Thursday, November 27, 2014

Arsenic poisoning by accident

I was listening to the lecture at Grescham college about arsenic. I fell asleep after they started talking about the massive but accidental poisoning of Bengladesh, caused by ground water in deep wells which has a high arsenic level. (the deep wells were dug to stop the high death rate of dysentary in children, and they did solve this problem).

But I also ran across this item: Ancient mummies in Chile also show arsenic poisoning.

People of numerous pre-Columbian civilizations in northern Chile, including the Incas and the Chinchorro culture, suffered from chronic arsenic poisoning due to their consumption of contaminated water, new research suggests.

Friday, November 14, 2014

peacekeeper sick

one of the Filipino peacekeepers who came back from Liberia is running a fever and was put into isolation at a local hospital. LINk

update: After I posted this, the Manila Bulletin headline proclaimed: It's only Malaria.

so far we have no cases, but when my husband went to the local Emergency room, I spotted an Ebola suit on the shelf...and the newspapers said that Phil Health will cover treatment.

Counterfeit drugs

apparently, some of those deaths at a sterilization camp in India may have been from counterfeit/substandard antibiotics.

Reuters/GMANews says that not only did 13 of the women die, but 2 others died from drugs manufactures at a local plant.

Some estimate one third of India's medicines are either fake or substandard.

and it's not just India: China has a similar problem.

And these pills are often sent to other third world countries, including here in the Philippines. Which is why we often insist on getting name brands.

The problem? Most US/European pharmacies are manufacturing in China too...

This is deliberate. True, sometimes accidents happen, or manufacturers are careless, but often the drugs are diluted to make a profit, or a less expensive chemical that imitates the expensive one is added instead.

One notorious case was adding propylene glycol to cough medicine (anti freeze) because it is cheaper than sucrose. Heh. Law And Order just did a show on that one: Where teenagers drank mouth wash to get drunk, and died of multisystem failure.

The mouthwash is supposed to contain ethanol, and even our retarded patients found it made them high, so they'd steel it and drink it.

and accidentally spilled anti freeze is a common cause of dogs being poisoned, since they lap it up.