Friday April 26, 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.

Also Read: Experts Warn Of A Return of The AIDS Epidemic

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)

Next Story

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)