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Saturday, November 26, 2016

PRESIDENT PARK and VIAGRA for ALTITUDE SICKNESS


I’m having something of a hard time trying to decide which of the two items in the title I ought to focus on for this report. Believe it or not, they’re somewhat related in the news story I’m covering.

But should I talk more about how the embattled South Korean president was discovered to have brought Viagra pills for help with altitude sickness? Or should I put emphasis on how this surprising claim by the presidential office has been substantiated by several mountain climbing and high-altitude experts if not by actual medical and scientific research? Oh well, I guess I’m going to try and write on both.

Ahem, so Reuters got wind of a statement made Wednesday November 23 by the South Korean executive office Blue House regarding how they made a large purchase of 364 Viagra pills for President Park Geun-hye. Naturally the country and the wider online community let out a collective “Huh?” over the news, especially when the spokesperson elaborated that Park used the sexual enhancement medication for her spells of “altitude sickness” when flying overseas. Such a scandalous piece of fluff seemed like the last thing Park needs as she’s in the middle of an ongoing investigation on her potentially corrupt malpractice dealings with a cult leader friend of hers, on top of the loud public calls for her immediate resignation.

But somehow the juicy details may have just done the trick in distracting South Koreans from their indignation at their president’s shortcomings. Not long after the news broke, citizens turned “Viagra” into the nation’s most-search online keyword. And amazingly some of what they must have found in the internet must have blown some minds.

It seems that mountaineers all over the world have long discovered a beneficial side effect of the erectile dysfunction remedy for whenever they’re climbing high altitudes. Altitude sickness or pulmonary edema is a significant risk for mountain climbers, wherein the lungs begin filling with fluids brought on by breathing at ever higher altitudes. At the least they can cause breathing difficulty; at worst, death. But since one of Viagra’s physiological actions is to dilate blood vessels in the body, it enables the lungs to slightly drain away the accumulated fluid from inside it, helping to ease respiration.

As veteran mountaineer Andrew Lock explains, while the best cure for an edema is to climb down, Viagra can help to alleviate the symptoms, allowing for longer stays at high altitudes.

The Blue House statement explains that the 364 Viagra pills purchased for President Park had been planned to be used for her overseas trips to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda last May, to be distributed amongst her accompanying staff as needed. As nobody in the presidential party had altitude sickness that time, they were left unused.

Photo Credit to http://nextshark.com

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