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What do you need to know about Ebola

Posted on 29. Oct, 2014 by in Countries, Medicine

What is the most popular topic in the international news these days? Most of you will probably agree with me that everyone talks about Ebola and how dangerously fast it is spreading around the world…

Image by Antoon's Foobar on Flickr.com

Image by Antoon’s Foobar on Flickr.com

Image by CDC Global Health on Flickr.com

Image by CDC Global Health on Flickr.com

The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) (wirusowa choroba Ebola) or the Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) – Gorączka krwotoczna Ebola- is becoming an international concern. This fatal and serious disease ( śmiertelna i poważna choroba) has reached Guinea, Liberia as well as eastern Sierra Leone. Recently, it has also starting spreading, and there are seven cases  of the disease in Europe, in the UK, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands; four in the Middle East; and three in the US (Houston, Atlanta and New York). It is said to be one of most infectious diseases in the world today, with a fatality rate of up to 90%. The World Health Organization (WHO) have called the outbreak the worst one in history, with over 1,500 laboratory confirmed cases of Ebola virus this year alone, and 887 deaths resulting from the epidemic.

Ebola is a fast-acting virus (wirus szybko działający), which first reared its head in 1976. The infection is transmitted through direct contact with blood (bezpośredni kontakt z krwią), bodily fluids (płyny ustrojowe/płyny ciała), and tissues of infected animals or people (tkanki zakażonych zwierząt lub ludzi). Ebola is known to cause a violent hemorrhagic fever (gorączka krwotoczna) that leads to external and internal bleeding (krwawienie zewnętrzne i wewnętrzne). Between humans, Ebola is known to spread in the following ways:

· Direct contact through mucus membranes and broken skin with the secretions, blood, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people (Bezpośredni kontakt przez błony śluzowe i uszkodzoną skórę z wydzielin, krwi, organów lub innych płynami ustrojowymi osoby zakażonej)
· Indirect contact with any environment which these fluids have contaminated (Pośredni kontakt z każdym środowiskiem, które te płyny zanieczyściły)
· Exposure to objects such as needles which infected secretions have come in contact with (Narażenie na przedmioty takie jak igły, które miały kontakt z  zainfekowanymi wydzielinami)
· Direct contact with an infected corpse (Bezpośredni kontakt z zainfekowanymi zwłokami)
· Semen of men, who have recovered from Ebola are known to be virus transmitters for up to 7 weeks after recovery (Nasienie mężczyzn, którzy wyzdrowieli z Ebola, mogą przenosić wirusy maksymalnie 7 tygodni po odzysku)
· Health care workers who may have been exposed to the virus while treating patients (Pracownicy służby zdrowia, którzy mogą być narażeni na wirusa podczas leczenia pacjentów).

The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which has been affecting Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Liberia, is said to be the largest one till date. The symptoms of the virus is said to be exhibited anywhere from 2 to 21 days from the time of infection.

Symptoms include headache, fever, diarrhea, weakness, muscle and joint ache, loss of appetite, stomach pain, and vomiting (Objawy to bóle głowy, gorączka, biegunka, osłabienie, bóle mięśni i stawów, utrata apetytu, ból brzucha i wymioty).

Some less common symptoms include trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, chest pain, sore throat and hiccups (trudności w połykaniu, duszność, ból w klatce piersiowej, ból gardła i czkawka). Some early symptoms of Ebola also include dengue fever, malaria and other tropical fever, before it progresses to the bleeding phase.

It is still unclear as to how people are actually infected with Ebola. Due to this, no vaccine (szczepionka) has been formulated. Precautionary measures to safeguard oneself from Ebola, if one is traveling to areas where the outbreak is present, are as follows:

· Be sure to practice careful hygiene. If someone is sick with Ebola, avoid contact with any bodily fluids or blood, which may cause infection.
· Avoid touching items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
· Avoid contact with raw or undercooked meat (bushmeat) and wild animals.
· Avoid burial rituals or funerals which require an infected person’s body to be handled.
· Avoid visiting hospitals in the area where Ebola patients are receiving treatment.
· Contact your consulate to provide specific advice on facilities that are suitable for your needs.
· If you develop a fever higher than 101.5°F or 38.6°C or other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, severe headache, stomach pain, muscle pain, unexplained bruising or bleeding, seek medical help immediately.
· Avoid travelling by public transport in areas that have been infected.
· Limit your contact with other people if you travel to a hospital or a doctor.

And….don’t panic!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Great book worth reading…

Posted on 15. Oct, 2014 by in History, traditions, travel

There are so many amazing Polish books…I don’t even know which one to really recommend and choose. However, few years ago, I have read a book about Polish migration to USA and I have to say that it is really, really worth reading.

The story’s factual content reads like a documentary of ocean travel at the end of the 19th Century. The reader will become familiar with the details of traveling by sail in 1869 – the conditions of travel as well as the physical and emotional problems the passengers. The story is told mostly through the eyes of a newlywed couple, Paul Adamik and Jadwiga Wdowiak Adamik. At its beginning, she finds him, an obedient soldier in the Prussian army, intending to re-enlist, carry on his family’s farming tradition, or accept an offer to become the caretaker of his German lieutenant’s lands in occupied Poland. But she is a strong-willed fisherman’s daughter from the Baltic coast, and she has different plans for him.

Father and son augmented the stories, remembered by the father, with scrupulous research. They portray the tensions among Poles caused by the political situation of those times when Poland was partitioned among three neighboring powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. The difficulty of life in occupied Poland was the main reason why so many people left their homeland in that time, responding to the stories of a free America. This is shown in the book very well. If you enjoy adventure and romance – you will find it in the book also.Unknown-2

People who decided to travel oversees had to be very brave and desperate, like the statement from the book, “the fearful never left and the weak never survived.”Anybody who decided to go oversees had to sell everything before travel, knowing he might never return. He needed all that money to start life in a different part of the world.

Early in the 19th Century, just getting to a port of embarkation might mean days or weeks of travel on foot, by rivercraft, or in horse-drawn vehicles. But by the middle of 19th Century, the spread of railroads made it easy. The first part of travel of Jadwiga and Paul is done by train to Bremenhaven, Germany. Then they embark with other Polish immigrants on the ship Frederika in the cheapest steerage class amid livestock.

Under normal circumstances, the travel would have taken about a month, and Jadwiga’s baby – she is now pregnant – would be born in America, as she has planned. But the Frederika, pressed into service for the emigration trade, is not competently managed and the ship is damaged, extending the travel. Food grows short, and steerage passengers get the worst of it. It is painful for parents to see their children hungry, and the situation calls for desperate measures.

Despite the difficulty of such travel, there are many joyful moments as an elderly couple entertain children with Bible stories and tales that will boost patriotic feelings for both Poland and America.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Poland’s linguistic affiliation

Posted on 09. Oct, 2014 by in Countries, Culture, History, Polish Language

Polish belongs to the west Slavic group of languages of the Indo-European language family, which in turn is part of the Nostratic macrofamily. Poles use the Latin alphabet. Literary Polish developed during the sixteenth century and is based on the speech of educated city people, upper class usage, and the Great Polish and Little Polish Dialects. Starting in the nineteenth century, technological and cultural changes introduced a new vocabulary. During the 1920s and 1930s, there was an attempt to coin and introduce a Polish-derived vocabulary for the newly diffused technology. Otherwise, the new vocabulary is taken from German, Latin, Russian, and English. The spelling of diffused words is changed to reflect the Polish alphabet.

Geographical areas have distinct speech patterns. Most Poles can identify people’s places of origin by their speech. The major dialects are: Great Polish in the northwest centered on Poznań; Kuyavian, east of “Great Poland”; and Little Polish, around Cracow. Kashubian, with about 200,000 speakers along the Baltic coast, has its own orthography and literature. The Slovincian dialect of Kashubian could be considered a separate language.

Image by rogiro on Flickr.com

Image by rogiro on Flickr.com

Polish first appeared in writing in 1136 in the “Gniezno papal bull” (Bulla gnieźnieńska), which included 410 Polish names. The first written Polish sentence was “day ut ia pobrusa a ti poziwai” (I’ll grind [the corn] in the quern and you’ll rest), which appeared in Ksiega henrykowska in 1270. In Modern Polish spelling that sentence is “daj ać ja pobruszę, a ty poczywaj”.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)