Sunday February 17, 2019
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Algeria Confirmed To Be Hit With Cholera Epidemic

Pharmacies in Algiers have been selling large quantities of salts to treat diarrhea, while many people have been avoiding fruit and vegetables, which they fear may be contaminated with the cholera virus.

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Cholera, hospitals
A doctor gestures outside a hospital in the Algerian town of Boufarik, as the country faces a cholera outbreak. VOA

Algerian health authorities claim the situation is under control after a cholera epidemic in at least four provinces caused more than 60 confirmed cases of the disease, with several deaths reported.

Residents in a village of Tipaza province are drinking water from a spring government officials claim is infected with the cholera virus. But residents counter the spring is safe to drink from and that the government analysis is mistaken.

Cholera outbreaks have been confirmed in Tipaza, Blida, Algiers, and Bouira provinces. More than 130 people have been hospitalized with suspected cases of cholera this month and more than 60 cases were confirmed. At least three people have died, according to Algerian media.

Algeria’s health minister, Mokhtar Hazblawi, recently said health officials have been doing their best to keep on top of the situation.

 

Cholera
A girl receives an oral cholera vaccine. VOA

 

He says since the disease surfaced, the health ministry has devised a strategy to control it and stop it from spreading.

Issam Eddin Bouyoucef of the El Hadi Flici Hospital Center, which treats infectious diseases in Algiers, told Al Hurra TV hundreds of people have come to the hospital fearing they were suffering from cholera.

He said patients must be quarantined and the disease isolated. He stressed his hospital has set up a specialized isolated wing to treat patients while they recover, once the disease has been confirmed.

Bouyoucef said many people have been panicking, mistaking stomach ailments for cholera. Local media report consumers are buying up large quantities of mineral water.

Cholera
A Notice for Cholera. Flickr

An elderly resident of capital Algiers told Al Hurra TV he was afraid of the potentially deadly disease and thinks that a large number of people who live in his area have been sickened.

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Physician Mohammed Gamary complained to a local TV station the media uncovered the cholera epidemic before the government did. He said doctors in Khazrouna, where the disease was first detected, should have sounded the alarm when they noticed the unusual number diarrhea cases.

Pharmacies in Algiers have been selling large quantities of salts to treat diarrhea, while many people have been avoiding fruit and vegetables, which they fear may be contaminated with the virus. (VOA)

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Know How Higher Intake of Sodium Can Treat Lightheadedness

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

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sodium
"Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms," Juraschek said. Pixabay

Higher sodium intake should not be used as a treatment for lightheadedness, say researchers challenging current guidelines for sodium consumption.

Lightheadedness while standing, known as postural lightheadedness, results from gravitational drop in blood pressure and is common among adults.

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

However, contrary to this recommendation, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) found that higher sodium intake, actually increases dizziness.

“Our study has clinical and research implications,” said Stephen Juraschek, researcher from BIDMC in Boston.

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Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions. Pixabay

“Our results serve to caution health practitioners against recommending increased sodium intake as a universal treatment for lightheadedness. Additionally, our results demonstrate the need for additional research to understand the role of sodium, and more broadly of diet, on lightheadedness,” Juraschek said.

For the study, reported in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the team used data from the completed DASH-Sodium trial, a randomised crossover study that looked at the effects of three different sodium levels (1500, 2300, and 3300 mg/d) on participants’ blood pressure for four weeks.

While the trial showed that lower sodium led to decrease in blood pressure, it also suggested that concerns about lower level of sodium causing dizziness may not be scientifically correct.

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The study also questioned recommendations to use sodium to treat lightheadedness, an intervention that could have negative effects on cardiovascular health.

“Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms,” Juraschek said.

“Clinicians should check on symptoms after initiation and even question the utility of this approach. More importantly, research is needed to understand the effects of sodium on physical function, particularly in older adults.” (IANS)