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Monkeypox could accelerate in Europe as cases found in multiple countries, WHO warns

Monkeypox could accelerate in Europe as cases found in multiple countries, WHO warns
May 22 2022 Share

More than 80 Monkeypox cases in a minimum of 12 countries have been confirmed so far, as the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that another 50 cases are currently being investigated amid concerns of spreading.

Public health agencies in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden have reported Monkeypox cases in Europe in addition to the United States, Canada and Australia.

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Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which is quite common in certain parts of Central and West Africa, with the conditions being normally mild and recovery taking a few weeks. Despite this, the risk of wider public spread is considered to be very low.

WHO Europe regional director Hans Kluge has expressed concerns of spread in the summer, stating “as we enter the summer season… with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate.”

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Photo Source: TIME

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Turtle found dead in Maltese waters after eating balloon

Turtle found dead in Maltese waters after eating balloon
May 21 2022 Share

The dead carcass of a turtle was recovered by the Armed Forces of Malta in Maltese waters, after it had seemingly died from eating balloons. 

The somber news was released by Nature Trust – FEE Malta, appealing to the public to avoid using helium balloons as, once they are let off, they can have hazardous impacts on wildlife. 

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The NGO highlighted a ten year campaign against such hazards, with even bio-degradables being dangerous to animals such as turtles and birds. 

Mistaken as food by many animals, the death of thousands of these creatures are caused by discord debris in our ecosystem. The turtle found was a very young loggerhead turtle, an endangered species around the world. 

An increase of patrols have started this week on sandy beaches at night to protect nesting turtles. The help of the public is greatly appreciated by the NGO, through simple acts like being mindful of using hazardous products and where to dispose of them. 

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80 cases of monkeypox in 12 countries as WHO warns potential rise

80 cases of monkeypox in 12 countries as WHO warns potential rise
May 21 2022 Share

Around 80 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in at least 12 countries, with the World Health Organisation saying that another 50 possible cases are being investigated. 

The WHO did not name any specific countries but warned that more outbreaks could be reported. Some of the cases are in nine European countries, with some in the US, Canada and Australia. 

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Despite the infection being most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa, it seems as though it is being spread in other non-endemic countries as well. 

It is a rare viral infection which is usually mild, with people recovering from it within a few weeks. It is deadly in very rare cases, and it is not easily spread between people. As of yet, there is no specific monkeypox vaccine, but smallpox jabs are 85% effective against the disease. 

The outbreaks are being described as atypical as they re occurring in non-endemic countries. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe health official, also warned that mass gatherings could increase the spread. 

Some of the symptoms include swollen lymph nodes and chicken-pox like rash on the hands and face. Fever, muscle aches and exhaustion are also some of the side effects. 

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70% of elderly abuse cases happened at home in 2021 reveals Minister

70% of elderly abuse cases happened at home in 2021 says new study
May 21 2022 Share

New figures have indicated that more than a third of elderly abuse cases in 2021 occurred at home. The data on criminal cases of abuse which involve elderly people indicate that 225 cases of 321 incidents were domestic abuse. 

This is 70% of all such cases, with Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri tabling the figures in parliament this week in response to a question by PN MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici. 

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The MP had originally asked for the number of investigations into abuse of the elderly carried out in 2021. However, the Minister said that such information is not kept by police.

He instead provided a breakdown of cases of an abusive nature which were investigated, with the victims in question being older than 60. The data showed that there were 75 cases of elderly people being assaulted outside the home. 

Five elderly people were in fact robbed at knife or gun point last year, while six were experienced mugging. Eight cases of snatch and grab thefts targeting the elderly were also investigated. 

There were also 2 cases of rape being investigated last year in which the victims were also elderly. An overall increase in the number of such cases has been noted, rising from 315 cases in 2014 to 452 in 2018. 

The latest data does not include financial crimes but these have also been known to impact the elderly. Around 100 cases of elderly people being defrauded are investigated every year in Malta. 

Addressing a press conference, Minister Byron Camilleri, along with Minister for Active Ageing Jo Etienne Abela announced a new agreement wherein the ‘Victim Support Agency’ will be giving more specified attention towards such abuse cases. 

Camilleri said that through an agreement with the Active Ageing Agency, one of the most vulnerable groups in our society is given the protection it needs. 

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