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There are four reasons that scientists believe that bird flu could become a pandemic.

Bird Flu: What are the Real Chances of a Pandemic

Bird Flu: What are the Real Chances of a PandemicAvian influenza, or bird flu as it is more commonly known, was discovered over a century ago in Italy and to date, there are several strains of the "bird flu" virus. Many of these strains have become deadly, particularly the H5 and H7 strains. The deadliest one to date, the H5N1 strain, has reportedly killed 70 people in Asia alone in the last two years. Many scientists believe that if proper action is not taken, bird flu has the potential to be the fourth major pandemic in the world.Influenza has affected the lives of so many people, particularly in the 20th century. The Spanish Flu of 1918, Asian Flu of 1957 and Hong Kong Flu of 1968 killed at least 20 million people worldwide. Bird flu can spread quickly since the bird flu virus is typically found in the intestines of migrant birds that travel great distances. Bird flu spreads when other birds, chickens or geese come in contact with an infected birds saliva, nasal secretions or feces. Birds fall ill and die within 48 hours of contracting the virus. Humans who interact with infected birds without proper protective gear are also at risk. There are four reasons that scientists believe that bird flu could become a pandemic.1. Many countries, specifically third world countries, do not have the proper facilities in place to take care of the bird flu problem. Without these facilities, there is a high possibility of the bird flu virus spreading.2. No vaccine has been fully developed and tested to fight bird flu virus. Using amantadine and rimantadine, two drugs that are used to treat influenza, on those infected with the virus has not been successful. Even though research is underway, there is still no known cure for bird flu in humans. Should a pandemic happen, it will take at least four months to produce vaccines that can be distributed to people suffering from the disease.3. The avian influenza virus affects birds and pigs. However, because the virus has different strains and they easily mutate, scientists fear the virus could evolve into something worse and affect humans directly. The virus could become airborne and be transmitted from one human to another.4. People who work in farms and are in the poultry and livestock industry many not have the proper equipment and adequate protection against the disease.A human who is possibly infected with avian flu could show symptoms similar to human influenza. A person with "avian flu" will experience fever, sore throat and muscle pains. Because of the similarity of symptoms between avian flu and human flu, a person with avian flu could be mistakenly diagnosed with human flu. However, advanced symptoms of avian flu include eye infections and respiratory problems, which could become life threatening.In 1997, when an outbreak of avian flu occurred in Hong Kong, 18 people were infected and six were killed. As a quick response, Hong Kongs entire poultry population, which was estimated at 1.5 million, was killed. Many believe that this rapid response to the avian flu outbreak was the best solution and helped avert it from becoming a pandemic. In general, there is little risk of most people getting infected with avian flu since it requires close or direct interaction with infected birds or bird feces. Since the number of people that has been infected with the disease is still low and confined to a few children and adults, there is no serious cause of alarm yet. However, for those who have constant contact with birds, the risk becomes very high during outbreaks in local poultryBecause of the constant and rapid advances in technology today, in addition to lessons learned from past major pandemics, there is hope that avian flu will be prevented from becoming another global pandemic.

How To Treat Degenerative Disc Disease

How To Treat Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease from osteoarthritis of the back can cause you extreme pain and suffering. There are a few ways whereby you can treat degenerative disc disease. Understanding what "degenerative disc disease" is, and what you can do, are important steps towards a better quality of life.The chance of getting degenerative disc disease increases with age. Degenerative disc disease refers to a group of painful back conditions. Other types of diseases that can cause it are spinal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is usually caused by osteoarthritis of the spine, and it can be quite painful. If you have osteoarthritis of the spine, your pain comes from the vertebra becoming inflamed and irritated because of the compression of the disk. As your spine works to heal itself, small calcium stones are created on the spinal column. You will then experience painful attacks and a lack of mobility of the spinal will occur.There are several treatment options if you have osteoarthritis of the spine. A popular OTC medication is paracetamol for pain. Codeine can be used in conjunction with paracetamol for added pain relief too. There are other prescription medications that are anti-inflammatory, which reduce pain. Steroids such as prednisone are one, but they cannot be taken on a long-term basis, especially for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. Side effects include bleeding ulcers and severe indigestion.Steroids can also be taken as injections directly into the back for pain relief from osteoarthritis. A newer treatment in the injection form is using hyaluronic acid. Some medical studies have shown that it may push the body to make other cells that form cartilage in the back. Other studies on hyaluronic injection treatments theorize that it may help with lubrication between the spinal pads of the back. Only your doctor is qualified to tell you if they feel that using hyaluronic treatment may be beneficial for your pain management from osteoarthritis in your back.It is thought that because osteoarthritis inhibits blood flow to the cartilage and muscles, taking glucosamine and chondroitin helps increase blood flow and maintain a healthier cartilage. These are food supplements that can be bought directly from over the counter. Other types of natural holistic treatments are taking avocado and soybeans, in either a pill form, or adding this to your diet in elevated concentrations. A few medical studies have shown that people who did add this to their diet experienced less pain, and not quite as much dependence on painkillers. Talk with your doctor if you feel that it may help with your painful osteoarthritis episodes.Exercise is another good way to control pain and help with movement. Also, make sure that you control your weight too. Excess weight causes pressure on the back, and increases pain in the back.Non-traditional therapies for degenerative disc disease caused by osteoarthritis are acupuncture and deep body massages. Acupuncture is believed to inhibit the bodys pain receptors in the brain, and it thereby makes it easier for you to cope with the pain. Deep body messages relax tense muscles, and it can stress from pain. Many people have found relief from pain by using these two techniques for pain management by either using them independently, or in conjunction with each other. It is also thought that with acupuncture and deep body messages that pain fighting hormones are released into the body to dull the sensation of pain.An excellent home remedy is to use a heat on the painful area. You may find that a moist heat is the best, but always use safety when applying heat from a heating pad for your back. Do not leave the heat on it for more than 30 minutes, and let your skin cool down. You do not want blisters. You can reapply heat as needed throughout the day, but make sure to rest between cool downs. If you dont muscle spasms can occur, and it will delay your healing time. If you can take aspirin for your pain because it is an anti-inflammatory, but remember its also a blood thinner, and aspirin will raise blood pressure.It can be depressing to be inflicted with degenerative disc disease. The best that you can do is try out a combination of methods to help you relieve yourself from pain. Hopefully one day there will be an effective and safe cure for your back.

The Discovery of Personal Hygiene

The Discovery of Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene was rediscovered only in the late 19th century, having been popular in ancient Greece and Rome almost two thousand years before.Water was considered by the sophisticates - perhaps justly - to be the carrier of disease. Bathing in water was a hazardous exercise. Royalty used milk instead. Others were confined to wet towels or to splashing water from basins on one's face and armpits. The great unwashed utilized public baths, built throughout Europe between the 12th and 17th centuries.Consider the Spanish Queen Isabella of Castile, of Christopher Columbus fame. She boasted that she had only two baths in her life - at birth and prior to her wedding. But not all royals were so unhygienic. The flushing toilet was the preserve of Queen Elizabeth I. It was invented for her in 1596 by Sir John Harrington, her godson.New York entrepreneur Joseph C. Gayetty manufactured in 1857 the first pre-moistened bathroom tissues, each embossed with his name. Aptly named British plumber Thomas Crapper redesigned the modern toilet and received a series of related patents between 1861-1904. The Kleenex tissue was not introduced until 1920 and the pop-up box only nine years later.Prior to the invention of the toilet paper in 1890 by the Scott Paper Company, people used an assortment of objects to wipe clean - most often leaves and corncobs. French royals employed lace, hardy Vikings - wool, Romans resorted to the sponge. The Chinese, ahead of the times in 1391, were the first to use paper sheets.

What I Learned From Drug Rehabilitation

What I Learned From Drug Rehabilitation

One of the hardest but most redemptive seasons of my life happened when I spent fourteen months in a drug rehabilitation center. In all my years of writing, I have never written about this experience that has so distinctly shaped my life.Of course, I never would have dreamed that over a year of my life during my mid-twenties would be spent in "drug rehabilitation" , but it happened. I began doing drugs in junior high school, mostly I guess do to the typical amount of peer pressure that most teens get from their friends. I started using drugs with great hesitation, but party after party I got a little less afraid of using drugs and that became my biggest problem. Losing my fear of doing drugs was the single worst thing that happened to me in my struggle with drug use.My drug use became a more serious problem throughout high school and into my years at university. I thought that I was doing a great job of hiding my problem until Christmas break happened one year and my parents saw all the signs. I had great parents, by the way, and I believe that they were in no way responsible for my drug use or for my eventual need for drug rehabilitation.My drug problem got so bad shortly after that Christmas break that I ended up agreeing to go to drug rehabilitation without any fight. Most drug users, I am told, put up a fight for a while when someone first suggests that they enter drug rehabilitation. But not me. I knew how badly I needed help and I knew that if left alone I would probably allow drugs to kill me.My fourteen months in the drug rehabilitation center taught me more about myself and about life than I ever expected them to. I learned about my value as a human being and as a man for the first time in that center. I learned in drug rehabilitation that drugs are a substitute for a hole that is empty in my life, just as food or exercise or alcohol or any other thing can be for people. I learned that I had a huge responsibility in taking care of my life and my health.It has been healing for me as I have begun talking about my experience with drug rehabilitation with honesty. I have never felt more free than when I am looking back on the mistakes of my past with honestly and then when I am looking forward to my future with hope.

Hemoglobin Around The Globe

Commonly abbreviated as Hb, Hemoglobin, or Heamoglobin, is the iron containing oxygen in our red blood cells which transport metalloproteins. All mammals on earth have hemoglobin, as it is a necessary function in the blood. It contains globin, apoprotien, and four heme groups (organic molecules with one atom of iron attached to each).The gene for the hemoglobin protien can sometimes mutate. This occurence results in one or more of many diseases, but most commonly turns into Thalassemia or Sickle-cell disease.Heme groups are located in each sub-unit of a hemoglobin molecule. A heme group consists of a single iron atom, held in a heterocyclic ring, commonly known as a "porphyrin". Oxygen binding takes place in this iron atom. The one iron atom binds itself equally to all four nitrogens in the center of the heterocyclic ring, which lies on one plane. In addition, two bonds perpendicular to the plane on each side, are sometimes formed with the iron to produce the fifth and sixth positions. The name hemoglobin comes from "heme" and "globin". Globin is a generic term used for a globular protein. Since any single subunit of hemoglobin is made of a heme imbedded in a globular protein, the name makes perfect sense. There are many heme containing hemoglobins and proteins. Hemoglobin A is the most commonly known.In adults, the most common hemoglobin is a tetramer (hemoglobin containing 4 subunit proteins) called hemoglobin A. The subunits are similar in structure, and approximatly the same size. Each subunits molecular weight is about 16,000 daltons, for a total combined molecular weight in the tetramer of approximatly 64,000 daltons. A single heme is contained in each subunit of hemoglobin, so that the overall binding capacity of human adults hemoglobin for oxygen is four oxygen molecules.

New Free Guide Highlights How Uninsured Americans Can Get Free Or Discounted Medicine

More than 45 million Americans, or one in seven, need help paying for their medicine, and many are not aware that there are programs available that can help people get the medicines they need-programs that may provide medication at a fraction of the cost or even for free. To help consumers learn about these government and private programs, Merck & Co., Inc., a global research-driven pharmaceutical company, has developed the Guide to Affordable Medicine. The Guide to Affordable Medicine can help patients learn how to find the right program for them, determine their eligibility to enroll, understand how to navigate the paperwork and approval processes and answer commonly asked questions."We know that people without prescription coverage are less likely to use medications and more likely to stop therapy that could potentially save lives, keep them out of the hospital, and allow them to lead more productive, healthier lives," said Nancy Wicks, Executive Vice President, Merck Patient Assistance Program, Inc. "The most unfortunate part is that there are many programs that the uninsured could take advantage of, if they only knew about them. This new resource is designed to help people understand the range of options available to them." Eligibility for these programs differs based on a number of factors, including age, income, disability status, health insurance and prescription drug coverage, among others. The Guide is divided into easy-to-read sections to help readers find the appropriate program:• Medicare-For people over age 65 or disabled, who need help affording their medicine.• Medicaid-For people who lack health insurance and have a limited income.• Patient Assistance Programs-For people who have a limited income and no prescription drug coverage, and have exhausted all other payment options.• Prescription Discount Card Programs-For people who don't have prescription drug coverage, but earn too much to receive public assistance.• Children's Insurance-For people who lack insurance coverage for their children under age 19.

Summary

There are four reasons that scientists believe that bird flu could become a pandemic.