first_imgAccording to the Department of Health, swine flu is an airborne disease that spreads in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing and sneezing. It cannot be caught by eating pork. Anyone with moderate or severe symptoms should also seek medical attention immediately. People who are suffering from the symptoms should see their doctor. 19 August 2009 South Africa has set up a hotline, as well as a dedicated e-mail address, for public queries about H1N1 influenza, or swine flu.The hotline number is 0861 364 232 (or 0861 DOH CDC)The e-mail address is: H1N1@health.gov.za The hotline will be operated by trained personnel on communicable diseases, supported by experts from the Department of Health. As of 19 August 2009, South Africa had over 3 400 confirmed cases of swine flu, while the number of deaths in the country related to the pandemic stood at six. The provinces with the most infections were Gauteng, with over 1 800 cases, followed by the Western Cape with over 800 cases and KwaZulu-Natal with over 350 cases. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced last week that South Africa would be stepping up its response to the swine flu pandemic with the launch of major awareness campaigns countrywide.What is swine flu? The World Health Organisation (WHO) says illnesses such as existing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer are considered risk factors for swine flu. Source: BuaNews “Asthma and other forms of respiratory disease have been consistently reported as underlying conditions associated with an augmented risk of severe pandemic disease in several countries,” the WHO said in a recent statement. Symptoms can be divided into “mild”, “moderate” and “severe”. Mild symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, fever, muscular aches and pains, a general feeling of unwellness and coughing. “The overwhelming majority of people have mild symptoms and will not need any specialised medical care, and we believe nothing should happen to them,” Health Minister Motsoaledi said last week. “Such symptoms should be treated as with other influenza-like symptoms.” It is treatable with antiviral medication, which is available in South Africa but may only be used under a medical doctor’s direction. However, people with chronic heart or lung disease, pregnant women, or people living with HIV/Aids, should seek medical care immediately if they develop even mild symptoms. Transmission can be avoided by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or hanky; by washing one’s hands regularly; and by avoiding crowded areas, especially if people have symptoms of the flu. Moderate symptoms include mild symptoms as well as shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent vomiting and diarrhoea and signs of dehydration. Swine flu: ‘don’t over-react’ Risk factors According to the WHO, recent reports suggest obesity may be another risk factor for severe H1N1 infection. Pregnant women also seem to be at higher risk of contracting the disease. Severe symptoms include mild and moderate symptoms as well as signs of respiratory distress, blue lips and other parts of the body, and severe drowsiness and loss of consciousness.last_img read more


first_imgWatch President Jacob Zuma’s fourth State of the Nation Address, given on Thursday, 9 February 2017. Final preparations being made at the Parliament precinct in Cape Town for the 2017 State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma on 9 February 2017. Taking inspiration from struggle stalwart OR Tambo, Zuma in his speech called on South Africans to unite and move the country forward. (Photo: GCIS)Brand South Africa reporterPresident Jacob Zuma gave his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday, 9 February at 7pm. The theme for Zuma’s fourth SONA was “The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: unity in action together moving South Africa forward”.South African President looks at members of the South African Parliament during his 2017 State of the Nation address, given on 9 February 2017. (Image: GCIS)The address was Zuma’s fourth SONA to the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament – National Assembly and National Council of Provinces – since he was re-elected in May 2014.WATCH a video of the President’s 2017 State of the Nation address below. Source: GCISlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jeff Reese, OCJ marketing specialistThis is a busy time of year for everyone involved in agriculture. If you are not in a field working you are most likely in some form of support role. I have never been directly responsible for the helping with the grain farming but since the loss of my 98-year-old Grandpa two months ago I have felt a pull to the farm.My uncle has been the “farmer” in our family for as long as I can remember but my grandpa was always there with him. His brother has been a major piece of the puzzle but my grandpa was always there. With the loss of Grandpa things are just a little different.My wife and I have joked that maybe between the two of us we can help to fill the void Grandpa left helping my uncle on the farm. She can be the brains and I can try not to break things. The truth is that because my Grandpa was always there we didn’t grow up in the tractor or in the field. Things are just going to be different now that Grandpa isn’t around.It was with this in mind that I called my uncle up on a beautiful Monday evening and asked what I could do to help. What I really wanted to do was sit out in the sun and wait for the groundhog that had been digging up our tree fields. Visions of me triumphantly slaying this irksome beast and then hunting for mushrooms had me wavering on my promise to help. Ultimately my desire to help my uncle won the day, and that groundhog will have to wait until the crops are in the ground. Priorities are just different now that Grandpa isn’t around.My anxiety to help in the fields is real. My fear is that I will break or mess something up and cost more time than I am saving. But things have a funny way of working out. What my uncle really needed help with was tilling the garden. This is a job I can confidently accomplish! The scope of the garden was not something I had taken into consideration, though. See, my Grandpa loved sweet corn, he loved squash, he loved tomatoes, he loved onions and he loved potatoes too. My Grandpa had a prolific garden and even at 98 he was planning on growing enough for him, my uncle and the surrounding community to share. It was not unusual to see asparagus exchanges in the church parking lot on Sunday mornings or coolers full or sweet corn dropped on a neighbor’s porch. I have fond memories of hot summer mornings husking corn in the shade so that we could freeze enough to last through the winter. It may be different without my Grandpa but maybe I can help keep his memory alive in my own small way this year.As I fired up the tiller I had visions of perfectly straight lines with no footprints in the freshly tilled garden soil. I fought to keep the tiller in line and make everything perfect. I wanted to make Grandpa proud. Then something dawned on me, Grandpa wasn’t about doing everything perfectly. He was about doing it right. Grandpa worked this exact ground with a horse drawn plow as a child. He has kept it in his family for his 98 years. Clearly he was doing something right. Being a part of the farm can take on many different shapes. Each job requires a different set of skills, but they all take a level of determination to do it right, to the best of your ability. I realized that maybe I can’t do everything the way he did and it will take time to learn the best way to do things. I just hope, in one small way, that maybe things didn’t have to be so different even though Grandpa isn’t around this year.last_img read more


first_imgDiscussions among GBA readers about Icynene spray-foam insulation products have tended to be vigorous.Some of the conversations hinge on concerns about possible health problems arising from the use of polyurethane spray foams, including those in the Icynene lineup, even though these products can offer a superior combination of thermal resistance, airtightness, and vapor permeability. There also has been debate (and puzzlement) over Icynene Inc.’s recommendations for thin applications of its spray foam that, if followed, make the product more cost-effective to use but, as GBA’s Martin Holladay pointed out in March of last year, can result in applications that are less than minimum code requirements.Point-scoring possibilitiesIn any case, polyurethane spray foam is still popular, and it likely would take proof, or at least strong evidence, that whatever potential hazards it might present clearly outweigh its performance benefits. The GBA encyclopedia discusses the advantages and disadvantages of spray polyurethane foam, as well as some of the controversies surrounding its use. And in recent days, Icynene MD-C-200, a medium-density closed-cell polyurethane spray foam, was added to the National Green Building Standard’s “Green Approved” list of insulation products, the fourth Icynene spray foam to become eligible for points under the NGBS green-rating certification system for homebuilders.MD-C-200, whose application is eligible for as many as 47 points, joins Icynene LD-R-50 (eligible for up to 53 points), a light-density open-cell foam whose petroleum-based chemicals are partially replaced by castor oil; Icynene LD-C-50 (up to 36 points), another light-density open-cell foam; and Icynene MD-R-200 (up to 36 points), another medium-density foam.Other insulation products in the NGBS “Green Approved” bracket include four Demilec polyurethane spray foams (eligible for 30 to 41 points, depending on the product); a selection of Dow Chemical’s Great Stuff foam sealants (up to 32 points), Styrofoam structural insulated sheathing (up to 32 points), and Styrofoam extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate insulation board (up to 35 points); and Owens Corning fiberglass batts, rolls, and loose fill (up to 10 points).Ironically, cellulose insulation does not appear on the NGBS list of approved insulation products.last_img read more


first_imgThe Odisha government is taking measures to face the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is likely to hit the State’s coast in the Puri district on Friday evening.Twelve senior officials were on Wednesday assigned for supervision of restoration works in the coastal districts of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Cuttack. All concerned departments were also pressed into service to focus on saving lives and property in case of any eventuality. The State government’s Health Department has set up control rooms at all levels of administration.‘Foremost priority’“Evacuation and rescue of people likely to be affected to safe places, restoration of road communication immediately after cyclone, and proper distribution of relief materials with zero casualties are is the foremost priority of Odisha Police,” said State Director General of Police R. P. Sharma.Also Read As cyclone Fani approaches, RTGS warns against selfies near the sea  While the District Collectors were busy preparing the administration to evacuate people from villages close to the sea or villages alongside the rivers from Thursday, senior police officers have been sent to the coastal districts to coordinate with the district administration and other connected line agencies and field functionaries for rescue and relief operations.MCC suspendedThe office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha has also taken several measures to ensure the safety of the electronic voting machines (EVM) in the constituencies along the coastal region of the State, where simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held recently. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has suspended the model code of conduct (MCC) from 11 coastal districts of the State to facilitate relief and rescue operations. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on Tuesday urged the ECI to lift the MCC for this.Also Read  Mr. Patnaik had also urged the ECI to postpone polling in the Patkura Assembly constituency under Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat. The ECI had earlier fixed May 19 as the date for the polling in Patkura. Polling in the constituency, which was scheduled to be held on April 29, was adjourned due to the death of Biju Janata Dal nominee Bed Prakash Agarwalla on April 20. The Commission had not passed any order in this regard till Wednesday afternoon.Cancellation, reschedulingAs many as 74 trains have been cancelled by the East Coast Railway between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram from Thursday in view of the cyclone. Examinations scheduled in all colleges under the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT), scheduled to be held on May, 2, 3 and 4, have been rescheduled to May 25, 27 and 28 respectively.According to the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Cyclone Fani lies over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal, about 680 km south-south-west of Puri on Wednesday. It is likely to have landfall in Puri district coast on Friday with a maximum sustained wind of speed 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.The districts of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur may experience extremely heavy rainfall during the landfall. Cyclone Fani: INCOIS warns of damage along east coastlast_img read more