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China’s foreign minister Wang to attend special Asean-China meeting on Covid-19 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 19, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382396?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

China’s foreign minister Wang to attend special Asean-China meeting on Covid-19

Feb 19. 2020
File Photo

File Photo
By The Nation

China’s State councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the Special Asean-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Covid-19 in Vientiane from February 19 to 21.

Wang will co-chair the meeting with Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin, the current Asean-China country coordinator.

There will also be a meeting of China-Asean medical experts to be held in parallel with the foreign ministers’ meeting.

“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Chinese government, acting with a high sense of responsibility to its people and the international community, has put people’s lives, health and safety on top of its agenda and adopted the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures, which are gradually paying off,” China’s embassy in Bangkok said in a statement.

“As of February 14, new confirmed cases in China, excluding Hubei province, has declined for the 12th consecutive day, while over 8,000 patients have been cured and the mortality rate is controlled at 2.29 per cent nationwide and 0.55 per cent for areas excluding Hubei. The situation speaks volumes that the epidemic is curable and controllable and that China is confident and capable of defeating the epidemic,” the statement added.

At the 56th Munich Security Conference recently, Wang reminded the delegates that we live in a time when traditional and non-traditional security issues are entwined, and when local issues easily become global and vice versa, and that no country can prosper in isolation. Under the concept of a community of shared future for mankind, China and Asean countries have maintained close communication and carried out rounds of effective cooperation in responding to the Covid-19 epidemic, the embassy said.

“Many Asean countries, including Thailand, have offered us support and assistance through various ways, vividly demonstrating the valuable friendship of good neighbours. That the two sides have decided to hold a special foreign ministers’ meeting within such a short period of time demonstrates our will and determination to overcome difficulties with concerted efforts,” the statement added.

At the Vientiane meeting, Wang will talk about China’s strong measures on countering the epidemic and exchange in-depth views on collaboration with Asean counterparts to advance joint prevention and control, maintain normal economic and social exchange, and explore launching a permanent mechanism on public health cooperation, the embassy said. “By doing so, we will safeguard the health and safety of people in regional countries and contribute to global public health,” the statement added.

Vaccines are like a giving your body’s defenses a cheat sheet #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 19, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382330?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Vaccines are like a giving your body’s defenses a cheat sheet

Feb 18. 2020
Susan Nasif, an expert on viruses and an artist, helps educate kids about vaccines with comics. In this one, she tells a story about poliovirus, which paralyzed thousands of people before a vaccine was developed. Polio cases nearly disappeared until some people avoided the vaccine. MUST CREDIT: Susan Nasif

Susan Nasif, an expert on viruses and an artist, helps educate kids about vaccines with comics. In this one, she tells a story about poliovirus, which paralyzed thousands of people before a vaccine was developed. Polio cases nearly disappeared until some people avoided the vaccine. MUST CREDIT: Susan Nasif
By Special To The Washington Post · Jason Bittel · FEATURES, HEALTH, KIDS

While the sting of a needle in the arm or leg is nobody’s favorite thing, the vaccines within those shots are some of the most important medical inventions in the history of science. But there can be a lot of misunderstanding about what vaccines are and how they work. So this month, we reached out to Susan Nasif, a virology expert and artist who specializes in creating comics that tackle difficult scientific subjects.

“When I was 8 years old, I remember watching a cartoon that explained the immune system to children,” writes Nasif in an email. “I loved it, and I decided then to draw and create my own comics.”

The immune system is the body’s natural defense against viruses, bacteria and other nasty stuff, Nasif says. But viruses are especially good at developing disguises that help them hide from the immune system. Which is why we need vaccines to help our bodies see through the act.

Most vaccines contain a weakened or dead version of the virus they are meant to protect against, though some vaccines carry only the proteins found on the virus’s surface. In either case, once these substances are injected into the body, your immune system grabs them up and learns how to identify them, kind of like a cheat sheet that helps you prepare for a big test.

Then, when the body comes into contact with the real thing – a healthy virus – it knows how to protect against it and can set to work gobbling up the viruses before they can do too much damage.

You may be wondering why you still have to get shots for something such as polio, even though no one you know has gotten it. This is where a term called “herd immunity” comes into the discussion.

“Vaccines act as a firewall that prevents the spread of diseases to others,” Nasif says.

When enough people develop resistances to a disease by getting a vaccine, the chance that a virus can infect someone and then keep spreading drops to near zero. This is how polio went from a disease that was infecting 350,000 people a year in 1988 to one that caused just 33 cases reported worldwide in 2018. Of course, the protection only continues if people continue to give their bodies a cheat code to beat polio – vaccines.

Many people are concerned that a new virus coming from China could become a big problem for people around the world. Nasif says that scientists are working hard to create a vaccine for this coronavirus, which causes a disease called covid-19, but that it takes time to produce a vaccine that will be safe to use in people.

For now, she says the best thing you can do to protect yourself against this or any other viruses, bacteria and other things that cause diseases, is to wash your hands frequently and avoid being close to people who are coughing or sneezing.

Nasif also suggests eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep at night – two ways you can give your immune system a helping hand.

Nasif also suggests eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep at night – two ways you can give your immune system a helping hand.

Number of confirmed coronavirus infections in China exceeds 72,000, death toll rising to 1,868 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 18, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382310?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Number of confirmed coronavirus infections in China exceeds 72,000, death toll rising to 1,868

Feb 18. 2020
File Photo of Diamond Princess, a cruise ship carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members that had been quarantined for two weeks off the Japanese port of Yokohama. Credit :Syndication Washington Post

File Photo of Diamond Princess, a cruise ship carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members that had been quarantined for two weeks off the Japanese port of Yokohama. Credit :Syndication Washington Post
By The Washington Post · Anna Fifield, Alex Horton, Abha Bhattarai · NATIONAL, WORLD, HEALTH

BEIJING – Fourteen Americans who tested positive for coronavirus were among the hundreds of U.S. citizens evacuated from a cruise ship off Japan to U.S. facilities over the holiday weekend, the result of a chaotic chain of events that put virus-stricken passengers on flights with other evacuees.

Their return almost doubles the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States to 29. The number of confirmed infections in China now exceeds 72,000, with the death toll rising to 1,868, the majority of both in Hubei province, where the virus emerged in December.

The 14 U.S. passengers tested positive for the virus after leaving the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members that had been quarantined for two weeks off the Japanese port of Yokohama.

But by the time their test results arrived, they were on a fleet of buses that took 328 asymptomatic passengers from the ship to two charter planes bound for U.S. military bases in Texas and California, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about the incident.

It was a wrench in a coordinated effort. While the buses sat on the tarmac, health experts considered whether to put the 14 on the flight or divert them to hospitals in Japan, the official said. The State Department had already told passengers that virus-infected people would not board flights.

The planes included a sealed-off section of 18 seats in the back, and part of the plan was to isolate passengers there if they developed symptoms midflight, the official said.

Health authorities deemed them “fit to fly” because they were not showing symptoms, the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Monday. They were cordoned off from the other passengers during the flight, the statement said.

“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” according to the statement.

It was unclear whether the other passengers were informed, the official said. The State Department did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Another 44 Americans from the cruise ship tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday and had been taken to hospitals in Japan.

One flight unloaded bleary-eyed passengers at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, late Sunday night local time, and the other in Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio early Monday.

All are due to go into quarantine for 14 days, the maximum incubation period for the virus. Ten passengers who tested positive were moved to a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, upon arrival, where they are being quarantined, retested and monitored in rooms with separate filtration systems at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Four others with the virus are in a hospital outside Travis Air Force Base and will be moved to Omaha this week, the official said.

Japan’s Health Ministry on Monday reported 99 new cases of coronavirus among the passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, increasing the total number of infections from the ship to 454, including the Americans. Of those, 18 are in serious condition, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Yosuke Kita, a senior official in the Japanese Health Ministry, said the government would finish testing everyone aboard the Diamond Princess by the end of the day Monday. One of the new cases was a Russian woman, the Russian Embassy in Tokyo said on Twitter, and two were Australians, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition to the cases on the Diamond Princess, Japan reported a sharp rise in the number of people with coronavirus over the weekend, with 65 people confirmed to have the virus, up from 33 on Thursday. The fact that many of the latest cases cannot be traced directly to China led Health Minister Katsunobu Kato to acknowledge that the virus had entered a “new phase” of local transmission.

The country is shifting to an approach focused on community-based control and treatment, said Shigeru Omi, chief director with the Japan Community Health Care Organization, which runs medical centers across Japan.

Kato said Japan can now administer more than 3,000 tests a day, and designated hospitals will be able to take 1,800 of the most severe cases, “and citizens with very light symptoms will be requested to stay home,” Omi said. People who develop symptoms will be encouraged to contact special call centers, rather than visit hospitals on their own.

Omi said that the “goal of this strategy is to slow the speed of transmission and reduce mortality” – a de facto acknowledgment that it has now become impossible to prevent the virus from spreading further in Japan.

The World Health Organization said new data has yielded better understanding of how the virus circulates and shows a decline in new cases, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference Monday. But he cautioned against that as a sign the virus has reached its apex.

“Trends can change as new populations are affected. It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue,” he said. “Every scenario is still on the table.”

Government officials in Malaysia, Cambodia and the United States were scrambling on Monday to track down passengers from another cruise ship – the Westerdam, owned by Holland America Line – who may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Hundreds of passengers have flown home, mostly through Thailand or Malaysia, after the ship docked in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville and health authorities there deemed it coronavirus-free.

But an 83-year-old American woman who disembarked from the ship at Sihanoukville on Friday took a charter flight to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, along with 145 other passengers. They had all passed health checks by Cambodian authorities and cleared to leave the ship and travel onward.

When the woman arrived in Kuala Lumpur, she reported not feeling well and tested positive for the virus. Malaysian authorities say she is in stable condition.

Her traveling companion tested negative, and none of the other passengers or crew members reported symptoms, Holland America Line said in the statement.

The Westerdam on Monday remained in Sihanoukville, where it had docked last week after spending two weeks at sea. Authorities in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand had turned it away after seeing what happened with the Diamond Princess, where the number of infections grew rapidly even while the vessel and its passengers quarantined.

The new cases come amid a continuing scramble to contain the virus in China, especially in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, where the outbreak began.

China’s National Health Commission said over the weekend that the number of new cases outside Hubei province has declined, as authorities impose severe restrictions on people’s movements in an attempt to stop transmission.

In Beijing, China’s ruling Communist Party signaled that it would almost certainly postpone the annual meeting of its legislature, the National People’s Congress and the other national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Together, these meetings are known as the “Two Sessions.”

The move to delay it “underscores the gravity of the coronavirus epidemic,” according to the analysts at the NPC Observer blog. “Officially, the Council is reported to have been mainly concerned with pulling NPC delegates (over a third of whom are local officials) away from their epidemic control efforts,” the analysts said in a blog post, linking to a state media article.

Other analysts point out that it would be bad optics for the party to hold a huge meeting when all public gatherings are banned, and even worse to show thousands of cadres in masks. The party’s leaders already have faced criticism for their response to the outbreak.

44 Americans on cruise ship docked in Japan tested positive for coronavirus, U.S. health official says #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382255?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

44 Americans on cruise ship docked in Japan tested positive for coronavirus, U.S. health official says

Feb 17. 2020
Diamond Princess / File Photo credit: Syndication Washington Post, Japan News-Yomiuri

Diamond Princess / File Photo credit: Syndication Washington Post, Japan News-Yomiuri
By The Washington Post · Gerry Shih, Lena H. Sun, Katie Mettler · WORLD, HEALTH

BEIJING – As the rate of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in China, thousands of cruise ship passengers who have been exposed to the virus in Japan and Cambodia are posing logistical and public health challenges as officials try to send them home while prioritizing containment.

 

The U.S. government evacuated hundreds of Americans on Sunday night from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, docked in Tokyo and quarantined since Feb. 5, and flew them out of Japan on two chartered planes bound for U.S. military bases – a carefully monitored process that will include another quarantine once they land.

Another 44 Americans aboard the Diamond Princess tested positive for coronavirus and will stay at hospitals in Japan as they recover, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Sunday.

At the same time, public health officials scrambled to determine whether passengers onboard a different cruise ship, the Westerdam, were exposed to the virus after an 83-year-old woman tested positive days after disembarking in Cambodia. The unexpected finding upended a basic assumption by several governments, including the United States, that the ship was virus-free, which motivated local and U.S. officials to allow passengers to disembark and depart for other cities and countries around the world.

As these cruise passengers and other travelers fan out across the globe, infectious-disease experts say the dynamic illustrates how the virus could be introduced into new communities in quiet ways. Until now, officials have been aggressively monitoring those who traveled to China and those who have had close contact with an infected person. But the Westerdam oversight demonstrates how travelers without obvious symptoms could slip through screening processes.

“This illustrates there is transmission occurring in unexpected places that we’re not aware of,” said Jeff Duchin, health officer and chief of communicable disease epidemiology section at Seattle and King County health department. “The virus is moving very quickly and silently and presents a real challenge to containment.”

Duchin noted, however, that the reported cases occurring in places outside China are not large-scale yet. Health officials still need to focus on where they can have the greatest impact on controlling the outbreak, he said, which is in China.

“But increasingly, we are seeing it pop up in other parts of the world and in other settings, and that makes it difficult for us as a country to know when someone who may have been exposed outside of China enters the United States,” Duchin said.

Health experts have warned that the coronavirus is difficult to contain precisely because symptoms are often mild and the coronavirus could replicate inside the human body and infect others for up to 14 days before showing symptoms at all.

As of Sunday, the World Health Organization has reported cases in 26 countries, the majority of which remain in mainland China. Chinese officials have tallied about 70,500 cases of the illness and 1,770 deaths. Outside of China, the WHO reports about 680 confirmed cases and three deaths.

Chinese officials said Sunday that they believed measures taken across the country to control the epidemic were paying off. Several cities in the central region have declared strict “wartime measures” that allow residents to leave their homes only several times a week and upon approval from neighborhood authorities.

Guards in Hubei are required to check identification 24 hours a day at the entrance to residential compounds, and driving is banned for all nonessential purposes under new regulations released Sunday.

The number of new cases across China, including in Hubei, has been falling, said Chinese National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng, who noted that doctors in the hardest-hit province had broadened their diagnosis criteria for patients suspected of suffering from the disease and were able to treat them more quickly.

“The effects of our counter-coronavirus measures in every part of the country are already becoming apparent,” Mi said.

In Taiwan, authorities reported the first death Sunday, a man in his 60s with diabetes and hepatitis but no recent history of overseas travel, according to the state-run Central News Agency. Officials said they were still investigating how the man contracted the virus while living in the central part of Taiwan, which has so far recorded 20 confirmed cases across the island.

On Saturday, Cambodia’s health minister issued a statement urging the public to “not be overly afraid” but to take protective measures. That night, charter flights that were originally scheduled to take Westerdam passengers to Kuala Lumpur were canceled by Malaysian authorities.

The Westerdam was believed to have no infections onboard among the 2,200 crew and passengers who were stranded at sea for weeks as countries rejected their entry after a stop in Hong Kong, where they took on hundreds of new passengers.

The 83-year-old American woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, was among the relieved passengers who were let off the Westerdam on Friday and welcomed and embraced by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has downplayed the epidemic’s threat and described the decision to bring them onshore as an act of humanitarian goodwill. The ship had been stranded at sea for nearly two weeks and was running low on provisions after it was denied entry to Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. territory of Guam.

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy brought his family onto the cruise ship and posed for pictures on Saturday with American passengers. Murphy and other passengers did not appear to be wearing masks in photos shared on the embassy’s Twitter account.

Holland America, the cruise operator, said in a statement Sunday that no other passengers or crew who were on the ship have reported any symptoms of the coronavirus. About 1,000 people remain on the ship, with the rest on their way home.

Grant Tarling, Holland America’s chief medical officer, said in the statement that the company was working with health experts to contact national health authorities around the world to investigate and follow up with individuals who may have come into contact with the American woman found to carry the virus.

In Japan, U.S. passengers were faced with a difficult decision. They could stay on the Diamond Princess until Feb. 19, when the original quarantine is scheduled to lift, but risk being stuck in Cambodia and bound by commercial flight restrictions, or leave on the chartered flights to military bases in Texas and California – only to face another 14-day quarantine.

About 400 Americans were on the cruise ship when it docked in Japan, and the Japanese Defense Ministry said 300 of them disembarked Sunday night, The Associated Press reported.

The number of coronavirus diagnoses has continued to rise sharply among the 3,700 passengers and crew members originally on board. Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said early Sunday that the quarantined ship floating near Tokyo has 355 confirmed cases, or about 30% of the 1,219 people who have been tested. That represents one of the highest infection rates in the world.

“The degree of transmissibility on that cruise ship is essentially akin to being in a hot spot,” Fauci, who is also a member of the White House task force for the coronavirus, told CBS.

Canada, South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong announced Sunday that they would also arrange charter flights.

Most people now die at home, and care can be complex #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382248?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Most people now die at home, and care can be complex

Feb 16. 2020
By Special To The Washington Post · Haider J. Warraich · HEALTH 

Roger Kellison had Parkinson’s disease that was quickly progressing. He was a private man who eventually moved into his daughter’s house when he was unable to take care of himself.

“He had not come to our house to live,” Daniel Wallace, his son-in-law, told me. “He had come to our house to die. The last thing he wanted to do was die at a hospital.”

Kellison was part of a striking trend: For the first time since the early part of the 20th century, more Americans are dying at home than in the hospital or a nursing home. This finding, included in a recent study by me and co-author Sarah Cross, is encouraging because the vast majority of Americans say they prefer to die at home. So this reflects that many more people are being able to achieve that goal.

But as more people die at home, it also means that much more responsibility falls on the shoulders of patients and their caregivers. Caregiver burden is a growing problem in America. As a doctor tending patients with heart failure, I am keenly aware of how hard managing care can be for both patients and family members.

Taking care of an ailing loved one can be exhausting physically and emotionally, and frequently caregivers lose sight of themselves. My study co-author used to work as a social worker and has seen many families struggle with managing a loved one at home. “Caregivers need to prioritize their own care,” she told me. “It isn’t selfish to take breaks, make time with friends, ask for help, look into respite options.”

After Kellison moved in with his daughter, he stayed mostly in the upstairs guest room, and for the last five months rarely, if ever, came downstairs. That physical separation was important for everyone.

“It was helpful that we delineated the house and our lives. We still went out and we still had people over,” Daniel Wallace said. “Sometimes he was part of that and sometimes he wasn’t.”

Making shared living space work is just one issue. If dying at home is important to someone, that person and their caregivers should think about – and prepare for in advance, if possible – other factors:

Perhaps most importantly, the person nearing the end needs to make clear that they want to die at home. Family, friends and medical teams need to know that. Physicians and nurses will frequently ask patients how they would like their end to be, particularly what types of intensive treatments they might or might not want. They rarely ask people where they would like to die, however.

Once at home, there are certain physical considerations worth noting: Many people have strong feelings about where in the house they would like to spend their last days – in a dark, quiet room, or looking out a window, or away from too much hubbub. Nearness to a bathroom is key. Sometimes, light remodeling, such as installing handrails in bathrooms or ramps, is helpful.

A person at the end of life will probably have feelings about who they want to spend time with – or who they don’t want – so it is important to discuss in advance who will provide caregiving, along with who might provide occasional backup for regular caregivers.

There are often community resources available as well, such as end-of-life doulas trained to care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a dying person. Adaire Petrichor is one such doula. She said she “helps with rituals, ceremonies, legacy work and advice on nonmedical comfort care.”

Online resources are available through such organizations as Compassion & Choices. The Conversation Project can provide guidance for patients and their loved ones about what to expect in the final days.

Perhaps the most critical resource available for those wanting to die at home is hospice care. Hospice is covered by Medicare (and most other insurance) for patients with an expected life expectancy of less than six months. It is designed to help caregivers take care of a dying loved one at home with 24-hour call-in numbers to answer urgent questions, visits from hospice nurses, social workers and other staff. But home hospice does not provide full hands-on service, and caregivers still carry the bulk of the responsibility. While in many cases the care of the patient can be tougher than loved ones expect, most people find hospice guidance and support invaluable.

Wallace said hospice was key for taking care of his wife’s father after he moved in with them to die.

“Hospice was a way to bring a quality of life that he didn’t have before, because he couldn’t take care of himself and we couldn’t take care of him without hospice,” Wallace said. “If you need a wheelchair, they have that. If you need Haldol (an antipsychotic drug to treat end-stage delirium and agitation), morphine, they have it, and you can have it the next day.”

While the vast majority of hospice services are delivered at home, hospice care can also be provided in nursing facilities for dying patients who require more intensive medical care or don’t have other social supports.

Hospice is the primary reason more Americans are able to die at home today. Yet, only half of Americans who die receive hospice help. One reason may be that some people don’t ask for it because they think it is sending a depressing message to their ailing loved one or admitting what they may not want to acknowledge – that the person is in their last days.

“The obvious misconception is that it’s a death sentence,” Wallace said. But “it really is a quality-of-life sentence.”

Outside remote regions, most areas have multiple hospice agencies from which to choose.

Agencies can differ in how often nurses visit, what they might offer in crises and what equipment they provide, including hospital bed, oxygen tanks, wheelchairs. It is worth having a discussion about the support they’ll provide and other options before committing to a particular hospice provider.

With advances in public health, medicine and longevity, people now live longer with disabilities. Death is not just the terminal event in our mortal lives, but the final word of a story that can often take years to unfold.

Intermixed with periods of relative stability can be moments of terror as someone hits their final days. Physicians and other health-care providers need to prepare patients and families for these health shocks, such as worsening breathing for a patient with heart or lung disease or a pain crisis for someone with cancer.

Calling 911 when an end-of-life crisis hits initiates a cascade that can often lead to the hospital. This might be necessary if a patient has symptoms that caregivers at home feel unable to manage. For that reason, Cross said, “I recommend not making promises to a loved one such as ‘I promise I’ll always take care of you at home.’ When it becomes too much to manage at home, I’ve seen many caregivers racked with guilt for having ‘broken a promise.’ ”

Some endings can take a much more erratic course, common for those with heart or lung disease. This might be one reason our study showed that patients with cancer are more likely to be able to die at home than those with heart or lung disease.

One morning, a year after his father-in-law had moved in, Wallace went upstairs to check on him and unexpectedly found he had died.

“He did not present himself as dying when it happened,” he said. “We weren’t on death watch or anything like that.”

Some caregivers I have talked to feel uncomfortable with the idea of their loved one dying at home. Even though death has occurred at home for eons, the 20th century interrupted that historical legacy, and for many, it is a novel concept.

But for many, fulfilling a loved one’s wish to die at home provides a fitting and natural end to the story of that person’s life.

When I asked Wallace whether he viewed his house differently after his father-in-law died in it, he said: “It deepens my experience of being alive, to be in a house where someone has died. It’s a remarkable thing.”

– – –

Warraich is associate director of the Heart Failure Program at VA Boston Healthcare System and a cardiologist at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Fears mount over new coronavirus case in Westerdam cruise ship thought to be infection free #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382240?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Fears mount over new coronavirus case in Westerdam cruise ship thought to be infection free

Feb 16. 2020
By  The Washington Post · Gerry Shih · WORLD, HEALTH 
BEIJING – Concerns mounted on Sunday that authorities in Cambodia, including U.S. Embassy officials, had allowed passengers infected by the coronavirus to disembark from the Westerdam cruise ship and depart for other cities and countries around the world after Malaysian officials confirmed that a second exam for an ill passenger returned positive.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told reporters Sunday that an 83-year old American passenger on the cruise liner tested positive for the coronavirus twice – once on Friday and once on Saturday – after she landed in Kuala Lumpur despite being screened earlier by Cambodian health officials.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/7c89362b-5db8-400a-854e-e37aeb7dcdb0

“The results were the same. That is positive for the wife and negative for her husband,” Wan Azizah told reporters at a news conference, adding that Malaysia would now bar entry for all passengers from the cruise ship, according to Reuters.

The unexpected finding upends a basic assumption by several governments, including the United States, that the ship was virus-free and that passengers could be greeted at proximity without protective gear and allowed to travel.

The American woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, was among hundreds of relieved passengers who were let off the Westerdam on Friday and welcomed and embraced by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has downplayed the epidemic’s threat and described the decision to bring them onshore as an act of humanitarian goodwill.

The U.S. ambassador, W. Patrick Murphy, also brought his family onboard the cruise ship and posed for pictures on Saturday with American passengers. Murphy and other passengers did not appear to be wearing a mask in photos shared on the embassy’s Twitter account.

Disembarkation, which was set to continue over the weekend, was halted Sunday, according to Cambodian journalists at the scene.

On Saturday, Cambodia’s health minister issued a public statement urging the public to “not be overly afraid” but to take protective measures. On Saturday night, charter flights that were originally scheduled to take Westerdam passengers to Kuala Lumpur were canceled by Malaysian authorities.

As of Sunday, authorities worldwide have tallied roughly 69,000 cases of covid-19 and 1,669 deaths. The overwhelming majority of infections remain in mainland China, which reported 2,009 new cases on Saturday.

In Taiwan, authorities reported the first death on Sunday, a man in his 60s with diabetes and hepatitis but no recent history of overseas travel, according to the state-run Central News Agency. Officials said they were still investigating how the man contracted the virus while living in the central part of Taiwan, which has so far recorded 20 confirmed cases across the island.

Chinese officials said Sunday they believed that measures taken across the country to control the epidemic were paying off. Several cities in the central region have declared strict “wartime measures” that allow residents to leave their homes only several times a week and upon approval from neighborhood authorities.

Guards in Hubei are now required to check identification 24-hours a day at the entrance to residential compounds and driving is also banned for all nonessential purposes under new regulations released Sunday.

The number of new cases across China, including in Hubei, were falling, said Chinese National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng, who noted that doctors in the worst-hit province had broadened their diagnosis criteria for patients suspected of suffering from the disease and were able to treat them more quickly.

“The effects of our counter-coronavirus measures in every part of the country are already becoming apparent,” Mi said.

The Westerdam was believed to have no infections onboard among the 2,200 crew and passengers who were stranded at sea for weeks as countries rejected their entry following a stop in Hong Kong where they took on hundreds of new passengers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/8c69ef04-cbfd-4251-9323-a12e167ad082

Health experts have warned that the coronavirus is difficult to contain precisely because symptoms are often mild and the coronavirus could replicate inside the human body and infect others for more than two weeks before showing symptoms at all.

The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh said Cambodian officials individually screened all disembarking passengers for fever with the help of embassy staff this week, and any passenger who reported feeling ill had received lab tests, all of which returned negative. The tests were processed by a lab trusted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Embassy said.

The Westerdam and another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess in Japan, are posing logistical and public health challenges for governments as they try to contain the spread of the disease known as covid-19 and repatriate citizens.

The United States prepared to evacuate American citizens from the Diamond Princess on Sunday as the number of coronavirus diagnoses continued to rise sharply among the 3,700 passengers and crew originally onboard.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said early Sunday that the quarantined ship floating near Tokyo now has 355 confirmed cases, or about 30 percent of the 1,219 people who have been tested so far. That represents one of the highest infection rates in the world.

Three Israelis on board have been found positive for the virus, according to the Israeli Health Ministry, but their condition is mild and they are now in a hospital in Japan. The ministry added that an expert physician has been sent to liaise with Japanese health officials.

The U.S. government-chartered flights comes days after public health experts warned that time spent on the Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined since Feb. 5, increases the risk of coronavirus exposure and Japanese authorities began letting some passengers disembark to complete their quarantine on land.

Two charter flights are scheduled to depart from Japan Sunday evening and bring roughly 380 evacuated Americans from the Diamond Princess to military bases in Texas and California, where they will be quarantined and monitored for an additional 14 days.

Canada, South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong announced Sunday they would also arrange charter flights.

Chinese health workers fall ill amid shortages of protective equipment #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 15, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382190?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Chinese health workers fall ill amid shortages of protective equipment

Feb 15. 2020
File Photo/Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg

File Photo/Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg
By The Washington Post · Emily Rauhala, Lena H. Sun, Lenny Bernstein

More than 1,700 Chinese medical workers have contracted the covid-19 respiratory disease, officials said Friday, a sobering development that came on the same day the virus turned up in Africa and Japanese officials said they would allow some uninfected travelers to leave a cruise ship hard-hit by the outbreak.

Amid widespread shortages of protective equipment for health care workers in China’s Hubei province, Friday’s announcement highlighted the challenges Beijing faces as its overwhelmed heath care system tries to contain the epidemic.

At the same time, officials noted the infection rate among health care workers is in line with that of previous respiratory viruses, including the 2003 SARS outbreak. The total appeared to be a count of infections that have occurred over many weeks, rather than a sudden escalation of the crisis.

“This isn’t surprising, if I’m being honest,” said Saskia Popescu, senior infection prevention epidemiologist for Honor Health, a hospital system in Phoenix. “It is very, very easy to have failures in infection control.”

Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, said he believes the cases peaked in the third and fourth week of January and have declined since because of improved training and awareness.

“It’s a lower percentage than has occurred in other coronavirus outbreaks,” Ryan said. “Now that’s not a guarantee that it won’t change.”

A total of 1,716 Chinese medical providers were infected as of Feb. 11, 3.8 percent of the confirmed cases, Chinese health authorities said. Six have died. One health care worker in Singapore also was infected.

The Feb. 7 death of Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital who had warned fellow medical school graduates in a private chat of an outbreak of the virus, prompted a national outpouring of grief and rage toward authorities. He died after being detained and released by police for speaking out.

By acknowledging the toll on health professionals, Beijing is trying to signal some transparency on a flash point issue, and letting ordinary people know officials share their sense of alarm.

“It might raise a red flag about how serious the situation is,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. “And hopefully that leads to a more effective government response.”

But Huang cautioned against seeing the figure as the final word on medical workers. “If it is coming from an official source, we have to take it always with a grain of salt,” he said.

Concerns about how medical personnel are faring in this crisis have been front and center from the start. Photos and video from Wuhan have shown exhausted doctors and nurses working in overflowing hospitals.

At Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, 40 health care workers were infected with the virus in January, according to a JAMA study. The majority worked in the general wards, but seven were assigned to the emergency room and two worked in the intensive care unit. In one case, a single patient infected more than 10 health care workers.

Still the toll on front line workers appears to be smaller than it was in other lethal coronavirus outbreaks. When SARS emerged in 2002, health care workers accounted for a fifth of the cases. A study of MERS infections from 2012 to 2018 found that health care workers made up a similar share – 415 of the 2,223 confirmed cases.

“Patients need to be wearing a mask. Physicians taking care of them need to be protected themselves – not only medical doctors or nurses, but people who work in the hospitals: the transporters, the person who is at the front desk. All these individuals are at risk,” said Charles Dela Cruz, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Yale University School of Medicine.

To date, covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has caused more than 1,500 deaths, all but two in China, and 66,000 illnesses, with only 600 of those outside China. The United States has seen 15 cases and no fatalities.

Egypt’s Ministry of Health confirmed Friday that it had detected a case of coronavirus, the first known example of the outbreak in Africa. Health officials have worried about the virus reaching the continent because of its weak health care systems.

A spokesperson for the ministry, Khaled Megahed, said in a statement that a foreign national had tested positive for the coronavirus and the WHO had been notified.

Although the person had not shown symptoms, they were tested because of their travel history. The person was subsequently transported to a hospital and they are in stable condition under quarantine.

A number of people who came into contact with the patient have been tested for the virus, Megahad said. All tested negative, but they will be placed under 14-day quarantine as a precaution.

In Japan, meanwhile, the Health Ministry said Friday that 10 people evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama are in serious condition, with eight confirmed to have the new coronavirus. One of the other two is still awaiting test results.

Amid persistent criticism of its approach, the government said it would begin allowing some people who have tested negative for the virus to leave the ship and finish their quarantines on shore. Priority will be given to passengers over the age of 80 and those with existing medical problems, as well as people in windowless cabins, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

So far, 218 people aboard the ship have tested positive for the virus out of 713 who were assessed. The government says it plans to step up testing in a bid to examine everyone on board before the quarantine ends Feb. 19.

A quarantine officer involved in screening passengers also fell sick. The health ministry said he did not follow proper procedures, wiping away sweat with his gloves and reusing a mask he had worn earlier, Japan’s national television network, NHK, reported.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, moving forward with its plan to boost disease surveillance, named the five cities where labs will begin testing flu specimens for the coronavirus. They are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

The public health labs are part of CDC’s existing flu surveillance network, which monitors seasonal influenza and hospitalizations. Specimens that are negative for flu will be tested for coronavirus, the CDC’s Nancy Messonnier said. Testing will be expanded to additional labs in coming weeks.

Lab tests that confirm additional coronavirus cases could allow public health authorities to take actions to forestall outbreaks, such as canceling large gatherings or calling for telemedicine and telework.

At the same time, flu illnesses have risen sharply in recent weeks, Messonnier said, complicating efforts to determine whether an illness is caused by the new coronavirus or the flu virus. So far this season, at least 26 million people in the U.S. have contracted the flu, including 14,000 who died and 250,000 who were hospitalized.

Ebola outbreak in Congo finally wanes #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 15, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382153?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Ebola outbreak in Congo finally wanes

Feb 14. 2020
By The Washington Post · Max Bearak 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The second-biggest Ebola outbreak in history, which has upended life in eastern Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces since August 2018, infecting nearly 3,500 people and killing about 2,250, is down to its last chain of transmission.

Despite ongoing violence that has hampered the response from its outset, and that has spiked again recently, new cases have dwindled. At its height last May, hundreds were contracting the disease every week.

The waning of the Ebola outbreak comes as a new one captures global attention – and potentially funding, too. Global health officials have warned that while the novel coronavirus, now known as covid-19, racks up thousands of new cases a day, the hard work of ending the Ebola outbreak and preventing another is far from over.

“Funding needs [for the Ebola response] have not as yet been fully met, and currently there is a risk there will not be funding for WHO activities beyond February,” said Margaret Harris, a World Health Organization spokeswoman.

On Wednesday, an independent committee that advises the WHO unanimously agreed that the Ebola outbreak “still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern” – a designation that was recently extended to the covid-19 outbreak.

Ebola and covid-19 are vastly different viruses; Ebola can be transmitted only through exchange of bodily fluids, but it killed nearly 70 percent of those who contracted it in eastern Congo.

The WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Thursday that covid-19 “might have adverse consequences for the [Ebola] response efforts through diminishing focus” on it.

While the WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a constellation of nonprofits and the Congolese Health Ministry have mounted a relentless campaign to contain Ebola, little has been done to shore up the region’s health system, which is sorely lacking in even the most basic infrastructure. Ebola is endemic to Congo’s rainforest, and the likelihood of future outbreaks is high.

“Only half of health facilities have access to water,” said Tedros. “Strengthening a health system may not be as sexy as responding to an outbreak, but it is equally important.”

Almost all of this month’s cases have been reported in the restive city of Beni, which has also been besieged by an Islamist militia that calls itself the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF.

In late October, the Congolese military launched an offensive against the ADF, complicating the Ebola response and sparking a wave of retaliatory attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians. The offensive has been lauded by Congo’s president, Félix Tshisekedi, as nearly flushing the group out of Beni and the surrounding region, but a resurgence of ADF attacks in February has cast doubt on those claims.

Harris, the WHO spokeswoman, said that while officials were confident in asserting that only one chain of Ebola transmission remains, ongoing violence has made it impossible to reach some areas that have had cases over the past few months.

“Given the lack of access in some areas like Lwemba, it’s possible that there are other areas where there could be cases that we are not aware of, but it’s unlikely,” she said.

With the end of the outbreak in sight, some of the response’s protocols have shifted as resources have been freed up from emergency activities. Now, patients can be afforded a greater degree of comfort, instead of being confined to Ebola treatment centers where the dead and dying were present.

“Everyone who has been in contact with someone confirmed to have Ebola is now offered the option of voluntary isolation – meaning that if they would like, they can be accommodated in a guesthouse where they are provided with food and health support – so that they can be monitored as closely as possible, and if they develop symptoms they can be brought to care as quickly as possible,” Harris said. “Most people are taking up this offer.”

In addition to a shortfall of investments in eastern Congo’s health infrastructure, a large funding gap exists for an ongoing measles outbreak in the same region that has killed 6,300 people in far less time than Ebola.

Peace is also unlikely to return soon to the region, known as the Great Lakes for its defining geographical feature, as competition over minerals heats up between the Congolese, Ugandan, Rwandan and Burundian governments and local militias aligned with them.

“The Great Lakes region is increasingly on edge. Distrust is rife among Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, all of which have connections to insurgents in eastern Congo,” said a recent report by the International Crisis Group. Plans by Congo’s Tshisekedi to invite armies from those countries to help defeat the ADF and other groups heightens the chances for an intensification of conflict.

“Were Burundian, Rwandan and Ugandan forces given a green light” to operate in Congo, the report said, “the danger would be all the graver, raising the specter of an interlocking proxy war wherein each Great Lakes country is backing its rivals’ enemies.”

The Nook: Love Frankie offers escape for mentally troubled young people #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30382014?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

The Nook: Love Frankie offers escape for mentally troubled young people

Feb 12. 2020
Rebecca ‘Frankie’ Mok and Matt Love, founders

Rebecca ‘Frankie’ Mok and Matt Love, founders
By The Nation

It’s been estimated that 2.62 million people in Thailand are dealing with mental illness in isolation. The lack of social support can worsen mental illness in multiple ways, including relapse, slow response to treatment, mood disorders and, in worst cases, can lead to suicide.

Young people are the most affected by this isolation, struggling due to a lack of networks and safe spaces where they might share their experiences. One million young Thais deal with clinical depression every day and 3.5 per cent of the youth population struggles with anxiety disorders, unable to reach out for help.

Social-change creative agency Love Frankie, in partnership with Acorn & Associates and TQPR, have introduced the Nook, a free-to-visit pop-up space that hosts workshops, sharing circles and coaching in wellness practices.

“Our own independent research looking into key barriers young people face about mental health in Thailand found out that many young Thais long for safe spaces to share and receive guidance, but there are very few such places,” said Love Frankie co-founder Rebecca Frankie.

Initially at Yelo House, the Bangkok warehouse-turned-creative space, from February 29 to March 3, daily from 9am to 8pm, the Nook will host more than 30 activities.

These will include art therapy workshops by Persona Studio and Labaai, group discussions facilitated by Aristotle’s Café, talks with experts like Amornthep Sachamuneewongse, founder of Sati App, and wellness activities led by Cat Lau, Karma Break and Mindful Sparks.

Move over, pot: Psychedelic companies are about to go public #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 12, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30381967?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Move over, pot: Psychedelic companies are about to go public

Feb 11. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Kristine Owram · BUSINESS, HEALTH

The first companies developing medical treatments from psychedelic drugs like LSD, ketamine and the active ingredient in magic mushrooms are gearing up to list on Canadian stock exchanges.

Mind Medicine Inc., which is undertaking clinical trials of psychedelic-based drugs, intends to list on Toronto’s NEO Exchange by the first week of March, said JR Rahn, the company’s co-founder and director. A NEO spokesman confirmed the listing, which is pending final approvals.

The company plans to list via a reverse takeover under the ticker MMED. It’s not yet generating revenue and is targeting a valuation of approximately $50 million, Rahn said. Mind Medicine counts former Canopy Growth Corp. co-chief executive officer Bruce Linton as a director and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary as an investor.

“Our ambition is to be one of the first publicly listed neuro-pharmaceutical companies developing psychedelic medicines,” Rahn said in a phone interview.

For those who are still getting used to legal marijuana, the idea of publicly traded companies working with psychedelic drugs like MDMA and psilocybin, which is derived from magic mushrooms, may sound a bit out there.

Yet a growing number of companies are conducting clinical trials of psychedelic treatments for everything from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, and some have recently received the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This has created a legal way for these companies to conduct research on otherwise illegal drugs, opening the door to public listings.

In late 2018, the FDA gave “breakthrough therapy” status to a psilocybin treatment developed by London-based Compass Pathways Ltd. for clinical depression, expediting the development process.

Meanwhile, Toronto-based Mind Medicine is preparing a Phase 2 clinical trial into the use of a psychedelic called ibogaine to treat opioid addiction, which will be conducted in New York and governed by the FDA.

Compass Pathways declined to comment on whether it’s planning a public listing, but the company is “always looking at options to ensure continued growth and funding,” chief communications officer Tracy Cheung said in an email.

The Canadian Securities Exchange, which has become the go-to bourse for U.S. cannabis companies that can’t list in their home country, is also expecting listings from psychedelic drug companies in 2020.

The FDA has “given clearance for a variety of trials at this point and it looks like they are going to be expanding that framework,” said Richard Carleton, CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange. “If that is the case then I’m certain we’ll see our first issuers probably before the middle of the year.”

There’s growing investor interest in psychedelics, said Ronan Levy, executive chairman of Field Trip Psychedelics Inc. Field Trip is building a network of clinics focused on ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy, with the first one opening in Toronto next month and others planned for New York City and Los Angeles. It’s also conducting research into psilocybin at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Last week, Field Trip closed a Series A financing round that raised $8.5 million from a variety of investors including cannabis-focused asset manager Silver Spike Capital and Harris Fricker, the former CEO of GMP Capital Inc., which helped a number of marijuana companies go public.

The funding round attracted interest from all over the world, including “some very large Silicon Valley tech investors and entrepreneurs,” Levy said.

Field Trip is considering a public listing, although Levy also sees further opportunities to raise private funding, he said. Unlike cannabis, which remains federally illegal in the U.S., the work psychedelic companies are doing is legal. This creates “greater opportunity to access growth capital from private investors in the U.S. who may not touch cannabis,” he said.

It also sets the industry apart from cannabis, which has seen stock prices collapse amid slower-than-expected sales in Canada and ongoing federal illegality in the U.S.

“I think that the psychedelics industry could be much bigger than the cannabis industry because it’s going to attract institutional capital and already is starting to,” Rahn said. “It’s also going to be a more concentrated space because the barriers to entry are much higher.”

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