Virus

6 Things Everyone With A Vagina Absolutely Needs To Know

Spread your legs to maintain your health. 

Dear Open-Mouthed Coughers: I Don’t Want Your Sputum

Please stop spraying me with your bacteria.

October 12, 2015

Will The Spread Of Ebola Be Worse Than AIDS?

The spread of the Ebola virus has a certain déjà vu about it. You may recall that the AIDS virus, which began in the 1980s, was hosted by monkeys which then spread to humans? Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola’s initial host was fruit bats, which spread to monkeys, apes and pigs. So this is all sounding pretty familiar, yeah?

Ebola was actually identified in 1976, preceding the AIDS virus. There have been epidemics in certain places in Africa ever since but, this time, Ebola has already killed 4500 people in West Africa and it is now hopping around the globe. There are people coming and going from international airports daily and travel isn’t going to stop, just because of Ebola. We all need to be extra careful of contamination – regardless of what country we live in.

Ebola transition is similar to AIDS; via bodily fluids, like blood. However, it is far more infectious because it can be transmitted via saliva and sweat as well. It’s not airborne as early reports suggested. Dr. Bruce Ribner, who cares for Ebola patients, being treated at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta said that even the skin of patients is potentially infectious. Therefore, Ebola is not only within the person, it also lies on their surface.

To stop the spread, germ control is essential. Regularly wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ebola is first identified by a high fever, so if you see anyone who looks unwell and sweating due to a high fever, stay clear. If you are experiencing these symptoms, head directly to a GP. Many doctors surgeries around the country have signs which specify, anyone experiencing a high fever needs to tell staff immediately, so they can be isolated from other patients inside the clinics. It’s not a joke and we all need to be vigilant.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated guidelines for health workers, which are more specific than previous recommendations. This is after a health worker in the US contracted Ebola while caring for a patient. Previous guidelines were determined to be too confusing and health workers have been put at risk due to unsure practices.

From contagion to death takes only a matter of weeks, not years like AIDS. Dr. James Curran, dean of Emory University’s school of public health and leader of the CDC’s task force on AIDS in the mid-1980s, said that unlike AIDS sufferers, who may not have any symptoms for years and unknowingly spread the disease, Ebola sufferers show symptoms quickly. This may be a key difference of the two viruses. Curran, went on the say that “It potentially gives us a way to break the back of the epidemic”.

This is excellent news. Unlike the wild spread of AIDS, which has occurred since the 1980s and taken millions of lives, Ebola – although far more deadly – maybe easier to eradicate. More good news is that unlike the AIDS virus, which was around for more than a decade before it was thoroughly understood and investigated, the WHO, CDC and government officials have learned that a fast response could potentially save millions. If the AIDS virus has taught them anything; they know they have to contain the spread of Ebola quickly before it gets completely out of control.

Image via http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/2014/08/19/kaiser-ebola-patient/14316293/

October 20, 2014

Shoo The Flu In 5 Simple Ways

So it all begins with those mild tingly sensations in the throat. By the time you realise something is probably wrong in there, you have already been attacked by cold and flu.

You are already sneezing or coughing, have teary eyes and you are probably [helplessly] trying to gulp without any discomfort. No, please don’t look at those antibiotics in the kitchen cupboard. They shouldn’t have been there in the very first place.

Antibiotics come with their side-affects that can include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, thrush and allergic reactions. The loss to the person’s immune system is irreparable. Cold and flus are viral and we know that antibiotics have no effect on a virus (those who didn’t know this, do now).

So what’s the way out? Natural remedies, for sure.

People have been using natural medicine over thousands of years. Having first emerged in India as Ayurveda (ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge) around, as some believe 3,000 years ago, it was translated into Chinese by 400 AD. The best way to go is the natural way, and the best part about it is that it is harmless and has no recorded side-affects.

Here’s my grandma’s five [miraculous] ways to beat the cold and shoo the flu.

  1. The vitamin dose. Contrary to what most people think about lemon and other citric fruit being bad for cough and flu, it turns out that vitamin-C actually helps in soothing sore throat. Combine a few drops of lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey and mix it in a glass of warm water. If you don’t like warm, mix the honey and lemon while the water is warm and drink it when it’s at room temperature.
  2. The ginger affect.  Ginger is known for its decongestant qualities. It helps stimulate slow digestion and improves the taste buds too, that are worst affected in cold and flu. Boil a few slices of fresh ginger in water. You can add a cardamom seed and a few mint leaves for aroma and taste. Pour the ginger tea over a slice of lemon, already resting in the cup. Don’t like lemon, skip this part.
  3. When we say ginger, how can we forget its friend garlic? Garlic contains antiseptic properties. Use as much garlic in your food during cold and flu.
  4. This one’s my personal favourite. Chew five whole black peppercorns. Don’t swallow, I said chew. Wait for around 10 seconds before you lick a generously scooped one tablespoon of honey. Wait for another 10 seconds and drink a cup of warm water. Try to take it sip by sip for the dripping-effect. This works like magic. My grandma has cured blocked, painful throats with this in five minutes. Repeat once or twice a day depending on how bad your sore throat is.
  5. Mix half a tablespoon each of ginger with black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric (all spices ground). Add three teaspoons of raw sugar into it to form the base mixture. Now take half teaspoon of this mixture and mix with either honey or warm water. Take this twice a day for relief within two days.

Image via womansworld.in

By Ayesha Hasan

August 14, 2014