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Measles Has Returned To Europe, “That Is Unacceptable Tragedy” |The Republican News

Akshat Rathi
                     © Provided by Quartz 

The number of measles cases has rebounded in Europe in 2017, after setting a record low in 2016. The continent recorded some 21,000 cases last year, according to the World Health Organization, which is nearly four times as many cases as in the year before that.

The surge in cases comes as a result of measles outbreaks recorded in 15 out of 53 countries in the region. The countries worst affected were Romania, Italy, and Ukraine, which each recorded about 5,000 cases. The WHO puts the cause down to a decline in routine immunization, low vaccination rates in marginalized groups, interruption in vaccine supplies, or lack of adequate disease surveillance.

“[This is] a tragedy we simply cannot accept,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.

And Jakab’s right. As a group of mostly rich and highly educated countries, Europe can and should be able to tackle preventable diseases like measles. The solution to prevention is a single MMR vaccine that provides immunization against three deadly diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

In 2017, for instance, the WHO declared that the UK had eliminated measles. To be sure, “elimination” in this context doesn’t mean the UK didn’t have a single case, but that the number of cases was so low—only 282 cases—that the disease was confined to small groups and did not spread widely. To achieve the feat, UK’s national health service (NHS) recommends that the level of immunization in the population should be at least 90% to prevent the spread of measles and 95% to prevent the spread of mumps and rubella.

                               © Getty

This level of immunization could eliminate the disease because of the concept of herd immunity. Here’s how Marcel Salathe, a professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, explains it:

The basic idea is that a group (the “herd”) can avoid exposure to a disease by ensuring that enough people are immune so that no sustained chains of transmission can be established. This protects an entire population, especially those who are too young or too sick to be vaccinated.

Unlike the NHS, however, Salathe argues that in practice vaccination rates need to be much higher. That’s because the non-immunized population is not evenly spread out. So even though the average vaccination rate may be 95%, there may be some pockets where the rate may be lower than 80% and that’s low enough for the disease to spread.

Salathe says we should aim for 100% vaccine coverage to stop the spread of preventable diseases. In other words, if you’re thinking whether or not to get a vaccine, always lean towards getting it.  (The Quartz)

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Excessive Application Of Make-Up Can Cause Skin Cancer – Dermatologists |RN

 

People who are fond of wearing heavy make-up on their faces and skins to enhance their beauty have been warned to reduce such to its barest minimum.

Some dermatologists who gave the warning on Monday said that this could cause the applicants skin cancer, irritation and other diseases.

Mr. Alex Adeniyi, a Lagos-based dermatologist, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that excessive use of make-up could cause skin irritation, allergies and skin cancer on the users.

He attributed this to the chemical contents of most make-up.

Adeniyi also said that excessive make-up could expose the skins and the eyes of users to germs and harmful toxins.

“Chemicals found in lipsticks, eye pencils, mascara and kajal among others, can cause serious health problems.

“Women who apply make-up on their skins must always clean their faces before going to bed, to remove all traces of chemicals from their skins,’’ he said.

Adeniyi said that it was imperative to use suitable face washes, cleansers, toners and scrubs to wash off make-up on the skin daily.

“This must be done, especially, at night to avert any skin irritation or disease,’’ he advised.

Similarly, Mrs. Tobi Davis, another dermatologist, said that excessive make-up by women was to cover up skin problems such as pimples, allergies, patches, scars, dark circles, boils and wrinkles.

“If care is not taken the reverse will be the case; instead of beautifying, it will cause more problems for the skin,’’ she said.

Davis said that the harmful effects of make-up were not limited to skin-related issues but to other health challenges.

“Lipsticks, kajal sticks, eye-shadows are known to contain carcinogenic and neurotoxin chemicals that can have adverse effects on the skin.

“This can lead users to developing high blood pressure, allergies, behavioural abnormalities, and reduction in fertility.

“Some chemical preservatives used in many cosmetics are hazardous to the human biological and physiological systems,’’ she said.

The dermatologist said that applying too much make-up on any skin would lead to wrinkles and spots on portions the applicant was attempting to conceal.

“This will make the person look older than his or her age,’’ she said.

She advised make-up enthusiasts to always remove all traces of chemicals from their skins by applying face washes, cleansers and scrubs.

“Women should use natural facial treatment like cumber, tomatoes, honey and eggs instead of using unsafe products,’’ she said.

Mrs. Pamale Obunwa, a beautician and make-up seller told NAN that women should know their skin types to know the appropriate make-up to apply, particularly on their faces.

“Wrong application of make-up is very harmful and can cause skin cancer.

“It is better to enhance your skin with quality products,’’ she said. (The Sun)

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Seven Months After Changing To Woman, Father Becomes Man Again |RN

TransgenderSymbol

A father of two who transitioned to be a woman after eight years of marriage is transitioning back to being a man after just seven months.

James Cohen, 36, told his wife, Eirian, 36, that he wanted to become a woman after claiming he’d hidden his gender secret since he was a child.

But James, who is now known as Jim by family and friends after ditching his female name, Kara, has thrown out his blonde wig, dresses and high heels.

Despite the couple’s marriage ending as a result of Jimmy’s first transition, Eirian has stood by him every step of the way and claims the pair are now best friends.

Jim, who now has short brown hair and a beard, has recently moved to Portugal with Eirian and now lives with his two daughters and her new partner.

The pair, from Leeds, who have been subjected to online bullies are now trying to educate those who do not understand gender identity issues.

Eirian said: “It was a huge shock when James told me he wanted to be known as Kara.

“We’d forked out privately for him to have hormone treatment straight away so it was a shock when, seven months later, he told me that he no longer wanted to look like a woman.

“He decided in July last year that he didn’t want to appear female any longer. He stopped wearing his blonde wig, dresses and heels and instead grew a beard.

“But I did my best to support him; after all, we had eight happy years of marriage and two daughters, Electra, seven, and Seren, eight, together.

“Our girls had accepted that their daddy was turning a woman, we’ve explained everything to them in a way they understand. They don’t mind if he had a beard or wears a dress, kids aren’t born with prejudices, that’s something they learn.

“I have done nothing but support Jim from the start and despite being confused myself at first, I have accepted his recent transition and have started calling him Jim.

“Jim is now the happiest he has ever been, he has no regrets about transitioning into a woman and feels lighter for having explored his feminine side after keeping it repressed for all those years.

The pair have recently moved back in together at their home in Portugal and are bringing the girls up together.

(Metro)

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Pregnant Virgin Says Why She Doesn’t Want To Sleep With Any Man |RN

Pregnant-woman1

 

A 29-year-old lady has revealed why she got pregnant without sleeping with a man.

The Canadian, who gave only her first name as Lauren, revealed that she doesn’t care much about dating any man.

She also revealed that she grew up with a gland disorder that affects her body’s hormone production. This made her to seek a sperm donor and eventually become a single mum — against the advice of doctors and friends.

“I was born with hypopituitarism, which means my pituitary gland is not formed properly.

“It doesn’t send the right hormonal messages to the other glands in the body, like the adrenaline gland or the ovaries. Because of that, I have to take hormone replacements to develop necessary areas of my body.

“I’ve had it under control now for 29 years, so it’s not an issue now. But it was very obviously different because I was taking thyroid pills and taking a needle of growth hormones every day.

“Because of my pituitary gland, I went through puberty super late. I wouldn’t have gone through it at all without higher oestrogen levels.

“I really only started that because I was getting made fun of for being really flat chested, whereas everybody else was getting their boobs and everything at that point.

“The hardest thing was probably getting pregnant. Initially, my endocrinologist said it wouldn’t happen; that I’ll need to get an egg donor and spend tens of thousands of dollars on IVF. I felt really shut down. But he referred me to a fertility clinic anyway.

“I spent an entire year on a waiting list thinking it was never going to happen and then after a five-minute appointment with a fertility expert, everything changed,” Lauren explains.

She confessed that she dated “here and there” up until last December; and even had a boyfriend she tried to be intimate with, but that they both concluded it wasn’t working and broke off before sex could happen.

Lauren, whose baby is due in June said, “Since I’ve been pregnant, there have been a few times where I’ve felt like maybe it would be nice to go out and have sex, but that feeling very quickly passes — I realise I’m not acting like myself.”

(News AU)

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Dog Caught Riding Neighbour’s One-eyed Pony In The Middle Of The Night |RN

Samuel Osborne
a blurry photo of a person            © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

 

A woman has described the moment she arrived home late at night to find the neighbour’s dog riding her pony.

Callie Schenker said she noticed the corgi sitting on top of her horse, Cricket, as she pulled into her driveway in Missouri.

In video footage she recorded, she approaches Cricket and makes a noise to call him over, only prompting the small horse to run off with the dog balanced on his back.

“I can’t make this stuff up!” Ms Schenker, who can be heard laughing in the video, wrote on Facebook.

“So we pull back in our driveway tonight and this is what we see. This is not our dog! But apparently him and Cricket the one eyed wonder pony are best friends.

“I’m stealing the dog, new circus act!”

The dog, who belongs to her neighbours, apparently roams the local area.

Ms Schenker added: “The dog didn’t get hurt! No the dog is not abused at his home, he just likes to travel the rural area we live.

“Cricket is fine, he lost his eye along time ago in an incident that had nothing to do with the dog! I did not put the dog on the pony! Honestly I was pulling in my drive way from going to Mcdonalds when I seen this happening.”

The video proved highly popular on Facebook, where it had been viewed more than 5.7 million times at the time of writing.

Ms Schenker set up a Facebook page for Cricket and his friends.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcallie.bledsoefoster%2Fvideos%2F1662846220405556%2F&show_text=0&width=267

(The Independent)

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Couple Sells Everything For Sailboat That Sinks On Day 2 |The Republican News

Ryan W. Miller
a man standing next to a dock in the water: Tanner Broadwell holds his dog with Nikki Walsh at Madeira Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The couple who abandoned their workaday lives to buy a sailboat for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure instead lost almost everything when it sank on day two of their journey off Florida. They escaped injury when the 28-foot boat hit something and capsized Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Madeira Beach.© Jim Damaske, AP Tanner Broadwell holds his dog with Nikki Walsh at Madeira Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The couple who abandoned their workaday lives to buy a sailboat for … 

A Colorado couple said they sold everything they owned to buy a sailboat and set out for the open seas together.

Within two days, their dream became a nautical nightmare.

On their way to Key West, Tanner Broadwell and Nikki Walsh’s voyage abruptly ended in John’s Pass off Madeira Beach, Fla., when their 28-foot sailboat struck something underwater Wednesday night.

“We hit something in about 8 or 9 feet of water and it stopped the boat completely,” Broadwell told TV station WFTS.

Water flooded into the cabin, starting to sink their fantasy life. The couple grabbed social security cards, cash, IDs and their pug Remy as they called for rescue.

A ship arrived about an hour later, the Tampa Bay Times reported, but the water was too shallow for it to approach.

So the couple and Remy jumped in, leaving their dream vessel behind to capsize.

“Everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve owned since I was a child, I brought with me. It’s just floating away and there’s nothing I can do,” Walsh told WFTS.

Broadwell and Walsh left Colorado last year after selling off all their belongings, including a car, to buy Lagniappe for $5,000. It took a year and another $5,000 to get the boat ready to sail, Tampa Bay Times reported.

Now, it could cost thousands to remove Lagniappe from the channel.

Even with no savings and no place to live, the couple said they’re not giving up on sailing again one day.

“The boat sank,” Walsh told WFTS, “but our dreams didn’t sink with the boat.”                    (USA TODAY)

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People With Depression Are More Likely To Use Certain Words – Scientific Study

Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi
Provided by PA                         © Press Association Provided by PA  

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.

Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.

Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this field have been carried out by researchers reading and taking notes. Nowadays, computerized text analysis methods allow the processing of extremely large data banks in minutes. This can help spot linguistic features which humans may miss, calculating the percentage prevalence of words and classes of words, lexical diversity, average sentence length, grammatical patterns, and many other metrics.

So far, personal essays and diary entries by depressed people have been useful, as has the work of well-known artists such as Cobain and Plath. For the spoken word, snippets of natural language of people with depression have also provided insight. Taken together, the findings from such research reveal clear and consistent differences in language between those with and without symptoms of depression.

Content

Language can be separated into two components: content and style. The content relates to what we express—that is, the meaning or subject matter of statements. It will surprise no one to learn that those with symptoms of depression use an excessive amount of words conveying negative emotions, specifically negative adjectives and adverbs—such as “lonely”, “sad” or “miserable.”

More interesting is the use of pronouns. Those with symptoms of depression use significantly more first person singular pronouns—such as “me”, “myself” and “I”—and significantly fewer second and third person pronouns—such as “they”, “them” or “she”. This pattern of pronoun use suggests people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others. Researchers have reported that pronouns are actually more reliable in identifying depression than negative emotion words.

We know that rumination (dwelling on personal problems) and social isolation are common features of depression. However, we don’t know whether these findings reflect differences in attention or thinking style. Does depression cause people to focus on themselves, or do people who focus on themselves get symptoms of depression?

Style

The style of language relates to how we express ourselves, rather than the content we express. Our lab recently conducted a big data text analysis of 64 different online mental health forums, examining over 6,400 members. “Absolutist words”—which convey absolute magnitudes or probabilities, such as “always”, “nothing” or “completely”—were found to be better markers for mental health forums than either pronouns or negative emotion words.

From the outset, we predicted that those with depression will have a more black and white view of the world, and that this would manifest in their style of language. Compared to 19 different control forums (for example, Mumsnet and StudentRoom), the prevalence of absolutist words is approximately 50% greater in anxiety and depression forums, and approximately 80% greater for suicidal ideation forums.

Pronouns produced a similar distributional pattern as absolutist words across the forums, but the effect was smaller. By contrast, negative emotion words were paradoxically less prevalent in suicidal ideation forums than in anxiety and depression forums.

Our research also included recovery forums, where members who feel they have recovered from a depressive episode write positive and encouraging posts about their recovery. Here we found that negative emotion words were used at comparable levels to control forums, while positive emotion words were elevated by approximately 70%. Nevertheless, the prevalence of absolutist words remained significantly greater than that of controls, but slightly lower than in anxiety and depression forums.

Crucially, those who have previously had depressive symptoms are more likely to have them again. Therefore, their greater tendency for absolutist thinking, even when there are currently no symptoms of depression, is a sign that it may play a role in causing depressive episodes. The same effect is seen in use of pronouns, but not for negative emotion words.

Practical implications

Understanding the language of depression can help us understand the way those with symptoms of depression think, but it also has practical implications. Researchers are combining automated text analysis with machine learning (computers that can learn from experience without being programmed) to classify a variety of mental health conditions from natural language text samples such as blog posts.

Such classification is already outperforming that made by trained therapists. Importantly, machine learning classification will only improve as more data is provided and more sophisticated algorithms are developed. This goes beyond looking at the broad patterns of absolutism, negativity, and pronouns already discussed. Work has begun on using computers to accurately identify increasingly specific subcategories of mental health problems—such as perfectionism, self-esteem problems, and social anxiety.

That said, it is of course possible to use a language associated with depression without actually being depressed. Ultimately, it is how you feel over time that determines whether you are suffering. But as the World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% since 2005, having more tools available to spot the condition is certainly important to improve health and prevent tragic suicides like those of Plath and Cobain.  (Quartz)

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