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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pill Identification Tools

pillid
Prescription drugs play an increasingly important role in modern life. People take pills to make them happier, address specific health concerns, and even improve their sexual performance. As more and more pills pile up in our medicine cabinets, though, it becomes easier for us to mistake one drug for another. Whenever you need help identifying a pill, you can turn to online pill identification tools that maintain large databases that list prescription drugs by identifying features and key imprints.

Imprints make it easy to determine what kind of pill you have. All you have to do is enter the numbers and letters into a pill identification tool. Reliable databases can provide accurate information within seconds.

If, for instance, you find a pill that says "100 MG" on one side and "G 4910" on the other, then you know that you have found 100 mg of sertraline hydrochloride, which is more commonly known as generic Zoloft.

Some times, however, you don't have the luxury of an easy-to-read imprint. The pill could be old, or maybe it never had an imprint at all. In these instances, you can search for the drug's name by entering identifying features of the drug. This doesn't always provide specific results as easily as searching for imprints, but it should give you a list of options that will help you identify the pill in your possession.

For instance, if you have a yellow pill in the shape of an oval, then you can enter those features into the pill identification search engine. These are fairly common attributes, so the tool will probably give you a large number of possible matches. Once you have the possible matches, though, it becomes much easier to determine the specific type of pill that you have, especially when the pill identification tool provides pictures of each option. From the above features, your search will likely provide results such as Endocet, Percocet, Meloxicam, and sertraline. Although these pills resemble each other, you will quickly be able to recognize sertraline over the others.

Pill identification tools vary in usefulness. Some contain more search parameters than others. After researching online identification tools, you will also find that some of them only contain information about legitimate prescription drugs. Other tools also provide information about common drugs that are sold illegally. This is helpful for parents who might find a few pills in a teenager's room. It is important to note, however, that illegally manufactured drugs can vary significantly in appearance. In these instances, you might need a chemical drug identification kit or even assistance from a drug laboratory.

Pill identification tools will undoubtedly become more important as people take more responsibility for their health. Knowing what types of pills you have been prescribed can help you determine how each one affects you and whether you have been given medications that might have dangerous side effects. If you ever have any doubts about the results of your pill identification tool, then you can always play it safe by consulting a doctor or pharmacist.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Improving Home Healthcare Through Telemedicine

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that in 2009 US healthcare spending increased 5.6% to $2.47trillion and represented 17.3% of the US economy. The increase from 2008 to 2009 is the largest jump in healthcare spending since 1960, and it is remarkable that in a year in which the US economy contracted by 2.4% healthcare and the federal government were the only sectors to show an increase. This growth is also occurring from a high base, starting at a level 30% to 50% higher than most industrialized countries, and is unsustainable.

Part of the healthcare cost problem is the way that most healthcare services are provided. Hospital Care represents 31.1% of all healthcare costs and is notoriously expensive. The average cost for 1 day in the hospital in 2002 was $1,290, nearly double the average cost from 1990 and since 2002 hospital costs have increased by more than 50%. Professional Services, which in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data includes Physician and clinical services, Dental services and other professional services represents another 31.3% of total healthcare costs and Nursing home care a further 5.9%. All of these services are provided onsite, in facilities and environments that are costly to maintain and where costs are increasing rapidly and represent more than 68% of the total healthcare expenditure in the US in 2007.

Cost however, is only part of the problem with this centralized model of healthcare delivery. Hospitals, clinics, Doctors offices and even nursing homes are notorious for spreading disease. According to a February 2003 article in The New England Journal of Medicine between 5% and 10% of all patients admitted to an acute-care hospital acquired one or more infections. The CDC estimates that there are 1.7million hospital acquired infections each year resulting in approximately 99,000 deaths, various sources have estimated that these terminal cases alone result in over $6billion in healthcare costs each year. These economic costs pale in comparison to the pain, suffering and loss of life resulting from these infections.

The centralized model also provides a setting that is at best impersonal and often dehumanizing. By design the institutional feel of hospitals, clinics, Doctors' offices and nursing homes can increase the physical discomfort of patients through raised levels of anxiety, disorientation, helplessness and even depression. Also the very nature of such institutions entails interruptions at odd hours by staff and other patients and a constantly changing cast of care providers that further add to the discomfort of the patient.

Treating patients in the home is much less costly and provides a familiar setting for the patient. It is also usually an environment that is more comfortable, lowers the risk of spreading infection and adds to the patient's sense of control over their treatment. The difficulty is that up until now much of the technology for cost and accessibility reasons needed the centralized model to be effective.

Telemedicine involves the use of telecommunications either through traditional phone networks, cell phone networks or the internet to diagnose, treat and monitor patients across large distances. Early use has focused on telecardiology and teleradiology where EKG and X-Ray information is transmitted over communication lines and monitored and analyzed at locations remote from the patient. Recently, new procedures now allow surgeons to perform certain procedures remotely and many hospitals have implemented remote nursing stations that can monitor patients from many facilities from one centralized location.

Telemedicine is also being used in the home healthcare setting to provide emergency alerts through personal emergency response systems and the monitoring of patients vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose level. The latest advances in home healthcare telemedicine have been in the area of medication management, which given the costs of poor medication compliance represents an enormous opportunity to not only save costs but to also greatly improve medical outcomes and save lives.

Over 50 million people in the US are on three or more prescriptions. While many of these medications are critical to improving the health of the patient the average compliance rate with their medication regime is only 50%. Poor medication adherence according to the Center for Disease Control represents a significant healthcare problem resulting in increased costs and poor medical outcomes. The current poor rate of medication adherence results in 10% of all hospital admissions (30% of all hospital admissions for elderly), 22-40% of all Skilled Nursing Facility admissions, 125,000 deaths per year and from $150billion to $300billion in annual cost/waste.

And this problem will only get worse as longer life spans and relatively low birth rates increase the nation's average age over the coming years. The older we get, the more medications we require and as the number of prescriptions increases so too does the amount of non-compliance. As a result, the cost to the health care system due to poor adherence is rising significantly.

There are a number of ways to improve compliance that have been tested by the medical community. Adherence rates can be significantly improved through better education, the monitoring of patients in the home, and improved medication management. Medication management devices help by organizing dosages, providing reminders to take pills and sending alerts to care givers when dosages are not taken. Telemedicine based medication management devices significantly improve compliance rates by utilizing all three of these strategies.

One such product that provides all of these functions is the Dispense-a-Pill (DAP) from HealthOneMed. The DAP is a telemedicine product that provides automated dispensing of pill based medications and supplements for specified doses, reminders of when to take each dose and alerts to caregivers and/or healthcare providers when doses are not taken. The DAP also provides, instructions, indications (what the medication is for) and warnings for each medication to be dispensed. It is the only home medication management product on the market capable of all of these functions and utilizing the DAP will reduce medical expenses, improve outcomes and save lives.

HealthOneMed is a medical device manufacturer that has developed a unique product to improve medication compliance in the home healthcare environment. Our product, the Dispense-a-Pill (DAP) is an automated pill dispenser that can handle a 90 day supply for up to 8 medications and includes reminders for when to take medications, instructions, indications, warnings and alerts to caregivers when medications have not been taken. Studies show that the use of reminders and pill organizers improves medication compliance. We feel that the DAP is a significant improvement over existing pill organizers and will greatly improve compliance rates for those that use it. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bad Breath and Proton Pump Inhibitors

Many people are confused about the relationship between bad breath and proton pump inhibitors: do these drugs for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) cause halitosis? The confusion arises from the fact that GERD itself is thought to be a cause of halitosis.

GERD is often cited as a cause for halitosis and proton pump inhibitors are a standard treatment for GERD-the idea that these drugs may cause the bad breath, or make it worse is a relatively new development. Some medical professionals, in fact, will assume halitosis in a patient with acid reflux is caused by the condition and use GERD drugs to treat it. We need more research to investigate proton pump inhibitors and bad breath to clarify these issues.

In 2006, Brazilian researchers reported on a study that suggested a link between bad breath and proton pump inhibitors. They reported that a large percentage of patients taking these drugs have halitosis. Furthermore, their research showed a relationship between halitosis and proton pump inhibitors regardless of whether the breath odor originated in the mouth or from a non-oral source. They suggested that the underlying cause was an overgrowth of bacteria, in either the mouth or the intestine, caused by the drug.

Interestingly, many experts feel that relatively few cases of halitosis are caused by acid reflux and odors traveling up the throat from the stomach. This lends more support to the suggestion that halitosis and proton pump inhibitors may be linked: it is possible some cases of bad breath associated with GERD in the past were actually caused by the drugs instead. In addition, it suggests that treating halitosis in GERD patients with these drugs may actually make the problem worse. The answers remain far from clear: more research on bad breath and proton pump inhibitors is required.

For the present, when patients suffer from bad breath and proton pump inhibitors are necessary for the treatment of GERD, the best recourse is still a good breath product that targets the bacteria that produce bad odors in the mouth. At least for those whose halitosis originates in the mouth, this approach should offer some relief.

Patients suffering from either halitosis or GERD should consult a qualified medical professional to determine the best course of treatment.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

brIt's always an exciting time when you are gathering together your bathroom remodeling ideas because when you update to the latest styles the change is refreshing and pleasurable. However, coming to a final decision about the types, models and styles can be a bit of a nightmare unless you do some careful thinking before you start.
First of all you must decide which basic look you want to create in your bathroom. For example, do you want ultra-modern bathroom light fixtures and a futuristic style? Do you dream of a rustic-style with bathroom storage cabinets finished in Tuscan Sunset color? Antique bathroom vanities are really hot at the moment and make an excellent starting point for bathroom remodeling ideas. Or do you just want a modern, functional bathroom with white louvered bathroom wall cupboards and discount bathroom faucets? Decide this first, because there's so much choice of bathroom accessories these days that you could drive yourself crazy if you tried to look at everything!
The latest trend in bathroom remodeling ideas is wall to wall bathroom rugs, which I think smarten up the look of bathrooms enormously. They won't go with an ultra-modern design, but apart from that they will make any bathroom look more luxurious and stylish. Make sure you buy Olefin bathroom wall to wall rugs, because this is the least absorbent material and it's also non-fading, mildew-resistant and machine washable.
If you like ultra-modern bathroom remodeling ideas then you'll want the super new Rectangular Bathroom Wall Mirror with Inset Halogen Lights which has two columns of lights embedded in the mirror so that they're flush with the surface. It's so Star Trek! Bathroom light fixtures now range from a simple bar with 10 bare light bulbs, to really authentic copies of original Art Deco designs and Victorian bracket fixtures.
There are plenty of choices of bathroom vanities like the Antique Bathroom Vanity in Antique Cherry which would make a splendid center piece and you can also buy matching accessories like the Antique Bathroom Wall Cabinet. With these decisions made you can start to expand your bathroom remodeling ideas and begin to look for old-style bathroom light fixtures like the Victorian Collection with a bronzed finish to complement your choice.
Bath hardware and vanities can serve as the centerpiece for your bathroom renovation. Oak or ceramic tables give your bathroom a rustic appearance of professionalism and sophistication. If you are a college student, bath decor and vanities can add a boost of energy and additional storage capacity to a monotonous bathroom. Large mirrors and hanging lights can make your bathroom unique and provide a better environment for applying makeup in the morning. If you are a guy and need to style your hair and freshen up for dates and nights out with friends, these mirrors can give you the visibility necessary in college bathrooms in dorms. Finally, add thematic elements to your bathroom: you can remodel it to resemble a jungle atmosphere, a circus for your kids or your favorite sports team as a college student.
When you buy a bathroom vanity unit you don't get the taps with it, but you can buy lovely bathroom basin taps which will enhance your new furniture tremendously. Lots of sites on the web stock high-quality discount bathroom faucets, which are exactly the same models you would buy locally and you really can save a fortune on all your bathroom accessories if you buy online. Window shopping on the internet is definitely the quickest hassle-free method to look for bathroom remodeling ideas.
Plan your bathroom storage furniture carefully. For example, if your bathroom is small you can make the most of the storage area above the floor by installing high bathroom storage units which only take up a small amount of floor space. All types of bathroom wall cabinets are great for small bathrooms because they don't take up any floor space at all and if you're going to have a bathroom medicine cabinet, make sure it's lockable for safety. Mirrors can be used to give an illusion of space in your bathroom and if you have a couple of bathroom wall mirrors fixed in the right places you'll be amazed at the effect they'll have.
Once you've made the difficult decisions relating to your bathroom remodeling ideas and have got your new bathroom storage cabinets in place, you can start looking for curtains which will complement them. Neutral plain colors will allow special pieces like an antique vanity unit to shine without having to fight for attention against bright flowery curtains. But if your bathroom storage units are a white contemporary style, then it's a good idea to jazz things up with fancy bathroom curtains.
The bathroom is an area where you want to maximize comfort, and a great place to start is with the design and style of the room. Vanities, mirrors and creative themes help to both personalize and renovate an antiquated dorm bathroom.

I hope that this will have helped you a little in your approach to bathroom remodeling ideas and that you'll think and plan first so that when you start shopping you'll have a good idea of what you want!

Bathroom Designs Idea - Can I Design My Own Bathroom?

Why not! Today, the bathroom is much more than just a room for grooming and a place to read. Bathrooms can be a good place for home exercise equipment and a good music system or TV, for example. What better way to unwind from the day than a soothing shower or warm soak in the tub with candles and relaxing music. So start a notebook. When you get a bathroom designs idea, write it down. Soon you'll have defined the bathroom that's just right for you.
Design my own bathroom? You bet you can! When designing your own bathroom, some of the questions you should ask (and answer) include:
1. How big will the bathroom be? Bathroom sizes include:
·    Master bathroom or luxury bathroom - includes toilet, bidet, two sinks, separate tub and shower, whirpool or spa and perhaps more, depending on your budget. Some master bathrooms are large enough to have exercise equipment, and they are subdivided into smaller compartments for privacy depending on what is needed.
·     Full bathroom - includes toilet, sink, and combination tub/shower plumbed along one wall. Typical dimensions are 5x7 or 5x8 feet.
·     Half bathroom - includes sink and toilet only. It can be placed on the main floor of your home to reduce the morning rush, and the family doesn't have to go upstairs to use the toilet. Common dimensions are between 3x6 and 4x5 feet, about the size of a smaller closet.
·        Small bathroom - includes corner shower stall, toilet and sink and typical dimensions are 6x6 feet.
·        Childrens bathroom - can be a three-quarter bathroom or full bathroom depending on the size of your home and how many children you have. Children's bathrooms should have plenty of storage and cubbies that are safe and colorful. If several kids will use the same bathroom, a wall or half wall between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom may be a good idea.
·        Guest bathroom - can be a three-quarter bathroom or a full bathroom.
2. Are you planning to have convenient storage in the bathroom? A design my own bathroom person will always include bathroom storage. You can find a combination sink/vanity for extra storage. A great bathroom designs idea is you can never have too much bathroom storage! Use the wall space wisely with shelves or cabinets over the commode or almost anywhere in the bathroom. Consider using corner shelves, and hang towel bars above one another. Add a medicine cabinet with mirror to your bathroom to store grooming supplies, medicine or toiletries. Traditionally, the medicine cabinet was always located above the vanity or sink, but nowadays you can place it elsewhere in the bathroom. Add a shower caddy to your corner shower for extra storage.
A medicine cabinet is an inexpensive way to create an extra space in the bathroom. Modern medicine cabinets come in a large selection of types and styles easily complementing your home decor.
Make sure that you use the hardware which is provided along with your new medicine cabinet. Also, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions before installing a new cabinet. If your medicine cabinet has lights, you may wish to consult a licensed electrician. All electrical connections must meet local and national electric codes. In addition, it is critical that any metal on the cabinet is grounded to prevent electrocution.
3. Do you have enough lighting planned for your bathroom? Natural light is an important element in bathrooms. A window, a wall or roof skylight will bring in natural light, a view or a dramatic skyscape. Having a skylight that opens is great because moisture build-up is reduced. Artificial lighting is also vital and often overlooked in a bathroom. Without good lighting, the decor and the personality of your bathroom can not be developed properly. Lighting for your bathroom can be natural and manufactured. Lighting should be used to brighten and define the space since both can affect your mood and how you feel inside your home.
4. Another bathroom designs idea - what about ventilation? If you live in climates prone to mold and mildew, you should install an exhaust fan in your bathroom. Ventilating fans are sized by the number of cubic feet of air they move each minute (cfm). A design my own bathroom person will have a good ventilation system that can move the air from the bathroom to the outdoors about eight times per hour or once every 7 or 8 minutes. Bathrooms generate humidity and moisture that can penetrate ceilings, floors and countertops. Remove odors and humidity from a bathroom by installing a power ventilator large enough to do the job. You do not want your walls to break into a sweat every time someone showers.

Design my own bathroom? Go for it! A design my own bathroom person will read as much as possible, thinking through what is wanted and needed in this important room. A bathroom designs idea will range from materials used to the bathroom layout to the finished colors. Having a successful bathroom project is about making informed decisions while planning and while building. Continue the process of learning as much as you can before building begins. How much can you spend, what style will the bathroom be, what size ventilation should you have and so on. Your answer to each bathroom designs idea question is what will guide you so you'll have the best bathroom ever.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ebola Virus Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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Ebola Symptoms
Health care is very important, because there are many danger viruses. Ebola Virus disease (EVD) is a life threatening and contagious disease which is contracted by human beings as well as primates. It is a hemorrhagic fever; caused by ebolaviruses also known as "filoviruses" (they are from the virus family "filivoridae"). There are five viruses that are included in ebolaviruses, four of which infect human beings while the fifth infects other animals.

Two simultaneous outbreaks in 1976 marked the first appearance of this disease. One of those outbreaks was in Sudan, while the Democratic Republic of Congo was the other country to be affected. The first case that appeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo was near the Ebola River, and so the disease got named after this river.

The viruses that cause Ebola are initially transmitted to human beings by contact with an infected animal (the virus mostly affects fruit bats, monkeys and apes) after which the disease spreads from one individual to the other. Physical contact as well as exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person can cause the disease to spread.

After eight to ten days of being infected by the virus some early signs and symptoms that may indicate the onset of the disease are fever, severe headache, muscular pain, chills, exhaustion and weakness. These symptoms are likely to become more pronounced over time. Other indicators which help diagnose Ebola are red and inflamed eyes (eyes may even bleed), raised rash, chest pain and cough, stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, noticeable weight loss, and internal bleeding.

Since these symptoms are pretty similar to those of typhoid and malaria, it is not easy for a medical practitioner to diagnose EVD. Once a doctor is of the opinion that a patient has contracted this virus, two blood tests can confirm if the individual is infected or not, these are known as Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Medical specialists have thus far been unable to develop any vaccine or anti-viral drug for this fatal disease, but the World Health Organization is actively seeking a cure. In the mean time, healthcare providers are using some basic intervention methods in an attempt to save the lives of infected individuals. These include injecting intravenous fluids (IV), providing body salts (balancing electrolytes), ensuring constant oxygen supply and keeping blood pressure normal as well as stable. Immediate treatment should be given if the patient develops any other infections.

Preventive methods that can limit the disease from spreading are to isolate those who are infected, and ensure that medical care is given in a private ward so as keep other patients from contracting Ebola. Furthermore healthcare specialists should be very careful while disposing syringes and needles. They should wear gloves and face masks, and they should make sure that they themselves are not at risk by avoiding direct contact with the bodily fluids (e.g. blood) of an Ebola patient. Furthermore, the disease is also known to spread even after the death of the infected individual, so family and friends who are mourning the death of a loved one who had Ebola should avoid physical contact with the deceased, particularly his/her bodily fluids.

Monday, May 16, 2016

How High Is Your Risk of Skin Cancer?

scHealth care is very important. Millions of people around the world are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. This condition is treatable in the early stages of its development. It can be effectively prevented as well. Find out whether you are at high risk so that you can take the right measures for prevention as soon as possible.

Complexion Matters

People with any complexion can get skin cancer. However, some are at greater risk than others. These are the people who have fair skin, blond or red hair and blue or green eyes. The fairer your complexion is the lower the amount of melanin in your skin is. Melanin works to protect your skin cells from the damaging UV rays of the sun. Hence, when it is in lower amount the risk of sun damage and tumour growth is greater.

Sun Exposure and Sunburns

Individuals who stay under the sun for long hours on a regular basis are at greater risk. The list includes people with certain occupations such as road workers and professional and non-professional athletes who practice outside. Those who use tanning beds and lamps on a regular basis are also at higher risk. You have to know that tanning is just the way in which your body protects the skin cells from UV damage.

Sunburns also put you at greater risk of skin cancer. People who had more than one occasion of blistering sunburn during their childhood or adolescence are more likely to develop this condition in adulthood. Generally, individuals who are prone to sunburns are at higher risk as well.

Mole Number and Size

Those people who have a large number of moles on their body are at greater risk of this condition and more precisely at greater risk of melanoma. Typically, those who have over 50 moles on their body are more likely to develop the condition compared to the rest of the population. Similarly, individuals who have over three large moles with diameter greater than 6 mm are at higher risk. These moles must be examined by a dermatologist on a regular basis.

Family History

Individuals who have a family history of this condition are at higher risk of developing it. This is especially true for those who have a parent or a sibling that has suffered from this condition. In the same way, people who have had this condition in the past are at greater risk of getting it again.

If you are at high risk of skin cancer, you must have regular skin examinations and take all important measures for protecting your skin from the UV rays of the sun.

Take advantage of one of the most efficient medical methods for Skin Cancer prevention and early detection used in New Zealand. Protect yourself and your loved ones in the best possible way.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus

zvcThe Zika virus is essentially transmitted to people when one is bit by an infected mosquito mostly found in tropical regions. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The virus belongs to the same family as Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow fever and West Nile. However, unlike some of the aforementioned viruses, there is currently no vaccine that can be used to prevent or even treat the infection. Until recently, Zika was largely an obscure virus confined to Asia and Equatorial Africa. So health care is an important thing.

The virus was first discovered in the year 1947 when a handful of scientists making a study of the Yellow fever in the Zika forest Uganda stumbled on a virus hitherto unknown. The scientists made the discovery of the unknown virus at the time in a feverish rhesus monkey. Fast forward to the year 1958 and it was discovered that the virus was mainly transmitted or spread through the bite of the aggressive Aedes mosquito though it can also be spread sexually.

The major cause of concern about the virus is its peculiar and alarming connection to microcephaly. Microcephaly is essentially a neurological disorder resulting to newborns spotting an abnormally smaller head. The resultant effect is of cause severe developmental issues and in extreme circumstances, death. From November 2015, Brazil alone has registered 4180 cases of microcephaly in babies born to women that acquired the virus during pregnancy. This is a far cry to the meager 146 cases that were registered in the year 2014.

How the Zika virus is spread

Transmission of the Zika virus is primarily through the Aedes mosquito. The virus is transmitted when the Aedes mosquito bites a person with an active infection and thereafter spreading it through biting other people. The symptoms of the virus are not severe but mild and include possible pink eye, fever, headache as well as a rash. In fact, up to 80% of individuals infected with the virus never have an idea that they are infected.

What you can do to protect yourself against Zika

Considering the fact that there exists no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus, the only way to protect oneself from the virus is through taking preventative measures. For starters, you can desist from travelling to areas with an active infestation. Secondly, you should avoid mosquito bites by sleeping under a mosquito net. Thirdly, make it a habit to wear long sleeved shirts as well as long pants that are thick enough to prevent a mosquito bite. Fourthly, ensure that you sleep in lodgings with screened windows and air conditioned rooms. If you are already infected from the virus, the best way to keep people around you safe is through taking measures not to be bitten by a mosquito.

What is being done to stop Zika?

Efforts to create a Zika vaccine have taken center stage with researchers doing everything in their power to ensure that the Zika virus is a thing of the past. However, until there is a breakthrough, it is important for people to implement conventional mosquito control techniques such as emptying standing water which is a fertile mosquito breeding ground, sleeping under nets as well as spraying pesticides.



Zika, Dengue And The Mosquito

Zika and dengue transmission.

zdI think by now, most people have heard about these 2 viruses; zika and dengue. These viruses have their origin on the African continent, and were originally only transmitted by mosquitoes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the most important culprit, but the viruses have adapted, and they are currently transmitted by a wide variety of day-active mosquitoes.

Over the last 10 years, both zika and dengue have evolved into a real pandemic, making victims all over the planet, though dengue has a much more lethal reputation.
Dengue causes 10.000 to 20.000 casualties per year, while zika has caused only a very limited number of casualties. The problem with zika, however, is that it often causes serious complications in pregnant women, leading to miscarriage and severe malformation of the unborn child. Health care is very important for your life.

Symptoms

The symptoms of both zika and dengue are, in most cases, rather mild. High fever, severe headache which concentrates in and around the eyes, joint pains and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms are easily confused with those of the flu.

Dengue victims usually also have a skin rash, and when they start recovering from the virus, they will experience some uncontrollable muscular spasms, which usually subside after a few hours.
What makes dengue so dangerous, is that there are sometimes serious complications which are often, but not only, caused by the age and health condition of the victims. Other reasons for complications can be an earlier infection with one of the 4 other types of dengue. Apart from the mild form, there are also the hemorrhagic dengue and the dengue shock. Any of these 2 complications are to be considered dangerous and potentially deadly, though the last one is the worst.

Hemorrhagic dengue causes the victim to have spontaneous bleedings, both internally and externally (nose, eyes,... ). It also causes low levels of blood platelets and blood plasm leakage. This condition can evolve further into dengue shock, where the victim experiences dangerously low blood pressure, which can force the body to go into shock. A dengue vaccine has been developed in 2010, but it is not yet commercially available. For zika, a vaccine is yet to be developed. Dengue is only being transmitted by mosquitoes, whereas zika has recently been confirmed to also being transmitted sexually.

Climate change

One of the Major reasons these viruses have created a worldwide pandemic, is the increase of long distance traveling over the last 20 years. But there is another reason which plays an important part in the spreading of both dengue and zika. Climate change!

The global warming has not only given the virus-spreading mosquitoes more viable territory, it has also increased their lifespan and the number of hours they remain active during the day! You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see where that will lead to. Because of that, diseases which were previously under control, such as malaria, are now making a comeback. Zika and dengue are even spreading in central Europe! Protecting yourself against mosquitoes becomes therefore more important every year, no matter where you live.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

5 Keys to Choosing the Right Individual Health Insurance Plan

The internet has made it easier to compare different health insurance policies and shortlist health insurance plans. With the right health insurance policy, one can make substantial savings if a family member gets sick. Although there is no golden rule to choose the right individual plan, yet, some common tips help in the decision making process. Five keys to choosing the right individual insurance plan have been listed below:

 Determine your need and your affordability:
Even before you start your online search for insurance plans, one needs to be sure about the details of the plan. You need to make sure that the benefits offered by the plan covers what you need for yourself and your family. However, the perfect plan will also come at a considerable cost. As an informed customer, you need to do a proper cost benefit analysis to make sure your trade-off between price and benefit is in the appropriate proportion. If we take into account, frequent trips to the doctors, medications and dental coverage - such scenarios eliminate unsuitable plans and makes the comparison process much easier.
 Don't overbuy:
The scenario is similar to buying a luxury car where the monthly EMI equals your home loan payment. There is no point in purchasing a health insurance policy with benefits which are unlikely to be used at a high and unviable cost. For relatively young and healthy individuals, a policy with a high deductible is more suitable. Deductibles are the amount paid by insurers before certain benefits kick in. A plan with a decent deductible will cost considerably less per month and could save money in the long run.
 Walk through several plans:
It is always advisable to go through several plans. In the process, benefits associated with different health insurance plans can be reviewed and analyzed for better decision making. At first glance, some plans may look appealing. Later, the same plan turns out to be a costly affair due to cost sharing arrangement. The burden of medical cost in the future will be a big headache. Hence, going through and analyzing several plans is the best way forward.
 Co-insurance and co-payments:
Several health insurance plans require the holder to contribute to the coverage payments. The contribution is called co-insurance and is the portion the customer has to pay after deductible. A co-pay is a flat fee one has to pay while paying a visit to a doctor or specialist. While choosing a personal health insurance policy, consumers should look into co-insurance and co-payments factors.
 Reputation matters:
After identifying the price and need of the plan, reputation of the company should also be in the reckoning. Ideally, a company with a long haul in the market should be trusted and relied upon. There are many ways to assess the standing of insurance companies and their health insurance policies.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Symptoms and Signs of Leukemia

A sign can be defined as something that can be recognized and observed by a healthcare professional or a doctor. A symptom on the other hand is something that can be recognized by the person who is experiencing it. These symptoms and signs of leukemia can also be caused by various other chronic health conditions. Thus it is extremely important to always have an unusual check for symptoms from a good doctor. Acute leukemia has symptoms and signs that may be similar to the flu and can come on suddenly within a few weeks or days. On the other hand chronic leukemia has symptoms that can gradually develop and people will then complain that they do not feel very well. This disease is discovered when a routine blood test is done.

Rare symptoms and signs
The rare symptoms and signs of leukemia are as follows.
•    Choroma
This is a tumor like collection that consists of leukemia cells and it is present under the skin and or other parts of the body.
•    Skin changes
Leukemia cutis can occur when the cells of leukemia cell enter the skin. The patches and sores can be of any particular size and are usually tan or pink in color.
Leukocytoclastic vasculitis can resemble a very allergic reaction on the skin of the person suffering. The sores can usually appear on the hands and also feet.
The sweet's syndrome includes painful sores and fever that can appear anywhere on the patient's body.

Blood count
A complete blood count must be done in order to measure the quality and number of the white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. The leukemia is mostly suspected when the cell counts of the blood are abnormal and the blood cells are not looking very normal. The abnormal blood cell counts may be due to various other conditions and can be extremely abnormal. These abnormal blood counts may be due to various other conditions and leukemia. The blasts may not exactly occur normally in the blood so the leukemia is suspected if the blasts are present. It is one of the important things to remember.

Acute leukemia
The white blood cells will be low, high or normal. The blast cells can also be present in the blood of people who have acute leukemia.

Chronic leukemia

In a chronic condition the white blood cell count is extremely high. The platelet count can also be low and anemia.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Breast Cancer, The Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancer In Women

breast cancerThe latest data from National Cancer Institute revealed that about 232,340 female and about 2,240 male are diagnosed with breast cancer in the USA annually and death counts reaches up to 40,000 each year. The numbers are stunning, but the good news is that this cancer will be fading away soon as researchers work hard to find their way through. In fact, breast cancer incidence is still higher in developed countries like the USA in contrast to developing countries in Asia and Africa. This is attributed to the difference in lifestyle and life expectancy between different regions. 
Breast cancer develops as a consequence of exposure to different risk factors. Age and gender is already an established risk factor for this cancer. Females that are 40 years old or older have higher risk of developing it compared to males. Family history is also a key risk factor. Studies have shown that females have 4 times higher risk of developing breast cancer in the presence of first degree relatives with the disease, and five times higher if there are at least three members of the family who have this disease. Moreover, a history of ovarian cancer in the family is also associated to increase risk of acquiring breast cancer. Lifestyle related factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are also risk factors. Other risk factors that are important to mention are getting pregnant at a later age, not being able to bear a child, and an early onset of menses and late age of menopause. These are all hormone-related risk factors proven to contribute to increased risk of exposing to this disease.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MDR and XDR Tuberculosis - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is defined as tuberculosis infection that is resistant to Isoniazid and Rifampicin, the two most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB usually results from missed doses, inappropriate therapy or incomplete TB treatment. Such patients need to be treated with at least five anti-TB drugs for at least 18-24 months. This second-line treatment is much costlier and has more side-effects. Extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is defined as tuberculosis infection that is resistant to the two main first-line anti-TB drugs and also to a few second-line drugs. This condition also arises due to inappropriate management of tuberculosis, and is treated on the same lines as MDR-TB.

Since the treatment of MDR and XDR - TB is very costly and toxic, the treatment options for such patients narrow down drastically and increase the mortality rate. This is especially true for patients residing in poor and developing countries. Ayurvedic medicines can be used as an additional therapy both to improve the therapeutic effect as well as to reduce the potential toxicity of modern medicines. In addition, Ayurvedic medicines can also boost the immune status in such patients so that the body is in a better position to fight and control the infection. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Herpes and Its Viral Consequences to Anyone

Herpes simplex can be described as a viral disease. It is caused by the popular simplex virus. There are many infections that cause this and these infections are categorized based on the part of the body that gets infected. There is also oral herpes that affects the face and the mouth. It can result in small blisters in groups that is often called as the cold sores and fever blister. It can also just cause a simple sore throat and have you down for a few days. Genital herpes is also often simply known as herpes and can have a few and minimal symptoms that can form various types of blisters. These blisters can break open and result in small ulcers.

The Stages Of Herpes And The Various Symptoms

The stages of herpes that develop physically for those who have the condition are, for the most part, the same for all people. The HSV-1 virus and the HSV-2 virus vary slightly in their manifestation areas, but for the most part, even the two different strains of the virus develop identically. This results in the physical characteristics of both oral and genital herpes outbreaks being essentially the same.

The early stages of herpes are characterized by redness in the area that first came in contact with the virus. As the redness begins to settle in the area, a pain or itch may develop. In some cases, the area will begin to swell. The swelling can range from being practically unnoticeable, to very severe.