Ebola Isn’t Alone – A New Contender Against Our Health

If you bring up the word “disease” or “illness” these days, what is the first word that pops up? Ebola, right? The malady has spread the word about its dangerous invasion all over the world, and unfortunately, people are oblivious to the other dangers lurking around. Now, there is a rare, deadly virus spreading around, competing with the well-known epidemic – Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), and it has been spotted in forty-three states so far. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say that the EV viruses, in general, are “quite common in September” (1), causing the “summer colds”. No big deal, right? This particular strain, unlike the others, has unforgivingly killed five children in the last two months.

What is the Enterovirus D68? It is a detrimental, uncommon virus that has made its appearance all over the United States, causing mild to severe respiratory illness cases, unlike Ebola, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function. EV-D68 can cause sneezing, coughing, muscle aches, and a runny nose. Doesn’t seem too bad does it? Well other severe cases can make a person wheeze or can cause difficulty in breathing, and dismally, can cause death. Victims all over the US, not to mention Canada, have been hospitalized because of this sickness.

How come we haven’t heard of this virus earlier? Actually, the United States had their first encounter with it in California, fifty-two years ago, but it was quickly solved… or so they thought. There were small groups of people affected with this virus around five years ago, but nothing like today. Now, states like New York and New Jersey are finding several cases everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before this condition goes global. About six hundred people are affected with disease in the United States, many fighting to live through the pain in their lungs.

Who is affected: Mainly children and teenagers. Scientists say that because of their weaker immune system, they are more susceptible to the virus. Adults have also come in contact with EV-D68, but they showed little to no symptoms. Children all over the country are filling up the hospitals rapidly, only to find that the doctors there cannot cure it. Since this strain of the Enterovirus is a rare one, scientists have yet to find a cure, before most children are admitted into the hospitals. No pressure. Until the cure is found, Dr. Howard Zucker, State Health Commissioner of New York, has suggested everyone to practice “proper hygiene” (1). The way this virus spreads is through respiratory fluids: saliva and nasal mucus. Doctors like Dr. Zucker are treating this virus like any flu, with health precautions and sanitary practices.

Enterovirus D68 has entered as another contender against our health. Although it isn’t as deadly as Ebola, it can soon become one of the worst outbreaks ever known. Children are encouraged to take health precautions as if this was any other virus. Adults are encouraged to do the same, perhaps as time progresses, doctors and scientists hope that this virus will once again become history.

Bibliography

Wilson, Jacque. “Enterovirus D68 Sickens More than a Dozen in New York.” CNN. Cable News Network, 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/12/health/enterovirus-new-york/>.

“Enterovirus D68.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html>.

America isn’t Dunn with Racism

The “Dunn” which the title refers to is Michael Dunn, a Florida man found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting of Jordan Davis in Nov. 2012. The racially-charged circumstances of the case are unfortunately not something unknown to us. Dunn, a white man, felt threatened by Davis, a black teenager, as well as 3 of his friends; in turn, on a hunch of impending danger, he resorted to lethal action against the teens to protect himself.

Dunn, on a trip to St. Augustine, had pulled into a Jacksonville gas station for a quick rest stop, where an altercation broke out between Dunn and the teens due to complaints from Dunn about the “heavy bass” (1). The teens turned down the volume, but then according to Dunn, one became “agitated” (1) and turned the volume back up. Dunn asserted that he heard a death threat, and afterwards claimed to have seen the barrel of a shotgun or fire arm of sorts out of the car. In his “fight or flight” response, he made the grave mistake of choosing fight – the police would later report that no weapon was in the teens’ SUV, and nowhere to be found in the nearby area. Dunn reached for his 9 mm handgun and emptied 4 bullets into the vehicle, and when the SUV started to pull away, shot another 4 bullets. In total, Dunn fired 10 bullets, 3 of which hit Davis, 1 of which hit his aorta. Instead of immediately calling the police, Dunn drove down to St. Augustine, to the “rather expensive” (1) bed and breakfast he and his girlfriend had planned – and ordered pizza.

This verdict indicates that, as Judge Russell Healey stated at the sentencing: “Our justice system works. This case demonstrates that our justice system does work.” (2) However, it is not enough to have a “working” justice system that will find someone guilty for a violation of the law – we should reevaluate the gun culture of today and the “Stand Your Ground” laws that are being pushed at state levels by groups such as the NRA (National Rifle Association); there is a Stand Your Ground law on the books in Florida already. “Stand Your Ground” laws dictate that when a person feels that another person poses a genuine danger to their life, they are not obligated to retreat, and can defend themselves with lethal force. On paper, such a law would seem reasonable, but the reality of it is far from reasonable. According to pbs.org, “White-on-black homicides [in Stand Your Ground incidents] are 354 percent more likely to be ruled justified than white-on-white.” (3) Michael Dunn’s guilty verdict is thus an anomaly in the grand scheme of the legislation.

The race issue that plagues this law has caused great controversy, whether it be in the Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin, or the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, which led to protests for days on end. The above incidents were not isolated – they represent how race overshadows many of our judgments, especially in assessing how much of a threat someone poses. Michael Dunn’s conviction is a only small justice dealt in the big picture for people of color in this nation.

1 http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/05/justice/florida-loud-music-murder-trial/index.html

2 http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michael-dunn-sentenced-life-without-parole-loud-music-killing-n228191

3 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/is-there-racial-bias-in-stand-your-ground-laws/

Zhen Ban

Apparently China has become a hot target for the big guns recently. Both Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Tim Cook of Apple want to make it happen in the “Middle Country”.

If you didn’t know this already, Facebook is banned in China due to some government censors, but things might change if Mark keeps trying to entice the Chinese with some nice Mandarin-speaking like this.

Mark has been studying Chinese for some time now, and his effort is being put to good use. (His most urgent motive of studying Chinese was to impress Priscilla Chan’s family)

For Tim Cook, his motives aren’t nearly as difficult, as the current CEO of Apple wants to expand retail in China, planning to open 25 new stores in the country over the next two years.

Whatever the plans, for both of these gentlemen, it’s not going to be easy to woe the hearts of the Chinese, and conquering the land is going to be quite an accomplishment!

Divorce and its’ Effects on Children

Divorce. By definition it means the ending of a marriage by a legal process. However, to thousands of children around the world, that word signifies horror, anger, frustration and death, the death of a once joy-filled household. Speaking of personal experience the divorce of one’s parents is something that lingers in the back of his/her mind forever. Even if someone seems over it, they never are. The divorce of one’s parents leaves a lifelong scar that cannot be ignored.

The divorce affects numerous aspects of the child’s life. The divorce puts stress on the child leading them to having an increased vulnerability to both physical and mental sicknesses. Statistics show that children of divorced parents are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than children in two parent families. The stress of the divorce will also affect the child’s academics and concentration ability. This will affect their ability to do well and concentrate in school. In some cases, it will make them give up and drop out. The high school dropout rate of children of divorced parents is roughly two times higher than that of children of which the parents did not divorce. To add on, divorce undoubtedly increases the threat that children will go through psychological and behavioral problems. Troubled children are expected to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations. Other children become upset for lengthened periods of time. They may become depressed, apprehensive, or become perhaps excessively responsible, stressed out kids who end up caring for their parents instead of being taken care of by them. Children with divorced parents are twenty-two percent more likely to need physiological assistance and help. They are also twice as likely to attempt suicide in comparison to children of normal families.

If parents take a second look at the effects of a divorce on their child, they would do whatever it takes to avoid one. Divorce can turn the happiest child into a child filled with hate and anger. This is something that all should avoid. Think about it. It is so much more than just the ending of a marriage.

“Children divorce statistics.” Children divorce statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://www.children-and-divorce.com/children-divorce-statistics.html>.

“Divorce in America [infographic].” Daily Infographic RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <http://dailyinfographic.com/divorce-in-america-infographic>.

Google Executive’s World Record Jump

Back in 2012, Felix Baumgartner set the world altitude record for the highest parachute jump. But now, that phenomenal record has been broken by Google’s vice president Alan Eustace. The 57 year old plunged from an altitude of about 135,890 feet falling faster than the speed of sound. He returned to Earth nearly 15 minutes after beginning his fall from the stratosphere.

As he landed, Eustace reached speeds of up to 822 miles per hour. In fact, some people heard a small sonic boom as he descended from his fall. What makes this feat even more remarkable is that he was carried without the aid of any elaborate technology the way Felix Baumgartner was two years ago.

Alan Eustace spent nearly three years developing modest spacesuit designs and parachute technology. He had made it clear from the start that he would take a much simpler approach to this task. Mr. Eustace also teamed up with Taber MacCullum, one of the founding members of Biosphere 2, to create a life-supporting suit. This suit allowed Mr. Eustace to breathe pure oxygen throughout the descent.

However, despite wanting to keep the technology simple there were a few complications involved with the work. Since the stratosphere becomes warmer at higher elevations, Mr. Eustace and his team had to make sure that the suit could keep him cool all the way up in space. Also, in order to prevent any kind of overheating, Mr. Eustace had to keep his movement to a minimum. After he was back on Earth, he explained everything he could see, including the darkness of space and the layers of the atmosphere.  This is an experience that Alan Eustace surely will not forget for the rest of his life.

He for She Campaign

Since the early 1900s, women have been fighting for their rights. These freedom fighters never tried to achieve more rights than men, instead they just tried to be on equal grounds with them. Throughout the 1900s the American women have attained many significant rights like suffrage, and they also have been working on the impossible, equal wages. Around the world however it is very different. There are women out there who are bound by the net of men, being forced to stay home, marry as young as 16, and serve their husband. The He for She campaign led by Emma Watson has now become a voice for those millions of women around the world.  In her speech to the UN women, she uses the word feminism and calls herself a feminist. The word feminism, in my opinion is misinterpreted. Like the speech by Watson read, the word is often defined as man hating. In my opinion feminism is when you believe that “running like a girl” is not, and shouldn’t be used as a negative phrase. It’s when you know that women and men aren’t equal when somebody uses the words “ you hit like a girl…” Since when have people started using these words as insults?  These words not only affect women whose gender it’s insulting, but also men who these words are being used at. A major cause of death in the UK and many large, developed countries is suicide. As a part of the 21st century I know that there are so many ways to get help whether you are in depression or you just need someone to talk to. There are, however some perceptions that getting help or talking about your feelings or even being sensitive is “girly.” If that is the way we handle a situation we know a man and a woman aren’t equal. This not only happens in small counties, but also nations as big as the United States. Luckily, the United States has more rights for women than in other countries where females are abused mentally, and physically without respect.

Many campaigns target only certain groups of people to be involved. The He for She is something that everyone can be involved in. Women would be fighting for their rights and men would be fighting for something they know their female counterparts deserve.

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MUST WATCH

Ebola: What it Truly Means

The news, for the past few weeks, has been fervently covering the same topic: Ebola. As a gruesome and merciless killer, Ebola has made it’s way to an international public health emergency, as declared by the World Health Organization. However, we cannot look past what the outbreak of Ebola really means- although a global health epidemic, it raises questions on the equality of health conditions in less fortunate countries like Africa.

Countless sources have instilled the fact that this epidemic is one like never before; it’s different from the past 19 outbreaks that have already affected Africa. Now, it has spread across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, taking almost five thousand lives and infected almost ten thousand- also making it the largest outbreak yet. When Ebola resurfaced in West Africa, most Americans did not bat an eye or lift a single finger in effort to combat the situation. Rather, they hid under the comfort of the words, “Ebola will never come to the US”. And this percepted idea just happened to be proved false: on September 30th, 2014, Thomas Eric Duncan, who had flown from Liberia to Texas, tested positive for Ebola. This event induced fear and worry into almost every American household, and it has not ceased to do so. To many, it had seemed like there was no hope.

If Ebola was on such a deadly degree, then what happened with Nina Pham? As the nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, she was the first person in the US to contract the disease. Many people lost hope in the chance of her recovery, believing that the malice of Ebola would only repeat itself on Pham, just like it had on the thousands in West Africa. However, just after being admitted into a special facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for two weeks, Nina Pham was claimed to be Ebola free. Pham delivered a well- written speech on the day she was released, requiring no assistance in moving around. She even met with the President on her way home to Dallas, Texas. Pham’s incident gave rise to thoughts on the following: If the Ebola outbreak had hit the US instead of West Africa, would there be any doubt that it couldn’t be eliminated right away? Of course not. In the US, the hospitals would be organized and up to date with the latest and cutting edge technology. The health workers would be fitted head to toe with the strongest and most protective safety wear. Everything would be swiftly directed with an efficient health command center.

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Nina Pham, with President Obama, shortly after being released.

Now we must ask: how come this is not happening with the current outbreak in West Africa?  Despite the effort and money the US continuously put in, public health systems are still too weak, the cost of providing an effective care is still too high, and the amount of workers able to help are still too scarce.

The Ebola outbreak is not just an epidemic that people fear, but it’s also a representation of the inequality present between the US and Africa. If Africa and other less fortunate countries had an equal public health system and health care, the thought of such a deadly Ebola outbreak like today would never even cross one’s mind.

Ebola: Now an Online Virus?

During the past few weeks, there have been numerous reports of Ebola in the United States. It’s no surprise that some of these “cases” would be completely false and the result of a nationwide hysteria.

In the eyes of a hacker, this is the perfect opportunity to make an attack. 

the-nsa-trained-edward-snowden-to-be-an-elite-hacker

Latching onto the trending topic of Ebola, malicious internet users are able to lure frightened victims into their trap. Just yesterday, the online security firm Trustwave’s SpiderLabs published details of the scam. Most notably, the group of hackers masquerade themselves to be the World Health Organization. During times of health crisis, who ya gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters, but the World Health Organization. The email reads,

“The information and prevention listed in the attached file will help you and those around you stay safe. There is an outbreak of Ebola and other diseases around that you know nothing about. Download the World Health Organization file for more information on how to stay safe from Ebola and other preventable diseases. We care.”

ebola email

You may be asking, “Well what happens if I download the file?” The answer to this question is quite unsettling. By downloading the file, the hackers are able to install the DarkComet Remote Access Trojan onto your computer, giving them access to private information. This includes access to logging key presses (every single button that you pressed on your keyboard), capturing video from webcams and stealing passwords. What’s worse is that this virus can remain undetected by antivirus software, according to SpiderLabs.

But here’s the good news: there’s no evidence of the internet virus being an epidemic. SpiderLabs claims that they have only seen one sample of the virus and have no reason to believe it will affect thousands of computers.

So now what?

The main lesson here to be learned is: watch what you’re clicking on. If a link is in the spam section of your email, it’s probably there for a reason. Avoid clicking links at all costs that lure you in with the topic of Ebola. As paranoid as it may sound, it’s a precaution that unfortunately must be taken. How are you going to distinguish between malicious hackers and the actual company giving actual tips? An indicator of which emails are infected is the time in which you receive the email. If you get an email about Ebola that just happens to be in your inbox during a time of Ebola hysteria, it’s most likely a scam. If you’ve never received emails from the company the hackers are claiming to be, it’s also most likely a scam. As stated earlier, hackers thrive on the fear of its victims. Stay safe and proceed with caution.

Source:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/23/ebola-malware-spam-email-world-health-organization

Banning Flight: The Worst Way To Fight Ebola

With the recent epidemic of Ebola storming nations and causing panic, many have been looking for different solutions to end the problem. While there is no cure in sight, there has been one popular solution that been proposed over and over again: flight bans. Various politicians in the United States of America and other nations have been requesting their governments to ban travel from Liberia as a way from preventing the disease from spreading. There have been cases of Ebola in the United States and Spain, and this has many worried. While flight bans may look extremely appealing on paper, in reality the consequences could be chaotic.

The reason banning flights from Liberia will be detrimental to society is that will cause a sense of despair for the Liberian people. As of now, the Liberian people are staying in their country and are waiting for aid;they also think they have a way out if things go south. But if you take all of this away, the problem will spread faster than ever. By eliminating flight as a means of transportation from the country, the inhabitants will look for alternative routes outside of it. This includes illegally crossing borders. Right now, if someone is to be diagnosed with Ebola, we can simply look at his or her records to see where her or she came from, and where he or she traveled, but with illegal immigrants to different countries trying to find a way to escape, there is no way to tell how many people he or she came into contact with, thus making the situation more out control than it already is.

It is crucial that all solutions are analyzed and all of the pros and cons are taken into account. Please do not take solutions for their face value and truly weigh them to see exactly how much good they can do for the problem at hand. If the White House had banned flight from Liberia this past week, surely a major crisis would have followed, possibly one worse than the current one we are facing.

An interview from Taiwan coming soon…

Over the summer, Eric Huang went overseas to conduct an interview with the President of the Taiwan Soda Aromatic Co, Ltd, David Lin. He explored Mr. Lin’s perception of the economy overseas in Taiwan and acquired some insight from Mr. Lin into the attainment of success in today’s global economy. The furnished video has been published privately on Eric’s Youtube channel, but Enterprise publication will be very soon.

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今年暑假,Eric Huang 到海外和臺灣曾田香料有限公司的董事長林志賢先生做一個短採訪。Eric Huang 採訪了林先生對臺灣的經濟的看法和林先生所對如何在現在的國際貿易成功。在現在的國際經濟裏,只有知己知彼才能百戰百勝。採訪影片已經在Eric的YouTube頻道私下發表,但我們期待Enterprise 的出版.

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Eric Huang and Mr. David Lin of Taiwan Soda Aromatics Co, Ltd in one of its major branches in Taipei, Taiwan on August 4, 2014.