The next pandemic is inevitable. Are we prepared?

Budget cuts to pandemic preparedness put us all at risk.

  • There is no way to completely stop a pandemic from coming, says former United Nations medical officer and a key player in the World Health Organization's (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia, Larry Brilliant. Being prepared and having a good public health infrastructure are necessary to reduce impact.
  • Pandemics like ebola are more likely to start at the edges of poor countries, away from the main hub and away from major cities, but without isolation and containment protocols they can and will grow.
  • According to Brilliant, budget cuts and poor decision making by government in the past has crippled pandemic prevention efforts in time of crisis. That's something that we can not let happen again.
Keep reading

Flu kills 12,000 in 4 months. Is coronavirus panic overblown?

The CDC estimates that more than 210,000 people in the U.S. have been hospitalized by the flu this season.

Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • The 2019-2020 flu season, which began in late September, is estimated to have already killed 12,000 to 30,000 people in the U.S., according to the CDC.
  • The death toll for the new strain of coronavirus remains far lower, prompting some people to argue that the public's concern about coronavirus is misplaced.
  • Still, there are valid reasons to be concerned about the new virus.
Keep reading

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Photo by Marko Aliaksandr on Shutterstock
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
Keep reading

Can Parkinson’s be prevented as it stealthily develops?

A new study finds it may take decades or even a whole lifetime to appear.

Image source: ArkHawt/Shutterstock
  • Young Parkinson's disease patients may have just provided a vital clue for prevention.
  • Misbehaving neurons that eventually produce the disease may be present at birth.
  • A drug already on the market looks to be able to arrest Parkinson's progress.
Keep reading

Increasing numbers of people are in pain. How do we cope?

A new study reminds us that physical and emotional pain are not far apart.

Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
  • Physical and emotional pain are not that distinct, given that both are routed through a single brain region.
  • A new study at NYU shows that physical pain can lessen the effects of depression and emotional duress.
  • Holistic methods for dealing with both physical and emotional pain should be considered.
Keep reading