Tuesday, December 07, 2021

May 12, 2020  BOGOTA - As the coronavirus kills thousands and dominates government attention across Latin America, another deadly viral infection is quietly stalking the region. Dengue - colloquially called breakbone fever for the severe joint pain it causes - is endemic in much of Latin America, but COVID-19’s arrival has pulled crucial attention and resources away from the fight against it, doctors and officials say.

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) expects 2020 to be marked by high rates of dengue, which can fill intensive care units and kill patients even absent the pressures of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Around the world, COVID-19 has affected other diseases in different ways. Though in Europe measures to stop the coronavirus have banished seasonal flu, in Africa border closures have stopped transportation of measles vaccines and other supplies.

In Latin America, a dengue epidemic which started in late 2018 is still being felt. Dengue infections in the Americas surged to an all-time high of 3.1 million in 2019, with over 1,500 deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the PAHO.

Cases of the disease should begin to decline in the second half of the year, the organization said.

Spread by mosquitoes, dengue outbreaks typically occur three to five years after the previous epidemic.

And with four strains of dengue in circulation, people may catch it more than once, with second cases more likely to be severe.

“COVID is the star right now, so all of the attention is being put on COVID, but there are still problems with dengue,” said Doctor Jaime Gomez, who works at a hospital in Floridablanca, in Colombia’s Santander province.

Although dengue is not usually fatal and can be treated with painkillers, some sufferers deal with persistent symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, and depression that affect their ability to work. Severe dengue is treated with intravenous fluids and those who do not get tested are at risk of dangerous complications.

Such medical intervention cannot be given if patients stay home, worried about contracting the coronavirus, or if overcrowded hospitals have to turn them away.

With relatively few cases of COVID-19 in the province where he works, Gomez said his clinic had seen hospitalizations fall by half, as people were fearful of venturing outdoors.

‘SYSTEM HAS COLLAPSED’

Paraguayan lawyer Sonia Fernandez avoided seeking care when she and her two daughters, ages 11 and 8, got sick with dengue at the beginning of April.

“All three of us had dengue, we had all the symptoms, the pain, the rash, but we didn’t go to a clinic or a health center so as not to expose ourselves (to COVID-19),” Fernandez said.

All three have since recovered.

Dengue cases in Paraguay have exploded this year. In the first 18 weeks of 2020, the country reported 42,710 confirmed cases and 64 deaths, compared to 384 confirmed cases and six deaths in the year-earlier period.

In Ecuador, where the coronavirus outbreak has hit hard and hospitals in the largest city of Guayaquil been overwhelmed, an apparent fall in the number of dengue cases could mask other issues.

According to Ecuador’s health ministry, dengue cases peaked at 888 in the week ending March 14, two weeks after the country confirmed its first case of COVID-19. For the week of April 4, they fell to 257.

“Very clearly dengue is being under-reported,” said Esteban Ortiz, global health researcher at Quito’s University of the Americas.

“Cases haven’t decreased, the diagnosis of cases has decreased, which confirms the system has totally collapsed,” he added.

Ecuador’s health ministry said in a statement that the country was no more exposed to the double impact of COVID-19 and dengue than any other in the region, adding it has sufficient supplies to treat cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Dengue has also spiked sharply in Central America. Cases in Costa Rica nearly tripled through May 1 compared with a year ago, to over 2,000.

“We are going through a difficult moment dealing with COVID-19 but unfortunately other diseases continue their cycle,” Rodrigo Marin, director of Costa Rica’s health surveillance agency, recently told journalists.

In Panama, where dengue has caused at least two deaths this year, Panama City health official Yamileth Lopez also sounded the alarm.

“Dengue kills too,” she said.

SXM Radio Online

Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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