Health

Wearing a surgical mask can reduce coronavirus transmission by up to 75 percent, study says

Researchers have found that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne COVID-19 transmission, according to a study released on Sunday. The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Hong Kong, found the rate of non-contact transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75 percent when masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus back in 2003. It was released by the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong and comes as world leaders, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have questioned the effectiveness of face coverings outside of medical settings. The study, described as a first of its kind, placed hamsters in two cages, with one of the groups infected with COVID-19 and the other being healthy. They placed the animals in three different scenarios to analyze the effectiveness of the face coverings. In one scenario the mask barriers were placed only on cages with the infected subjects, another saw the masks covering the healthy subjects, and the third saw with no mask barriers at all. For all of the scenarios, a fan was placed between the cages to allow for the transmission of respiratory droplets. They found that when the mask was placed over the infected cage the infection rate dropped to just over 15 percent. That infection rate went up to 33 percent when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters’ cage. With no mask barriers at all, roughly two-thirds of the healthy hamsters were infected with the virus within a week, the study found. Researchers added that the hamsters who were infected even with the mask barrier had less of the virus in their bodies when compared to those infected without the masks. “In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans — especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones — put on masks, they actually protect other people,” Yuen said in a press conference on Sunday, according to Sky News. “That’s the strongest result we showed here. Transmission can be reduced by 50 percent when surgical masks are used, especially when masks are worn by infected individuals.” He said up until we have a vaccine for the virus, what remains practical is either social distancing or wearing a mask. Last month, a separate study published by a group of international experts, created a model that shows cases of the virus could be cut significantly if “(near) universal masking” is adopted. “Universal masking at 80 [percent] adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown,” researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, as of last week. “Masking at only 50 [percent] adoption is not sufficient to prevent continued spread,” the researchers added. “Replacing the strict lockdown with social distancing on May 31 without masking results in unchecked spread.”

This, of course, only validates what we already know.  So..to recap.  Practice social distancing, wear face masks, and don’t pull a Joe Biden and cough into your hand and then touch your face.  Cough into your arm/elbow, and get outside and get some sun.  Those and wash hands a LOT…and use hand sanitizer.    If we ALL do that, we’ll beat this Wuhan nonsense much faster.

Eat these foods, take these vitamins to boost your immune system during coronavirus outbreak

In America, the joke about health goes: If you’re not dying, you’re fine. Many people wait to think about their immune systems until it’s too late. Here is an immune building regimen in the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few of the supplements for your natural “medicine” cabinet. Gabe Snow left the heartland and football to start LionHEARTED Health in New York City. He told says: “When attempting to boost our immunity we find ourselves drowning ourselves in supplements, pills and powders to do so. I am absolutely guilty of doing this, having a cabinet filled with remedies, I have pill or a powder / supplement for just about anything I could ever be potentially deficient in. Now that immune system boosting is all the rave, for right reason, people are buying all the vitamin C and D they can get their hands on.” “Vitamin C is widely known as an immune system booster for various reasons. Vitamin C helps promote white blood cells, white blood cells otherwise known as lymphocytes or phagocytes, help protect the body against infection. I use vitamin C daily for a completely other beneficial reason, vitamin C helps regulate the amount of uric acid in our blood, uric acid can crystalize and cause gout, a rare form of arthritis, like it did for me about a year ago, so I get to kill two birds with one stone with this supplement. Vitamin C also aids in our skin’s defense system. It is carried to the skin, as an antioxidant to strengthen our skins defense barriers which is vital right now with a deadly virus being passed around.” “Vitamin D is something I have always kept in my regimen, I am an asthmatic and prone to respiratory infections. Vitamin D has been found to decrease the risk of respiratory infections. As of recent, I have also been a vegetarian so have been having to add vitamin D daily to my diet is even more crucial. In order to get this crucial vitamin we need to be outside, sunbathing, sufficient sunlight is the best way to take in vitamin D, second to sunlight there are many food sources that will supply; fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, if fish is not for you: egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms, fortified milk.” “Echinacea, astragalus, oregano oil, garlic are usually found in your full spectrum immune boost supplement found at your local supp shop. I can say I NEVER, knock on wood, get sick and have been taking this adaptogen / herbal compound for a while now. There is not much medical research on these herbs but they are known to reduce inflammation, assist in digestion and help fight bacteria / virus, when combined, we could say this is nature’s own antibiotic cocktail. The effectiveness of these herbs when fighting a cold or flu is truly unknown, but it is obvious, to me, that if we can aid our body in all of its functions — digestion, waste removal — that our bodies can focus more of its ability to other functions like fighting off illness.” Snow said there is more than supplements and regimens. “The three most important things we need to focus on to keep our immune defense at optimum are: sleep, hydration and stress management. Stress maintenance and sleep hygiene are not supplements, they are requirements for our bodies to maintain and function properly. Depriving yourself from these three vital components will leave you ill — no matter how much vitamin C you pump into that body.” He added: “Stress is truly something we must manage in order to keep our immune systems at its best. Two supplements I advise all of my clients to use to aid in their stress management are: mucuna and holy basil. These two combined have been used for people looking to replace their current anti-anxiety diazepam prescriptions. So if looking for a non-pharma substitution for any anxiety meds you may be taking, or if you are struggling managing the added stress COVID-19 has been riddling our nations with, give these two a try.”

If you drill into what Gabe is saying, he’s absolutely right.  The #1 best source for Vitamin D, which is now recognized by many doctors as critical in combating this Wuhan virus, is the sun.  So, GET OUTSIDE and enjoy the sun!  After that, yeah…maybe add some salmon, tuna or mackerel to your diet.  Also, many cereals have Vitamin D, as do egg yolks.  So, lots of options.  But, above all, don’t stay all cooped up inside.  Get out if its sunny, and go for a walk!      Thanks Gabe!      🙂

USDA to Purchase $470 Million in Excess Food from Farmers, Deliver to Needy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that it would be purchasing $470 million in excess food from farmers to deliver to those in need. The USDA’s latest program aims to combat food waste, which has become a massive problem since the coronavirus began as schools, restaurants, and even hotels have closed down to customers — leaving farmers with a surplus of food and nowhere to sell it. It also aims to help local food banks throughout the country, which have seen a surge in demand as people have lost their jobs, and schools have shuttered. Politico reported that the purchases will target meat, dairy, vegetables, and seafood — all markets that have plummeted since restaurants and food service businesses have closed. The USDA said that it would spend money on fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and seafood products from farmers and ranchers as part of the initiative, including $120 million in dairy products, $50 million in potatoes, and $30 million in chicken. “America’s farmers and ranchers have experienced a dislocated supply chain caused by the coronavirus. USDA is in the unique position to purchase these foods and deliver them to the hungry Americans who need it most,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a press release. The USDA will begin deliveries to the organizations under its Food and Nutrition Service nutrition assistance programs, including food banks, starting in July.

This is a win-win idea!  Major kudos to Sec. Sonny Perdue, and his team at USDA, for making this happen.  Excellent!!     🙂

The average American takes this long to get out of bed in the morning

Half of Americans still wish their parents would wake them up in the morning, according to new research. The survey of 2,000 Americans delved into all things sleep and found it’s no surprise we miss our childhood mornings — as waking up can be kind of a drag. It seems people are just too cozy to get out of bed on time, with 49 percent of those surveyed pinpointing their late starts on just being too comfortable in their beds. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Nerd, the survey found while most have switched to the convenience of smartphones, just under a quarter of Americans still opt for an old-school alarm clock. It takes Americans an average of 24 minutes to actually get out of bed and start the day — after two alarms and hitting snooze twice. And in order to combat these groggy, snoozing habits, respondents shared they change their alarm times an average of 38 times a year. But no matter how often respondents mix up their alarms, outside factors still play a role in their morning moods. The top culprits of waking up on the wrong side of the bed included staying up too late watching TV, a negative event in their personal lives and an uncomfortable mattress. While it’s not surprising to see “groggy” as the top way to feel after waking up, 18 percent of respondents shared they actually wake up happy and another 11 percent also wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and feel motivated to take on the day. Sixty percent of respondents shared the key to waking up easier was simply having exciting plans for the day. Soaking up some morning sun is another trick to waking up easier for 41 percent of those surveyed. Over three-quarters of respondents were in agreement that maintaining a morning routine helped them stay motivated and get out of bed. But when those cozy sheets get the best of them in the morning, the first thing respondents cut from their morning routine was making the bed, closely followed by making breakfast and a cup of joe. “So many things that happen during the day are out of your control. A morning routine is something you can always rely on to be consistent,” said Madison Muire, Editor at Mattress Nerd. “While there are many factors that make it easier to wake up, so many of them are subject to change: the weather, daily plans, etc. “However, establishing a morning routine that you can complete no matter what is happening around you will result in a better morning and more successful day.” Shockingly, the results showed that respondents were more likely to skip out on brushing their teeth than to skip doing their hair when running late in the morning. “If you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, you will spend approximately one-third of your life sleeping,” added Muire. “A mattress can make or break the quality of sleep you are getting, impacting the way you are able to perform when you are awake. “No one mattress is the perfect fit for every person, so paying attention to how you sleep and, just as importantly, how you feel when you wake up can be good indicators of what to look for when deciding what mattress is best for you.”

True..  And, we spend half of our lives in bed, asleep.  So, its worth investing in a really good mattress.  Me personally, I have an adjustable Tempurpedic, and I love it.  Sleep Number is another good option.  And, if you’re snoring a lot, or start to fall asleep and wake up several times in the night, go to a sleep doctor and get a “sleep study” done.  You may have sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine or other similar device.  For more, click on the text above.

Filtered coffee is more heart healthy than other brewing methods, study claims

Say what you will, coffee purists, but the best way to brew is by the humble drip method, cardiologists claim. Between 2018 and 2019, the world’s coffee growers produced nearly 1.357 trillion pounds of coffee, and the unfathomable number of cups that makes means the plant-derived stimulant has far-reaching health effects. A Swedish university study that aimed to analyze the risks associated with different brewing methods has revealed that drinking filtered coffee is more heart-healthy than not. Filtered coffee, as with drip or pour-over, provided a 15 percent cut in risk of death from any cause. In terms of cardiovascular-disease risk, filtered coffee was linked to a 12 percent decreased risk of death in men, and a 20 percent discount for women. Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the findings — which include that drinking filtered coffee may actually extend your life compared to drinking no coffee at all — are a boon to coffee snobs everywhere. “Our study provides strong and convincing evidence of a link between coffee brewing methods, heart attacks and longevity,” said University of Gothenburg professor Dag S. Thelle. “Unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely.” Thelle has been studying coffee for a long time. In the early ’90s, he discovered that coffee-drinking was linked to higher rates of cholesterol, particularly “bad” LDL cholesterol. Further experimentation uncovered the lipid-raising compounds in coffee and showed that unfiltered coffee contained 30 times the concentration of those substances compared to filtered. They wanted to take their research a step further, to determine whether a coffee-induced cholesterol spike put drinkers at a greater risk of heart disease. “But it was unethical to do a trial randomizing people to drink coffee or not,” said Thelle in a statement on the European Society of Cardiology’s website. “So we set up a large population study and several decades later we are reporting the results.” Over 500,000 Norwegian men and women, ages 20 to 79, enrolled in the study, which lasted from 1985 to 2003. The region is known for its particularly high coffee consumption. (Currently, the Netherlands is the world’s leading per capita consumer of the stimulant.) For an average of 20 years, volunteers answered periodic surveys about their coffee drinking habits, how much, what type and when, as well as other aspects of a health profile, including body measurements, blood pressure, cholesterol, history with cigarettes and level of exercise. During the study period, 46,341 participants died, 12,621 deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease and 6,202 were the result of a heart attack. Those who drank between one and four cups of filtered coffee per day showed the lowest mortality rates of the entire cohort. Other studies have suggested that up to 25 cups a day could still be considered safe for your heart. “The finding that those drinking the filtered beverage did a little better than those not drinking coffee at all could not be explained by any other variable such as age, gender, or lifestyle habits. So we think this observation is true,” said Thelle. Overall, they determined that coffee-drinking is generally not a significant contributor to premature death. The only age group whose coffee drinking actually elevated mortality rates was men ages 60 and above, and only when the brew was unfiltered, such as with a French press or Turkish style, which brews with finely ground beans directly in the cup. This, said Thelle, is likely tied to the “cholesterol-increasing effect of unfiltered coffee,” as previous research had uncovered. Coffee’s potential benefits go beyond the heart. Other studies have put coffee consumers at a lower risk of other illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes, depression and some neurodegenerative diseases, namely Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, according to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Cheers!!    🙂

Essential oil diffusers may cause pollution in home says watchdog

Essential oil diffusers could be a source of pollution in the home, the French food and environmental safety agency warned Tuesday. ANSES said the popular gadgets, which are supposed to purify and freshen air, could have some unpleasant side effects. It said that 1,400 cases of people being affected by the products were reported to anti-poison centres in France between 2011 and 2019. Most cases were linked to accidents, like children ingesting oils. However, undesirable effects were also reported from “normal use, with eyes, throat and the nose being irritated and also effects on breathing.” These irritations may be linked to phenols and ketones in the oils, which were “unsuitable” for use in air freshening sprays and diffusers, ANSES said. However, the report said that most of the symptoms were “not serious and rapidly decreased when people were no longer exposed” to the chemicals. And ANSES also poured water on claims that essential oils can help guard against the coronavirus, saying they offered no protection. It had earlier advised pregnant and breast feeding women and people suffering from respiratory problems to avoid using oils entirely. The agency stressed that air freshening diffusers which “emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) could be a source of pollution” in the home, particularly when added to COV present in furniture and cleaning products. Even natural compounds like terpenes, which are present in ginseng, basil and cloves, can cause irritation, it said. Three years ago another ANSES report found that air filters, ionisers and “cleansing” sprays could not be shown to be effective and could even sometimes be bad for health.

Researchers: New UV Technology ‘Safe for Humans,’ Potentially Lethal for Coronavirus

A Columbia University researcher this week said new ultraviolet technology he helped develop is a “game changer” that has shown promise for killing the novel coronavirus in indoor places without harming human skin. The findings echo other studies that found UV technology could potentially sterilize the novel coronavirus on surfaces and the air. This week, the media and their Democrat allies lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump for suggesting that health officials could use UV light to treat coronavirus. David Brenner, a professor of radiation biophysics and director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, helped develop technology that uses lamps to emit a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC the could be lethal to the novel coronavirus. He believes the technology is showing promise for hindering the person-to-person spread of the novel coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in indoor settings. “Far-UVC light has the potential to be a ‘game-changer,’” Brenner said, Columbia News reported on Tuesday. “It can be safely used in occupied public spaces, and it kills pathogens in the air before we can breathe them in.” He added: Our system is a low-cost, safe solution to eradicating airborne viruses minutes after they’ve been breathed, coughed or sneezed into the air. Not only does it have the potential to prevent the global spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, but also future novel viruses, as well as more familiar viruses like influenza and measles. The far-UVC lamps, already in production by several companies, cost between $500 and $1000 each, the researcher noted, adding that the prices would likely drop once they are mass-produced…

This is great news!!   And, looks like Trump may have the last laugh on this issue after all…  Earlier in the week, the liberal media beat him up over some comments he made regarding this.  Granted he probably shouldn’t have said what he said regarding disinfectants and sunlight and so on.  But, as Dr. Deborah Birx later noted, he had just come out of briefing where this HAD been discussed and a lot of info had just been thrown at him right before that press briefing.  Anyway, for more, click on the text above.