UN calls on Latin America to take preventive steps against possible dengue

Experts from the UN Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) are working with Paraguayan authorities to help control the outbreak that has affected a number of communities throughout the country and raised concerns among its neighbours. There is currently no vaccine or cure for dengue, which causes high fever, muscular pain, headaches, vomiting and, in some cases, skin rash. In mid-January, Paraguay declared an epidemiological alert as new cases of dengue began to emerge and on 20 January the first two deaths of the year from dengue hemorrhagic fever were reported. By 5 February, 2,967 cases had been reported as well as 18 cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever, including three deaths. Health officials noted that in several of the affected areas, the number of cases so far this year already exceeds the total for 2006. “Our top priority is treating the people who are affected to prevent more deaths,” PAHO regional advisor on dengue José Luis San Martín said. PAHO has sent a team of experts to Paraguay to provide technical assistance in areas including medical treatment, social communication and health services organization. Health authorities in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia have all stepped up prevention in border area, including intensified surveillance and control measures. “Paraguay has a comprehensive strategy for preventing and controlling dengue and has the ability to respond in an integrated way to this increase in cases,” Dr. San Martín said, noting that the country had responded effectively to outbreaks in 2006. Data from 2006 combined with current reports and the presence of the weather phenomenon El Niño, which can increase mosquito infestations, suggest that “2007 will be a difficult and complex year for responding to dengue,” he added. “The situation in the region really goes beyond the health sector and requires the active participation of other sectors and actors as well.” Ongoing cooperation between Paraguay and its neighbours includes the establishment of border commissions and the dissemination of outbreak information through established regional and sub-regional networks. Dengue is carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which flourishes in areas with poor sanitation and under conditions of high rainfall. “Citizens can play a fundamental role by keeping their homes free of breeding places for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito,” Dr. San Martín said. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of dengue. Although the disease is a greater threat in Asia and some countries of the Pacific region, it is becoming a growing priority in the Americas. Prevention focuses on raising public awareness of how the disease is transmitted and getting people to use of mosquito repellent and to eliminate breeding sites such as water storage barrels, potted plants, pet bowls or any uncovered water container. PAHO, established in 1902, is the world’s oldest public health organization and serves as WHO’s regional office. 13 February 2007The entire Latin America region needs to take preventive measures to prepare for what promises to be a “difficult year” for dengue fever following an outbreak of the mosquito-borne infection in Paraguay, United Nations health officials have warned. read more

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Quebecor considering launching wireless service outside home province

Quebecor considering launching wireless service outside home province MONTREAL – Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) will soon decide whether it will expand its wireless service outside of its home province of Quebec, but chief executive Pierre Dion wants to first meet with the federal government.“We expect to meet with the Canadian government soon in order to let them know what we assume to be the right conditions for us to operate a single service wireless business outside of our home territory,” Quebecor president and chief executive Pierre Dion said Thursday.“Its response will dictate our next step.”Dion said the company is analyzing its options, but did not specify what he was looking for to make a decision to expand across the country.Quebecor owns the province’s most-read tabloid newspaper and its most-watched TV network. It also operates a 24-hour news TV channel and Videotron, Canada’s third-largest cable services provider and a wireless provider in Quebec.Quebecor bought a swath of wireless spectrum in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, in addition to Quebec, in the federal government’s spectrum auction earlier this year.The move raised hopes it would become a fourth national player to compete with Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Telus (TSX:T) and Bell (TSX:BCE), but the Quebec company has been cagey about whether it will take up the challenge.“I’m confident that our team will manage the process rigorously and that should the plan make sense, we will get the right attention,” said Dion, adding that he expects to make a decision in a “few months.”Quebecor said Thursday it earned a profit attributable to shareholders of $40.7 million, or 33 cents per basic share, in the first quarter, compared to $35.6 million and 29 cents per share in the same period last year.The Montreal-based media company says adjusted income from continuing operations was $49.3 million, or 40 cents per share — up from $36 million or 29 cents a share in the same period of 2013.Revenue during the quarter was $1.04 billion, a gain of $11.4 million or just over one per cent.Quebecor’s telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $31.8 million and its adjusted operating income by $21.9 million in the quarter. Videotron Ltd. saw first quarter revenue increases for all of its major services.Internet access revenue was 6.9 per cent higher at $13.6 million, the mobile phone segment grew 23.4 per cent to $11.7 million and cable television revenue grew marginally to $800,000.During the quarter, Pierre Karl Peladeau resigned from the Quebecor board following his decision to enter provincial politics. He was elected as a Parti Quebecois party member in April. Sylvie Lalande was appointed board chairman of TVA Group and Françoise Bertrand named the board chairman at Quebecor. by The Canadian Press Posted May 8, 2014 4:18 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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