January 9, 2010 at 8:38 am Comment (1)
The US faces a shortage on H1N1 vaccine that other countries have evaded by using an adjuvant. What is an adjuvant and how could it have helped? An adjuvant is an additive that can be used to boost the effectiveness of a vaccine doubling and even tripling the amount if doses that can be taken from each batch. An adjuvant can be a simple oil and water mixture that broadens the body’s response to the drug, meaning that less antigens need to be used in the batch.
So why aren’t these being used in America as they are in Canada and Europe? They weren’t used because of the US fears over vaccines, a problem that’s plagued the vaccination process since the late 1970s when a previous attempt at vaccinating against flu was thought to have resulted in severe reactions for a percentage of those who received it. Today while such vaccines have improved and become much safer these fears persist and cause issues for those who mix the vaccines.
WHO is bothered by these fears and the resulting shortage. The organization had hoped that countries with more money could spend their left over vaccines to countries which couldn’t pay for the vaccine themselves. America’s caution has lead to shortage for other areas of the world who could have benefited from more vaccine. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department says that they might have used an adjuvant if the rate and severity of infection had been more severe. Of the 22 million infected by the virus 3,900 have been killed thus far. A figure that the organization says is no worse than that of seasonal flu.
While unlike seasonal flu H1N1 focuses more on young adults than the elderly the organization feels that sticking to the “tried and true” method is still best. For roughly half of Americans sticking to this method isn’t enough, many still fear that the vaccine isn’t safe and are evading it. How much could these doses have spread? According to GlaxoSmithKline a regular dose of vaccine takes about 15 micrograms of antigen while the vaccine with adjuvant uses just 5.25 micrograms.
November 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm Comment (1)
Here is a quick summary of Flu Shut Locators available online right now. They can be Seasonal Flu or H1N1 Flu Shots.
American Lung Association Flu Clinic Locator: It lets users search for flu shot locations by ZIP code and date. Also offers information on the available influenza vaccines.
Flu.Gov Flu Shot Locator: Seasonal flu vaccine is widely available. Flu shot clinics locator covering both H1N1 and seasonal flu …
Google Flu Shot Locator Map: Helps you find local health clinics that might carry flu shot
Find a Flu Shot Location or Clinic: Some sources where you might be able to find a flu shot for your family.
Also check out
Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat dispels myths about the H1N1 flu virus on “The Doctors”
Please let us know if you come across any other good flu shot locators online. For more information about flu you can also visit our resource section at Health Resources
October 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm Comments (4)
Are you fond of flavored cigarettes? As of Tuesday September 24th you’ll not longer be able to get several varieties of flavored cigarettes after they were banned by the FDA’s new tobacco regulation branch. Any flavors like clove, fruit or those which have a candy taste are now illegal in the United States. Why was this decision made? The move was made after concerns were evaluated that such flavorings could make tobacco products more appealing to children. It’s also believed that the move could have an impact on the rate of smokers in the US by prompting those who only smoke flavored tobacco to quit.
While other tobacco companies might be scrambling Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc the 3rd and 2nd most successful tobacco companies in the United States aren’t being affected. Neither company will suffer losses because they don’t produce such flavors.
That could change if the FDA goes through with banning menthol as well (a plan they’ve been considering since tobacco regulation was given to them earlier this year). Newport, as the most popular brand of menthol cigarettes(responsible for 35 % of the menthol and 10% of cigarette profits overall), is the largest source of income for tobacco giant Lorillard Inc. Both Lorrillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc have made motions to sue for the law that put tobacco regulation under the care of the FDA to be blocked. Hoping to hinder such actions both companies claim that the law allows the FDA to make unfair regulations on the production and sale of tobacco in the US.
October 1, 2009 at 10:51 pm Comments (0)
Over 100 wells in Morrison, Wisconsin are polluted thanks to uncontrolled runoff from dairy farms leaving residents ill and dealing with symptoms like chronic diarrhea, severe ear infections and stomach illnesses. Water there was tested and found to have been contaminated with things like E.coli and coliform bacteria among other contaminants more commonly found in cow manure.
How did this happen?
There are few regulations that make efforts to control things like this. While there are laws that were made to protect and regulate water and wastes that pass through ditches and pipes the same can’t be said for above ground wastes like manure which is sometimes used for fertilizer on farms. Larger cattle farms are meant to be regulated (the EPA has made laws to help regulate them) however most farms don’t bother to fill out paperwork that makes the EPA aware of them. To make matters worse laws passed by the Bush administration allow many of these farms to self-certify their lack of pollution making it easier to bypass any regulation that might prove otherwise.
Agricultural runoff is the greatest pollutant of U.S. streams and rivers, sickening at least 19.5 million Americans every year. Parasites, bacteria and viruses travel in these waters coming from animal and human wastes pumped into them from various sources throughout the nation. The problem has only recently gotten much focus, inspiring a major article from the New York Times last week.
New York Health Screening
September 25, 2009 at 2:30 am Comments (0)
One of the common slangs used for cocaine is “crack.” The origin of the slang is a story in itself. The coca leaves from which cocaine was extracted once grew in the Inca-ruled South America. Incan priests used it for their rituals, but the practice stopped when the Spanish conquistadores came. Instead, coca leaves were fed to the conquered Incas to get them to work in the mines.
The Spaniards took the coca leaves to Europe, where its usage became popular. Learned men cracked experiments with coca leaves to create a purer extract, and this was done successfully by Alfred Niemann. However, this did not stop thrill-seekers from extracting even purer forms of cocaine. One way they came up with was to heat cocaine powder with a baking soda solution, which produces a “cracking” sound. This cracking sound is said to be the origin of the slang. Still, some believe that cocaine is called crack because it “cracks up” the mind.
For full version of this article, please visit “Drug Slang Origins – How Cocaine Became Crack“.
August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm Comments (0)
A rise in HPV which can cause throat cancer if contracted during oral sex may be responsible for rising rates of the cancer. The dramatic rise in the virus over the course of the last two decades led the American Association for Cancer Research to call a meeting to discuss new research into HPV and its link to throat cancer. While tumors tested twenty years ago had HPV levels of about 20% current samples have a much higher rate 60% which is the reason for concern. It’s believed that because of the changing beliefs on sexual practice and interaction HPV may have become a more serious problem, potentially causing higher risk for developing head and neck cancer, including esophageal cancer. While it was once a problem primarily found in older people who drank and smoked now these cancers are being found in younger people. Part of the rise of oral sex is believed to be linked to a belief that it is safe sex, the reality is that oral sex should require protection as much as penetration as it leaves those who practice it open to just as many diseases including AIDS as intercourse.
August 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm Comments (0)
A very rare mutation has been found in a mother and daughter which allows them to feel fully rested from 6 hours sleep which may offer new insight into the way sleep affects our health. According to the National Institute of Health the average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep every night to maintain good health. Getting less sleep than is necessary on a regular basis leaves the subject open to developing health problems such as memory impairment and a weakened immune system. Chronic insomnia is estimated to affect as many as 30 million in the U.S. alone and is only one of several sleep disorders that affect millions more in America.
Researchers have long sought a gene that could help resolve these problems. In 2001 University of California, San Francisco researchers discovered a mutation that affected carriers’ sleep patterns, causing them to go to sleep at 7:30p.m. and wake up at 3 a.m. This same team discovered the mother (age 69 years) and daughter(age 44) with a shorter sleep pattern which causes them to go to bed around 10 p.m. and awaken at 4 or 4:30 a.m. with no side effects. This gene, called DEC2, affects the circadian rhythm. When fruit flies and mice were bred with the same gene they too began to require less sleep and for the mice it meant a much quicker recovery form a lack of sleep.
San Francisco Drug Screening
August 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm Comments (0)
Not enough parents are safeguarding their medicine cabinets according to the recently rising numbers of children going to ER’s with poisoning from prescription drugs ingested without the parent’s prior knowledge. The number of children affected, reaching more than 70,000 under the age of 18, is shocking. About 8-14 % of this number were from parents unintentionally overdosing their children and 75% of those overdoses were with children who were less than 5 years old. More than twice as many kids are poisoned by prescription drugs as household products each year. These facts which should have parents making much more serious efforts to protect their children from getting access to these drugs, are actually considered to be an underestimate. The drug most commonly found in these overdoses was acetaminophen, followed by opioid painkillers and anti-anxiety medications. While caution is recommended in the home it’s also been pointed out that packaging and labels could be improved and therefore have an impact on these numbers as well.