Sunday, 22 February 2009

Getting Ready for the Cold Season

We are on the last month of summer and although it has been very hot on other parts of Australia particularly in Victoria (where the bushfire was), it wasn't that bad here in Queensland, which is the sunshine state. I can't complain on the weather actually, well, except when it rains for long.

Cold season is looming and it means, sickness like cold and flu would be around the corner as well.

Here are some helpful tips on how to get ready:

Step1: Know the difference between a cold and the flu. A cold can last two or three weeks; most people are better within seven to ten days. On the other hand, without proper care or attention, a flu virus can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia, each of which can cause permanent health damage. Each year, more than 100,000 people in the United States are hospitalized and about 36,000 die due to the flu and its complications.
Step2: Wash your hands. Frequent washing with warm water and ordinary soap for 10 seconds is one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid catching a cold or the flu. Use antibacterial alcohol-based foams and gels when you don't have access to soap and water.
Step3: Disinfect your home regularly. Spray the surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen with a mild solution of 2 to 5 percent bleach in water to kill viruses and bacteria.
Step4: Get a flu vaccination if you're in a high-risk population: (a) People living in long-term care facilities and group homes. (b) Adults over the age of 65. (c) Adults and children with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, emphysema and kidney disease. (d) Pregnant women who will be in the second or third trimester of their pregnancy during the flu season. (e) People with weakened immune systems, such as HIV-positive individuals or cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. (f) Health care workers.
Step5: The vaccine is made with a killed virus that cannot give you the flu. Vaccines are not 100 percent effective, so you may still get a less severe case of the flu after receiving the vaccine. The vaccine takes about two weeks to become fully effective in your body, so prepare yourself before the season hits.
Step6: Discuss FluMist with your doctor if you are healthy and between 5 and 49 years. Approved in 2003 by the Food and Drug Administration, this flu vaccine is delivered through a nasal spray.
Step7: Eat a well-balanced diet. It's essential to building a healthy immune system, and it provides sources of energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. Taking a daily multivitamin-- especially when you're fatigued or stressed--also helps ensure that you will receive an adequate dose of minerals and vitamins.
Step8: Get plenty of rest. On average, humans require seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep can lower the immune system's ability to react when needed. Without sufficient sleep, the immune system is hard-pressed to keep up with its nightly repair work, and creates an opening for opportunistic diseases.
Step9: Stock your medicine cabinet with a supply of single-symptom drugs such as cough suppressants, pain relievers and antihistamines. Cold symptoms tend to appear in sequence, not all at once, so multi-symptom formulas often give you too much or not enough medicine for any given symptom. Avoid time-release capsules for the same reason.


And be prepare for the cold temperature. Have your heater ready. If you haven't got a wood flooring, you might want to through a rug or carpet.

A Short Trip

I've was in Melbourne for two days. We didn't really stay in the city or been to the city aside from driving around to the airport. The customer's office is in the south side which is more or less an hour drive from the airport, so we opted to stay in one of the hotels around the area (not booked through Westgate though).

I now know the feeling of a jetsetter. It is tiring especially if it's for work. I didn't see much as I opted to stay in the hotel room watching telly, dilly dallying and surfing the net. I had a great time though on the way home as I did a bit of retail therapy for pressies.

As for food, I tried the hotel's garlic prawn and it didn't appeal to my palete.

Pertussis

My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed to have whooping cough. And it has been circulating in the family. We've been interacting most of the time and we're just passing around bacteria and germs.

The little boy has been coughing and it was real bad last Friday so we took him to the doctor yesterday as we suspect it might be pertussis. The doc said, he has viral infection and was prescribed of anti-biotics.

Here are some facts about whooping cough:

What is whooping cough?Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system—specifically, the area where the nasal passages meet the back of the throat (nasopharynx). The infection causes irritation in breathing passages, resulting in severe coughing spells. The illness can have three distinct stages and can last months.

What causes whooping cough?
Whooping cough is caused by infection with Bordetella pertussis or B. parapertussis bacteria. The infection easily spreads from person to person through respiratory secretions or mucus, which can be emitted during coughing or sneezing. The incubation period is about 7 to 14 days, meaning that symptoms start about 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to the bacteria.

What are the symptoms?Symptoms of whooping cough typically last 6 to 10 weeks (but may last longer) and can occur in three stages.

Stage 1: Coldlike symptoms—such as sneezing, runny nose, mild coughing, watery eyes, and sometimes a mild fever—last from several days to 2 weeks. An infected person is most contagious during this stage.
Stage 2: Coldlike symptoms fade, but the cough gets worse. It changes from a dry, hacking cough to bursts of uncontrollable, often violent coughing. During a coughing episode, it may be temporarily impossible to take a breath because of the intensity and repetition of coughs. When finally able to breathe, the person may take in a sudden gasp of air through airways narrowed by inflammation, and this sometimes causes a whooping noise. Vomiting and severe exhaustion often follow a coughing spell. But between coughing episodes, the infected person often appears normal. This is the most serious stage of whooping cough, usually lasting from 2 to 4 weeks or longer.
Stage 3: Although the person improves and gains strength, the cough may become louder and sound worse. Coughing spells may occur off and on for weeks to months and may flare up if a cold or other upper respiratory illness develops. This final stage may last longer in people who have never received the whooping cough vaccine.
Healthy adults who become infected with whooping cough often have a much milder form of the illness compared with children. But adults ages 60 and older are at increased risk of having severe symptoms and developing complications. The severity of symptoms is, in part, influenced by whether a person was immunized against whooping cough and how long ago the immunization was given. The protection against whooping cough provided by the vaccine wears off over time.

More here.


One of the reasons why I don't having pets around is because ofthe illness that we can get from animals especially those that are furry - it's not because I don't want to buy pet supplements.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Musings

The Australian Government had been giving out energy effecient light bulbs - those white globe ones. They are phasing out those yellowish that experts say are emmitting more green house gas. This move is just part of being an environment-friendly Australia.

The light bulbs were given out through the news agent and Australia Post. We haven't claimed any though.

Anyway, last week I saw in the telly program that these energy effecient light bulbs are emitting out UV rays and people with lopus are getting sick even just staying indoors particularly in a house where these light bulbs are fitted. How allarming is that? Sometimes, the side-effects are just being ignored because of the greatest desire to achieve the end result - greener Australia. The problem of people with lopus now is the old lightbulbs will be phased out. Should they be bulk buying them while they are still available?

I only own a couple of them




You Are Flannel Pajamas



You seek comfort above everything else. You rather feel good than look good.

You are a very relaxed person, especially when you're surrounded by your favorite things and people.



You are a homebody. Home is the place where you can truly be yourself.

You are likely to wear pajamas a lot. In fact, you often change into your pj's the minute you get home!



This is more like me especially the last bit. Because, I get home around 6-7pm at night, I changed to my jammies right away. Saves me washing my house clothes. :) I do wear jammies often but I'm not picky although I told Mcj recently, silk jammies would be nice or something like Shirley of Hollywood to add to my wardrobe.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A Fruit Bat

My little boy is known as a fruit bat. I’ve been trying him on every fruit available in the market. And so far, he likes almost all of them, except mango. He hasn’t tasted it yet, just the smell turns him off. Good because I like mango. More for me then.

His most favourite is rock melon, water melon, sweet grapes, sweet cherries, blue berries, banana and apple. We share the same appetite for fruit. I’m glad.

Talking of cherries, although this fruit taste really nice and in abundance now, it’s not always on our shopping list. Sometimes, they are sour or lack flavour. But, I bought a bag at the market one time and they were really sweet. Jens won’t even share them. I was asked by the seller if I want sweet or (I didn’t hear the other option) as I instantly said, sweet. They were dearer than the supermarket but they sure taste better.

Cherries are great source of potassium and flavonoids. The plant pigment in cherries work with vitamin C to strengthen collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein in connective tissue. Cherries provide a great source of nutrition for athletes who put a lot of stress and strain on their joints.

I saw in the internet an orchard that is open for cherry picking on November. It’s somewhere in Victoria. I think, going there will be a great experience as it’s really unique. Humm, I wonder if we can experience it. I think, cherry season is much like strawberry – we might not able to see Flowering Cherry now.