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At Least 10 Pregnant Women in Dallas Have Zika Virus, Officials Say

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By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — At least 10 pregnant women in the Dallas area have been infected with Zika, Texas officials confirmed Wednesday.

All of the women contracted the mosquito-borne virus while traveling abroad, Dallas Health and Human Services officials told CBS News.

In related news, the U.S. House on Thursday approved a $1.1 billion funding package to combat the Zika threat, the Associated Press reported.

The bill still needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate, and it remains to be seen if President Barack Obama will sign it. Obama originally asked Congress for $1.9 billion, and Democrats and the White House have voiced opposition to certain provisions of the package.

Even though there have been no local transmissions of Zika reported yet in the United States, the number of cases of infection among pregnant women keeps climbing.

As of June 9, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there are 234 cases of pregnant women on the U.S. mainland who have been infected with Zika, which typically involves relatively mild symptoms in most adults. However, it can cause devastating birth defects in babies that include microcephaly, where an infant is born with an abnormally small head and brain.

In Latin America, thousands of babies have already been born with microcephaly. And researchers reported Wednesday that fears over Zika-related birth defects may be driving up abortion rates in Latin American countries affected by the virus.

In Brazil and Ecuador—where governments have issued health warnings on the danger to the fetus from maternal Zika infection—requests for abortion in 2016 have doubled from 2010 rates, the researchers reported.

The other 17 Latin American countries covered by the new study had their rates rise by more than a third during that time, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers noted that because data on family planning in Latin America is often hard to come by, their numbers may underestimate the surge in abortions since Zika’s emergence.

“The World Health Organization predicts as many as 4 million Zika cases across the Americas over the next year, and the virus will inevitably spread to other countries,” noted study senior author Dr. Catherine Aiken, of the University of Cambridge in England.

But no nation has been more affected than Brazil. As a result of the Zika epidemic, almost 5,000 babies have been born with microcephaly there.

However, the CDC warned last Friday that infection rates are rising in Puerto Rico. Testing of blood donations in the U.S. territory—”our most accurate real-time leading indicator of Zika activity”—suggest that more and more people on the island have been infected, according to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

“The real importance of this information is that in coming months it’s possible that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico could become infected with Zika,” Frieden stressed. “This could lead to dozens or hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly in the coming year,” he added.

“Controlling this mosquito is very difficult,” Frieden said. “It takes an entire community working together to protect a pregnant woman.”

Because the virus remains largely undetected, it will be months before affected babies begin to be born, Frieden said. Some will have microcephaly or other brain-related birth defects. But many will appear healthy and normal, and there’s no way to know how they might have been affected, he explained.

Zika is typically transmitted via the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. But, transmission of the virus through sex is more common than previously thought, World Health Organization officials have said.

Women of child-bearing age who live in an active Zika region should protect themselves from mosquitoes by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using mosquito repellent when outside, and staying indoors as much as possible, according to the CDC.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on the Zika virus.

This Q&A will tell you what you need to know about Zika.

To see the CDC list of sites where Zika virus is active and may pose a threat to pregnant women, click here.


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Hot or Cold: What's the Best Way to Shower After a Workout?

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Have you heard of recovery showers? Apparently there’s a better way to rinse off after an intense workout — one that boosts recovery. Best part? It’s not an ice bath.

The concept of a “recovery shower” is alternating temperatures from hot to cold. Is this an effective way to stimulate circulation and aid in muscular recovery? “There is no yes or no answer to this question,” said Dr. Kristin Maynes, PT, DPT. “We all have to remember that every person’s body is different and may react to certain therapies differently.” That said, she totally recommends recovery showers.

“Yes, it can be an effective aid to muscle or injury recovery; however only for someone without an acute injury,” she told POPSUGAR. So as this is a great general method for recovery, keep in mind that if you’re dealing with an injury, you’ll need to discuss this with your own physical therapist. “If there is no injury, it [can] speed up the recovery process, keep the body mobile, and prevent stiffness.” Here’s how the recovery shower works:

First, Cold

“After a workout, you want to start off with cold — an ice bath or cold shower — to aid in the decrease in inflammation of muscles, joints, and tendons,” said Dr. Maynes. Exercise inflames these parts of your body, and as she put it, “it’s unhealthy to be in an inflamed state for prolonged periods of time.”

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The cold water locally decreases blood flow, reducing inflammation, stiffening the muscles and joints — thus decreasing pain (just like icing an injury). This is “very important for immediate recovery and works well in the acute stages of injury or right after a workout,” she said. “It is like a ‘pause’ button in the healing process to decrease the body’s quick response to injury, which can be very painful at times.”

Then Hot

Then switch to hot. “This will improve muscle and joint recovery to flush out all the build up of inflammatory cells, dead cells, scar tissue build up, etc. to improve the health of the bones.” Going from cold to hot also helps with potential stiffness. You know how you sometimes can’t walk after leg day? Try a cold-to-hot shower. “This can also aid in improvement of mobility of body structures so stiffness does not set in,” she said. “This is very good to use in the subacute and chronic stages of an injury.”

That said, if you’re injured, she stressed that this is not the way to recover. “You do not want to use heat in the first few days up to a week of an injury,” so avoid this kind of recovery shower.

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The Best Workout Recovery?

Post-workout recovery is essential, and it varies for everyone. “If you are active in aiding your recovery after an intense workout [with] stretching, foam rolling, yoga, etc., then adding an alternating hot shower or an ice bath is going to help,” said Dr. Maynes. “Find out what works best for your body whether it be hot shower, ice bath, or both; stick to it and it will help you.”

But be patient! “Nothing works in a day; you have to do it more than once to see an effect.”

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Lizzie Velasquez, Once Called the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman,’ Responds to Cruel Body Shaming Meme

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Before you share a meme, remember that there’s an actual person in that photo.

That’s the message motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez shared on Instagram after discovering that she unwillingly became the face of a body shaming meme.

“I’ve seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently. I’m writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice,” Velasquez, 27, writes. “Yes, it’s very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Velasquez has neonatal progeroid syndrome, a rare disease that affects her eyes, heart and bones and prevents her from adding weight to her 63-lb. frame. At just 17 years old, she found herself the subject of a cruel YouTube video that called her the “ugliest woman in the world,” and used that experience to become a YouTube star and motivational speaker.

She’s spreading a message of body positivity again in her response.

“No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human,” Velasquez continues. “I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen.”

Velasquez, who was the focus of the 2015 documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, says her life goal is to spread kindness.

“I knew this is my purpose, this is what I’m meant to do for the rest of my life, because I like to think that I’m not only telling my story—I’m telling everyone’s story,” she said in the film.

 

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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Total-Body Tabata — Get Ready to Torch and Tone

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Nothing beats Tabata workouts for maximizing the benefits of a workout. This interval training helps burn calories and build muscle in 20 minutes. For the four-minute Tabata round, we mix two complementary exercises, so you can go strong and maintain good form for all your reps.

Here’s the workout and directions. Keep scrolling for explanations on the moves.

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35 Gifts For the Mesh-Loving Fit Girl in Your Life

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Obsessed with the mesh trend? So are we. What’s not to love about breathable fabric that’s equally as stylish as it is functional? Seamlessly rock your look outside the gym or studio with any of the items we’ve found ahead. Cool products from leggings to sports bras will become your excuse to fit in another workout. So if you or a friend are all about mesh and mesh-paneled gear, keep scrolling to see 35 options.

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