Jun 21, 2017

Syria war: Polio paralyses 17 children in Mayadin and Raqqa

Seventeen children have been paralysed by polio following an outbreak of the disease in Syria that the World Health Organization says is "very serious".
Earlier this month, the agency reported two polio cases in the Mayadin area of Deir al-Zour province, much of which is controlled by so-called Islamic State.
Fourteen new cases have now been confirmed in the same area, while another was recorded in Raqqa province.
It is the first re-emergence of polio in the war-torn country since 2014.
The highly infectious disease, caused by a virus, mainly affects children under five years of age.
One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5-10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters that the 17 children with acute flaccid paralysis first showed symptoms between 3 March and 23 May.
But lab tests had only recently confirmed that the children had "vaccine-derived" polio, rather than the more virulent "wild" version of the virus, he said.

Map showing control of Iraq and Syria (31 May 2017)

Oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains small amounts of weakened but live virus, which replicates in the intestine for a limited period and can be passed to others living in under-immunised areas through faecal-contaminated water or food.
Mr Jasarevic said the outbreak meant there was significant under-immunisation in the Mayadin area, and that in response the WHO planned to vaccinate 90,000 children under the age of five there and 320,000 others elsewhere in Deir al-Zour.
"We are very worried, because obviously if there is already one case of polio of a kid that is paralysed it's already an outbreak," he warned. 
"We know for example that for one kid that is paralysed there are almost 200 asymptomatic so it means that virus circulating, so it is very serious."
Mr Jasarevic said the WHO was also carrying out a health assessment to ascertain whether the virus was circulating in Raqqa, where US-backed fighters are attempting to drive IS militants out of the provincial capital, or if the polio sufferer had caught the virus elsewhere and travelled there. 
More than 300,000 people have lost their lives in six years of conflict in Syria, which began with protests against President Bashar al-Assad before escalating into a full-scale civil war. Eleven million other people have been displaced by the fighting.

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Jun 20, 2017

Gluten intolerance may be wildly over-diagnosed, warns nutritionist

(Natural News) Listen up: You are more likely to experience allergic reactions from eating fruits and vegetables than gluten, according to a paper published in the Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Although many claim that they’re allergic to gluten, the study showed that only one percent of people actually have a reaction to wheat compared to the two percent that’s allergic to fresh produce.

Dr. Isabel Skypala of the Imperial College London found that a little-known condition called Pollen Food Syndrome affects two percent of people, which is double the actual number of gluten allergy sufferers. This condition is triggered by allergens found in peaches, celery, carrots, and apples. This allergic reaction can cause symptoms that are similar to allergic rhinitis (hay fever): runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth or skin, fatigue, and congestion. In more extreme cases, the throat may close up.

“Three-quarters of people come to my clinic convinced they have a problem with wheat and dairy, and have already cut them out. In fact allergies linked to fruit and vegetables are far more prevalent. I have seen a man who went into anaphylactic shock after drinking carrot juice. It is raw produce which causes the problem, but people simply have no awareness of this type of allergy, because wheat allergies are seen as so much more fashionable,” the dietitian who runs a food allergy clinic said.

Furthermore, she found that out of almost 3,600 randomly selected patients, 73 suffer from Pollen Food SyndromeAlso called oral allergy syndrome, this condition occurs in individuals who are allergic to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. These pollens contain proteins — similar to the ones found in fruits and vegetables — that trigger allergic reactions in certain people. The most common foods that can cause the reaction are hazelnuts, peaches, apples, and kiwi.

Her findings put the number of afflicted people at two percent of the population, double the number of those who have celiac disease. Only one in 100 people suffer from this autoimmune disease. This condition damages the small intestine after ingesting gluten. But while some individuals need to avoid gluten, most people don’t have to, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. 

Dr. Skypala added that fruits like cherries and apples, and vegetables like celery contain allergens that are similar to the ones found in birch pollen. She recognized that this can become a significant problem and has the potential to turn into an epidemic in the coming years. “The body reacts to them as it does with hayfever, although people often don’t pick up on the allergy until they get more serious symptoms from nuts, which contain the same proteins,” she further stated.

Based on earlier research, women are most likely to suffer from the allergy and that fruits cause this problem more often than vegetables. Cherries and plums are among those that can trigger the reaction. The symptoms can be mild for most people, with fruits and vegetables causing itching and swelling in the mouth. But for those who have asthma, the reactions can be more serious. 

They can experience problems breathing and their throats can close up completely. According to Dr. Skypala, pollution and climate change could be among the causes of the rise in the number of people with hayfever.
Since fruits and vegetables can make you more susceptible to allergic reactions, Dr. Skypala warns against drinking too much smoothies, especially after a U.S. study found that gluten-free fad diets have the potential to put people at risk of type-2 diabetes because they lack nutrients.

Learning that fruits and vegetables can cause potentially fatal allergic reactions is alarming especially since we are made to believe that these superfoods are beneficial to the body. But the takeaway here is that balance is key. Too much or too little can cause health concerns.
Sources include:

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Global leaders unite to bring polio one step closer to eradication

Countries and partners pledge US$ 1.2 billion to protect 450 million children from polio every year

ATLANTA (12 June 2017) – Today, global health leaders gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating polio and pledge US$ 1.2 billion to finance efforts to end the disease. 
Thirty years ago, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children each year in more than 125 countries around the world. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of governments, health workers, donors and the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership dedicated to ending the disease, the highly contagious virus has now been eliminated in all but three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. There have been only five cases to date in 2017. 
However, children remain at risk everywhere until polio is completely stopped. To end the disease for good, government representatives and partners came together to renew their commitment to supporting crucial activities such as vaccination and disease monitoring, which will protect more than 450 million children from polio each year.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of Rotarians, governments, health workers, partners and donors –  including those who have gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta – we are closer than ever to making history,” said Chris Elias, Global Development President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “These new commitments will help ensure that we will finish the job.”

In a time of many global challenges and priorities, governments and partners have stepped forward to demonstrate their collective resolve to seeing the second human disease ever eradicated. Major pledges include: US$ 75 million from Canada, US$ 61.4 million from the European Commission, US$ 55 million from Japan, US$ 30 million from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, US$ 30 million from the Dalio Foundation, US$ 25 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, US$ 15 million from an anonymous donor, US$ 13.4 million from Australia, US$ 11.2 million from Germany, US$ 5 million from easyJet, US$ 5 million from Italy and US$ 4 million from the Republic of Korea. 
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and John Germ, president of Rotary International, also announced an extension of their partnership in front of more than 20,000 Rotarians. Up to US$ 150 million in funds raised by Rotary members over the next three years will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation, resulting in up to US$ 450 million in the next three years for the GPEI. The Gates Foundation pledged a total of US$ 450 million, including this matching agreement.

“The global eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. Rotary members have been the driving force behind the fight to end polio since its inception,” said John Germ, President of Rotary International. “Their continued commitment to raising funds for eradication – coupled with today’s match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – makes that impact even greater.”
Today’s funding helps address a US$1.5 billion funding need that will help ensure that the virus is eliminated from these remaining countries and prevented from regaining a foothold anywhere else in the world.
“Constant innovation has been key to improving vaccination coverage and reaching more children with the polio vaccine,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Acting Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The unrelenting commitment and support of these global leaders will help us do just that—and ultimately end this disease for everyone and forever. CDC remains deeply committed to polio eradication and has contributed US$ 2.28 billion since the beginning of the initiative."
Today’s funding commitments will enable the program to continue to improve performance and overcome challenges to reach every child, including vaccinating children in conflict areas. 
“We are, together, truly on the verge of eradicating polio from the planet—but only if we work relentlessly to reach the children we have not yet reached,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We cannot fail to make this last effort. Because if we do not now make history, we will, and should be, judged harshly by history.” 
Thanks to efforts to date, polio has been eliminated from some of the most remote and challenging areas in the world. For example, India – once considered the most difficult place in the world to stop the disease – hasn’t reported a case in more than six years. More than 16 million children worldwide are walking today who would otherwise have been paralyzed by this disease, and polio resources in countries around the world are helping advance other national health goals.
“The key to ending polio will be to ensure that millions of health workers – some of whom work in the most challenging environments in the world – are able to reach every child, everywhere in the world,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan. “Eradicating polio will be a perpetual gift to coming generations.”
Today’s contributions and the continued commitment of all donors and partners will help end this devastating disease and ensure that the infrastructure and assets used to fight polio lay the foundation for better health outcomes for children everywhere for years to come.
Note to Editors:
Pledge values are expressed in US dollars. Donors include Australia, Canada, the European Commission, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Accenture Interactive USA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Dalio Foundation, easyJet, the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH)/Community Chest of Korea, the New Era Educational and Charitable Foundation, Rotary International, UNICEF Gulf Area Office, UNICEF USA, the United Nations Foundation/Shot@Life, and an anonymous donor. Please click here to view the full list of donors and pledge amounts.
For more information on the global effort to end polio, visit polioeradication.org To view and download photos, visit gatesfoundation.isebox.net/2017-rotary-convention

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