To Your Good Health
By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.
Spread in Many Ways
DONOHUE: I would like to know more about
hepatitis C. I know sex, childbirth and sharing
hypodermic needles with drug users can pass it
on. Can a person contract it from using the same
toilet as an infected person or from using such a
persons cups or dishes?- D.S.
C is anything but a seldom-seen illness. Around 4
million Americans have it.
The largest number
of infected people never have a single day of
illness and never know that they are infected.
The virus, however, stays in the body for life in
many and can continue to wreak havoc in the
The chief route of
viral transmission in North America is sharing of
contaminated needles for illicit drug injection.
Having multiple sex partners is another important
route of infection. However, transmission from an
infected marital partner to a spouse is possible
but not common. Medical personnel can catch the
illness through an accidental needle stick from
an infected person. Infected mothers can transmit
it to their babies. Blood transfusions, once a
great contributor to spread, rarely pass the
illness now that all blood is checked for the
virus. And there is a category of people whose
source of infection is not known.
The illness is not
picked up from toilet seats. Using cups, plates
or eating utensils of an infected person
doesnt spread it. Neither does kissing or
hugging an infected person. It is not wise,
however, to share things that might have blood on
them -- for instance, razors or toothbrushes.
Hepatitis C is
treatable but not always curable. The medicines
are interferon and ribavirin.
Moments In Time
The History Channel
On Feb. 20, 1725, a posse of
New Hampshire volunteers comes across a band of
encamped Native Americans and takes 10
"scalps" in the first significant
appropriation of this Native American practice.
The posse received a bounty of 100 pounds per
scalp from the Colonial authorities in Boston.
On Feb. 22, 1732, George
Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Va.
Part of his success in the Revolutionary War was
due to his shrewd use of an
"ungentlemanly," but effective, tactic
of "guerrilla" warfare, in which
stealthy "hit-and-run" attacks foiled
On Feb. 24, 1786, Wilhelm Karl
Grimm, the younger of the two Brothers Grimm, is
born in Hanau, Germany. The brothers
collection of oral folktales includes
"Hansel and Gretel," "Snow
White," "Little Red Riding Hood,"
"Sleeping Beauty," "Rapunzel"
On Feb. 18, 1885, Mark Twain
publishes his famous -- and famously
controversial -- novel "The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn." Twain (the pen name of
Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the
best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his novel
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876).
On Feb. 19, 1914, Pittsburgh
movie theaters are required to establish a
seating section for unaccompanied women. Some
women attending movies alone had complained of
On Feb. 23, 1940, folk singer
Woody Guthrie writes one of his best-known songs,
"This Land Is Your Land." Guthrie died
in 1967, having lived long enough to see the tune
become a rallying song for the civil-rights
On Feb. 21, 1994, CIA operative
Aldrich Ames is arrested for selling secrets to
the Soviet Union. At least 10 men were killed
after Ames revealed their identities, and more
were sent to Russian gulags. Both Ames and his
wife were later convicted. Ames was sentenced to
life in prison, while his wife, as part of a
plea-bargain agreement, received a five-year
FROM START TO
By Andrea Renee
Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.
Q: My husband
and I recently bought a Nintendo Wii for our
children to encourage them to become more active.
They enjoy dancing and would always beg us to
stop in the video arcade to play this one dance
game. We thought it would be a great idea to get
the same dance game for the Wii system. Our
children love it and want to play it for hours!
Due to the weather, our children are forced to
stay inside most of the winter, which causes them
to get lazy and lethargic. Although they are
moving and sweating and jumping around playing
this video game, is this an acceptable form of
exercise, or would they need to be more active?
A: Many people are
finding the Nintendo Wii video game system to be
more than just another computer game. Due to its
interactive nature of moving not just your
fingers, but in many cases your whole body, it
can be a useful tool to help encourage children
AND adults to get off the couch and get moving.
The Nintendo Wii
and similar game systems have taken the concept
of playing video games and added a more lifelike,
being-part-of-the-game element through the use of
hand control, and in the case of the dance game
you bought for your children, the use of hand and
foot control. This causes players to keep moving,
but also requires hand/eye/foot coordination by
mimicking what is on the video screen.
I have to admit to
having a Nintendo Wii myself and playing one of
the dance games designed for the system. I have
to say ... IT IS CHALLENGING and can definitely
be considered a workout. It also is fun, which
can keep the attention of children and adults and
distract them from feeling they are
There are other
games for the Wii system that can keep you moving
as well. Wii Sports has tennis, boxing, bowling,
golf and baseball games, all of which require you
to move as if you were actually playing in the
game. Other games for other sports and activities
are also available, even games that are specially
designed to promote workouts and exercise.
As with any type
of exercise, a balanced workout is important for
overall fitness and would ideally include at
least five days a week of cardiovascular exercise
and a few other days a week of strength and
flexibility training. We also cannot forget about
proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits.
The Nintendo Wii
video game system can be a great and fun way to
help keep your whole family moving. Until the
weather improves, keep encouraging your children
to dance their way to staying fit.
Always consult a
physician before beginning an exercise program.
DOLLARS AND SENSE
By David Uffington
Midwinter is a
good time to do a house checkup -- especially
this winter, when many parts of the country are
experiencing surprisingly cold weather and high
fuel bills. Here are some things to look for:
Check gutters and
downspouts to make sure water isnt being
diverted toward the foundation.
Check the attic
with a flashlight for wet spots on rafters and
roofing plywood. On the outside of the house, use
binoculars to check from a distance for any
missing shingles, especially around chimneys and
down extra insulation in the attic. Check for
drafts around the attic access hatch.
Check for air
leakage around windows. If you feel a cold draft,
theres still enough winter left to make it
cost effective to hang insulated drapes or put up
the clear plastic you shrink with a hairdryer.
Walk around the
house barefoot and check for cold drafts at floor
level. Exterior doors, under windows and wall
plugs, and in front of fireplaces are common
places for air leaks.
laundry-room floor is cold, chances are the
exterior flap on the dryer vent is to blame.
Depending on the type, sometimes the spring
breaks or sticks and the flap doesnt close,
letting cold air come into the house through the
Check the interior
perimeter of the basement for water leaks. Look
for white residue on a concrete floor as a sign
of a previous leak. If the basement is damp,
invest in a dehumidifier.
If you have an
unheated basement and have been lucky not to have
frozen pipes, consider whether its
worthwhile to insulate the pipes now or to
install heat tape.
Drain and insulate
outside faucets if you havent done it yet.
Change the furnace
filter, if you havent done it yet this
Check the flooring
at the front and back door. If you live in a snow
area, look for salt and sand residue that can
destroy the surface, especially of wood.
Buy an inexpensive
hygrometer and check the humidity levels inside
the house. Too low, and your wood furniture and
flooring can suffer. Too high, and mold could
By making a few
fixes now, not only will you be warmer for the
rest of the winter, but youll save on your
Charities Come Under Fire
Institute of Philanthropy -- aka Charity Watch --
released its report on 27 charities that focus on
veterans and the military, giving each a
letter-grade rating. Its president, Daniel
Borochoff, recently testified before Congress on
the status of charities that purport to help
veterans. Ten of those 27 charities rated an F,
and seven rated a D for the percentage of funds
collected versus donations that actually make it
to veterans services.
The percentage of
dollars used for services is often clouded by a
mix of mislabeled categories on a charitys
financial statement, Borochoff said, making it
appear that a much larger percentage of dollars
is reaching those in need.
solicitation costs can be called "service
expenses," which makes it appear that those
dollars were actually used in the
"service" of veterans. Or, if a charity
puts an "action step" on a mail
solicitation (for example, "Buckle your seat
belt"), the charity can say its
"educating" the public and thereby
reduce the percentage of funds that actually
comes under the category of
charities pad the amount they claim to hand over
to veterans is to include the value of items that
are donated, whether or not those items are
appropriate or have any real value.
But Im not
surprised: Charity fundraising can be very
lucrative, especially if a lot of money is coming
off the top. One fundraiser who was subpoenaed to
come before Congress to testify reportedly has
received a salary of $1.5 million from the
charity he runs.
(News Release from
Republican Whip-Roy Blunt) WASHINGTON- House
Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the
following statement as the Protect America Act, a
temporary intelligence law, expired at midnight
Saturday, a critical national security law
expired. It expired because House Democratic
leaders blatantly refused to take up bipartisan,
Senate legislation that would have closed a
dangerous terrorist loophole. The consequence is
that our intelligence community will lose its
ability to effectively and quickly listen to
"This is no
exaggeration. The Director of National
Intelligence and Attorney General of the United
Dates, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader
earlier this year, wrote that if the Congress
failed to act our ability to obtain intelligence
information would be weakened. This same message
was sent by the Democratic Chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee who said on the Senate
floor Thursday that the quality of the
intelligence we are going to be receiving is
going to be degraded.
is hand over legal protection for
telecommunications companies that helped our
government in the aftermath of the September 11th
attacks intercept foreign terrorist
communications. This lack of protection has
already hurt our ability to gather intelligence -
and it will only get worse. As companies fear
being dragged into the court room, they will stop
their activities in support of tracking
"I am angry
that the House did not consider this bill. And
House Democrats should be angry as well. The
Democratic leadership allowed our intelligence
gathering to be compromised, because they failed
to pass a bill by a deadline that they themselves
that there is no urgency. I wholeheartedly
disagree. With each passing day, our intelligence
capacity grows dimmer and dimmer and the less
able we are to track a call or intercept and
email into the United States from someone like
Osama Bin Laden.
should not be in this situation. The Houses
failure to act is a gross dereliction of our
constitutional duty to stand for the
for City of Carthage
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