Heat Bakes the Nation, Here Are Some Safety Tips

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The heat is on.

Across two-thirds of the United States, over 115 million Americans live where some level of heat alert is already in effect, and 290 million will see temperatures soar past 90 degrees at some point in the next week, USA Today reported Wednesday.

As a dome of high pressure settles over much of the eastern and mid-Atlantic states, the heat indexes (the real-feel temperatures) in many places will top 100 and approach 110 degrees or higher, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

What to do when the temperatures soar so high that heat-related illnesses start to take their toll? One expert offers some sage advice.

“Weekend athletes exercising in the heat need to remember to keep ahead of their fluids. It’s vital to stay ahead of your thirst during these heat extremes, not just to drink when you are thirsty,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Taking breaks is essential when intensely exercising in the heat for more than one hour. This includes rest, finding shade from the sun, and drinking water mixed with sugar and electrolytes. Salty pretzels, fruit and nuts are always a good option if you don’t have access to a drink with sugar and electrolytes,” Glatter noted.

If you exercise in the heat, try to do so early in the morning when humidity and heat from direct sunlight is low.

During heat waves, seniors are at greatly increased risk for heat stroke due to their reduced ability to sweat and therefore cool their bodies. They also may be taking medications to treat blood pressure, which can reduce their ability to sweat, Glatter said.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Call 911 in such cases.

Medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) do not reduce high core body temperatures, and could even be harmful. Patients need rapid cooling to reduce high core temperatures.

Along with blood pressure medications, antihistamines and medications to treat anxiety and depression may also increase the risk for heat stroke by reducing a person’s ability to sweat, Glatter noted.


“Hypertension, coronary artery disease and kidney disease — common in the senior population — all elevate the risk for developing heat stroke, due to reduced cardiac reserve and plasticity of blood vessels. These are major risk factors for heat stroke,” he explained.

During heat waves, check on seniors to see how they’re feeling. Make sure they have access to air conditioning, plenty of cool fluids, and create a heat response plan to help reduce the risk of heat stroke, Glatter advised.

Children are also at increased risk for heat stroke because they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults, and they may not drink enough in hot weather.

Everyone should drink plenty of cool fluids in the heat. Water is the best choice, but low-sugar sports drinks are recommended if you’re working in the heat or exercising for more than one hour. Don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks, such as soda, in the heat because they can cause dehydration due to excessive water loss, Glatter said.

“Never leave a child or a senior in a parked car in the hot sun. In temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the interior of the car can reach 90 to 100 degrees in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s 90 degrees outside, the interior can heat up to 110 to 120 degrees in 30 minutes and be lethal in that short time frame,” Glatter said.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Lenox Hill Hospital, news release, July 17, 2019;USA Today

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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African Nation Reports New Ebola Cases

May 9, 2018 — Two cases of Ebola and at least 10 suspected cases have been reported in a northwestern town in Democratic Republic of Congo.

A person at the health ministry said an official announcement about the confirmed cases would be made Tuesday, according to The Guardian newspaper in the U.K.

It’s been less than a year since the last incidence of Ebola in the central African country. Eight people were infected and four of them died.

This is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the DRC. The virus is named for the Ebola river in the DRC, The Guardian reported.

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Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pot Nation Descends on D.C. to Protest Jeff Sessions

donald trump marijuana

The marijuana nation this week descended on Washington, D.C. to protest President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of ultra-conservative U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

He’s expressed some pretty outrageous views of cannabis, including his declaration that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Seriously.

Yesterday the the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was part of a “Day of Action” to protest the Alabama senator’s appointment. Participants are trying to get the social media hashtag #JustSayNoToSessions to take off.

“Senator Sessions’ views are out of step with mainstream America and they are in conflict with laws throughout a majority of states,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “We must demand that Senators on the Judiciary Committee ask this nominee whether he intends to respect the will of the voters in these states and whether he truly believes that no ‘good people’ have ever smoked pot. If he truly believes such outdated Reefer Madness rhetoric, then he should not be the next Attorney General.”

Oh yeah, he also said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” (Kind folks surely do, however).

NORML and other organizers are urging pro-pot citizens to call their U.S. senators to urge them not to support Sessions’ confirmation as the nation’s top cop.

“Sessions will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains,” NORML states. “He will have the authority to challenge the medical marijuana programs that now operate in 29 states and the adult use legalization laws that have been approved in eight states.”

The 420 Times

Flu Tightens Its Hold on the Nation

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The pace of flu activity continues to quicken across the United States, and probably hasn’t peaked yet.

That’s the assessment of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is urging the most vulnerable — the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women — to get their flu shots before it’s too late.

“Even though activity is elevated, we are probably not at peak yet,” Lynnette Brammer, a CDC epidemiologist, said Friday. “Even if we were at peak, you’ve still got half the season to go,” she added.

Right now, the heaviest flu activity is occurring along the East and West Coasts, Brammer said.

“The Northwest has been hit harder and earlier, and activity could have peaked there, but we won’t know that for a couple of weeks,” she said.

Only the center of the country has been largely spared, but Brammer expects flu activity to increase there over the next several weeks.

The dominant strain right now is H3N2, which often signals a severe season that affects the oldest and youngest people the hardest, she said.

“Not all H3 years are severe years, but a lot of the severe years are H3 years,” Brammer said.

On the upside: So far, this year doesn’t seem as severe as the most severe H3 years, she said.

H1N1 and B viruses are also circulating, Brammer said.

“We may be approaching a peak in H3N2 viruses, but H1N1 viruses could increase as the H3s go down,” she said. “And it’s not uncommon to see a second wave of influenza B, because right now we haven’t seen much B.”

This year’s vaccine contains all the circulating viruses, Brammer said, but it may be less effective against the H3N2 virus. However, if you get vaccinated and still catch the flu, it may be milder than if you weren’t vaccinated, she explained.

The CDC recommends that anyone aged 6 months and older get a flu shot. Besides the elderly and the chronically ill, pregnant women also fall into the high-risk group in need of vaccination.


Also, mothers of newborns need a flu shot to help protect their infants, who can’t be vaccinated until they’re 6 months old.

For people 65 and older, the extra-strength vaccine is a good idea, Brammer said. It comes in two types: the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted vaccine. “Either should give them more protection,” she said.

Get your shot soon, because it can take several weeks to produce enough antibodies to give you maximum protection. Most years, the vaccine is between 40 percent and 60 percent effective, according to the CDC.

If you do get sick, there are antiviral drugs that can help. Tamiflu and Relenza are effective if taken early. That’s particularly important for high-risk individuals, such as the elderly and people with chronic health conditions like heart and lung disease, according to the CDC.

In a typical flu season, flu complications — including pneumonia — send more than 200,000 Americans to the hospital. Death rates fluctuate annually, but have gone as high as 49,000 in a year, according to the CDC.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: Lynnette Brammer, M.P.H., epidemiologist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Marijuana Nation Not Happy With Trump’s Attorney General


The marijuana nation pretty much hates Jeff Sessions at this point. Pot people were already predisposed to disliking the Alabama senator after he said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

President-Elect Donald Trump wants Sessions to be his Attorney General, and this week the Senate began confirmation hearings. Asked what he thought of the Justice Department’s enforcement priorities vis-a-vis cannabis, Sessions said he thought they were “truly valuable.”

Marijuana proponents have long been critical of the federal government’s enforcement of drug law in states were pot is legal. The Justice Department, however, has softened its stance in those states. So Sessions’ position isn’t entirely clear. The Drug Policy Alliance called his answers on pot “wishy washy.”

“He made it clear throughout the hearing that he will enforce federal law,” said Bill Piper, senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “He could have said he will respect state marijuana law, which is what President-elect Trump said on the campaign trail, but instead he said it is up to Congress to change the law.”

“Sessions has a long history of opposing marijuana reform, and nothing he said at the hearing suggests he has changed his mind,” Piper continued. “Hopefully he will clarify his position in his written response to Senators’ questions.”

Mike Liszewski, Director of Government Affairs for Americans for Safe Access, agreed that it’s not too late for Sessions to be straight with the marijuana nation.

“While it is encouraging the President-Elect Trump’s incoming press secretary has said Sessions will abide by Trump’s position on medical cannabis, Sessions has yet to make such a commitment to respect state medical cannabis laws,” Liszewski said. “With that said, Sessions still has an opportunity to set the record straight and pledge that he will respect medical cannabis patients and the state programs upon which they rely. Similarly, Congress can put the issue to rest by passing legislation to respect state medical laws.”

The 420 Times

South Africa’s ‘Puppet Nation ZA’ Nabs Emmy Nom

South African satirical comedy series Puppet Nation ZA – which was originally shunned by broadcasters – has received a nomination for the 2015 International Emmy Awards in the Best TV Comedy.

Produced by Cape Town’s Both Worlds production house, Puppet Nation ZA is up against Doce de Mae (Globot TV, Brazil), Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca (Elephant Story / France 2 / AB Distribution, France), Familia en Venta (Fox Int’l / Fox Telecolombia, Colombia) and Sensitive Skin (Rhombus Media / Baby Cow Prod. / The Movie Network / Movie Central / Tricon / CMF / Rogers Cable Network Fund, Canada).

Puppet Nation ZA, now in its ninth season, is a weekly news satire show featuring a cast of latex puppets modeled on celebrities and politicians, from Nelson Mandela to Lady Gaga. Broadcast on Star One on pan-African satellite platform StarSat, the show has previously won seven South African Film and Television Awards, including Best TV Comedy.

For many years, TV wouldn’t touch the series due to its screwy political satire, and it had to exist solely online. However, it has earned praise from such luminaries as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who both got to meet their puppets in person.

Puppet Nation ZA

Puppet Nation ZA

Animation Magazine

The Cookies or Better Tour – Bringing Cookies Across the Nation

Ever taste the sweet ambrosia of Girl Scout Cookies and wonder if there’s a better strain somewhere in the universe? Well Taylor Gang rapper Berner, known for his hand in the genetics of the Girl Scout Cookies strain and the emerging Cookies lifestyle brand, wants to know and is embarking on his Cookies or Better Tour to find out.

The Cookies or Better Tour started off in Santa Barbara on July 7th and is hitting cities from coast to coast before ending back on the West Coast in Sacramento on August 21, 2015. Berner is being joined by Demrick, J-Hornay, and Anonymous That Dude. The tour is also supported by Cookies SF, Berner’s line of high-end cannabis apparel and accessories and the ultraportable, go-anywhere Roll-Uh-Bowl, so the swag and the chronic will be surely flowing freely.

According to Berner, the Cookies or Better Tour is about finding the best smoke in the United States. To Berner and his crew, Cookies is the absolute top shelf, and if there are some better buds out there, they want to match and see for themselves because smoking is truly believing! If you think you can top what the Cookies Family brings to the table, they would love nothing more than to throw down! Berner and the Cookies or Better Tour are bringing the Cookies SF movement nationwide, repping the only the finest from the Bay Area. All the venues on the tour are intimate enough to be sure to keep the place thick with smoke.

Make sure you follow Berner’s Instagram feed for all the latest information on show tickets and where to find the afterparty!

Click right here to buy tickets for any show on the Cookies or Better Tour! Shows have been selling out so act now so you’re not left out of the hotbox!


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Ecuador ranked top nation for U.S., Canadian retirees

American tourists are seen at a tree house, which is used to observe Tungurahua volcano activity from 1.2 km (0.75 miles) of the volcano's crater in Banos city August 21, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Granja

American tourists are seen at a tree house, which is used to observe Tungurahua volcano activity from 1.2 km (0.75 miles) of the volcano’s crater in Banos city August 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Granja

NEW YORK | Thu Jan 3, 2013 11:17pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – With its low cost of living, balmy climate and cheap property prices, Ecuador has been ranked the top foreign retirement destination for North Americans for the fifth consecutive year.

The South American nation bordered by Colombia and Peru scored the highest marks in’s annual ranking of the best places to retire.

With monthly estimated living expenses ranging from $ 900 to $ 1,400, Ecuador surpassed Panama, Malaysia, Mexico and Costa Rica, which rounded out the top five countries.

“I think the combination of a welcoming culture, the great weather, the affordability and its proximity to the United States all go together to make it a good package,” Dan Prescher, the special projects editor for the website, said on Thursday.

“Panama has a lot of the same things going for it, but it isn’t quite as affordable as Ecuador,” he added in an interview.

Editors at analyzed data and information from correspondents in the countries most popular with American and Canadian retirees to compile the results, which were based on a host of categories: cost of living, climate, property prices, healthcare, ease of integration, retirement infrastructure, entertainment and amenities and special benefits for retirees.

A large part of Ecuador’s appeal is how inexpensive it is for retirees. A beer costs just 85 cents. A doctor’s visit is $ 25, roughly the same price as a one-hour massage.

“Seniors resident in Ecuador qualify for half-price entertainment and local transport, discounted airfares and refunds of sales tax,” Prescher added.

Panama, which came in a close second, won praise for its pensioner visa, which speeds up residency, retiree discounts on medicines, entertainment and restaurants, and its friendly people.

Malaysia, the only Asian country to make the top five, drew retirees to its shores with its tropical climate, low cost of living and cheap rents, similar factors that boosted Mexico and Costa Rica’s appeal to retirees.

Most of the better countries for retirees were Spanish speaking, including Uruguay, Colombia and Spain. Thailand, which placed ninth, was the only other Asian nation to make the top ten, thanks to its affordability, exotic locales and outdoor lifestyle.

Although the language may differ, Prescher said retirees adapt easily because they usually choose a country with a culture familiar to them.

“Most people know or can learn enough Spanish to get along,” he added.

Malta squeezed in at No. 10, winning points for its very low crime rate, Mediterranean climate and abundance of English speakers. English is the second language of Malta, which is a European Union member.

Ireland, France, Portugal and Italy were other EU nations that made the ranking of 22 countries, along with the Philippines and New Zealand, which scored the worst for the cost of living, along with France, but ranked high for integration.

“The places that have been popular with expats for the last five to 10 years tend to stay in the rankings unless something drastic happens, a big political or economic change,” Prescher explained.

(Editing by Chris Michaud and Tim Dobbyn)

Reuters: Oddly Enough