Newsletter No. 7                                                                                                                                   October 2002

"In God We Trust"

Hi there,

As usual, last summer I have continued my traditional activities and took part in the 25th. European CF Conference in Genoa, Italy. I participated in lectures and round tables etc.
I learnt a great deal in these lectures, like how much the sun is so important for CF patients.
For the past 30 years, from the very beginning of the Medical Tourism Activities at the Dead Sea, this region was known as the best place on earth for those who suffer from all kinds of skin problems, Psoriasis, Arthritis etc. The most important treatments for these problems based mainly on the sun that is not harmful, but on the contrary.
Surly as you remember, the Dead Sea region is the lowest point on earth, located 400 meters below sea level. Due to this fact, by the time the sunrays reach the earth, the harmful UVB rays are filtered out, which makes it the best recovery for the patients.

The main climatic features and factors at the Dead Sea are:

  • Year round sunny skies
  • Dry non-polluted air
  • Less than 50 mm annual rainfall
  • Winter average temperatures 20c-23c max. and 11c -14c min
  • Weakened UV radiation, particularly the UVB (erythrogenic rays).
  • High oxygen partial pressure due to the low altitude.
The suns ultraviolet rays
The composition, intensity and stability of solar radiation at the Dead Sea combine to create ideal conditions for heliotherapy.

Low relative humidity, high temperatures and low rainfall
The low relative humidity, high air temperatures and low rainfall are important biometrological factors. The climate of the Dead Sea is dry and hot during the summer months. In the winter months, maximum air temperatures reach 20c-32c and minimum temperatures do not usually drop below 10c. Average annual rainfall is about 50 mm, with clear, sunny skies for about 330 days a year.
Instead of receiving treatment at a conventional clinic during the cold months of European winter, patients can benefit from treatment at the Dead Sea a warm sun in a carefree environment.

The Dead Sea - Climatic Factors (measured at Sodom)


During the recent CF Conference, in Genoa, Dr. SP Wolfe et al from The Regional Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Unit, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK, held a lecture and presented a poster under the subject:

SEASONAL VARIATION IN VITAMIN D LEVELS IN CHILDREN WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

"Sunlight exposure, determined Dr. Wolf, is the most important determinant of vitamin D levels in patients with CF in the UK. A significant percentage of our children have vitamin D levels below the optimal value throughout the year and the majority have low levels in the winter months. The patient with the highest 25(OH)D level (56ng/ml) had recently returned from a two week holiday in Minorca".

In her conclusion, Dr. Wolf is writing:

"A high percentage of patients with CF have sub optimal 25(OH)D levels throughout the year, the majority are low in winter, despite vitamin D supplementation.
There is no relationship between 25(OH)D and the other fat-soluble vitamins, suggesting that adherence to treatment and fat malabsorption are not the most important factors in determining vitamin D status.

Lack of sunlight exposure appears to be the most important single factor contributing to low levels of 25(OH)D.
More work is needed to investigate effective methods of attaining optimal vitamin D levels throughout the year.
It may be necessary to use vitamin D alone, especially in the winter months.
It is important to investigate the effect of low seasonal vitamin D levels on bone metabolism, to determine if this is a factor in the aetiology of osteoporosis".

It seems that we have another factor that never had mentioned before regarding Cystic Fibrosis Dead Sea, in which happen to be another great advantage among others.

It was nice to meet old friends and colleagues along my European trip and to make new acquaintances with which we were able to discuss new discoveries, ideas and problems.

Next season is around the corner and patients from Europe, America and many Israelis, are preparing to come to us to the CF Center at the Dead Sea at the Hod Hotel, which a few weeks ago reopened with a brand new renovated Lobby and most beautiful Dining Room.

As I have informed you in previous Newsletters, I am still pleased to reassure you that this particular region is unaffected and far removed from any disturbances,

A true Peace Region!

Like thousands of Christians from all over the world, who came to Israel on the 21st. of September to The 23rd Annual Feast of Tabernacles, organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.

Come to the Dead Sea, Come to the Sea of life!
Come to Israel!
Come to the sun!

For your convenience, the following are the periods and dates for the coming season:

No Pseudomonas
29.10.2002 - 19.11.2002
Pseudomonas
19.11.2002 - 10.12.2002
10.12.2002 - 31.12.2002
31.12.2002 - 21.01.2003
21.01.2003 - 11.02.2003
11.02.2003 - 04.03.2003
Cepacia 
04.03.2003 - 25.03.2003

The Medical staff headed by Prof. A. Tal, the Physiotherapists Bat-Sheva and Yardenna, Oleg the sport trainer and I are looking forward to your arrival.

 

Yours sincerely

Benjamin Pinkas




The CF Center

86930 Ein-Bokek Dead Sea, Tel/Fax 972-8-6520256
Main office 16 Shaar-Hagai St, 34554 Haifa, Tel/Fax 972-4-8243102