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How to Get Your Bike Ready for Spring

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Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known

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Dare to dream big

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I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

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Running towards the sunrise.Photo by Nadine A. Gardner

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Perfect opportunity

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To find a peace of mind listen to your heart.

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Once in a lifetime

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Health

Paramedics authorized to give vaccines amid San Diego Hepatitis A outbreak

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Amid warnings from health officials that it could take years to rid of California’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak, San Diego has granted paramedics the authority to administer vaccines to the area’s at-risk populations.
Under the special measure, which was approved on Wednesday, paramedics will be able to deliver hepatitis A doses under the supervision of nurses and at vaccination events geared toward at-risk populations, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“Paramedics already have basic skills in terms of delivering injections, and this approval allows us to give them training to do vaccination but only in very specific settings with very specific oversight,” Dr. Kristi Koening, director of the San Diego Emergency Medical Service, told the news outlet.

WOMAN FINDS RELIEF 10 YEARS AFTER DEVELOPING ‘MYSTERY’ COUGH

Koening had made the request on Sept. 20 in response to the outbreak that has killed 17 and sickened more than 500. The contagious disease has inflicted mainly the homeless communities in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties.

People without symptoms can carry the illness, and it is spread through contact with an infected person’s feces. The virus can spread through food, objects, sex or sharing drug paraphernalia. San Diego has already implemented power-washing streets and installing hand-washing stations, and plans to open an encampment for the homeless equipped with tents, showers, restrooms, food security and social services.

Vaccination efforts have seen nearly 1,400 doses distributed this far, but such efforts may not see immediate results.

Dr. Monique Foster, a medical epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said it’s not unusual for an outbreak of this size to last more than a year.

“I don’t think the worst is over,” Jessica Randolph, Santa Cruz County public health manager, said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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Health

Nerve Stimulation Restores Consciousness In Man After 15 Years

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London: A 35-year-old man, who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years after a car accident, has shown signs of consciousness after a nerve stimulator was implanted into his chest, according to a case study.

The case, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) – a treatment already in use for epilepsy and depression – can help to restore consciousness even after many years in a vegetative state.

The outcome challenges the general belief that disorders of consciousness that persist for longer than 12 months are irreversible, the researchers said.

“By stimulating the vagus nerve, we show that it is possible to improve a patient’s presence in the world,” said Angela Sirigu, from the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod in France.

The vagus nerve connects the brain to many other parts of the body, including the gut. It is known to be important in waking, alertness, and many other essential functions.

To test the ability of VNS to restore consciousness, the researchers wanted to select a difficult case to ensure that any improvements could not be explained by chance.

They looked to a patient who had been lying in a vegetative state for more than a decade with no sign of improvement.

After one month of vagal nerve stimulation, the patient’s attention, movements and brain activity significantly improved. The man began responding to simple orders that had been impossible before.

For example, he could follow an object with his eyes and turn his head upon request. He also showed an improved ability to stay awake when listening to his therapist reading a book.

After stimulation, the researchers also observed responses to “threat” that had been absent. For instance, when the examiner’s head suddenly approached the patient’s face, he reacted with surprise by opening his eyes wide. After many years in a vegetative state, he had entered a state of minimal consciousness.

Recordings of brain activity also showed major changes.

The theta EEG signal – important for distinguishing between a vegetative and minimally conscious state – increased significantly in areas of the brain involved in movement, sensation, and awareness.

VNS also increased the brain’s functional connectivity. A PET scan showed increases in metabolic activity in both cortical and subcortical regions of the brain, too.

The findings show that the right intervention can yield changes in consciousness even in the most severe clinical cases.

“Brain plasticity and brain repair are still possible even when hope seems to have vanished,” Ms Sirigu said. The researchers are now planning a large collaborative study to confirm and extend the therapeutic potential of VNS for patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state.

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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Health

Mom loses finger in freak injury at son’s baseball practice

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A Tennessee mother who felt some pain after catching her left ring finger on the fence at her son’s T-ball practice said she initially thought her wedding band had cut her skin, but then she looked down and realized that her finger was gone.

“When I hopped down, my finger just didn’t come with me,” Chelsey Brown, of Clarksville said.

Brown’s husband, Kyle, quickly ripped his shirt off and put it on her hand to stop the bleeding. The two rushed to the car and were met by a nurse who came running from a nearby field.
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OPERATION VIDEOS A BAD IDEA, PAPER SAYS

“A nurse from another field came running over to the car and was like ‘I’m a nurse, do you need a First Aid kit?’ and I was like, ‘It’s my finger, it’s gone,’” Brown said. “She was like ‘Where is it?’ and I said ‘It’s still on the gate.’”

Brown’s husband went to retrieve her finger, which was hanging on the fence by her ring, while the nurse used a cell-phone charger to form a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding. They rushed to nearby Tennova Healthcare, where doctors arranged for a Life Flight to take her to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

The injury also tore the tendon attached to the finger clean from Brown’s elbow, canceling any hope for reattachment. Doctors told Brown that even if they attempted to reattach it, the finger would die within one day.

“The doctor took one look at it and was like ‘There’s no way I could reattach this. Everything is just so shredded,’” Brown said.

Her recovery has included battling phantom pain, and will require six weeks of physical therapy to help her adapt to the missing finger.

“There’s a lot of stiffness in there, and other than that, the phantom pain was definitely the worst,” she said. “It would feel like my finger was throbbing or it would feel like my knuckle needed a crack. There was that same pain from when it first happened, and there was nothing I could do at all.”

MOM GETS JAIL OVER REFUSAL TO VACCINATE SON

Brown has kept high-spirits throughout her injury and subsequent recovery, and said that while her job as a bank teller proves difficult when handling coins, she’s able to see the lighter side of most situations.

“I feel like I’m adjusting well,” she said. “I’m a really strong believer in ‘everything happens for a reason,’ even though I may not know what that reason is for now.”

Brown wants others to be aware of the potential dangers that could come from something as seemingly innocent as holding onto a fence. She said she had only hopped down about a foot, and with kids playing nearby she worries that others could get hurt. She called on the park to fix some gaps in the fences that could prove hazardous.

“I just don’t want that to happen to anybody else,” Brown said. “Some of [the fences] do have a gap that need to be fixed. There’s kids out here that could fall and hit their eye, hit their head.”

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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