This Week in Public Health News | Week of March 6, 2017

1) Exposure to pollution kills millions of children, WHO reports find

“Worldwide, 1.7 million children’s deaths are attributable to environmental hazards, such as exposure to contaminated water, indoor and outdoor pollution, and other unsanitary conditions.”

2) Science confirms what you always suspected: Some people do pee in the pool
Dr. Ray Copes is back in the news!

“The urine is kind of a yuck factor,” said Ray Copes, head of environmental and occupational health at Public Health Ontario. “But it’s the chemical reaction that goes on in the pool between the urine and the chlorine producing those compounds that can irritate the lungs that I think is the real question from a health perspective.”

3) Human cases of bird flu are surging, alarming public health officials

“The H7N9 bird flu virus, which has sickened and killed several hundred people in China for the past four winters, had seemed over the past couple of years to be diminishing as a threat. But a resurgent wave of activity this winter has produced more than a third of all infections recorded since the first human case was hospitalized in February 2013. And with this large burst of cases, H7N9 has overtaken another bird flu, H5N1, which has been causing sporadic human infections at least a decade longer than H7N9.”

4) First study of Zika-infected patients in Canada sheds light on effects of virus
“The first study of Zika-infected patients in Canada has found a higher-than-expected rate of serious complications caused by the virus, including two cases of partial paralysis and two in which mothers transmitted Zika-related defects to their unborn babies.”

5) Guaranteed Basic Income on Verge of Take-off in Canada

Basic income was back in the news this week. It was also featured in an article in the Guardian.

6) Children don’t need a daily diet of junk-food ads

“Bill S-228, an Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing aimed at children), is wending its way through the parliamentary process. The proposed legislation, championed by Senator Nancy Greene Raine, would ban marketing of food to children, including advertising on TV, online, in print, and on labels and packaging. It would also outlaw the use of testimonials and endorsements aimed at kids by any “person, character or animal, whether real or fictional.”


Lastly, there was much in the world of satire.

7) ‘Come on, it’s part of Canada’: Islanders upset P.E.I. left off maps

I don’t want no shirt without P.E.I. — forget that,” said Pickles after someone suggested she should buy a shirt because it may become a collector’s item.

8) Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home
“Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock.”


Curated by Dr. Alex Summers