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COVID + Kids, What to watch for 

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

September 29, 2023 – COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, but the disease is still present and can still affect the population including children.

Cough fever and difficulty breathing are only some of the symptoms that young children and babies might experience when infected with the viral illness, according to a report from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Other symptoms include muscle or body aches; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; diarrhea; headache; fatigue; nausea or vomiting; congestion or runny nose.

Children may not be eloquent enough to properly convey their illness so parents are advised to pay close attention to their complaints and visible symptoms.

Though COVID-19 can be a mild disease for most, there are some cases that warrant immediate emergency medical attention the hospital says. These include:

  • Difficulty breathing or catching his or her breath
  • Inability to keep down any liquids
  • confusion or inability to awaken
  • Bluish lips

Both COVID and the flu tend to spike during the winter flu season so parents are advised to take precautions against them including mask wearing in high risk areas and frequent hand washing.

Health

Dengue in Argentina, repellent shortage 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Dengue#Argentina#RepellentShortage, April 8th, 2024 – Following announcements that the region is about to face the worst dengue season on record, Argentina is currently experiencing a shortage of mosquito repellents since March 2024, as it battles a surge in dengue cases recording over 163 thousand so far in 2024, alongside deaths in all age groups according to the Ministry of health. Reports inform that supermarkets across the country have on display “no repellent” signs and places that have repellents, especially online, are selling them at high prices. The lack of repellents is due to an issue of supply and demand according to Minister of Health, Mario Russo, reportedly speaking to Radio Continental.

 

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Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Health

Children and Teens Vaping, Royal TCI Police say “IT IS NOT SAFE!”

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Dana Malcolm 
Staff Writer 

Vape use is rising in the Turks and Caicos Islands with even primary school students now partaking according to an exclusive policing interview with the Magnetic Media News Team on March 25th.

”Over the past few months, there has indeed been a noticeable increase in vaping activity within our local communities including youth as young as eight years old. This statement is supported by data collected from various sources within our health department and externally,” said Sgt. Huntley Forbes of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) Community Policing Unit.

Vaping is the use of an electronic battery operated device to inhale tobacco. Often the devices are reusable with users able to switch out flavored inserts.

Forbes was speaking to Magnetic Media following the March 24 launch of an anti-vaping video, featuring top students, athletes and other young people alongside Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Former Premier, and representatives of the Community Policing Unit with the major message “DON’T VAPE!”.

The campaign was a partnership between the Bethany Baptist Youth Group and the Community Policing Department.

Forbes told the team that thanks to data from healthcare providers, and emergency room visits vaping related issues such as respiratory problems and nicotine addiction were available and showing the increase prompting immediate action.

“This rise is concerning due to the potential health risks associated with vaping, especially among younger demographics,” the Sergeant explained.

Vaping was billed as a ‘safe’ option to smoking in the past but health experts now agree that while it might be slightly less dangerous, it is not a safe alternative and should never be promoted as such.

The American Heart Association says most of these e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, some contain a higher dosage than cigarettes, which is not only highly addictive but is known to harm the developing brains of teens, kids and fetuses in women who vape. In addition, vapes can contain cancer causing chemicals.

Forbes says the team is planning a multi-faceted approach to the increase.

“We will collaborate with local health departments, community organizations, schools, and other stakeholders to gather and share information about vaping-related health concerns. By working together, we can develop comprehensive strategies to address these emerging issues.”

He also detailed the plans that will be enacted with immediacy:

Education and awareness campaigns: Community Policing will conduct educational campaigns to raise awareness about the health risks associated with vaping, particularly among younger demographics.

Support for cessation programs: Community Policing will support efforts to provide resources and support for individuals who want to quit vaping. This may include connecting individuals with the Substance Abuse department Forbes explained.

Educational materials: The RTCIPF will develop and distribute educational materials, such as brochures, posters, billboards to inform the public about the dangers of vaping.

Training for officers is the final facet of the response and Forbes says Police officers will receive training on recognizing vaping-related issues, interacting with individuals who vape, and enforcing relevant regulations.

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