Wednesday October 23, 2019

More than 90 percent of world’s population is exposed to excessive air pollution, says WHO report

The WHO estimates more than 92 percent of people are affected by air pollution, and the sub-standard air contributes to more than six million deaths per year

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An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog on the last day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2016. VOA

27 Sept, 2016: Air Pollution is one of the most critical issues the world is facing today and according to the latest international news update, the report from the World Health Organization(WHO), more than 90 percent of the world’s population is exposed to excessive air pollution causing which contributes to a number of health problems.

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Current foreign news released on Tuesday by the U.N. health watchdog shows that the problem is most prevalent in large cities, but people may be surprised to find out how bad the air quality is in rural areas.

It “is enough to make all of us extremely concerned,” said Maria Neira, director of the WHO public health and environment department. “It is a public health emergency. Fast action to tackle air pollution can’t come soon enough.”

The WHO estimates more than 92 percent of people are affected by air pollution, and the sub-standard air contributes to more than six million deaths per year. Almost all of those deaths – around 90 percent – occurred in low and middle-income countries.

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The data came from around 3,000 sites across the world and measured the amount of small, dangerous particulate matter in the air.

The UN health agency refused to publicly say which country had the worst pollution record, but Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region, including China, Malaysia, and Vietnam, showed the highest levels of pollution, the data showed. (VOA)

  • Enakshi Roy Chowdhury

    A lot of health issues are coming up just because of one reason which is air pollution. We need to work on it

  • Antara

    Air pollution keeps increasing at an alarming rate! This must be checked in order to save the living beings!

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Florida Becomes Latest Place to Declare Public Health Emergency Over Hepatitis A

Florida had 65 new cases in the past two weeks alone, bringing the total to 2,034, state officials said

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FILE - Mexican Health Ministry representatives give migrants free shots for the flu, hepatitis B, tetanus, and preventible children's diseases at the Barretal shelter for migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 6, 2018. VOA

Officials have declared a public health emergency over the rising number of hepatitis A cases in Florida, the latest part of the country dealing with outbreaks of the liver disease. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared an emergency Thursday to allow the state to spend more on testing and treatment, saying Florida has had more than 2,000 cases since the beginning of the year compared with 548 all of last year. Most have been in central Florida, and health officials are still investigating the sources.

“We urge vaccination and stress the importance of washing your hands regularly,” Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said in a tweet. Philadelphia also declared an emergency Thursday, and Mississippi officials announced an outbreak in their state earlier in the week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kentucky has had 4,793 cases since an outbreak there in 2017; since 2018, Ohio has had 3,220 and West Virginia 2,528.

Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver and is spread through food, water and objects tainted by feces, or through close contact. Its flulike symptoms, if they occur, usually last about two months. It had been considered a disease that was fading away, thanks in part to vaccines available since 1995. As recently as 2015, fewer than 1,400 cases were reported nationwide.

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Florida had 65 new cases in the past two weeks alone, bringing the total to 2,034, state officials said. Pixabay

But three years ago, a wave of outbreaks among homeless people and illicit drug users began appearing in the U.S. More than two dozen states have reported such outbreaks since then, with more than 22,500 cases, including 221 deaths. Vaccines have typically been administered to children, but many of the new cases have been in adults.

ALSO READ: US Drug Overdose Deaths More Common in Cities than Rural Areas

Florida had 65 new cases in the past two weeks alone, bringing the total to 2,034, state officials said. That compares with 548 last year and 276 cases in 2017. Dr. Eugene Schiff, director for liver diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and former epidemic intelligence service officer for CDC, told The Associated Press that the disease is likely spreading in Florida among homeless and unvaccinated people. He said intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men and the homeless are at a higher risk for the illness.

“Homelessness is a big issue throughout the country and in Florida, and they are at higher risk to spread hepatitis A around,” Dr. Schiff said. “It is more epidemic in the homeless community.” But he noted that the vaccine protects people against the disease: “This is entirely preventable. It is not that this is a virulent strain, there is just a larger risk if people haven’t been vaccinated.” (VOA)