Birth control hormone is making its way into streams and hindering fishs ability to reproduce – Daily Mail

Water polluted with even tiny amounts of human hormones can impact marine life, according to a new study that found freshwater fish exposed to estrogen produced fewer offspring.

Synthetic estrogen from oral contraceptives has been found in waterways near sewage treatment plants.

Biologists looking to see if those hormones affect fish exposed them to trace amounts of a synthetic version of Ethinylestradiol, used in most birth control pills.

They found less than a tenth of the concentration of Ethinylestradiol found in some streams was enough to lead to smaller populations and fewer male offsprings.

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Estrogen has been detected in streams, lakes and even drinking water. To determine its effect, researchers exposed killifish to synthetic Ethinylestradiol, found in most birth control pills. They found the number of offspring reduced and more females born than males.

Estrogen has been detected in streams, lakes and even drinking water. To determine its effect, researchers exposed killifish to synthetic Ethinylestradiol, found in most birth control pills. They found the number of offspring reduced and more females born than males.

Estrogen has been detected in streams, lakes and even drinking water. To determine its effect, researchers exposed killifish to synthetic Ethinylestradiol, found in most birth control pills. They found the number of offspring reduced and more females born than males.

According to a study in the journal Aquatic Toxicology, fish exposed to even 5 nanograms per liter of synthetic Ethinylestradiol produced fewer offspring than those that weren’t and gave birth to more females than males.

Ethinylestradiol has been found in streams at levels higher than 60 nanograms per liter.

In addition to birth control, it’s used as menopausal hormone therapy, to prevent osteoporosis and as a palliative treatment for breast cancer.

Our bodies generally only absorb a small amount of the medication we ingest, the rest – up to 90 percent – gets flushed down the toilet when we go to the bathroom.

'When women on birth control or hormone therapy go to the bathroom, it gets flushed into wastewater treatment plants,' said biologist Latonya Jackson (right)

'When women on birth control or hormone therapy go to the bathroom, it gets flushed into wastewater treatment plants,' said biologist Latonya Jackson (right)

‘When women on birth control or hormone therapy go to the bathroom, it gets flushed into wastewater treatment plants,’ said biologist Latonya Jackson (right) 

‘Our wastewater treatment systems are good at removing a lot of things, but they weren’t designed to remove pharmaceuticals,’ said lead author Latonya Jackson, a biologist at the University of Cincinnati. ‘So when women on birth control or hormone therapy go to the bathroom, it gets flushed into wastewater treatment plants.’

For her experiments, Jackson used least killifish, a relative of the guppy.

Killifish are common, tiny and easy to catch, making them easy to study without taking up a lot of space.

They’re a popular target for predators, which they make up for by giving birth frequently, about every 28 days.

Least killifish produced fewer offspring after being exposed to less than a tenth of the estrogen concentration found in some streams near sewage plants

Least killifish produced fewer offspring after being exposed to less than a tenth of the estrogen concentration found in some streams near sewage plants

Least killifish produced fewer offspring after being exposed to less than a tenth of the estrogen concentration found in some streams near sewage plants 

They’re also rare for fish in that they have a placenta and give birth to live young.

Jackson’s team found that chronic exposure to Ethinylestradiol led to smaller populations and a gender ratio of more females than males.

Next she’ll be working with the Environmental Protection Agency to see if the hormones affected the genetics of the fish’s offspring.

Around 15 million women regularly take birth-control pills in the US alone, most of them using Ethinylestradiol. 

‘Our wastewater treatment systems are good at removing a lot of things, but they weren’t designed to remove pharmaceuticals,’ Jackson said. ‘So when women on birth control or hormone therapy go to the bathroom, it gets flushed into wastewater treatment plants.’ 

While a 2010 study found birth-control pills accounted for less than one percent of the estrogen found in US drinking water, local water systems don’t test for Ethinylestradiol.

And estrogen enters the waterways from other sources, like livestock and dairy products. 

Previous studies have found estrogen in rivers and lakes leads male fish to develop ovaries and other female characteristics. 

A 2015 study from Washington State University found a link between Ethinylestradiol and the growing decline in sperm counts, which have plummeted up to 38 percent in a decade. 

‘There’s every reason to believe that estrogen and the pharmaceutical compounds that we’re ingesting in micro-quantities are having an effect,’ activist Seth Siegel told Business Insider.

‘Why wouldn’t it be possible that a newborn or fetus, or a 3-year-old getting an irregular dosage, might not see some effect on their brain function or brain development?’

UNAIDS lauds Nigeria’s response to HIV treatment – The Punch

Alexander Okere

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has commended the Federal Government for the measures taken towards sustaining the HIV treatment programme in the country.

The UN and the United States Embassy of Nigeria said they acknowledged Nigeria’s commitments and recent bold actions in ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

In a joint statement titled ‘Nigeria’s bold steps towards national ownership and sustainability of HIV treatment programme,’ by the Advocacy Office of UNAIDS in Nigeria, the development partners’ leadership on HIV commended Nigeria for the bold steps towards national ownership and sustainability of the HIV treatment programme.

They noted that ‘this undeterred political will and commitment’ was demonstrated through the historic commitment to maintain 60,000 Nigerian PLHIV on treatment financed by the government, while making additional government resources available to put a further 50,000 on treatment annually.

They also commended the Federal Government for the re-establishment of the National Treatment and PMTCT Programme in November, 2018, to provide the framework for budget appropriation, drive harmonisation and alignment of the development partners’ HIV investments, and foster country leadership, ownership and long-term sustainability.

The development partners also said the government showed commitment in the budgetary appropriation and timely release of funds for increased coverage of life-saving antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV in Nigeria.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, was quoted as saying the commitment of the Federal Government had increased the coverage of life-saving antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV in Nigeria, ensuring that more than 100,000 Nigerians were sustained on treatment.

Also speaking, the United States Charges d’Affaires, Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon, said, “The recent exceptional presidential waiver that allows the government to procure life-saving antiretroviral medicines, through competitive international platforms such as the Global Fund-administered WAMBO, ensures that quality drugs are procured directly from the manufacturers at pre-negotiated affordable prices.”

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Wearing masks could save more than 100,000 US lives through February, new study suggests – msnNOW

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First Global Survey Reveals the Effect of Lockdown on People with Obesity – Science Times

Researchers from Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center conducted the first global survey that revealed how people’s habits dramatically changed after the first phase of the coronavirus lockdown. The recently published study in the journal Obesity, the online survey collected information on the mental health, dietary behaviors, and physical activity of people before and since the beginning of the pandemic.

More than 7,700 participants took the online survey. Generally, anxiety scores, weight gain, and sedentary leisure behaviors increased during the lockdown. There was also a slight increase in healthy eating due to less eating out and cooking more meals at home.

Despite eating out less frequently, “we snacked more…got less exercise…[and] went to bed later and slept more poorly,” said Leanne Redman. Also, anxiety levels generally doubled either from pre-existing mental conditions and/or fear of the virus.

Furthermore, lockdown magnified the lifestyle of people with obesity. In general, obese people were able to improve their diet the most. Unfortunately, they had the highest rates of weight gain, and the sharpest declines in their mental health explained Dr. Redman. During the lockdown, 33% of people with obesity gained weight.

International Online Survey

The online survey was conducted between April 3 to May 3 where people from over 50 countries completed the questionnaire. More than 50% of Americans who completed the survey were from Louisiana. 12,000 participants took the short survey while 7,700 answered the optional modified Rapid Eating Assessment questionnaire. Some of the survey topics included skipping breakfast, consuming less than two fruits and vegetables daily, how many meals people had per day and the consumption of sweets or desserts.

To measure physical activity and sedentary lifestyle, the online survey included modified versions of the Nurses’ Health Study Physical Activity Questionnaire and Compendium of Physical Activities. To measure mental health and sleep, the researchers used the GAD-7 anxiety scale.

According to the authors, stress was a major factor in causing “sleep disruption, consumption of highly palatable foods, and increased snacking, often resulting in weight gain.” Therefore, a pandemic can potentially affect non-communicable diseases like obesity.

First Global Survey Reveals the Effect of Lockdown on People with Obesity

(Photo: Photo by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels)

Read Also: Student Mental Health Priority for Welsh Government Due to Coronavirus

 

The Pandemic’s Effect on Obesity

It is the first global study of changes in lifestyle behavior during the pandemic as the result of lockdown measures. Dr. John Kirwan said that the study shows how chronic diseases such as obesity affects beyond physical health. “Dr. Redman’s study is just one of many initiatives the center launched to help understand COVID-19’s impact and to slow its spread.”

Dr. Emily Flangan from the Reproductive Endocrinology and Women’s Health Laboratory said that the study can help physicians modify how obese patients can be managed. First, the number of mental health screenings during and after the pandemic should be increased.

Second, participants in the study should be connected to scientists and doctors via remote visits and telehealth to prevent possible irreversible health effects due to the pandemic. Virtual meetings can also be an option for those who want to avoid face-to-face meetings.

Read Also: Survey Shows Alcohol Consumption During Pandemic Drastically Increases

Check out more news and information on Obesity in Science Times.

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science times.

COVID-19 anxiety linked to body image issues, finds study – Times of India

Anxiety and stress directly linked to COVID-19 could be causing a number of body image issues amongst women and men, suggest the findings of a new study.

The research, led by Professor Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, involved 506 UK adults with an average age of 34.

Amongst women, the study found that feelings of anxiety and stress caused by COVID-19 were associated with a greater desire for thinness. It also found that anxiety was significantly associated with body dissatisfaction.

Amongst the male participants, the study found that COVID-19-related anxiety and stress were associated with a greater desire for muscularity, with anxiety also associated with body fat dissatisfaction.

Negative body image is one of the main causes of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and this new study adds to recent research indicating that fears around COVID-19, and the consequences of the restrictions introduced to help tackle it, could be contributing to a number of serious mental health issues.

Lead author Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “In addition to the impact of the virus itself, our results suggest the pandemic could also be leading to a rise in body image issues. In some cases, these issues can have very serious repercussions, including triggering eating disorders.

“Certainly during the initial spring lockdown period, our screen time increased, meaning that we were more likely to be exposed to thin or athletic ideals through the media, while decreased physical activity may have heightened negative thoughts about weight or shape. At the same time, it is possible that the additional anxiety and stress caused by COVID-19 may have diminished the coping mechanisms we typically use to help manage negative thoughts.”

“Our study also found that when stressed or anxious, our pre-occupations tend to follow gender-typical lines. During the lockdown, women may have felt under greater pressure to conform to traditionally feminine roles and norms, and messaging about self-improvement may have led to women feeling dissatisfied with their bodies and having a greater desire for thinness.

“Similarly, our findings reflect the way in which stress and anxiety impact men’s relationships with their bodies, particularly in terms of masculine body ideals. Given that masculinity typically emphasises the value of toughness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of status, COVID-19-related stress and anxiety may be leading men to place greater value on the importance of being muscular.”

Covid-19: South Yorkshire wakes up to tier 3 restrictions – BBC News

Elsewhere, Stoke-on-Trent, Slough and Coventry .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}moved into the tier two – high – alert level at midnight.

Health workers instrumental to immunization, Somalia commends on World Polio Day – Somalia – ReliefWeb

The country is set to launch round two of polio campaign in south and central regions

MOGADISHU, 24 October 2020 – On World Polio Day today, Somalia is celebrating polio workers’ continued commitment to reach and immunize every child in the country to end all forms of polio, and the role they play in strengthening health systems and responding to health emergencies.

Since the inception of Somalia’s polio eradication programme in 1997, hundreds of polio health workers have worked to stop outbreaks of various types of polioviruses, also extending their support to shield communities from cholera, measles and other diseases.

Polio teams have set up supply chains to deliver vaccines to every accessible corner of the country and to dispatch samples for testing to laboratories in a timely manner. They have also established sensitive and modernized surveillance systems that can raise alerts about diseases within communities, share real-time information with stakeholders and set up social mobilization networks to disseminate health messages in every district of the country. While establishing crucial systems for health delivery and strengthening links between communities and health service providers, the teams have set up strong foundations for public health services.

Since the start of the year, polio health teams have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Somalia, providing support in tracing, tracking and following up with suspected and confirmed cases. Although health workers were forced to pause regular health services to attend to the COVID-19 pandemic, last month, Somalia took bold steps to resume regular health activities, by conducting immunization campaigns to stop the spread of a rare strain of poliovirus.

To end the currently ongoing outbreak of polio, which has already infected 23 children, the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services (FMOH) of Somalia, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirm that well-trained health teams will conduct the final round of a two-round house-to-house polio campaign in the central and south regions of the country, from 25-28 October.

“The first round of this vaccination campaign demonstrated that Somali health workers can be counted on to deliver vital immunization services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using masks, sanitizer, hand washing and physical distancing measures, vaccinators and teams of social mobilizers safely met with families, answered parents’ questions and vaccinated children. Round one was a great success, and we have high expectations for round two,” said HE Dr Fawziya Abikar Nur.

In line with this year’s theme for World Polio Day, ‘A win against polio is a win for global health,’ Dr Mamunur Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia joined the Minister of Health in commending polio workers.

“Thanks to the strides we have made so far, we would like to believe we are in the final stretch in the polio eradication journey now,” said Dr Malik.

“Every one of us needs to be cautious though, as even with wild poliovirus no longer in Africa, other strains of poliovirus still threaten Somali children. If Somali caregivers join the fight and ensure their children receive polio vaccines every time they are offered, we will be able to kick polio out of Somalia. This will help us to build on the legacy we have built so far, to stamp out other communicable diseases from the country,” he said.

Some of the main challenges Somalia faces include reaching vulnerable children who are difficult to access due to security and other logistical challenges, and assuring caregivers that polio vaccines are safe for newborns.

“Aiming to reach every single child and providing vaccines to the most vulnerable children is part of our long-standing, collective commitment to child survival in Somalia. We are committed to working with the government and partners to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases, strengthen routine immunization, and build stronger primary healthcare systems, so that the country can offer all of its children a better chance to survive and thrive,” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Somalia Representative a.i.

The upcoming campaign in numbers:

  • 1.65 million children to be reached with oral polio vaccine

  • 8 951 vaccinators in urban and rural areas

  • 1 125 team supervisors and 364 monitors

  • 3 390 social mobilizers spreading information

  • 66 sound trucks rolling through communities to alert families

  • 62 districts in south and central regions of Somalia will be covered

All parents and caregivers are reminded to accept vaccines every time they are offered, to give children the best protection against polio.

For additional information, please contact

Fouzia Bhatti
WHO Somalia Communications Officer
Email: banof@who.int; Tel: +252 619 235 880

Eva Hinds
UNICEF Somalia Communication Manager
Email: ehinds@unicef.org; Tel: +252 613 642635

Notes to editors

  • The strain of polio in circulation in Somalia is different from the wild poliovirus, recently declared eradicated from Africa, but it can also put communities where not enough children have been vaccinated at risk and leave children paralyzed for life.

  • There are multiple strains of polio, and there is a critical distinction between wild or naturally occurring poliovirus, which is today only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the strain circulating in Somalia today.

  • In late August 2020, the world celebrated a historic moment: the end of wild poliovirus in Africa. This achievement still stands. There is no wild poliovirus on the African continent. But other strains of polio remain a threat as long as there are communities with low immunity levels.

  • The only way to eradicate all strains of polio is to vaccinate all children everywhere against polio. In places where polio transmission has long been stopped and immunity levels are high, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is used. In places at high risk of poliovirus circulation, and where immunity levels are not as high as they need to be, the best tool for the job is the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is being used in this vaccination campaign.

This polio campaign is supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), an organization dedicated to the eradication of polio. Launched in 1988, the GPEI is spearheaded by national governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, and supported by key partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.