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Public told to avoid highly poisonous plant washed up on Cumbria beaches

highly poisonous

Public told to avoid highly poisonous plant washed up on Cumbria beaches

Plants that look and smell like parsnips but are highly poisonous and potentially deadly have been washed up on beaches in Cumbria after the recent stormy weather.

Coastguards have warned people to avoid the plants called hemlock water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata), which is also known as dead man’s fingers.

The coastguard rescue team based in Millom said they had received reports of the plant being washed up on local beaches.

“Even a small portion can prove fatal to humans by attacking the nervous system,” they said on their Facebook page. “It is also fatal to animals. The plant has a highly poisonous root that looks and smells like parsnip.

“It is highly likely that this is happening due to the aftermath of recent stormy weather. We advise people, especially with children and animals, to stay vigilant, avoid this plant and take extra care when visiting the beach.”

Hemlock water dropwort, with leaves and stems which look like parsley, is one of Britain’s most poisonous indigenous plants. Eating it can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, seizures and hallucination.

Deaths have occurred but are far more common in animals than humans, said Geoff Dann, a foraging teacher and writer who is about to publish a new book on edible plants.

“It is known to kill livestock. Usually what happens is that it gets disturbed by the edge of a river by earthworks, or something, and the roots are exposed and are eaten by livestock.

“There are also cases of people digging it up and thinking it is a plant you can eat, like water parsnip or wild celery … but that is pretty rare.”

It is highly poisonous “but you’d have to eat a lot of it to die”, he said. “They are great big fat tubers, but who walks along a beach and picks up a random wild plant washed up on a beach and eats it? It seems a weird thing to do.”

Deaths are rare but the unpleasantness and dangers of the plant was highlighted by a report in the Emergency Medical Journal (EMJ) about eight young adults on holiday in Argyll.

They collected what they thought were water parsnips from a stream and made a curry. Ten hours later one of the group had a seizure and was taken to hospital. Others also became unwell and nauseous and a further person had be admitted to hospital after eating leftovers.

The EMJ report concluded: “It is possible that with increasing interest in ‘natural’ foods, accidental poisoning of this nature may become more frequent. These cases illustrate the potential dangers of this, but highlight the fact that even in small communities expertise is available and if accessed appropriately can be invaluable.”

Researchers in Italy have also written that hemlock water dropwort was used in pre-Roman Sardinia for the ritual killing of older people considered a burden.

The plant, it has been said, leaves corpses with what could be described as a sardonic grin.

Dann said the plant was not Britain’s most toxic. That accolade, he believes, should go to monkshood, or wolf’s bane. “There was a case a few years ago of a guy clearing it and he had a cut on his hand. The sap went in to the cut and it was enough to kill him.”

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AIDS Agency Chief Says 1 Out Of 100 Persons Positive In Kaduna

The Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Aids Control Agency (KADSACA), Dr Isa Baka has said a survey had revealed that one out of 100 people is positive to the AIDS disease in the state.

Baka disclosed this speaking shortly after a walk in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, on Thursday in Kaduna.

The theme of the year’s’ World AIDS Day is “Equalise to End AIDS: Equal Access to Treatment and Prevention Services’’.

He said the present statistics was a remarkable development against previous survey which gave 11 of every 100 people in the state.

Baka added that the AIDS prevalence in Kaduna, which is at 1.1, being a survey carried out by the state government itself, was later done at the national level, where that of Kaduna was confirmed as very accurate.

“At the national level, the prevalence of the virus (AIDS) was at 1.4 (four people out of 100 test positive), while that of Kaduna is confirmed to be 1.1, was in determination of the state government and KADSACA’s efforts to ensure minimal prevalence of the virus,” he said.

He said as part of efforts to continue reducing the prevalence of AIDS in the state, government initiated programmes across the 23 LGAs.

He said one of the UNICEF anchored programmes, which is the ‘Adolescent and Youths Living With HIV and AIDS’ programme, was present and effective in at least, 18 LGAs and 24 sites in the state.

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Malawi Commences Large Scale Malaria Vaccination- First In The World

Malawi has commenced large-scale vaccination of children against malaria.

This is the first large-scale malaria vaccination campaign since the World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed the widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine in October 2021.

The endorsement followed a two-year vaccination programme, which involved more than 800,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Recommended for children from five months of age to around 18 months, the vaccine  has an efficacy of 39 percent.

The first phase of the vaccination in Malawi is expected to cover 11 of the country’s 28 districts.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the WHO in Malawi said the expansion of access to the malaria vaccine will enable more children at risk of malaria to benefit from an additional prevention tool.

“Malawi has expanded access to the first malaria vaccine! The expansion of the RTS,S Malaria vaccine, into the 11 districts that participated in the malaria vaccine implementation program (MVIP) has been launched today. The vaccine offers a glimmer hope for Malawi,” WHO wrote.

Michael Kayange, Malawi’s national malaria control programme manager, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa that although the vaccine has low efficacy, “in malaria control, there is no single intervention that does it all”.

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Nigeria Yet To Attain 70% Covid-19 Vaccination Coverage- NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to achieve 70 percent coverage for COVID-19 vaccination.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of NPHCDA, said on Tuesday that as of November 25, a total of 56,790,371 eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12,492,646 are partially vaccinated in 36 states and the FCT.

“We are 21.6 million eligible persons away from reaching its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of its eligible population by December 2022,” he said.

“But 62 percent of the country’s eligible population is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The country has fully vaccinated half of the total population eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have also fully vaccinated an additional over 25 percent of its eligible population, in the last 110 days of SCALES 3.0 implementation.”

The executive director said 13.2 percent of fully vaccinated persons in the country have received the COVID-19 booster dose for additional protection against the virus.

He commended the COVID-19 strategy group for achieving 50 percent vaccination coverage in the country and promised that the momentum would be sustained.

Shuaib said he has also directed the team to intensify efforts toward the attainment of herd immunity.

“Until this is achieved, the strategy group will continue to develop strategies that will help the country achieve health security,” he said.

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