Should you be worried?It’s hard to say. Patients have reported vaping products that contain a variety of substances, including nicotine and THC, as well as using do-it-yourself “home brews,” finds the Washington Post. At this time, health officials are unsure whether the lung issues stem from the e-cigarette devices or one or more ingredients commonly found in vape juice. “While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses,” says the CDC. At least one Wisconsin man who was hospitalized had purchased tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil on the street, according to news reports. Canva The American Vaping Association is skeptical that traditional vape products are at fault. “With approximately 10 million adults vaping nicotine each month without major issue, it appears much more likely that the products causing lung damage contain THC or illegal drugs, not nicotine,” an AVA spokesperson told CBS News.But health experts like Anne Griffiths, MD, a pediatric lung specialist who saw all four of the reported cases in Minnesota, aren’t so sure. “My sense is this isn’t new,” she told the Associated Press. “It’s new that we’re recognizing it. I really do think the primary cause of these illnesses is what’s been inhaled.”Currently, no one device or cartridge is associated with the reported cases of lung disease. When estimating the scope of the problem, health officials are only counting certain lung illnesses in which the person reports having vaped within three months. Most of the illnesses under investigation involve teens and young adults, a population in which e-cigarette use has skyrocketed: 78% among high school students and 49% among middle school students between 2017 and 2018, according to the CDC. As of 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, report using e-cigarettes. The suspected link to vaping is more bad news for an industry that’s already under fire for targeting teens. In an email to Reuters, industry-leader Juul Labs said, “Like any health-related events reportedly associated with the use of vapor products, we are monitoring these reports.” As the investigation progresses, the CDC is asking clinicians to report possible cases of unexplained vaping-related pulmonary illness to their state or local health department. And in a statement last week, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm strongly urged “people to avoid vaping products and e-cigarettes. Anyone — especially young people who have recently vaped — experiencing unexplained breathing problems should see a doctor.”Read more: Why vaping could give you cavitiesWhat we know about vaping and respiratory healthE-cigarettes have only been available in the US for a little over a decade and, during that time, have gone largely unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, there’s a huge amount of variability in the market. Together, these two things make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the respiratory effects of vaping. That said, here’s what we know so far: E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than tobacco cigarettes and are considered safer in many respects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But vaping is not without respiratory risks — especially in people who have no prior history of smoking. When the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed all the available research on the public health consequences of e-cigarettes — more than 800 peer-reviewed studies — it concluded that, “studies examining the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on the development of chronic respiratory symptoms are completely lacking due to the newness of the product.” The jury is still out on whether vaping causes lung disease, but early research points to potential other problems. Canva However, it did find “conclusive evidence that in addition to nicotine, most e-cigarette products contain and emit numerous potentially toxic substances” like acetaldehyde, acrolein, diacetyl and formaldehyde, which have all been linked to lung disease. And that exposing lungs to these substances could potentially damage the respiratory system or worsen pre-existing lung disease. Although NASEM was unable to identify any research on whether or not vaping causes respiratory diseases, it did find moderate evidence of a link between vaping and increased coughing and wheezing in teens, as well as an increase in asthma exacerbations.Bottom line: There are still a lot of unknowns, but preliminary research — and the lack of federal oversight — has health organizations like the American Lung Association concerned. “The e-cigarettes currently in the US marketplace have not been systemically reviewed by the FDA to determine their impact on lung health,” the ALA says. “While much remains to be determined about the lasting health consequences of these products, the ALA is very troubled by the evolving evidence about the impact of e-cigarettes on the lungs.”Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction experts The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. 2:19 How food dye could help create 3D-printed lungs At least 24 people have been hospitalized with vaping-related respiratory issues since July — many of them young adults. Canva Health concerns over vaping intensify after state and federal health officials report that 153 people — many of them young adults — across 16 states have been treated for suspected vaping-related respiratory issues. Most of the patients admitted to a hospital have reported similar symptoms, including coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue that worsened over time. Some patients also reportedly experienced fever, chest pain, nausea and diarrhea. (The FDA is also investigating 120-plus reports of seizures after vaping. Check out this timeline of recent Juul and vaping controversies.)In Minnesota, some of these individuals had to be hospitalized for multiple weeks, including stints in the intensive care unit. An 18-year-old man in Florida suffered a collapsed lung after vaping. One Wisconsin man in his 20s even had to be placed in a medically induced coma. It’s unclear at this time whether all patients will fully recover.In a statement issued over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that officials are working with the departments of health in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin to investigate these “severe” pulmonary illnesses. Additional states have notified the CDC of more possible cases and investigations are ongoing. According to the CDC, says “there is no conclusive evidence that an infectious disease is causing the illnesses.”Read more: Why vaping is so addictive, according to doctors Wellness Now playing: Watch this: 2 Tags Comments Share your voice
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield.DepartureWhether it’s The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the “hustlers” — slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe.Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe.Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. “We didn’t know we were risking our lives,” said Kante Sekou, 27, who gave up upon reaching Libya.Hustlers demand between 200,000 to one million CFA francs (300-1,500 euros/$330-$1,660) per person for a journey they claim will end up in Europe, but which often goes no further than Agadez in central Niger, or Libya.Towards NigerDespite mounting pressure from Niamey to halt the flow of people heading to Europe, Niger remains a key route on the migrant trail.Even before getting there, migrants are often “ripped off” by unscrupulous police and customs officials.According to witnesses, those in Burkina Faso appear to be particularly greedy, with migrants speaking of being held in overflowing cells until they pay up.Once in Niger, officers also take small “commissions” at each roadblock. Bus companies have a tendency to group migrants and non-migrants in different vehicles, with officers tipped off about which to approach, a bus company source said.In 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) observed around 335,000 migrants heading northwards out of Niger.But the numbers are unclear because the IOM only counts those crossing its own checkpoints.Agadez: a key crossroadsThis city in central Niger is a key crossroad, with routes through it leading to Libya and Algeria.However, with the increasing number of checks, several new routes have opened up from the southern city of Zinder, offering an eastern route to Libya, while others bypass Agadez to the west, leaving from the southwestern city of Dosso, people smugglers say.In Agadez, migrants are held in “ghettos” or “hostels” owned by the smugglers — these are usually simple plots surrounded by walls, which sometimes have a hut, where the migrants huddle under tarps as shade from the sun. Usually, there is no running water or electricity.Over the past few months, ghettos visible from the city centre have disappeared with people taken to homes in the suburbs. According to one fixer, that is the best way to avoid police controls and also means they can leave the city without travelling along main roads.Hustlers pick up migrants from bus stations in Agadez. Usually grouped by nationality, they have often run out of money by this stage, meaning the hustlers have to arrange extra funds through phone contact with their families.While waiting for departure, migrants live hand-to-mouth in precarious circumstances with men doing odd jobs and women sometimes resorting to prostitution.Sudden departureMigrants are not notified in advance about their departure. They are put in the back of 4×4 pick-up trucks which can carry up to 29 passengers with their legs dangling over the sides. Sticks are wedged between the luggage so passengers can hold on.To cope with the sand and heat, they must have on them a hat, gloves, sunglasses, a jacket and water. Since the police crackdown, departures tend to happen in the pre-dawn hours.A convoy is usually made up of three to five vehicles, with migrants sometimes transferred out of the city before being put into trucks in order to avoid roadblocks.A few months ago, passage to Libya cost up to 300,000 CFA francs but the crackdown has seen prices ballooning with the rate easily hitting 400,000 CFA francs and sometimes rising as high as a million, a local official said.Bandits in the desert”It’s 750 kilometres (460 miles) and three days’ drive to the border,” says one smuggler who refused to give his name. “We drive 24-7. We stop only to drink tea, five minutes for the restroom. I carry up to 26 people. We leave in a convoy, never alone.”We don’t stop because we are afraid of bandits and the police. The bandits are armed. They can hijack your vehicle and leave you in the desert. So it’s death,” he said.If there is an attack, “we try to hide the Thuraya (satellite phone) to bury it,” he said.”The bandits have people in town. When a car leaves the city, they inform them.”If soldiers stop them, everyone is brought back to the city and the cars are impounded.For the migrants, it is a difficult road. They have to hold on without falling, and be sparing with their food and water. Many throw up on the way and arrive at their destination exhausted.Some even die en route. Earlier this month, at least 44 people, among them women and babies, died of thirst after their vehicle broke down in the desert. “This desert is full of migrants’ bodies,” lamented Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum.Libya: apocalyptic lawlessnessMost migrants returning from Libya describe an apocalyptic lawlessness with armed groups extorting and exploiting them, with many speaking of theft, kidnapping and torture. Others speak of being jailed in “private” prisons and only released when their families paid a ransom.Others speak of having to work for miserable wages or in slavery-like conditions. Even so, for most, Libya is an unavoidable stop for those hoping to catch a boat to Europe.
Prothom Alo illustrationPolice on Sunday arrested the son of Zanjira municipality mayor Yunus Bepari for allegedly raping a college girl, reports UNB.Masud Bepari, 27, was picked up around 2:30am after the matter came to the fore, said officer-in-charge of Zanjira police station Belayet Hossain.He said the victim, a student of a local college, used to work at a clinic in Zanjira municipality on part-time basis.On Saturday night, Masud, a distant relative of the victim, took the girl to their under-construction building and ‘raped’ her there.As she fell sick, he took her to a hospital secretly for treatment.However, locals noticed the matter and informed police.Later, law enforcers rushed in and arrested Masud from his house around 2:30am, the OC said.The victim appeared at the police station at noon and filed a case against the youth.