Diseases are on the run in Africa and elsewhere

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  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Oct. 27, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    We were making progress against malaria in Africa, until DDT was banned. The banners were mostly western folks, who were not themselves affected by malaria. It has recently been reinstated in Africa, but in the meantime hundreds of thousands needlessly died when malaria roared back due to no DDT. Nets are fine, but nets plus DDT is better. Other insecticides also work, but are too expensive for Africans, and DDT is far cheaper. The environmental risks of DDT are still debatable - not as cut and dried as Silent Spring taught us. It is probably good we aren't using it in the USA, but just because we don't need DDT in our country, doesn't mean the Africans don't still need it.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Much as the US experienced in the last century, better hygiene, improved diet and immunizations have made infectious diseases (excluding HIV/AIDS) a less important cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa. Some in Utah and elsewhere have a dangerous and naive fascination with "natural immunizations" peddled by hucksters or they have elaborate and spurious reasons why immunizations are harmful. In the meantime, they unknowingly benefit from group immunity which protects themselves and their families. It is a dangerous gamble that can bring tragedy.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Oct. 27, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Hygiene causes diseases in Africa. The US poured in a good chunk of money for fighting aids over there too. Some behavior by Africans could stop Aids as well.

    Africa has just as many natural resources as other continents. Contiually pouring money in won't help them. Is there a way to teach them self reliance too? I know of some people criticize the industrial world for what it does to the environment. However the industrial countries feed the planet. Thankfully there is not massive drought in Ethiopa anymore. However many people there are starving. Hygiene and behavior can help a lot over there.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Contrast this Op-Ed piece with this news that came out only yesterday in the DailyMailUK (online)—

    "A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end.
    'For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about "The end of antibiotics, question mark?"' said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. 'Well, now I would say you can change the title to "The end of antibiotics, period.”'
    The associate director of the CDC sat down with Frontline over the summer for a lengthy interview about the growing problem of antibacterial resistance."

    Good news (DesNews op-ed piece) on one hand, horrible news on the other (Daily Telegraph piece). Healthcare wise, this is becoming one of the "best of times, and the worst of times".

    One can't but help think that the nearly ubiquitous steady stream of anti-biotics given to animals in our food chain has likely perhaps had as much to do with this as anything.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    The usual reason people are poor is they lack a free market economy and all that represents like property rights. Our economy is being restrained by many rules and regulations that are redundant.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    The only way we can keep diseases on the run is to keep science as reality ideology. In other words, get vaccinated. Stupid information off the internet has turned out to be stupid information. Faster.