Cervical cancer is voraciously eating women of reproductive age. The third most common kind of cancer claims almost half a million women worldwide. This disease is more prevalent in developing countries and accounts for 80% of global mortality across the world.
Out of a group of human papilloma viruses (HPV), a few varieties have been categorized under high risk- human papilloma viruses (HPV). These varieties have been proved to be the causative agents of cervical cancer. This malignant neoplasm (tumor) starts at the cervix and opens at the top of the vagina.
Common symptoms associated with this disease are abnormal bleeding from the vagina, pelvic pain and back pain. Precancerous stage or the early stage of this disease is usually asymptomatic. This disease takes time to intensify into cancerous condition.
A number of risk factors have been associated with this disease out of which few factors can be controlled by us. A list of such factors is as follows-
Smoking- It has been proved that both active and passive smoking increase the risk of cervical cancer. The carcinogenic byproducts of tobacco have been found in the cervical mucus of the actively smoking women. These substances can damage the DNA of the cervical cells. Keeping the ill effects of smoking in view it is suggested to stop it.Oral contraceptives- Use of oral contraceptives for more than five years is related with increase in the risk of cervical cancer. The mechanism of action of contraceptives is not clear but it is hypothesized that hormone-related mechanisms promotes the integration of HPV DNA into the host genome. This in turn promotes the transition from premalignant to malignant state. As an alternative to contraceptives it is advisable to use condoms.High Parity- Sex at a very early age and a higher rate of full term pregnancies is closely associated with this disease. A higher rate of pregnancy maintains the transformation zone on the exocervix for many years. This in turn facilitates the direct exposure to HPV and other cofactors. Sex education to adolescent girls will be helpful to eradicate this problem.Weakened Immune System- Food rich in vital nutrients boosts up our immune system. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help us to fight against many diseases including cervical cancer.Safe Sex- A women having multiple sexual partners or whose sexual partner participates in high risk sexual activities can easily succumb to this disease. Sex education can be a solution to this problem also.
Detection / Preventive Measures
Use of vaccination and Pap smears (Papanicolaou test)
Vaccinations - Scientists across the world are struggling hard to synthesize a vaccine which can fight this deadly disease. They have achieved success to some extent as the vaccines are capable of fighting against only few strains of HPV. Moreover the identification of target group for administration of vaccine involves some ethical issues. Very young pre-pubertal girls who had no previous sexual exposure are the right target for vaccination. Hence vaccination does not assure a complete eradication of cervical cancer.Pap smears- Cells scrapped from the tip of the cervix are observed under microscope to detect the cancerous or precancerous condition of the cervix. It is advisable to have this test done after the age of 21 at every 2 years of intervals. This test detects the disease in very initial stage making its cure easier. Awareness about this test and making it available at a cheaper price is a favorable step towards control of cervical cancer in developing countries.Apart from these preventive measures steps to control risk factors and general maintenance of health and hygiene is also recommended to control this disease.
Vaccines are being promoted by the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. But many facts are not being communicated to the common man. Vaccine alone is like a half equipped, single man army fighting against a deadly disease like cervical cancer. Awareness about all the angles of this disease is very essential as getting Pap smears done and leading a healthy sexual life are also equally essential.
This Year’s Influenza Virus, The Swine Flu
Influenza is a viral illness more intense than the common cold and is typically associated with headache, muscle aches, fatigue and fever. The Swine flu pandemic which originated from the H1N1 strain of virus had its origins in Mexico sometime at the beginning of 2009. It rapidly spread to other areas of the world after it was identified in April and was soon labeled a pandemic by the WHO. There have been previous, smaller outbreaks of Mexican or Swine flu as the illness has become commonly known and some individuals (aged 50+), who had faced it the last time around have shown some immunity in the current outbreak.
Although the flu does not severely affect most individuals who get it, people with asthma, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and those with depressed immune systems form the high risk group and are more likely to fall extremely ill. Children below 5 years of age, pregnant women and senior citizens above 65 also form part of this group.
Although the spread of swine flu has been very rapid, continuously heightened level of alertness to control the frequently recurring avian flu virus over the last several years had kept the world better prepared to tackle this particular epidemic. Transmission of the virus is between humans and there is no transmission when eating cooked pork products. Coughing, sneezing and touching the nose or mouth after coming in contact with contaminated surfaces causes the virus to spread, so covering the appropriate areas and washing hands frequently is likely to arrest this to some extent; facial masks have been seen to be of limited effect.
The symptoms may last up to a week, depending on how severely a person has been infected and include fever, sneezing, dry cough, body pain and headaches. Sore throats, fatigue, runny nose and chills have also been reported by some sufferers and a bit of diarrhoea as well as vomiting. Extra care must be taken if there is a relapse, especially involving bacterial pneumonia, as the effects are likely to be much worse the second time.
Regarding treatment, existing vaccines for treatment of seasonal flu do not have any effect on the H1N1 strain. Since most of the infections are mild, the usual precautions and treatment for those suffering from seasonal flu should suffice. Worldwide deaths have been only a very small percentage of those infected. New vaccines have been tested and it is thought that just one dose should do the trick, especially in less severely infected patients. However younger children may require up to 2 doses. Many of the developed countries are trying to work out a mass vaccination campaign among their population - similar to the one used to eradicate polio.
Homeopathy also offers specific treatments for influenza, though there may not be one yet identified specifically for swine flu. Commonly used formulations include Arsenicum Album, Belladonna, Bryonia, Ferrum phosphoricum, Gelsemium, etc. There is even one that a doctor formulates each year tailored to the current strain of influenza that will help protect you from contracting the virus and it also helps relieve symptoms if you do get the flu. Self treatment may not be appropriate in case of H1N1, the swine flu, and the advice of a physician should be taken to get the correct formulation and dosage.
Caring For Someone That Has the H1N1 Swine Flu
Fortunately, when most individuals become infected with the H1N1 swine flu they do not need to receive medical attention and are able to overcome the symptoms within approximately seven days, however, the H1N1 virus is extremely contagious and can be contracted when coming into close contact with another individual who has this virus one day before they are exhibiting any symptoms and up to seven days afterward. Most individuals will be able to recover from the H1N1 virus at home, however, if you are a caretaker for someone who has the flu or H1N1 virus, it is essential that you take precautionary measures to avoid becoming infected yourself or spreading this illness to others.
Preparing a Sick Room
If you are caring for someone in the home that has the H1N1 flu, if at all possible create a separate bedroom for them to use for the duration of their illness. This room should be stocked with plenty of disposable tissues as well as a trash container that is lined with a disposable trash bag and a lid. You should also ensure that you have a thermometer handy and ant-bacterial hand wipes or a hand rub that is alcohol-based. Anyone who has the flu should drink plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated, therefore, be sure to have plenty of fluids available as well as squeeze bottle or cup with a straw and have either a cooler with drinks and ice or a pitcher with ice water within easy reach.
A humidifier should also be placed in the room to moisturize the air as this makes breathing easier for those experiencing respiratory problems with flu. In order to prevent the spread of germs to other areas of the house, face masks should be available for the individual who is sick to wear them when leaving the room or when around other individuals. Ensure that you have any over-the-counter or prescription medications close at hand and keep track of the dosages, but ensure that they are kept out of reach from young children.
Advice for the Caregiver
When you are caring for someone who has the H1N1 virus, it is essential that you avoid coming into direct contact with them as much as possible and especially avoid getting close to their face as this virus has the potential to spread even when just talking up close to another individual. If you are caring for a sick child that needs to be held, ensure that you place their chin so that it is positioned on your shoulder to avoid them accidentally coughing in your face. It is essential that you wash your hands thoroughly as frequently as possible and especially after coming into contact with the person who is sick including their laundry and tissues. You should ensure that you keep all of the hard surfaces in your home including doorknobs, toilets, sinks, counters, toys, telephones, and other items that have the potential to harbor germs clean and disinfected by using dish soap and warm water or other household cleaners that contain a disinfectant.
EBV Facts and Statistics
What is Epstein Barr Virus?
Epstein Barr is a virus that belongs to the herpes family. It infects the salivary gland cells and a white blood cell called a leukocyte. Epstein Barr virus is the major cause of infectious mononucleosis.
What are the symptoms of EBV?
Typical symptoms include a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph glands and fatigue. There may be other symptoms like a viral rash, headache, light sensitivity, respiratory symptoms, body aches, nausea and liver and spleen enlargement.
What are the complications of Epstein Barr virus?
EBV facts show that complications of this illness, although rare, can be potentially life threatening. Complications include a ruptured spleen, anaemia, reduced platelets, neurological disorders, CFS and secondary infections and inflammation like pneumonia, meningitis and pericarditis.
Epstein Barr virus has also been linked to Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and MS although more research is needed to see how these conditions are triggered.
Who gets Epstein Barr virus?
EBV facts and records show that the virus infects up to about 50% of children before the age of five. In young children the infection is usually mild and asymptomatic. The virus is common in teenagers and young adults. Most people have had the infection by age 40.
What is the incubation period of Epstein Barr virus?
Incubation is about 30-50 days although this can be shorter in children.
How long does Epstein Barr virus last?
EBV facts reveal that in the majority of cases the infection is mild and short-lived, lasting only a week or two. In some people the virus can relapse and has been known to recur for weeks or months.
How is the virus spread?
The virus is spread mainly through saliva through kissing or the sharing of drinks, lipsticks, eating utensils, towels etc. EBV facts and stats show that only about 5% of people acquire the virus from someone who has an acute infection. The bulk of the virus is spread by carriers who shed the virus intermittently even though they may not exhibit symptoms.
What is the medical treatment for this illness?
Most doctors recommend rest and fluids to treat the virus. Some doctors may prescribe pain killers, antibiotics (if there is a secondary infection) and corticosteroids if there is severe inflammation.
What are the natural treatments for EBV?
Natural treatments are based on boosting immunity, repairing the adrenal glands and cleansing the liver. Some of the more popular remedies include nutrients, herbs, anti-inflammatory foods, homeopathics, essential oils and therapies like acupuncture, stress management and graded exercise.
Lifestyle Changes For a Person With Genital Herpes
Given that we continue to look for a cure for genital herpes, the next best thing a sufferer can do is make some simple lifestyle changes, and the condition can then become considerably easier to cope with.
Dealing with Triggers:
An easy way to manage this condition is to identify the triggers, and take effective measures to ensure they remain out of your day to day life. Given below are common triggers than can result in a genital herpes outbreak.
Stress: Prolonged stress is amongst the leading lifestyle factor which contributes to the outbreak of genital herpes, and this makes it important that sufferers of this condition manage stress effectively. Getting enough sleep, eating a well balanced diet, exercising, and leading an overall relaxed life will have a positive effect in dealing with stress, thereby reducing the frequency of outbreaks. Sexual factors: Friction brought about owing to sexual intercourse is known to irritate the skin, and this can work in bringing on an outbreak. If you've previously steered clear of using lubricants, this is something you might want to rethink about, and use of water based lubricants can help minimize irritation. If you've been using oil based lubricants, you should stop with immediate effect. Also, not having sex during an outbreak is the obvious way to go. Weak immune system: Genital herpes sufferers who suffer from weak immune systems or have recently suffered from trauma (even as in surgery) could suffer from an outbreak. Eating an antioxidant rich diet in one way to boost your immune system; and exercising, maintaining healthy weight, drinking in moderation, and trying to proactively avoid infection will also help. Sunlight and common colds: While both these factors contribute in triggering oral herpes outbreaks, there is no evidence about their playing a role in the outbreak of genital herpes. However, if you feel that these factors trigger your outbreaks, it is best to avoid them, and take relevant preventive measures.
Making Dietary Changes:
If you hope to prevent the outbreak of genital herpes, it is essential that you eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet for people who suffer from this condition would basically mean one that eats a healthy amount of fruits, veggies and whole grains; and foods with saturated fats are best avoided.
Use of Dietary Supplements:
The use of dietary supplements, as suggested by research carried out at the 'University of Maryland Medical Center', can help in dealing the outbreak of genital herpes. Lysine, an amino acid found in fish, chicken, eggs, and particular supplements, is believed to lessen the period of an outbreak, and can also help in preventing formation of lesions.
Zinc may be able to help control the symptoms and heal blisters quicker. Zinc is important for the treatment of herpes symptoms because zinc is known to boost immunity by increasing T lymphocyte cells.
Supplements with Siberian Ginseng extract are believed to lessen the duration and severity of outbreaks, although people suffering from conditions like narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, are advised not to use the same.
What's important to know, though, is that these findings aren't supported by all studies in this realm, and if you are looking at using dietary supplements, seeking medical advice at the onset is definitely suggested.
Dealing with Discomfort:
If you suffer from this condition, it is pretty much a given that you will suffer from outbreaks, the frequency at which they occur notwithstanding. There are other simple things you can do which can have a positive effect in minimizing the discomfort you feel whilst in dealing with an outbreak.
- Take warm water baths
- Ensure drying the affected area (gently) each time you take a bath/shower
- Stick to wearing loose clothing
- Use cotton undergarments
- Do not use any chemical products on the affected area (includes deodorants, perfumes, etc.)
- Do not use ointments/lotions/creams without seeking medical advice
Your Partner's Role:
Once you are diagnosed with the condition, it is crucial that you discuss the same with your partner. For starters, he/she would should also go through the test, and if tested positive, get the required treatment. Learning more about the condition together will help as both of you will remain on the same page at all times when it comes to tackling the problems thrown your way from time to time. If you intend to have sex with a new partner, telling him/her about your condition before the act is most definitely advised.
Again, although there is no known cure for genital herpes, if you can make the aforementioned changes in your lifestyle, you stand a good chance of minimizing the frequency of outbreaks as well as their duration. Oh, and when in doubt, or in severe discomfort, always seek medical help.
There is a support group on Facebook created only for people suffering herpes, find some support.
Preventing Mosquito Borne Diseases in Your Horse
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about West Nile Virus and know it is a threat to your horse. How, then, do you protect your horse from this and other mosquito borne illnesses? By reducing mosquitoes around your stable, helping your horse avoid the ones that remain, and vaccinating your horse against the illnesses common in your area.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are four types of encephalitis that strike horses in the United States and Canada. These are: 1)Eastern Equine Encephalitis, 2)Western Equine Encephalitis, 3)Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, and 4)West Nile Virus. All four strains have similar symptoms. Most horses that contract them have a mild flu-like illness. Some horses have fever, headache, and a sore throat. The most severely affected horses have a sudden fever and headache followed by convulsions, coma, and even death. According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, even horses that survive the severe version of these illnesses are usually brain damaged and unfit to ride.
Because all of these diseases are viruses, there is no treatment for them. Supportive care, such as fluids, rest, support when the horse cannot stand, and love are the only options currently available. This makes prevention of prime importance.
Prevention can be broken down into three areas: reducing the source, avoiding the source, and vaccination. Since these diseases are spread by mosquitoes, it is important to make sure there is no where for the mosquito to breed around your horse. Without water, there can be no mosquitoes. Empty all containers holding water except for the water your horse drinks. Wash out water troughs or buckets on a weekly basis. Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, can be added to your horse's trough to eat the mosquito larvae if they are legal in your location. Mosquito dunks, which contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, can be put in water troughs or buckets to kill the mosquito larvae without hurting your horse.
All of the common mosquito borne illnesses, but especially West Nile Virus, normally live in birds. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis lives in chipmunks or squirrels, but it is rarely found in the United States so far. Mosquitoes only bite horses when their primary host is not available when they need a meal. For that reason, discourage birds, especially crows and grackles, from nesting near your stable.. For some reasons, crows are especially susceptible to West Nile Virus and mosquitoes that bite them can spread it to your horse. Do not allow rodents such as squirrels or chipmunks to feed on the grain that the horse wastes. Try to keep wild animals and birds at a distance from your horse's living quarters.
Avoidance consists of keeping the horse in the stable at night, dawn, and dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active. All windows and doors that are open should have screens to keep the mosquitoes out of the stable. Outdoor lighting should be far enough from the stable that it does not attract mosquitoes. Finally, the use of repellants designed for horses is important. Do not use repellants designed for humans, as these may make your horse ill.
There are vaccinations for all of the equine encephalitis strains found in the United States and Canada. For West Nile Virus, two doses are given thirty days apart. The vaccination program should start approximately 3-6 weeks before the start of the mosquito season in your location. There are two vaccinations available. West Nile Innovator, made by Fort Dodge, has been shown in the lab to be 95% effective. It consists of killed components of the virus that trick the horse's immune system into producing antibodies against the virus. Recombitek Equine West Nile Virus Vaccine is a modified live virus vaccine. It uses the canary pox virus to carry proteins from the West Nile Virus and that causes the horse's immune system to make antibodies. Each year, the horse should be given a booster of the same kind of vaccine the horse originally received to make sure it stays healthy.
Vaccinations for Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis are given in a similar fashion to the West Nile Virus vaccine. Your veterinarian will tell you which types of encephalitis are prevalent in your area and will administer the vaccinations for that type. Two vaccinations are required for each virus the first year, but there are products that contain vaccinations for all three of these encephalitis viruses. Consult your veterinarian to make sure your horse is properly vaccinated.
Follow the principles of reducing mosquitoes, avoiding mosquitoes, and vaccinating your horse to prevent mosquito borne illnesses. Such illnesses can prove deadly, making prevention essential.
Preventing and Protecting Yourself From the Flu
The single most important thing that anyone can do is get a flu shot before an outbreak in your community. Remember that you have to get a flu shot each year that covers the most likely virus for that flu season. The shot itself offers no protection and requires 10 to 14 days before you develop some immunity.
A recent study published by the National Academy of Sciences looked carefully at the H1N1 flu season in 2009. They studied schoolchildren, classmates and their families as the epidemic was happening. They suspected that many children were spreading the flu to their classmates in school. Their findings actually disproved that school was important source of infection. They found instead that the close contact of friends who played together outside of school was a common source of illness. Typically, children who played together outside of school have more intimate contact with each other. They use little hygiene such as hand washing or covering a cough. It was striking that children did not get sick from just sitting next to a classmate in school who was sick. This went against the prevailing wisdom of closing schools to prevent the spread of flu. In reviewing households with sick children, most of the time adults in the household did not get sick from their children. They were probably making a special effort to limit exposure to the obviously ill family member. Again, the study results suggest the more likely source of infection was in the community at large where efforts at hygiene were forgotten or non-existent.
We know that the flu virus does not fly through the air attacking a person over the shoulder while they look the other way. If someone coughs or sneezes on you point-blank within a couple feet, mucus droplets are broadcast with the virus. However, the most common denominator is you. We are the last link to acquire the infection. By touching our own hands to our face and mouth is most likely way to get the illness. Hands touch so many public places and surfaces; we forget that our own hands are such germ-laden instruments. Washing hands before eating or food preparation, after using the rest room at home or in a public place remains one of the most important means of protecting your self from illness.
The researchers noted that the flu virus spreads very rapidly among school age children. The results reinforce that it is not the classroom or seating arrangement that is the problem. It is more likely due to the fundamental lack of hygiene practices in children and adults in the community that facilitate spread of the disease. We all can learn a lesson of importance here.
A Guide To Feline Aids and Related Pet Ailments
Cats and other domesticated felines face numerous threats to their health such as FeLV, earmites parasites and many more but none that is as fatal as FIV. FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a contagious disease caused by a kind of retrovirus similar to the FeLV or Feline Leukemia Virus that belongs to the lentivrus category. Like the HIV which human contract, it destroys the feline's immune system making it susceptible to other forms of diseases.
Like any other virus existing, it is a microscopic non-living organism which only consists of either a DNA or RNA covered with some kind of protein coat. Unlike other regular cells, they can only replicate and multiply inside living cells, making it a virus factory. In addition, they do not breathe, process any nutrients and or excrete waste products. Once a cat becomes afflicted, it will easily contract other forms of infections such as bacterial, viral, fungal and even protozoan in origin.
The thing with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is that it is usually too late for the cat's owner to discover that the cat is ill. More often than not, visible symptoms only become apparent when the infection is already at its later stages. The infection usually starts with the virus being carried to the regional lymph node where it attaches itself as it gradually replicates in the white blood cells known as T lymphocyte. It will later spread to other lymph nodes throughout the body causing the cat to experience a few minor ailments such as fever, leukopenia, anemia which lasts for a couple of weeks. This is usually interpreted as a standard illness in a cat and may not be taken seriously.
After the cat recovers from the initial symptoms, it will appear healthy and fit and can remain so in several years. When the cat's immune system has almost been negated by the virus, signs of immunodeficiency will start to become visible and in this stage, the cat will display a few or all of the following; weight loss, poor fur complexion, anemia, gastroenteritis, diarrhea and many more.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is usually transmitted through a cat's saliva and the most common occurrence of this is through bite wounds. Wandering male cats are more prone to this since they tend to prey on other felines for territorial matters. This is diagnosed based on history, clinical results and blood examination known as Enzyme-Link Immunosorbent Assay or commonly referred to as ELISA. There are two possible results that the process will manifest; the first would be the false positive while the second is a false negative.
If the cat has been injected with an FIV vaccine then the ELISA result will display a positive test result. Kittens born from FIV infected mothers may have received antibodies. This may be transmitted through the milk that the kittens drink though this does not mean that the kittens are afflicted with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Conducting secondary tests after the first few tests is well advised.
Unfortunately, there is no known remedy for FIV as of the present. The most that one can do is provide constant support and care for the afflicted cat. Support could range from regular veterinary check ups, parasite maintenance, high-quality and proper diet, keeping the cat away from external pollution so as to prevent or lessen the chances of a cat acquiring a disease, vaccination against other diseases. The usage of high-calorie supplements and occasional blood transfusions may be a necessity during the later stages of the disease. Following these procedures and steps can ensure the cat a longer lifespan and will not require euthanasia anymore.
It can also be helpful in preventing the spread of the virus that the cat be quarantined and not allowed to roam in the neighboring area. Conducting tests on each cat that was used for breeding can also be potentially helpful. Though current information claims that there is a vaccine available to remedy the disease, it does not guarantee a reliable result and would still need further observation.
To sum it all up, prevention is still better than cure. By following the aforementioned advices and information, you can lessen the chances of your cat acquiring the disease and lead her to a healthy lifestyle.
Mosquitoes – How to Avoid Them
Mosquitoes suck. There is no other way to put it and that is not meant to be vulgar. That is how they 'feed' off of their victims - they suck blood. They do not bite, they do not burrow, and they do not kill. They suck.
These nasty little parasites stick a straw-like mouth part into your skin where they inject an anesthetic and anti-coagulant so that you are less likely to feel them sucking on you and your blood won't clot as they suck away. It is always a female (males do not feed on humans - only the gals do so that they can get enough protein to lay some eggs) and she will suck away until engorged with your blood. The mosquito 'bite' that itches afterwards is not a bite at all - it is an allergic reaction to the anesthetic that was injected into your body. Remember, mosquitoes suck.
So what is the best option for avoiding mosquitoes? In a nutshell, keeping mosquitoes away requires diligence on several levels.
The easiest least effective way is to surround yourself outside with a few supposedly repellent candles. Good luck with that one. We've been told to slather DEET and other synthetic chemicals on our skin and clothing to repel but keep in mind, you can't use these on children less than two years of age, you do not want to place them between your skin and clothing (for fear of greater absorption), and common sense tells you to use as little as possible anything that can peel paint off metal. (That is a common complaint you can read about in Sportsman's Journal columns as DEET disintegrate the paint on rifles. But that is another article… )
Beyond repellents, you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding. How many times have you read that mosquitoes like to breed in old tires left in the yard? I personally do not know anyone who has old tires in their yards. But I do know many with bird baths, forgotten toys, buckets accidentally left outside that collect rain, and other benign objects that serve as magnificent breeding grounds for these blood-sucking monsters. So we inadvertently create the very circumstances that wreak havoc.
So again, what is the best way to avoid them?
The ultimate way to avoid mosquitoes is to have a comprehensive plan to make sure no mosquito wants to be in your yard. That means you must take away everything they need to survive which is nesting sites and protection. Make it obvious that mosquitoes are not welcome and they will not come. Here are the step-by-step guidelines to accomplish it.
Eliminate all opportunities for standing water. Easier said than done as many places you are unaware of. Obviously, either empty bird baths daily or at least manipulate the water enough everyday so nothing can breed there. (Mosquitoes need standing water to breed so something with a fountain that is constantly moving the water isn't a problem.) Magnolia leaves that have dropped to the ground and created a 'cup' are notorious breeding sites. Toys, buckets, plant saucers, tarps, candle holders, etc. are all examples of items that unknowingly trap enough water for breeding to begin. It only takes a few teaspoons!
By eliminating the water, it means they can't procreate on your property. But they sure can multiply into the thousands in a few days in your neighbor's yard and drop by for a visit. Now is the time to make sure they REALLY know you mean business and that they are NOT welcome!
Create a barrier that mosquitoes will not cross! I mean make sure your home area emits a clear signal to mosquitoes that if they come here, they will die.
There are several options to create barriers. A Mosquito Misting System is a relatively new invention that many are using to create areas inhospitable to mosquitoes. People can fog their yards (or have a professional do it) for specific events. Both of these options typically use synthetic pyrethroids mixed with additional chemicals to offer some residual control. However, there are environmental and human health concerns about these chemicals and due to pesticide resistance, these chemicals are losing their effectiveness against many species including the mosquito.
A new invention is an Injector System that integrates into an existing irrigation system to safely create pest-free areas wherever water is directed. If you already have an irrigation system, it can now serve as the distribution of mosquito (and other pests) fighting products. However, it must be a safe, green product placed into the water supply - no toxic chemicals allowed. Cedar based products being run through the irrigation system are proving very successful.
Beyond these suggestions, keep in mind mosquitoes are very active at dawn and dusk so wear long sleeves and pants during these peak times. That is not always appropriate however, as the ripest weather for these pests is typically warm and humid and not the time to cover up.
To recap what we've discussed here, an ongoing treatment program for your yard is the best solution to prevent mosquitoes. A safe, green product is preferable for your health as well as offering a long-term solution that the pests cannot become resistant to. Next line of defense - GET RID OF STANDING WATER! If they can't breed, the vast majority of your problems will be solved. Then lastly, you can do nothing preventatively and when they are an issue, either cover up or use repellents.
Avoiding mosquitoes is possible when you follow these steps. West Nile Virus is worthy of avoidance as well as the annoying blood-sucking carriers of that and many other diseases. Being responsible for these threats to our health and safety make it abundantly clear - Mosquitoes really do SUCK!
Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that affects dogs and causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Many dogs don't recover from this aggressive virus and can succumb to dehydration. Young puppies and elderly dogs are at highest risk of dying from parvovirus and early detection and treatment are crucial if a dog is to survive. Prevention is better than the cure and a regular vaccination program should prevent your dog from contracting the virus.
Puppies should be vaccinated at the age of six weeks. If the mother has been vaccinated she can transfer some protection to her puppies through her milk but they are still susceptible to the disease and care should be taken not to expose them to the virus. Reputable breeders usually do not sell their puppies until they are 8 weeks old and if you're buying a puppy from a breeder you should enquire to see when the puppy was vaccinated in order to determine when the next booster shot is due.
Puppies require booster shots of the parvovirus vaccine every four weeks until they are 16 to 20 weeks old. Until then, the puppy is vulnerable to the virus and extra care must be taken to prevent any exposure to sick dogs or any discharge from a dog that has parvovirus.
Care should be taken to keep the puppy away from other dogs and places where dogs may have eliminated. The virus can be carried on clothes and shoes so be careful not to allow your dog to sniff your clothes if you've been in contact with a sick dog.
Even with proper precautions your dog may contract the disease due to the highly contagious nature of the virus. Recognizing the symptoms and taking your dog to the vet without delay can give your dog the best possible chance of recovering from the disease.
The first noticeable signs are vomiting and diarrhea. Although vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms common with many dog ailments, parvovirus causes stool to have a specific smell. There will also be blood in the stool and the vomiting will become constant as the dog is unable to hold any food or liquids. The dog will appear lethargic and feverish and there will be a marked loss of appetite.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms it is vital that you consult your vet immediately as parvovirus can lead to death rapidly.
Treatment for this condition consists of supportive care and your dog will usually be hospitalized for a week and given intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Once the dog has been treated it can still transmit the virus to other dogs so you should keep the dog at home for several weeks to avoid affecting others.
Parvovirus is a very serious disease and should not be taken lightly. The only want to protect your dog from this deadly virus is to maintain a diligent vaccination schedule and keep up with booster shots as per your veterinarians' recommendation.