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    Being a celiac can be an advantage

     

    It is very easy to focus on the difficulties of keeping to a gluten free diet, particularly when eating out. However you can also discover that being on a special diet can have huge advantages. I was on a recent business trip staying away from home, working as a facilitator/ trainer. Delegates were asked to choose lunch and dinner from a rather restricted menu. I on the other hand was invited to choose from the A la Carte menu. At the first lunch time there was no suitable desert. I spoke to the waiter and asked that there should be something more exciting than fresh fruit for the evening meal. From then on every meal a “creation” each more interesting than the last appeared amid oohs and ahhs from the assembled company. As they were of gigantic proportions my table were happy to share in my gastronomic delight. I accept you have to wrestle with the issue of being ‘different’ but at times it is rather nice to find that the difference leads to an enjoyable difference rather than watching everyone else tuck into something scrummy whilst I get the boring option. There are a few principles to ensure you get good service from a restaurant: Talk to the staff and make yourself known when you arrive Smile and engage rather than demand Explain what you are able to eat and what to avoid If things go wrong (and they will!) explain politely that what has been served will make you very ill. Ask them to completely replace with something safe rather than take the offending item off the rest. An example of this happened last week when a selection of sorbets came up with a biscuit. A quiet word with the waiter meant it was whisked away and a completely new sundae appeared very quickly. Always thank people for their help. It will make them much more likely to go that extra mile for you if you return and for the next celiac who walks through the door

         
    Benefits of online gambling top reasons to gamble online

     

    The online gambling industry is the most profitable industry on the internet. Millions of people around the world are wagering on sports online, playing online poker, bingo and even the lottery online at any of the thousands of gambling sites available on the net. Even people who have never visited a land based casino or a local bookie are finding themselves visiting online casinos and poker rooms on a regular basis. So, what makes gambling on the internet so appealing? Yes, you can play any game of your choice without having to leave your favorite chair. Still, you will not be served free drinks; you will not be able to watch the game you have wagered on from big TV screens; you can neither see the facial expressions of your poker opponents nor to hear the sounds of the coins fall from the slot machine when you hit the big jackpot… Here are the benefits of gambling online comparing to traditional gambling: Diversity: how else can you jump from an online poker room to the craps table and to a bingo hall while staying seated on your most comfortable chair? Most online casinos feature a large variety of casino table games, slots and video poker machines. Moreover, in many major online gambling companies you can switch from online casino gambling to online sports wagering with the same username and account. Bonuses: where else can you receive free money to gamble with? Most online casinos offer free money bonuses in order to entice new customers and to keep up with the competition. The bonuses can start from 10 dollars free just for downloading the casino software to a couple of thousand dollars for completing a certain required amount of raked hands Convenience: obliviously, what can be more convenient than playing your favorite casino game in the comfort of your own home while listening to your favorite music and drinking your favorite beer? Not to mention being able to put your dealer on hold each time up you want to take a break Smoking and Dress Codes: whether you are a smoker or a non smoker, when you are gambling online you are free from obeying the rules. Same goes for dressing, eating and drinking; you can either smoke non stop or remain in a non smoking environment; wear your sloppiest clothes or stay naked; eat, drink, talk on the phone, watch TV, whatever Atmosphere: when you are gambling online, there are not any cocktail waitresses who will sedate you with free drinks and distract you from beating the dealer. In addition, you can set an atmosphere of your choice that can include clocks or even a source of day light Beginner Friendly: a land based casino can be an intimidating place for the newbie gambler. The average online casino, on the other hand, is much more beginner friendly than its brick and mortar equivalent. Interactive tutorials, play money modes and the option of avoiding social embarrassment caused by misunderstanding of the rules and codes of behavior is a more pleasant welcome for the novice casino gamer or poker player Safety: yes, gambling online is usually safer than playing in a land based casino and carrying big amounts of cash money in your pocket. Most online casinos are reliable and respectable businesses that will not risk their reputation and lose their customers base by scamming their players In addition to the list of benefits mentioned above, online gambling offers equal opportunity for people with disabilities or those who cannot afford traveling out of their state to play in a legal land based casino. However, reading about the benefits of online gambling makes the huge popularity of online gambling, online poker playing and online sports wagering much easier to understand.

         
    Bingo history story of the game bingo

     

    The origins of contemporary bingo go back to 16th century Italy, where the lottery game Lo Giuoco del Lotto dItalia was introduced. The popular chance game was introduced to North America in the late 1920s by the name of Beano. A toy salesperson of New York was responsible for changing the name of the game into Bingo and to the increase of its popularity throughout the US. In the late 18th century, the original Italian lotto game made its way to France. Historical evidence shows that a game called Le Lotto was popular among the French high society who used to play the game in parties and social gatherings. Le Lotto used to be played with special cards that were divided into three rows and nine columns. Each of the three columns consists of 10 numbers, while each column had five random number and four blank spaces in it. Each player had a different lotto card where he used to mark the number announced by the caller. The first player to cover one row won the game. By the 19th century, the lotto game spread around Europe and started to serve as a didactic childrens game. In the 1850s, several educational lotto games had entered the German toys market. The lotto games purpose was to teach children how to spell words, how to multiply numbers, etc. By 1920s, a similar version to the lotto game, known as beano was popular at county fairs throughout the US. In beano, the players placed beans on their cards to mark the called out number. The first player who completed a full row on his card, used to yell out Beano!, until one night in December 1929, when a New Yorker toys salesperson by the name of Edwin S. Lowe visited a country fair outside Jacksonville, Georgia. On his way back to New York, Lowe had purchased beano equipment including dried beans, a rubber numbering stamp and cardboard. At his New York home, Lowe has been hosting friendly beano games. During one game, one excited winner who had managed to complete a full row stuttered out Bingo, instead of Beano. Listening to the excited stuttering girl, Edwin S. Lowe thoughts went away. Lowe decided to develop a new game that would be called Bingo. While Lowe’s Bingo game was making its first steps in the market, a Pennsylvanian priest asked Lowe to use the game for charity purpose. After a short tryout period, the priest had found out that the bingo game causes the churches to lose money. Since the variety of bingo cards was limited, each bingo game ended up in more than five winners. In order to develop the game and to lower the probabilities of winning, Lowe approached Prof. Carl Leffler, a mathematician from Columbia University. Leffler was asked to create bigger variety of bingo cards that each of them will have unique combination of numbers. By 1930, Lowe had 6,000 bingo cards and Prof. Leffler went insane. Since then, the popularity of the bingo game as a fundraiser continued to grow. In less than five years, about 10,000 weekly bingo games took place throughout North America. Lowe’s company grew to employ several thousands of employees and to occupy more than 60 presses 24 hours a day. Now, bingo is one of the most popular chance games in the world. It is played in churches, schools, local bingo halls and land based casinos in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the world.

         
    Bipolar disorder

     

    Do you know someone who is sometimes almost manic but at others seems depressed? Do their moods shift from a “high” to a “low”? If you do, then you might know someone who has what has been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a serious illness that can affect ones relationships, careers and self. People with bipolar disorder swing between manic moods like exhibiting high energy, becoming very talkative, restless or reckless and becoming depressed exhibiting sadness, crying, lack of energy and sometimes sleep problems. This disorder effects over 2 million people and occurs equally in men and women. Although the onset of bipolar disorder sets in during the early 20s there are often symptoms early in childhood. Some people have found a connection with BPD and ADHD. Because BPD and ADHD symptoms are closely mirrored, BPD is hard to diagnose in young children. It is equally difficult to diagnose adolescents as this is typically a very unbalanced period in our development overall. It is difficult to discern if the adolescent is portraying normal behaviors or if the mood swings are symptoms of BPD. In adults, there are other problems that will most often occur in conjunction with BPD. About 60% of men and women also have problems with drugs or alcohol, seasonal depression and anxiety disorders. Doctors are not completely sure what causes bipolar disorder. There is evidence however, that it is genetic and runs in families. There is also growing evidence that lifestyle and stress are contributors to BPD. Overall, medical experts have come to the conclusion that BPD is related to the chemicals produced by the brain. When the productions levels are higher, people feel a sense of mania. When levels are lower, that is when the lows, or depressions, set in. There are ways to treat BPD. The most popular ways are with mood stabilizing drugs. These, combined with psychotherapy have proven to yield positive results. A few considerations need to be taken into account when taking medication. Children and young adults sometimes have heightened suicidal tendencies while on mood stabilizing drugs. Medications should be used under extreme caution or other measures of control should be put into practice for younger people diagnosed with BPD. Another thing to consider is that even though one may feel as though they have been “cured”, continuous therapy should be used. A medical doctor, teamed with a psychiatrist to prescribe appropriate medications and a psychologist to assess mental health should provide a qualified team to affectively monitor and prevent the illness from worsening. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent BPD, especially since there is so much that needs to be learned about this illness. The best way to prevent or treat BPD is to be familiar with the symptoms. Symptoms of BPD include: -Excessive happiness or hopefulness -Restlessness coupled with a need for less sleep -Distractibility -Racing thoughts -High sex drive -Inflated self-esteem -Tendency to make larger than attainable plans -Tendency to make rash or poor decisions such as the decision to quit a job -Sad, anxious or irritability -Lack of energy -Increased need for sleep -Insomnia -Change in appetite causing weight loss or gain -Thoughts of death or suicide -Suicide attempt If you feel that you, or someone you know, may have BPD, then it is important that you note the severity of the symptoms listed above and how long they last. The most telling symptom of BPD however, is extreme mood swings of extreme highs and lows that do not follow a set pattern. BPD is not an illness that should be self-diagnosed however. If you suspect BPD seek medical attention as soon as possible from a psychiatrist or psychologist.

         
    Bipolar disorder what is it and what are the symptoms

     

    : What is Bipolar Disorder? I'm not going to try and give a medical definition here of bipolar disorder. There are plenty of those around on the internet if you care to do a search. I am simply going to give you my opinion, based on my experience. Bipolar disorder was formerly known as manic depression and this term for the disorder is still used in some quarters today. Bipolar disorder, as the name suggests, involves mood swings between depression and elevation plus all points in between. It does not only affect your mood however. It can affect your behaviour, your thought patterns, sleep patterns and feelings. These affects may be minor or major, but the effects of bipolar disorder in whatever its form require management and treatment. Untreated, a person who suffers from bipolar disorder can be well and truly on a path of self destruction. Indeed, the suicide rate amongst bipolars is quite high. Interestingly enough, bipolar disorder is referred to as a “mental illness”, yet if this is true and it is something in the mind, then how is it that it is treated with drugs? No-one has yet identified specifically what or how bipolar is caused, but the most common suggestions are that it is something to do with cells and activity in the brain. The brain is the organ we know least about, but it is a physical organ. That being the case, perhaps we should be referring to bipolar disorder as being as much a physical illness or disorder as diabetes. Bipolar disorder is a chronic disorder. That is, once it has been diagnosed you've won the lottery. You have it for life. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are broken up into two groups for all intents and purposes. These are depressive symptoms and manic symptoms. Manic symptoms are broken down however into a further sub-group known as “hypomanic” symptoms. Depression

    • Feelings of nothingness, a total "void"
    • Feelings of sadness and/or anxiety
    • Wanting to cry, but unable to do so
    • Crying uncontrollably
    • Remaining in bed for days
    • Contant tiredness and fatigue
    • Complete loss of interest in things you enjoyed
    • Ignoring daily responsibilities and/or personal hygiene
    • Loss of self esteem
    • Inability to make even simple decisions
    • Wanting to die
    • Suicide ideation
    • Restlessness, anger or irritability
    • Mania
    • Filled with energy, too much to burn
    • Extravagant spending, even with credit cards
    • Increased sexual activity and desires
    • Going without sleep but not getting tired
    • Feelings of extreme superiority
    • Delusions of grandeur
    • Reckless behaviour even at personal risk
    • Rapid speech
    • Racing thoughts
    • Grandiose ideas and schemes
    • Inappropriate behaviour
    • Total self confidence, being "bullet proof"
    A lower form of mania also can exist which is known as "hypomania". Symptoms of hypomania can include all of the above, but to a lesser degree. A person in a hypomanic state may exhibit many of the above symptoms but only to the point where they appear to be very happy or cheerful. Consequently, it is not as visible or easy to diagnose as a full blown manic episode. Because of the two types of mania, bipolar disorder is broken down into two groups, that of Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 and it is here that I will quote from the American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed. Bipolar 1 Characterized by the occurrence of one or more Manic Episodes or Mixed Episodes. Often individuals have also had one or more Major Depressive Episodes. Bipolar 2 Characterized by the occurrence of one or more Major Depressive Episodes accompanied by at least one Hypomanic Episode.

         
    Bird flu a global outbreak a global concern

     

    In the 1330s, the bubonic plague killed millions of people. Transmitted by rats, the disease originated from China. It later spread to Europe when merchants came back from their long voyage from China. The disease was also spread by fleas that when passed on to humans, became fatal. The bubonic plague continued for years and took the lives of millions of people. Seven centuries later, a new disease is threatening to kill many if precautions are not made. This new disease is avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu. Instead of rodents, birds transmit this disease to humans. Birds carry the bird flu virus in their intestines when they migrate for the winter. The virus, which does not affect the carriers, is deadly to those who come in contact with birds carrying the virus. When chickens, birds or geese come in contact with a bird carrying the virus through the bird’s saliva, nasal secretions or feces, they can become infected, fall ill and die in 48 hours. Humans infected with bird flu have symptoms similar to symptoms of human influenza: fever, sore throat or muscle pain. Because of this similarity, it is easy to mistakenly diagnose an actual bird flu as human influenza. However, humans infected with avian flu would have worse symptoms – eye infections and respiratory problems that could become life threatening. Influenza in pandemic proportions is recorded to have happened three times during the 20th century. The Spanish Flu of 1918, the Asian Flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968 claimed at least 20 million people worldwide. It’s important to mention that humans will not usually get bird flu unless they have been in close contact with infected poultry. 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, scientists and the health community are concerned that the disease, which usually affects poultry livestock, may evolve into something that will adversely affect humans. In some scenarios, the bird flu virus may become airborne or transmitted from one human to another. The bird flu virus has many subtypes, but the subtype that is proving to be fatal to humans is called the H5N1. To date, about 70 people in Asia are confirmed to have died from H5N1. When a bird flu outbreak occurs, the entire livestock has to be destroyed. This is similar to what happened during the mad cow disease outbreak when cattle had to be slaughtered and burned in order to prevent the disease from spreading to nearby cattle areas. The slaughtering and burning of cattle were done in many countries in the Asian region as well as in some parts of Eastern Europe and Russia. Antiviral medications such as amantadine and rimantadine, which are usually given to treat influenza, do not work on the bird flu virus. Drugs are being developed and temporarily used on patients who appear to have succumbed to the avian flu disease. Although they appear to be responding to treatment and are showing improvements, further tests need to be done to ensure the effectivity of these new drugs. Centuries ago, particularly during the bubonic plague, medical science was not yet developed to cope with an epidemic of pandemic proportions. However, with the advances in technology today, scientists will be able to study the avian flu disease further. By closely watching the migratory patterns of birds and understanding the disease, scientists may help prevent bird flu from becoming another global outbreak. With the help of the internet, information can be disseminated quickly to thousands of people around the world and a reaction force can be immediately deployed to stop the disease from spreading any further. It is important for people to realize that the bird flu virus is not merely one country’s problem. It is a serious global problem that affects all countries and all peoples.

         
    Bird flu a historical perspective

     

    Recent outbreaks have put avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu disease, at the center stage of the global health community. From relative anonymity, the disease acquired notoriety for itself when it claimed more than fifty human lives. The deaths from bird flu disease are relatively small when compared to the number of deaths from other diseases. However, the possibility of a global pandemic is serious enough that deaths caused by bird flu warrant a closer examination and alarm. Another pandemic waiting to happen Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the world is ripe for another influenza pandemic. An influenza pandemic occurs roughly every 30-40 years. The last influenza pandemic, which originated in Hong Kong in 1969, claimed 34,000 lives in the United States and even more in the Asian region. Although the viral subtype of the disease is still in circulation, the human body has already developed antibodies for it. Historical precedence is not enough of a basis towards setting off global alarm bells. However, the patterns seen in the outbreaks point to the possibility of another influenza pandemic. There are an increasing number of cases wherein humans have been infected with the bird flu virus and the death toll from the disease is now more than 50. One of the first signs of an impending pandemic is the crossing over of the disease from birds to humans. WHO is closely keeping its eye on the occurrence of a first case of human to human transmission of the bird flu virus. The human to human transmission of the disease will pose greater risks of infection to humans, which would effectively signal the start of a pandemic. To date, there are no recorded cases of bird flu being transmitted from an infected human to another. To date, all human cases of bird flu were contracted by victims after having direct contact with infected animals and their secretions. However, the global health community is very much concerned because the bird flu virus mutates easily and is constantly evolving, and the first human to human transmission of the virus may just be around the corner. Three global influenza pandemics: a brief history Three major influenza pandemics have occurred: in 1918, 1957 and 1968. The first pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919, had the highest mortality among the three pandemics. In less than a year, 20 to 40 million people died from the Spanish Flu, with over 50,000 lives claimed in the United States alone. Simultaneous outbreaks of the Spanish Flu were first detected in Europe and some parts of the United States. The infection spread to more areas through ships that traveled between the United States and Europe. Asia and Africa were eventually affected. The first wave of the pandemic was highly contagious although it was not deadly. The second wave, however, was deadly and occurred shortly in France, Sierra Leona and United States. It registered a ten-fold increase in mortality. In 1957, a second pandemic occurred. Called the Asian Flu because it was first detected in Hong Kong and Singapore, it was much milder than the Spanish Flu, claiming between one and four million lives. When the second pandemic hit, the people were more prepared and knew what to expect. This was due largely to the world’s experience with the first pandemic. The Asian Flu virus was soon isolated in Japanese and Singaporean laboratories. The findings helped the World Health Organization alert the world about the onset of a pandemic and vaccines were immediately produced and distributed. The most recent influenza pandemic happened in 1968 and lasted for a year. Dubbed as the Hong Kong Flu, it was first detected in China and later spread to Hong Kong where it escalated at an alarming rate. Like the Asian Flu, the Hong Kong Flu claimed between one and four million lives. It reached Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, particularly California.

         
    Bird flu an introduction to the latest global health threat

     

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently sounded a global health alarm in response to a new threat that has been emerging in several regions, particularly Asia. This threat is the avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu, which is an infectious diseases that affects only birds...until recently. What exactly is bird flu? Bird flu is an infectious disease caused by several subtypes of the Influenza A virus, which is known to affect birds, particularly migratory birds, ducks and chickens. Bird flu is also reportedly known to affect pigs and ducks although these animals only serve as carriers and are not known to exhibit symptoms of the disease. Migratory birds, in general, are equipped to handle the virus. They do not get sick but they have the ability to contaminate other birds in areas they migrate to. This is crucial factor in the spread of disease because migratory birds travel great distances, often from one country to another. When did bird flu start? Bird flu is not a new disease. First discovered in Italy in 1878, it was initially called “fowl plague” because it largely affected chicken livestock. However, it was only in 1955 that the Influenza A virus is the cause of bird flu. Since then, several subtypes of the Influenza A virus has been discovered in about a hundred bird species. According to research, wild waterfowls, particularly ducks, are the most common carriers of the disease. The ducks, however, do not get sick from it. It was discovered that gulls, waterfowls and shorebirds are natural “reservoirs” of the bird flu virus. These animals appear to have developed antibodies to fight against the virus. Other bird species, however, have not developed this immunity to the virus. Symptoms of bird flu Birds with mild forms of avian influenza can exhibit ruffled feathers and poor egg production. Birds with advanced or extreme forms of the disease may show signs of excessive shedding, respiratory infections and a swollen head. When the disease worsens, death usually comes within 48 hours. This is because bird flu not only affects the respiratory systems of birds but also other tissues and organs, causing major hemorrhaging. History of bird flu outbreaks In the 1980s, bird flu outbreaks in chickens and birds occurred in Scotland, England, Canada, Germany, United States, Australia and Ireland. Again in the 1990s the same countries, with the exception of Germany and Scotland, had outbreaks. This time, Italy, Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Chile joined them. However, these outbreaks were small-scale; and highly pathogenic outbreaks are rare. Then in 1997, a major outbreak of bird flu occurred in Hong Kong, which left 18 people infected and six people killed. In response to the outbreak, the Hong Kong government killed Hong Kong’s entire poultry population, which was estimated at 1.5 million. Many believe that this rapid response to the bird flu outbreak was the best solution and helped avert it from becoming a pandemic. To determine if a bird flu virus is highly pathogenic, eight chickens between four and eight weeks old are inoculated with the infectious virus. If 75 percent of the samples (six chickens) die within eight days, the virus is considered to be very pathogenic. In addition, a highly pathogenic virus will show a distinctive sequence of amino acids located at the cleavage site, the HA part of the chain.

         
    Bird flu diagnosis

     

    Central to the problem of dealing with bird flu is diagnosis. A number of upper respiratory infections have similar symptoms—at least at the onset of the illness, including the common cold, seasonal influenza, and bird flu. Seasonal flu and bird flu have almost identical symptoms—including fever, cough, malaise (feeling unwell), nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is, needless to say, a gigantic problem in accurately diagnosing bird flu—which is critical to beginning appropriate treatment as well as initiating infection control procedures and public health measures. Currently, accurate testing for bird flu and other vial infections that can cause similar symptoms is difficult and requires specialized testing. This testing is time consuming and only available in specialized reference laboratories, which are few and far between. Fortunately, this may change in the near future. According to Richard Janeczko, Ph. D., executive vice-president and chief scientific officer, Tm Bioscience, located In Toronto, Canada, is feverishly working to complete the final stage of development of an amazing test—not only for bird flu, but for more than 15 other viral infections (including severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS), many of which can mimic the symptoms of bird flu (personal communication). (Tm Bioscience is a DNA-based diagnostics company developing a suite of genetic tests. Tm Bioscience’s product pipeline includes tests for genetic disorders, drug metabolism, and infectious diseases. Additional information about Tm Bioscience can be found at tmbioscience. ) The test, called the Multiplexed Respiratory Test, discriminates influenza A from influenza B and identifies the H5-subtype of influenza A (bird flu is “H5N1”) from all other H subtypes. In addition, it can identify almost all the other common—and some uncommon—viruses that cause influenza-like illnesses. This is extremely important in managing patients, communities and economic issues. Other tests have lower clinical sensitivities and specificities which can lead to both false positives and false negatives. By incorrectly identifying an outbreak as due to H5N1, patients could be treated with anti-virals unnecessarily (thus raising the chances of selecting for drug-resistant strains), unneeded vaccination programs in asymptomatic individuals could be initiated, and damage to local and national economies—through such measures as culling of commercial poultry operations—could occur. Conversely a false-negative test result could lead to catastrophic outcomes, including a pandemic. The assay utilizes swab specimens taken from the nose and takes less than 5 hours to perform. It was developed for use as a diagnostic tool and for infection control in hospitals. The assay has been slated for expedited review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and TM Bioscience is hoping to have an FDA-cleared test available by the end of January 2006. If this assay delivers what it claims, it will have huge applicability on a global basis and save many lives. Bradford Frank, M. D., M. P.H., M. B.A. The Frank Group P. O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 AvoidBirdFlu

         
    Bird flu fundamental questions and answers you need to know

     

    Q - What is bird flu? A - Bird flu is an infection of a flu virus known to affect birds, particularly migratory birds, ducks and chickens. Bird flu is also reportedly known to affect pigs and most recently, humans. Thought to affect all species, the virus does not adversely affect ducks. Ducks have developed antibodies against the virus and they only act as carriers of the disease without exhibiting any symptoms of bird flu infection. Migratory birds are carriers of the bird flu virus and do not show symptoms of bird flu infection. This makes them a crucial factor in the spreading of the disease. Other known diseases are transmitted in one area or a few areas only with a small radius. However, in the case of bird flu, the virus can be transmitted over great distances – from one country to another – since migratory birds travel from continent to continent. Another factor that contributes to the spreading of the disease is the exportation and importation of infected birds in the international markets. Q - How is bird flu transmitted? A - Bird flu is transmitted through direct contact with infected poultry, particularly upon contact with infected skin, saliva, nasal secretions and feces. The virus also spreads through poultry feeds, water reservoirs and cages. When birds are packed closely together, such as in poultry farms, the avian influenza viruses spread very rapidly among them. Transmission of the virus from chickens to humans can occur through contact with equipment, vehicles and clothing that have secretions from infected poultry. Bird flu virus is resilient. It can survive in contaminated manure at very low temperatures for at least three months. The virus can survive in water for up to four days in hot temperatures and up to 30 days in cold temperatures. However, heat and disinfectants such as formalin and other iodine compounds are able to kill the virus. Q - Who are at risk? A - Many people mistakenly believe that they can contract the bird flu virus if they eat cooked chicken and eggs. However, chickens cooked at 56 degrees Celsius for three hours or at 60 degrees Celsius for half an hour are safe. The only way that people can contract the virus is if they come in direct contact with secretions and feces of infected poultry. Poultry raisers and those who are in the poultry and livestock industry are highly susceptible to contracting the virus. Those who prepare chickens and eggs of infected poultry may also be infected if the virus is fresh enough to infect them. Q - Is there a possibility of human to human transmission of the bird flu virus? A - Fortunately, there is still no sign of the bird flu virus being transmitted from one human to another. There have been cases of humans being infected with the virus and dying from it, but these people acquired the infection directly from birds and not from another infected person. This needs to be emphasized because there are some who think that the disease could be contracted from an infected human similar to how ordinary flu is transmitted. To date, there is no evidence of human to human transmission of the bird flu virus. However, many scientists believe that human to human transmission of the bird flu virus is highly possible because the virus is can easily mutate and is constantly evolving. Mutation of the virus may lead to human to human transmission and scientist say this can occur in two ways. One, the virus enters the human body and mutates within the body, and two, the virus combines with ordinary human flu in the body of humans or pigs, which are susceptible to both kinds of flu.

         
    Bird flu h5n1 influenza status briefing natural protection

     

    The Bird Flu has a defined area of infection and has found a host that has kept it alive for millenniums. Pigs are in the mutation chain as the virus transitions to people. The next bird flu step could be an overnite pandemic or a wimpering gasp of disappearance. The virus H5N1, has a few similarities with the Spanish flu of 1918 that resulted in one of the largest pandemics in the last 200 years. Both of these contagious outbreaks cause high fever, lower respiratory tract failure symptoms, prostration, myalgias, and a postviral weakness that could last up to 6 weeks. Twenty-four hour access channels have warned of a coming pandemic that may arrive in the form of H5N1 avian influenza, more commonly referred to as ‘bird flu’. The market for poultry products has decreased internationally because of a lack of consumer confidence in a safe supply. In Eastern Asian countries entire flocks of chickens have been destroyed because of an outbreak that easily spreads from bird to bird, infecting the entire flock. Proactive Steps Current laboratory research currently indicates existing flu prescriptions should be an active and readily available treatment should the ‘bird flu’ H5N1 make its presence felt. While this is good news, there is a second wave effect that has historically been seen in such a widespread influenza outbreak. The second wave may occur when the flu strain alters just enough to render existing medications ineffective. Knowledge is a primary key in the battle of any communicable disease. Understanding symptoms can provide both peace of mind as well as the information you need to know should a doctor’s visit be required. Defining Bird Flu Like the more common flu strains, ‘bird flu’ may include fever, sore throat, muscle aches and eye infections. However, ‘bird flu’ may also include pronounced lethargy, acute breathing difficulties and chest pain. In more extreme cases pneumonia may make an appearance as well as potential organ failure. This virulent strain of flu virus has, to date, been spread primarily through poultry and water fowl. The limited human fatalities that have been reported have all been a result of close interaction with infected birds. The incubation period for humans who do contract ‘bird flu’ may be as few as two days or as many as 17. Industry Protection Chicken farmers are taking radical steps to keep their investment safe. Disinfectant sprays are beginning to be applied and sterile clothing is becoming common when entering poultry facilities. Symptoms that include bird inactivity and decreased egg production are routinely reviewed and monitored. What If? Members of the World Health Organization have worked to develop a plan that could be implemented on a global scale to address both current issues as well as those that may be forthcoming in the event of a ‘bird flu’ pandemic. Steps are currently being taken to address the issues surrounding ‘bird flu’ and partner countries are gaining assistance from the findings of the World Health Organization. Flu Shot It is unclear if the annual flu shot will assist in the reduction of ‘bird flu’ cases should a pandemic occur. However, there is evidence to suggest they it may in fact do so. It may be that ‘bird flu’ will never reach epidemic proportions, but knowing what it is and what it is capable of doing is a help in preparing for a flu strain that could join the ranks of some of the world’s greatest viral killers. The best prevention of the bird flu is a strong immune system. Exercise the body and the lungs. Look for a natural antiviral supplement. While modern scientist search for a vaccine, we have natural remedies that we can employ. Colloidal silver is known to kill bacteria and virus.

         
    Bird flu how are americans going to catch it

     

    Bird flu, which is the lay term for the H5N1 variety of avian influenza, started in Hong Kong in 1997. Since then it has spread to China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Laos, Russia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Romania, England, Croatia, Macedonia, Kuwait, and most recently to Turkey. The H5N1 virus has infected many species including ducks, chickens, turkeys, tree sparrows, peregrine falcons, great black-headed gulls, brown-headed gulls, gray herons, Canada geese, bar-headed geese, little egrets, pigs, clouded leopards, white tigers, mice, domestic cats, crows, magpies, peacocks, blue pheasants, rare eagles, turtledoves, swans, terns, and others. Human infections have occurred in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and now Turkey. Almost all human infections have occurred by humans ingesting blood or insufficiently cooked meat from birds infected with the virus, or being in close contact with sick birds—children playing with sick or dead birds for example. One recent case involved a person acquiring bird flu by coming into contact with a glove from a person culling (removing and killing) infected birds. There have been several instances where transmission of the H5N1 virus is thought to have occurred directly from human-to-human—parents taking care of their children who had the virus. Transmission of the H5N1 (bird-flu) virus to humans to this point has, therefore—in the vast majority of cases—involved ingestion of, or being in close contact with, infected birds. As the virus continues to spread, via migratory birds from country-to-country, it could come to North American and the United States via this mechanism as well. If that were the case, then American’s could well be exposed to the virus through ingestion of, or close contact with, infected birds. This mode of transmission could also take place once the pandemic begins. However, once the pandemic actually begins, by definition human-to-human transmission will be the primary mode of transmission. In other words, once the pandemic starts, those who become infected will most likely have gotten their infection from someone else—another human. And, given what we know about seasonal influenza and its transmission, it is most likely that children will be the biggest source of infection. Therefore, while we might have to worry about acquiring the virus from both wild and domestic birds, the much more important source of human infections will be each other. Once the global pandemic starts, it will come to the United States through travelers from other countries where the pandemic has already begun—unless the pandemic actually starts in the United States—which is possible but unlikely. Bradford Frank, M. D., M. P.H., M. B.A. The Frank Group P. O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 800-488-2353 AvoidBirdFlu

         
    Bird flu human infection

     

    Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997, and since then has infected 125 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, killing 64 of them. It is spread by infected migratory birds (including wild ducks and geese) to domestic poultry (primarily chickens, ducks, and turkeys), and then to humans. Some infected people have developed abnormal clotting profiles resulting in excessive bleeding—which was a frequent clinical symptom in the deadly so-called Spanish influenza of 1918-19, which killed more than 100 million people worldwide. Indeed, bird flu shares a number of disturbing characteristics with the 1918-19 influenza virus. These two viruses have, in fact, recently been shown to be similar genetically. And in a recent laboratory experiment with mice, the 1918-19 virus was found to produce 39,000 times more viruses four days after infection than the regular seasonal human flu strain. The 1918-19 virus killed 100 percent of the mice that were infected with it, compared to none of the mice infected with the regular flu strain. With a current “case fatality rate,” or death rate of approximately 50 percent in humans, bird flu is obviously also a very deadly disease. There are only a few reports in the medical literature describing the clinical features of bird flu in humans. The clinical spectrum of H5N1 infection ranges from asymptomatic infection—where the person doesn’t even know he or she is infected—to fatal pneumonia and multiple organ failure. Some infected individuals develop liver or kidney dysfunction, and there were two children who died from the virus that came to medical attention because of diarrhea and seizures related to encephalitis (infection of the brain). However, the most common presentation is one of fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Approximately 70 percent of patients also have diarrhea, and a few patients have had only gastrointestinal symptoms (such as stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea) and no breathing problems. Deaths have generally been in normally healthy people. The first report in the medical literature of deaths from bird flu was on 12 patients living in Hong Kong. Their median age was nine years, with a range of one to 60 years. All presented with fever, and eight had symptoms or signs of upper-respiratory infections (five had clinical and X-ray evidence of pneumonia when first diagnosed). Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, including stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, were present in eight patients. There were a total of five deaths (one died with Reye’s syndrome, which is associated with taking aspirin in children). In a study of 10 patients in Vietnam with laboratory-confirmed avian influenza (H5N1), the mean age of the patients was 13.7 years. For eight of the patients, there was a clear history of either direct handling of poultry (chickens or ducks) or exposure to sick poultry in the week before the onset of illness. All presented in January 2004 with cough, shortness of breath, and fever, and seven had diarrhea; none had myalgia (muscle aches)—which is often found in the regular seasonal flu. Notably, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) was administered to five patients, four of whom died (treatment was probably started too late for the medication to be effective—it must be given within 48 hours after onset of symptoms to be effective). In total, eight of the patients died, for an 80 percent case fatality rate or death rate. As is apparent from the descriptions above, the presenting symptoms of individuals with bird flu are very similar to the symptoms of the normal seasonal flu. Infections caused by either the bird-flu virus (H5N1) or the seasonal influenza virus can be completely asymptomatic—that is, cause no symptoms at all. Fever, cough, malaise (feeling ill), and gastrointestinal symptoms are common to both infections. Excessive bleeding occurs only with bird flu, but currently this symptom doesn’t appear to be common. Difficulty breathing is more common with severe cases of bird flu, not seasonal flu. Runny nose and sneezing are found only with colds (or allergies). The cough in either type of infection is what is referred to in medicine as “nonproductive”—meaning there is no sputum brought up when coughing, or if any sputum is brought up, it is white in color. This type of cough is characteristic of upper respiratory viral infections. As either type of infection progresses or worsens, tissues may be damaged, disrupting the normal structure and function of the infected cells. This in turn may allow bacteria to grow and also cause damage. When this happens following a viral infection, it is referred to as a “secondary” bacterial infection. When this occurs, the color of the sputum characteristically turns yellow or green. If this happens, antibiotics are indicated to treat the bacterial infection. (Antibiotics are not indicated in the treatment of viral infections, because they don’t work.) It is safe to assume that during a bird-flu pandemic, most individuals who become infected with the bird-flu virus will either be asymptomatic—having no symptoms—or their illness will not be severe enough to require hospitalization. The small percentage who do become seriously ill will have to be hospitalized, and treated with either of the two antiviral agents available, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). A smaller subset of that group will develop life-threatening complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which requires treatment with a mechanical ventilator, a respirator. Some individuals may develop other serious complications such as liver failure, kidney failure, neurological problems—such as seizures, paralysis, psychiatric problems such as delirium or psychosis, or bleeding problems. However, it is reasonable to predict that most people infected with the virus will not die and will not have significant residual symptoms, although a small percentage will. Bradford Frank, M. D., M. P.H., M. B.A. The Frank Group P. O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 AvoidBirdFlu

         
    Bird flu personal preparedness must include these 4 critical areas

     

    The recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been powerful reminders of how destructive the forces of nature can be, and how preparation for them can mitigate their effects. Avian influenza, commonly referred to as “bird flu,” is a powerful force of nature that we must prepare for—or suffer the potentially devastating health and financial consequences. Bird flu is a viral contagious disease, just like the regular seasonal flu, but it might turn out to be 70 times more deadly. And, because of the nature of the virus, it might be most deadly for healthy children and adults, and pregnant women—just like the so-called Spanish flu of 1918-19 was. The report of the U. S. National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project, Mapping the Global Future, identified a global pandemic (an epidemic that is worldwide) as the single most important threat to the global economy. According to Shigeru Omi, regional director of the World Health Organization, “The world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic.” And according to Dr. Robert Webster, a world-renowned influenza researcher at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, “We could be heading for a global catastrophe.” Infectious-disease experts have repeatedly warned that it’s not a question of whether a bird-flu pandemic is coming; it’s only a question of when. Judging from the federal government’s incredibly inadequate response at all levels to hurricane Katrina—which is emblematic of its ineptness in dealing with large national emergencies, its slow and superficial response to bird flu to date, and its lack of leadership on this issue—it is clear that you cannot count on the government to protect you. You must take the initiative to prepare yourself and your family for the coming bird-flu pandemic. There are four essential areas that you must address to prepare for the bird-flu pandemic: 1) “social distancing”; 2) commodities—including food, 3) personal protective equipment (PPE), and 4) financial preparation. Social distancing refers to your living and work situations when the pandemic strikes. Without going to extremes, you want you and your family to be as far away from other people as possible. Bird flu is just like the regular seasonal flu in that you become infected from other people, not birds. (Although it might be possible to acquire the viral infection from birds, it is much more likely that, if you do become infected, you will have acquired the virus from another person, not a bird.) The bird-flu virus is extremely contagious; it is transmitted though casual contact with a contagious person (who might not have any symptoms during the first 24 hours of infection), through touching contaminated objects, and through the air. Because of this, you want to stay away from people as much as possible, and that means spending more time at home. Your children will not be at school, they will be home. If your home is on the 73rd floor in an apartment building in New York City, how are you going to avoid other people? You might want to think of an alternative living situation for a few months. The same principle applies to your work setting. If you can telecommute, that is the best scenario. If you don’t telecommute now, but because of the type of work you do it might be a possibility, discuss it with your employer. If you will have to continue to work closely with others at your job site, what can be done there to help protect you and others from infection? How can policies and procedures be amended to minimize contact with coworkers or customers? Are there hand-washing stations available? What are your employer’s plans for dealing with the coming pandemic? Discuss these and related issues with your employer and coworkers. The second area that must be addressed is “commodities—including food.” There will be sporadic difficulties manufacturing or producing goods—because workers around the globe will be sick or otherwise absent from work. There also will be supply chain disruptions—both because workers will be sick or otherwise absent from work, and because of regional, national and/or international restrictions on travel. These problems will cause a decrease or the unavailability of most or all of the products we easily have access to now. Commodities such as soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, and virtually everything you can buy at stores such as Wal-Mart will be difficult or impossible to obtain—for periods of weeks or months at a time. This includes the most important commodity—food. The federal government is always telling us to stock up on emergency supplies for three days. This will not be sufficient preparation for the coming deadly bird-flu pandemic. There will likely be limited food available in stores. In addition, stores are places you want to avoid anyway, because potentially contagious people might be there. Stock up now so that you have sufficient commodities, including food, for a period of months. The third area to address is so-called personal protective equipment (PPE), which you will have to use, depending upon circumstances. PPE includes special face masks, called N95 respirators, which help prevent infection through inhalation of the virus. Remember that avian influenza (“bird flu”) is a very contagious disease that can be transmitted through the air. The only way to counter this source of infection is through the use of special N95 respirators. These are disposable face masks that can be worn for up to eight hours. N95 masks were the type of masks worn by hospital workers during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic that struck a number of cities around the world, including Toronto, Canada. Surgical masks or other common face masks, sometimes used when sanding or painting and so forth, are not effective. Other elements of PPE include disposable latex or vinyl gloves, eye goggles or face shields, gowns impervious to liquids, and sometimes disposable booties or disposable head caps. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, most people who become infected will have to be cared for at home, not in crowded and overwhelmed hospitals. This means that caregivers taking care of loved ones at home need to be protected from the virus, just like hospital workers working in hospitals. The only way to be protected is to wear PPE. (Just washing your hands—the federal government’s primary recommendation for caregivers at home—will not be enough.) Once the pandemic starts, demand for PPE will be huge and supplies will be in very short supply—or nonexistent. Buy now or suffer the consequences later. The last area that must be addressed before the bird-flu pandemic strikes is personal finances. This is an area that governments at all levels have been mute on. However, preparing your finances to sustain yourself and your family during (and after) the pandemic could prove to be the most important area of preparation. Although the bird-flu virus is deadly and many of us will fall ill, most of us will not die from it—only one to two percent of the population will likely die. The vast majority will live—but under what circumstances? Think of hurricane Katrina—where most people survived—but where hundreds of thousands are now homeless and underemployed or unemployed. Because of the potentially severe local, national, and international economic consequences of the bird-flu pandemic, many of us will suffer financially. Businesses around the world will not be able to make or distribute products or provide services. There will be layoffs and some companies will go out of business altogether. At a minimum, people will be out of work for periods of weeks or months. Your child or children, if you have any, will be at home—not in school or day care. Will that force one parent to stay home from work to care for them? How will you pay your rent or mortgage and your bills under these circumstances? At Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to bird-flu preparation could make the difference between life and death, how much you and your family eat, and whether or not you can pay your bills, including your rent or mortgage. The government will not resolve these issues for you. Just like Smoky the Bear’s admonition, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Only you can take stock of this situation and do something about it. Think about it—and then do something about it. Bradford Frank, M. D., M. P.H., M. B.A. The Frank Group P. O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 AvoidBirdFlu

         
    Bird flu the threat of animal to human transmission

     

    When bird flu hit most Asian countries, it prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to urge China to test its wild birds, particularly geese that migrate from its waters during the harsh winter. The disease spread so fast from one bird to another that about 5,000 birds were killed in one season. People who have close or direct contact to infected poultry can contract the disease after coming in contact with bird secretions or feces. Although many are divided on the possibility of direct human to human transmission of the virus, this possibility has not been ruled out. Viruses, in general, are known to mutate. In the case of bird flu, family members infected with it may show different severity of symptoms, prompting a misdiagnosis. Also, if a person who has the common flu becomes infected with bird flu at the same time, it can lead to the mutation of the bird flu virus. At the University of Leicester in Great Britain, it was discovered that a full-blown bird flu pandemic could cause an 80% mortality rate. A team led by Karl Nicholson is developing the bird flu vaccine with the goal of decreasing the fatality should a fourth major pandemic occur. In the last century, there have been three recorded major pandemics: the Spanish Flu in 1918, the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968. In total, the three pandemics claimed at least 20 million people. The bird flu virus, which can be transmitted through direct contact with a bird’s infected saliva, nasal secretions and feces, can survive for up to a week at 22 degrees Celsius. At freezing temperatures, the virus can survive indefinitely. It is no surprise that the bird flu virus tends to last in colder climates and is pronounced to be almost as deadly as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). In addition to the transmission of the disease from the migration of wild birds traveling great distances, the disease is also spread when contaminated birds are exported and imported in the international market. In terms of safety in food handling and preparation, a cooking temperature of about 70 degrees Celsius is enough to kill the bird flu virus. It is important, however, to avoid raw birds and other raw markets meats from being contaminated. Cook eggs properly and check that the yolks are not runny. The simple act of washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw meats could spell the difference. Keep in mind that transmission of the bird flu virus to humans usually happens during the slaughtering process and handling of infected bird fluids. After slaughtering infected poultry, the virus typically stays in the intestinal and respiratory tracts, not in the meat itself. Cooking at right temperatures can help avoid the virus from spreading. The symptoms of bird flu are very similar to human flu. However, the severity of a disease can sometimes give way to announcements of a pandemic, which can cause political issues. In Asia where the incidence and actual cases of human transmission of bird flu occurred, WHO and the United States immediately took precautionary measures. The British Medical Journal, on the other hand, declared that a pandemic is still far from happening. No travel advisory has been issued restricting anyone from going to countries affected by bird flu although WHO has issued a warning to travelers. Travelers are advised against going to live poultry markets, getting close contact to any farms and having direct exposure to feathers, feces or droppings, eggs and poultry meat products. Travelers coming from afflicted countries are also not being screened. However, precautionary measures are in place, particularly in the media. Information is being disseminated in order to make people aware of the bird flu, its effects and what to do to avoid getting infected. Viruses are constantly mutating and evolving. Health watchers, practitioners and scientists are concerned about this because if a pandemic occurs, there won’t be enough time to prepare and develop a vaccine. They fear that we are once again on the brink of another major pandemic threat. However, with the strides being made by technology every day, hopefully the casualty won’t be nearly as high as the casualty of the past three major pandemics that claimed at least 20 million lives worldwide.

         
     
         
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