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Hypothermia: The killer in the cold

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While the term “freeze to death” is well-known to many people, what may not be known is that cold temperatures don’t have to be below freezing to be lethal. Hypothermia refers to a drop in body temperature and can occur even when temperatures are in the 40s. In fact, some people have suffered hypothermia with … Continue reading

Save your fingers: know the signs of frostbite

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Introduction Frostbite occurs when skin and other tissues are exposed to very cold temperatures. It can happen within minutes following exposure to extreme temperatures, or even in above freezing temperatures if there is a strong wind (wind chill), or if the person is wet or at a high altitude. Frostbite usually affects the hands, feet, nose, … Continue reading

Know your pandemics: Avian Flu

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Avian influenza, or bird flu, is an infectious respiratory disease that affects a variety of birds. The various strains of virus that cause bird flu are generally categorized as high or low pathogenicity according to their ability to produce disease. The highly pathogenic strain H5N1 that is spreading in some parts of the world may … Continue reading

Proper handling and good sanitary practices will protect birds from diseases

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Outbreaks of avian flu have small-flock poultry owners on high alert. Michigan State University Extension experts say that proper handling and good sanitary practices will protect birds from avian influenza and other diseases. “Biosecurity is not just for large farmers,” said Darrin Karcher, MSU Extension poultry specialist. “When it comes to keeping birds safe from … Continue reading

Preventing tick bites could save your life

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Dr. Amanda Loftis, Dr. William Nicholson, Dr. Will Reeves, Dr. Chris Paddock

This photograph depicted a dorsal view of a female "lone star tick", Amblyomma americanum. An Ixodes or "hard" tick, A. americanum is found through the southeast and south-central states, and has been shown to transmit the spirochete, Borrelia lonestari, the pathogen responsible for causing a Lyme disease-like rash known as "Southern tick-associated rash illness" (STARI). Representatives from all three of its life stages aggressively bite people in the southern U.S.  Research indicates that live spirochetes are observed in only 1-3% of specimens. Note the characteristic “lone star” marking located centrally on its dorsal surface, at the distal tip of its scutum.

A. americanum ticks are found through the southeast and south-central states. Their life cycle and ecologic requirements are similar to Ixodes ticks with minor exceptions not described here. All three life stages of A. americanum aggressively bite people in the southern U.S. Research indicates that live spirochetes are observed in only 1-3% of A. americanum.Even though spirochetes have been seen in A. americanum  ticks by microscopy, attempts to culture it in the laboratory have consistently failed. Modified BSK (Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly) is the best medium for cultivating the Lyme disease spirochete, B. burgdorferi, but is apparently not suitable for cultivating the spirochete found in A. americanum. However, a spirochete has been detected in A. americanum by DNA analysis, and was given the name Borrelia lonestari.

Ticks are second only to mosquitoes as transmitters of human disease, said Richard Houseman, MU associate professor and extension entomologist. There are more than 800 species worldwide, including the common hard ticks, soft ticks and a third family consisting of a single African species. Ticks eat only blood, and they can transmit pathogens acquired from … Continue reading

Eat well in the apocalypse with Zombie Gardening

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Everyone who has ever watched a horror film has had a moment where they see the characters doing something and wished they could give them some advice. For Author Adam Kessel, that moment happened while watching an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead with his family and led him to write a book giving that … Continue reading

Mysterious illness sickens hundreds in 6 states

Most zombie fiction rely on a common plot device: an unknown illness spreads rapidly through a population, moving quickly through an expanding area. In this modern medical age, this premise might sound far fetched, but the fact remains there is much we still do not know about the viruses and bacteria who share our planet. … Continue reading

Scientists prove ticks harbor Heartland virus

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Scientists have for the first time traced a novel virus that infected two men from northwestern Missouri in 2009 to populations of ticks in the region, providing confirmation that lone star ticks are carrying the recently discovered virus and humans in the area are likely at risk of infection. The findings were published online today … Continue reading

‘Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout’ teaches people how to stay fit and healthy

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Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout, created by John Romaniello, is a bodybuilding program that covers strength training exercises, fat loss tip, and step-by-step descriptions on how to stay fit and healthy. According to an overview of Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout on the site Vkool.com, when ordering this strength training program, people will receive books, videos, and … Continue reading