Recent reports highlight an ordinary issue few care to think about: homegrown rats. According to ABC News,
the number of rodents has begun to swell in cities throughout the
nation, spurring federal disease specialists to seek a solution to this
problem. Meanwhile, a recent study conducted by Columbia University
scientists finds an atrocious number (and type) of viruses and bacteria
in Manhattan’s rats. “This is a recipe for a public health nightmare,”
Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, told The New York Times.
The dominating rat species in urban centers throughout the country is Rattus norvegicus,
often called the Norway rat, though also referred to as the brown,
wharf, gray, sewer, barn, or house rat. Rats are first and foremost
commensal animals who live alongside us, eating our food and leaving
their droppings and urine markings for us to see. In Chicago, according
to ABC, rat sightings increased from 22,431 in July 2000 to 33,134 in
July 2014, while in Boston, complaints are up by 40 percent this year.
Rat inspections increased throughout New York City in recent years,
increasing by 18 percent last year.
While it’s not entirely clear the rats can pass these new viruses,
including Hep C, onto humans, generally speaking, it doesn’t bode well.
“Our findings indicate that urban rats are reservoirs for a vast
diversity of microbes that may affect human health and indicate a need
for increased surveillance and awareness of the disease risks associated
with urban rodent infestation,” noted the authors in their conclusion.
Please can you outline the major findings of the recent report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU): ‘Tackling hepatitis C: Moving towards an integrated policy approach’?
As with ‘The silent pandemic: Tackling hepatitis C with policy innovation,’ which was published in January 2013, this report highlights that the hepatitis C virus
(HCV) is a serious public health issue. We at Janssen are committed to
being a positive catalyst in the fight towards tackling this disease.
The report also revealed that many countries around the world have
been somewhat slow to respond with national policies on hepatitis C,
despite the recent government pledges to fight the disease. I think some
countries are doing something, but, in an ideal world, it would be nice
if they could do more.
Thirdly, in terms of the main takeaways from the report, with a peak
in the hepatitis C related complications expected in the 2020-2025 time
frame, it is imperative to take action now in order to prevent a steep
increase in HCV related liver cancer and mortality.
A B.C. kindergartener and his family are facing months of uncertainty
after he was pricked by a discarded needle on school grounds this week.
Six-year-old Kian Lagrotteria found the hypodermic needle while playing
under a staircase at Fairview Community School in Nanaimo on Monday,
and it punctured the skin on his finger.
His terrified parents hoped a quick blood test would reveal whether he
contracted a blood-borne disease such as HIV of Hepatitis C, but health
officials had bad news: it can take up to 90 days for an infection to
report found that 52 per cent of health and wellbeing boards fail to
mention hepatitis C at all in their joint strategic needs assessments or
in their joint health and wellbeing strategies.