Wednesday, January 21, 2015
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Measles is threatening to become another epidemic. It’s taking over the limelight from the flu and the Ebola virus.

It started as a simple case of Disneyland infection. Now, it’s even infecting 5 Disneyland employees, two of which received measles vaccination.

Did the measles really start from outside sources, or was it just lurking inside the theme park all along, waiting for unsuspecting visitors to come too close? Remember: measles are also airborne and can infect even without direct contact.

The growing number of cases are still too few to be considered an epidemic. What happened last year came as a surprise to government health officials with more than 600 cases on record according to the Centers of Diseases Control and Prevention report.

There’s a new angle here that is worth considering. There were several reports about individuals who received measles vaccines but were still infected by the virus just the same. Are the anti-vaccine groups right in resisting the government’s efforts to have everybody vaccinated with the MMR vaccines?

This question is very important. The inability of the flu vaccine to stop the flu virus effectively during this season gives more reasons for the anti-vaccination group to keep their children away from being vaccinated.

Were they right all along? Are health officials not telling the truth about the negative effects of the vaccines on their children?

The country’s health officials should pull their act together before a lot of people begin questioning their ability to come up with the right vaccine. And most of all, are they telling the truth? Once the American people lose their confidence in their health system that will be totally catastrophic for this country.

The hope is for health officials to contain the spreading measles infection soon. Another epidemic will not be good for the country. Americans have suffered enough already.







We always talk about migraines. But what are they? To explain it simply, it is brought about by the enlargement of the temporal artery (located just beneath the skin of our temple) coupled with the release of chemicals from the nerve fibers surrounding it. Inflammation of the blood vessel occurs and migraine headache follows. You need to google these things to understand them fully.

According to the latest numbers from National Library of Medicine approximately 2 % of Americans suffer from migraine with women more prone to it than men. The National Headache Foundation noted that more than 37 million individuals suffer from it. Other sources gave the figures at approximately 36 million for a difference of 1 million individuals. The number should give us an idea how wide spread this health condition is.

Some of the symptoms are nausea and vomiting and diarrhea.

People ages between 15 and 55 years old are the usual victims. About ¾ of the sufferers got it from their parents. It’s a DNA thing.

A new method of assessment, which was published in the January issue of the American Headache Society, explores the best available treatments at present to help ease the painful episodes of migraines. Scientific evaluation of the current drugs available for migraine treatment has revealed several of these were very effective.

Drugs adjudged to be “most effective” included triptans, dihydroergotamine (DHE), and many NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.  Also making the “most effective” list — butorphanol nasal spray, and the combination medications sumatriptan/naproxen and acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine.

Other medicines were classified to be “probably effective” or “possibly effective.”

The assessment made comments on opioids such as butorphanol, codeine/acetaminophen and tramadol/acetaminophen are “probably effective,” however they are not suggested for regular use. .

The assessment made recommendations that when prescribing migraine medications, doctors should take into account how effective the medicine is and what are the possible side effects.

“The assessment will be used to create new AHS guidelines for migraine treatment.”



Measles are unusually tough virus. Even with the presence of MMR vaccine, it continues to thrive when everyone thought it has been eradicated completely. Last year’s record may be completely eclipsed by this years out break. The incident in Disneyland was highly unexpected and it became the unlikely catalyst of the measles outbreak this year.

Who can forget what happened in 2014 when there was measles outbreak between Jan. 1 and May 23. The Centers for Diseases Control reported 644 measles cases confirmed. It was the highest number of measles cases in the US since 1994 and the worst in twenty years. It baffled experts no end.

The virus was suspected to have come from international travelers and unvaccinated people from the US. This is exactly what’s happening again.

Is history going to repeat itself this year? It still remains to be seen. There are now 26 cases reported in 4 states and the number is still growing.

Today, Orange County health officials have confirmed 16 measles cases so far. The California county health professionals are still in the dark where the infection might have originated. Orange County has been the source between 10 cases, when visitors from all over the world and the United States came for their annual pilgrimage to see Disneyland California Adventure Park or Disneyland last December.

There were 6 other infections confirmed lately, however the patients had nothing to do with the cases connected to the Disneyland incident.  This just goes to show, according to health officials, the measles outbreak have become more widespread. Measles are highly contagious, it is also considered a serious disease. It infects people both by personal contact and through airborne virus.

Carriers are difficult to pinpoint since they themselves may not be aware they have the infection until 4 days later when the symptoms start to appear. The symptoms include watery eyes, cough, fever, and skin rash.

Approximately 20 million people are infected by the virus worldwide annually with deaths running to hundreds of thousands.

Since the era of vaccination, the case of measles infections in the US have gone down drastically but the campaign of anti-vaccination movements has been driving parents away from vaccination centers.

Pregnant women, young children and individuals with weak immune system usually get infected first.

Anyone with measles are enjoined to call their doctors first before travelling to health care centers. This is to minimize the incidence of exposures to healthy individuals. Everyone are also encouraged by the Health Care Agency to take the vaccine since its 99 percent effective in stopping the measles.

However many parents refuse to heed the call. They continue to refuse to have their children vaccinated despite the threat of the measles outbreak. They have been influenced by the anti-vaccination group.




More headaches for e-cigarette makers as Western Pennsylvania cancer specialists have thrown their support behind more stringent control of the $2 billion electronic cigarette market. The growing calls to poison control centers is being blame on it. The Pittsburgh Poison Center in Oakland received 135 calls in 2014 for exposure to e-cigarettes and their nicotine-laced liquid cartridges, up from 18 calls in 2013 and one in 2009.

More than 50 percent of calls received in 2014 involved children who are 6 years old and even younger, according to medical director Michael Lynch. Most of the cases were not serious just nausea and gastrointestinal distress. What worries him most is the packaging technique which can easily be mistaken for candy wrappers by children. The storage is another source of problem.

“Even just a real small volume can cause potentially serious or fatal effects, which is why we’re concerned with their availability and ease of access,” Dr. Lynch said of the nicotine liquids. “It doesn’t have to be swallowed to be toxic.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta noticed more calls from all over the country with regards to e cigarettes including that of a toddler from New York who died from ingesting e nicotine.  He was the first child to die of e cigarettes related incidents.

The American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology asked for a more rigid set of laws nationwide, including compulsory childproof caps on e- nicotine cartridges and possibly the banning “youth-friendly” flavors.

Dr. Nancy Davidson praised the action explaining that “we don’t have any idea” whether the devices are safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes”. Lynch also asked parents to place the e-cigarettes in a safe place away from the children’s reach.

“I think our goal has to be to keep people away from tobacco and nicotine, the addictive part of tobacco, and e-cigarettes don’t help with that,” said Davidson, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Supporters of E-cigarettes argued that the proposed regulations are an overkill against a growing business that could help smokers stop their habit.

“Anytime there’s a potential for overregulation — and particularly in this case, where we have the potential for a huge public benefit — we want to tread carefully and not lose sight of the potential upside,” said Cynthia Cabrera, executive director of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association in Washington.

She said “no evidence” shows that the candy-like flavors are attractive to children.

Cabrera and other supporters said, “Many of the estimated 6 million adult e-cigarette users in the United States seek out the sweet-sounding varieties”. Advertising for e cigarettes increased to $79 million in 2013, up 278 percent from 2012, according to London-based Kantar Media.

E-cigarette supporters refer to it a pioneering invention which is less dangerous compared to tobacco smoking because it has fewer toxic ingredients. Health officials expressed their opinion stating that research efforts are not up to date regarding e cigarettes health effects. .

E-cigarette manufacturers said they have nothing against regulations and they hope they can find common talking points with the authorities which includes the minimum age requirements.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that some regulation is needed and will come into force,” said Oliver Kershaw, founder of San Francisco-based



If you think snails are helpless, think again! Some snails possess highly effective defense mechanism to compensate for their lethargic pace. They have a surprise in store for those who want to take advantage of their apparent vulnerability.

There’s a new research study to this effect which suggests some cone snails have a secret weapon in case they are being attacked. They are called insulin “stun guns”. This is a especial kind, unique to certain cone snail species. What it does is assault the immune system of the victim.

Some of these snails seem to have special kind of insulin mixed to their lethal venom, the University of Utah reported.

“This is a unique type of insulin. It is shorter than any insulin that has been described in any animal,” said senior author Baldomero M. Olivera, a distinguished professor of biology at the University of Utah. “We found it in the venom in large amounts.”

The poisonous venom works by reducing the blood sugar content of zebrafish. The venom acts by enveloping the fish in the water which disables the fish’s ability to swim.

The research team believed that by adding insulin to the mixture of venom toxins, enabled the snails to “shoot” at the schools of fish with debilitating effect. The hypoglycemic shock that follows stops the fish right on their track and allows the snail to escape. The dangerous mixture is released through a gun-like opening located at the mouth of the snail.

To better understand how the defense mechanism really works, a research team examined the gene sequence of all the proteins found in the venom gland of Conus geographus. They discovered two which looks similar to the insulin hormone found in humans and other animals. Hormones controls the immune system of both humans and animals.

The venom was subjected to lab analysis and was found out to contain large amounts of fish insulin.

The insulin found in the snail is different from other types of insulin since it only contains 43 amino acids which is fewer compared to other types. With further studies, the venom could be used  in controlling sugar and metabolism in humans.

The findings were published in a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.




It seems nothing good is coming out from research this days. All researches seem point to negative effects of the food on the human body. It’s not the fault of researchers but of fast food companies which are trying to pull a fast one on the consumers.

What is it this time? Its pizzas turn. The countries most favorite next to French fries. Pardon me if I’m wrong, I love French fries more than pizzas. Pizza is cheap, easily available, and parents approve of them.

However, there’s something else that every parent should know.

It’s unhealthy!

The new study shows that pizza is a major contributing factor to a higher calorie consumption among children whenever they eat it. Pizzas are so high calorie laden that when children eat them, they contribute 20 percent of the child’s calorie intake for the day and with it an increase in saturated fat and the salt contents in the children’s diet.

“Pizza “plays a major role” in weight gain among children” , nutritionist Rachel Beller said today on ABC News “Good Morning America”.

“We are just having too much of some of the wrong ingredients,” she said. “Pizza can be great if it is done right with the right ingredients. It just deserves an upgrade.”

Homemade pizzas with veggies with thinner crust made from whole grains is highly recommended by Beller. Using low sodium sauce and an all-natural cheese would be perfect for the kids.

The research was based on data involving children and adolescents up to 19 years old. It also made a comparative study between sugary drinks and pizza.

“These observations emphasize that pizza, like sugary drinks, may be a significant contributor to excess caloric intake and obesity, and should become a target for counseling for the prevention and treatment of obesity in pediatric practice,” they wrote in the study.