Category Archives: Public Health/Safety

September 14, 2017

San Diego awash with ‘fecal matter’ due to lack of public toilets and surging rates of homeless people, health officials warn as they try to control hepatitis A outbreak

The outbreak has killed 15 people and close to 400 people have been infected. San Diego is now implementing street washing every other week and extending public restroom hours. The homeless and ‘illicit drug users’ are most impacted by the outbreak. Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver disease in those who are infected. It can spread from ingesting food or water that contains feces from someone with the deadly virus.

San Diego is covered with fecal matter due to a rising homeless population and lack of public restrooms, which is said to have contributed to the hepatitis A outbreak.

Officials declared a public health emergency in the city after the outbreak killed 15 and infected close to 400 people.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can spread through ingesting food and drinks that have come in contact with feces from people who are already infected.

County health officials told the city that they needed to come up with a plan to fix the ‘fecally contaminated environment’ that is in the downtown area.

Officials first attempted to contain the outbreak by providing vaccinations to people and improving educational methods, but the virus continues to spread.

The city is now implementing street washing every other week and an extension on public restroom hours to stop the spread of the virus that has affected the homeless population the most.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

September 10, 2017

Banned Pesticides Showing Up in California Water

The chemicals have turned thousands of acres of forest into waste dumps so toxic that law enforcement officers have been hospitalized after inadvertently touching plants and equipment, and scores of animals have died.

Toxic chemicals from illegal marijuana farms hidden deep in California’s forests are showing up in rivers and streams that feed the state’s water supply, prompting fears that humans and animals may be at risk, data reviewed by Reuters show.

The presence of potentially deadly pollutants in eight Northern and Central California watersheds is the latest sign of damage to the environment from thousands of illegal cannabis plantations, many of them run by drug cartels serving customers in other states, according to law enforcement.

“I don’t drink out of the creeks – and I used to,” said Sergeant Nathaniel Trujillo, a narcotics expert with the sheriff’s department of Trinity County, about 200 miles north of San Francisco. “I grew up drinking out of them.”

California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming. There are as many as 50,000 marijuana farms in California according to state estimates, and even though voters legalized the drug last November, only about 16,000 growers are expected to seek licenses when commercial cultivation becomes legal next year.

Many of the illegal growers use fertilizers and pesticides long restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

June 12, 2017

Syrian Refugees Spreading Flesh-Eating Disease, Polio, Measles, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis

The Syrian refugee crisis has precipitated a “catastrophic outbreak” of a flesh-eating disease that is spreading across the Middle East and North Africa, according to research published on Thursday in the scientific journal PLOS.

Largely missing from news media coverage is that the same news-making scientific report warned the ongoing violence in Syria has “created a setting in which we have seen the re-emergence of polio and measles, as well as tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and other infections in Syria and among displaced Syrian refugees.”

Indeed, in 2013 the World Health Organization documented new cases of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, reporting that year alone the number of confirmed measles cases in Syria reached 139, as compared to no documented cases in 2010 and 2011.

The WHO reported that 2013 saw Syria’s first outbreak of polio since 1999. According to an April 2015 WHO report, 35 children were subsequently paralysed by polio before the start of a new vaccine campaign.

In November, 2014 PLOS documented the spread of measles from among the Syrian refugee population:

Measles has swept through Syria, including Aleppo and the northern regions, with over 7,000 confirmed cases. This epidemic has not spared refugees in neighboring countries, even among highly vaccinated populations. In Jordan, 24 cases of measles were reported in 2012, while over 200 cases were reported in 2013. In Lebanon, nine reported cases of measles in 2012 increased to 1,760 cases in 2013, only 13.2% of which were among Syrian refugees.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

June 1, 2017

Navy SEALs Cancel Beach Training After Shore Became Tainted With Mexican Sewage

“As crude and nasty as this sounds, this is not American sewage, this is Third World sewage,” said Border Patrol agent Christopher Harris. “There’s whole areas now that are biologically and chemically impacted, just like if you had a biological or chemical attack. There are areas that are no-go zones.”

Thanks to President Donald Trump, Mexico has been at the forefront of American political discussion for over a year now, ever since then-candidate Trump announced his presidential run. While most of the debate surrounding Mexico has revolved around immigration and trade, that may be about to change.

In yet another despicable occurrence ignored by the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents and U.S. Navy SEALs have been adversely affected by massive sewage spills in Mexico that have spread to U.S. waters, the Washington Times reported.

The sewage spills have been so bad, and have gone on for so long, there are now “no go” zones on U.S. soil (primarily in California) where SEALs can’t train for risk of being infected, diseased or worse, because of the sewage.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

May 14, 2017

Casey’s Employee Tampers With Pizza For Police Chief, Which He Fed To His Daughters, Pissed Off Chief Ready To Sue

Chief Marlon Walker Is Ready To Sue Casey’s General Store After They Tampered With His Pizza.

When Chief Marlon Walker ordered a pizza from Casey’s General Store, he didn’t expect it to be tainted. Unfortunately, the chief didn’t find out about the incident until after he had shared the pizza with his two daughters.

At the end of December or early January, a Hermann police officer working the night shift had ordered a pizza from Casey’s general store. The store manager told him that an officer had his pizza “spat” on, but the manager refused to tell him which officer’s pizza was affected, according to KRCG.

Weeks later, Chief Marlon Walker confronted the store manager about the unidentified officer having their pizza spat on. The store manager then told the chief that it was his pizza that had been tampered with. Not only that, but employee Daniel Robinson had thrown his pizza toppings on the floor as well as spitting on the pizza.

The chief reported the incident to Gasconade County Health Department who confirmed that Robinson had been fired after the incident. Two other employees who witnessed the food tampering and refused to stop Robinson were also suspended and then later terminated.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

March 24, 2017

New research identifies a ‘sea of despair’ among white, working-class Americans

Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case continue to report on sickness and early death among white, middle-aged, working-class Americans.

Sickness and early death in the white working class could be rooted in poor job prospects for less-educated young people as they first enter the labor market, a situation that compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity and other pathologies, according to a study published Thursday by two prominent economists.

Anne Case and Angus Deaton garnered national headlines in 2015 when they reported that the death rate of midlife non-Hispanic white Americans had risen steadily since 1999 in contrast with the death rates of blacks, Hispanics and Europeans. Their new study extends the data by two years and shows that whatever is driving the mortality spike is not easing up.

The two Princeton professors say the trend affects whites of both sexes and is happening nearly everywhere in the country. Education level is significant: People with a college degree report better health and happiness than those with only some college, who in turn are doing much better than those who never went.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

March 23, 2017

Lead Poisoning In “Dozens Of California Communities” Worse Than Flint, Michigan

California, a state infamous for its environmental protections, including a $65 billion tunnel project being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown so as not to disrupt the habitat of a tiny, non-native fish species, may be facing a lead poisoning crisis more severe than Flint, Michigan.

According to blood test data obtained by Reuters, rates of childhood lead poisoning in several California cities surpass those measured in Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher.

In fact, in Fresno’s downtown 93701 zip code, nearly 14% of children tested showed lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current threshold for an elevated reading. As the CDC noted, no level of lead exposure is safe, but children who test that high warrant an immediate public health response.

In all, per the map below, Reuters found at least 29 California neighborhoods where children had elevated lead tests at rates at least as high as in Flint. “It’s a widespread problem and we have to get a better idea of where the sources of exposure are,” said California Assembly member Bill Quirk, who chairs the state legislature’s Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

March 17, 2017

Six out of 10 People in France ‘Don’t Feel Safe Anywhere’

Fearing terror attacks, the majority of people in France are pessimistic about the nation’s security situation, with six in 10 saying they no longer feel safe anywhere according to an IFOP-FIDUCIAL poll.

The survey found that 93 per cent of French believe the threat of more terror attacks is high, and 71 per cent feel the security situation in France has got worse over the last five years.

More broadly, 59 per cent of those polled said they did not feel safe anywhere, with almost one in four (24 per cent) opting to “strongly agree” with the statement.

Reflecting the insecurity respondents said they felt, 69 per cent think the police and gendarmerie are understaffed, and the survey found the French overwhelmingly have a positive view of law enforcement.

The vast majority of respondents (88 per cent) believe France should deport foreigners sentenced to prison for serious offences, and 84 per cent want the country to create more prison places.

A slight majority (55 per cent) would like to see France exit the European Union’s open borders Schengen zone.

With security a major issue in this year’s presidential elections, the survey found Marine Le Pen was judged the candidate with the best policies in both keeping property and people safe (32 per cent) and in the fight against terror (35 per cent).

[…]

Complete text linked here.

March 3, 2017

‘Tsunami of sewage spills’ at Mexican border ‘deliberate,’ says California mayor (Video)

“It saves (the Mexican agencies) a lot of money in pumping costs, and ultimately, they can get away with it and do it all the time, just on a much smaller scale,” Dedina said.

The massive sewage spill in Tijuana, Mexico that polluted Southern California beaches last month appeared to be a deliberate move, a local official said.

More than 140 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Tijuana River in Mexico that flowed into the Pacific Ocean on the U.S. side of the border.

The spill, which spanned from Feb. 4 to Feb. 23, was caused during repairs to a major sewer pipe, the International Boundary and Water Commission said

Serge Dedina, the mayor of Imperial Beach which is located about 10 miles outside Tijuana, told the Los Angeles Times the spill looks like it was “deliberate.”

[…]

Complete text linked here.

November 28, 2016

Fake News: NYT Blames U.S. for Overweight California Farmworkers

In one of its most inaccurate “fake news” Thanksgiving stories this year, the New York Times blamed America for migrant California farmworkers from Mexico having bad diets.

In an article titled “In a California Valley, Healthy Food Everywhere but on the Table,” Times reported that Mexican farm workers in the Salinas Valley do not have antioxidant healthy items like “tossed salads, broccoli casseroles or steaming bowls of roasted brussels sprouts” on their Thanksgiving dinner table.

The Times did report correctly that Salinas Valley has “more than doubled its output of produce in recent decades and now grows well over half of America’s leaf lettuce.” And it was right that the Mexican migrant workers who harvest “America’s Salad Bowl” prefer sugary drinks and have “cultural preferences for filling but high-calorie foods like tacos and tamales contribute to the obesity of farmworkers and their families.”

But the Times is blatantly wrong in blaming America for Mexican immigrants’ bad eating habits making them obese. The only nation on the planet, based on a “body mass index” (BMI = kg/m2), that has even worse eating habits than the United States is Mexico, according to a recent report from the United Nations.

Mexico has surpassed the U.S. in terms of both obesity and overweight residents. About 32.8 percent of Mexican citizens are obese, versus 31.8 percent of Americans, while 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, compared to 69 percent of Americans.

[…]

Complete text linked here.