Wednesday February 7, 2018

Getting the flu? Follow these 5 steps to speed recovery

Flu season generally starts in October and can continue right up until May. Peak season tends to last around 13 weeks between December and March. In this time, the flu virus can wreak havoc on the US population. Flu can lead to serious health complications if not treated quickly. The CDC estimates that the flu causes anything between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths in the US each year. Fortunately, flu isn’t an inevitable part of winter, and you can avoid it. Here’s what to do if you think you’re getting the flu:

  • Take antiviral medication in the first two days: See a doctor or a medical professional within the first 48 hours of your first symptoms or coming into contact with someone else with the flu, and you’ll reduce the risk of developing full-blown flu and the associated complications such as pneumonia. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you generic antiviral medication which isn’t available over the counter.
  • Stay home: To make a speedy recovery (and to stop the spread of germs) you should stay at home for the time you feel unwell.
  • Follow good hygiene habits: Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, wash your hands regularly and disinfect surfaces. Just the basic hygiene rules.
  • Drink lots of fluids: Make sure you drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. It doesn’t just have to be water — juices, cordial and broth-based soup will all work just as well.
  • Get lots of sleep: Adults should have between seven and nine hours sleep every night to prevent illness. As well as an improved immune system, you’ll also feel less stressed.

Follow the 48-hour rule and the steps above and you can get better sooner. (Female First)


Cell phones cause tumors in rats, study finds

A 10-year, $25 million study by the National Toxicology Program using male rats found that the rodents tested to have high levels of radiofrequency radiation — the radio waves used by cell phones. They found that tumors were growing around male rats’ hearts, but not in the female rats and mice. In other words, females didn’t suffer the same consequences. The vermin’s entire bodies were blasted with way higher levels of the radiation than is allowed for cell phone communication, however, so the scientists warned against drawing links to Snapchat-addicted humans. “These findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage,” NTP senior scientist John Bucher said in a statement. “We note, however, that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.” Exposure to the rays did correlate with lower body weights for newborn rats and their mothers, although the creatures eventually grew to regular size, the study found. And there was also a “statistically significant” increase in the number of rats and mice with tumors in other organs — including the brain, prostate gland, liver and pancreas — but the researchers determined that the link between those and RFR was unclear. The study saw the scientists place the rats and mice into special chambers and exposed to the radiation for up to two years in a way that mimics cell phone usage — 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a total of just over nine hours a day. (New York Post)


It’s official: We’re spending less time on Facebook

“In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently. This reduction in usage comes after Facebook made a number of changes, including showing users less content from media outlets in favor of more content from their friends and family. “By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term,” Zuckerberg said. So what are we doing instead of playing on Facebook? In many cases, simply playing on different social media outlets. Just from 2016 to 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes and experts think there will be more total social media usage in future years. Instead of Facebook and Twitter, many are heading to Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, Snapchat users spend about 25 minutes a day on the platform and Instagram users 15 minutes. For one, swapping one social media outlet for another doesn’t do much to combat the loneliness of using social media. A study of more than 1,700 people ages 19 to 32 published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the more time people spend on social media overall (sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Snapchat) the more likely it is that they will feel socially isolated. Spend more than two hours a day swiping and scrolling and your risk of feeling socially isolated doubles, as compared to those who spent 30 minutes or less. Other negative impacts of high levels of social media usage include increased anxiety, depression and sleep issues. (Simply Measured)


Scientists have discovered specialized brains cells that appear to influence anxiety levels

The research found that scientists could control the activity of the brains cells of anxious mice. The brain cells that were the source of the anxious behavior could be turned on and off. It’s hoped the breakthrough could lead to more effective treatment for the approximately one-fifth of US adults who experience anxiety. The team of researchers discovered the cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s linked to anxiety as well as navigation and memory. The cells in the hippocampus communicate with another region of the brain, the hypothalamus, which tell the mice when to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. The study found part of the brain to be “enriched in anxiety cells” and that the hippocampus “can rapidly influence innate anxiety behavior.” In the study using mice, the researchers were able to control the activity of the cells using the optogenetics technique, which uses light to control cells in living tissue. The researchers are hopeful these discoveries could lead to further breakthroughs. (NPR)


Dead goose falls from sky, knocks Maryland hunter unconscious

An Eastern Shore waterfowl hunter was flown to the hospital, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Investigators say 51-year-old Robert Meilhammer was hunting with others in Easton, Maryland near the Miles River when a dead goose fell from the sky, knocked him unconscious and caused him head and facial injuries. Maryland Natural Resources Police, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office deputies and local EMS responded to the scene. Out of an abundance of caution, it was decided to drive the victim by ambulance to Easton Airport, where he was airlifted to Shock Trauma for treatment. (CBS News)


Man loses girlfriend to threesome partner, takes bloody revenge

A Brooklyn, New York, man caught his girlfriend having sex with another guy just one day after they all agreed to have a threesome — and, in a fit of jealous rage, beat him to within an inch of his life, according to police sources. Being the third wheel apparently didn’t sit well with the boyfriend, who ripped a leg off a coffee table and allegedly pummeled the other man with it. Cops responded to the incident on Sunday (2/4) around 6:45 p.m. and found the victim, 31, unconscious with severe head injuries. He wasn’t expected to survive. That’s when officers took the boyfriend, 54, into custody and later transported him to the hospital after he complained of chest pains. Charges against him were still pending as of 11 p.m., sources said. The man allegedly told cops that the victim was “raping” his girlfriend, 30, and that’s why he attacked him. But the woman claims this wasn’t the case, insisting that she wasn’t being sexually assaulted and that her boyfriend was in the wrong. The couple met up with the other man on Saturday (2/3) night and they agreed to have a three-way, the sources said. Things were fine until the following day, when the boyfriend left the apartment and returned to find that the ménage à trois had turned into a two-day affair. With the victim and his girlfriend in bed together, he pounced — striking the man with his makeshift weapon and injuring the woman in the process, sources said. She suffered cuts to her lip and face, but was expected to be okay. (New York Post)


Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle

Researchers have found tens of thousands of ancient Mayan structures in Guatemala. Historians say the Mayan civilization existed thousands of years ago in what is currently known as Central America. Now, researchers say they’ve found a “megalopolis” underneath Guatemalan jungles. That includes evidence of things like highways, forts, defensive walls, and palaces. As in the Mayans had built interconnected cities and were prepped for war. Researchers say the discovery shows that Mayan civilization was more complex and populated than they thought. (National Geographic)


Wednesday Gives Us:

  • Ballet Day
  • Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • “e” Day (math)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Day
  • National Girls & Women in Sports Day
  • National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • National Periodic Table Day
  • National Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • National Signing Day (First Wednesday)
  • Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbor’s Day

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