Monday December 9, 2019

Pit Bulls, Mixed Breed Dogs Most Likely to Bite Children: Study

Researchers have found that Pit Bulls and mixed breed dogs have the highest risk of biting

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Study, Pit bulls, Mixed Breeds
The purpose of this study was to evaluate dog bites in children. Pixabay

If you have kids at home, it is wiser to be careful with the pets. Researchers have found that Pit Bulls and mixed breed dogs have the highest risk of biting and cause the most damage per bite.

Parents should also avoid dogs with wide and short heads, weighing 30-45 kg, suggested the study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.

“The purpose of this study was to evaluate dog bites in children, and we specifically looked at how breed relates to bite frequency and bite severity,” said study lead author Garth Essig from Ohio State University in the US.

“Because mixed breed dogs account for a significant portion of bites, and we often didn’t know what type of dog was involved in these incidents. We looked at additional factors that may help predict bite tendency when breed is unknown, like weight and head shape,” Essig said.

Study, Pit bulls, Mixed Breeds
If you have kids at home, it is wiser to be careful with the pets. Pixabay

To assess bite severity, researchers reviewed 15 years of dog-related facial trauma cases and looked at wound size, tissue tearing, bone fractures and other injuries severe enough to warrant consultation by a facial trauma and reconstructive surgeon and created a damage severity scale.

They also performed an extensive literature search from 1970 to the present for dog bite papers that reported breed to determine relative risk of biting from a certain breed. This was combined with hospital data to determine relative risk of biting and average tissue damage of bite.

“Young children are especially vulnerable to dog bites because they may not notice subtle signs that a dog may bite,” said Charles Elmaraghy, Associate Professor at the varsity.

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The circumstances that cause a dog to bite vary and may be influenced by breed behaviour tendencies and the behaviour of the victim, parents and dog owner, said the study. (IANS)

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Measles Kills 140,000 people, WHO Calls it “Collective Failure”

WHO Decries 'Collective Failure' as Measles Kills 140,000

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Measles- WHO
A child reacts after receiving a measles-rubella vaccination in Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000, mostly children, as devastating outbreaks of the viral disease hit every region of the world, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

In figures described by its director general as “an outrage,” the WHO said most of last year’s measles deaths were in children under five years old who had not been vaccinated.

“The fact that any child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world’s most vulnerable children,” said the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus.

The picture for 2019 is even worse, the WHO said, with provisional data up to November showing a three-fold increase compared with the same period in 2018.

The United States has already reported its highest number of measles cases in 25 years in 2019, while four countries in Europe — Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece and Britain — lost their WHO “measles-free” status in 2018 after suffering large outbreaks.

An ongoing outbreak of measles in South Pacific nation of Samoa has infected more than 4,200 people and killed more than 60, mostly babies and children, in a battle complicated by a vocal anti-vaccination movement.

Globally, measles vaccination rates have stagnated for almost a decade, the WHO said. It and the UNICEF children’s fund say that in 2018, around 86% of children got a first dose of measles vaccine through their country’s routine vaccination services, and fewer than 70% got the second dose recommended to fully protect them from measles infection.

Highly contagious

Samoa Measles
A child gets vaccinated at a health clinic in Apia, Samoa. Samoa. VOA

Measles is one of the most contagious known diseases — more so than Ebola, tuberculosis or flu. It can linger in the air or on surfaces for several hours after an infected person has been and gone — putting anyone not vaccinated at risk.

In some wealthier nations, vaccination rates have been hit by some parents shunning them for what they say are religious or philosophical reasons. Mistrust of authority and debunked myths about links to autism also weaken vaccine confidence and lead some parents to delay protecting their children.

Research published in October showed that measles infection not only carries a risk of death or severe complications including pneumonia, brain damage, blindness and deafness, but can also damage the victim’s immune memory for months or years — leaving those who survive measles vulnerable to other dangerous diseases such as flu or severe diarrhea.

The WHO data showed there were an estimated 9,769,400 cases of measles and 142,300 related deaths globally in 2018. This compares to 7,585,900 cases and 124,000 deaths in 2017.

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In 2018, measles hit hardest in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine, the WHO said, with these five nations accounting for nearly half of global cases.

Robert Linkins, a specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the data were worrying: “Without improving measles vaccine coverage we’re going to continue to see these needless deaths. We must turn this trend around.” (VOA)