Category Archives for "Medical Knowledge"

How to keep a Proper Sitting Position to Avoid Back Injuries

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re having back pain even though you’re not lifting heavy weights constantly, it’s most likely because you’re not sitting properly. For anyone who’s wondering what the best posture is for sitting, science would tell you that there is actually an ergonomic and utterly safe way to sit – especially for those who spend a lot of hours in front of a computer desk while working.

First things first, consider the Computer Monitor and your Eye Level.

It’s important to have your eyes in line with the area of the screen you focus on the most, whether that’s the top (if you’re sending lots of emails), or the bottom (if you’re writing a bunch of programming code, for example). Looking down at your screen puts excess strain on your neck, which leaves you vulnerable to injuries such as cervical disc herniation, cervical strains, and headaches.

Though most modern-age computer monitors already have a way to increase its height, stacking books under your monitor is a simple trick if you need to raise your screen to be at eye level. Especially with office workers or work-from-home employees, maintaining a good eye level with the computer monitor is tantamount to healthy vision and proper posture. It is also important to take note that if you happen to be a multi-monitor worker, make sure you apply this tip to the monitor you use the most—the last thing you want is an injury from looking sideways all day.

Now, look at your desk.

Anything that you constantly use – such as your mobile phone, the mouse, or coffee mug – can be a source of physical stress on your body if you’re always reaching out to grab it. Instead of forcing your body to overwork (and be in an uncomfortable position), keep these must-use items within a foot of a distance from where you’re seated. In this way, you can minimize the amount of physical strain your body may experience.

Next is the arm positioning.

Human physiology tells you that when your arms are stretched and extended, your shoulders start to rotate forward, causing you to lose strength in your upper back. Because of this, you always have to consider your arm positioning as it is equally important to sitting ergonomics. To avoid shoulder injuries and chronic upper back pain, keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle at a nice, neutral resting position.

Additionally, you should never take for granted what armrests are for – chairs come with armrests for a reason, particularly to aid your arm positioning for the most comfortable way possible.

Now, take note of the proper back positioning.

Always consider that your back should be comfortable and supported, with a small curve in the lumbar spine where your natural lower back is. Without support, the back tends to get too much of a curve in the opposite direction — what’s known as kyphosis, or more commonly, hunchback — leaving the lower back perfectly exposed to disc herniation and chronic postural lower back sprains and strains.

With this in mind, if you don’t have a chair that can provide support, look for pillows, blankets, or some stuffed objects in your house to keep your back comfortable at all times.

Legs and Feet shouldn’t be taken for granted.

When your legs are crossed or just your toes are touching the floor, you’re putting unnecessary stress on large supportive muscles and hampering proper blood flow. Even little things such as keeping your legs crossed all day long – can lead to chronic pain. It’s totally alright to cross your legs from time to time, but this shouldn’t be your most accessed positioning for your legs and feet.

Lastly, take note of your vertical alignment.

While seated, you should never want to be reaching or leaning forward. According to researches, for every inch that the head comes forward, the spine feels like is has taken on an extra 10 pounds. This alone can bring major strain on your muscles.

3 Things to Do to Achieve Overall Good Health

healthy living

There are many different factors to consider in order to declare that a person is healthy. Acquiring good physical stature by means of exercise and good diet is one of the factors that people usually hear. However, aside from that, having an excellent mental state of mind, emotional and social stability and controlled judgement are also vital elements to achieve your overall wellness.

Fusing them all together, a person can be seen as a holistically healthy and fundamentally fit. Since being healthy can only exist if all factors come into play, achieving good overall health seems to be quite a challenge for many people of practically all ages and gender.  It would most likely take time and a whole lot of patience and determination to hear from a health practitioner that you are one of the lucky, healthy ones.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that good health is not merely the absence of disease; it is also a reflection of the social and mental well-being of a person in a community. Many influences affect one’s health.  According to WHO, in order to effectively provide good health for everyone in a community, actions should aim not simply to reduce disease, but also to reduce social tensions and mental ill-health to acceptable levels.

Then again, it is important to always note that being healthy always starts with the person themselves.

To start being healthy overall, one must take various steps forward in the physical, emotional, mental and social facets of his or her life. Some people do not recognize that some of their habits actually play significant roles on these factors. Routinely talking and mingling with people at work induces a sense of belonging, thus create a positive attitude. A for one’s physicality, a simple walk makes up for a good exercise in the physical aspect. These small steps are assured to jumpstart any aspiring efforts for one to attain their ultimate health goal.

So what can one do to finally attain that vision of health and wellness? Here are 3 good ways to spark people’s drives on their way to achieving good overall health.

Eat Right, Work Out Mighty

The most obvious thing to go about in attaining good physical health is by having a balanced diet and working out.

So how does one really define a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that gives the human body the nutrients it needs to function properly. In order to get the proper nutrition from one’s diet, research notes that people should obtain the majority of his or her daily calories from fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins.

being healthy

Children with a poor diet run the risk of growth and developmental problems and poor academic performance. More importantly, bad eating habits can persist for the rest of their lives, so it is definitely better to start at an early age.

Furthermore, eating the right foods ultimately aids the body’s organs and tissues and gives them the proper nutrition they need to work effectively. Without good nutrition, a person’s body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue and poor performance of daily activities. With that in mind, a diet that is planned out for the week may help a person track what he or she puts in his or her body. The person may also have an idea how many calories he or she may have taken and thus needs to burn to stay fit.

This is where the exercising part comes in.

Working out goes hand in hand with eating healthy mainly because what a person eats is what a person has to burn. In order to stay healthy, a person has to “burn” the food with an equivalent workout. Every person aspiring to work out should know that there are specific approaches or types of exercise which can be done based on a person’s body type and preferred results.

To choosing a specific workout method, it greatly helps to find out the possible results that the exercise could provide as this could provide a great sense of motivation for a person. Besides, working out is part mental and part physical. Also, hiring a personal trainer can provide a lot of benefits for any individual. Not only are they qualified for the job because of their experience, they also have their ways in motivating a person by keeping them in check for their workouts. Plus, they can provide really good tips about working out and life in general.

Good Smile, Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is a very important facet in achieving overall health. This is because a positive attitude attracts other people to socialize and be comfortable in their presence. It also allows for a possible emotional connection.

What should be kept in mind when it comes to having a healthy social and emotional pull?

heart candy

The fact is that it always boils down to presentation. Someone who smells good or has an attractive dress may easily attract other people. However, reports suggest that it all starts with a person’s smile. A person’s smile affects the body inside and outside.  The act of smiling activates neural messages that benefits one’s health and sense of happiness.

A person is actually better looking when he or she smiles. When someone sees another person smiles, their reaction towards the smiling individual changes drastically. A person is viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates the orbitofrontal cortex, the region in the brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when one views a person smiling, he is actually feeling rewarded.

As such, good dental care comes into play. People are now learning that good teeth allows for better smiles, ergo, allows for a positive attitude. Many dental clinics and professionals, like those at Case Orthodontics are providing the right amount of attention to one’s dental care needs for a person to help them improve on their physical and even social life. Those sparkling whites really get the job done!

Be Headstrong with Mental Therapy

One of the more overlooked facets in overall health is having a good mental state of mind. This is because there is a stigma that when a person goes for the services of a mental health professional, he or she might have some severe mental illness. Not necessarily so.

People who are open to seeking professional services of mental health professionals are actually reaping the benefits. Having a therapist who listens to their challenges and provides them plausible ways to go about achieving their goals can ultimately revamp one’s outlooks and perspective.

mental therapy

National Health Service in the United Kingdom  notes that sometimes, it is easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends. During talking therapy, a trained counselor or therapist listens to the person and helps him or her find their own answers to problems, without the judgement factor. The therapist gives time for the person to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at one’s problems in a different way with someone who can respect the person and his or her opinions.

Usually, patients seeking advice talk one-on-one with a therapist. Sometimes, talking treatments are held in groups or couples, such as relationship counseling. Although there are lots of different types of talking therapy, they all have a similar aim: to help a person feel better. Some people say that talking therapies don’t make their problems go away, but they find it easier to cope with them and feel happier.

How Much Do You Really Know About Leukemia?

“Love is like a wind, you can’t see but you can feel it.” – A Walk to Remember, 2002

Whatever it is that you are doing before reading this article, try to stop and think. Take a breather. Your business proposals and sales records from Quickbooks Online can wait for 5 minutes.

Even after years of not encountering the words that made you feel fear, anger and bliss all at the same time, everything is coming back right now. You just simply begin to remind yourself of the emotions you once had for the love story of Landon and Jaime.


Your brain and heart start recalling how much A Walk to Remember touched your life in any way that maybe up to this moment you cannot comprehend. You feel again your deep connection with both the book and the film adaptation.

You remember the day they went to two places at once. You remember the butterfly tattoo.

You remember how they got married on the church where Jaime’s parents exchanged vows.

You remember the leukemia.

The illness has become the exclamation point of this beloved love story. You cannot deny how much leukemia changed the lives of the two protagonists.

At the back of your mind, you pray that it does not change your life, too.

Learn more about the nature of leukemia, and find out you address or mitigate the terminal disease before it change your life forever.

What is Leukemia?

Mostly found in the bone marrow, blood cells can either be red blood cells or white blood cells. The red blood cells serve as the carrier of oxygen to and from your heart, while the function of the white blood cells is to protect your body to alien organisms. In other words, they fight infections in your body.


The problem with leukemia is that your bone marrow does not produce white blood cells that follow their supposed nature. Instead, your body produces abnormal number of white blood cells. In this light, cancer cells form and replace the healthy blood cells in your bone marrow.

Basically, leukemia (or leukaemia) is cancer of the blood cells. It is a progressive disease in which the organs and other tissues that produce blood, like the bone marrow, create a higher quantity of abnormal or immature leukocytes. This event may lead to anemia since the presence of leukocytes blocks out the production of normal, healthier blood cells.

Despite the massive advancement of medical technologies, the exact reasons or causes behind leukemia still unknown to mankind. However, this does not mean that researchers and scientists are not doing anything to determine the causes.

According to current studies, the researchers and scientists link the roots of leukemia with genetic and environmental factors.

red blood cells

With regard to genetic factors, there are cases wherein the changes in the genes can be passed to an offspring, and this can be a major factor for children to develop blood cancer cells early on. One good example is the Li-Fraumeni syndrome. It is a way of inheriting tumor suppressor genes which can activate the leukemia cells.

Considering the environmental factors, mutations in the DNA can result to cancer cells. The basis for the mutation, however, is still unknown. In addition, cancer may come up when there is a chromosome translocation, resulting to the birth of cancer-promoting genes. Unfortunately, the change in chromosome just happens randomly at your body without even knowing about it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Leukemia?

Check the following list, in case that you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  •         You have a fever
  •         You experience excessive sweating especially at night
  •         You always feel weak and highly fatigued
  •         You lose weight despite any dietary routines
  •         You have swollen lymph nodes
  •         You can easily bleed and bruise
  •         You experience bone and joint pains
  •         You see red spots all over your skin
  •         You experience recurring nose bleeds

The symptoms list is just a guide, they do not intend to scare you. You just need to look after yourself and take note if the said symptoms are always happening. If that is the case, seek for medical advice from your doctor to verify your condition.

Then again, do not diagnose yourself and immediately call your condition as cancer just because you experience everything listed. It might be a different case. It is still advisable to have a formal check up with your doctor.

What Are The Types Of Leukemia?                       

Leukemia has four major types: acute lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia.

  1.   Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia is the most common type that can be found on children. However, it does not mean that adults cannot be diagnosed with this type.

Your bone marrow is producing too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells, for your body. If you have this type of leukemia, then you have immature lymphoid cells that can grow rapidly in your blood.


  1.   Acute Myelogenous Leukemia – unlike with the previous type, the second type of leukemia is common for both children and adults. The rapid growth of your myeloid cells is the center of this type of leukemia.

In other words, your bone marrow is producing abnormal myoblasts, red blood cells, or platelets. If you are smoking, undergone chemotherapy treatments and exposure to radiation, then you have a higher risk on this type of leukemia.

  1.   Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia normally affects people from 55 five years old and above. In this type, the growth of the cancer cells is slower compared to the first two types.

Your body is producing too many blood stem cells which become the abnormal lymphocytes. They do not transform into healthy white blood cells. They also overthrow healthy white blood cells in your bone marrow.

  1.   Chronic Myeloid Leukemia – this type of leukemia has the same characteristic with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It also attacks adults, but it rarely happens to children.

The said type of leukemia is also an example of a slow progressing blood cancer. Your bone marrow is producing an abnormal number of blood stem cells. They eventually become granulocytes. Granulocytes are abnormal white blood cells that occupy the spaces for healthy white blood cells in the bone marrow.

In addition to this, there are three minor types of leukemia.

  1.   Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia – it is an example of a chronic leukemia. This type of leukemia normally attacks four-year olds and younger.
  2.   T-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia is an example of mature T-cell leukemia. T-cells are subtype of white blood cells. It has an aggressive behavior, and it normally attacks the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and sometimes, the skin.
  3.   Hairy Cell Leukemia – this type of leukemia is a subtype of chronic lymphoid leukemia. It is also an example of tumor that can be differentiated through its accumulation of abnormal B lymphocytes.

Learning and putting into heart the knowledge about leukemia does not mean that you are now immune to the ailment. Gaining the knowledge is just the first step towards a better understanding of the disease.

If you or your loved ones leukemia, knowing more can help you address the terminal disease as early as possible. Consequently, it is now all up to you on how you are going to act up on a disease that can change your life forever.

“I’m sorry she never got her miracle.”

“She did get her miracle, Landon, her miracle was you.”

DNA – What You Need to Know

You’ve been hearing the term since you started attending science classes. When you think about the human body, DNA is one of the thousands of words that might come to mind. Moreover, when you think of other living organisms, DNA still stands out as the most obvious aspect.

It seems like from the moment you first heard of the term DNA, it continues to be brought back up in conversation.

Blue dna

What is DNA?

There are often cases where you may talk about it without even knowing what it really is. Sometimes, you may talk about DNA with your friends without even knowing that what “DNA” stands for is Deoxyribonucleic Acid.

You’ve probably watched a plethora of movies or television shows that mention DNA as part of their normal conversation. You just sit on your couch, accepting that fact that it is some almighty substance that is an important part of their story. At a certain level, of course, you do generally understand what they are talking about.

Never fear! Read on below to finally put a meaning behind the mysterious three letter word.


Before we explore further, let us differentiate DNA with another term that is always associated with it – RNA.

dna vs rna

  1.   DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid while RNA stands for Ribonucleic Acid.
  2.   DNA serves as a key in the development and function of living organisms. On the other hand, RNA contains the traits that can be identified within DNA.
  3.   DNA is the instructions that your body must follow in order to exist and function normally. RNA helps DNA to carry on with this mission.
  4.   DNA is double-stranded (made up of phosphate group, five carbon sugars and four nitrogens that contains adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine) while RNA is single-stranded (made up of phosphate group, five carbon sugars, and four nitrogens that contain adenine uracil, guanine, and cytosine).
  5.   DNA is less reactive due to the fact that it contains Deoxyribose sugar, while RNA is more reactive due to its Ribose sugar.
  6.   DNA has the ability to regenerate itself while RNA depends on DNA and therefore cannot do so. In other words, RNA is born if the DNA needs its help.

The Nature Of DNA

The identification of DNA was made possible by Swiss biochemist Frederich Miescher during the 1800s. Knowledge about the DNA molecule was further developed after learning and understanding its molecular structure. This advancement happened through the team efforts of James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. They used X-ray diffraction, and the data was collected by Rosalind Franklin.

dna toy

Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA is a type of molecule that has the genetic instructions which your body needs to initialize growth, development, functioning, and reproduction. To put it simply, you depend on DNA molecules for, literally, everything.

Because of DNA, all living organisms’ molecules have the capacity to be completely unique. Why do you think dogs only give birth to dogs? Why do think cats can never give birth to a pig? What do you think is the reason for humans increased intelligence?

These questions may seem simplistic, however, the answer boils down to DNA and how it makes living organisms unique and capable of carrying out genetic instructions exclusive to a certain species.

In other words, at a cellular level, the organism’s body follows certain processes in order to become what it should be.

Imagine getting your brand new home. To start, you can get help from True North Mortgage. You can then pick the house you want. From picking the best property and housing loan, to payment scheme and possible discounts, you follow certain steps to lead you towards your end result – getting your property.

The same is true for an organism. There are steps that need to be observed. Your body must follow certain processes, and must stick to the instructions so that it can get what it supposed to have.

You can locate your DNA molecules at the nucleus of the cell’s mitochondria. Cells are one of the smallest elements in your body, but that does not mean that one cell contains one DNA molecule. In fact, one cell can contain thousands of molecules.

When DNA molecules are found in the nucleus of a cell, they are nuclear DNA. During sexual reproduction, you inherit half of the nuclear DNA from your father and the other half from your mother.

Overtime, these molecules pack or group together, forming a chromosome. As they form, a completed set of nuclear DNA molecules by an organism becomes a genome.

Appreciate Your DNA

DNA is not just simply swirling inside your body randomly. It makes you who you are, literally. You have to appreciate what it does to your body.

Take the time to know more what your DNA does for you. You might even want to go to your parent’s room and thank them for the awesome genes that you have.

  1.   DNA molecules are the prerequisite in order for human life to initialize. Your parents are just helpers so that you can live in this world. DNA molecules serve as your starting point.
  2.  They carry the hereditary information that can make you different from your family and friends. This also prevents you from being born as a carrot or a parrot (and thank goodness for that!) So, give thanks to your DNA molecules for making you be a human being.
  3.   They are responsible for your protein reproduction.

A scientist working with DNA.

  1.   They are also responsible for determining the structure of your cells. They are the only molecules who are authorized to choose whether a cell must become a nerve cell, or an eye cell, or even a heart cell. All these functions are rendered by DNA molecules.
  2.   Unlike in the past, terminal diseases can now be determined and located through the help of DNA molecules. The technological advancements of the 21st century together with your DNA structure can tell doctors and scientists the possible problems that could happen inside your body. This information can pave the way to an immediate response towards disease at its early stages.
  3.   DNA molecules have also opened a number of doors to developing medical drugs. The molecules are also capable of paving the way to different medical advancements for human treatments. In some cases, the drugs or medicines can be custom made in order to align with the patient’s biochemistry and genetic makeup.
  4.   In terms of locating your long lost bloodline, DNA can also aid you in identifying your genetic roots – usually your biological mother and biological father. They can isolate and pinpoint your true parents from a number of other plausible parents in the pool. You can get a new sense and a new perspective in your way of living and self-identity.
  5.   Forensic science also benefits from the discovery of the structure of DNA. The lives of innocent men and women are already dependent on DNA analysis reports. This can make or break a case. There are many countries who have their own DNA database. If you are a victim of any sexual assault or any crime, do not be scared to go to the police stations. DNA molecules can help you receive justice for what you have experienced.
  6.  Agriculture is another field that is highly affected by DNA development. In this modern age, breeders can already identify which animals are healthy enough for breeding. This can help them have higher chances of getting healthier offspring. The DNA molecules also help the breeders and farmers know what nutrients their animals need. This can help them determine and explain the reasons behind micronutrient deficiencies.

Allergy Season is Here

girl sneezing seasonal allergies

A friend called me for advice about her daughter’s, Kim’s allergies. With spring soccer in full swing and pollen counts soaring, games and practice sessions on fields of freshly cut grass, in parks surrounded by flowering plants and trees meant sneezing, watery, itching eyes and often triggered Kim’s underlying asthma.

Even people who don’t have asthma can find this time of year challenging. They many start to sneeze suddenly, have a runny nose, a scratchy feeling in the back of their throat, or feel that there’s something irritating in their eyes.

What you can do

Whether you’re reaching for the tissue box or scanning the pharmacy for a good over the counter medication, I have some tips for recognizing the signs of seasonal allergies and strategies for keeping your allergy symptoms at bay.

Why allergies cause symptoms

Pollen, mold, dust, dander from a dog or cat, bee stings and some foods contain small particles, known as allergens, that bother some people and not others. In the case of allergies, the body’s immune system perceives the allergens as foreign objects and tries to protect itself by releasing histamine and other inflammatory substances. The histamine causes swelling in the nasal passages, throat and airway, leading to many of the symptoms.


pollen for NB DD


A little may be ok, a lot: Not so much

With allergies, many people find that they don’t react until they’ve been exposed to the same substance repeatedly and then all of a sudden, their bodies, say enough is enough. Others find that they can tolerate 1 small shrimp, but not a plate full. Everyone is different, so it’s important to recognize what your individual thresholds are for exposure.

Like Kim, many kids can play soccer on freshly cut grass in the fall, but once the spring pollen counts go up, their symptoms increase. For kids and adults with asthma and other lung and pulmonary issues, seasonal allergies can make their asthma worse, leading to more wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Seasonal Allergy symptoms

People with seasonal allergies find that their symptoms increase when pollen counts increase:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Congested nose and sinuses
  • Itchy eyes
  • Scratchy, irritated throat
  • Dry cough
  • Itching in the ears, nose or mouth

Persistent symptoms

If your symptoms persist throughout the year or seem to be triggered when you’re indoors, with pets or in other situations, you may have allergies to other things. Anytime your symptoms are severe and long lasting, do talk to your health care provider.

Preventing Allergies

  • Preventing and minimizing exposure to pollens
  • Staying indoors with air conditioning or keeping doors and windows closed
  • Using a HEPA filter
  • Wear sunglasses to keep allergens away from your eyes
  • Wiping down surfaces that may be covered with pollen
  • If you’re outside, change your clothes, shower and wash your hair when you come indoors
  • Saline nose and eye drops can help wash away pollen

If you’re prone to allergies

Be prepared with a few items to take along when you go outdoors this spring:

  • Keep a few cold, wet wash cloths in a ziplock bag in a cooler to soothe, cool and wash off your face if you start having allergy symptoms
  • Ice packs also work well to decrease swelling
  • Take along some over the counter medications that work

Allergy medications 

These over the counter medications work against histamine and may cause some drowsiness.

Alavert & Claritin – Loratadine

Allegra – Fexofenadine

Clarinex – Desloratadine

Zyrtec – Cetirizine

These over the counter medications also work against histamine and are very likely to cause drowsiness:

Benadryl – Diphenhydramine

Chlor-Trimeton – Chlorpheniramine

Dimetapp Allergy – Brompheniramine

Tavist – Clemastine

Have fun this spring and be prepared.

Disclosure: I do not have any financial or other relationship with any of the products mentioned.

Zika, Chikungunya & Dengue

Dengue, zika and chikungunya fever mosquito (aedes aegypti) on human skin

This little guy here, the Aedes Aegypti is responsible for Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue fever.

This mosquito is most active and likely to bit during the day, in the first few hours after sunrise and before sunset.

With the current worry about Zika virus and it’s possible association with microcephaly in newborns, it’s a good time to review the differences in these illnesses, Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue, all caused by viruses transmitted by a mosquito bite.



zika 3

Most people have no symptoms and don’t know they’ve been infected. Their symptoms may be mild.

Symptoms of Zika

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint Pain
  • Conjunctivitis or red eyes
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches

According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, Zika may be associated with microcephaly and other serious complications for newborn babies. I emphasize the words “may be” associated as this is being actively studied right now.

For people who live in areas where Zika is prevalent, here’s what you can do to protect yourself. First and foremost: Avoid getting bitten by mosquitos, by:

  • Wearing long sleeve protective clothing
  • Keep doors closed or stay in areas where there are screens or air conditioning
  • Use insect repellant
  • Stay away from standing water where these mosquitos breed
  • Here’s more information for pregnant women who are concerned about the risks of Zika.



Painful joints human anatomy concept with the body as a group of circular panels of sore areas as a pain and injury or arthritis illness symbol for health care and medical symptoms due to aging or sports and work injury.

Many more people in the US have been exposed to the Chikungunya virus than Zika or Dengue Fever and is also transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Recently, I was working in Honduras and cared for many children who had recently recovered from Chikungunya. Luckily, they have all completely recovered.

With Chikungunya, the most serious long-term effect is that a few people may have persistent joint pain for many months after recovering from the fever and other symptoms.

There have been less than 700 cases reported in the US. Symptoms of Chikungunya usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten and most people feel better after 1 week.

  • Fever
  • Severe joint pian
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches
  • Swollen Joints
  • Rash

Dengue Fever


Dengue Rash from Nurse Barb


This is also transmitted by the same Aedes Aegypti mosquito as Zika and Chikungunya. Though the 100-200 cases in the US are thought to be from people who acquired it while traveling, Dengue fever, is and has been a significant concern for people in Puerto Rico and other tropical areas

Symptoms of Dengue Fever begin within 3 to 14 days of being bitten.

  • High fever plus at least 2 of the following symptoms:
  • Severe headache
  • Severe pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain

A few cases of Dengue fever may progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic fever, which can be life-threatening. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, please see a health care provider immediately.

This list is from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Severe abdominal pain or persistent vomiting
  • Red spots or patches on the skin
  • Bleeding from nose or gums
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black, tarry stools (feces, excrement)
  • Drowsiness or irritability
  • Pale, cold, or clammy skin
  • Difficulty breathing

Prevention is the key for all of these and other illnesses transmitted by mosquitos. Here’s a recap of prevention strategies:

o   Wearing long sleeve protective clothing

o   Keep doors closed or stay in areas where there are screens or air conditioning

o   Use insect repellant

o   Stay away from standing water where these mosquitos breed