Archive for August, 2012


Is This the New AIDS for the US?

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It’s estimated 300,000 people in the US have Chagas and over 8 million worldwide. Chagas is a tropical disease that is working its way up into the Northern Hemisphere. Currently over 20,000 people die each year from this disease.

The initial symptoms are similar to AIDS, chronic conditions that require prolonged and expensive treatments and can be transmitted from mother to infant or blood transfusions, but unlike HIV the most typical transmission process is through insects, particularly the Kissing Bug.

This insect is particularly attracted to the odors which humans release when they breathe and is the reason why most bites are in or around the mouth (hence the nickname). This bug enjoys being amorous during the evening and usually strikes during the night when you are sleeping.

Chagas disease comes from a parasite that lives inside the digestive tract of this insect. Never known as a conscientious lover, after having its way with you the Kissing Bug will urinate or defecate in or around the bite site. This allows the parasite access to enter into your body and can have life threatening consequences.

Victims of Chagas can develop enlarged hearts and intestines, which over time can rupture, fail or even burst, causing instant death. Some people can have a severe allergic reaction to the insects saliva. Even when diagnosed doctors are finding it hard to almost impossible to cure their patients. Since the medicine to treat those infected with Chagas is extremely toxic to human in the first place.

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Heat Illness

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Heat exhaustion is the most common heat illness. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • Heavy sweating.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint.
  • Rapid or weak pulse.
  • Nausea.
  • Possible cramping.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • A dark color to their urine.

Your first priority in dealing with an individual suffering from a heat illness is to remove the victim from the hot environment. If they are in the sun, move them into the shade. If they are in a hot room, move them into a cooler room. Lay the person down, loosen or remove any restrictive clothing.

Since the person is probably dehydrated, begin giving the victim cool water or a sports fluids. Try not to give them anything that is extremely cold. As their condition improves allow them more and more water. DO NOT give them anything that is caffeinated. You do not want to elevate the victim’s heart rate. Realize most sodas contain caffeine. Spray or sponge the victim with cool water and continue to monitor the victims condition.

If the victim faints, becomes confused or has a seizure, call 911 immediately. If the victims body temperature rises above 104 F, the person is in Heat Stroke, a life threatening condition. Continue to try and cool the victim while you wait for the Emergency Service Personnel to arrive. Areas on the body that are sensitive in helping cool a victim is, the top of their head, in the armpits and below in the groin area. Use cool wraps or packs in these areas. Reference: Safety – 250


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Safest Seats on an Airplane

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Can where you sit make a difference in surviving an air-crash? Most airlines and aeronautic experts say there isn’t a difference but, Popular Mechanics did a study of air crashes from 1971 and found some interesting information.

It is recognized that there are two times during an air flight when more accidents occur. In fact, over 75% of all accidents occur either during the take-off or the landing of the aircraft. But don’t let this fact deter you from flying. The statistics show that flying, by commercial aircraft, is 22 times safer than driving a motor vehicle on US roadways.

Also the type of crash had an influence. Certain crashes changed the desired safest seat location, but on average the seats located towards the rear of the plane had the best survival rates. You may be giving away some comfort by choosing a seat towards the rear since the most stable seats especially for those of you that contend with motion sickness, would be the ones directly over the wings.

First class passengers may be more comfortable than the rest of the passengers, but the front of the plane has the lowest survival rates in air-crashes.

Here is the breakdown on survival rates:
First Class 49%
Ahead of Wing 56%
Over Wing 56%
Rear Cabin 69%

So if you are susceptible to motion sickness you may want to consider a seat with the least movement (over the wing), but if you are looking for just safety, then selecting a seat towards the rear of the plane as your best bet.

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Can Driving Impair Your Hearing?

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New research shows that driving a convertible with the top down can damage your hearing. Many of us find nothing better than driving a sports car with the top down on beautiful spring or summer day. The wind blowing through our hair and the warmth of the sun on our face makes the drive a very enjoyable experience. But a new study indicates that this mode of travel may have consequences on our hearing.

Researchers tested several makes of automobiles with convertible options. In these test they found that the noise of the wind, while traveling at speeds of 55 mph (or greater), created levels of noise at 85 decibels or higher. This is equivalent to the sounds of a garbage disposal or vacuum cleaner and in the range to cause hearing loss if over an extended period.

Also there were dramatic noise spikes from passing motorcycles, trucks or buses. In all tests the car’s radio were turned-off, car horns were not used and the weather was in good conditions. No excessive decibels levels were recorder when the top was up and secured.

Researchers recommend that if you have a convertible automobile, you should consider driving with the top up for any long extended rides.

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Prostitutes Using AEDs

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Prostitutes are being trained to use defibrillators!

Several brothel owners in a small lakeside Swiss town have begun training their staff (prostitutes) in the use of an Automated External Defibrillators (AED). One sex club owner stated: “Having customers die on us isn’t exactly good publicity”.

During strenuous activities, such as sexual intercourse, an additional burden is placed upon your cardiac system and may cause many men in poor health to go into cardiac arrest. When an incident occurred, emergency medical services was called and the staff began CPR chest compressions on the client. Another staff member would immediately retrieve the AED. AEDs have shown to be very instrumental in helping correct a heart that’s in fibrillation.

Studies have shown that resuscitation rates from cardiac arrest increases significantly when an AED is used in conjunction with CPR within the first three minutes of a victim going into ventricular fibrillation. The longer it takes for this to happen the chances of survival decreases sharply. In most cases waiting for the ambulance to arrive, may be too late.

With AEDs available and prostitutes trained in there use, these brothels are creating an extra layer of safety and protection for their clientele.

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Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction to a certain substance. Adults and children can have allergic reactions to several different substances. Which may include: poison plants, animal scratches or dander, pollen, latex, bee stings, medications, nuts, shellfish and molds.

Anaphylaxis can affect about 15% of the population. The allergic reaction will continue as long as the victim remains in contact with the allergen. It is best to remove the substance or allergen as quickly as possible. Remove stingers or wash effected areas with soap and water where the toxins have touched. The general signs to look for in an allergic reaction are:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Hives
  • Scratchy Throat
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

Those who have experienced a severe reaction to a substance should consult a doctor and carry an Epi-Pen. This is a prescribed and easily injectable dose of epinephrine, which helps counteract the severe allergic reaction. Without epinephrine an anaphylactic reaction could quickly become fatal.

Reference: First Aid– 165


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Water Safety

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As summer approaches and the days get warmer, more people are finding fun and relaxation through water activities. This increases the risks of water related injuries and deaths. In 2005, there were over 4,000 reported drowning’s in the United States, averaging more than 10 deaths each day.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1-14. Children under the age of 1, most often drown in bathtubs, buckets or toilets, whereas children ages 1- 4 years, have more occurrences in backyard swimming pools. In most cases, children are out of an adults sight for less than 5 minutes. Even non-fatal drowning can cause severe brain damage due to the lack of oxygen.

To help prevent water related injuries:

1) Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bathtub, swimming or playing in and around water. Be aware of distracting activities such as, answering the phone, reading or doing household chores. As stated earlier, it only takes a few minutes for a child to slip under the water and drown.

2) Have your children learn how to swim, but do not use this as an excuse to leave them unattended at any time.

3) Children should wear PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) whenever they are in or around open water or participating in water sports.

4) Install a four-sided, isolation pool fence, which is completely separated from the house or children’s play area.

5) Remove all floats, balls or toys from the pool after all swimming activities. Many young children fall into pools trying to obtain these items.

6) Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). In the time it takes Paramedics to arrive, most victims have suffered sufficient amount of brain damage, that they cannot be resuscitated. Using CPR skills on a drowning victim has shown to significantly improve a victims chance of survival.

By initialing these safety guidelines you can create a safer environment your children.

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7 Body Parts That Show Health Concerns

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Your body can tell a lot about your health. In fact, the appearance or size of certain body parts can give an indication on specific health issues. Based upon the results of several studies, here are some of the possible health issues associated to specific body parts.

  • Earlobes and Cardiac Disease – An earlobe crease or wrinkle on one or both earlobes may indicate cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Medicine found in multiple studies that a crease on one lobe increased your risk of a cardiac event by 33%. Wrinkles on both lobes increased the risk by 77%.
  • Bra Size and Diabetes – Women with a bra size of a D cup or better were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who wore an A size or smaller.
  • Finger Length and Osteoarthritis – Women whose index fingers were shorter than their ring finger were twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis in their knees.
  • Height and Age – Women 5-foot 2-inches or shorter are more likely to live longer than their taller counterpart.
  • Long Legs and Liver Disease – Though you may live longer being shorter, women with leg lengths between 20 to 29 inches had a higher incident of liver disease.
  • Arm’s Length and Alzheimer’s – Women with shorter arm spans were 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with longer reaches. Measure the span of your arms from finger tips to fingertip. Measurements of less than 60 inches puts you on the wrong side.
  • Blood Type – People with blood types of A, B or AB were 44% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with type O.
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