News & Politics
"In a subtle way, you can shake the world."
― Mohandas Ghandi
― Mohandas Ghandi
Lassa Fever: The Disease With No Vaccine
by Christina Maldonado '19
There have been an overstretched of health workers. A number of these workers have been infected and died. Lassa fever is also called “viral haemorrhagic fever;” it can affect the organs, which can damage the blood vessels of the body. It is difficult to treat Lassa fever.
The ones infected with Lassa fever will sometimes experience zero symptoms. Some of the people will experience symptoms that are minor. The experienced symptoms consist of a fever, a headache, and general weakness. The Nigerian outbreak has gone through more than 20% of fatality; normally, Lassa fever has a fatality rate of about one per cent.
Lassa is an intense illness. About 90 people are thought to have died from the Lassa fever, but the numbers could be much higher since there are no vaccines. Women have an 80% of losing their own life, or losing the life of their child when they contact the disease late in their pregnancy.
Most people catch Lassa from coming in contact with anything contaminated with rat urine, blood or saliva, and faces; these contacts happen from either drinking, eating, or handling anything contaminated. It can also be passed from person to person. This transaction is through body fluids. The most at risk are healthcare workers, and people taking care of sick relatives.
Nigeria has a strong public health system, because they’re used to dealing with these types of epidemics. The World Health Organization is working with Nigerian authorities, and the UK government has deployed a team of experts from its Public Health Rapid Support Team.
Cape Town's Crisis is Averted, For Now
by Jocelyn Sung '18
This problem was brought on by an ongoing drought. Without rainfall resupplying the aquifer that lays under Cape Town, water reserves have reached a catastrophic low. Authorities presiding over the town have been ordering residents to only use a specific amount of water: 13.2 gallons for each person each day.
At first, it was somewhat tolerable, if not a nuisance. While it was nothing compared to the 80 to 100 gallons the average American uses on a daily basis, Cape Town residents did what they had to in order to push back Day Zero as far as they could. Their efforts haven’t been for nothing, thankfully. Officials claim that Cape Town is safe; for 2018 at least.
However, after the amount of time these regulations have been in effect, Cape Town has truly been feeling the strain. When washing their hands, residents have to abandon traditional water and soap for hand sanitizer. To prevent using their precious rations, they have to use plastic dishes instead of regular ones. It’s shockingly unhygienic; some individuals choose to reuse their own dirty bathwater, unable to even have the luxury of a hot shower.
This doesn’t even consider the amount of time they have to spend regulating their own water usage. People have to stand in queues in order to be supplied their ration for the day, lugging large containers with them. Once they get home, household chores become considerably harder. What could have been done in a few minutes before might require an hour now.
The people of Cape Town are hoping that the drought takes mercy on them eventually; if it doesn’t, what lies ahead for these people could be irreparable consequences.