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    Exclamation Pneumonia & other respiratory ailments

    Pneumonia kills more children than any other disease in the world...

    UN Calls for Action on Pneumonia in Children
    November 11, 2012 — The United Nations is observing World Pneumonia Day on November 12 by calling on country leaders to spring into action to reduce child deaths from pneumonia. U.N. and other health agencies say the world has the means to save hundreds of thousands of children’s lives from this preventable disease.
    Pneumonia kills more children than any other disease in the world. The U.N. Children’s Fund reports every 25 seconds a child dies from pneumonia. It kills 3,400 children a day or 1.3 million a year. By this calculation, pneumonia accounts for 18 percent of the 6.9 million child deaths a year. As with many other diseases, the main victims are the world’s poorest, most marginalized children. They are the ones who cannot afford the treatments and vaccines that could save their lives. UNICEF spokeswoman, Marixie Mercado, says 90 percent of all child deaths from pneumonia occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

    “But, it is easily preventable and it is easily treatable," she said. "Basically, the evidence shows that if the poorest households had the same basic interventions that are available to the richest households, millions of children would live instead of die, due to a totally preventable disease.” Pneumonia can result from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough. About 85 percent of the world’s children receive these life-saving vaccines. The poorest do not. UNICEF is calling for universal vaccine coverage so all children, even the poorest, are protected.

    Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza type b are two major causes of bacterial pneumonia. They can be prevented through PCV and Hib vaccines. Most low- income countries have introduced the influenza type b Hib vaccines against pneumonia. But, UNICEF’s Mercado says the introduction of PCV vaccines in low-income countries is proceeding at a slower pace. “The same is true with treatment," she said. "Right now, less than a third of children with pneumonia received antibiotics in developing countries. Just recently, a report by the U.N. Commission on Life Saving Commodities estimated that over 1.5 million children could be saved if amoxicillin - an antibiotic that costs 30 centimes per treatment dose, were more widely available.”

    Children in poorer countries are at higher risk of getting pneumonia, a respiratory disease, than those in richer countries because of indoor air pollution. Low-income households burn wood, dung and coal for cooking or heating, with poorly ventilated fires and stoves. Overcrowded homes also contribute to higher levels of childhood pneumonia. Health experts say a number of preventive measures other than vaccines and antibiotics are effective in staving off pneumonia. These include safe drinking water and improved sanitation, as well as the promotion of practices such as exclusive breastfeeding and use of clean cook stoves to reduce indoor air pollution. They say frequent hand washing with soap and water reduces the incidence of pneumonia by 23 percent. Unfortunately, they note hand washing is not routinely practiced in most developing countries, especially among the poor.

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    Pneumonia is one of the top DRG's for inpatient admissions.
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    Angry

    Pollen Allergies Projected To Intensify...

    Allergies from Pollen Projected to Intensify with Climate Change
    Fri, Nov 9, 2012 - Spring and summer allergy sufferers might already have noticed a slight increase in days spent sneezing each year.
    And new research suggests that allergies triggered by pollen are set to increase--in both duration and severity--with climate change. The seasonal scourge ragweed has already been expanding its range in North America, thanks in large part to warming temperatures. "Climate change will increase pollen production considerably in the near future," Leonard Bielory, a visiting professor at Rutgers University and lead researcher on the new project, said in a prepared statement. In fact, plant-based allergens are expected to nearly double by the year 2040, according to research presented this week at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    The researchers are studying plants grown in chambers that mimic conditions (including temperature, precipitation and carbon dioxide levels) similar to those projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in coming decades. Bielory's findings suggest that while pollen counts (the average number of pollen particles in a cubic yard of air over the course of a day) in the northeastern U.S. averaged at about 8,455 in 2000, they will surpass 11,412 by 2020 and will top 18,285 by 2040--possibly pushing as high as 21,735. In the past 25 years, for example, ragweed pollen has increased from Texas all the way up to Canada. Not only are the average pollen counts likely to increase dramatically, but the allergy season is also set to start--and reach peak levels--much earlier in the year.

    In 2000, for example, pollen production began around April 15, but in 2020 it is expected to begin around March 27. Peak pollen production (increasing from 1,684 in 2000 to at least 1,844 in 2020) is likely to move from May 2 in 2000 to April 9 in 2020. And the warm season is not simply shifting its dates, but in most of North America, it is expanding by starting earlier and ending later, bringing more pollen for its duration. Allergies are affecting an increasing segment of the population. Although there is currently no cure for seasonal allergies--and many people cope simply by using over-the-counter treatments to reduce symptoms--allergy shots can improve the body's tolerance for the allergen.

    Allergies occur when the body's immune system overreacts to a substance, such as tree pollen, grass, mold, dust mites, animal dander or a food. So shots work by slowly exposing the body to small amounts of the culprit substance. The drawback is that shots generally need to be given over time, and the tolerance generally does not last indefinitely. Bielroy recommends that, "allergy sufferers begin long-term treatment, such as immunotherapy, now" to decrease their reaction to increasing pollen levels to come.

    http://news.yahoo.com/allergies-poll...210200323.html

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