What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

Before 2015, you most likely had never heard of the Zika virus. It was found mainly in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands until May 2015, when the virus was discovered for the first time in Brazil. Since then it has continued to spread around the globe to places including the Caribbean Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and Puerto Rico. Although the virus has not yet spread from one person to another in the United States through a mosquito, experts believe that it’s likely to happen, and soon. So here’s what you need to know about the Zika virus to be prepared. What is the Zika virus? The Zika virus is spread through infected mosquitoes. Named after the Zika forest in Uganda, where the virus was first discovered in 1947, these mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and around standing water. They prefer to bite people, and typically live both …

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Flu Vaccines: Everything You Need To Know Now

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Flu season is here. And like any flu seasons there is a hot debate between those who are pro-vaccine and those who are anti-vaccine. To help make an informed decision here is everything you need to know about getting vaccinated. Vaccines are used to boost your immune system and prevent serious, life-threatening diseases. They work by “training” your body to defend itself when certain germs or bacteria invade. They expose you to a very small amount of viruses or bacteria that have been weakened or killed. Your immune system then learns to recognize and attack the infection if you are exposed to it later in life. As a result, you will not become ill, or you may have a milder infection. There are four types of vaccines available: Live virus vaccines: These use a weakened form of the virus (examples include the chickenpox vaccine and the measles, mumps, and rubella …

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Heart Disease: Are You At Risk?

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This Valentine’s Day, remember that February is also Heart Month. What better time to find out more about possible risk factors for heart disease? A risk factor is something about you that increases your chance of getting a disease or having a certain health condition. Some risk factors for heart disease you cannot change, but some you can. Changing the risk factors that you have control over may help you live a longer, healthier life. Risk Factors You Cannot Change Some of your heart disease risks that you cannot change are: Your age. Risk of heart disease increases with age. Your gender. Men have a higher risk of getting heart disease than women who are still menstruating. After menopause, the risk for women gets closer to the risk for men. Your genes or race. If your parents had heart disease, you are at higher risk. African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, …

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