Short Questions and Answers About Norovirus

What are Noroviruses?
Noroviruses (formerly Norwalk virus) are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis), in people. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including:

• Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs)
• caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae)
• small round structured viruses.

Viruses are very different from bacteria and parasites, some of which can cause illnesses similar to norvirus infection. Viruses are much smaller, are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot grow outside of a person’s body.

What are the symptoms of illness caused by noroviruses?
The symptoms of norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults. Continue reading “Short Questions and Answers About Norovirus”

The Use of Chinese Herbs in Preventing Painful Menstrual Cramps

Do painful menstrual cramps plague you each month? You are not alone, as 50% of menstruating women have the same experience month after month. But why suffer when you could be living pain free? NSAIDs only mask the pain for a few short hours. Chinese herbal medicine, on the other hand, has been used for centuries with well-documented results.An international nonprofit organization, known as the Cochrane Collaboration, studied the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in relieving menstrual pain compared to western drugs. Their conclusion: “Chinese herbal medicine for primary dysmenorrhea roughly doubled pain relief and improvement in overall symptoms compared with conventional Western pharmaceuticals,” reported Xiaoshu Zhu.1 Continue reading “The Use of Chinese Herbs in Preventing Painful Menstrual Cramps”

Preventing The Swine Flu

Around the world, news regarding the Swine Flu has captured the attention of millions of people. Australia is no exception – many are worried about the dangers of this latest flu outbreak. However, there are definite measures that can be taken to avoid this latest strain of the flu. H1N1 – as it is also called – highlights why getting vaccinated is such a smart idea.

With the current media coverage and potential impact of the Swine Flu, there has been quite a bit of panic associated with this outbreak. It is critical to understand steps may be taken to not only prevent you from contracting this illness but also reducing the likelihood. Chief among these steps are flu vaccinations. Continue reading “Preventing The Swine Flu”

Are Sports Drinks Appropriate

It is undisputed that fluid and carbohydrate replacement is critical for optimal sports performance. Sports drinks manufacturers promote that the consumption of their products is necessary way to achieve this aim. However, long term dependence on sports drinks for fluid and carbohydrate replacement may not be the most suitable approach for many athletes.

There is an ever-increasing supply of research that implies that appropriate fluid intake is needed for optimal sporting performance. It is often suggested that a sportsperson may experience thirst only after a 2% weight loss ascribed to water but this amount of dehydration can diminish sporting performance by up to 30%.

For this reason, the sports drinks containing both carbohydrates and minerals have become ubiquitous. Studies show that water is most swiftly absorbed from the stomach when it contains around the same level of components as that of blood when it is referred to as isotonic. Normally sports drinks consist of around 5-8% of carbohydrate, which is considered to be around the optimal level for fastest rate for replacement of fluids. Drinking an isotonic sports drink will replace the lost fluid more rapidly than plain water but will also provide carbohydrate energy and necessary minerals (depending on the make up of the sports drink). Continue reading “Are Sports Drinks Appropriate”

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which project in all directions (i.e. peritrichous). They obtain their energy from oxidation and reduction reactions using organic sources and are facultative anaerobes; most species produce hydrogen sulfide, which can readily be detected by growing them on media containing ferrous sulfate, such as TSI.

Salmonella are closely related to the Escherichia genus and are found worldwide in warm- and cold-blooded animals, in humans, and in nonliving habitats. They cause illnesses in humans and many animals, such as typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and the foodborne illness salmonellosis. Continue reading “What is Salmonella?”