The flu shot is a vaccine containing three flu viruses. The three strains, which include one A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N1) virus, and one b virus, represent the strains that are thought to be circulating in the general population at a given year.
The viruses in the flu shot are inactive, meaning theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re dead. These viruses are grown from eggs, killed, and then administered to the human immune system through a needle injection.
The flu shot is very useful in preventing incidences of the flu. While not foolproof, the flu shot drastically reduces flu risk. Thus, people who wish to avoid getting infected are well-advised to get a flu shot each year.
The following list of people should get a flu shot each year:
1. those with health problems relating to flu complications; 2. children from ages six months to five years; 3. pregnant women; 4. those aged fifty years and older; 5. those with health problems relating to chronic medical conditions; 6. people who live in long term care facilities such as nursing homes; 7. healthcare workers
People who live with the people in the list should probably also get a regular flu shot. The flu shot should not taken by people who have a fever, or those who have exhibited an allergic reaction to the flu shot. Respiratory illnesses are alright. To be safe, be sure to consult with your doctor and get his or her approval before getting a shot.
Hepatitis is a type of disease that most everybody is familiar with. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually a family of diseases, with several different strains causing different problems throughout the body. One feature that is common throughout all the strains of hepatitis is the fact that the disease is primarily damaging to the body in that it may cause an inflammation of the liver. In this article, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be examining the different types of hepatitis, noting the differences and showcasing their similarities.
Hepatitis A is one of the least threatening forms of the disease. Whereas most types of hepatitis occur in two stages, acute and chronic, Hepatitis A only has an acute stage. One may become afflicted with Hepatitis A through being exposed to food that is contaminated. Contaminated drinking water may also lead to the disease. There is a vaccine available which can allow you to be immune to the disease for your entire life.
Hepatitis B is one of the types of hepatitis that have both an acute and a chronic stage. It can spread in many different ways, and one receiving an unclean blood transfusion may come down with the disease. Also, one must take precaution to avoid infection through the use of dirty tattoo needles, and must always employ safe sex practices, as it can be passed on through sexual contact.
We are all aware that the Hepatitis C virus can cause liver disease. This disease is called cirrhosis. What the disease means to a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s health is the real issue. The liver is a truly remarkable organ. Its main function in the body is to produce the bile that helps to digest a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s food. It also helps to rid the body of toxins.
When the liver is no longer able to fight the Hepatitis C and repair itself it will begin to falter. The liver becomes scarred and its ability to function diminishes. Nevertheless the damage does not happen quickly. It can take ten to twenty years of living with the Hepatitis C virus until cirrhosis is diagnosed and then it can be another ten to twenty years before the damage is so extreme it comes into the end stage where it is life threatening.
Cirrhosis is not always the end result of Hepatitis C. Only twenty five percent of those with the disease develop it. Cirrhosis of the liver is the ninth leading cause of death in the Untied States. Hepatitis C is the most common cause of cirrhosis followed closely by alcohol abuse. It can also be the end result of certain generic conditions, Hepatitis B, and a few other disorders and illnesses that can be dangerous.
The single largest group in the United States that require liver transplants are those who are in the final stages of liver disease based on long term infection by the Hepatitis C virus. The problem is that even after a transplant Hepatitis C, also known as HCV, is known to recur in up to eighty eight percent of all patients.
Unlike the diseases normal progression, where cirrhosis of the liver can take at least twenty years to become a problem, after a liver transplant it can reoccur in as little as five years and sadly when it does it comes back with a fury.
The type of liver that is used in the transplant is one of the factors that can influence how quickly the cirrhosis returns. If the liver transplant is done with a living donor that greatly influences the return of the disease. A living donor liver transplant is one in which a proper match is made with someone still living, often a close relative, and then only a piece of the donorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s liver is taken and transplanted.
This can be done because the liver is the only human organ that can regenerate itself. The other alternative is for the more common cadeveric organ transplants where the organ comes from someone who has passed away and their organs are donated by family or because they have an organ donor card.
Hepatitis C can be difficult to live with at the best of times but how do you manage this infection should you be pregnant?
There are many affects Hepatitis C can have on a pregnancy, below are details on every aspect of Hepatitis during pregnancy you need to be aware of.
Many women get worried about how Hepatitis will affect the baby. Will my baby become infected? Will my baby have any long-term affects?
Vertical Transmission means a disease or infection being passed from a mother to a child during the birth process. Although the transmission of Hepatitis C from mother to daughter is quite rare, roughly a six percent chance, there is still the possibility of transmission to occur. The risk of passing an infection from mother to child during delivery has not been proven to alter through different delivery methods.
Complications from medication
A pregnant woman with Hepatitis C should not take Interferon or Ribavirin (medication taken to alleviate the affects of Hepatitis) during pregnancy. Although there is not any hard evidence to show that these drugs affect a baby during pregnancy, guidelines recommended from the manufacturer say that a woman taking these drugs or 6 months post finishing a course of these drugs should use adequate contraception, as there is a high possibility of birth defects.
One of the issues when trying to bring the Hepatitis C virus under global control is how to test for it. In the underdeveloped countries of the world having the ability to take blood tests from thousands of people is not always that easy to come by. As well, these tests can only be taken by highly trained technicians who know not only how to take the blood but store it for transport to a testing facility as well.
Advanced medical equipment must be used in this process. Blood testing also has the disadvantages of being expensive and hard to do in the more remote villages. When you are talking about something as serious, and unfortunately as common as the Hepatitis C virus in developing countries, something must be done. Serum Search
The area in the blood necessary to determine if a person has Hepatitis C is the liquid part of the blood, called the serum. This is where the antibodies can be found that show what the viral load in the blood is. Scientists and physicians alike want to do this global testing to try to control the hepatitis outbreak, but this method, blood tests, is just too difficult in the remoter areas of the world.
There may now be an answer to this problem with a new method discovered by scientists in Israel. They have proven that instead of requiring blood serum to detect the virus, salvia will give the same results. The important factors in deciding if this new test method will be worth using will be the results that they have been able to obtain. In their most recent studies these results were very impressive.
Transforming food into fat seems all too easy for most of us. Losing fat is far more difficult, and to accomplish this we have only three alternatives:
1. Decrease food intake and keep activity constant, 2. Increase activity and keep food intake constant, or 3. Combine both approaches – diet and exercise.
Many of us become professional dieters. Year after year, we peel off pounds with the current fad diet – only to put the weight back on after reaching our goal and return to the habits that made us fat in the first place. But we can’t blame our fat on food. In one study of the causes of obesity, researchers found that only 3.2 percent of obese people became fat because of increased food intake. In 67.5 percent of the cases, inactivity was associated with the onset of obesity.
The only way to lose weight successfully is to make a slow, sustained effort over months or even years. Similarly, the only way to prevent weight gain is to eat sensibly and maintain physical activity in a steady commitment indefinitely.
This kind of commitment changes your life! You will start to gauge your success according to the long term – not the “I must loose weight by next week” short term mindset. You’ll realize that such short-term dreams are unrealistic, because those first few pounds are only water loss and probably will be quickly regained. The real measure of success is losing body fat, and this takes a concerted, sustained commitment from both your physical and emotional bodies.