Archive for April 14th, 2012

A Summary Of Chronic Hepatitis C Infection

Saturday, April 14th, 2012
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Hepatitis C is a stealthy virus that mutates while hiding in liver cells and other organ cells like the spleen and gall bladder. The fact that the viral cells «hide» makes it very difficult for the body’s immune system to eradicate it. Hepatitis C is a slowly progressing disease sometimes taking many years until symptoms are noticeable. It is at this point that the virus has reached advanced chronic stage and becomes difficult to eradicate. Hepatitis C results in 8,000 to 10,000 deaths annually. Hepatitis C is also the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S. Hepatitis C infection is caused by blood contact with someone who has the virus infection himself. The transmission of the virus can occur by illicit drug use with needles, sharing toothbrushes or razors with an infected person, by sexual means, by unsanitary tattooing or by exposure to blood at your workplace (like a hospital or blood bank). Some HCV infection may have been caused by receiving blood from a transfusion prior to 1992. Hepatitis C is diagnosed via a blood test. Usually, the first thing that is noticed is that the liver enzyme levels for ALT and AST are elevated well above normal levels. Further investigation via HCV-RNA testing identifies whether the Hepatitis C virus is in your blood or not. Other tests for HCV include qualitative viral load tests, which measure the RNA particles in your blood. If you are being treated for HCV, your doctor is probably using either a HCV-RNA or viral load test to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. The symptoms of Hepatitis C infection often do not occur in a person until 20 years after he/she had been infected. Since the HCV infects the liver and the liver is the organ in the body that makes all the energy for our daily activities possible, liver function deterioration often results in fatigue. Fatigue is the primary complaint or symptom of HCV infection. Other more severe symptoms are jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes), bile retention (which can cause jaundice), portal vein hypertension, skin rashes and itching, and autoimmune problems resulting from your body’s immune system attacking normal cells. Long term HCV infection may result in fibrosis or even cirrhosis of the liver. Fibrosis results from unchecked liver inflammation. As the HCV infection progresses, the damage to the liver results in scarring or hardening of the liver cells (fibrosis). Long term fibrosis may lead to cirrhosis which is when the scarring from fibrosis overtakes the normal liver cell structure causing deformity and loss of function in the liver. About 15%-20% of HCV patients end up with cirrhosis. A liver biopsy is currently the most accurate means of determining the amount of inflammation and fibrosis the liver has sustained. Hepatitis C progression in the body can take several years or even decades to come to chronic stage or to a stage where severe liver damage is evident. This period of time allows a person to determine how to properly treat the disease and to decide on a course of disease management. Currently, the main treatment for HCV infection to eradicate the virus is combo alpha-interferon and Ribavirin. Sometimes a doctor may prescribe interferon alone. Interferon comes in standard form or in pegylated form. Standard form interferon is administered 3 times per week, while the pegylated form is administered only once per week. Your body makes its own interferon, which is a protein that fights viral infection and viral replication. Hepatitis C may often be managed by taking herbal and vitamin supplements that help your body fight infection and limit inflammation. These supplements help your liver with the inflammation and give it the nutrients it needs to regenerate healthy new cells. Your doctor can recommend alternative or adjunct solutions you may want to try. Proper treatment of the disease, a healthy and active lifestyle, a good diet, abstinence from alcohol and stress management are important factors in controlling Hepatitis C progression.

Bird Flu Is In The U.S.!

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

In that great Hitchcock thriller, the birds start attacking Tippi Hedron (Melanie Griffith’s mom, for trivia fans) in Mendocino for no particular reason.Today, Ms. Hedron works actively in films, international relief efforts and for animal causes.She may get an ironic opportunity to combine her charity works with birds again, because scientists around the world are looking nervously at the increasing possibility of a return of avian influenza, also known as the bird flu.First identified in Italy in 1900, it is the H5N1 virus implicated in the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919 that killed about 40 million people.I say «implicated in» instead of «caused,» because it was government policies that made the death toll much higher than it needed to be.But there is no doubt H5N1 is a major killer. There are three steps H5N1 has to go through in order to get to people.First, there needs to be a lot of infected birds.Almost 200 million chickens have been killed or died in Asia in the last year due to avian flu infection.Strike One. Next, unless someone eats diseased poultry, the flu has to cross species into an animal that can easily infect people.It has now crossed into pigs, which is where most human flu outbreaks begin.Pigs carry human influenza viruses.Viruses can combine (exchange DNA) in pigs, creating a variant of H5N1 that can spread as easily and rapidly as ordinary flu.Strike Two. Finally, it has to hit an unprepared populace, with lowered immune systems and no effective drugs.Lowered immune systems are caused by, among other factors, cold weather, lack of sleep, excess weight, stress, high sugar intake and caffeine.Hmmm. Sound like anyone you know? Serious scientists think H5N1 could kill as many people as the 1918 disaster, if only because there are now more than three times as many people in the world. The UN Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza recently said a bird flu pandemic could kill as many as 150 million people.Other scientists have projected up to 354 million deaths.And you thought $3 gasoline was a major problem! The H5N1 bird flu reappeared in Hong Kong in 1997.Eighteen people were infected, and six died.All the chickens in the area were slaughtered, and the outbreak was confined to Hong Kong.But it has now been found in Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Mainland China, Malaysia and Indonesia. It then showed up in Russia, almost certainly carried by migratory birds.So much for banning chicken.In August 2005, it appeared in Mongolia and Kazakhstan, and then in western Russia, poised to enter Europe.Roumania found infected and dead swans in October.An infected parrot died in quarantine in the United Kingdom. The Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza in charge of a response to H5N1 says a pandemic could begin at anytime, and kill five million to 150 million people.He confirmed the virus is in migratory birds, and said an outbreak could start in Africa, where immune systems are chronically depressed, or the Middle East as well as southeast Asia.What he didn’t say is that the same migratory birds, mainly ducks, swans and geese, also travel thousands of miles to Canada and the U.S.The H5N1 virus is almost certainly in the U.S. already – it just hasn’t been found yet.December, Janaury and February are the «flu season» in both the U.S. and Asia. We have reviewed all the companies involved in bird flu vaccines, and found two stocks that should be bought immediately because they will make a fortune even if there is never a case of bird flu in the world again.Governments around the world are stocking up on vaccines just in case they are needed, and these stockpiles need to be replenished periodically.For the names of the two stocks, visit my website at http://www.NewWorldInvestor.net

Types of Typhus and Their Symptoms

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Typhus is one of several similar diseases that is caused by the Rickettsiae bacteria. Of greek origin, meaning hazy or smokey, it describes the state of mind of those affected by the typhus disease. A fever which can reach up to 39°C (102°F) and a headache, are symptoms which are common to all types of typhus. In some tropical countries, typhus is most often mistaken for another disease known as «dengue». There are three different forms of typhus. The Epidemic typhus (also known as «louse-bourne typhus»), can often cause epidemics following wars and natural disasters. The causative organism is transmitted by the human body louse, which will leave you with a fever, headache, exhaustion, chills, and rash. This type of typhus is most commonly known as «ship fever» or as «prison fever», because it makes itself known in crowded conditions, namely aboard ships and in prison. Scrub typhus, or «chigger-borne typhus», is transmitted and caused by chiggers. Chiggers are found in areas of heavy scrub vegetation. Symptoms of this disease are muscle pain, fever, cough, gastrointestinal symptoms, and headache. Endemic typhus (also called «murine typhus» and «flea-borne typhus») is transmitted by fleas on rats, and sometimes by fleas carried on cats or possums. This form of typhus will leave you with symptoms of joint pain, headache, chills, nausea, fever, vomiting, and cough. Typhus is treated with tetracycline or other tetracycline related antibiotics. Rickettsiae causes a number of other diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or «Tick typhus», Boutonneuse fever and Rickettsialpox. Typhoid fever is an entirely different disease than typhus and should not be confused with typhus diseases, despite their similar-sounding names.