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(Health) Colds: SARS and the Common Cold

 
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adedios
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: (Health) Colds: SARS and the Common Cold Reply with quote






This lesson is important because it deals with a condition that most of us would experience at least once every year. It is about the cold. And something that is as common as cold is amazingly not as understood. There are so many myths about colds. One of the most common myth is that getting wet in the rain causes one to get colds. This is not true. Colds are caused by viruses and the best way to avoid them is by keeping one's hands clean. Cold viruses can enter our body through our nose, mouth, ears and eyes. We touch these with our hands so it is important that we keep our hands clean so that they do not carry viruses that can cause the common cold. And when you have a cold, you need to take steps so that you do not spread it to other children. Explore the links at the end of the article to understand colds further.


University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
7 August 2006

Researchers find 'secret weapon' used by SARS virus

Galveston, Texas -- In 2003, the highly contagious and often-deadly mystery disease now called SARS emerged explosively out of Southern China. It eventually killed an estimated 916 people in Asia, Europe, and North and South America--nearly one in ten of those it infected.

When scientists identified the virus that caused this sudden acute respiratory syndrome, they classified it as a coronavirus--a virus family whose other members cause many common colds. But to there was nothing common about the lethality of SARS; clearly, this coronavirus had some nasty tricks up its sleeve.

Now, in a discovery that suggests a possible new route by which scientists might fashion a vaccine against SARS, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have uncovered one of those tricks: a "secret weapon" that the SARS coronavirus uses to sabotage the immune defenses of infected cells. Experiments conducted by the UTMB scientists show that a SARS coronavirus protein called "nsp1" causes the breakdown of biochemical messages that normally prompt the production of a protein critical to defending the body against viruses.

"The SARS nsp1 protein degrades the messenger RNA instructions sent from DNA to make interferon beta, which is crucial to host immunity," said UTMB professor of microbiology and immunology Shinji Makino, senior author of a paper on the discovery to be published online the week of August 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This is a very rare phenomenon, and it raises a lot of questions -- among them, whether we can make a mutant form of SARS coronavirus that lacks the ability to degrade messenger RNA, which could ultimately lead to the creation of a live attenuated vaccine for SARS."

Although many viruses interfere with host cells making messenger RNA or translating it into infection-fighting proteins, only one other virus is known to break down messenger RNA: herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Makino credits lead author Wataru Kamitani, a UTMB postdoctoral research fellow, with noticing that the nsp1 protein had an unexpected effect while he was investigating a different set of SARS coronavirus proteins. "He found this suppression of host gene expression, and then he designed several elegant experiments that showed it was caused by RNA degradation, something never before seen in an RNA virus."

Exactly how that degradation takes place, how an RNA virus can preserve its integrity when it makes a protein that breaks down RNA, and whether a mutated non-RNA-degrading SARS coronavirus could constitute a workable SARS vaccine are all issues that Makino's group intends to pursue. "The main concern for everybody is whether SARS will come back," Makino said. "We want to be ready for it if it does."

*************************************************************

Questions to explore further this topic:

What are viruses?

http://www.paete.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=816
http://www.howstuffworks.com/virus-human.htm

What viruses cause respiratory infections?

http://instruct1.cit.cornell.e.....rusLIB.htm
http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/vir.....s/resp.htm

What is the common cold?

http://www.kidshealth.org/pare...../cold.html
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi.....ncold.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal.....ld/DS00056
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/cold.htm
http://www.kidsource.com/healt......cold.html
http://library.thinkquest.org/...../cold.html
http://virus.stanford.edu/corona/colds.html

Understanding Colds


What is SARS?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sars/DS00501
http://www.caringforkids.cps.c.....tailed.htm
http://www.scienceinafrica.co......e/sars.htm
http://www.health.state.mn.us/.....asics.html
http://www.losh.ucla.edu/catal.....nglish.pdf

What is the SARS virus?

http://www.usc.edu/hsc/info/pr...../king.html

What are the symptoms of SARS, and how is it diagnosed?

http://www.health.state.mn.us/.....sdiag.html
http://www.labtestsonline.org/.....30421.html
http://www.who.int/csr/sars/diagnostictests/en/

How does SARS spread?

http://www.health.state.mn.us/.....ssion.html

How does one prevent SARS?

http://www.health.state.mn.us/.....ntion.html

What kind of research is currently done to address SARS?

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/sars.htm

What are coronaviruses?

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/.....oronavirus
http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/.....ruses.html

What are rhinoviruses?

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Rhinovirus

What are adenoviruses?

http://ymghealthinfo.org/content.asp?pageid=P02508
http://www.kidshealth.org/pare.....virus.html

What are cold remedies?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal.....es/ID00036

GAMES

http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal.....th/QZ00025
http://www.scienceworld.ca/tea....._games.htm


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:43 pm; edited 3 times in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:54 am    Post subject: New study indicates moderate exercise may protect against co Reply with quote

Elsevier Health Sciences
26 October 2006

New study indicates moderate exercise may protect against colds

A moderate exercise program may reduce the incidence of colds. A study published in the November issue of The American Journal of Medicine, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that otherwise sedentary women who engaged in moderate exercise had fewer colds over a one year period than a control group.

Subjects in a group of 115 overweight and obese, sedentary, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a moderate exercise program (45 minutes per day, five days per week and comprised of mostly brisk walking) or to a once-weekly 45 minute stretching session. Both the exercisers and the stretchers filled out questionnaires every 3 months on the number of episodes of allergies, upper respiratory tract infections (colds and flu) and other infections. Subjects were taught how to distinguish various forms of infections and were followed for one year.

Over 12 months, the risk of colds decreased modestly in exercisers and increased modestly in stretchers. In the final three months of the study, the risk of colds in stretchers was more than 3-fold higher than that of exercisers. More stretchers than exercisers had at least one cold during the 12-month study period (48.4% vs 30.2%), and among women reporting at least one cold, stretchers tended to report colds more frequently than exercisers.

Senior author Cornelia M. Ulrich, PhD, of the Hutchinson Center, writes, "Our trial is the first to report on the effects of a year-long, moderate-intensity exercise training program on the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. Although we did not find an effect overall on upper respiratory tract infections, our study suggests that moderate-intensity training can reduce the risk of colds in postmenopausal, nonsmoking, overweight or obese women. This finding is of clinical relevance and adds a new facet to the growing literature on the health benefits of moderate exercise."

###
The study is "Moderate-Intensity Exercise Reduces the Incidence of Colds Among Postmenopausal Women" by Jessica Chubak MBHL, Anne McTiernan MD PhD, Bess Sorensen MS, Mark H. Wener MD, Yutaka Yasui PhD, Mariebeth Velasquez BS, Brent Wood MD PhD, Kumar B. Rajan MS, Catherine M. Wetmore MPH, John D. Potter MD PhD, and Cornelia M, Ulrich PhD, and comes from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Cancer Prevention Program, Seattle, Wash; University of Washington, Departments of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Laboratory Medicine, Seattle, Wash; University of Alberta, Department of Public Health Sciences, Edmonton, Alberta; University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry, Albuquerque, NM; University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics, Seattle, Wash. It appears in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 119, Issue 11 (November 2006), published by Elsevier.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:48 am    Post subject: Happy people healthier Reply with quote

Happy people healthier

www.chinaview.cn 2006-11-08 07:22:50

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Happiness and other positive emotions play an even more important role in health than previously thought, according to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine by Carnegie Mellon University Psychology Professor Sheldon Cohen.

This recent study confirms the results of a landmark 2004 paperin which Cohen and his colleagues found that people who are happy, lively, calm or exhibit other positive emotions are less likely to become ill when they are exposed to a cold virus than those who report few of these emotions.

In that study, Cohen found that whenthey do come down with a cold, happy people report fewer symptoms than would be expected from objective measures of their illness. In contrast, reporting more negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and anger was not associated with catching colds.

That study, however, left open the possibility that the greater resistance to infectious illness among happier people may not havebeen due to happiness, but rather to other characteristics that are often associated with reporting positive emotions.

Cohen's recent study controls for those variables, with the same result: The people who report positive emotions are less likely to catch colds and also less likely to report symptoms whenthey do get sick. This held true regardless of their levels of optimism, extraversion, purpose and self-esteem, and of their age,race, gender, education, body mass or pre-study immunity to the virus.

The researchers interviewed volunteers over several weeks to assess their moods and emotional styles, and then infected them with either a rhinovirus or an influenza virus. The volunteers were quarantined and examined to see if they came down with a cold.This was the same method Cohen applied in his previous study, but with the addition of the influenza virus.

"We need to take more seriously the possibility that positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk," said Cohen.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Smiles Turn Away Colds Reply with quote

Smiles Turn Away Colds
Emily Sohn

Dec. 20, 2006

Want to stay away from colds? Put on a happy face.
Compared to people with bad attitudes, people who are cheerful and relaxed are less likely to suffer from colds, according to a new study. It's possible that being upbeat helps the body fight illnesses, say the researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh.

"We need to take more seriously the possibility that a positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk," says psychologist Sheldon Cohen, the study's lead researcher.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids....../Note2.asp
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Cold Case: How Sniffles are Stifled Reply with quote

Cold Case: How Sniffles are Stifled

By Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 17 January 2007
01:00 pm ET

During cold season, the slimy snot filling your nostrils can make you feel like a mucus pump.

Now scientists have discovered how the body's infection-fighting machinery shuts down the sniffles and congestion. The finding helps to solve a mystery of why the common cold—that can seem to go on forever—lasts only so long.

The new study, detailed this week in the online edition of the journal Nature, revealed that a key protein called Carabin is responsible for curbing the body's immune response to viruses like the common cold.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hum.....opper.html
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:01 am    Post subject: Common cold may send some young children to the hospital Reply with quote

Infectious Diseases Society of America
21 February 2007

Common cold may send some young children to the hospital

Those with asthma most at risk
New evidence supports the link between a cause of the common cold and more severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. The study is published in the March 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Rhinoviruses are among the most common viral infections, and are responsible for at least 50 percent of all common colds. Although the association between rhinoviruses and other acute respiratory illnesses in children is increasingly accepted and has been shown in previous reports, the new study is the first to determine age-specific rates of hospitalization across the entire population of two counties. This study shows that the link between rhinoviruses and hospitalizations is especially strong when children have a history of wheezing or asthma.

The study, conducted by E. Kathryn Miller, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Vanderbilt University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Rochester, surveyed children under the age of 5 years admitted with fever and respiratory symptoms in Davidson County, Tenn. (which includes Nashville) and Monroe County, N.Y. (which includes Rochester) over a one-year period.

Their results showed that of the 592 children involved in the study, 26 percent tested positive for rhinovirus, representing almost 5 rhinovirus-associated hospitalizations per 1000 children. The study detected more rhinoviruses (26 percent) than respiratory syncytial viruses (20 percent), which have been considered the major cause of respiratory infections in infants and children.

These findings are particularly important given the age-specific rates of hospitalization observed. Among children 0-5 months, there were 17.6 hospitalizations per thousand; among those age 6-23 months, 6.0 per thousand; and among those 24-59 months, 2.0 hospitalizations per thousand. Miller remarked, "This study shows that rhinoviruses are associated with hospitalizations for fever and respiratory illnesses, even in young infants."

Children with a history of wheezing or asthma had more than eight times as many rhinovirus-associated hospitalizations than those without such a history. Asthma was the only significant factor that distinguished children hospitalized with rhinoviruses from those with other viruses or no viruses. Of those hospitalized with a history of asthma or wheezing, rhinoviruses were found in 36 percent of children aged 0-2 years and in 48 percent of children aged 2-5 years. According to Miller, the finding that asthma was the only risk factor significantly associated with rhinovirus hospitalizations should indicate that "patients with asthma might be particularly good candidates for prevention and treatment strategies for rhinovirus infection."

As a next step to their study, Miller suggested, "additional studies over multiple years in multiple geographic regions are needed to more completely understand the role of rhinoviruses in hospitalizations in children. As discussed in our study, rhinoviruses are sometimes found in healthy children; thus, further studies are required to determine the actual rate of ‘carriage’ in healthy children as opposed to those who are sick or have had recent symptoms of illness. There should also be further investigation into the question, ‘Why are children with asthma disproportionately burdened by the "common cold" virus?’"

In an accompanying editorial, Ronald B. Turner, MD of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, noted the value of studies on rhinoviruses because of their frequency and huge cost to society. Turner echoed Miller’s sentiment, remarking that the study should stimulate future research into the medical implications of rhinoviruses.

Fast Facts


Rhinoviruses cause at least half of all common colds.


The study found 26 percent of the hospitalized children had rhinovirus infections—more than were infected with a virus previously thought to be the main cause of serious respiratory illness.


Children with a history of wheezing or asthma had more than eight times as many rhinovirus-associated hospitalizations than those without.

###
Founded in 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier publication in the Western Hemisphere for original research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune mechanisms. Articles in JID include research results from microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines. JID is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Alexandria, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing 8,300 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.idsociety.org.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: If you don't want to fall ill this Christmas, then share a f Reply with quote

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
19 December 2007

If you don't want to fall ill this Christmas, then share a festive kiss but don't shake hands

The fight against all types of infections, from colds and flu to stomach bugs and MRSA, begins at home, with good hand hygiene, says first review of hand hygiene in the community
We've all heard people say 'I won't kiss you, I've got a cold'. But a report just published warns that we may be far more at risk of passing on an infection by shaking someone's hand than in sharing a kiss.

A group of hygiene experts from the United States and the UK have published the first detailed report on hand hygiene in the home and community, rather than in hospital and healthcare settings. Their findings are published in the American Journal of Infection Control. They say that, if we want to avoid catching flu or tummy bugs, or protect ourselves and others from organisms such as MRSA, salmonella or C. difficile, then we have to start in our own homes, by paying greater attention to good hand hygiene. They also warn that, in the event of a flu pandemic, good hand hygiene will be the first line of defence during the early critical period before mass vaccination becomes available. This new report follows on from a study published last month in the British Medical Journal which indicated that physical barriers, such as regular handwashing and wearing masks, gloves and gowns may be more effective than drugs in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS.

Good hygiene at home prevents organisms spreading from one family member to another. By reducing the number of carriers in the community, the likelihood of infections being carried into health care facilities by new patients and visitors is reduced. Good hygiene at home also means fewer infections, which means fewer patients demanding antibiotics from the GP, and fewer resistant strains developing and circulating in the community.

Cold and flu viruses can be spread via the hands so that family members become infected when they rub their nose or eyes. The report details how germs that cause stomach infections such as salmonella, campylobacter and norovirus can also circulate directly from person to person via our hands. If we put our fingers in our mouths, which we do quite frequently without being aware of it, or forget to wash our hands before preparing food, then stomach germs can also be passed on via this route. Some of us also carry MRSA or C.difficile without even knowing, which can be passed around via hand and other surfaces to family members or, if they are vulnerable to infection, go on to become ill.

Professor Sally Bloomfield, one of the report’s authors, is the Chairman of the International Scientific Forum for Home Hygiene, the international organisation which produced report. She is also a member of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Hygiene Centre. She comments: 'With the colds and flu season approaching, it's important to know that good hand hygiene can really reduce the risks. What is important is not just knowing that we need to wash our hands but knowing when to wash them. Preventing the spread of colds and flu means good respiratory hygiene, which is quite different from good food hygiene. That's why the new respiratory hygiene campaign from the Department of Health in the UK, which advises people to "catch it, bin it, kill it", is spot on'.

The authors say that breaking the chain of infection from one person to another all depends on how well we wash our hands. If we don't do it properly, washing with soap and rinsing under running water, then we might as well not do it at all. They recommend also using an alcohol handrub in situations where there is high risk, such as after handling raw meat or poultry, or when there is an outbreak of colds or stomach bugs in the family home or workplace, or if someone in the family is more vulnerable to infection. They suggest carrying an alcohol rub or sanitiser at all times so that good hand hygiene can still be observed away from home in situations where there is no soap and water available.

Carol O'Boyle, of the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, and a co-author of the report, says: 'Hand hygiene is just as important when we are outside the home - on public transport, in the office, in the supermarket, or in a restaurant. Quite often it's not possible to wash our hands in these situations, but carrying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer means we can make our hands hygienic whenever the need arises'.

The report warns that good hygiene is about more than just washing our hands. Although the hands are the main superhighway for the spread of germs – because they are the ‘last line of defence’, surfaces from which the hands become contaminated, such as food contact surfaces, door handles, tap handles, toilet seats and cleaning cloths also need regular hygienic cleaning. Clothing and linens, baths, basin and toilet surfaces can also play a part in spreading germs between family members in the home.

Professor Elaine Larson, of the Mailman School of Public Health in New York and another co-author, says: ‘Because so much attention has been paid to getting people to wash their hands, there is a danger that people can come to believe this is all they need to do to avoid getting sick’.

Professor Bloomfield concurs. 'We hear a lot of discussion about whether being "too clean" is harming our immune systems, but we believe that this targeted approach to home hygiene, which focuses on the key routes for the spread of harmful organisms, is the best way to protect the family from becoming ill whilst leaving the other microbes which make up our environment unharmed'.

Dr. Val Curtis, Head of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Hygiene Centre concludes: 'Handwashing with soap is probably the single most important thing you can do to protect yourselves and your loved ones from infection this Christmas'.
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