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Tick Season Has Arrived. Protect Yourself With These Tips

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Black-legged tick: Image AP

FORT COLLINS, CO – Tick season has begun across the United States, and experts warn that bloodsuckers may be as prevalent as ever. According to some analysts, another warm winter and other favorable variables will most certainly result in the 2024 tick population being equal to or higher than the previous year.

“It’s very bad and has only been getting worse,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Susanna Visser.

Rising ticks are spreading into new locations, bringing unique diseases. Exotic southern species, such as the Gulf Coast and lone star ticks, are being found in New York and other northern states, for example.

However, the tick that experts warn about the most is the common black-legged tick, which lives primarily in forests and transmits Lyme disease. Infection rates peak in May, with US health officials estimating that roughly half a million Lyme infections occur yearly.

Here is a peek at what to expect this year and how to protect yourself.

ticks

Black-legged tick: Image AP

TICK FACTS.

Ticks are little, eight-legged, bloodsucking parasites (arachnids, not insects) that prey on animals and occasionally humans. Some ticks carry illness-causing bacteria, which they spread when they bite.

There is no widely recognized estimate of the number of ticks that exist each year, but scientists agree that ticks are becoming an increasingly widespread health threat in significant parts of the United States.

Blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks because they feed on deer, are some of the most common in the eastern portion of the United States. They were abundant centuries ago, then declined when woods were cut down, and deer were hunted before rebounding alongside deer in wooded suburbs. Ticks have expanded from New England and the Midwest to the South and Great Plains.

Tick populations fluctuate throughout the year for various reasons. They prefer warm, humid weather and can be seen after a mild winter. The number of deer and mice available to feed is also important.

Researchers estimate that the black-legged tick population has been growing for at least four decades.

“This is an epidemic in slow motion,” stated Rebecca Eisen, a CDC research scientist and tick expert.

ticks

Black-legged tick: Image AP

2024 TICK SEASON FORECAST

Weather can influence the severity of a tick season.

Very cold, dry winters can reduce tick numbers, but recent winters have been mild, which some ascribe to climate change.

Scott Williams, a tick researcher at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, stated, “Winters are no longer limiting the tick population.”

Ticks can endure high temperatures but tend to hibernate during a dry summer. That happened in Maine from 2020 to 2022, according to Chuck Lubelczyk, a vector ecologist at the MaineHealth Institute for Research.

However, last year was exceptionally wet, and tick activity increased in Maine, the state with the highest prevalence of Lyme disease in the nation. The weather service predicts increased temperatures and precipitation, so “on paper, at least, it could be a very good year for the ticks,” Lubelczyk added.

Because of the warm winter in Wisconsin, adult ticks remained active longer than usual. The tick nymphs are emerging, and a wet spring is paving the way for a large population, according to Xia Lee, an entomologist with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The same holds for New York.

“It will be as bad as last year, if not worse,” said Saravanan Thangamani, a tick and tickborne illness researcher at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

What is Lyme Disease?

Not all ticks contain disease-causing germs; researchers anticipate that 20% to 30% of black-legged tick nymphs emerging in the Northeast and Midwest during spring and summer will carry the Lyme disease bacteria

Lyme disease symptoms often appear three to thirty days following a bite, including fever, headache, lethargy, and a bull’s-eye-like rash. If you are bitten and develop symptoms, visit a doctor to be treated with antibiotics.

ticks

Black-legged tick: Image AP

HOW TO KEEP TICKS AWAY FROM YOU

According to experts, the best course of action is to prevent getting bitten by a tick in the first place.

When you go outside, take note of woody regions and where grassy lands begin to blend into wooded ones. Ticks typically perch on ankle-level plants with extended upper legs, waiting to latch on to an unwary dog or human.

Try to walk in the middle of the walkway, wear light-colored, permethrin-treated clothing, and apply EPA-registered insect repellents.

How to Check for Ticks

When you get inside, check for ticks. They can be found anywhere on the human body, but the most common locations are around the waist, below the knees, between the fingers and toes, underarms, around the belly button, and the neck or hairline

They are more difficult to see while young, so inspect them closely and promptly remove them with tweezers.

The CDC does not advocate submitting individual ticks to testing services for analysis since a person may receive more than one tick bite, and the results of the tested tick may not provide enough information.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

Health

9 Effective Ways to Loss Weight Without Exercise

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9 Effective Ways to Loss Weight Without Exercise

Loss Weight Without Exercise: Losing weight is frequently associated with going to the gym, but what if I told you that you might lose those excess pounds without entering a fitness centre? Yes, you heard that correctly! There are effective strategies to lose weight without exercising, such as focusing on long-term food and lifestyle modifications that are simple to adopt into your daily life.

Understanding Loss Weight

The Science of Loss Weight

Before discussing the tactics, it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of weight loss. At its foundation, weight reduction is about creating a caloric deficit, which means eating fewer calories than your body requires to maintain its present weight.

Caloric Deficit Explained.

Eating less or burning fewer calories can produce a caloric deficit. When your body does not receive enough calories from food, it begins using stored fat for energy, resulting in Loss Weight.

Metabolism and its Role

Metabolism influences how quickly your body burns calories. Age, gender, and genetics can all influence your metabolic rate, but certain lifestyle adjustments might help raise it, resulting in weight loss.

Common Myths about Loss Weight

Numerous myths exist concerning weight reduction, such as “carbs are bad” and “you must exercise to lose weight.” It is critical to dispel these fallacies and focus on evidence-based tactics that genuinely work.

Diet-based Strategies

Focus on Whole Foods

One of the simplest strategies for reducing weight is to eat more whole foods. Whole foods are minimally processed meals high in nutrients and free of artificial ingredients.

Benefits of Whole Foods

Whole foods are high in important vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which can help you feel fuller for longer and lessen the urge to snack on harmful foods.

Examples of Whole Foods

Think on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and legumes. These meals offer a well-balanced mix of nutrients without the added calories found in processed foods.

Portion Control.

Even healthful meals can cause weight gain if consumed in high quantities. Portion control is essential for managing your caloric intake.

Understanding Portion Sizes

It is easy to overestimate portion sizes, especially when dining out. Understanding what a healthy portion looks like will help you avoid overeating.

Tips For Managing Portions

Use smaller dishes, read nutrition labels, and be cautious of portion proportions. These simple methods can significantly reduce your caloric intake.

Mindful eating

Mindful eating entails paying attention to what and how you eat to have a healthier relationship with food.

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating entails being present during meals, savoring each bite, and detecting hunger and fullness signs.

How to Practice Mindful Eating.

Eat carefully, avoid distractions such as television or phones during meals, and watch your body’s signals. This exercise can help you avoid overeating and Loss Weight.

Lifestyle Changes

Increase daily activity.

Being active does not require going to the gym. Increasing your everyday movement might greatly impact your Loss Weight journey.

Simple Ways to Move More.

If you work in a sedentary environment, use the stairs instead of the lift, walk or bike to nearby locations, and take short breaks to stand up and stretch.

Benefits of Increased Activity

Regular movement increases your metabolism, improves your mood, and can help you burn more calories even if you don’t follow an organized workout routine.

Improve sleep quality.

Sleep is sometimes disregarded in Loss Weight plans despite its critical function in regulating hunger hormones and metabolism.

Relationship Between Sleep and Weight

Sleep deprivation can affect hormones such as ghrelin and leptin, which regulate hunger and fullness and increase appetite and weight gain.

Tips for Improved Sleep

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, establish a relaxing environment, and avoid using devices before bedtime. Quality sleep promotes general health and weight management.

Reduce stress levels.

Stress can be a major impediment to Loss Weight, frequently leading to emotional eating and weight gain.

Effects of Stress on Weight

Chronic stress causes the release of cortisol, a hormone that increases hunger and promotes fat storage, particularly in the abdomen.

Stress Management Techniques

Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga. Finding good stress-management strategies can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Staying hydrated is important for Loss Weight.

Drinking plenty of water is essential for good health and can help you Loss Weight by increasing satiety and metabolism.

Drinking Water Before Meals.

A glass of water before meals can help you feel fuller and reduce your food intake. This simple behavior can result in a calorie deficit.

Healthy snacking habits

Choosing Nutrient-dense Snacks

Instead of empty-calorie snacks like chips and candy, choose nutritious foods that will keep you fuller for longer. Examples include nuts, fruits, and yogurt.

Avoiding empty calories.

Foods having little to no nutritional value, such as those high in added sugars and harmful fats, provide empty calories. Limiting these can help you control your weight better.

Conclusion

With the appropriate tactics, you can lose weight without exercising. You can achieve long-term Loss Weight by focusing on whole foods, portion control, mindful eating, increasing daily activity, improving sleep quality, lowering stress, staying hydrated, and selecting nutritious snacks. Remember that consistency is vital, as is making tiny, attainable adjustments you can stick with.

FAQs

Can you lose weight without exercising?

You can lose weight without exercising by making dietary and lifestyle modifications that cause a calorie deficit.

How crucial is nutrition for Loss Weight?

Diet is important for Loss Weight since it affects your caloric intake. A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet is vital for weight loss and overall health.

How does sleep affect Loss Weight?

Sleep is essential for balancing hunger hormones and metabolism. Poor sleep can increase appetite and lead to weight gain, whereas adequate sleep promotes weight management.

How can I limit my servings without feeling hungry?

Portion management can be achieved by using smaller plates, eating slowly, and choosing fibre- and protein-rich foods that keep you satiated for longer.

What are some simple strategies to alleviate stress?

Meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and indulging in enjoyable hobbies are all simple ways to reduce stress.

 

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Man Dies After H5N2 Bird Flu Infection

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H5N2 Bird Flu Infection
H5N2 Bird Flu Infection

A new strain of bird flu, H5N2, was recently discovered in Mexico City, following the death of a 59-year-old male. The strain is distinct from the H5N1 avian flu that has affected three dairy farm workers in the United States. Part of the concern is that the man was bedridden at home and had no prior exposure to birds or animals.

The individual did have underlying diabetes and severe kidney disease, both of which increase susceptibility to infections. He was ill on April 17 with a fever, shortness of breath, and diarrhea. He died on April 24. None of his contacts have tested positive for influenza A to date.

However, El Universal claimed that “12 contacts (seven symptomatic and five asymptomatic) were identified near the patient’s residence” and that serology results are awaiting. H5N2 is reported to be circulating in local birds.

It’s difficult to remember the names of all the numerous flu types—H5N1, H5N2, bird flu, swine flu, flu A, flu B, and more.

The three major strains of influenza, A, B, and C, are named after core proteins. We get annual epidemics of influenza A, which is the most severe. The 1918 influenza A H1N1 pandemic was deadly. Flu B is typically less severe and produces illnesses every few years. Flu C has not caused outbreaks.

The letters “H” and “N” in the names relate to surface proteins hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, which help the virus adhere to and penetrate cells. Sometimes strains mutate and switch genetic material, making them more infectious.

H1N1 and H2N2 mutated

This occurred when H1N1 and H2N2 mutated in birds, creating a “bird flu” capable of infecting humans. This culminated in the 1957 influenza pandemic in Asia caused by H2N2, a novel (to humans) strain.

Strains are also classified as highly pathogenic avian influenza or low pathogenic. The main concern in recent months has been HPAI H5N1.

H5N1 is the strain that has decimated several chicken flocks and dairy cows. We know it has spread enough to cause illness in a few people, but the magnitude is unknown due to limited and insufficient testing.

There has been a continuing H5N1 outbreak in Asia, with substantially greater mortality rates. Given the increased numbers, Pekosz stated that there has been “better documentation of the case fatality rate there.” “The high number of cases in Asia is mostly attributable to increased human-poultry contact in that region of the world.

If you restrict live bird markets and give poultry farm workers with simple protective gear, you may significantly reduce human H5N1 cases anywhere, but especially in Southeast Asia.”

Hantavirus

The H5N1 virus is becoming increasingly common in wild animals, most recently in cats and mice. Dr. Rick Bright, a virologist, pandemic expert, and former director of the United States Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, told The Telegraph, “This gets the virus closer to human homes. It raises the danger of direct exposure and illness.

It will make any control attempts much more difficult because the mice can rapidly transmit infection. Rodents are known for creating epidemics, including the Black Death (bubonic plague), Lassa fever in Africa, and Hantavirus in the Southwest United States.

Another complaint of current control attempts is the weeks-long wait in making data public, as well as the lack of genetic sequencing to detect strain similarities. Bright stated, “Need to urgently see sequences to know if it was fully avian virus, or possible reassortant with human H3N2 virus.”

People are also calling for vaccinations for dairy workers, which have begun in Finland.

For the time being, the recommended safety precautions are to wear masks and goggles when around milking cows and to avoid raw dairy products. I would also avoid 4H club shows and county fairs. If you can’t avoid going, it’s best to wear a mask and goggles, given what we know about transmission.

Source: Forbes

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UK Scientists Discover Major Cause of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD treatment

A major cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been discovered by UK scientists. They found a weak spot in our DNA that is present in 95% of people with the disease. It makes it much easier for some immune cells to go haywire and drive excessive inflammation in the bowels.

The team have found drugs that already exist seem to reverse the disease in laboratory experiments and are now aiming for human trials.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease. They are estimated to affect half a million people in the UK. It often starts as a teenager or young adult.

Lauren Golightly, who is now 27, told the BBC she had her first symptoms when she was 16 years old and had stomach cramps and blood in her poo. But this was put down to partying and it was not until she was 21 and having surgery to remove her appendix that doctors realised she had Crohn’s disease.

Three years ago she needed an emergency stomach after part of her intestines had “shut down” and still has to “take a lot of pain medication” because of the number of operations she has needed.

“It’s not the life I’d aspire to be living,” she says.

So what is going wrong?

One part of the immune system that is highly implicated in Cause of Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD are white blood cells called macrophages. These flood the linings of the intestines where they release chemicals – called cytokines – that lead to massive inflammation.

Inflammation is part of the body’s normal response to infection, but too much for too long can have devastating health consequences.

The group of researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and University College London performed a deep genetic analysis to try to unpick the cause of the IBD. They discovered a section of genetic code – or DNA – that turns out to be the macrophage’s “master regulator” of inflammation.

It sits right at “the top of the pyramid” says Dr James Lee, from the Francis Crick Institute.

The gene controls the suite of inflammatory chemicals the macrophages release, and some people are born with a version that make their body prone to responding excessively.

Dr Lee told me: “This is undoubtedly one of the central pathways that goes wrong for people to get inflammatory bowel disease. “It is the process by which one of the most important cells that causes inflammatory bowel disease goes wrong.”

World free from Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD?

Further experiments, detailed in the journal Nature, showed drugs that are already approved for other conditions such as cancer were able to calm this excessive inflammation. These were performed using samples from patients with inflammatory bowel disease IBD.

“We found not only how and why it goes wrong, but potentially a new way of treating these diseases,” says Dr Lee, who is also a gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital.

Yet, there is not going to be an new Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD treatment imminently.

The researchers have a head start as drugs already exist, but they need to find a way of targeting just the macrophages so they do not cause side effects throughout the body.

The drugs would also need to be precisely calibrated to calm the IBD, but not leave a patient susceptible to infection by switching off the good side of inflammation in fighting disease.

They aim is to start clinical trials within five years.

“This research is a really exciting step towards the possibility of a world free from Crohn’s and colitis one day,” Ruth Wakeman, from the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK said.

She added: “Crohn’s and colitis are complex, lifelong conditions for which there is no cure, but research like this is helping us to answer some of the big questions about what causes them.”

However, genetic susceptibility is still only half the story. It also takes something to trigger the development of IBD, with diet and antibiotic use all implicated.

Symptoms of IBD

  • diarrhoea
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • blood in poo
  • bleeding from your bottom
  • fatigue
  • losing weight without trying

The disease is distinct from irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) although some of the symptoms overlap. A diagnosis of IBD is only made if there is inflammation in the bowels.

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