We begin with a vaccine crackdown, via the Mainichi:
Pakistan police arrest parents refusing kids’ polio vaccine
Hundreds of parents in northwest Pakistan were arrested and jailed on charges of endangering public security after refusing to give their children polio vaccinations, officials said Monday.
Parents targeted by police starting this past weekend were not arrested if they agreed to vaccinate their children, said Shakirullah Khan, a senior police officer in Peshawar.
Feroz Shah, a spokesman for the district administration in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said 471 people were jailed in the city and surrounding villages under government orders.
From Al Jazeera America, accommodation:
Most doctors agree to alter kids’ vaccine schedules
- Physicians give in to parents’ wishes in order to build trust with families, study finds
Pediatricians are facing increasing pressure from parents to delay vaccinating their children — and most of them are complying despite concerns that they are putting the children at risk for contracting preventable illnesses such as measles and whooping cough, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
In a national survey of 534 pediatricians and family doctors sent out via email and mail in 2012, 93 percent of the doctors reported that the parents of children under age 2 asked them to spread out or delay the child’s vaccination schedule. And 21 percent of the doctors reported that at least 10 percent of the parents asked to delay the vaccine schedule, according to the survey conducted by Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most doctors said they agreed to do so, even though 87 percent of them thought that delaying the vaccine schedule was putting the children in danger of catching a vaccine-preventable illness. They complied either “often” or “always” 37 percent of the time and “sometimes” 37 percent of the time, while 26 percent of the doctors said they did so “rarely.”
Tallying up another outbreak, via Outbreak News Today:
Malaysia dengue death toll up to 62
With 25,000 cases of dengue fever reported in Malaysia during the first two months of 2015, the country appears on a trajectory to see more cases than last year’s 100,000.
In addition, the Malaysia Health Ministry has put the death toll due to dengue at 62, up eight in less than a week.
In 2013, Malaysia reported 79 fatalities, while last year, at least 189 deaths were counted.
Selangor continues to report the most cases in the country at nearly 15,000, or six out of 10 cases nationwide.
From Science, a reasonable move:
Escape of dangerous bacterium leads to halt of risky studies at Tulane
The apparent escape from a high-security lab of a dangerous bacterium that led federal officials last month to suspend research on certain high-risk pathogens at Tulane University has left questions about an ongoing investigation of the incident and broader risks.
According to a lengthy 1 March news article in USA Today, two rhesus macaques at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, Louisiana, that fell ill in early November later tested positive for infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is found naturally in soil and water in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Center researchers had been working with rodents on a vaccine for the bacterium, which can cause a sometimes serious illness called melioidosis in animals and people. The two macaques, which later had to be euthanized, and two other rhesus macaques that tested positive for the bacterium may have been exposed while being treated at the center’s hospital.
Adding to concerns, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigator who visited the site in late January fell seriously ill a day later and tested positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is not clear whether the investigator, who has since recovered, was infected at Tulane or earlier during travel abroad, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in February. The agency said it had suspended all studies at the center involving select agents, a list of dangerous viruses, bacteria, and toxins that are tightly regulated. That includes about 10 projects, USA Today reports.
Science covers a call for more:
More environmental action needed, European agency says
The latest big-picture analysis of the state of the environment in Europe finds that although the continent is making progress in energy efficiency, it is falling short in protecting biodiversity and natural resources. In some areas, the financial recession led to improvements in trends, but the gains may be short-lived, the report warns.
Every 5 years since 1995, the European Environment Agency provides a broad assessment of status and trends. The refrain is familiar to Andrew Jordan, an environmental policy analyst at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. “They’ve continuously said the same thing: We’re not moving as rapidly toward sustainable development as we should.”
Among the bad news:
- Biodiversity is still declining: 60% of protected species have a conservation status that is unfavorable.
- 91% of fish stocks assessed in the Mediterranean Sea were overfished in 2014.
- Air pollution leads to 400,000 premature deaths annually.
From the Ecologist, meat hunger devastates Chinese ecology:
Meat boom propels China’s ecosystems into total collapse
- China’s farming boom has massively increased food production, writes John Dearing – especially of meat. But it has come at a massive cost: the wholesale pollution and destruction of core ecosystems.
China’s push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost.
Ecosystems in what should be one of the country’s most fertile region have already been badly damaged – some beyond repair – and the consequences will be felt across the world.
This is part of a long-running trade-off between rising levels of food production and a deteriorating environment, revealed in recent research I conducted with colleagues from China and the UK.
After the jump, mapping global pesticide runoff, a battle against Amazonian forest destruction, climatic causation for war in Syria, an offshore drilling vote in Southern California, Venezuelan anti-fracking campaigners target the U.S., the Dutch government issues a fracking apology, on to Fukushimapocalypose Now!, starting with evacuee return reluctance, uncertainty haunts restart plans for another nuke plant, Another city vows to eschew nuclear power, and a deadly Africna nuclear legacy lingers on. . . Continue reading