An unwelcome gift from gorillas

Drs. Norbert Herzog & David Niesel

Drs. Norbert Herzog & David Niesel

Medical Discovery News

You probably know that AIDS, which has affected 79 million people and killed 39 million since 1981, is the result of HIV. What you may not know is that there are several different types of this virus and they did not all come from the same source, making the search for HIV’s origins lengthy and complicated.

There are four groups of HIV-1: M, N, O, and P. Each of them was transmitted between African primates as simian immunodeficiency viruses, or SIVs, before infecting humans, and each crossed species to humans independently. More than 40 African primates carry SIVs, which emerged up to 6 million years ago. It is likely that transmission to humans has occurred many times when hunters where exposed to the blood and tissues of infected animals. However the isolation of humans in Africa limited the spread of SIVs that crossed into humans until the last century. Continue reading

Along with the cold fronts comes flu season

Drs. Sally Robinson & Keith Bly

Drs. Sally Robinson & Keith Bly

Flu season 2014 is here with the first few cases reported.

Protect your family against the flu with vaccination. The 2013 flu vaccine protects against the most likely strains to be spread this winter. The flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months of age and older. A nasal spray version of the vaccine is available for healthy older children and adults. You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. It can give you a sore shoulder, body aches and a slight fever — but not the flu. The more of us that are protected, the fewer people there are to give you the flu.

The flu is a miserable illness that for most people is like a common cold x 1,000. Most everyone we see, from babies up to teenagers and adults have at least a fever of 102 to 103, and it’s not uncommon for their temperature to be 104 to 105. The height of the fever does not necessarily indicate the severity of the illness — the flu is still just the flu. However “just the flu” kills children (and adults) every year. Continue reading

Protect swimmers from spreading illness-causing germs

Drs. Sally Robinson & Keith Bly

Drs. Sally Robinson & Keith Bly

Keeping Kids Healthy

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated the week before Memorial Day, May 19-25, as National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week.

The focus is for the prevention of drowning, pool chemical injuries and outbreaks of illnesses.

As swimming season opens around the country, this is an ideal time to increase awareness about associated illness and injury and promote healthy and safe swimming.

We are sending you this brief educational update to encourage and support the CDC program.

Recreational water illnesses are caused by pathogens in contaminated swimming water. Diarrhea is the most common RWI, which is often caused by pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, E. coli O157: H7 and norovirus.

The CDC reported 57 disease outbreaks linked to pools in the United States in the year from 2009-2010 (the most recent year for which national data are available).

Even when the levels of chlorine and other pool water treatments are well maintained, they do not kill germs instantly. Continue reading

Aging and Our Biological Clock

Drs. Norbert Herzog & David Niesel

Drs. Norbert Herzog & David Niesel

Medical Discovery News

The questions of how we age and how our bodies know what to do during that process have puzzled scientists for years. The answers lie in our biological clocks, which aren’t fully understood. Some scientists think that if we can learn how our biological clocks work, we would hold the key to slowing down or even reversing aging.

A group from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) achieved astounding results that offer insight into the mechanisms of aging. They used existing sets of data to compare DNA patterns in normal and cancerous tissue samples from humans. They examined almost 8,000 samples from more than 50 different people that were taken from various places in or on the body. This allowed them to take a comprehensive look at the changes that occur throughout the body during the aging process and how tissues of the body keep time.
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