|6/17/2022 9:36:00 AM|
by Kenyon Bennett
Monkeypox has been in the news with cases having been reported in the U.S. and other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted data June 10 showing that California had 10 cases; New York, 11; Florida, 5; and Illinois, 4. Those were the states with the highest numbers, but 12 additional states and the District of Columbia had cases.
On June 10 CDC posted the global case counts. The United Kingdom had 366 cases, the most. Spain had 275; Portugal, 209; Germany, 165; Canada, 116; France, 91; Netherlands, 60; U.S, 48; Italy, 29; Belgium, 24; Switzerland, 14; and United Arab Emirates, 13. Some countries had numbers below 10.
Experts have argued how monkeypox is spread. According to a report published by the New York Times online June 10, the CDC said the virus was "usually transmitted through direct physical contact with sores or contaminated materials from a patient."
Others have said monkeypox could possibly be spread through airborne transmission. "The World Health Organization (WHO) and several experts have said that while 'short-range' airborne transmission of monkeypox appears to be uncommon, it is possible and warrants precautions. Britain also includes monkeypox on its list of 'high-consequence infectious diseases' that can be spread through the air," nytimes.com reported.
May 13, 2022, is the date when non-endemic countries across three regions first reported monkeypox cases to WHO, the organization said online May 21. Cases have swelled since May.
In the U.S. "a few patients in the current outbreak do not know when or how they contracted the virus, CDC officials acknowledged," nytimes.com said June 10.
Monkeypox tends to have "flulike symptoms before a characteristic rash appears" but some patients have developed a rash first, nytimes.com said. In short, many unknowns about monkeypox exist.
With uncertainty about how monkeypox is spread, how soon could tests be developed to indicate if a person already has the disease? Is that type of test warranted? Could a test be developed that indicates a person has been exposed to the disease? (Probably not but worth considering.) Should travel restrictions into the U.S. be implemented to prohibit people traveling here from countries with high rates or increasing rates of monkeypox cases? The U.S. should be concerned about travelers coming into the country and act swiftly, but how?
What is the mortality rate for monkeypox? "Most people with monkeypox will recover on their own. But 5% of people with monkeypox die. It appears that the current strain causes less severe disease. The mortality rate is about 1% with the current strain," health.ucdavis.edu said May 24.
Be forewarned. Monkeypox is a valid concern. To be proactive, learn as much as you can about monkeypox as news unfolds. News about it will change daily.
People don't want additional stress in their lives, but monkeypox shouldn't be ignored.
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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The Cost of Clean Water
They’re not projects most people get excited about. But without upgrades to municipal wastewater treatment plants and Community Drinking Water systems, we’d be in trouble. In the 1800’s, illness from contaminated drinking water was a leading cause of death in Western Wisconsin and around the country.
In my years supervising DNR Environmental Loans engineers in western Wisconsin we provided communities with millions of dollars in low cost loans for their water systems. The money comes from Wisconsin’s Environmental Improvement Fund, a direct product of the federal Clean Water Act, passed 50 years ago. I had a chance to visit water treatment plants and celebrate projects in Eau Claire, Bloomer, Arcadia, and several other communities. In recent years, the fund has provided loans including $11m each for Eau Claire and Menomonie, $12m for Hudson, $3.5m for Bloomer, $6m for Augusta, $74m for La Crosse, and $80m for Wausau. On top of that, add $75m for lead line replacements around the state.
Passed in an era when rivers burned and frothed with industrial and municipal waste discharges, the goal of the Clean Water Act was to make all our lakes, rivers and streams fishable and swimmable. The impact it’s had on public health and the quality of our lives is clearly cause for celebration. We celebrate all those who recognize the importance of clean water and dedicate their professional careers and tax dollars to protect it.
There’s still plenty to do as we work with ag producers to reduce nitrates in our drinking water and reduce run-off from fields to combat Blue-green algae. We need national standards to deal with emerging contaminants such as PFAs. When it comes to clean water, it’s best to act before we pay the cost in terms of human lives.
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