Toll Free: 1-877-335-2455
Fax: 877-889-9157

immune systems

What Are Vaccines?


When you hear the word “Vaccine,” you may get this word confused with two other words, “Vaccinations” and ” Immunizations.”

This article will explain simply and exactly what a “Vaccine” is and is not. First of all, a vaccine is administered one of three ways by needle injection, orally by mouth, or by a nasal spray, depending upon the vaccine administered.

There are different kinds of vaccines on the medical marketplace today. All vaccines contain a weakened organism or a killed organism. The vaccine’s purpose is to produce in your body a certain level of immunity against the organism of which its contents are made. Each vaccine’s purpose is to offer you protection against certain diseases or at least minimize the effects of the illness on your body.

Are Vaccines Safe?

Even since vaccines were born, there has been a controversy within the medical community and individuals alike as to the necessity and safety of certain vaccines. Many people do not believe the worth of these vaccines, while much more people know that vaccines lessen all kinds of disease processes and save lives.

For you to understand the risks and benefits of any vaccine that is offered to you, you must that the responsibility of delving deeper into any information available and weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision as to whether you or your family should take any vaccine. Discover how the medical community monitors and makes any vaccine safe, providing many more benefits to you.


  • Prevent serious diseases, for example, polio, chicken pox, and German measles
  • Increases your immunity
  • Protect you and all those around you from spreading diseases
  • Eliminated certain diseases
  • Prevents disease outbreaks which in turn protect those who cannot be vaccinated for one reason or another
  • Decrease in deaths from different diseases

How Long Do Vaccines Last?

  • Some vaccines are given yearly such as the flu vaccine
  • Some vaccines have an active age limit such as five to ten years such as the tetanus vaccine
  • Some vaccines given as a child require a follow-up booster injection after several years.
  • Some vaccines that are given to you as a child remain in your system, protecting you for life

Side Effects

As with everything else in life you are unique. The way in which you may react to anything is unlike your neighbor. Individuals respond differently to vaccination.

For example, when receiving the flu vaccination, you may have no side effects. Another person may complain of generalized ill feelings. Someone else may complain of some flu symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

None of these side effects are long-lasting and are short-lived causing a bit of inconvenience.

In Conclusion

Making an informed decision regarding vaccinations is vital to you and your children’s health and well-being.

Research shows that some of the diseases that were called “Eliminated” due to this prevention process are now starting to rear their ugly heads.

This surge in some rarely seen diseases is because many people feel that vaccinations are not necessary or important in this day and age. People are refusing any protection that vaccinations offer them. Many parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated with routine childhood vaccinations due to possible side effects.

Each state has certain requirements as to what protection they require children and adults have as a resident of that state. Check with your state regarding the rules and regulations regarding vaccinations.

When traveling abroad, certain vaccinations are required before you can enter your chosen country. You must present documentation that you are protected by certain disease processes prevalent in that country.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Different Types of Immunizations

ivImmunizations have helped safeguard young and old from potentially life-threatening diseases and the spread of harmful viruses for decades. Thousands of fatalities occur each year from infections that could have been prevented by vaccination. How can you stop the spread of intrusive and life-altering diseases from infiltrating your livelihood? Identifying the various diseases that strike frequently will ensure you know what to do next to keep infections from wreaking havoc on your peace of mind. And knowing what different types of immunizations are available can help you know what to expect.

How to Fight these:

Receiving vaccinations for any of the detrimental diseases listed below protects those most vulnerable to succumbing to infectious illnesses such as children, the elderly and those who suffer from weak immune systems.

  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Diptheria
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Pneumococcal
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Chicken Pox
  • Pertussis( known as a whooping cough)
  • Tetanus
  • Meningococcal
  • Hib
  • HPV

Types of Immunizations/Vaccines

  1. The Inactivated or Killed- This type is administered to prevent afflictions such as influenza, cholera, bubonic plague, and polio. Created from small pieces of bacterium or virus or protein.
  2. Live Virus or Attenuated- Applied to prevent yellow fever, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, and the mumps the live virus uses a weakened or modified form of the virus to trigger a better immunity response.
  3. Toxoids- Carrying a toxin or chemical created by viruses, these immunizations make you immune to the detrimental effects of diseases rather than the virus itself.
  4. Biosynthetic- Synthetic man-made substances found in this immunization type are very similar to portions of a bacteria or viruses. This vaccine prevents Hib viruses otherwise called the Haemophilus influenza type B.

Prevention with a Purpose

Why make sure vaccines or immunizations are up-to-date? Here are a few reasons that make sense to those who are trying to achieve a higher quality of living:

  • Vaccines are cost-effective. Millions of adults go to work every day, a virus can trigger illness that lasts weeks, and cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost wages. Immunizations are the affordable way to prevent such untimely occurrences from happening.
  • Even the young and healthy can get sick. Ensure you stay that way with vaccines that protect your best interests.
  • Convenience is the bread and butter of society today. Vaccinations play to the need for convenient and logical solutions to any number of inevitable outcomes.
  • Stop the less serious curable illnesses before-hand to lower the likelihood of getting incurable diseases like cancer later on. Hepatitis B and HPV are some of the leading causes of cancer. How do you keep deadly infections away? You get vaccinated.

Whatever type of immunization you or your family is considering, being informed allows you to make the best decisions for your life. Something as common as the flu can infiltrate your household. How you take action to prevent disaster from striking in the form of debilitating illness could change the outcome of your future. Find out how you can live better and longer when you decide that prevention is the practical answer to unwelcome disease.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benefits of Breastfeeding


Some mothers decide to breastfeed their babies when they are born while others would rather not embark on this journey. The topic of breastfeeding tends to be a pretty sensitive one as there is a big divide amongst women who breastfeed and those who do not. While there are plenty of benefits to both mom and baby when it comes to breastfeeding, it is not for everyone and that’s ok too. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a mother breastfeeds her baby for the first year of life and there are many benefits of doing so.

Nutrition Basics
Breast milk is made up of all the right amounts of vitamins, fat and protein that a baby needs to thrive. This milk comes in a much more safe and natural form whereas store bought formula can be based off of not so great ingredients such as corn syrup solids and sugar. Not to mention that there is a perfect form of antibodies that help a baby develop a really strong immune system. This can be beneficial in helping fight off bacterial and viral based illnesses.

Breastfeeding benefits are not just nutritionally based. There have been studies that show children who were breastfed for at least the first six months of like had higher IQ scores than those that were fed solely from formula. This isn’t just due to nutrition but also thanks to the physical contact a baby receives while they are nursing. Eye contact, skin to skin contact and being held can all help a child’s emotional and intellectual development. Babies that are breastfed are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well.

Immune Support
The benefits of breastfeeding occur during the period of time that a baby nurses but these benefits can often last a lifetime. Breastfeeding has been proven to reduce a lifetime risk of allergies and asthma. There is a decrease in ear infections, illness and stomach upset when breastfeeding takes place. More research will be done in the future to determine other benefits, but it is suspected that breastfeeding can reduce a number of cancers, diabetes and also obesity later on in life.

Benefits For Mom
In addition to breastfeeding being beneficial for the baby that is receiving the mother’s milk, nursing can also benefit the mother as well. With all of those extra calories being given to the baby, those post partum pounds can be shed quite fast. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during the nursing process and the uterus reacts by shrinking faster than normal. As for long term benefits, breastfeeding can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer throughout the rest of the mother’s life, not just the months where breastfeeding occurs.

The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the benefits of formula feeding is nursing is something you can accomplish. It’s not an easy journey to embark on but it is worth the work that you put into it. Utilizing the services of a trusted and reputable lactation consultant can help you address any issues that might be going on whether it be an issue with latching, staying latched or milk production. It is important to remember that only you can decide what is best for your baby. You may want to enlist the help of your medical professional as well when determining what is best for you and baby. Certain prescription medications can be harmful to a baby if passed through the breast milk, so always check with your doctor regarding this fact as well.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Importance of National Breastfeeding Month


Spectrum Health Services, Inc

August is National Breastfeeding Month and people are joining together all over the world to promote this natural and beneficial way of feeding one’s child. Not every mother chooses to breastfeed and not every woman is able to due to medical issues but mother’s milk is beneficial to both mom and baby and is recommended for the first year of like by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Promoting Health Benefits

Not all women receive optimal health care during their  and because of this, they may not be aware of the benefits associated with breastfeeding. With breast milk being comprised of all the perfect amounts of fat, protein and vitamins that a baby needs, mother’s milk is the way to go for the majority of infants. These days, many store bought formulas contain some really nasty ingredients like chemicals, corn syrup solids, refined sugar and more. Breast milk contains ingredients that the mother is consuming but if mom is taking care of herself and eating properly, then breast milk is beneficial.

Immune System Development and Care

Breast milk contains antibodies for a host of different illnesses and once consumed, the baby will form a resistance to these illnesses. Both bacterial and viral illnesses can be completely prevented thanks to breastfeeding and even if they are contracted by the infant, their duration can be much shorter. Some preliminary research is showing that breast milk can prevent certain cancers, diabetes and developmental delays as children grow. Ear infections, the flu and RSV can all be prevented or shortened by consumption of breast milk. Allergies and asthma are on the rise in children under the age of five but breastfeeding can also help prevent these things as well. These facts are easy to access when looking into the benefits of breastfeeding but for those who are not aware of it, national breastfeeding month can be a good time to get these facts out there and reach the masses.

Proper Child Development

Not every child will walk and talk at the exact same point in their lives but there is a general age where children are expected to meet certain milestones. Breastfeeding has been shown to help children reach these milestones on time or earlier than normal. When breastfeeding takes place for the first six months of a child’s life, they tend to have a higher IQ score than those children that were fed formula on a consistent basis. Keep in mind, this is largely in part to all of the great things that are in breast milk, but one of the benefits of breastfeeding that is promoted during national breastfeeding month is the bonding that occurs between the mother and the baby. Skin to skin contact is beneficial for development as is eye contact and being held and soothed.

The mother of the baby, whether baby is born yet or not, is the person who will make the final decision regarding whether they will breastfeed or not. National breastfeeding month can bring mother’s together to help educate and inspire women to nurse their babies. All other conflicts aside, including whether or not to breastfeed in public, breast is best in the majority of situations and national breastfeeding month can help get the facts out into the public so women can make an educated decision on what is best for their baby. Utilizing the services of a lactation specialist can help make this process simpler and more enjoyable for mom and baby. It is recommended that nursing continue for the first year of life.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Causes of Group B Strep



What is Group B Strep?

Group B strep are bacteria that can colonize in the vagina, rectal, and intestinal area of healthy adults and pregnant women. Statistically, about 25% of all healthy adults will at one time have a GBS infection.

While pregnant women do not often show symptoms of a GBS infection, there is a risk that they can transmit the infection to their newborn baby. Once transmitted, some newborns may develop complication which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and even sepsis, so infants who are at risk need to be monitored. The best way to prevent this is through early detection in the mother and administration of antibiotics to treat it.

Group B Strep infections can also occur in nonpregnant adults who suffer from chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, or cancer. Typically those over 65 are at higher risk, but the incident rates of GBS infection in nonpregnant adults has been steadily increasing throughout the years.

Causes of Group B Strep

Healthy people can carry Group B Strep in their body at any time, it can also come and go or can stay permanently.

GBS can be found in some pregnant women and if not treated can pass to their newborns. When newborns contract Group B Strep infection in the first week of life it is called early onset. For babies who are 1 to 3 weeks of age when they develop the disease, it is termed late-onset.

How Can Group B Strep be Transmitted?

Group B Strep is transmitted by a pregnant mother to their babies during a vaginal birth. Typically mothers who test positive will be given antibiotics during delivery to reduce the risk of transmission. This will occur in about 50% of mothers who have an active infection during birth.

Out of this 50%, only about 100 to 200 of these babies born will develop a GBS infection requiring treatment.

Who’s at Higher Risk for Group B Strep?

When it comes to having Group B Strep, the incident rates are higher among African Americans than Caucasians. While there are not many statistical differences with a mother becoming a GBS carrier, there are some instances where there is a higher risk of transmission to the infant, including:

  • Early onset of labor
  • Fever during labor and delivery
  • An active urinary tract infection
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Previous Group B Strep infection
  • Positive GBS culture after 35 weeks or pregnancy

Symptoms of GBS Infection

When an active Group B Strep infection is present, there can be some symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include.

In Newborns

  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Bluish color
  • limpness
  • Stiffness
  • Breath complications
  • Diarrhea
  • Fussiness
  • Problems with heart rate and blood pressure
  • Problems feeding

In Adults

  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Lung infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Meningitis
  • Joint infections

Treatment of GBS

While the most common form of treatment is to treat the mother with antibiotics during labor to prevent the transmission, once contracted a GBS infection is typically treated with IV antibiotics and sometimes a surgical procedure if a bone or joint infection is present.

While GBS infections can result in severe complications, they are often preventable in newborns with routine maternal screening which makes prenatal care essential to protecting your newborn against such infections.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Significance of International Group B Strep Awareness Month


July the Awareness Month for Strep B

July is the awareness month that helps educate expecting moms and individuals about Strep B. Strep B stands for Streptococcus a dangerous bacterium that can cause illness in newborns and individuals with weak and even strong immune systems.

Most of the time there are no symptoms presents when a person is infected with the bacterial infection, which is why it is essential for expecting moms to be screened for it before they give birth. If the infection is not caught before the newborn arrives and it is present, the infection can pass right onto the newborn during delivery. If a newborn ends up catching the illness there is potential for it to become serious and even fatal.

Why is Strep B so dangerous?

Strep B is so dangerous because it can turn into meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia without proper diagnoses and treatment. People with strong immune systems can typically survive and fight off these types of infections, but newborn babies during the first weeks of life tend to struggle. This is due to their weakened immune systems, and why so many babies who contract the Strep B illness pass away. Other health problems that can arise from suffering from a Strep B infection are hearing loss, and mental and physical disabilities.

How is Strep B tested?

Expecting moms and individuals are tested for Strep B through a genital swab test. Sometimes testing can be done with a simple urine or blood test. Pregnant women get this test done by their OBGYN or midwife at 37 weeks of pregnancy. Those who suspect they may have it can ask their family doctor to test for the infection.

With that said, the only true way an individual can know for themselves that they could be potentially infected with the bacterium is by experiencing symptoms. Without symptoms, individuals don’t usually suspect any can of infection until it becomes so serious staying in the hospital is essential for intense treatment to help rid the infection from the body.

What are some of the symptoms of the infection?

  • Infection setting into an area of skin
  • Painful urination with a UTI
  • Constant fever with chills
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Vaginal discharge and discomforts
  • Inflammation in the lungs or joints of the body
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches and dizziness if the infection spreads to the brain

Where does the Strep B bacterium live within the body?

Strep B bacterium is found in the mouth, throat, genital area, rectum and sometimes even bloodstream of the body. It is passed through bodily fluid contact, or simply encountering the bacteria hanging out on an individual’s skin. If an individual does become infected with Strep B, thankfully there are treatments that work effectively with curing the illness.

What are the antibiotics for most useful for treating the infection?

The antibiotics most commonly used for treating the Strep B infection are ampicillin, penicillin, cefazolin and clindamycin. These medications are provided orally, but with serious infection they are given through IV in the hospital. You can only get these medications through prescriptions from doctors.

End Thoughts for the Significance of Strep B Awareness Month?

The best way to save lives from Strep B is by becoming educated and educating others about the infection. July’s awareness month is the perfect opportunity to get the word out there to help promote proper screening for it in individuals of all ages. After all, everyone deserves to know about potentially life threatening infections that are preventable through proper screening and testing and treatable with simple antibiotics.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Meningitis


Image is from Pinterest

Meningitis is a fairly rare infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. These membranes are called meninges, hence the term meningitis. There are several types of meningitis:

  • Bacterial Meningitis is contagious among people in close contact and can be deadly.
  • Viral Meningitis is usually less severe, and most people recover completely from it.
  • Fungal Meningitis is rare and usually only appears in people with compromised immune systems.

How Does it Happen?

Most of the time, meningitis is caused by virus or bacterial infection. It begins elsewhere in the body, such as the upper respiratory tract, sinuses, or ears, and then spreads to the meninges. It can also be caused by medications, autoimmune disorders, or fungal infections, but these are more rare.

Bacterial Meningitis

This is a very serious illness that requires immediate medical attention. Death or permanent damage to the brain or other areas of the body can occur within hours if left untreated. There are several different kinds of bacteria that can cause it:

  • Meningococcus, which is the most common
  • Pneumococcus, which occurs in older patients with a weakened immune system
  • Haemophilus Influenza, type B, was common in infants and small children until a vaccine came out called hib.

Vaccines are also available for Meningococcus and Pneumococcus bacteria and are highly recommended for people with a special risk, such as a compromised immune system.

An infected person can pass the bacteria by sneezing or coughing. It is important for you to contact your health care provider if you are exposed to meningitis to find out what you can do to prevent contracting it. When bacteria gets into your bloodstream, it can travel to your brain and cause meningitis.

Viral Meningitis

This form of meningitis is more common and is usually less severe. There are many viruses that can trigger it, several of which cause diarrhea. Viral meningitis patients usually recover completely and are less likely to incur any brain damage.

Fungal Meningitis

This type of meningitis is rare. However, if you are suffering from a compromised immune system, from HIV for example, your chances of contracting it are greater.

Who is at Risk?

While anyone can contract meningitis, there are some age groups that have a higher incidence than others. These are:

  • Adults over age 55
  • Teens and Young Adults from age 16 to 25
  • Children under the age of 5

Certain medical conditions can also put you at risk, such as chronic disease or a damaged or missing spleen, and especially immune system disorders. These disorders occur when your immune system is either overactive or under active. When it is overactive, the body attacks itself; when it is under active, it decreases your ability to fight off infections. Some examples of immune system disorders are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Guillian Barre Syndrome
  • Psoriasis
  • Graves Disease
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatic Fever

Meningitis outbreaks are most likely to occur in areas where people are living in close quarters, such as a college dorm or army personnel living in barracks. This is because certain germs that cause it can be contagious. People who travel are also at higher risk, particularly if you are traveling to certain parts of Africa where the disease is known to be prevalent.

Keep in mind, however, that even if you are in one of the higher risk groups for contracting meningitis, it is still a rare disease, and there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting it.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Salmonella?


Image is from USDA Blog

Every year one million people fall victim to the debilitating effects of salmonella. An invasive food-borne illness this rod-shaped bacterium causes an estimated 380 casualties annually. Identifying the source of salmonella plays a key role in stopping a potentially dangerous epidemic from spreading to your loved ones or yourself. Know your enemy, know your defense. Here are a few important ways you can help prevent salmonella from affecting your day-to-day:

Understand the Threat:

Salmonellosis, the gastrointestinal infection resulting from exposure to salmonella is consistently reappearing each year. With over 2,300 strains of bacteria under the proverbial umbrella of salmonella, frequent reports of contamination are commonplace. Enteritidis and Typhimurium are two of the more popular serotypes (strains) that are known to attack residents of the United States. The intestinal tracts of humans and various types of animals are the starting place for salmonella-producing bacteria growth.

One of the more recent outbreaks, occurring in 2016, was linked to the handling of live poultry. Humans in contact with chicks, chickens, ducks and ducklings at multiple hatcheries pointed to the spread of salmonella to close to 900 people. Other outbreaks of the illness came from contaminated cucumbers, various types of butters, peanuts, ground turkey, tuna and eggs in previous years. By adhering to a few simple prevention procedures such outbreaks could have been avoided.

Prevent to Circumvent:

Young children, the elderly, those pregnant or people who have weak immune systems are the most vulnerable to salmonellosis. In these instances the effects of the illness could be life-threatening. Cut off the circulation of salmonella by avoiding the hazards and applying tried-and-true preventative tactics.

Here is a list of the various ways invasive salmonella can find its way into your world:

  1. Improper food handling and storage procedures are notorious culprits in the spread of salmonella.
  2. Unwashed hands can transmit human or animal feces that are tainted with salmonella to food or other hands.
  3. Reptiles can carry salmonella on their skin. Holding a reptile then preparing food or touching others is a recipe for salmonella contamination. Young birds often have salmonella in their intestinal tract. Handling live poultry then coming in contact with others also encourages harmful bacteria transfer.
  4. Raw foods, such as meat or eggs and unpasteurized dairy products are spawning grounds for bacteria production. Unwashed produce is also a known salmonella carrier.

Be aware of the many possibilities for contamination. If you know what to watch for, your awareness could stop painful infections. Washing your hands thoroughly, and employing preventative food handling procedures stops salmonella from spreading. If you have or someone you know has been infected, avoiding contact with others is the best way to ensure that the illness doesn’t continue down its destructive path. Recognize the symptoms to know the next step to take towards future prevention.

Recognize the Symptoms

If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms below, make a mental note of what you (or a family member) did in the previous hours or days before the illness. It may help doctors diagnose your malady more efficiently. Salmonellosis usually appears 12 to 72 hours after contamination has occurred. Typically the infection runs its course in 4 to 7 days. Depending on the severity, or other risk factors involved, a physician visit may be necessary.

Below are some symptoms that are synonymous with salmonellosis:

  • abdominal cramping
  • headache
  • fever
  • acute watery diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

The importance of washing hands and food cannot be stressed enough. Sometimes the obvious solution is the best one. Wash away harmful bacteria and acquire invaluable peace of mind.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding the Swine Flu


Image is from Flowing Data

Obtaining A Diagnosis

The only way to accurately diagnose swine flu is through a flu test. This is because the symptoms of swine flu look exactly the same as those found in conventional strains of influenza. Even differences of severity aren’t always indicators of one strain or another. While it is possible to see increased symptomatic characteristics stemming from swine flu, it’s just as possible to acquire this strain and feel as though you’ve contracted a regular bout of the flu. How you are affected will depend largely upon your personal constitution.

The extremely young and extremely old, like with conventional strains of the flu, will be at increased risk; likely experiencing more severe symptoms. This is because older and younger populations have immune systems which aren’t as strong as those in the prime of life. That said, if you live an unhealthy lifestyle replete with regular contact to diverse people groups, lack of exercise, and a ubiquity of vice (like smoking and drinking), you’re at an increased risk of contracting more severe influenza strains.

A Distinct History

There are actually quite a few different kinds of swine flu, including:

  • H1N1
  • H1N2
  • H2N1
  • H3N1
  • H3N2
  • H2N3

Primarily, the strain commonly referred to as “Swine Flu” is the H1N1 virus. This is that which caused a pandemic which quickly became global seven years ago, in 2009. Since then, this strain of flu has become seasonal in humans, though it still regularly circulates in swine populations. Thankfully, if you’re planning on eating pork, so long as any pork products you consume have been properly prepared, you won’t get the virus. Proper preparation includes cooking; so if you like your bacon soft and rubbery, you might have to give that up to avoid swine flu.

Avoiding Swine Flu

While properly prepared pork will not get you sick, it’s very possible to acquire the virus through poorly prepared pork products. If you can tone down your pork intake during flu season, it’s a good idea; even though you likely won’t catch the flu this way. It’s more likely to get transmitted by a sneeze, a cough, a loud phlegmy laugh, or contacting a door handle/table/hand-rail that’s been touched by an infected individual. Regular hygiene practices go a long way toward preventing influenza. That means washing your hands when you’ve come into contact with areas that may have been compromised, eating a diet high in non-processed foods that include fruits and vegetables, regularly exercising, and retaining a high level of fluids.

Additional Preventative Measures

Getting a swine flu vaccine can definitely help reduce your risk of contracting this specific strain of the flu. But to get that vaccine, you should be advised that peak health is to be recommended. A vaccine initiates an immune system response which bears some characteristics of the sickness itself. This is because an inert (or weakened) antigen is injected into the body, giving the immune system a chance to deal with it and prepare for a future incursion of the same.

Times Of Maximum Risk

Flu season conventionally begins toward the end of September, though it can begin as early as late August. It usually lasts through early spring. Conventionally, you’ll find that influenza season picks up at the end of Summer/the middle of Autumn. Several things which contribute are regular vacation travels, the new school year, and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving where disparate people groups regularly mingle. For you and your family, retaining good eating and fitness habits, as well as a proper inoculation regimen, are great ways to combat this increasingly prominent strain of the influenza virus.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Illnesses That Are Common in the Winter


Images is from Live and Learn

Learn about the most common winter illnesses and what you can do to fight them.

As the leaves began to fall off the trees and temperatures drop, illnesses such as the flu peak. Many viruses are more likely to spread in the winter. There are several reasons for this. Dry cold air makes it easier for viruses to get into your nasal passages and some germs, such as influenza, are more stable and stay in the air longer when the air is dry and cold. Plus, more people are indoors in the winter. Being indoors with all the doors and windows shut make it more likely that you will be exposed to germs. Here are some of the most common winter illnesses and ways that you can prevent them.


Influenza, also called the flu is a respiratory virus that is caused by influenza. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the flu virus is at its peak from November through March in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu is prevalent from May through September.

Symptoms of the flu include body aches, high fever, coughing, sore throat and runny nose. Flu is contagious and spreads from person to person by sneezing and coughing. It may also spread through infected surfaces. Populations most susceptible to serious complications from the flu include the elderly and very young as well as those with impaired immune systems.

The best way to prevent the flu is to make sure that you and everyone in your house is vaccinated against the flu. The flu can be treated with Tamiflu if it is diagnosed within 48 hours. Otherwise, the illness has to run its course.


Cold air can trigger asthma symptoms and causes wheezing and shortness of breath. Allergens are often a major contributor to asthma. Being indoors leads to breathing in mold, dust and dander, all of which are asthma triggers. Wind and rain also stir up allergens. Working out in the cold weather can also exacerbate asthma, making it more difficult to breathe. Ways to deal with asthma in the winter include:

  • Understand and avoid your triggers-If you are allergic to dust mites or mold, keep your house cool and dry.
  • Exercise indoors
  • Cover your face when you go outdoors


Noroviruses, also known as the “winter vomiting bug” is notorious for ruining cruise passenger’s vacations and causing entire ships to turn back around for port. Noroviruses strike not only cruise passengers, but those on dry land, as well. It is common on cruise ships due to the fact that they are highly contagious. Noroviruses spread through contaminated food and surfaces. Cruise ships provide the perfect setting for noroviruses due to the large number of people confined to a relatively small area. The symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. The best way to prevent norovirus is to wash your hands frequently.


Bronchitis is the irritation and swelling of the air passages of the lungs. This illness most often occurs in winter and is often a complication of another illness, such as the flu or asthma. Frequent coughing is the most common symptom of bronchitis. Although it is usually not a serious illness in healthy individuals, it can lead to pneumonia in certain individuals. If the condition does not go away in two weeks, contact your health care physician. To reduce the risk of bronchitis, wash your hands frequently and get vaccinated for the flu.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,