Most people know by now that Bill Gates is not going to give you money or a free computer if you respond to a Facebook post.
He’s also not going to give you a secret microchip in a COVID-19 vaccine. This is one of the many myths madly circulating about a COVID-19 vaccine that have prompted about a quarter of Americans to say that they would decline a vaccine when it becomes available.
The Gates myth started in March 2020, when a widely shared article announced, incorrectly, “Bill Gates will use microchip implants to fight coronavirus.” Gates actually said in an interview that digital certificates could be used to show who has recovered, who has been tested, and who received the vaccine. According to the BBC, one study, funded by The Gates Foundation, suggested that a special invisible tattoo mark could be used to show who has been vaccinated. Like a smallpox vaccination scar, it would not be tracked and personal information would not be entered into a database.
Even so, Microsoft billionaire does not control public health policy in the U.S.
Another myth in high circulation is that a DNA-based vaccine will genetically modify humans.
According to Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science group, no vaccine can genetically modify human DNA.
In an interview with Reuters, Lynas said that the DNA in DNA vaccines does not integrate into the cell nucleus, so there is no genetic modification. When cells divide, they will only include your natural DNA. But DNA-based vaccines are promising for COVID-19 because DNA sequences could match the required bits of genetic code in the virus.
The number of Americans willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 may be as low as 50 percent, according to Science Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Another poll, released in July, suggested that only about a third of Americans say they would be “very likely” to get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, according to USA Today.
Experts say that the threshold for population immunity against COVID-19 may require between 50 and 82 percent of the population to receive a vaccine, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A COVID-19 vaccine may be months or years away from availability to the public as researchers race to develop and test viable options. While the public waits for breakthroughs, communications experts advocate that public health officials should start educating the public now to combat misinformation campaigns and promote vaccine acceptance, according to Science Magazine.
Peter Pitts, who oversaw public outreach efforts for the Food and Drug Administration during the George W. Bush administration, expressed his concern that no organized government strategy appears to exist to educate the public about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to USA Today.
According to Science Magazine, medical misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines has proliferated on social media since the start of the pandemic. Damon Centola, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told the publication that social media posts can mislead people into believing that doing nothing to protect themselves against the novel coronavirus is a safer course of action.
Vaccine skepticism has grown increasingly widespread. In a 2020 study, researchers found that some people may believe vaccines are risky because they overestimate the likelihood of rare adverse side effects, according to Science Daily.
Breast cancer: How to recognize and treat lymphedema
Lymph is a clear fluid that contains antibodies and flows through the lymphatic system of the body. If this fluid is unable to properly circulate, it can build up in the soft tissue of a limb and cause swelling. This condition, called lymphedema, is common in breast cancer patients whose lymph nodes have been damaged or removed during their treatment.
There are numerous signs that might indicate the presence of lymphedema, including:
• Trouble moving and bending a joint
• Hardening or thickening of the skin
• Persistent ache, pain, or burning sensation in the limb
• Tight feeling in the skin of the affected area
These symptoms can vary and depend on the severity of the condition.
Daily skin care is crucial to prevent and manage lymphedema. Clean, hydrated skin helps reduce the risk of infection which can cause or exacerbate this condition. Take precautions and avoid activities that can lead to you getting cut, scratched, or burnt. You should also wear sunscreen and refrain from using ice packs since exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures can aggravate symptoms.
Other types of prevention and treatment include manual lymph drainage, complex decongestive therapy, and wearing compression garments.
If left untreated, lymphedema can lead to severe complications such as a bacterial skin infection or an infection of the lymph vessels. Speak with your health-care team if you notice signs of lymphedema.
What’s the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen?
If you have aches, pain, or a fever, you may wonder whether to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While these two medications offer similar relief, there are several key differences.
Commonly known by the brand name Tylenol, acetaminophen is an analgesic and antipyretic drug. This means it relieves pain and fever. Potential side effects of this over-the-counter medication include nausea and headache. Since acetaminophen is broken down by the liver, you should avoid taking it if you have liver problems.
Which to choose?
If you have a headache or fever, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen will offer relief. If you have menstrual cramps, you’ll likely find ibuprofen to be more effective. It’s also a better choice if you have a toothache or sprain.
Remember to carefully read the label before taking any medication to avoid dangerous interactions with other drugs, supplements, and herbs. It’s also essential to not exceed the maximum daily dosage and not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for longer than recommended. An overdose can lead to serious health problems such as liver and kidney damage.
Breast cancer: how is a treatment plan developed?
One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. In such cases, a personalized treatment plan is created by a team of health-care specialists that typically includes oncologists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and nutritionists. Here’s a look at how each individualized plan is developed.
Reviewing the options
A treatment plan is typically based on the type and stage of breast cancer. It might consist of systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy, or a local treatment that directly targets a tumor, such as surgery or radiation therapy. A treatment plan might also use a combination of these approaches and be complemented by alternative therapies like acupuncture and massage.
Assessing all factors
• Their overall health
• Whether they’ve reached menopause
• The status of their hormone receptors
• Cancer’s likelihood of recurrence
For more information about breast cancer treatments, visit the American Cancer Society website at cancer.org.
5 benefits of orthodontics that’ll make you smile
While most people would prefer not to wear braces, orthodontic treatments can greatly improve your smile. In fact, they can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and well-being. To mark National Orthodontic Health Month, here’s a closer look at the benefits of orthodontics.
1. Healthier teeth
Food particles are more likely to get trapped between misaligned teeth, which also tend to be harder to effectively brush and floss. This increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
2. Less discomfort
3. Improved eating
If your teeth don’t line up when you close your mouth, it can be difficult to bite down evenly and properly chew your food. You may need to avoid eating certain things as a result.
4. Clearer speech
Gaps in your smile and overlapping teeth can affect the placement of your tongue and lips when you speak. This might cause a whistling sound or make it harder to pronounce certain words.
5. Higher confidence
If you have crooked teeth, you may try to hide your smile when you talk and laugh. This can impact your self-confidence and may even cause you to hold back in your personal or professional life.
Both adults and children can benefit from orthodontic treatments. Speak with your orthodontist to find the right solution for you or your kids.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of bones and ligaments. If inflammation occurs in this area, it can lead to a potentially debilitating condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The median nerve, which controls sensation and movement in most of your fingers, runs through the carpal tunnel into your hand. Inflammation in the wrist can compress this nerve and lead to pain, numbness, and a weakened grip. Common causes of inflammation in the wrist include diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders.
In addition, repeatedly straining your wrist can lead to inflammation. This includes any ongoing movement that overextends the wrist, prolonged exposure to vibrating tools, and a lack of wrist support when using a keyboard or mouse.
To prevent or minimize the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, avoid activities that overextend your wrist as much as possible. If you frequently use a computer, consider an ergonomic wrist rest. When engaging in an activity that requires repetitive wrist motion, such as playing the piano, be sure to take frequent breaks.
Effective options for treating carpal tunnel syndrome include taking anti-inflammatory drugs, icing your wrist, and wearing wrist splints. A chiropractor, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist can also suggest exercises and provide manual therapy to relieve pressure in the carpal tunnel. In severe cases, carpal tunnel release surgery may be necessary.
If you experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, be sure to speak with a health-care professional as soon as possible.
Raking leaves: Not a chore, it’s exercise!
Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s close to inspirational when it comes to regular exercise. So here it is, the exercise you can get during only a week or two of the year: Raking leaves.
Raking on a beautiful fall day gives you a chance to work out in nature’s health club. No fancy gear needed. No trip to the court or the health club, just put on an old shirt and jeans.
According to Fitness, The Dynamic Gardening Way (Bonds of Nature Publishing), and author Jeffrey Rustuccio, just 30 minutes of rigorous raking burns up about 200 calories.
Here’s how to do it:
* Before starting, loosen up your arms, legs, and back with some stretching exercises so you won’t get sore muscles.
* Keep knees slightly bent and use your arms and legs, not your back, for movement.
* Rake with a sweeping motion, breathing in as you extend the rake and out as you sweep it back toward yourself.
* Work in repetitious movements. Numbers don’t matter, but the pattern does.
When you get tired, quit and save the rest for tomorrow.