Connect with us

Health

Igloolik children covered in sores because of black mould in public housing unit

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

Charlene Kappianaq started noticing sores on the back of her two-year-old son’s legs in April.

Shortly after, her eight-year-old daughter developed a similar irritation on her fingers and palms that made it painful to hold a piece of paper.

Kappianaq and her family live in public housing in Igloolik, Nunavut: a three-plex apartment. They moved in December 2017 from another apartment.

Kappianaq didn’t know about the mould until after she moved; a chronic housing shortage in town has made it near impossible to move out.

“It’s all black and very stinky,” Kappianaq said. The mould grows in her kids’ room, her room, the living room, on windows, and under the oven. In order to stay on top of the infestation, Kappianaq washes her walls once a week with vinegar and baking soda.

Rachel Kappianaq, 8, developed an irritation on her fingers and palms that makes it painful to even hold a piece of paper. (Devi Lockwood)

“It grows back really fast,” she said. She bought a fan, but the added ventilation is not enough.

Kappianaq says her son has been medevaced to Iqaluit twice in the last year for respiratory issues. She says nurses at the Igloolik Health Centre told her that her children’s skin and respiratory problems were likely from mould exposure.

Kappianaq says she began visiting the local housing association in April.

They never came.– Charlene Kappianaq, about local housing officials

“They gave me the paper that they’re going to go see the house three months ago,” Kappianaq said in August. “They never came.” As of November, Kappianaq is still waiting for a visit.

Poor communication between health, housing, and community members has taken a toll. “It’s so hard. It makes me want to cry,” Kappianaq said.

Effects of mould on children

Two-year-old Kevin Kappianaq’s legs are covered in sores. (Devi Lockwood)

Crowded homes and a short supply of housing in Nunavut go hand in hand — mould is the unintended consequence.

“It’s mainly related to moisture generation,” said James Scott, a professor at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. More people in a home means more moisture indoors.

The good news is that skin and breathing irritations tend to dissipate once either the contaminant is removed, or the person leaves the home, Scott said.

The problem though is that there just isn’t the money to be able to replace that housing at the rate that it needs to be.– Julia Christensen, assistant professor

An additional problem is that these homes weren’t designed with Arctic communities in mind, according to Julia Christensen, assistant professor in geography at Memorial University in St. John’s.

After WWII, officials with early housing programs built homes following southern models.

“That just doesn’t have the same shelf life in the northern climate,” said Christensen.

“The problem though is that there just isn’t the money to be able to replace that housing at the rate that it needs to be.”

And while families like Kappianaq’s wait for improvements, “people are living their day-to-day lives in conditions that are really unacceptable,” she added.

Not just black mould is harmful — any species of indoor mould can be problematic. “It doesn’t matter what colour it is: black, green, fuzzy,” said Michele LeBlanc-Havard, environmental health specialist with the Government of Nunavut.

“Mould is mould. And when we see it we need to remove it.”

Scott said children are more sensitive to the effects than adults because their immune systems haven’t matured yet.

“If you can see [mould], it’s worse, because that means there’s greater potential to be exposed to it,” he said.

“But even if you can’t see it — if it’s oriented somehow in the building such that it gets into the air that people breathe — that’s bad too.”

‘More intense’ than gov’t expected

Gary Collins, director of project management for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, is the lead on mould remediation efforts. In 2017, Collins responded to complaints from tenants and investigated 271 units across 25 communities. They conducted visual tests and inspected the inside of walls and ceilings, finding that 116 units required outside contractors for a heavy-duty clean.

“It started to become a little bit more intense than what we thought,” Collins said. “We’ve spent to date roughly $12 million on this project.”

Joelie Kaernerk, the MLA for Amittuq, brought up the issue of mould in his constituency in the Legislative Assembly. ‘The ball has started to roll in mould remediation in my community, so it’s a good thing.’ (Joelie Kaernerk/Facebook)

The housing corporation is training workers in several communities who can help with remediation.

Collins plans to roll out an implementation and public awareness plan by April 1, 2019.

In March, Joelie Kaernerk, the MLA for Amittuq, which includes parts of Igloolik and Hall Beach, brought up the issue of mould in his constituency in the Legislative Assembly.

“I know it’s going to be a long process,” Kaernerk said in an interview, “but the ball has started to roll in mould remediation in my community, so it’s a good thing.”

Right now, Charlene Kappianaq and her kids are visiting Ottawa. Removed from the exposure, she says her children’s skin is finally starting to heal.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Health

Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

Continue Reading

Health

Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

Continue Reading

Health

Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

Editor

Published

on

By

In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending