Tag Archives: culture of fear

thank goodness for usa today.

If it were not for them, I would not have learned that: Sleeping next to pets could be harmful, study says. (“Sleeping alongside your pets can make you sick. It’s rare, but it happens. That’s why good hygiene means keeping Fluffy and Spot next to the bed, not on it, two experts in animal-human disease transmission say in a forthcoming paper.”)

Hopefully this is a series…

Tuesday: Going outside could be dangerous, scientists warn. (“Outside is full of potential danger. You could get struck by lightning. A tree could fall on you. You might get stung by a bee and go into anaphlactic shock. If you look up, a bird could poop in your eye and who knows what kind of weird flu you will get from that. Of course, if you are inside, you may be in a sick building. Or it might just catch on fire or fall on you. Also, tornadoes don’t really have separate concepts of ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’”)

Wednesday: You have probably already given your child herpes, studies suggest. (One study* tested trigeminal nerve (facial nerve) tissue from 147 people and found HSV-1 DNA evidence in 89% of the sample. Neither gender nor age was associated with prevalence of virus presence. You can transmit HSV-1 by sharing straws or silverware, or by just closed mouth kissing. While usually an outbreak means cold sores, the virus may instead travel to the eye—a serious condition and one of the most frequent causes of blindness in the US. Rarely, herpes spreads to the brain—no one is quite certain how. This herpes encephalitis at best results in brain damage but is usually fatal. So use a dental dam when you smooch your kids!)

* Hill et al. 2008 “The High Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 DNA in Human Trigeminal Ganglia Is Not a Function of Age or Gender.” Journal of Virology, August 2008, p. 8230-8234, Vol. 82, No. 16

Thursday: Motor vehicle use may be risky, experts caution. (“You might never have noticed this, but when you are in a car you are in an incredibly heavy hunk of metal, usually surrounded by other heavy hunks of metal, often traveling at high speeds. And people are texting instead of looking where they are going. And even if you are paying attention, you are one unfortunate mechanical failure away from disaster.”)

Friday: OMG we are all going to die eventually, researchers shriek!!!