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Can We Predict the Rates of Mutation of Influenza Virus Strains?

Can We Predict the Rates of Mutation of Influenza Virus Strains?

It seems as if our mathematical prediction software is getting rather good these days. Did you know that we have mathematical formulas, along with the computational predictions used to estimate “sand avalanches” based on the degree of slope, wind, weight of sand, and when one additional 100 lb. layer would trigger the event? It’s just amazing all that we can do to predict what we once considered random and unpredictable.

Not long ago, I read an interesting set of research papers by Guang Wu, a Chinese Researcher working on the influenza strains, and trying to prevent massive population deaths from a mutated deadly strain of Influenza, such as a bird flu or swine flu pandemic. It estimates the rates of mutation, disease spread rates, and challenges in the future, which can be calculated. He has considered many different mathematic scenarios for these things.

One paper he wrote on Monte Carlo mathematic formulas for prediction is interesting, and probably worthy of a read if you are fascinated by such things. These types of topics do challenge the mind, and there is also a very good TED Conference talk video that I’d also recommend on bacteria communication, during attrition phases, and as they grow in numbers and trigger their own dominance once they have the synergy of numbers to overpower the immune system. In a way it’s a lot like war strategy.

Guang’s work in the H1N1 and related flu strains takes this discussion to yet another level. Other books I recommend reading on are;

Virus Hunters of CDC,

Germs,

Hot Spot,

Cobra Event,

Gravity by Tess Garretsen,

Andromeda Strain

After you review all this, I’d like you to check out the National Science Foundation and study up on the CDC computer models of the spread of the virus within a region or country, and see the issues of the virus growing inside of the individual similar in nature. Please consider this.…

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Flu Test Kit Spotlight – OSOM Influenza Testing

Flu Test Kit Spotlight – OSOM Influenza Testing

OSOM Influenza Testing gives quick and accurate results for influenza testing this 2010-2011 flu season.

As patients and medical professionals begin the long process of dealing with the 2010-2011 flu season, it’s important to have an accurate flu testing kit in order to quickly identify in patients whether or not they have the flu. This influenza season, get the best flu testing kit possible: OSOM Influenza A&B Test.

While there are many different influenza test kits to choose from, what makes OSOM arguably the best is the assurance that every result is not simply quick, but completely accurate.

While most flu testing kits come with a maximum of 25 test strips, OSOM comes with 27. Two extra test strips can be used for QC testing.

What is QC testing?

QC testing stands for “Quality Control,” and gives doctors and patients the complete satisfaction of knowing their OSOM flu testing kit is 100% accurate. Using two vials, one which contains an inactive substance and one which contains a partial rendering of the influenza virus, each can be used on the test strips to make sure that the results come out 100% accurate.

By using QC testing, every real test afterwards can be done with complete confidence that OSOM Influenza Testing is the best bet for determining whether or not you or a patient has the influenza virus.

With just a simple nasal swab and three distinct, easy to read lines, results of OSOM Influenza Test are available in only ten minutes or less. With only one minute of actual testing time and ten minutes or less to determine results of the test, OSOM ranks as one of the fastest, most reliable ways to check for the influenza virus.

OSOM Influenza Test detects both the A and B type of influenza virus, giving you immediate results to better prepare for the H1N1 virus.

This flu season don’t take any chances. Get the best flu testing kit available!

When you purchase the OSOM Influenza Test from Express Medical, get FOUR kits for the price of THREE!…

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Cure For a Dry Cough

Cure For a Dry Cough

What’s the cure for a dry cough? First we should define a dry cough. A “dry cough” does not produce sputum, or phlegm coughed up from the chest. Beyond that, a dry cough may be caused by a number of conditions.

Probably the most common cause of a so-called dry cough is a tickle in the throat. Strangely enough, this is often due to drainage of mucus (or phlegm) down the back of the throat in association with a cold or sinus infection. Though there may not be enough drainage to cough it out, drying up the drainage with an antihistamine may be the answer. This is not actually a “cure” but rather a treatment. Over-the-counter antihistamines include loratadine, cetirizine, and diphenhydramine.

If you have had symptoms for over a week, or if you’re getting worse, or if you keep blowing out thick, yellow mucus (snot) from your nose, you may benefit from an antibiotic.

A dry cough can also be a symptom of influenza, other viruses, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pleurisy, pneumonia, or acid reflux disease (GERD). If you seem to have a respiratory flu or other viral infection, a cough suppressant containing dextromethorphan may help. If your chest is tight or wheezy from asthma, bronchitis, or COPD a prescription inhaler may help. (You may also benefit from an antibiotic, cough suppressant, or antihistamine.) If you have pneumonia or pleurisy, you should be asking your doctor about your cough.

If you seem to be allergic to trees, grass, weeds, animals, mold, dust, etc., a dry cough may respond to an antihistamine, a nasal inhaler such as cromolyn sodium (OTC) or prescription steroid spray, or montelukast (prescription). If you have acid reflux, an OTC acid reducer such as famotidine, ranitidine, omeprazole, or lansoprazole may help. Notice I didn’t say the word “cure.” Lots of things can improve a cough, but “cures” are usually the result of a body’s own healing.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD…

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How Water Helps Fight Hypertension

How Water Helps Fight Hypertension

I have known for a long time that if I don’t drink enough water my body will be dehydrated which might result in elevated blood pressure. But I never took the time to find out what exactly was happening inside my body to cause that reaction!

Well, I became more interested in that process after my last checkup when my doctor indicated she was concerned about my blood pressure reading… it was not up just a few points like some other times when that result was ascribed to ‘white coat effect’ something that happens when a person is a little flustered by the whole doctor set-up… the systolic number was 178!

So I started doing some investigating into what possibly causes this kind of change in the human body and here are some facts you might be interested to know about if you need to drop your blood pressure! When we don’t drink enough water our body goes into a state of dehydration… it switches to emergency water-conservation mode. It attempts to reduce loss of water through the skin and lungs… it uses emergency procedures to make sure blood can still deliver oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues in our body.

To achieve those goals our whole vascular system contracts… veins and arteries narrow down and blood pressure goes up to make sure that fresh blood gets delivered everywhere… to tissues that are in constant need of new supplies and waste removal.

High pressure is needed to squirt water through cell walls to keep vital cells filled with the water they need.

During all this the heart is working extra hard to keep pushing blood through the whole system. With less water in the system the blood is thicker… more sluggish and of course blood pressure is rising to handle all this! The ratio of packed blood cells to total blood volume rises and this puts our body at a far greater risk for strokes and heart attacks.

High blood pressure is a factor in hardening of the arteries… which can lead to a blockage and a heart stopped dead in its tracks!

The heart is forced to work harder to circulate blood… enlarging part of the heart and weakening the muscle. One day… there is big trouble! Over time, high blood pressure weakens artery walls, leading to a bulging blood vessel… or, even worse, a burst artery… a stroke!

Knowing how much stress dehydration puts on our body, drinking enough water seems like a fairly obvious and inexpensive solution! And it has to be water, not sweet pop drinks because sugar causes a different bunch of problems in our body! Not a lot of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks either… they cause dehydration… and an extra 10 to 12 oz of water is needed to compensate for every 6 oz. alcoholic drink! I have a glass of water handy when I’m having an occasional glass of wine.

As I’m writing this, I am wondering again how I could possibly put my body through all this… will learning some facts keep me more mindful about taking care of the only body I have?

I hope so! there is a lot we can do to keep healthy without resorting to drugs if we can avoid them… there are side effects to most of them… for instance if you’re a guy high blood pressure drugs may cause loss of libido and that is no fun!…

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What to Know About Pain Management Clinics

clinics

If you’re considering an inpatient pain management clinic, you might be wondering how to choose the right one. Here are some things you should know about pain management clinics. This information is relevant to anyone suffering from chronic pain. Several pain management options include in-home treatments and prescription and over-the-counter medications. In addition to the clinic’s services, you can also seek treatment online. To make the decision easier, you should look up each option in advance.

Inpatient pain management clinics

Inpatient pain management clinics are available to help patients suffering from chronic pain. Often, a person must attend a minimum of 3 weeks of inpatient care to change their pain behaviors and recover from underlying conditions fully. Several multidisciplinary pain management clinics offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Outpatient pain rehabilitation services often include group meetings and individual treatment plans. However, inpatient care is generally not necessary if the patient can manage their pain independently.

Inpatient pain management clinics typically provide a working diagnosis after an assessment, with a corresponding treatment plan. Then, the doctor will work with you to develop a plan to manage your pain and improve your daily activities. Patients will attend the clinic for an agreed-upon period and be guided through the program by a team of health care professionals like the pain clinic St. Augustine, FL. They will also be given exercises to practice at home and be monitored by the clinic staff throughout their stay.

Patients should be transitioned from intravenous opioid pain medications as soon as possible, and opioid pain medications must be titrated during the entire stay as patients’ pain tolerances change. Nurses should also maintain close communication with the patients’ primary care physicians. Once they have received the proper care, patients can return to their everyday lives. The pain management team will also monitor the patient’s progress and keep them updated on treatment progress.

In-home treatments for pain

There are many effective in-home treatments for pain, and many of these treatments can be purchased over-the-counter. Some may include biofeedback, which helps the patient understand and control their physiological activities. Biofeedback is used in a wide range of chronic pain conditions. The patient wears sensors on their bodies, which provide real-time and digital data that a clinician can use to tailor treatment. Biofeedback has been called a self-regulatory therapy, as it helps the patient become aware of their physiological responses.

Another effective in-home treatment is applying heat or cold. Both heat and ice can help reduce inflammation and stiffness. Heat packs, for example, can reduce pain from a headache. On the other hand, Ice packs can help relieve low back pain. Although both methods may seem strange at first, they can be highly beneficial for reducing pain and improving mobility. But these methods may not work for everyone. Depending on the type of pain, you may need to seek a medical professional’s advice.

Chronic pain requires strategy and persistence to eliminate it. But once you understand the process and the underlying causes of your pain, it will be easier for you to manage your condition at home. This is because understanding the psychology of pain can help you find effective treatments to reduce the intensity of your pain. This is especially helpful if you’re dealing with chronic pain. In addition, by understanding the mechanisms that lead to the sensation of pain, you can decide which ones are most suitable for your situation.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications for pain

Opioids, or narcotics, are used to treat moderate to severe pain. These medicines are habit-forming and may be dangerous when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Examples of drugs include oxycodone, codeine, and morphine. Different types of opioids include anticonvulsive medicines, local painkillers, and ointments. They can increase the risk of overdose and can even cause death if taken in excessive amounts.

Nonprescription medications are a viable alternative for pain relief. These over-the-counter drugs are available in many types and can be taken for pain relief without a prescription. According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, about 81 percent of U.S. adults take OTC pain relievers regularly. An average medicine cabinet will likely have at least four kinds of nonprescription pain medications. These include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. In addition, NSAIDs are designed to block the brain’s pain messages.

NSAIDs, commonly found in OTC products, are the most common pain reliever. But some of these drugs are more powerful than their OTC cousins. They are called “unorthodox analgesics” because they are not explicitly designed as pain-relievers. For example, some fibromyalgia pain medicines are antiseizure drugs called pregabalin. Others are antidepressants such as duloxetine hydrochloride.

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Nasal Swabs to Diagnose Flu Are Unscientific and Meaningless

Nasal Swabs to Diagnose Flu Are Unscientific and Meaningless

During outbreaks of influenza, including the past H1N1 epidemic, it is the Standard of Care for doctors to perform a nasal swab to diagnose the flu. A swab, similar to an everyday cotton swab, is inserted into the nasal cavity for a sample and sent to a laboratory. If the swab comes back positive, then the illness is determined to be influenza and an antiviral medication is often prescribed. The problem with this procedure is that it is absolutely meaningless and has no scientific basis whatsoever in determining if the illness in question really is due to the flu. This is due to several different factors.

Questionable Accuracy

Nasal flu swabs require a degree of skill from the sample collector and quite a bit of cooperation from the ill person to allow a swab to be inserted high into the nasal cavity. This is an uncomfortable procedure at best and even those given thorough instructions will reflexively pull away and reduce the chance of obtaining a proper sample, making the accuracy of the test very suspect. Even the CDC admits that nasal swabs are not highly worthwhile for diagnosing H1N1 infections. Most doctors know this and will often prescribe antiviral medications even when the swab is negative because a patient’s symptoms match the flu to a degree that there is still a high level of suspicion. However, if a doctor is going to give a medication regardless of the outcome of the swab, there is just no justification for collecting and spending money on an uncomfortable test with poor accuracy.

Exposure vs Illness

Even if a swab is positive, it can only determine exposure to the flu; it can in no way determine if the current illness is caused by the flu. Because the nasal passages are not sterile and are exposed to billions of microorganisms every day, the simple presence of a disease-causing organism in the nasal passages in no way implies that the current illness is due to a microorganism present, or even that the person has ever even had that disease in the past. It simply means that the person has been exposed to the organism. A telling example of this is that nasal swabs for the ‘superbug’ Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) are done on a routine basis for a large percentage of hospitalized patients, yet this swab is NEVER used to determine if the patient’s illness is from MRSA; further testing is always required to determine the cause of illness regardless of the findings from the nasal swab. In this context it is used only to find out if they are colonized with MRSA in order to prevent potential exposure to hospital patients with immune dysfunction.

Lack of Studies

When medical tests are developed, volunteers are used to determine what is ‘normal’ in healthy people, but testing groups of healthy people has never been done to determine if healthy people carry the flu virus in their nasal passages from casual exposures or past illnesses. Because no studies with a ‘control’ group have ever been done, doctors using this test are simply ‘presuming’ that the presence of the virus indicates that their illness is due to that virus. But it is absolutely possible that harboring the flu virus in the nasal passages is completely normal in a large percentage of the population. These facts together make using nasal swabs for the flu an absolutely worthless and unscientific diagnostic test that the medical community spends millions of health care dollars on every year.…

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Hypertension Check – Up is Very Crucial

Hypertension Check – Up is Very Crucial

Every time you pay a visit to your medical doctor, in spite of what the visit is for, ensure you have your blood pressure checked. The hazard with hypertension is that it is a sudden killer and those who always fall victim are not mindful that they are at high risk of stroke, heart disease or other related medical incidences.

If you are suspicious that your blood might be on high side, you are advise to visit your Doctor immediately. Your health really worth guarding jealously. It is currently recommended that checks up be carried out on all patients who are between the age of 30 to 80 regardless of the fact that they have no susceptible symptoms as early diagnosis can really save lives.

Asystolic and diastolic pressure of over 140mm and 90mm respectively will seriously increase the risk of organ damage, heart disease and stroke by four to five fold compared to an individual of the same age sex whose blood pressure fall within the normal limit. It is very crucial to check your blood pressure frequently to keep avoidable health problems at bay.

Immediately a person is declared to be susceptible to high blood pressure, there are many helpful piece of advise to guarantee they remain in the best health. Changing in lifestyle and eating habit can be beneficial to people who detect very early that they are positive for hypertension. People who tested positive are susceptible to obesity, lack of exercise, consumption of oily food, high cholesterol and intake of alcohol in their diet. Engaging in physical exercise and a control diet, reducing the intake of salt can really help in reduce the blood pressure level without adding medications.

In summary, high blood pressure is hazardous because it requires your heart to work tediously. The effect can harden the walls of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, one of the leading causes of death in the developed world. While high blood pressure can appear unlikely to hurt, a closer look quickly exposed the possibility of variety of problems including blindness, heart failure and kidney disease.

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