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Ebola Ruled Out for 2 Patients in Isolation at D.C.-Area Hospitals; 1 has Malaria

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Ebola-CDC brief

Jennifer Donelan, WJLA/ABC NEWS

 

WASHINGTON (ABC News) – Two people who were hospitalized in isolation units at D.C. area hospitals on Friday have been declared to not have Ebola, officials confirmed Saturday. One of the cases turned out to be malaria.

One of the patients was being treated at D.C.’s Howard University Hospital, while the other was was admitted at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Montgomery County, Md.

The Howard patient, who had just returned to the U.S. after visiting Nigeria, was listed in stable condition with “symptoms that could be associated with Ebola,” a hospital statement said.

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D.C. Health Warns Against Disease

THE AFRO — The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents against an increase in an intestinal illness, called Cyclosporiasis, after 14 people have been diagnosed in 2019 compared to 8 total in 2018. The Food and Drug Administration is urging residents against buying, eating, or serving fresh basil products exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico where they believe the contamination is originating. 

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The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents to watch where one buys basil due to cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness. (Courtesy Photo)
The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents to watch where one buys basil due to cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness. (Courtesy Photo)
By Tyra Wilkes

The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents against an increase in an intestinal illness, called Cyclosporiasis, after 14 people have been diagnosed in 2019 compared to 8 total in 2018. The Food and Drug Administration is urging residents against buying, eating, or serving fresh basil products exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico where they believe the contamination is originating.

While doing your best to avoid purchase or consumption of basil, D.C. Health Department is also advising local businesses to refrain from selling, serving, or distributing fresh basil exported from this or other unknown providers.

For prevention inside your own home, be sure to wash hands thoroughly before handling any fruits and vegetables, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. In addition store fruits and vegetables away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables as soon as possible or within 2 hours; amongst all other food preparation procedures.

If infected, Cyclosporiasis  symptoms start about one week after consumption and can last a few days to a month. The infection causes watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements.

Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, or fatigue; you may also experience flu-like symptoms like headaches, body aches and fever.

If you experience any of these symptoms see your healthcare provider immediately.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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Kingston Teaching Farm Renamed in Memory of Richard “Dick” Pigford

BIRMINGHAM TIMES — 

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A group photo of everyone who attended the dedication to Richard "Dick" Pigford in the Kingston Teaching Farm (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times)

By Ameera Steward

Following a moving ceremony in Kingston attended by family, friends and members from some of the city’s leading organizations, the legacy of architect Richard I. Pigford, also known as “Dick,” will live for generations.

On Wednesday, the Kingston Teaching Farm located on Center Street North was renamed the “Richard Ireland Pigford Memorial Kingston Teaching Farm” in memory of Mr. Pigford, a Kingston Coalition charter member, who passed March 31 of this year.

“Communities were so important to him,” said his wife, Dana. “He loved Birmingham, he loved this area, the people that he worked with here he had a great fondness for …  going forward this could be the structure to help other communities that are at risk and even those communities that aren’t at risk, teaching them how to come together.”

Ella Pigford, his sixteen-year-old granddaughter, remembered helping him in one of the gardens and was touched by the number of people at the ceremony.

“I’m happy that he’s done so much for so many communities,” she said. “[His work] makes me think that I can do more for my community, it shows me what I can do for my community and it shows me the communities that he cared for, it makes me want to help them more. It inspires me to do more and want to do more when I grow up,” she said.

Individuals from a number of organizations who worked with Pigford toward healthier communities were in attendance including UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (UAB MHRC), the Kingston Coalition and the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD).

“This garden was just a tiny piece of what Mr. Pigford did in Kingston,” said Tiffany Osborne, director of community engagement for UAB MHRC. “He worked on projects, he invested funds, he helped us go after funds so that we could do programs and projects, there’s another community garden that he invested in, just other little things that he did…and I think that that’s really important for people to know.”

Partnerships

Working in the community, meant people working together with Mr. Pigford, Osborne said.

Jay Pigford, son (left) and Dana Pigford, wife (right) (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times)

Jay Pigford, son
(left) and Dana Pigford, wife (right) (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times)

“[He] was not one to just do, he wanted the residents working alongside of him because this is one of the communities that we work in to try and encourage the community to come work together . . . and Mr. Pigford was good about doing that,” she said. “He connected the neighborhood to representatives from UAB who assisted Kingston to help identify projects and agree on priorities. So, it is no surprise that the teaching farm is located on the Morton Simpson site.”

Adrian Peterson-Fields, HABD COO called the ceremony a “momentous” occasion.

“I grew up in Birmingham, I know what this looked like before and to see [the] teaching farm in honor of and memory of Mr. Pigford” and now to see the fruits of his labor in the teaching farm is crucial, she said.

“We all know that the Kingston area is in a food desert and so these type of foods as we begin to harvest and bring forth; we’ll be able to assist our residents,” said Fields.

Lovie Crawford, president of the Kingston Neighborhood Association, said Pigford was a “true, divine man and his belief was beautifying people…his work speaks for itself, this teaching farm here as well is a dream of his…we will forever remember Dick and all the good things he’s done.”

Beyond The Garden

A lot of Pigford’s work went beyond the teaching garden, said those in attendance.

“He was very interested in violence reduction,” said Dr. Mona Fouad, professor, and director of UAB MHRC. “We were looking at projects to see how can we impact violence reduction so children, and young people, and older people in the community can freely enjoy this beautiful neighborhood.”

Part of Pigford’s legacy, she said, is that the National Institutes of Health has provided UAB with additional funding to create a violence reduction program in Kingston. She added that her department’s Grand Challenge win [part of UAB’s strategic plan that united university activities with community partners] will help the MHRC help bring resources to Kingston.

Others in attendance included, Erica Williams, director of educational advancement for the city of Birmingham and Cathy Adamas, board member of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.“When we asked the [Kingston Coalition] what we should do to honor Dick and his work, unanimously everybody voted to [rename the teaching farm] and it’s going to stay forever,” Fouad said. “We’re going to make sure it’s going to stay like this and even get bigger…and impact all the residents here.”

“I kept thinking that it’s just not fair that he’s not here and then I just heard this voice saying ‘of course he’s here, he’ll always be here,’” said Adams who has known Pigford for 50 years. “This wouldn’t be here without him and it will go on because of him…I am so grateful for every minute I was able to spend with him.”

Jay Pigford, Mr. Pigford’s son, said his father would be honored by the dedication.

“He would be more proud that it’s a great honor for the community and what they’re doing here, and creating a legacy for future generations here on this property,” said Jay Pigford. “This seems like a great gift to Kingston but really the Kingston community was such a huge part of his life and a gift to him.”

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

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Pediatricians: Black Children Suffer Significantly From Racism

NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Surprise! Racism—that “thing” white people say doesn’t exist—has dire long-term effects on the health of black children and adolescents, according to a report released by the country’s largest group of pediatricians.

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Photo by: rawpixel.com
Photo by: rawpixel.com
By The Tri-State Defender

Surprise! Racism—that “thing” white people say doesn’t exist—has dire long-term effects on the health of black children and adolescents, according to a report released by the country’s largest group of pediatricians.

The report, crafted into a first-of-its-kind policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, calls racism “a socially transmitted disease passed down through generations, leading to the inequities observed in our population today.” It draws on 180 studies to reach its conclusions and includes specific recommendations.

It also notes that in Trump’s America (read: “the current political and cultural atmosphere,” according to the Washington Post), the danger to children is more acute and the work more urgent.

“If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there is so much kids are exposed to,” said Jackie Douge, a pediatrician who co-wrote the policy, to the Post. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”

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The effects of racism have long been documented by the medical community and has dire effects on our health, as The Post reports:

Exposure to racism in adults has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, depression and other ailments. And researchers have increasingly identified dangers racism presents to the development of babies and children. Studies have found lower birth weights in babies born to African American mothers who experience discrimination. A recent analysis found an increased risk of premature birth among Latina women following Trump’s election, part of a pattern of poorer health outcomes among Latinos during his administration. Other recent studies have found an increased risk of depression, obesity and greater susceptibility to sickness among children who are exposed to racism. Researchers have linked racism experienced by children to worsened sleep, higher rates of doctor visits and lower self-esteem.

One of the main mechanisms responsible for those effects, researchers say, is the way prolonged stress wears away at people’s bodies. Experiences of discrimination can flood the body with stress hormones such as cortisol — a chemical that readies the body to fight or flee. Studies have show that even the anticipation of discrimination can trigger the stress response. Over time, stress hormones can lead to inflammatory reactions that make the body more susceptible to chronic diseases.

Though it can sometimes be difficult to parse out racism from all the other structural inequalities, including a disproportionate number of black children being jailed, poverty, violence and food insecurity, clearly there is a link to health outcomes in black children, according to researchers.

As Kyle Yasuda, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes to the Post: “It’s more than just medicine and genetic makeup. It means looking at all the determinants of health. And science has shown us racism plays a part in that equation.”

The new report will be issued to the AAP’s 67,000 members with an extensive list of recommendations, reports the Post. The AAP News and Journals, in summarizing the report, says that doctors of providers “might ask about recent events in the community that may have had an impact on the patient and family, determine the need for counseling or alternative forms of support such as affinity groups at school, and provide anticipatory guidance on effective communication and strategies to keep children and adolescents safe. Pediatricians can collaborate with local schools, school health systems and justice systems to ensure that all patients meet their developmental and vocational milestones.”

In addition to diversifying the field and training pediatric staff to be more “culturally competent,” the policy also recommends that “pediatricians reflect on their own biases and integrate structural and individual-level strategies that optimize professional practice.”

From the report:

“By engaging patients and families in clinical care settings and through effective anticipatory guidance, pediatricians can help parents raise children and adolescents who can do the following:

  • identify racism when they see (bystander) or experience it (target);
  • differentiate racism from other forms of unfair treatment;
  • oppose the negative messages or behaviors by others; and
  • replace it with something positive or constructive to prevent the observed longitudinal health and developmental consequences associated with internalizing those experiences.”

Ultimately, although we know racism has an adverse effect, we simply don’t know how deeply it affects our children.

“It’s a new age of racism,” said Nia J. Heard-Garris, a pediatrician at Northwestern University, to the Post. “I see them trying to shut it out and tune it out. I think they’re trying to figure out ways of coping that previous generations didn’t have to. And I don’t think we’ll know what the consequences are going to be for a while.”

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

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School Lunch Could Be Slashed For Thousands of California Children Under Federal Proposal

OAKLAND POST — Thousands of children in California would no longer qualify for free school lunches if a federal proposal to cut the number of food stamp recipi­ents is finalized.

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School lunch (Photo courtesy of EdSource by Amanda Mills | Pixnio)

By Zaidee Stavely

Thousands of children in California would no longer qualify for free school lunches if a federal proposal to cut the number of food stamp recipi­ents is finalized.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking for pub­lic comment on a proposal to restrict the number of families eligible for food stamps to only those with gross incomes of 130 percent of the federal pov­erty level (about $33,000 for a family of four) or less. Cur­rently many states, including California, allow families with higher incomes (up to about $50,000 for a family of four) to enroll in the food stamp pro­gram if their childcare, hous­ing and other eligible expenses bring their income down to about $25,000 or less.

Families who would no lon­ger qualify for food stamps under the new rule will also lose their automatic eligibil­ity for free school meals. Cur­rently, families enrolled in food stamps are automatically eligible for free lunch, so they do not have to apply separate­ly. If this change is approved, many families that no longer qualify for food stamps could still qualify for reduced-price meals at school, but they would have to submit paperwork to apply.

Confusion is likely to ensue.

Jared Call, managing policy advocate for California Food Policy Advocates, said schools are supposed to notify families when students no longer quali­fy automatically, but often the notices are not sent, or families misunderstand them or do not apply.

“If they’re cut off and keep getting those meals, they may end up with a bill that their par­ents don’t understand why or where it’s coming from,” Call said.

It’s not clear yet how many children in California would be affected. The USDA estimates that 3.1 million people nation­wide would lose food stamps under the policy change. Ac­cording to U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott(D-Va.), the USDA also estimates about 500,000 chil­dren would lose automatic eli­gibility for free school lunches, though the department did not include this estimate in the pro­posal.

About 2 million children in California are in families that receive food stamps. There are no estimates yet of how many of those might lose eligibility if the new rule is approved.

The administration says the change is necessary to prevent fraudulent applications for food assistance.

“Too often, states have mis­used this flexibility without re­straint,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a press release announcing the proposal. “The American peo­ple expect their government to be fair, efficient and to have in­tegrity — just as they do in their own homes, businesses and communities. That is why we are changing the rules, prevent­ing abuse of a critical safety net system, so those who need food assistance the most are the only ones who receive it.”

Education experts and advo­cates for low-income families are concerned about how the change could affect children.

“The California Department of Education is very concerned about the Trump administra­tion’s proposal,” wrote Scott Roark, a spokesman for the department, adding that the de­partment is still analyzing the impact.

The proposal would also affect students at schools that serve free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of their household income. Those are schools in which 40 percent or more of students qualify for free lunch either because they are enrolled in a program like food stamps or because they are homeless, foster or migrant children. There are more than 3,000 schools in California that offer free meals to all students.

Call, of California Food Policy Advocates, also is con­cerned about what he called a “cascading effect” that could affect school funding if a large number of children lose their free lunch eligibility. Under the Local Control Funding Formula, schools receive extra funding for each student who qualifies for free or reduced-price school meals, as well as English learners, homeless stu­dents and foster children.

The Trump administration proposal is the latest in a series of attempts to reduce federal benefits for low-income peo­ple.

For the complete article, go to https://bit.ly/2yHFlbI

This article originally appeared in the Oakland Post

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COMMENTARY: August Greetings from DC Department of Aging and Community Living

WASHINGTON INFORMER — The DC Commission on Aging recently held their annual retreat where they planned for the upcoming year. The Commission on Aging is a 15-member citizens advisory group appointed by the Mayor “to advise the Mayor, the DC Council, the DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL), and the public concerning the views and needs of the aged in the District of Columbia” (DC Law § 7-504.01). Commissioners represent all eight wards of the city and serve as your voice in the community, advising DC government on aging issues and concerns.

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Laura Newland, executive director, DC Office of Aging and Community Living

By Laura Newland, Director, Laura Newland, Director, DC Department of Aging and Community Living

The DC Commission on Aging recently held their annual retreat where they planned for the upcoming year. The Commission on Aging is a 15-member citizens advisory group appointed by the Mayor “to advise the Mayor, the DC Council, the DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL), and the public concerning the views and needs of the aged in the District of Columbia” (DC Law § 7-504.01). Commissioners represent all eight wards of the city and serve as your voice in the community, advising DC government on aging issues and concerns.

In addition to meeting monthly, your commissioners are out in the community, working with residents, listening to concerns, and bringing information back to help us as we work to make DC a city where you want to be—at every age. They also work with mini-commissions in each ward. Mini-commissions are made up of residents and advocates who serve as the eyes and ears in your community and advise the Commission on Aging on senior concerns in your neighborhood.

Since starting in my role, I’ve looked to the Commission on Aging for guidance on how DACL can truly represent the needs of the community. They’ve counseled me on a range of issues—from health and wellness, elder abuse and fraud protection, and to what the agency’s relationship should be to the community. I’m so grateful for their guidance and support. They helped me navigate my transition as a new director, and today, they continue to advise me on the role of DACL as a department and how we can work together to best serve the community.

They also advise the Mayor and Council and help to ensure that when the big decisions are made for the city, the concerns and the needs of our older Washingtonians are included.

I encourage all of you to get to know the Commissioners representing your Ward. DACL is committed to listening to the community — whether we’re engaging with you in your neighborhood, chatting with you on the phone, or working with our Commissioners — we are constantly looking for more opportunities and better ways to meet you wherever you’re at.

To apply to become a member, visit the Mayor’s Office of Talents and Appointments website http://motaboards.theresumator.com/apply/Ut1kD1/Commission-On-Aging.

Find out more about how to get in contact with your Commissioner by calling my office at 202-724-5626.

Be well, and remember — Aging is Living!


Your 2019-2020 Commission on Aging members are:

Guleford Bobo, Commission on Aging Chair, Ward 8

Carolyn Matthews, Commission on Aging Vice Chair, Ward 1

Nancy Miranda, Ward 1

Jo-Anne Hersh, Ward 2

John Giacomini, Ward 3

Marguerite Pridgen, Ward 3

Lystra Hinds, Ward 4

Maria Wilson, Ward 4

Barbara Lee, Ward 5

Grace Lewis, Ward 5

Hattie Pierce, Ward 5

Charles Hicks, Ward 6

Alice Love, Ward 6

Mary Taylor, Ward 7

Barbara Hair, Ward 8

This post originally appeared in The Washington Informer.

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Fighter Dies After Fight Card At MGM 

THE AFRO — A damaging blow may have been dealt to major boxing matches coming to Maryland after the death of a fighter during a nationally televised card at MGM National Harbor.  Junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev died July 23 as a result of brain injuries suffered during an 11th-round knockout loss to Subriel Matias on an ESPN/Top Rank event in Oxon Hill. Dadashev was a 28-year old rising welterweight prospect who was reportedly “fighting for his green card” in hopes of bringing his family from Russia to the United States.  This was a 140-pound world title elimination fight for the right to become the mandatory challenger for the belt, which is currently held by Josh Taylor.

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By Mark F. Gray

A damaging blow may have been dealt to major boxing matches coming to Maryland after the death of a fighter during a nationally televised card at MGM National Harbor.

Junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev died July 23 as a result of brain injuries suffered during an 11th-round knockout loss to Subriel Matias on an ESPN/Top Rank event in Oxon Hill. Dadashev was a 28-year old rising welterweight prospect who was reportedly “fighting for his green card” in hopes of bringing his family from Russia to the United States.  This was a 140-pound world title elimination fight for the right to become the mandatory challenger for the belt, which is currently held by Josh Taylor.

Most ring observers don’t believe the fight could have been stopped any sooner.  Matias was dominating and Dadashev wasn’t showing much resistance before the end of the 11th round. He had been nailed by a series of consistent head blows and relentless body shots throughout the fight, but showed enough defense the referee was reluctant to stop the fight.

His trainer, Buddy McGirt, was seen during the live broadcast between the 10th and 11th rounds asking if he could continue for a final round defend himself during the continuous onslaught. Dadashev offered little response and McGirt then had the ring doctor stop the fight. The late Russian boxer was losing on all three judges scores by the fight’s conclusion.

ESPN boxing analyst and multiple world champion Timothy Bradley was emotional when analyzing the series of events in the fight’s aftermath regarding the immediate attention in the ring before Dadashev collapsed on his way back to the dressing room. Bradley held the WBC light welterweight title twice between 2008 and 2011, the WBO light welterweight title from 2009 to 2012, and the WBO welterweight title twice between 2012 and 2016. During an appearance on SportsCenter Bradley questioned why it took so long for adequate treatment to reach after Dadashev was seen “stumbling” and “vomiting” while leaving the ring.

“Buddy McGirt stopped the fight at the right time,” Bradley said. “After that where was the care? That’s the only problem I have.  I feel they dropped the ball right there.”

A source speaking on the condition of anonymity told the AFRO that this wasn’t the first time a severely injured fighter was inhibited from getting immediate treatment during a fight card at the venue.  In April, first responders experienced difficulty as they tried to get a stretcher to the ring. However, the unnamed boxer – for privacy reasons – survived.

Dadashev was taken to University of Maryland at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland. He underwent surgery to relieve pressure from his brain.  However, two days later he passed away.

McGirt, a former two-time world champion himself, was commended for stopping the fight when he did.  Nonetheless, the loss of Dadashev was a painful loss.

“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN. “He did everything right in training. No problems, no nothing.”

“Great, great guy. He was a trainer’s dream. If I had two more guys like him, I wouldn’t need anybody else because he was truly dedicated to the sport.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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