deserve due applause.

Meanwhile, PPP MPA from district Sujawal Mohammad Ali Malkani called on Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at  Bilawal House and briefed him about the situation of water scarcity in the Kotri downstream and sea intrusion in the coastal areas of Sindh