Thursday , April 22 2021

The Grim Reaper waits around every corner – The Post

It's a long walk-through, but the clock is ticking. But before you mix this deadly coil off and call it a night, don't let bedbugs bite!

In a summer when the wheat fields are plentiful again after the drought in 2018, it is curious to note that Denmark has handed over the harvest to the Grim Reaper.

All kinds of creepy crawlies (poisonous larvae and borrelia-carrying ticks), nasty infections (from salmonella to MRSA) and unwelcome guests (bed bugs and ringworm) are making their home, while the number of chronic diseases is on the rise.

And they're all so potentially life-threatening, if you listen to the worst-case scenarios the media presents, it's hard to know what to deal with first.

Creep-crawly alarm
The Danish authorities have been preparing for an invasion of the larva in its own processional moth, which carries toxic hair that can cause skin irritation and asthma in humans – and possibly death. The mill is seen on the south side of Lolland-Falster.

An invasion of the caterpillar, which has been seen in many areas of Germany, is considered inevitable in the next decade, and plans are underway to suck the bugs and the discarded cocoon, which remains toxic long after the mill arrives.

Meanwhile, a third of the country's ticks carry the borrelia bacterial infection, according to a Danish study published by ScienceDirect.

Transported by migratory birds in spring and autumn, humans come into contact with ticks in gardens and forests.

Every year, thousands of Danes become infected, according to the National Hospital, and around 150 a year end Lyme's Disease, which can potentially be fatal.

Infection central
It's been a busy summer for the State Serum Institute (SSI).

In July, it reported how 23 people – 13 women and 10 men – were struck down by Salmonella Coeln, a rare strain of the infection, in June and July. The source has not yet been found.

SSI also reported that 3,669 people were infected with the MRSA bacteria, which is still most commonly associated with pigs, last year – a slight increase in the 3,579 cases recorded in 2017.

And an SSI study of 32 guinea pigs in 17 pet stores revealed that 12 carried fungal infection ringworm. Skin divisions in Gentofte and Roskilde have reported several infections – mostly among children.

Several Danes return home from their holiday with bedbugs. One pest control officer has seen 1,000 cases in 2019 alone, an increase of 30 percent of cases in the past year.

And finally, working night shifts the hormone melatonin and increases the risk of cancer, according to an expert group working on behalf of the World Health Organization, which includes Johnni Hansen of the Danish Cancer Society.

Chronic disease explosion
A study at Aalborg University reveals that twice as many Danes have chronic illnesses as the National Board of Health's earlier authority believed – as many as two out of three over 16 years.

Men with chronic illnesses have an average of 2.0 and women 2.4. Until the age of 44, the average is 1.1, which then climbs to 5.3 for people over 75. Copenhagen had the lowest proportion of chronic diseases in the country, but the highest proportion of people with HIV, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

The most common are high blood pressure (23.3 percent), high cholesterol (14.3), depression (10), bronchitis (9.2), asthma (7.9), type 2 diabetes (5.3), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.7), knee arthritis (3.9), and gastric ulcer and osteoporosis (both 3.5).

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