Dengue fever is the fastest spreading and most threatening mosquito vectored disease.
The World Health Organization has deemed dengue fever a "pandemic threat." Transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito, this disease is now present in more than 125 countries--even more than malaria. There are no treatments or vaccines available at this time. While it rarely occurs in the continental U.S. it is endemic in Puerto Rico. The flu-like symptoms usually occur 4-7 days after the mosquito bite and last 3-10 days.
PositiveTip: Best control measures: Avoid mosquito bites, and remove standing water to limit breeding mosquitos.
Hearing loss may predict cognitive delcline in the elderly.
An observational study has found that hearing loss may predict increased cognitive decline in older adults. During six years of follow-up researchers found a 24% higher risk of cognitive deficit in those with hearing loss compared to those with normal hearing. Much more research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind these findings, and whether improving hearing (with hearing aids) would reduce cognitive loss.
PositiveTip: Good hearing hygiene, such as using ear plugs or hearing protecting ear muffs in loud, noisy environments, can help prevent hearing loss.
Do people really eat these meals?
It is hard to believe the meals that some people eat! To stroke your nutritional pride, take a look at the pictures and nutritional information put together on appallingly unhealthy meals at 22 Words. If you are still hungry--and your conscience allows--you can trip on down to your local chain outlet and get one--but please don't!
PositiveTip: It is a major challenge to eat out, and still eat healthy! Wise choices at the local grocery store may be your best bet when traveling.
Sitting for more than 6 hours per day increases your risk of premature death.
We have previously reported on the growing evidence that sitting for prolonged periods is a risk factor for serious health problems independent of physical activity. Have a look at the following infographic from IDEA. If you need more convincing on this topic, check out the references at the bottom of the page.
PositiveTip: Print this infographic and post it by your desk to remind yourself to move regularly during the day.
Effective ways to fight the flu!
Influenza is hitting the United States harder this year than in some past years. If you or a family member have it, here are five simple things you should do:
- Stay home to encourage healing and protect others from exposure.
- Rest as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- Eat sparingly and lightly: include broths, soup, toast, fruit, etc.
- Use a humidifier to ease stuffy noses and relieve coughs.
PositiveTip: To prevent a relapse, resist the urge to go back to work too quickly.
Eating fruit at least 1-2 times per week protects against severe asthma.
Eating fast foods three or more times per week is associated with a 70% higher risk of severe eczema and a 39% higher risk of asthma in teens, according to a recent multi-center, multi-country study. Even consumption of fast foods 1-2 times per week significantly increases the risk of wheezing and asthma in children. Interestingly, eating fruit 1-2 times per week significantly reduced the occurrence of wheezing, severe asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema.
PositiveTip: Avoid fast foods and eat more fruit for a healthier family.
The most common kid's activity before bed is watching television.
New Zealand researchers found that children and teens who spend the most time watching TV during the 90 minutes prior to sleep onset got less sleep than those who who engaged in non-screen sedentary activities. Late sleep onset was associated with significantly (P<0.001) more screen-based activity (TV, video games, computers) versus earlier sleep onset. Although casualty can not be inferred from this study, screen time certainly may disrupt or displace sleep.
PositiveTip: Promote longer and better sleep in your children and teens by encouraging limited pre-sleep screen time.
Each year in the U.S. 23,000 young women die because of binge drinking.
In 2011, one in five high-school girls and one in eight adult women aged 18-34 years participate in binge drinking more than 3 times per month. This study did not include women living on collage campuses or military bases. Binge drinking is a major risk factor for many social and health problems in women including sexually transmitted diseases, unintended and alcohol-exposed pregnancy, and breast cancer.
PositiveTip: Read Binge Drinking and inform yourself on the dangers and what can be done.
Expectant father's mental health status may be linked to troubled toddlers.
Norwegian researchers have reported an expectant father's distress during pregnancy may significantly increase his unborn child's behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties at the age of 3 years. These associations persisted after adjusting for many variables, including the mother's mental health. Earlier research has shown similar links to mothers mental health. The reasons for these findings are not fully understood. More research is needed before causation can be determined.
More than a third of those with diagnosed dementia continue to drive.
Austrian researchers have reported that the impressions of caregivers topped all other reasons to end the driving privileges of the elderly with dementia. More than 93% of those who stopped driving did so because caregivers thought the risks were unacceptable. They also found that more than 33% of patients with clinically diagnosed dementia continued to drive.
PositiveTip: The impressions of caregivers play a significant role in highway safety.