Dr Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, formerly Hong Kong’s director of health, also said that the regional culture of eating fresh chicken would have to evolve to help governments fight the diseases.
In her keynote address on infectious diseases delivered in Hong Kong yesterday at a conference on investment in Asia, Chan said that so far there was no global pandemic of H5N1 and H7N9 bird flu. But she warned of the “amazing ability” the viruses had to mutate, making them harder to control.
Unsustainable food production methods, such as overcrowding livestock, have been contributing to the spread of infectious diseases. Wet markets in particular have become breeding grounds for new strains of viruses and hotspots for infection, Chan said.
When asked whether the government should halt live poultry sales here, she said it was an idea it “should consider”.
Wet markets selling live poultry are not common in many parts of the world, but in Hong Kong and parts of southern Asia there is still an appetite for fresh chicken, she said. “You can’t just blame the government.”
Chan said she believes the Hong Kong government is trying to encourage a change in that culture.
via WHO chief raises prospect of ban on live poultry sales | South China Morning Post.
Crippling poverty and institutional racism are both bad things, and just because eradicating poverty is more urgent than changing a racist team name does not mean that the latter issue ceases to exist. This is, of course, not even broaching the idea that poverty and racism might somehow be intertwined.
via Redskins Owner Starts Charity So That You’ll Forget About the Racist Team Name – The Wire.
(Have to wonder how long it will be before, someone is sued for “corporate” slander or that they start looking to see if those making negative remarks are account holders?)
About 30 people monitor the buzz about Wells Fargo among users of social media, with a dozen of those employees based in the San Francisco center.
So far, Wells’ command center has learned that it must develop better explanations of its “hold policies” in accepting deposits, said Renee Brown, the bank’s director of social media and a long-time marketing executive at the bank. Hold policies are a long-time complaint about the banking industry.
via Wells Fargo launches social media command center – Denver Business Journal.
“There’s no point in my mind of having gold-plated child-protection programs in place if there’s no sanction for a bishop who decides to ignore them,” Collins said by telephone from her home in Dublin. “The reason everyone is so angry is not because they have abusers in their ranks. Abusers are in every rank of society. It’s because of the systemic coverup.”
via Irish activist and sex abuse survivor becomes unlikely papal adviser, demands accountability.
“At the start, neither the patients nor the doctors understood what was happening. There was talk of a mysterious illness that was similar to cholera and typhoid fever. Some patients snuck out of hospitals to get the opinion of traditional practitioners, which only helped spread the virus.
When a family member is sick, all of his relatives stay by his bedside
“In this city, like in surrounding towns, people don’t know what to do. When a family member is sick, all of his relatives stay by his bedside. Then, once they die, since it’s unthinkable to abandon a body, the body is buried. At any one of these moments, loved ones risk being infected.
“It is essential to do real work on the risks and means of transmission. Up until now, the authorities have broadcast advice over local radio, but that isn’t enough. I think that we don’t have an exact idea of the number of infected people because we only count people that are admitted for treatment. But there’s probably a lot more if we include surrounding towns and villages.”
via H5N1: Eyewitness testimony from the heart of Guinea’s Ebola outbreak.
Multi-drug-resistant TB on rise
The data, which was jointly created by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, found that only one out of every three patients with MDR TB infections successfully completed treatment. More than half of all MDR TB patients died, did not follow recommended treatment plans or stopped treatment all together.
Only seven out of 21 countries reported maintaining a five-year decline in MDR TB notification rates. Across the EU, the rate of MDR TB treatment success is approximately 30 percent below the target of 70 percent set by the EU Framework Action Plan to Fight Tuberculosis.
via ECDC finds only one in three MDR TB patients complete treatment | Vaccine News Daily.
the really unnerving thing (though not new to anyone who has followed the ESBL story) is the high proportions of resistance that were found in children when they came to outpatient clinics: in 2010-11, 37.6 percent of the third-generation cephalosporin resistance and 48.8 percent of the ESBLs. The authors note that there is no way to know whether those children had previously been hospitalized, so it is possible they could have picked up those resistant bacteria inside a healthcare institution. But it is also possible that ESBL is spreading in children in the outside world. And that suggests that the problem of these difficult-to-treat bacteria is larger than anyone knows or can count.
via Serious Resistant Infections Increasingly Found in Children – Wired Science.
An Italian family eating their meal. In Italy, 79% of young adults were living with their parents in 2011, according to Eurofound. Photograph: Ingolf Hatz/ Ingolf Hatz/zefa/Corbis
Almost half of Europe’s young adults are living with their parents, new data suggests – a record level of dependency that has sobering social and demographic implications for the continent.
via The dependent generation: half young European adults live with their parents | Society | The Guardian.
Carter says: “For the last two or three years, when I want to write a highly personal letter to a foreign leader, or even some American leaders, I hand-write it and mail it, because I feel that my telephone calls and my email are being monitored, and there are some things I just don’t want anybody to know.”
via Ex-Pres. Carter fears US monitoring of calls and email; handwrites and mails sensitive letters.
An outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever is currently ongoing in Guinea. Eighty cases were reported, including 59 deaths. This is the first such outbreak in Guinea.
As of 23 March 2014, the situation in Sierra Leone is also under investigation, as there are concerns about the disease’s spread in the districts which border affected prefectures in Guinea.
via Publications – ebola-guinea-rapid-risk-assessment.pdf.