Biological Terrorism

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Can Smallpox bio-warfare really happen?

As long as we have madmen like Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussien, and their "clones," in this world, biological, chemical, atomic, nuclear and other warfare of mass destruction is a potential possibility. One fanatic person, with a pop-size canister of smallpox virus aerosol is enough to initiate a global epidemic of this deadly disease, which has been eradicated from around the world decades ago. The only declared reserves of the 120 smallpox viruses are supposed to be in 2 laboratories in the United States and Russia, but there is a suspicion today that Iraq might posses the smallpox virus as well. US President George W. Bush is making available smallpox vaccine to half a million healthcare workers, who would be the first ones most exposed to the smallpox virus if such a warfare should strike. For every 5 million vaccinated, an estimated 52 will have life-threatening complications, from which two will die. This risk is very small compared to the danger of developing smallpox, which kills at least 33% of those infected. It is obvious, and imperative, that the campaign being waged by the United States and the Great Britain, and their allies, against weapons of mass destruction in any country, and their final elimination from the face of the earth, succeed at the earliest possible time. Indeed, they deserve the world's support.

Is there a do-it-yourself heart shocker?

Yes, there is. Seventy percent of cardiac arrests happen at home. Every restaurant, shopping center, theatres, and other public places, should be equipped with one, if we are to save more lives from heart attack and fatal cardiac rhythm disorder. The portable cardiac defibrillator is a unit that delivers electric shock to the heart when applied to the mid-chest and triggered with a button. This re-starts the heart beat. The window of opportunity for a successful cardiac "jump-start" is only about 3 minutes. For every one minute delay, there is 10% less chance for the heart to beat again after an arrest. After 10 minutes, the chance is practically zero. The new portable "do-it-yourself" home model is called HeartStart Home Defibrillator, manufactured by Philips Electronic, and costs about $2,300. It requires a prescription from a physician. Obviously, the patient, who is disabled by the heart attack, cannot do it on himself/herself. The use of this device requires a quick 4-hour CPR training, which includes mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (to provide oxygen to the victim), a most vital, and indispensable, part of the CPR. Without breathing oxygen into the patient every 5 seconds or so, other measures, including defibrillation, will fail. But the very first thing for a relative or a bystander to do when someone is having a heart attack is to call 911 for emergency help, while another person, if available, starts CPR immediately, if the victim is not breathing or has passed out.

Vino-therapy to look younger?

The French is at it again! This time, with vino-therapy as a beauty treatment, to "outwit" the aging skin and make one younger-looking. The enterprising proponents of vino-therapy claim that body scrubs with crushed Cabernet grape seeds, or body soaks in a barrel of water and grape extracts, or grape seed bubble bath plus grape seed body lotion, provide powerful antioxidants that transform the skin to a younger-looking one. But, one thing they do not tell you is that there is no scientific evidence, or medical studies, that prove it is effective at all. Except in making these entrepreneurs very rich and "younger" looking.

Does peanut butter reduce risk of diabetes?

Eating peanut butter apparently lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Recently, a study showed that women who consumed one serving of peanut butter 5 times a week, were 20% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The peanut butter was used as a replacement for saturated fats, like butter or cream cheese. More extensive clinical investigations are needed to fully confirm this observation.

Does music help during workout?

Yes. Those listening to relaxing music during physical exercises have a brighter and happier mood and outlook compared to those exercise buffs who do not. This was revealed by a study among post-surgical patients undergoing rehabilitation. Also, those who listen to music during exercises tend to stick more to the regular workout routine.

Are bread crusts any good?

The part of bread that contains the most antioxidant (pronyl-lysine) is the crusts, especially those of brown bread, like pumpernickel, oat bran, or whole wheat bread. This substance, which is created during the baking process, is supposed to be a cancer-fighting agent, like other antioxidants.

Does antibacterial soap work?

No, antibacterial soap does not kill bacteria more than regular soap does. This was shown by a double-blind randomized study in New York. Both soaps resulted in cleaner hands but neither killed bacteria more effectively than the other. Obviously, buying costly "antibacterial" soap does not make any sense. Besides, its frequent use might lead to bacterial resistance.

Is asthma related to estrogen?

The Center for Disease Control in the United States reported that adult women suffer more asthma than men or children. In 2001, there were 9.6 million women and 5 million men in the US who had asthma. According to the CDC, there is evidence that estrogen levels are related to asthma, that the rate of asthma in girls goes up during adolescence and also during pregnancy, where the estrogen levels are higher.

Are our school-age children overweight?

More than 30% of the school-age children are overweight, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. This fact appears to be true even in Asian countries like the Philippines. Type 2 diabetes, which is weight-related, among these children is increasing. In the past, Type 1 diabetes, due to malfunctioning pancreas, was the predominant type of diabetes among children. Today, it is Type 2 diabetes, obviously due to the fact that there are presently more overweight school-age children. And, of course, overweight in children is mostly due to overeating, or more accurately, she we say, over-feeding by us, the parents. As we have stated before, let us stop killing our children because of love.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.