World Bulletin / News Desk
The soupy grey smog shrouding Polish cities this winter is one of the most visible symptoms of the EU member's addiction to coal, a deadly habit forcing many to stay indoors or don masks before venturing out.
"During periods of smog, more people with respiratory and circulatory illnesses actually die," she told AFP after examining an asthma patient wheezing heavily amid a spike in pollution in Warsaw.
"Children, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk from smog, which damages the respiratory tract much in the same way smoking does.
"A child playing outside in the smog is smoking cigarettes, it's the same thing," she told AFP.
One Warsaw hospital reported a 50 percent spike in patients over several days of intense smog during a windless cold snap in January.
As anti-smog masks sold out across Poland this week, Warsaw issued them to police officers on duty across the capital.
A study published last year by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) blamed air pollution -- caused in large part by the burning of coal -- for an estimated 50,000 premature deaths per year in the country of 38 million people.
Seventy percent of Polish households burn low-quality coal or rubbish in old stoves for heat and antiquated coal-fired power plants generate nearly all of Poland's electricity, giving it some of the dirtiest air in the 28-member EU.
The EEA also blames so-called "low-stack" emissions from old household stoves for countless cases of respiratory illness.
The AirVisuals website regularly lists Warsaw, Katowice or Krakow among the world's top ten most polluted cities alongside Beijing or New Delhi.
Eggs tainted by the insecticide mostly originate from farms in those two countries but have since been found in 45 nations worldwide, the European health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitisa said last week.
The UN says cholera is a major public health problem in the country with millions of cases registered every year. Last year, the disease claimed 817 lives there, according to the WHO.
The ministerial meeting will include representatives from some 30 countries, according to Canada's minister of environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna.
Cholera is endemic in Nigeria, with a rise in cases during rainy season from April to September, says disease control center
Police officers tested positive for cholera after eating infected food; health minister blames food workers
"Up to September 1, 14 deaths have been reported," the health ministry said in a statement, adding that "the total number of suspected cholera cases stands at 186."
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565,041 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded in the country since April 27
Unknown health risks include cancer, respiratory diseases, birth defects and reduced cognition
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock's tests clear eggs, official says
Laboratory tests conducted to ascertain exact cause of deaths in north central Kogi state, health official says
Health official decries lack of funds to fight malaria, appeals for donations to help fight disease
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A separate 40-year-old male was returned to the zoo in Rajshahi where there are only females.
Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe and dozens of poultry farms closed since the discovery of fipronil, which can be harmful to humans, was made public on August 1.