Health

Couples should wear face masks during sex, new study insists

Safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic might soon require protection beyond just the nether regions. A new study from researchers at Harvard University says that hooking up carries some risk for transmitting COVID-19 from one partner to the other, and recommends – among other practices – wearing a face mask while doin’ it. The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ranked frisky situations based on how likely it is to catch coronavirus while in the act. Researchers recommend wearing a mask for the riskiest sexual scenario: Sex with people other than those with whom one is quarantined. If you have an out-of-house coronavirus crush, the study says that – besides keeping your mask on – you should avoid kissing, as well as any oral-to-anal act, and anything that involves semen or urine. Shower before and after, and clean the space with alcohol wipes or soap. The study also mentions that having sex with people who are together in quarantine is safer, but there is still a risk. For instance, if one partner goes outside to run an errand and is exposed to the virus, they can transmit it to the other. Even if that person is ultimately an asymptomatic carrier, they can still infect the other. The safest approach to sexual activity, according to the researchers, is not having any. Abstinence, they say, is “low risk for infection, though not feasible for many.” Another option, they add, is masturbation. Other recommendations have come out since the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with some of them providing graphics to enhance the lessons. In April, the Oregon Health Authority released a sex guide that went viral, just weeks after the same happened to one released by the NYC Department of Health.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  You’re welcome..

Bored of the indoors? These are the best outdoor activities for social distancing

The best activities for this summer are the ones that involve staying away from people. After much of the country spent the winter and spring cooped up inside, many people are probably looking for ways to get out of the house during the summer months. Since the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, however, it’s important to remember to social distance. This can be hard with typical summer activities, like going to the beach, amusement parks or outdoor concerts, which all tend to draw large crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, however, posted on its website that most fishing rods are the perfect length for social distancing. On its website, the AGFC wrote, “Most common fishing rods are between 6 and 7 feet long, the distance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to space apart from others in public. Of course, the best way to practice this technique is to get outside and enjoy some angling.” While fishing is definitely a great option for people looking to spend some time outside, it might not be for everyone. For families looking to get the kids out of the house, Health.gov writes that playgrounds may not be a great choice, even if they’re empty. Since a lot of people use and touch the equipment, an empty playground can still have germs. Instead, Health.gov recommends playing games like hopscotch or four-square, which keep kids (and sometimes parents) active and don’t require any equipment (other than some chalk and some space). Health.gov also recommends avoiding activities like group fitness classes and team sports. The website recommends practicing individual skills, whenever possible, in an open space. They also recommend going to parks but avoiding ones that are too crowded. Also, the website advises that people come prepared knowing that certain facilities at these parks, like concessions and bathrooms, will likely be closed.

For more, click on the text above.

Raw cookie dough: Aside from the egg, there’s another important reason you should never taste it

Raw cookie dough. It’s as bewitching as it is vexing. On one hand, it smells sublime — but on the other, it contains raw egg, and shouldn’t be eaten until thoroughly baked. But it’s not just the eggs you should be wary of. Unless you’re whipping up a batch of gluten-free cookies, cookie dough usually contains raw flour, which can also make you very sick. Yes, raw flour. According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raw doughs containing flour — i.e. cookie dough, pizza dough, tortilla dough — should not be consumed, or given to children to play with (as a substitute for Play-Doh, for instance), as it can possibly contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli. “Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., a senior advisor with the FDA’s Office of Food Safety, said of the risk associated with eating raw flour. The FDA also warned against eating raw eggs and their association with salmonella, but urged that “consumers should be aware that there are additional risks associated with the consumption of raw dough, such as particularly harmful strains of E. coli in a product like flour.” The CDC cites two recent E. coli outbreaks (in both 2016 and 2019) that sickened over 80 people in recent years, both traced back to flour. To that end, the agency also advises you to throw away any of the recalled flour linked to E. coli outbreaks, in case there’s some still kicking around in your cabinets. Symptoms of E. coli poisoning can be severe, the FDA says, and include “diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps,” as well as vomiting. Extreme cases can lead to a certain type of kidney failure that largely affects children under 5, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems. Plus, most cases don’t present until several days after ingesting E. coli bacteria, the CDC says. With that in mind, it’s best to thoroughly cook or bake your raw doughs before eating, clean up any floured workspaces when finished, and avoid allowing children to play with raw dough as a substitute for clay. Oh, and don’t eat raw cookie dough, as tempting as it might be. Just wait out the agonizing 12 to 14 minutes for your cookies to bake. We know you can do it.

Vaping causes ‘slime cloak,’ mouth stress, researchers say

Vapers may think twice before taking another puff after learning of a new study revealing e-cigarettes’ power to produce “slime cloaks” in users’ mouths. Though the vapers involved in the study were in their early 20s and healthy, the study also warned that “at the molecular level, they were living life on the edge.” A study, published on May 27 in the research magazine Science Advances, showed how e-cigarettes can place stress on the oral microbiome and create an environment resembling a gum disease called periodontitis. While the effect of e-cigarettes on the respiratory system has received a lot of attention, the Ohio State University researchers say their study offers some of the earliest experimental evidence on e-cigarettes’ toll on oral microbial ecosystems. Senior author Purnima Kumar, professor at Ohio State’s College of Dentistry, told Inverse that oral bacteria coat themselves in a slime layer when exposed to vapor. While the “slime cloak” presents a challenge for healthy bacteria in attaching to the colony, it remains vulnerable to pathogenic characters, the outlet wrote. “Most importantly, these changes happen within three to 12 months of vaping,” Kumar told Inverse. “This is the fastest change [to the oral microbiome] to a human behavior that we have observed so far, [including] diet, antibiotic use, smoking [and] hookah.” Long-term consequences are unclear at this point because the findings are so new. The researchers conducted the study by collecting plaque samples just below the gums in a group of smokers, nonsmokers, former smokers who switched to e-cigarettes and dual-users. The study revealed 284 genes in vapers that were enriched, which signaled oral bacteria had entered a stress-response mode and created the slime layer. Researchers also reported increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, which also entails a bodily immune-response. CHEMICAL BURNS FROM VAPING? LUNG DAMAGE RESEMBLES MUSTARD GAS EXPOSURE, MAYO CLINIC DOCTORS SAY Kumar explained the inflammatory pathways activated among smokers and vapers differed, meaning vapers could see different consequences from the inflammation. The team pointed to two sugar alcohols, glycerol and propylene glycol, that may be the drivers of the changes in e-cigarette users’ mouths. Researchers also found the films continued to spread in the absence of nicotine. According to the study, 6 percent of Americans (including 3 million high school students) use e-cigarettes. The newly discovered changes in vapers’ oral microbiomes, not to mention previous reports of vaping-related fatalities and lung injuries, could be reason for alarm over additional health consequences to come.

One word..  Ewww!   If you vape, you’ve been warned.  If you don’t, but know someone who does, forward this article to them..

Only drug in US to treat ‘severe’ malaria approved by FDA, federal agency says

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced the approval of the only drug in the country to treat “severe” cases of malaria in both adults and pediatric patients. The FDA granted approval for the drug, artesunate, for injection, to the Maryland-based company Amivas, according to a Tuesday statement on the federal agency’s website. “Treatment of severe malaria with intravenous (IV) artesunate should always be followed by a complete treatment course of an appropriate oral antimalarial regimen,” the FDA said when announcing its approval. “Prior to this approval, IV artesunate was only available to patients through the FDA’s Expanded Access Program, which allowed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide IV artesunate to U.S. patients with severe malaria and to patients with uncomplicated malaria who are unable to take oral medications under an investigational new drug (IND) protocol,” the FDA said, noting that in the U.S., there has been “no FDA-approved drug for treatment of severe malaria… since the marketing of quinine was discontinued by the manufacturer in March 2019.” In two separate randomized control trials, the drug was found to lower the death rate in those treated with it when compared to patients treated with quinine, the FDA said. “This approval will now give patients more access to a life-saving drug,” said Dr. John Farley, the acting director of the Office of Infectious Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “Furthermore, the risk of developing severe malaria emphasizes the importance of taking medications to prevent malaria and using mosquito avoidance measures when traveling to malaria-endemic areas.” Each year, the U.S. sees about 2,000 cases of malaria, with 300 of those cases considered severe, as per the FDA.

For more info, click on the text above.

Prevent mosquito-spread viruses this summer with these tips

In the wake of the West Nile virus case announced Thursday in New Mexico, experts want the public to be aware that mosquitos can carry other diseases too. Aside from the West Nile virus, mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue and yellow fever to humans as well, just to name a few, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC). Mosquitos find refuge in warmer places when temperatures dip in order to survive. These areas can include garages, sheds and beneath homes. Mosquito bites can result in itchiness but also a range of mild to rare, severe illnesses. The best way to avoid illness is to prevent mosquito bites, the agency says. Methods of prevention include insect repellent, covering up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and keeping mosquitoes out of the home by shutting windows and using the air conditioner, or screened windows and doors. The CDC says there are no vaccines or medicines available for most viruses spread by mosquitoes, with the exception of Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Travelers planning on visiting areas at-risk of those viruses should get the proper vaccinations. Upon return, travelers are advised to prevent mosquito bites because potentially contracted viruses could be spread to uninfected mosquitoes. Watch out for symptoms like fever, headache, muscle, joint pain and rash after traveling — contact your medical provider right away and disclose your travel history. West Nile Virus is the most common virus spread through infected mosquitoes in the U.S., while Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands claim home to dengue, Zika and chikungunya. Find more guidance from the CDC by clicking here:

Fauci says extended stay-home orders could cause ‘irreparable damage’

Stay-home orders that extend too long could cause the U.S. “irreparable damage,” Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Friday. Strict crackdowns on large gatherings and other orders, such as for home quarantines, were needed when the coronavirus first hit the nation, but those rules can now begin to be lifted in many parts of the country, Fauci said during an interview on CNBC. “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” the member of the White House coronavirus task force said. “But now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.” He warned, however, against reckless reopenings and called for the use of “very significant precautions” as restrictions are lifted. “In general, I think most of the country is doing it in a prudent way,” he said. “There are obviously some situations where people might be jumping over that. I just say, ‘Please, proceed with caution if you’re going to do that.’” Fauci’s comments came one day after two top Republicans – Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona – wrote in an op-ed that Fauci’s initial safety recommendations had “emasculated” the nation’s health care system and “ruined” its economy. “Fauci and company have relied on models that were later found to be deficient. He even has suggested that he can’t rely on any of the models, especially if the underlying assumptions are wrong,” the pair wrote in USA Today. “Yet, Fauci persists in advocating policies that have emasculated the medical care system and ruined the economy.” They also pointed to Fauci’s testimony last week before a Senate committee that opening too soon would “result in needless suffering and death.” “What about the countless stories of needless suffering and death produced by Fauci’s one-size-fits-all approach to public health?” Paul and Biggs asked. They called for policies based on trusting the risk assessment of the American people rather than a federal government mandate. Earlier Friday, Fauci said it was “conceivable” that the U.S. could begin to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by December. “Back in January of this year when we started the phase 1 trial, I said it would likely be between a year and 18 months before we would have a vaccine,” Fauci said during an interview on NPR. “I think that schedule is still intact. “I think it is conceivable,” he continued, “if we don’t run into things that are, as they say, unanticipated setbacks, that we could have a vaccine that we could be beginning to deploy at the end of this calendar year, December 2020, or into January, 2021.”

One salient detail not in this story is the fact that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is also Dr. Rand Paul, MD.  AND, he tested positive for this Wuhan virus, and recovered.  So, he’s not your average legislator blowhard.  He can speak on the subject with a degree of credibility.  On the other hand, Dr. Fauci, whom the liberal media hold in such high estem, is FINALLY admitting that it’s time for states to reopen.  So, liberal Democrat governors of states like California and Michigan who haven’t yet reopened their states, now are under extra pressure to justify their fascist decisions.  Anyway, to read Dr/Congressman Paul’s article, click on the text above.