Farmers on the frontline in battle against drug-resistant microbes

Suicide increasing among workers and varies by occupation in the US, says a new report published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which examined lifetime occupations of 22,053 people aged 16-64 years old who died by suicide in the 17 states participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 2012 and 2015.

  • Top 3 major occupational groups by suicide rate among males in 2015 were construction and Extraction; Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media; Installation, Maintenance, and Repair.
  • Top 3 major occupational groups by suicide rate among females in 2015 were Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media; Protective Service; Health Care Support

Farmers on the frontline in battle against drug-resistant microbes: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revealed that as some 700,000 people are dying each year from antimicrobial resistant infections, an untold number of sick animals are also suffering from diseases that do not respond to treatment. Marking World Antibiotic Awareness Week, FAO stressed that farmers have a vital role to play in stemming the spread of antimicrobial resistance and called on them to boost hygiene practices in day-to-day farm operations. “When we use antimicrobials excessively on farms, we’re contributing to the spread of AMR, as resistant pathogens move into the environment through animal waste and farm runoff. They can even contaminate our food systems and market chains, moving from the fields and stables to our tables,” said Juan Lubroth, FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer, on Wednesday.

According to FAO, one person dies every minute from a drug-resistant infection, a number that will only increase without global action. By 2050, the growing AMR threat will cost the global economy an estimated $6 trillion dollars every year.

Reliable surveillance helps combat antimicrobial resistance, says CAESAR report (WHO Europe, Nov. 15, 2018): As the international community calls for more and better information to add to the ever-growing body of evidence on the effects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on humans, animals, the environment and the economy, policy-makers need access to reliable surveillance data. This data is crucial for monitoring the status of key antimicrobial classes in the European Region, and to track how effective policies have been in addressing this public health challenge. The latest annual Central Asian and Eastern European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (CAESAR) report reveals steady progress towards forming a more complete picture of AMR in Europe. Updates in this reporting period include:

  • Eleven countries and one area have an AMR reference laboratory in place.
  • Ten countries and one area provide data to the CAESAR network.
  • Participation in the external quality assessment (EQA) for laboratories has again expanded with 248 laboratories from 16 countries/areas, and overall results continue to improve.
  • Two central Asian countries are preparing to implement a proof-of-principle project, while one additional country concluded a project in October 2018.

“I’m interested in the idea of green space as a drug, as a treatment,” said Eugenia South, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, discussing her study that converted vacant lots in Philadelphia into green space and examined the mental health effects on local residents. The study found that among people exposed to a community-based intervention that converted vacant lots in Philadelphia into green space, self-reported feelings of depression and worthlessness were significantly decreased, and self-reported poor mental health was nonsignificantly reduced for those living near greened vacant land (JAMA Network Open, July 20, 2018).

Congo’s Ebola outbreak will last at least another six months predicts the emergencies chief for the World Health Organization, saying that informal health facilities have become “major drivers” of the current, deadly transmission. Dr. Peter Salama said that makeshift “tradi-modern” health centers — offering both traditional and modern treatment — were believed to be linked to more than half of cases in Beni, the largest city affected by the current outbreak that has taken more than 200 lives. Salama, who returned from a trip to Ebola-hit eastern Congo last week, said Tuesday it appeared “very likely” that some cases of Ebola had been misdiagnosed as malaria, because early symptoms are virtually identical. He said that the WHO is planning on “at least another six months before we could declare this outbreak over.” (The Japan Times)

FDA alerts doctors and patients about risk of serious complications that can occur when implanted pumps are used to deliver pain medications not approved for use with devices that deliver medication into the spinal fluid to treat or manage pain. Complications may include dosing errors, pump failure, opioid withdrawal, infection and other complications like pain, fever, vomiting, muscle spasms, cognitive changes, weakness and cardiac or respiratory distress.

Oral cancer cases rise by 114% in India in 6 years: MUMBAI: The number of cancer cases countrywide has gone up in the last six years by 15.7%. Data shared by Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research on Wednesday showed that 11.5 lakh cancer cases were reported across the country this year, as against 10 lakh in 2012. ICMR cancer centre director Dr Ravi Mehrotra said lip and oral cavity cancers increased by a whopping 114% in the six-year period. Breast cancer, emerging as a disease linked to urban lifestyle, increased by almost 11%, from 1.4 lakh in 2012 to 1.6 lakh in 2018. However, a sharp decrease in cervical cancer cases has been observed by 21%, from 1.23 lakh in 2012 to 96 in 2018. As per the new data, cancer-related deaths also increased by 12%. While 7 lakh Indians died of cancer-related complications in 2012, the number increased to 7.8 lakh this year… (ET Healthworld, Nov. 16, 2018)

Video to watch: TEDx Video: Doctor-patient relationship watch?v=i9ml1vKK2DQ

Dr KK Aggarwal