Wednesday September 19, 2018

After 20 Deaths Due To Cholera in Zimbabwe, Emergency Declared

Tents have been erected at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital to cater for the growing number of patients.

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Cholera, Zimbabwe
Cholera patients lie in beds in Budiriro clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe. VOA
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A cholera emergency has been declared in Zimbabwe’s capital after 20 people have died, the health minister said Tuesday.

The deaths in Harare have many fearing a repeat of the outbreak that killed thousands at the height of the southern African country’s economic problems in 2008. Water and sanitation infrastructure is collapsing.

While touring a hospital, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told reporters this outbreak is spreading to other parts of the country.

Cholera, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Health Minister David Parirenyatwa warns people to wash their hands and drink only clean water.. VOA

“The numbers are growing by the day and to date there are about over 2,000 cases, that’s quite a big number,” the minister said, attributing the outbreak to shortages of safe drinking water and poor sanitation. “This whole problem has arisen as a result of blocked sewers. The other problem is that garbage hasn’t been collected on a regular basis. There is water problems, no water availability.”

Residents in some Harare suburbs have gone for months without tap water, forcing them to dig shallow wells and boreholes that have been contaminated by raw sewage flowing from burst pipes.

Cholera is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and can kill within hours if untreated.

Cholera, Zimbabwe
Some Harare citizens walk by a heap of waste which has not been collected for days. Experts say that is a breeding zone for cholera. VOA

The U.N. children’s agency said it is assisting Zimbabwe’s government with hygiene and water provisions.

Also Read: India, Zimbabwe, Bolivia Join Together Against Climate Change

Tents have been erected at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital to cater for the growing number of patients.

In 2008, over 4,000 people died from cholera, according to government figures.

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Asthma Ups The Chance Of Obesity: Study

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood.

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

While obesity is already known as a risk factor for developing asthma, a new research led by one of an Indian-origin has showed that people with the airway disease are also more likely to become obese.

The study indicates that those who develop asthma as adults and those who have non-allergic asthma are at the greatest risk of obesity.

The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought and more research is needed to better understand and tackle these two growing health challenges, the researchers said.

Obesity, Asthma
They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on Flickr Commons

“We already know that obesity can be a trigger for asthma, perhaps via a physiological, metabolic or inflammatory change,” said Subhabrata Moitra, research student at the ISGlobal – the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

However, the researchers do not know the reason why having asthma increases the risk of developing obesity or whether different asthma treatments have any effect on this risk.

The team included 8,618 people from 12 countries who were followed for 20 years.

Obesity, Pregnancy
The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought. Pixabay

They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on. Among people who did not have asthma, 7.7 per cent were obese ten years later.

Also Read: Exposure to Pollen During Pregnancy May up The risk of Asthma in Kids

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood. It was also greater in people who had asthma but did not suffer with allergies, the findings showed.

The results were presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris. (IANS)