Every year over 30,000 Americans contract Lyme disease from ticks. Lyme disease ia a bacterial illness caused by a bacterium called a “spirochete”. Certain ticks found on deer harbor the bacterium in their stomachs. Lyme disease is spread by these ticks when they bite the skin. Lyme disease is not contagious from an effected person to someone else. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system.
Because Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks attaching to the body, it is important to use tick-bite avoidance techniques when visiting areas where ticks are more prevalent (wooded areas, etc.) Spraying insect repellant containing DEET onto exposed skin can help. Wearing long pants tucked into boots and long sleeves can protect the skin. Bathing upon returning home might prevent the bite and transmission of the disease.
Take the Lyme Disease Quiz
1 Lyme Disease is Contagious True or False
2 You are more likely to get Lyme disease hiking over swimming True of False
3 What is Lyme disease?
a) A fungal disease
b) A bacterial illness
c) A viral infection
d) None of the above
4 You’ve found a tick on your leg. Now what?
a) Leave it until you can get to a doctor
b) Soak your leg in hot water until the tick releases
c) Remove the tick with fine-point tweezers
d) Use ice to freeze the tick until it dies
5 Ticks are carriers of the Lyme bacterium…
a) In their mouths
b) On their backs
c) In their stomachs
d) None of the above
Answers: 1) False, 2) True, 3) b, 4) c, 5) c
Autism, a developmental disability, is characterized by problems in social interaction and communication and by the need for sameness or repetition in behavior. It is usually identified in toddlers and is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cause of autism remains a mystery, with most scientists believing that it may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Barbara Loe Fisher, the parent of an autistic child and co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, believes that some cases of what she terms the “regressive” form of autism may be linked to the MMR vaccine. She says regressive autism is characterized by a sudden developmental downturn in a child who had previously been developing normally. The National Vaccine Information Center is a nonprofit educational organization in Vienna, Virginia, established by parents whose children were injured or died following vaccination.
The CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Working Party on MMR Vaccine of the United Kingdom’s Committee on the Safety of Medicines have dismissed any correlation of MMR vaccination to autism as baseless. However, the CDC is currently conducting a study in metropolitan Atlanta to evaluate any possible association between the vaccination and autism. Results are expected some time this year.
A French biopharmaceutical company, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), an institute of the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and VIVALIS, announced the discovery of two new fully human monoclonal antibodies which could battle Chikungunya, a disease that currently has no available vaccine or specific treatment.
An international team of scientists, coordinated by Dr Lucile Warter of SIgN, published their groundbreaking discovery in the Journal of Immunology.
“The discovery of these antibodies is a big step forward in combating a disease that presently has no available vaccine or specific treatment. The use of VIVALIS’ Humalex® was invaluable in helping us isolate the target antibodies from the cultured immune cells. We hope to further validate the use of these antibodies as a viable treatment for Chikungunya.” said Dr Warter.
Research publication:The Journal of Immunology under the title “Chikungunya Virus Envelope-
The research findings can be found in the January 28 online issue of Specific Human Monoclonal Antibodies with Broad Neutralization Potency”.