Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “denmark”

Zika Virus. What is it and why should we be worried.


Why should we worry about Zika virus?

The mosquito borne virus Zika Vius has been linked to over 4000 babies born with serious tragic brain deformities , such as microcephaly, a tiny head and brain. Until recently it was thought this was limited only to Brazil, but evidence supports cases developing elsewhere.

Although there is no definitive proof to link the cases of microcephaly to Zika the evidence seems overwhelming. Normally Brazil reports around 200 annual cases of micrcephaly but since October 2015 over 4000 cases have been reported mostly concentrated in a specific poor region in the north east of Brazil Pernambuco. The virus has also been recovered both in stillborn babies and from the uterus. The evidence thus seems incontrovertible.

Originally it was believed that a specific type of mosquito, Aedes Aegypti, confined to the tropics was the sole type of mosquito that could spread the virus. This mosquito usually bites during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours and is the mosquito that also transmits Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever.  Evidence is now however emerging that the Zika virus may have crossed over to the common mosquito, the Culex mosquito, which is maybe 20 times more common and found widely in The Americas, Asia and Africa. The virus cannot be spread person to person.

The biggest concern is that there is neither a cure nor a vaccine. Zika is thus a huge concern for especially pregnant women who may travel to areas of the world where the disease is active.

In USA the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have issued a level 2 travel alert meaning that pregnant women may want to delay travel to more than 20 countries in The Americas and beyond where Zika cases have been registered, and some airlines have offered to refund or change tickets for pregnant women in this situation. The WHO have stated that surveillance of Zika as well as the neurological complications should be strengthened.

Pragmatically this means that pregnant women should consider staying away from the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

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Zika Virus Countries of Origin

But what do the symptoms of Zika look like?

Generally the symptoms are vague and generic, typically mild cases of flulike symptoms and a rash. So these can include joint pains, fever, rash, conjunctivitis or there may be no specific symptoms at all. There is also a link to a more potentially severe and sometimes fatal catastrophic neurological illness, Guillain-Barre syndrome that is regarded as an autoimune disorder. This was reported in outbreaks in 2013 and 2015 in French Polynesia and Brazil. Typically most people will not know they have been infected and recover after 2-7 days without any specific treatment. The actual incubation period is unknown but is likely to be only a few days between bite and onset of symptoms.

Diagnosis is through blood sampling for virus isolation and not by serology as Zika can cross-react with other viruses such as Dengue, west Nile and Yellow Fever.

What do we know about the development history of Zika?

The Zika virus is not new even for USA and has been known about since the 1950’s and was named after the Zika forest near Lake Victoria in Uganda where it was first isolated from a captive monkey. The first human case was in 1952 in Uganda.

It has since spread across equatorial Africa and to Asia, Polynesia and South America. The first large outbreak took place in 2007 in the Pacific island nation of Micronesia and a USA subject travelling was stricken down. Essentially travelling Americans have brought the virus back to USA. It is believed that data from 50 State health departments supports that 20-30 cases of Zika have been diagnosed in USA.  Reports January 28th include reported cases in Los Angeles who had travelled to El Salvador in 2015, who has since fully recovered,  and a Minnesota traveller have had confirmed cases.

On January 27th 2016 the first person in Denmark tested positive for Zika. Other countries that have already registered cases include UK, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

How to prevent Zika infections?

The biggest concern is that there is neither a cure nor a vaccine and the only known way to prevent infection is to prevent getting bitten by mosquitos using the normal routes including:

  • Using DEET insect repellant
  • Protective clothing
  • Avoiding areas of specific large amounts of mosquitos
  • Mosquito nets in an endemic area
  • Empty, clean or cover water containers ( such as flower pots, buckets etc) where mosquitoes can breed
  • Also an awareness that this mosquito usually bites during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours.

 

There have also been warnings in some Latin American and Caribbean nations for women to delay pregnancy until more is known. These countries include Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica. However it has also been pointed out that widespread contraception is also not always available and abortions in some countries is illegal, making things complex to fully interpret.

The CDC advice for pregnant Americans to avoid travelling to the 20 or so countries where Zika is likely seems reasonable at the current time.

 

Copenhagen Animal Competition. Any idea what animal made these paw prints in the snow?


After a freezing night in Copenhagen where the outside temperature was minus 8 degrees, I awoke in my hotel to see out of the window some animal paw prints on the roof of the kitchen below, so roughly first storey level of a UK house. Any ideas what animal it was walking around in the night but not for long it seems? My initial thought was Urban Fox but I have no idea if these are prevalent in Copenhagen. Other options include cat or presumably stray dog.

Copenhagen Paw prints

Copenhagen Paw prints

Copenhagen Paw prints

Copenhagen Paw prints

Brentford Bees Forum With Manager and Sporting Directors


An excellent forum was held where all questions were answered as best as reasonably they could. The only difficult moment was a late question again about Mark Warburton and his departure. The fans were given good updates on all aspects of the club. These were maybe the main points:

  1. Promotion to Premier League within 3 years. This is Plan A. There is no Plan B
  2. The new ground should be ready, just, for start of 2018-19 season
  3. Signing a couple of players on loan has not been ruled out to cover injuries
  4. We need to remember than until we move ground we are limited by the small turnover in comparison to other Championship clubs. Last season Brentford turned over 8 m £ in comparison to a Championship average of 17m £
  5. Although signing many EU players, players in the Football League are on our radar even down to Conference level
  6. Football league rules do not allow differential pricing of games for away fans. The example cited of Leeds charging £24 for a junior away ticket for example could not replicated at Griffin Park
  7. The squad is stronger than last season.

In attendance answering questions were

  1. Mark Devlin
  2. Cliff Crown
  3. Marinus Dijkhuizen
  4. Rasmus Ankersen
  5. Phil Giles
  6. Peter Gilham

As a small bit of background Rasmus ankersen and Phil Giles are the co-directors of football at Brentford, Cliff Crown the chairman, Mark Devlin CEO and Marinus Dijkhuizen the manager.

  • Phil Giles  worked at Smartodds – a company owned by Matthew Benham which provides statistical sports modelling services – for eight years and had been their Head of Quantitative Sports Research since 2010
  • Rasmus Ankersen was Chairman of FC Midtjylland the Danish Superliga team owned by Matthew Benham and author of a book ” The Goldmine Effect”.
Marinus Dijkhuizen and Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen and Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Mark Devlin CEO Brentford FC   at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Mark Devlin CEO Brentford FC at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles  at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Rasmus Ankersen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Copenhagen


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The Cakes of Scandinavia


phvoto 1 phvvoto 2

Coconut Tart

Coconut Tart

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Weather Report from Scandinavia


It seems I am replicating the Grand Tour but instead of Italy am focusing on Scandinavia. All that I am trying to do is get back from Copenhagen to London. However last night having got onto a plane and sat there for 2 hours it became too windy for the ground staff to work. This also meant that they could not connect the air bridge so we were all stuck on the plane.  Today the weather is a little less stormy but snow has arrived. Copenhagen airport is chaos, with people and queues everywhere. The pushing and shoving at the gates reminds me of Rugby League. Mr Angry is out in force and has been cloned too. Mr Important is standing there shouting into his phone that ” he has to get to Bejing”. Which is where most folks might wish to place him. Restaurants are packed selling high priced pizza and hot dogs. Most folks are surgically attached to wine or/and beer glasses.

Somehow I escaped on a plane to Stockholm that then promised me a trip to London however the london flight was cancelled along with most other flights. So I am here in Stockholm Arlanda Airport, most likely all night. The queues to book at the SAS ticket centres stretch around 200 yards or longer and just keep on getting longer. The staff are doing their best and remain cheerful and pleasant and SAS cannot be criticised at all.

For those of you who would like to experience this joy a few photos. As for the weather, well cold, windy, actually very cold and very windy and lots of snow here. Posted 8 pm. A glass of wine for me

The Hilton hotel is at Copenhagen airport and the sky shows that snow was coming. The queues you will have to just work out as they were endless. The pushing at the Gate. Well thats easy. The folks sitting on the baggage carousel was last night at Copenhagen. They may well still be there!photo

GATE Q photoh photok photoq photoq2 photosnow

Harbour Restaurant at Copenhagen Island Hotel


Rarely do I get excited about the prospect of eating in a hotel restaurant when travelling and usually my reservations are reasonable. Food rarely comes above the above acceptable because I am not paying mark. This hotel is an exception. Firstly it is a great hotel, not far from the airport and right next to the local train station so imagine it would be a good base for visiting Copenhagen.

The menu is small, maybe 4 options for each course, 3 for dessert. Very fish based and no chicken in sight on the menu. The food is excellent, the service is good and the ambience and view of the harbour is exceptional. Well recommended.

The food looks good as well. Starter was two types of cod on a beetroot base, two slags in fact. Main was baked salmon on red onions with wild rice and asparagus. Dessert was poached pear with ice cream and berries with a crumble base. Best dinner for a long time.

Cost 400 Danish Kroner, somewhere in the 40£ region including a beer.

Two Slags

Two Slags

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Harbour Restaurant. Copenhagen. Chris Bushe

Poached Pear

Poached Pear

Two Slags

Two Slags

Two Slags in a Restaurant


Just made me laugh anyway. Two types of cod and very nice they were too.

2 slags two slags

Casting Spells in Finland


After a mere 24 hours in Finland I can only say that this is quite a magical place. The people are kind, intelligent and interesting, also interested in other people. The food is great. The hotels are interesting. The temperature is cold, minus 8 this morning.  What however struck me the most is that for children to learn spelling is not so easy. I had to sit through 2 hours of lectures in Finnish, which I did with good grace ( and my blackberry). One noticed that they used a lot of long words, and I counted  21 letters in one word. At dinner I was informed that the words could get and did get longer. Here is an example:

levyseppahitsaasaopiskelna = 26 letters

 

fin3 finland fin2 Helsinki Hilton

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