Tuesday, April 4, 2023

, 6

 - 7 p.m.

Location: 160 Enarson Classroom Building

Global Engagement


International Students
Global Engagement

The Office of International Affairs invites international and domestic students to join us for Global Engagement Night, where you can interact with one another and have cross-cultural discussions about different regions of the world and general topics affecting all college students.

All are welcome to join the discussion every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. ET at Enarson Classroom Building.

From Japan and Mexico to India and Sweden, explore historical and cultural methods of self-care around the world, including meditation, rituals and ancient breathing exercises. Meet with domestic and international students as you make your own stress ball and learn about techniques to reduce stress and resources available to students as finals week approaches.

View a full list of this semester's topics.

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Persistent runny nose? Now there is a new solution. A new study shows that umbilical cord transplants can be effective.

It may not sound appealing, but mucus cultures can be effective in relieving chronic rhinitis, according to a new study.
In concrete terms, it is about rinsing your nose with someone else’s snot.

A new study at Helsingborg Hospital looked at whether a so-called cord transplant could relieve symptoms in chronic, long-term rhinitis.orskning.se

Rinse the nose with a thread

Early results are positive. The treatment helped 70 percent of the patients who participated in the study, which involves rinsing the nose with a solution of mucus from a healthy nose.

The explanation has to do with the normal bacterial flora of the nose, which has been shown to be less diverse in people with chronic sinusitis.

The entire bacterial flora

“We wanted to see if we could rebalance the good and bad bacteria in the nose and thus alleviate patients’ symptoms. Since it was difficult to find out which bacteria were missing, we decided to try culturing the entire bacterial flora,” he says. Anders ServinChief Physician at the Helsingborg Hospital and Lecturer at Lund University.

Patients who participated in the study had persistent rhinitis or chronic sinusitis.

Any inconvenience was alleviated by allowing everyone to choose their own donor – often a partner or a close family member.

It was sprayed into the nose

The donor rinses the nose with a saline solution, which is then sprayed into the patient’s nose.
The outcome was then measured by a subjective estimate and by comparing the bacterial flora in the nose before and after treatment.

“Many of the people we reached out to about the study thought it sounded disgusting, but they were willing to try anything to get better,” he says. Anders Martinson, Chief Physician in Helsingborg and PhD Student at Lund University.

16 out of 22 is better

“They often had problems for many years and neither conventional antibiotic treatment nor surgical interventions helped them. Up to 16 of the 22 patients who participated in the study, Martinson adds, saw significant improvement.”

An estimated 12 percent of Swedes suffer from chronic rhinitis, which often leads to sleeping and breathing difficulties, fatigue, and loss of taste.
This means that many suffer from a lower quality of life.

“don’t test yourself”

The treatment is not yet available to the public and more research is needed to confirm the findings in the study.

Currently, a larger clinical study is underway at the University of Queensland in Australia, where Anders Cervin previously worked as a professor.

“Hopefully this will benefit more patients in the future, perhaps in the form of a nasal spray. Until then, we don’t want to encourage you to start poking each other up your nose on your own initiative — the risk is high that you’ll pick up an infection, or tell sometimes,” Cerven points out. .

Also read: FHM reflects: “I go to work despite the cold” [Dagens PS]

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Listen to the Podcast:

People frequently encounter and consider a cold icy feeling inside chest, a frosty sensation in the chest. Nevertheless, what if it indicates a serious problem? A cold sensation in the chest and throat may indicate that you have a chest cold. Acute bronchitis is another name for a chest cold, and you should take it seriously.

If the illness is not addressed promptly, chronic bronchitis may develop. The minty sensation in the lungs is unpleasant, like chewing peppermint gum. It is accompanied by additional symptoms.

Are you unable to sleep owing to a persistent cough? And cold icy feeling inside chest when breathing? If you answered yes, you should read this article to learn about the causes, symptoms, and how to get rid of the ice feeling in your chest.

What Causes Cold Icy Feeling Inside The Chest?

What Causes Cold Icy Feeling Inside The Chest

A Cold Icy Feeling Inside Chest is typically caused by the complexity of the respiratory system. In this situation, the patient may feel as though he is chewing Mentos in his chest. Long-term depression and anxiety might also precipitate this symptom.

A few individuals do not take this issue seriously and let it heal on its own, and fortunately, it does mend in some instances. Nevertheless, this disregard is not always effective. The cold icy feeling inside chest may be caused by serious conditions requiring medical attention. Hence, ignoring even minor difficulties could be dangerous and constitute a grave threat to human life.

Read More: Elevator Drop Feeling in Chest


Acute bronchitis normally recovers on its own within three weeks, according to a reliable source. Yet, the American Lung Association reports that coughing may persist longer than other symptoms.

A frequent sign of acute bronchitis is coughing. It is often dry initially. Later on, the cough generates copious amounts of mucus.

In addition to a cough, chest cold symptoms might include:

  • chest congestion and soreness
  • aches and pains, including headaches
  • fatigue
  • a sore throat
  • a fever
  • a stuffy, leaky nose
  • wheezing
  • chills

Diagnosis of Menthol Feeling in Lungs

Mostly, acute bronchitis does not require specific treatment. If the symptoms are unbearable, though, your physician will urge a physical examination. Your doctor will begin the examination by using a stethoscope to listen to your breathing. The true objective is to rule out wheezing.

Your medical history will also include the frequency and kind of coughs. Your doctor must know whether your cough is dry or productive. If you have any underlying health issues, you must contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will formulate a treatment plan based on the patient’s health. Asthma and pre-existing breathing problems can offer significant risks.

If the diagnosis is questionable, a chest X-ray is required to determine whether pneumonia is present. In addition, if your healthcare professional suspects any other infection, he or she will prescribe blood culture tests.

The Treatments

As this condition is caused by a virus, antibiotics cannot be administered; they are only effective against bacterial infections. If the cases are moderate, the issue should resolve itself within seven to ten days. Nonetheless, it is possible for the cough to persist after the symptoms have subsided.

There are several options for dealing with it:

  • Use a humidifier to break up the mucus. If you lack it, you can try taking a hot shower and inhaling the steam.
  • Obtain sufficient rest and sleep.
  • Consume a lot of water. This will assist in thinning mucus and keeping you hydrated.
  • Avoid all exposure to smoke, including passive smoking.
  • Consider using an over-the-counter expectorant to assist ease your chest congestion. It typically bears the name guaifenesin.
  • While you sleep, you should prop yourself up using pillows. Utilize the additional pillows for this. Not only will it improve your breathing, but also your chest congestion and cough.

There is a possibility that you have acquired a secondary bacterial infection. It occurs when bacteria multiply in airways that are already affected (caused by the virus). If this occurs, you may be prescribed antibiotics. Your physician may recommend additional therapies for healing. Hence, if you get a  cold icy feeling inside chest, you understand what is occurring and the various therapies.


To prevent chest colds, people should thoroughly wash their hands. The CDC also suggests getting a flu shot.

Pneumonia, a potential complication of a chest cold, can be prevented with the pneumococcal vaccine. However, this is only recommended by doctors to specific individuals, such as those 65 or older and those with certain ongoing health conditions. Anybody concerned about having a chest cold should abstain from smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Is This a Case of Pneumonia?

Some chest infections progress to pneumonia, an infection of one or both lungs. Pneumonia arises when an airway infection spreads to the lungs. The difficulty exists in distinguishing pneumonia from bronchitis. It can also induce coughing, breathing difficulties, and chest discomfort.

Yet, pneumonia symptoms are typically more severe than bronchitis symptoms. For instance, you may experience shallow or difficult breathing during rest. Moreover, pneumonia can induce a high fever, a fast heartbeat, and dark or red mucus.

Additional pneumonia symptoms include:

  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • sweating
  • chills
  • vomiting
  • decrease in body temperature

Severe or mild pneumonia, if left untreated, can lead to septic shock. This is a severe response to a bacterial infection. Sepsis is characterized by mental disorientation, low blood pressure, fever, and a rapid heartbeat.

Natural Remedies for Chest Cold

Cold symptoms and chest congestion are caused by a virus. The sole treatment for this type of virus is to rest and wait for the virus to clear. Antibiotics are only effective for treating pneumonia and whooping cough. Yet, several home remedies and therapies can alleviate your chest pain and symptoms.

Several home treatments are recommended by doctors for chest congestion:

  • Consume copious amounts of clear water to keep your body hydrated and dilute the mucus in your throat and lungs.
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to alleviate any lung inflammation.
  • Sleeping with your head up on multiple pillows will facilitate breathing and prevent mucus from building in your chest overnight.
  • To alleviate congestion, take a hot shower and breathe in the steam.
  • To alleviate bodily aches and lower temperature, try an over-the-counter pain treatment such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Employ saline drops or nasal spray to reduce congestion.
  • Use lozenges to maintain a moist throat.
  • Employ bronchodilators, which relax lung muscles and dilate airways, to make breathing easier. Bronchodilators are frequently used to treat chronic illnesses characterized by inflamed and constricted airways, such as asthma.

If you do not have an underlying condition such as chronic pulmonary disease, symptoms often begin to subside within seven to two weeks. Decongestants may also release mucous and alleviate other symptoms.

When to See a Doctor?

If you can manage the symptoms of a chest cold using over-the-counter medications, you probably do not need to consult a physician. Your symptoms should improve within seven to ten days, however, a cough may remain for up to three weeks.

As a general rule, you should consult a physician for coughs that linger longer than three weeks.

You should also consult a physician under the following circumstances:

  • you develop a fever over 103°F (39°F)
  • you’re coughing up blood
  • you’re having difficulty breathing
  • your chest cold symptoms worsen or don’t improve
  • Also, see your pulmonary specialist if you have a respiratory disease and develop symptoms of a chest cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia.


Typically, chest colds accompany a common cold or influenza. However, symptoms are typically short-lived and improve within a week, but a persistent cough can be annoying and keep you up at night.

See a physician if you have a compromised immune system, a persistent cough, or if you develop signs of bronchitis or pneumonia. Breathing difficulties, especially at rest, or coughing up crimson, brown mucus may signal a serious condition requiring medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cold Icy Feeling Inside Chest 

What causes a cold sensation in my chest?

Several illnesses can result in a menthol or chilly chest sensation. Included among them are heartburn, infection, and anxiety. Sometimes, the sensation of menthol can indicate a heart condition. A menthol chest sensation is a cold or burning sensation felt anywhere in the chest.

Is chest cold curable?

Cold symptoms and chest congestion are caused by a virus. The sole treatment for this type of virus is to rest and wait for the virus to clear. Antibiotics are only effective for treating pneumonia and whooping cough.

Is it a chest cold or pneumonia?

You may have a slight, irritating cough due to a cold, but if you cough up mucus — slimy material from deep within your chest — it could be an indication of bronchitis or pneumonia, especially if it contains blood.

Should I be worried about a chest cold?

See a physician if you exhibit any of the following: Temperature of at least 100.4 °F. Cough accompanied by bloody mucous. Breathlessness or difficulty breathing.

What should I do if I feel a chest cold?

If someone senses a cold coming on, they should sleep and rest extensively. This will provide the immune system with the most opportunity to fight off the virus. A 2015 study involving 164 healthy adults examined the correlation between sleep and susceptibility to the common cold.

What does it mean when your chest feels minty?

There are many potential causes for a minty taste in the throat or chest. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder), pregnancy, viral infection, neurological diseases, and metabolic abnormalities can all contribute to a minty or sweet taste on the tongue.

Why do I feel a cold sensation in my body?

A cold sensation in the body can result from a variety of circumstances. If you have a common cold, you may experience a high fever and chills. In addition, acute bronchitis can cause chills in the chest, throat, and entire body. A cold body sensation may be accompanied by shivering and a high fever. No drugs are necessary to treat this condition. Except in the case of hypothermia, drinking hot liquids and staying warm can be useful.

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Risk of COVID and H3N2 attacks occurring simultaneously…

Concern has been raised by the simultaneous H3N2 and coronavirus attacks. Numerous other symptoms, which are typical of both illnesses, are present in addition to the patients’ sore throat, fever, and cough. It is challenging to distinguish between the two viruses that are attacking because the majority of their symptoms are identical. There are some variations between the two that can be detected, but symptoms like headache, muscle pain, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, mucus in the throat, diarrhoea, and trouble breathing are obvious.

Identify with cough

Corona cough can range from moderate to severe and can be treated over time. However, an H3N2 virus-induced cough can be bothersome for a full month and be so severe that it causes headaches, chest discomfort, and in some patients, fractured ribs.

Changing voice

Your speech may have changed after contracting the H3N2 virus, which the doctor thinks could be the result of a throat infection. In Covid-19, a fever or runny nose are the first signs to appear.

Shortness of breath 

Both illnesses are prevalent in terms of fever, chills, coughing, and colds, but covid can cause more shortness of breath than influenza.

Fever can last for a week

You may experience corona fever for at least a few days as it rises and falls. A severe cough and a high temperature brought on by H3N2 can last for four to eight days.

Identify with fatigue

Both experience frequent muscle discomfort, but Covid experiences it more frequently. In both viral infections, sneezing, sore throats, and lack of smell are common symptoms. Both the Covid and H3N2 influenzas share the similar symptoms of earaches, nausea, and diarrhoea.

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Also known as the avian bird flu

<p>Grace Cary / Getty Images</p>

Grace Cary / Getty Images

Avian bird flu symptoms are similar to seasonal flu (influenza) symptoms. These include common symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose, body pains and headache, excessive tiredness and fatigue, pink eye, and difficulty breathing.

Birds get the flu just like humans. The types of birds that can become infected with bird flu and spread it to humans include chickens, ducks, swans, geese, and turkeys. Though avian bird flu viruses (novel type A influenza viruses) do not typically infect humans, they still can and do sometimes. Sudden and sporadic outbreaks around the world have occurred. Infection can occur after exposure to type A virus-infected birds, exposure to an infected person, or exposure in a laboratory setting.

In this article, you'll learn more about the frequent symptoms of avian bird flu and what health complications are associated with it. You'll also learn how to reduce the risk of bird flu complications.

Related:Understanding the Different Types of Flu

<p>Grace Cary / Getty Images</p>

Grace Cary / Getty Images

Frequent Symptoms

Frequent symptoms of bird flu can range in severity from no symptoms at all to mild symptoms to severe symptoms that can lead to further health complications.

Common mild symptoms of bird flu include:

  • Feeling feverish or having a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater

  • Chills

  • Cough and sore throat

  • Congestion (stuffy nose)

  • Runny nose

  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue

  • Body aches and pains

  • Headache and tension

  • Teary eyes or watery eyes

  • Pink eye or eye redness (conjunctivitis)

  • Diarrhea

  • Breathing troubles (such as shortness of breath)

It is important to note that all cases of bird flu illness present with fever as a symptom.

Moderate to serious or severe illness from bird flu is characterized by the following symptoms:

Even though symptoms may be present, a clinical symptom check alone cannot diagnose a person with avian bird flu. To confirm a case, laboratory testing is necessary. Testing for avian bird flu is similar to other influenza infection testing (for example, collecting a sample from the nose or throat with a cotton swab).

Testing is most accurate within the first few days of illness or symptoms.

If a person is already in critical condition (e.g., experiencing severe symptoms and a typical swab may not be possible or provide the most accurate results), then sample collection from the lower respiratory tract may also help to diagnose symptoms of avian bird flu.

If you have symptoms of bird flu, bear in mind your personal risk factors and consider the likelihood of your exposure to the virus versus, say, seasonal influenza. Bird flu is not common in humans. However, if you work in an agricultural environment that often requires contact with or in an area where there is a previous or current outbreak, be sure to contact your safety officer or public health department at the first sign of symptoms. They will assess your risk of exposure and advise you on the best next steps along with where you can get tested for infection. Self-monitoring of symptoms is necessary for 10 days following exposure.

Related:How Deadly Is the Flu?


Complications associated with bird flu can prove fatal in some cases.

Risks of health complications associated with bird flu are higher in people with weakened immune systems, in people over the age of 65, and in people who are pregnant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications of bird flu can include:

  • Pneumonia

  • Respiratory failure

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

  • Multiple organ failure

  • Meningoencephalitis (serious brain inflammation)

Avoiding health complications associated with avian bird flu means getting antiviral treatment as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says data from antiviral treatment studies of people with seasonal influenza shows antiviral treatment is most effective when administered early on after exposure and especially within 48 hours of symptom onset.


Avian bird flu symptoms are very similar to those of seasonal flu or seasonal influenza. They include typical flu symptoms like feeling feverish and experiencing body chills, coughing, sore throat, eye tearing, eye redness or irritation, headache and body ache, runny or congested (stuffy) nose, muscle pains and body soreness, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Fever may or may not present with avian bird flu symptoms. Severe symptoms include increased difficulty in breathing, mental state changes including confusion, and seizures. Complications associated with bird flu infection include pneumonia, respiratory distress and failure, multiple organ failure, and severe brain inflammation. Treatment with antiviral medication as soon as possible is necessary to reduce the risk of complications.

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Influenza D
Influenza D

In 2011, a farmer in Oklahoma had a bunch of sick pigs. The animals had what looked like the flu.

"Just like a person with respiratory disease, the pigs had labored breathing, maybe a runny nose, cough and potentially a fever," says virologist Benjamin Hause.

At the time, Hause was working at the company Newport Laboratories, which develops custom vaccines for livestock. "We would detect and isolate pathogens from animals. Then we would grow the pathogens in the lab, kill them and formulate vaccines," says Hause, who's now an executive at Cambridge Technologies, another vaccine company.

The Oklahoma farmer took a few samples from the pigs' noses — a bit like how you swab your nose for an at-home COVID test. He sent the samples to Hause so he could figure out what was making the pigs sick.

Hidden viruses: how pandemics really begin

NPR is running a series on spillover viruses — that's when animal pathogens jump into people. Researchers used to think spillovers were rare. Now it is clear they happen all the time. That has changed how scientists look for new deadly viruses. To learn more, we traveled to Guatemala and Bangladesh, to Borneo and South Africa.

Hause immediately thought that the regular flu virus was infecting the pigs. "We expected to find influenza A," he says, "because that's the most common problem." It's also the same type of virus that often causes the seasonal flu in people.

But when he and his colleagues grew the virus in the lab, they quickly realized they were wrong. Hause was shocked by what he saw.

"I thought, 'What is this thing? We've never seen anything like this before,' " he says. "Right away, we were concerned that this virus could infect people."

Most infections are a mystery

For decades, scientists thought that animal viruses seldom jump into people. They thought these spillovers were extremely rare. But in the past few years, studies have been showing that this thinking is wrong.

"I don't think [spillover] is extremely rare," says evolutionary virologist Stephen Goldstein at the University of Utah. "I mean, we know this because when people start looking, people find it."

In fact, there's likely a whole group of animal viruses making people sick all over the world that doctors know nothing about. They've been hidden. They masquerade as a regular cold, flu or even pneumonia.

For example, if you have a respiratory infection in the U.S., doctors can identify the pathogen causing the infection only about 40% of the time. There's growing evidence that the other 60% of infections could be caused by animal viruses such as a dog coronavirus found in Malaysia, Haiti and Arkansas, or even possibly the same virus Hause and his colleagues found in those pigs. Recent studies have made clear that this virus floats in the air at farms and is likely infecting people who work there.

It's everywhere they looked

Hause and his colleagues eventually figured out that they had stumbled upon an entirely new influenza virus, unrelated to the ones known to infect people. "It's completely different than influenza A," says virologist Feng Li at the University of Kentucky, who co-led the discovery of the new virus.

Once scientists started looking for signs of infections in other animals, besides pigs, they found it nearly everywhere they looked: in sheep, goats, camels, horses.

But Li says they hit the jackpot when they looked in one particular animal: cows.

"The percentage of cows in the U.S. that have antibodies to influenza D is way, way high," he says. "Whenever you look at herds, about 50% of individual cows have high levels of antibodies to this virus. That was really surprising."

And it's not just cows in Oklahoma but across the whole country, from west to east and north to south, Li says. "From California to Vermont, and North Dakota to Texas, cows are infected with this virus. They are the primary reservoir for the virus."

On top of that, this virus is incredibly stable, Li says. "It can survive at high temperatures and in acidic environments," he says. "That's why scientists have found influenza D in the air at airports in the U.S." They've also found it in the air at chicken farms in Malaysia.

And so the question has become: If this virus can infect so many different animals and is found in so many cows, does it make people sick? Especially the people who work closely with cows on dairy farms or ranches?

Look what they found in human noses

In 2019 and 2020, scientists at Boston University ran a small and simple experiment. They went to five dairy farms in the West and Southwest, and they washed out the workers' noses before and after their shifts working on the farms. Then they looked for influenza D inside the washes.

The researchers studied only 31 workers over the course of only five days. But they found quite a lot of the virus. "We found about two-thirds of the participants were exposed to influenza D at some point during our study period," says environmental epidemiologist Jessica Leibler, who led the study. They published their findings in November in the journal Zoonoses.

While Leibler and colleagues tested only a small number of workers, the high percentage who had the virus in their noses suggests that influenza D is quite likely common on dairy farms in the Southwest. If the virus was rare on the farms, then finding it at such high levels by chance would be highly unlikely. "To me, the findings suggest that if you look for influenza D, you probably will find it," she says.

Now Leibler and her team looked only for an exposure to influenza D. But previous studies have looked for signs of infections in cattle workers in Florida. Specifically, the study tested for influenza D antibodies in the workers' blood.

"They found a really, really high percentage of workers with influenza D antibodies," Leibler says. "Again, it was again a small study, but more than 90% of the workers had antibodies to influenza D, which implies these workers weren't only exposed, but they were also infected."

In contrast, the prevalence of influenza D antibodies in people who don't work on farms was much lower. Only about 18% of the general population showed signs of being infected, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Virology.

Now, no one knows yet if influenza D causes any symptoms in people. But altogether, these studies indicate influenza D is likely what's called an emerging virus, Leibler says. It's jumping into people who work with animals, such as dairy farmers, but it's not likely spreading much beyond that.

"This doesn't seem to be something, right now, that the general public is exposed to in a large way," she says. "But it's something that's a concern for these front-line workers exposed on farms."

That's because there's a real risk that the virus could adapt to people as more and more workers are infected, she says. "Influenza viruses mutate rapidly and frequently. So, over time, influenza D can evolve. It could increase its ability to infect humans and be more easily transmitted among humans or it could become more virulent" and start making people sicker.

For that reason, Leibler and her colleagues are calling for more research on, and surveillance of, this new flu to ensure the safety of the dairy workers but also to ensure that the virus doesn't surprise the world as SARS-CoV-2 did.

In fact, Stephen Goldstein of the University of Utah says, to stop the next pandemic before it occurs, scientists and officials should focus on these viruses that have already made the jump into people instead of cataloging viruses in wild animals.

"Doing virus discovery in wild animals is interesting from a scientific standpoint, but from the standpoint of predicting pandemics, I think it's a ridiculous concept," he says. "Instead we need surveillance – active surveillance – in humans and also in domestic animals."

Currently, at least one company – Cambridge Technologies – is working on a vaccine against influenza D for animals. But in general, very few farms are looking out for the virus in animals or workers, Jessica Liebler says.

For comments on this topic, NPR reached out to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the lobbying group for cattle ranchers. A spokesperson referred us to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in emails that, at this point, there isn't any evidence that Influenza D is causing significant harm to livestock, so there aren't currently any surveillance systems in place for livestock or workers.

As Liebler points out, officials and scientists had a similar view of coronaviruses for a long time – that they weren't a major concern because they only caused a cold.

"Sometimes an animal virus doesn't seem to make people very sick and so scientists brush it away as not really important," Leibler says. "That's what scientists thought about coronaviruses for a long time — that they weren't a major concern because they only caused a cold.

"It only took a huge global pandemic to realize that viruses can change really quickly, and you don't know when they're going to change."

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NewsDesk @bactiman63

According to preliminary data from the Health Surveillance Directorate of the Ministry of Health, during 2022 a total of 375 cases of tuberculosis were registered, which represents an increase of 5% compared to 2021, when they counted 357 cases.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Image/CDC

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Koch’s bacillus) that mainly affects the lungs. However, it can also occur in other organs such as: the skin, the liver, the kidneys, the genitals and the meninges, among others.

The transmission of the bacteria that cause Tuberculosis can occur from a sick person to a susceptible person, through the droplets that are expelled when speaking, sneezing and especially when coughing. Especially when crowded conditions exist.

Of the total cases reported in 2022, 68% (256 cases) correspond to men, while 32% (119 cases) belong to women, a figure that is maintained compared to 2021, where 239 of the total cases registered were in men and 118 in women.

Legends of microbiology and infectious diseases: Robert Koch

The provinces with the highest number of tuberculosis cases during the year are San José with 114 cases, followed by Limón with 98 and Alajuela with 60 cases. It is important to indicate that the age group most affected by this disease is the population with an age range of 20 to 64 years, which accounted for 284 cases of the total reported in 2022.

Likewise, in 2021 a total of 34 deaths were recorded, of which 26 were men and eight women.

The Ministry of Health calls on the population that in case of presenting symptoms such as coughing up phlegm for more than two weeks, pain when breathing and coughing, sudden weight loss, fatigue, night sweats and fever at the end of the day, attend the nearest health center.

Tuberculosis is a curable disease if we join efforts to detect and treat cases on time, we will be able to achieve the goal of eliminating tuberculosis in Costa Rica.

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Express News Service

Even as people were grappling with an unusually-aggressive strain of Influenza, Covid cases and positivity rate began to show an upward trend, leading to considerable alarm in government and health circles. According to medical experts, however, while everyone does need to be alert and take precautionary measures, there’s no need yet to hit the panic button, reports Ashish Srivastava

A large number of citizens in the national capital have, of late, been suffering from respiratory illnesses. While hospital OPDs are packed with patients complaining of symptoms mostly associated with Influenza, Covid-19 cases too are on the rise. After a gap of five months, the daily tally of Covid-19 cases breached the 100 mark last week even as the positivity rate crossed 5%, giving rise to alarm.
One person also succumbed to the disease in the city last week.

India usually sees a seasonal rise in Influenza cases from January to March and again from August to October. But this time, the outbreak has been particularly serious in terms of the severity of symptoms as well as the number of people who came down with the disease. According to the Union Health Ministry, the most prominent subtypes of Influenza in circulation in the country are Influenza A (H1N1) and Influenza A (H3N2).

An ICMR survey has shown that 50 per cent of patients down with respiratory infection cases who are admitted to hospitals over two months had H3N2 Influenza, the government told the Lok Sabha last week. As per official data, a total of 1,161 cases of H3N2 were reported in the country. Delhi recorded the highest with 370 cases.

“Almost everyone is affected by Influenza. Every third patient coming to OPD with complaints of fever and cough is turning out to be infected with Influenza,” said Dr Akshay Budhraja, a pulmonologist at Aakash Hospital.“Their family history reveals that all such patients have had someone in their families who contracted Influenza within a week,” he added.

Importance of testing

While both the diseases are self-limiting for healthy individuals, it’s the differentiation between the two which is causing a worry since both the diseases exhibit almost similar symptoms.“The testing of patients for Covid and Influenza has declined, so it is difficult to establish the exact number of H3N2 or Covid-19 patients,” said Dr Ashok K Rajput, consultant, pulmonology & sleep medicine, CK Birla Hospital

According to doctors, testing is imperative as it helps in the identification of the disease which eventually determines the treatment protocol that needs to be followed.

“A lot of complacency regarding testing can be observed. We advise everyone to get tested for Influenza and Covid-19 but only 25 per cent are undergoing the RT-PCR. Mostly, people are relying on self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs which are not recommended. Proper treatment can only happen after diagnosis of the disease,” Dr Budhraja said.

Although both Influenza and mild Covid-19 have some common symptoms, doctors say there are ways to differentiate between the two. The H3N2 subtype of Influenza A virus is quite virulent and causes a fever ranging between 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts for 3-5 days and a prolonged cough and cold for up to three weeks. According to doctors, the hospitalisation rate for patients affected by the H3N2 Influenza is far more compared to other Influenza viruses like H1N1. However, most patients already suffer from underlying health conditions.

“Patients who have breathing illnesses like Asthma, are immuno-compromised or those who had organ transplant or suffer from life-threatening diseases and the senior citizens are vulnerable,” said Dr Bhudhraja. While the disease is usually mild in vulnerable groups, it can turn severe and put one at risk of complications and even death. However, doctors advise that any person experiencing difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure, bluish lips, seizures, confusion, must be hospitalised immediately.

“People who are over 65 years old and those who suffer from co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, and chronic lung infection are at a higher risk of developing severe disease even if they do not have a history of contracting Covid-19,” said Dr Vikas Deswal, senior consultant in Internal Medicine at Medanta Medcity.

Don’t pop antibiotics on own

Meanwhile, doctors have cautioned against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics without medical diagnosis and are urging people not to resort to self-medication. Though the practice of self-treatment is a common phenomenon, especially when people contract the Influenza virus, health experts are trying to make people aware that the incorrect usage of antibiotics could cause way more harm than good.

“If one has symptoms like fever, cough, and cold, antibiotics are not recommended. This only needs antipyretics for fever or inflammatory drugs besides anti-tussives for cough and cold,” Dr Rajput said.

“Many people are popping antibiotics on their own, but individuals with symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or breathing difficulties should seek medical attention,” said Dr Deswal said.  The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also came out with a statement urging people not to self-medicate with antibiotics.

“Using antibiotics like Azithromycin and Amoxiclav etc, that too without caring for dose and frequency, and stopping them once you start feeling better, is a recipe for disaster. It leads to antibiotic resistance, so when you really need them, they will not work,” the IMA said in a statement.

Why cases are rising?

According to experts, a new sub-variant of Covid-19 called XBB.1.16 could be at play. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has detected 204 cases of this new variant; 19 of them are from Delhi alone.

On Influenza, the experts said the abrupt change in weather and pollution is the main cause. Besides, masks had protected people from Influenza for the past couple of years. But as there is no mask mandate now, people are more susceptible to contracting the seasonal flu. As for the need for vaccination, there is no clarity so far.

After the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the hesitancy for jabs among people has come down and people have become more aware of the benefits provided by vaccination. Also, the panic regarding H3N2 is forcing people to reach out to hospitals offering flu shots.  But the doctors are not very keen on them. They said that the vaccination will not give immunity to the people against the virus right after the inoculation.

“Although there has been an increase in H3N2 cases, now may not be the best time to get vaccinated, as the ideal time is typically before the onset of winter. It takes approximately 2-3 weeks for immunity to develop after vaccination, and by then, the Influenza season may be over,” Dr Deswal said.

“We are not advising against it (vaccine) but it should be kept in mind that the vaccine will not give immunity right away,” said Dr Surajit Chatterjee, senior consultant, Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. However, doctors say vaccination should be mandatory for vulnerable groups like the elderly and those suffering from co-morbidities.

No reason for panic yet

Though many people are falling sick, many for a long duration, due to either Influenza or Covid-19, experts said that there is nothing to panic about.“No evidence has emerged so far that suggests that the new Covid-19 variant could increase disease severity, hospitalisation and mortality,” the Union Health Ministry has clarified regarding the detection of XBB-1.16.

Dr Budhraja said that most patients who displayed severe symptoms of Influenza and required emergency medical intervention were either elderly, suffered from co-morbidity, or were severely immuno-compromised. However, there is unanimity among health experts and the government that citizens must remain alert and if possible, get vaccinated.

“COVID-19 and Influenza share a number of similarities in terms of mode of transmission, high-risk population, clinical signs and symptoms. While this may present a clinical dilemma for the attending doctors in terms of diagnosis, this also renders both these diseases easily preventable by following simple public health measures like avoiding overcrowded and poorly ventilated settings, using a handkerchief/tissue while sneezing or coughing, wearing a mask in crowded & closed settings, maintaining hand hygiene, avoiding spitting in public places, etc,” an advisory by Union Health Ministry read.

“The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses is to follow proper precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding crowded places, washing hands frequently, and avoiding contact with people who are symptomatic,” Dr Deswal pointed out.

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Ralphie the “fire-breathing demon” dog has been adopted by his “perfect match,” the New York animal shelter said.

Ralphie the “fire-breathing demon” dog has been adopted by his “perfect match,” the New York animal shelter said.

Niagara SPCA

Ralphie, a French bulldog, previously described by a New York animal shelter as a “full jerk,” has found his “perfect adopter” after a few failed attempts, the animal shelter said.

After reviewing emails and meeting with potential adopters, the Niagara SPCA believes that they have found the “perfect match for Ralphie,” according to a March 24 Facebook post by the shelter.

This marks Ralphie’s fourth adoption.

In the past the “fire-breathing demon” dog has been known to bite, be territorial and “exploit weaknesses” like having children, McClatchy News previously reported.

One of his temporary homes took him to training sessions but because their relationship was built around Ralphie being the boss, “things ended abruptly.”

Now, the SPCA says they’ve found “exactly what Ralphie needs” in his new adopter Jason.

Jason “trains dogs for a living for the Department of Energy in Tennessee,” according to the SPCA.

The “tiny, reformed terror” Ralphie will join his new pack of another Frenchie and a Daschund, two dogs with bite histories and a loving German Shepherd, according to the shelter.

Jason plans to provide Ralphie with “structure, and give him an outlet for all that Frenchie energy,” according to the Niagara SPCA.

Jason has created an Instagram account for “Ralphie, the whole jerk demon dog,” to help document his progress and spam the internet with pictures of him, the SPCA said. He’s already posted about Ralphie’s journey from New York to Tennessee as well as a playful meeting between his new siblings.

The SPCA wishes their “tiny, reformed terror” all the best and calls Jason a unicorn adopter for joining Ralphie on his new journey.

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This combination of breathing and exercise activity can help calm your mind and body.

The exercise is called the shoulder shrug, and this style of deep breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing. Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit comfortably in a chair, place your feet slightly apart and place your hands above your knees
  • Relax your shoulders back and down
  • As you breathe in deep into your belly, bring your shoulders up and toward your ears on a count of four
  • Gently exhale as you relax your shoulders back and down on a count of four
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions

The oxygen that deep breathing adds to your system alongside stretching helps relax your body and mind and reduces tension in your back, neck and shoulders.

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A day after an 88-year-old man became the latest Covid-19 fatality in Chandigarh, the health department came out with an advisory on Monday, cautioning residents to strictly adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour to avoid another surge in cases.

Chandigarh reported five fresh Covid-19 infections on Monday, pushing the active cases to 33. (HT Photo)
Chandigarh reported five fresh Covid-19 infections on Monday, pushing the active cases to 33. (HT Photo)

The elderly patient, who was a resident of Sector 14, passed away at GMSH-16 on Sunday. He had a history of coronary artery disease, respiratory illness, hypertension and kidney problems.

This was the first fatality in the city since the death of a 92-year-old man from Sector 15 on February 21, a first in around six months. The patient was also suffering from prostate cancer with metastasis and pneumonia and passed away at a private hospital in Mohali.

Eight-fold rise in active cases in three weeks

In terms of cases, five fresh Covid-19 infections surfaced in the city on Monday. This pushed the active cases to 33, an over eight-fold jump from four active cases on March 6, three weeks ago .

The patients, including three males and two females, are residents of Sectors 11, 28, 33, 38 West and PGIMER campus.

As per the health department, the daily positivity rate — number of samples testing positive — was 2.04% on Monday, lower than the national daily positivity rate of 3.19%.

A total of 245 samples were tested over the past 24 hours and five turned out positive.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, Chandigarh has reported a total of 99,428 cases, of which 98,212 patients have recovered and 1,183 have died.

‘Wear masks in public’

As per the advisory issued by the health department, residents have been advised to start wearing masks in public, especially in crowded and enclosed spaces. Within healthcare facilities, doctors, paramedics and other healthcare workers, as well as patients and their attendants, should also wear masks.

The department has recommended to cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or handkerchief when sneezing or coughing and to dispose of used tissues in closed bins right away. The advisory emphasises the importance of frequent hand washing with soap and water or the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. Even if hands look clean, washing them is still necessary.

Individuals with respiratory illnesses should minimise contact with others. If one experiences symptoms like fever, cough, or breathing difficulties, they must report the symptoms to a doctor and undergo Covid testing.

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The new edition of the weekly newsletter Infogripe, published on Monday (27) by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), reveals an increase in the number of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases in the country. Laboratory analyzes indicate that COVID-19 is the leading cause of incidence growth among adults and the elderly in seven states: Bahia, Ceará, Para, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo.

The Fiocruz survey provides an analysis of the past three weeks (short term) and the past six weeks (long term). Researchers observed a short-term stabilization scenario for most of the country. However, in the long-term trend, 18 federal units showed signs of growth in cases: Amazonas, Amapá, Bahia, Ceará, Federal District, Espiritu Santo, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul South Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe and Tocantins.

SARS is a respiratory complication that requires hospitalization and is often associated with an exacerbation of the viral infection. The patient may experience respiratory discomfort and a decreased oxygen saturation level, among other symptoms.

Taking into account national data, in the past four epidemic weeks, the prevalence among SARS cases with a positive diagnosis of viral infection was 3% for influenza A; 3.3% for influenza B; 32.1% for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); and 48.6% for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Looking at only accidents that resulted in death, 83.3% were related to the coronavirus.

The records related to the coronavirus mainly include adults and the elderly. But the bulletin also draws attention to the increase in SARS cases last month in children and adolescents as a result of infection with other viruses. Although some states have already recorded stabilization or decline among adolescents, there is still a scenario of increased incidence among young children, particularly in the southeastern and southern regions of the country.

In Bahia, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina and to a lesser extent in São Paulo, there is an increase in positive cases of rhinovirus in the age group up to 11 years. It is also possible that in some states we will see an increase in frequencies involving young children associated with RSV.

The researchers indicated that parents should take their children to health centers during the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, which began on February 27, and also to receive vaccination against influenza virus (influenza A and B), which contributes to the prevention of coronavirus. Severe cases of difficulty breathing.

In all, 27,528 SARS cases have already been recorded in the country in 2023, of which at least 9,676 (35.1%) are linked to some viral infection. Another 3,180 (11.6%) are still being analyzed.

The Infogripe leaflet takes into account the notifications registered in Sivep-flu, an information system maintained by the Ministry of Health and fed by states and municipalities. the new version, Available in full on the Fiocruz portalbased on data entered through March 13.

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According to University Hospitals, COVID is still a reality with about 9,000 new cases of the disease in Ohio a week.

A study by the Cleveland-based hospital is attempting to learn more about the reality of long COVID. Long COVID can affect those recovering from the disease for months or longer with effects such as breathing problems, fatigue, brain fog and other issues.

According to a release by University Hospitals, the Clinical Research Center continues to study the effects of long COVID and is currently enrolling adults 18 years and older who meet one of the following criteria:

· Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 28 days.
· Individuals who believe they were infected with COVID-19 in the past 28 days.
· Individuals who have never been infected with or tested positive for COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has disproportionally affected racial and ethnic minority populations, including African American, Hispanic, Latino, Spanish, American Indian, and Alaskan-Native individuals, who are three times more likely to be hospitalized than White individuals,” said Dr. Grace McComsey, Vice President of Research and Associate Chief Scientific Officer at University Hospitals.

McComsey stresses that research studies greatly need diverse participants of all races and ethnicities, because ensuring diversity in clinical trials is key to ensuring health equity and advancing medicine.

“People may experience the same disease differently. It’s essential that clinical trials include people with a variety of lived experiences and living conditions, as well as characteristics including race and ethnicity, age, sex, and sexual orientation, so that all communities benefit from scientific advances,” said McComsey.

The long COVID study is to help learn more about long-term effects of the virus and to understand who is at greatest risk of having long-term effects. Participants will be followed for up to four years, and the study involves collection of blood and other specimens and completion of study questionnaires every three months. Depending on symptoms and other health factors, participants may be asked to complete other procedures or tests to learn more about symptoms, according to University Hospitals.

“UH was first in the nation to enroll in the long COVID study, or what’s called the ‘post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) Longhauler Study. Moreover, Northeast Ohio should be proud that UH is continuing to lead enrollment numbers throughout the nation,” said McComsey

For more information:

  • Text “STUDY” to 440-762-6843
  • Call: 440-76-COVID (440-762-6843)
  • Send an email to [email protected]
  • Visit their website here.

Watch live and local news any time:

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Ivan Samkov/Pexels

Ivan Samkov/Pexels

A simple breathing technique called "box breathing" can reduce anxiety and is useful when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Equal breathing, or "box breathing," is an ancient yoga practice known as sama vritti pranayama. The name comes from the breath having equal parts and is a strategy Navy Seals use to stay calm and focused. Box breathing also goes by other names:

  • Equal breathing
  • Four-square breathing
  • Square breathing
  • 4×4 breathing
  • 4-4-4-4 breathing

Many yoga breathing techniques, known as pranayama, are effective tools for lowering anxiety. Focused breath control can increase attention, calm the body and mind, and lower stress. Box breathing is a useful technique for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

Find a comfortable seated position. This exercise should not be painful or straining–if it is, stop it or try fewer counts. You can set a timer for five minutes to help you keep track of how long you are practicing box breathing, or simply do this technique regularly for a few minutes a day.

1. Breathe out slowly, releasing all the air in your lungs.

2. Breathe in through your nose, and slowly count to four in your mind. Notice your lungs filling with air.

3. Pause here and gently hold your breath as you slowly count to four in your mind.

4. Breathe out slowly for a count of four.

5. Pause here and gently hold your breath, and slowly count to four in your mind.

6. Repeat for five cycles or if you've set a timer until your timer finishes.

Box breathing can be done when you're feeling rushed or under pressure-- whether you are waiting in line, commuting on public transportation, or traveling on a flight. Like all breathing techniques, the more regularly you practice the skill, the more readily your body can access your calming system during times of stress. Think of it like working out your relaxation muscle so that it can be there for you when you most need it.

Yoga breathing is a useful tool as part of a broader set of "bottom-up approaches" to counteract the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Bottom-up approaches activate the body's natural underlying "relaxation response." Stress and anxiety put the mind and body in a state of panic, like a fire alarm, and activate the body's "fight or flight" response through the sympathetic nervous system, releasing a cascade of neurohormones and biochemicals throughout the entire body. Boxed breathing activates instead the parasympathetic nervous system, the counteracting system that steps to soften or shut down the alarm, leading to a calmer and more relaxed body and mind.

Marlynn Wei, MD, PLLC © Copyright 2023

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The UT health department has issued an advisory in view of the increasing number of Covid cases in many states and UTs, including Chandigarh. In the last seven days, the average number of recorded positive cases has been five, with the positivity rate of the last week being 1.40 per cent and the active cases in Chandigarh being 33.

The advisory from the department urges residents to strictly adhere to covid-appropriate behaviour (CAB) — wearing masks in crowded and closed settings, with a special mention of doctors, paramedics, and other healthcare workers as well as patients and their attendants to wear masks within healthcare facilities.

Doctors say it is important to cover the nose and mouth with a handkerchief/tissue while sneezing and coughing, throw used tissues into closed bins immediately after use, practise frequent hand washing, limit personal contact if suffering from respiratory diseases, see a doctor in case of fever, cough, difficulty in breathing etc, and early reporting of symptoms and testing for covid. People with co-morbidities and the elderly have been advised to avoid overcrowded and poorly ventilated settings.

“We are closely monitoring the situation as we have seen an increase in the number of cases and have issued an advisory for the same. We are also assessing our preparedness on all parameters, and all are advised to follow covid protocols, and elderly and people with comorbidities need to be extra careful,” says Dr Suman Singh, director, health services.

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The study complied with all relevant ethical regulations. The Institutional Ethics Committee in Animal Experimentation-CEUA of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo approved the experimental protocols (Protocol number 033/2017). The experiments were carried out in adult (7-8 weeks old) and juvenile (4 weeks old) male Wistar rats supplied by the Animal Facility of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. The animals were housed under standard conditions with 24 h free access to food and water, on a 12 h light 12 h dark cycle.

Experimental heart failure

HF was induced by myocardial infarction as described previously by us56. Briefly, animals were anesthetized with ketamine (50 mg/kg, im; União Química Farmacêutica Nacional S/A, Embu-Guaçu, SP, Brazil) and Xylazine (10 mg/kg im; Hertape Calier Saúde animal S/A, Juatuba, MG, Brazil), submitted to orotracheal intubation and ventilated mechanically (Advanced Safety Ventilator, Harvard Apparatus, MA1 55-7059, Holliston, MA, USA). The depth of anesthesia was assessed frequently by a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw to check for a withdrawal response. Supplemental doses of anesthesia were given as required. The heart was exposed by an incision in the third intercostal space, and the anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery was identified and ligated with a silk suture (4-0). Sham rats underwent a similar surgical procedure but without coronary ligation.

In situ working heart–brainstem preparation

These experiments could not be performed blind because the heart is exposed and visualized in the preparation. Juvenile male Wistar rats, 4 weeks, weighing 40–60 g were anesthetized deeply with isoflurane (Baxter Hospitalar, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, 5% induction, maintenance 1.5–3%) and submitted to myocardial infarction as described above. The depth of anesthesia was assessed frequently by a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw to check for a withdrawal response. Supplemental doses of anesthesia were given as required. Ten days later, rats were anesthetized deeply using isoflurane (5%), such that breathing was depressed and there was no withdrawal response to a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw, and were prepared as originally described57. In brief, rats were bisected below the diaphragm and made insentient via decerebration at the pre-collicular level. The carotid body and petrosal ganglion were isolated on the right side of the preparation. Preparations were transferred to a recording chamber, and a double lumen catheter was placed into the descending aorta for retrograde perfusion with a Ringer solution containing in mM: NaCl (125), NaHCO3 (24), KCl (3), CaCl2 (2.5), MgSO4 (1.25), KH2PO4 (1.25), D-glucose (10), and an oncotic agent (1.25% polyethylene glycol, Sigma), saturated with 95% O2−5% CO2 (pH, 7.35-7.4) and warmed to 31 °C. Activation of the chemoreflex was evaluated by administration of potassium cyanide (KCN; 0.05 mL, i.v., 0.05%)57. A neuromuscular blocking agent (vecuronium bromide, 3-4 μg/mL, Cristália Produtos Químicos Farmacêuticos) was added to prevent respiratory-related movement. Recordings from the PN, tSN, and AbN were made simultaneously using custom bipolar glass suction electrodes. The activity of the tSN was recorded from levels T8-T12 and AbN at the thoraco–lumbar level. HR was derived from the inter R wave of the ECG. All signals were amplified (10X), band-pass filtered (1700 amplifier; A-M Systems, Sequim, WA, USA; 0.1 Hz–5 kHz), and acquired (5 kHz) with an A/D converter (CED 1401, Cambridge Electronic Design, CED) controlled by a computer running Spike 2 software (Cambridge Electronic Design, CED). The noise level from the sympathetic chain was measured after the application of lidocaine (2%) at the end of each experiment and subtracted. All nerves were recorded in absolute units (μV), and analyses were performed off-line. Signals were rectified and integrated (50 ms time constant). Whole-cell current clamp recordings (Axopatch-200B integrating amplifier; Molecular Devices) of chemoreceptive petrosal neurons were performed18 using electrodes filled with a solution containing in mM: K-gluconate (130), MgCl2 (4.5), trisphosphocreatine (14), HEPES (10), EGTA (5), Na-ATP (5), Na-GTP (0.3). This solution had an osmolarity of ~ 300 mOsmol/Kg.H2O, pH 7.39, and resistance of 6–8 MΩ. Electrodes were positioned into the petrosal ganglion along its lateral aspect using a micromanipulator (PatchStar; Scientifica, Uckfield, UK) under visual control (microscope; Seiler, St Louis, MO, USA). The chemoreceptive petrosal neurons were functionally identified by their excitatory response to KCN18. The signals were amplified (10X), filtered (low pass filter 2 kHz), and acquired (10 kHz) with an A/D converter (Axon Digidata 1550B; Molecular Devices) controlled by a computer running pClamp software (Molecular Devices).

Baseline PN activity was assessed by burst frequency (Hz). To perform comparisons of the tSN recordings between groups, changes in activity were expressed as percentage changes in accordance with a scale (0–100%) determined for each preparation, as previously described58,59. Briefly, the maximal level of tSN produced by carotid body stimulation was used as 100%. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia was evaluated by the peak-to-trough difference in HR between inspiration and expiration. The tSN (averaged across all respiratory phases and during expiration only) and AbN expiratory responses to KCN was assessed by the measurement of the area under the curve and expressed as percentage values relative to baseline (Δ tSN and Δ AbN in percentage). PN response to KCN was assessed by the difference between baseline PN frequency and the peak of response observed after the KCN (Δ PN in Hz). Rat groups included: Sham coronary ligation, Sham + AF-353 injected into the carotid bodies, HF and HF + AF-353 injected into the carotid bodies. The electrophysiological properties of petrosal neurons measured were: (a) baseline membrane potential; (b) baseline firing frequency, and; (c) firing response to chemoreflex activation. The baseline membrane potential was assessed using a cumulative histogram (bin width 0.5 s) from the membrane potential recordings. Their firing response to chemoreflex activation was assessed by the difference between baseline firing frequency and the peak of response observed after KCN. Note: carotid body excitability is defined as either the level of carotid sinus nerve activity recorded at baseline (after background has been subtracted) or the change in carotid sinus nerve activity to stimulation with KCN. Carotid body/chemoreflex hyperreflexia refers to the magnitude of the reflex evoked response in tSN or PN activities.

Chronic AF-130 treatment

Graphic timeline of the experimental protocol is displayed in the supplemental material (Fig S9). Either AF-130 administration (Afferent Pharmaceuticals, San Mateo, California, USA), 30 mg/kg s.c. per day or vehicle (dimethylsulfoxide 99.9%, DMSO, Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA) started three days after myocardium infarction surgery and lasted for 7-8 weeks. Rat groups included: sham coronary ligation treated with vehicle (Sham), CHF treated with vehicle (CHF + vehicle) and CHF treated with AF-130 (HF + AF-130).

Respiratory and blood gases measurements in conscious rats

The femoral artery was catheterized 24 h before the arterial blood gases measurements. Rats were anaesthetized with ketamine and xylazine and a catheter was inserted into the femoral artery, directed to the abdominal aorta (PE-10 connected to PE-50 tubing; Clay Adams, Parsippany, NJ, USA). The depth of anesthesia was assessed frequently by a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw to check for a withdrawal response. Supplemental doses of anesthesia were given as required. Samples of arterial blood (100 μl) were collected using the femoral catheter before and during the animals’ respiratory irregularities to analyze the PaCO2 and PaO2 (gas analyzer; Cobas b121; Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Germany).

Tidal volume (Vt), respiratory rate (RR), and minute ventilation (VE) were studied by whole-body plethysmography in conscious rats. Pressure oscillations caused by respiratory movements were detected by a differential pressure transducer (ML141, ADInstruments, Sydney, Australia) and were digitally recorded in an IBM/PC connected to a PowerLab System (ML866, ADInstruments, Sydney, Australia). Vt was calculated using the formula described by Bartlett and Tenney60. RR was calculated from the excursion of the Vt signal using the cyclic rate built into the computer software LabChart v7.2 (ADInstruments, Sydney, Australia). VE was calculated as the product of Vt and RR. Breathing interval variability was assessed from resting breathing recordings by Poincaré plots and analysis of SD1 and SD261. Apnea and hypopnea incidence, considered as cessation (for a period greater than a control respiratory cycle length at rest) or 50% reduction in Vt over 3 consecutive breaths, were calculated and reported as apnea and hypopnea index (events/h). Post-sigh apneas numbers were also measured.

Chemoreflex function and respiratory measurements in anesthetized animals

Animals were anesthetized with urethane (1 g/kg, i.p., Sigma Chemical, St. Louis, MO) and the depth of anesthesia was assessed frequently by a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw to check for a withdrawal response. Supplemental doses of anesthesia were given as required. Rats were placed on a heating pad (ALB 200 RA; Bonther, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil), and core body temperature maintained at 37 °C via a heating blanket with feedback from a rectal thermocouple (MLT1403; Harvard Apparatus, Holliston, MA, USA). A polyethylene catheter (Intramedic, Clay Adams, Parsippany, NJ) was inserted into the femoral vein. The carotid bifurcation was exposed and the carotid sinus nerve isolated, as we previously described57. Briefly, the carotid sinus nerve was traced from its point of convergence with the glossopharyngeal nerve and traced caudally towards the common carotid artery bifurcation. All measurements were performed in spontaneous breathing animals with or without the trachea cannulated breathing room air and vagus nerves intact. Teflon-coated bipolar stainless steel electrodes were implanted in the Dia and the Abd muscles for EMG recordings62. Activation of the chemoreflex was evaluated by administration of KCN (0.05 mL, i.v., 0.05%)58. All recorded signals were amplified (10X; 1700 amplifier; A-M Systems, Sequim, WA, USA), band-pass filtered (0.3 Hz – 5 kHz), and acquired by a data acquisition system (5 kHz; ML866; ADInstruments) controlled by a computer running LabChart software (v.5.0; ADInstruments). The recorded signal from the carotid sinus nerve was fed to a spike amplitude discriminator and counter, which digitally counted in 1 s intervals to assess its discharge frequency (spikes per second). Changes in carotid sinus nerve in response to KCN were assessed by the difference between baseline and the peak of response observed after the stimulus (Δ CSN). EMGs were recorded in absolute units (μV) and analyses were performed off-line from rectified and integrated (∫) signals (time constant: 50 ms). DiaEMG burst frequency was assessed as RR. Changes in the AbdEMG activity during baseline condition were expressed in µV. Based upon absolute values, we determined percentage changes in order to compare their activities in each animal. At the end of the experimental procedures, blood samples were collected for further analysis of plasma N-Terminal Pro-B-Type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP; see below) concentration. Rats were euthanized with a high dose of pentobarbital (100 mg/kg, i.v.) and once breathing had ceased the lungs and hearts were removed, rinsed in ice-cold 0.9% NaCl solution, dried, and weighed. The heart was fixed in 3.7% formaldehyde, embedded in paraffin, and the sections were stained with Masson’s trichrome to reveal the infarct size and measured using the NIH ImageJ software (developed by National Institutes of Health and available on the internet site rsb.info.nih.gov/nih-image/). Infarct size was calculated by dividing the length of the infarcted area by the total circumference of the LV and expressed as a percentage56.


The echocardiographic evaluation was performed one day before the myocardial surgery (control), and repeated three days and seven weeks after the myocardial infarction in chronic HF rats. In juvenile rats, the echocardiographic analysis was performed ten days after the myocardial infarction. Rats were anesthetized with ketamine (50 mg/kg) and Xylazine (10 mg/kg, i.m.), and the depth of anesthesia was assessed frequently by a noxious pinch to the tail or a paw to check for a withdrawal response. Supplemental doses of anesthesia were given as required. Body temperature was monitored and maintained, and cardiac parameters were obtained through a VEVO2100® (Fuji) machine using a 30 MHz transducer. Diastolic left ventricle diameter, and ventricular posterior wall thickness were evaluated in M-mode; end systolic volume, stroke volume, and ejection fraction were calculated using a bidimensional mode.

Analysis of R-R wave interval variability

The rats were anesthetized transiently with isoflurane (Baxter Hospitalar, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, 5% induction, maintenance 1.5–3%) and subcutaneous electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes were implanted. After 48 h, the ECG signal was recorded for 1 h in the conscious state. R-R wave interval variability analysis was performed in the frequency domain using CardioSeries software (v2.7, www.danielpenteado.com). The R-R interval time series were resampled at 10 Hz (1 value every 100 ms) by cubic spline interpolation, to regularize the time interval between beats. The R-R interval time series with 15 min duration were divided into 34 half-overlapping (Welch protocol) segments, each one with 512 values. Next, Hanning windowing was employed and each stable segment was subjected to spectral analysis using Fast Fourier Transform. Pulse interval spectra were integrated into low (LF: 0.20–0.75 Hz) and high frequency (HF: 0.75–3.00 Hz) frequency bands. LF and HF powers are expressed in normalized units (nu) and the LF/HF ratio is also shown.

NT-proBNP analysis

Plasma NT-proBNP concentration was measured using AssayMax™ immunoenzymatic assay kit following the manufacturers instructions (St. Charles, MO, USA, catalogue number: ERB1202-1).


In the single-cell RT-qPCR experiments, the pipette solution containing the cytoplasmatic material of the recorded petrosal neuron was collected from the patch pipette. The High Capacity cDNA Reverse Transcription Kit reagents (Life Technologies) and nuclease-free water were used for subsequent transcription in a thermocycler (ProFlex PCR System; Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, USA). cDNA pre-amplification was performed in the single-cell RT-qPCR experiments using the TaqMan PreAmp Master Mix Kit (Life Technologies) using the P2X2 (Rn04219592_g1), P2X3 (Rn00579301_m1) and β-actin (NM_031144.2) probes. The reactions for the RT-qPCR were performed in singleplex and triplicate (StepOnePlus System, Applied Biosystems) using the same probes described above and the TaqMan Universal PCR Master Mix kit (Life Technologies) according to the manufacture’s recommendations. β-actin was used as a house keeping control gene to normalize reactions. The relative quantitation was determined by the ΔΔCt method. For each sample, the threshold cycle (Ct) was determined and normalized relative to β-actin (ΔCt = Ct Unknown – Ct referencegene). The fold change of mRNA content from the petrosal ganglia chemoreceptive neurons from HF relative to the sham animals was determined by 2 − ΔΔCt, where ΔΔCt = ΔCt Unknown – ΔCt Control. Data are presented as mRNA expression relative to the sham animals.

Immunocytochemical studies

Carotid bifurcations from HF rats were surgically removed immediately after the in situ experiments and transferred into ice cold Ringer. Carotid bodies were dissected, fixed overnight with 4% formaldehyde, and submerged in sucrose solution (30%) for 24 h. Coronal sections (40 μm thick) were washed three times in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS 0.1 M) for 5 min and then blocked and permeabilized in PBS, 10% normal horse serum, and 0.1% Triton X-100 for one hour (room temperature). The sections were incubated in mouse anti-tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; 1:1000; Millipore, Burlington, MA, USA) and in rabbit anti-P2X3 receptor (1:500; Abcam, Waltham, MA, USA) primary antibodies overnight. In sequence, they were washed three times with PBS for 5 min, followed by incubation in goat anti-mouse Alexa Fluor 488 (1:500; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA) and goat anti-rabbit Alexa 647 (1:500; Thermo Fisher Scientific) for 4 h. We performed negative controls to show an absence of non-specific staining from secondary antibodies (Fig S12). Subsequently, sections and cells were mounted onto glass slides with Fluoromount (Sigma-Aldrich). The images were acquired using a Leica TCS SP5 (Wetzlar, Germany) confocal microscope equipped with 488 and 633 nm lasers and detection of tunable emission wavelengths.

Infarct size analysis

The hearts were fixed in phosphate-buffered 4% formalin and mounted in paraffin blocks. Each block was serially cut at 6 μm from the midventricular surface. The sections were stained with Masson’s trichrome, and the infarct size was measured using the NIH ImageJ software (developed by the National Institutes of Health; rsb.info.nih.gov/nih-image/). Infarct size was calculated by dividing the length of the infarcted area by the total circumference of the LV and expressed as a percentage56.

Inflammatory cells

In this protocol, rats were submitted to myocardial infarction and the administration of vehicle (DMSO) or AF-130 (2 mg/kg/h) started four weeks after the surgical procedure. For vehicle or AF-130 infusion, a polyethylene catheter was inserted in the jugular vein and connected with a programmable iPRECIO SMP-300 pump (Primetech Corporation, Tokyo, JP) placed under the skin of the back. The animals were treated for 3 weeks. At the end of the treatment, blood samples were collected from the tail vein. The cells from the experimental groups were placed in 96-well round-bottom plates for cytofluorometric analysis. Following Fc receptor blocking, cells were incubated with colour combinations of the monoclonal antibodies (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA, USA). Stained cells were stored for analysis in PBS containing 1% paraformaldehyde, in sealed tubes held in the dark. All steps were performed at 4 °C. Analysis of these cells was performed using a Becton Dickinson FACScan flow cytometer with DIVA-BD software (Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems, San Jose, CA, USA). Representative plots of gating strategy are showed in figures S13 and S14.

Cytokine measurements

Plasma cytokine (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10) levels were analyzed by the immune-enzymatic ELISA method, using Duo set kits (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA) according to the manufacturers’ instructions.


Two antagonists with very similar P2X3 and P2X2/3 selectivity were used. AF-353 (Afferent Pharmaceuticals) has a low polar surface area and as a result, crosses the blood-brain barrier63, however AF-130 (Afferent Pharmaceuticals), with a methyl sulfone substitution (Supplementary Fig. S10, making the overall selectivity/affinity profile similar, has a much higher polar surface area, and does not cross the blood-brain barrier64,65. The latter was used in the in vivo studies. AF-130 data were generated by Afferent Pharmaceuticals, are unpublished and include that this antagonist is a highly selective and potent inhibitor of P2X3 and P2X2/3 channels showing greater potency at P2X3 homotrimers than P2X2/3 heterotrimers by around eight-fold. The potency of AF-130 is reflected by the IC50 ranges of 126–407 nM for P2X3 receptors and 240–5670 nM for P2X2/3 receptors. AF-130 has >25-fold selectivity over other P2X channels tested (including P2X1, P2X2, P2X4, P2X5 and P2X7). It has been tested on 73 non-purinergic targets (e.g, ion channels, GPCR, transporters, and enzymes). Only when doses were 25–100 fold above the IC50 range for P2X3 and P2X2/3 receptors was a partial (20%) antagonism of some tested processes observed (e.g. adenosine 3 receptors, 5-HT6 receptors, and dopamine transporter). See Supplementary Figure 10 for additional information on AF-130.

Statistical analysis

Results are expressed as the mean ± standard deviation (SD). Data were tested for normality using Kolmogorov–Smirnov test and compared using unpaired t-test with Welch’s correction, One-way ANOVA or repeated measures two-way ANOVA, with Student-Newman-Keuls, Bonferroni or Tukey post hoc comparisons. Correlations were assessed using Pearson’s correlation coefficients. The type of statistical test performed is indicated in the figure legends. Differences were considered to be statistically significant with p < 0.05.

Reporting summary

Further information on research design is available in the Nature Portfolio Reporting Summary linked to this article.

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It has long been known that sport and physical activity have a positive impact on people’s mental health, and a lot of research shows that. However, competitive sports can generate levels of stress and anxiety that affect sports performance.

In order to prevent stress and pressure from becoming an obstacle to athletic performance, it is important to develop a calm and relaxed mind. In this article we will discuss how you want to bring back and improve your mind to make game improvements.

What is force and how does it affect game performance?

Stress is the body’s natural response to a perceived threat or challenge. When athletes experience stress, they may experience various physical and mental symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, nervousness, fear, among others.

If stress is not properly managed, it can negatively affect athletic performance. Some of the effects of stress on sports include:

  • Difficult to focus
  • Reduced energy and causes
  • Loss of confidence
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Decreased coordination and motor skills
  • What is the mind, what is the use of the joke?

    The mind is the ability to maintain full awareness of the present moment, without judging or being distracted by the thoughts and feelings that arise in the mind. Mind training can be very beneficial for athletes, helping them to focus better and remain calm in stressful situations. Some of the benefits of playing the game include memory training;

  • Improved concentration and focus
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety
  • Increased body awareness
  • Improved decision making
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Tips to reduce stress and improve memory in the game

    There are many techniques that athletes can use to reduce stress and improve memory during the game. Here are some of the most effective techniques;

    relaxation techniques

    Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and deep breathing can be more effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Athletes can use these techniques before competition or breaks to reduce muscle tension and improve concentration.

    Stress Sports Performance

    Photo: Canvas

    spirit exercises

    Breathing is a powerful tool for reducing stress and correcting the mind. Athletes can practice deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and improve concentration. Breathing exercises can also be used to improve recovery after exercise.

    meditation and visualization

    Meditation and visualization are effective techniques for improving the mind and reducing stress. Meditation can help athletes focus on the present moment and reduce distracting thoughts. Visualization, for its part, can practice sports skills and visualize success in athletics.

    Planning and organization

    Until the football team and the fear of the homework or from the developer. Athletes plan their training and preparation in advance, which can help them feel more confident and secure.

    Tips for better sleep quality

    Quality sleep is essential to the health and well-being of athletes. Lack of sleep can increase energy and decrease concentration. Some tips for better sleep include:

  • Establish a sleep routine
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • Establish a comfortable and quiet sleep environment
  • End exposed electronic devices in front of the bed
  • I Play Dreams

    Photo: Unsplash // Tânia Mousinho


    In summary, stress and anxiety negatively affect athletic performance. However, athletes can reduce stress and improve their mood using a variety of techniques, including relaxation, breathing, meditation, visualization, planning and organization, and improving the quality of sleep.

    By integrating these skills into their daily training routine, athletes can improve their ability to cope with stressful situations and increase their athletic performance.

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    ore than two-thirds of workers suffering with long Covid are being treated unfairly by their employers, a new report has claimed.

    A report, from the TUC and the charity Long Covid Support, found that one in seven respondents - many key workers - believe they lost their jobs as a result of their condition.

    Ministers are being asked to consider adjustments for the 2million people with long Covid, according to the latest ONS survey, including flexible working, disability leave and a phased return to the workplace.

    Half of the long Covid sufferers who responded to the survey said they believed they had originally contracted Covid-19 in the workplace with one in eight keeping the condition secret from their employer for fear their boss would not do anything or of being seen in a negative light.

    Almost a quarter of the 3,000 respondents claimed their employer has questioned whether they have long Covid or the impact of their symptoms.

    Paul Nowak, the TUC general secretary, said: “Workers with long Covid have been badly let down. Many of these are the key workers who carried us through the pandemic – yet now some are being forced out of their jobs.

    “Ministers must make sure all workers with long Covid have the legal right to reasonable adjustments at work so they can stay in their jobs.”

    Lesley Macniven, a founding member of Long Covid Support, added: “Long Covid is devastating the health of a significant percentage of our workforce and urgently requires a more strategic response.

    “How much individual pain, misery and financial loss could have been saved if targeted intervention had been taken to prevent these hundreds of thousands of job losses?

    “Those still fighting to stay in work face discrimination and a lack of understanding. Without action around retention of these workers, not least in sectors facing skills shortages, the numbers, and costs, will continue to rise as they too reluctantly exit the workforce.”

    A government spokesperson told The Guardian: “The Equality Act clearly defines disability as a long term or substantial physical or mental impairment which has a negative effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal daily activities.

    “This would capture long Covid, on a case-by-case basis, if an individual is impacted in this way. There is therefore no plan to update the act to list every illness or disability that may be covered.”

    Long Covid is a colloquial term being used to describe people who experience symptoms for longer than two weeks, which according to the World Health Organisation is how long coronavirus typically lasts.

    However, while some people have a mild form of illness, others have been seriously affected.

    Researchers looked at information on a number of symptoms linked to long Covid including loss of taste and smell, breathing problems, concentration and memory issues – also known as brain fog; weakness, palpitations and dizziness, among others.

    They found that symptoms of long Covid “remained for several months” but mostly resolved within a year.

    Another booster campaign will begin on April 17 and will see everyone aged 75 and over, those in care homes and vulnerable people offered a fresh dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

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    It can be challenging to get the rest we need, owing to our busy routines. Thankfully, we can rely on technology to get the most out of our beauty sleep. With a wide range of sleep trackers available in the market, users can now get better insights into their sleep patterns and thus improve their sleep quality. And, if searching for the best sleep trackers in the UK keeps you up at night, then you’ve come to the right place.

    Best Sleep Trackers in UK: Rings, Bands, Smart Watches, and more

    In this post, we shall be taking a look at some of the best sleep trackers available in the UK, including rings, bands, smartwatches, and more. Whether you’re a light sleeper or suffer from sleep apnea, there’s a sleep tracker out there that can help you get the restful sleep you need.

    So, let’s take a look at some of the best sleep trackers available in the UK. But first, you might want to check out the following:

    1. Xiaomi Smart Band 7

    • Type: Fitness Band | Subscription Required: No

    If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to track your sleep patterns, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a great option. It uses of a combination of infrared technology and baked-in accelerometer sensors to track a user’s sleep.

    The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 can easily monitor your heart rate, sleep stages, and sleep quality. You also get detailed information on sleep patterns, including deep sleep, light sleep, and REM sleep. What’s more, you can also detect and record snoring and other noises that may disrupt sleep.

    One of the best features of the Smart Band 7 is its battery life. With up to 14 days of usage on a single charge, you don’t have to worry about charging it every other day. It also comes with a lightweight design and a soft, skin-friendly strap. As such, you can wear it to bed without being cognizant of the band strapped to your wrist.

    Available in black colour, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is, after all, a fitness tracker. As such, you can also use it to track your steps, enable 24×7 heart rate monitoring, measure your blood oxygen levels, and much more. Also, the band comes with a period tracker to keep track of the menstrual cycle.

    Why you should buy: The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is great for folks looking for a budget-friendly sleep tracker, that can also allow you to track your fitness goals, and comes with long battery life.

    2. HONOR Band 7

    • Type: Fitness Band | Subscription Required: No

    While the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a great fitness tracker, its direct rival, the HONOR Band 7 offers slightly improved sleep tracking. It also comes with a laden app that offers better sleep insights.

    Unlike the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 which relies more on hardware sensors, the HONOR Band 7 relies more on its AI algorithms to provide accurate and detailed sleep data. HONOR calls it their TruSleep 2.0 technology, and all the data is presented in a neat and detailed manner inside the Huawei Health app.

    When you wake up, the watch simply displays the duration of your sleep, and to access the details, you need to consult the Health app. The app displays the various sleep phases graphically and provides information on the amount of time spent in each stage. The software analyzes the entire sleep period as well as the individual phases and offers tips on how to improve sleep quality.

    The Band 7 is also available in three attractive colour options of black, pink, and green. Moreover, you get 96 workout modes for advanced tracking. And, you can expect a 14-day battery backup from the device on normal usage, which is on par with the Xiaomi Smart Band 7.

    Why you should buy: If you want a fitness tracker that looks stylish, and presents your sleep data in a more advanced manner, then the HONOR Band 7 is worth a look.

    3. Fitbit Inspire 3

    • Type: Fitness Band | Subscription Required: Yes

    When it comes to smart fitness trackers, Fitbit is one of the most reliable brands out there. It’s known for its accurate tracking, and the Fitbit Inspire 3 is an inexpensive way to leverage the same.

    The Fitbit Inspire 3 makes use of the company’s advanced sleep-tracking technology to monitor sleep stages, heart rate, and sleep quality, providing accurate and detailed sleep data. It can also detect and record sleep disruptions, such as snoring and other noises. Additionally, it can also track your sleep patterns over time.

    What’s more, is that you also get personalized sleep guidance based on your sleep data. The device analyzes your sleep patterns and provides customized tips and insights on how to improve your sleep quality. However, do keep in mind that this is part of Fitbit’s premium membership. That being said, you do get six-month access to the premium membership when you purchase the Fitbit Inspire 3.

    Why you should buy: The Fitbit Inspire 3 is an excellent choice for those looking for a comprehensive sleep tracker that also offers a range of additional features. Its advanced sleep-tracking technology provides accurate and detailed sleep data. At the same time, the wearable’s personalized sleep guidance tech makes it a valuable tool for improving sleep quality.

    4. Amazfit ZenBuds

    • Type: Truly Wireless Earbuds | Subscription Required: No

    The Amazfit ZenBuds are an excellent pair of truly wireless that you can wear to bed. Apart from being comfortable to wear while you sleep, these buds also come with the ability to monitor your sleep.

    In terms of comfort, the ZenBuds are designed to be worn all night long. They come with multiple sizes of ear tips to ensure a comfortable fit. Additionally, the earbuds themselves are lightweight and unobtrusive. The earbuds also have a claimed battery life of up to 12 hours. As such, you won’t have to worry about the buds running out of charge in the middle of the night.

    The Amazfit ZenBuds allow you to play soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. These sounds include white noise, pink noise, and natural sounds such as rainfall and waves crashing. However, do keep in mind that you cannot listen to your own library of music with these TWS buds.

    The ZenBuds earbuds actively monitor various aspects of your sleep, including your average resting heart rate throughout the night, your sleep stages, and your sleeping positions. Additionally, they provide a sleep quality score within the Zepp App to help you track and improve your sleep quality.

    Why you should buy: The Amazfit ZenBuds not only help you fall asleep better, but they also help you monitor your sleep later on for better results. If you have trouble falling asleep in the first place, the TWS buds are definitely worth checking out.

    5. Withings Sleep Analyzer

    • Type: Under-Mattress Sleep Tracker | Subscription Required: No

    Just like smart shoes are one of the best ways to keep a track of your steps, the Withings Sleep Analyzer is one of the best sleep trackers in the UK to monitor your sleep. It is a thin mat that slots under your mattress. The device then detects your movements, breathing patterns, and heart rate when you’re sleeping.

    The Withings Sleep Analyzer is developed by sleep physicians and is clinically validated as well. It is compatible with most mattresses and requires a simple one-time setup. The device tracks your sleep cycles, sleep score, and snoring patterns. However, its biggest advantage is that it can also accurately detect sleep apnea.

    Additionally, it continuously tracks your heart rate throughout the night. The Health Mate app provides detailed insights into your sleep patterns and sleep score, allowing you to sleep comfortably and access useful information about your sleep health. The only downside to this product is that you have to keep it plugged in at all times.

    Why you should buy: The Withings Sleep Analyzer isn’t a multi-purpose tool like others on this list, but it’s easily the best at what it does, which is monitoring your sleep. If you don’t want to wear anything on your body, and still get deep insights about your sleep, this is the product to go with.

    6. Oura Ring Gen3

    • Type: Smart Ring | Subscription Required: Yes

    One of the biggest arguments against the use of fitness bands for sleep tracking is that the wearer is always privy to their presence. A good alternative is using a smart ring, such as the Oura Ring Gen3. Coincidentally, it also happens to be one of the best sleep trackers in the UK right now.

    The Oura Ring Gen3 is a highly advanced sleep-tracking device that is designed to help you monitor and improve your sleep quality. It is a small ring that is worn on the finger of your choice. However, it works best when worn on your ring finger or index finger. Much like the Withings mat, the ring can also detect your movements, heart rate, and body temperature during the night.

    The Oura Ring Gen3 also comes with a range of additional features. These include the ability to detect respiratory rate and body temperature. You also get personalized sleep recommendations based on your sleep data. Additionally, it can also sync with the Oura app. This in turn provides detailed insights into your sleep patterns and offers personalized advice on how to improve your sleep quality.

    One thing to keep in mind here is that you need to be subscribed to Oura’s membership to actually get access to all these sleep insights. You do get one month of complimentary membership when you purchase a new Oura Ring.

    Why you should buy: Thanks to its flush design and premium build quality, the Oura Ring Gen3 is perfect for those who want to wear a sleep tracker, and even flaunt it, while also getting not letting it become too intrusive.

    7. Apple Watch Series 8

    • Type: Smartwatch | Subscription Required: No

    Fitness bands are often looked down upon as little brothers of smartwatches. And why not, since smartwatches can do everything that a normal fitness tracker can do, and then some. If you own an iPhone, easily one of the best smartwatches that you can buy is the Apple Watch Series 8, which also comes with the ability to monitor your sleep.

    While sleep tracking has been available on Apple’s smartwatches for a long time, the latest watchOS 9 update improves its feature set. The latest version now comes with sleep stages to provide users with detailed information about their sleeping patterns.

    The Sleep app on the Apple Watch Series 8 allows automatic sleep tracking when wearing the watch to bed. It also offers Wind Down and Bedtime schedules to aid in meeting sleep goals. Furthermore, you get better sleep insights thanks to the watch’s accelerometer, heart rate sensor, and temperature sensor working in tandem. What’s more, is that the Sleep app displays data on REM, Core, or Deep Sleep stages, while the Health app on the iPhone shows more details like heart rate and respiratory rate during sleep.

    Apart from its sleep-tracking functionalities, the Apple Watch Series 8 is also one of the most advanced smartwatches out there. It comes with an Always-On Retina display, can take your ECG, measure your blood oxygen, and can even keep you safe with crash detection and fall detection features.

    Why you should buy: If you already own an iPhone, the Apple Watch Series 8 is one of the best accessories for it. Apart from keeping you notified of everything and being the perfect companion accessory, it also helps you keep a track of your sleep.

    FAQs for Best Sleep Trackers in the UK

    1. Do sleep trackers have any negative effects on health?

    While sleep trackers can be uncomfortable to use while sleeping, they are generally considered safe and do not have any known negative effects on health. Most sleep trackers use non-invasive methods to monitor sleep, such as tracking movements and heart rate, and do not emit harmful radiation or other substances.

    2. Are sleep trackers worth it?

    For people who struggle with sleep and are looking for ways to improve their sleep quality, a sleep tracker can be a helpful tool. Sleep trackers can provide valuable insights into sleep patterns, such as the amount of deep sleep and REM sleep. Additionally, it can also identify factors that may be disrupting sleep, such as snoring or sleep apnea. By using this information, users can make adjustments to improve their sleep.

    Go to Sleep and Track It Too

    From rings and bands to smartwatches and more, there’s a sleep tracker for every preference and budget. With the insights provided by these devices, you can gain a better understanding of your sleep pattern. And effectively make positive changes to your overall health and well-being.

    Hopefully, our list of the best sleep trackers in the UK helped you make an informed purchase. Let us know which sleep tracker will you be opting for in the comments below.

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    The Wild Times retreat promises rest, relaxation and wisdom (Dorothy Herson)

    The Wild Times retreat promises rest, relaxation and wisdom (Dorothy Herson)

    Up to 75 per cent of women experience premenstrual syndrome. I’m one of them. During my menstrual cycle, I also experience a significant worsening in my bipolar disorder symptoms (a problem well documented among people with bipolar). The result is often extreme mood swings and heightened anxiety, along with severe pain and discomfort. Over the years I have tried to manage my PMS with medication, diets, exercise and varying forms of therapy, failing to find a lasting model of relief.

    The Wild Times retreat was founded by qualified yoga instructor Jenny Clarke in 2020. In an age of anxiety and burnout, her retreats focus on resting and regrounding guests through reconnection with nature. One retreat in particular – the Resilience and Cold Water Retreat for Women – promises that “you will leave knowing that you are stronger and more resilient than you thought, rested and ready for whatever life throws at you”. It also offers techniques that help “overcome PMS symptoms”. Given my background, I am keen to sign up.

    On the first day of the retreat, we huddle into the lounge for our first seminar with Georgie, who specialises in female physiology and is a master instructor of the Oxygen Advantage method, a technique focused on improving breathing day to day. Georgie tells us that “due to constant stimulation and an endless bombardment of notifications and technology”, most of us are trapped “in an adrenalised loop of fight or flight from the moment we wake up”.

    This might sound bad. It gets worse. Not only does the modern world bombard us with an overwhelming cacophony of unmanageable sensations, but – as Georgie points out – women suffer its horrors worse than men. Women consistently report being more stressed than men and are twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. This “stress gap” is caused by vast disparities in emotional labour between the genders and, as Georgie elucidates, “because 75 per cent of unpaid work is done by women”. Additionally, stress is thought to be a major contributing factor behind severe PMS symptoms.

    Jenny explains that the weekend schedule is designed to help women reduce stress levels and offer “practical, realistic techniques to integrate into normal life”. Through breathwork rituals, yoga, cold water exposure and seminars we will learn what they see as the pillars of stress regulation. Awareness. Regulation. Transformation.

    This all takes place on the eastern shores of Coniston Water, in the Lake District, where we are based for our three-night retreat. We’re staying at Lanehead, a Victorian mansion with high white ceilings and crackling marble-edged fireplaces. This estate and its original residents inspired the work of novelist Arthur Ransome, and the on-site studio where we practise flying pigeon pose has (somewhat creatively) been christened Swallows and Artisans.

    We go on a long rambling walk around Tarn Hows. Circle a fire pit by moonlight. Scribble thoughts in our Wild Times journals. Jenny nurtures an environment of simplicity – at odds with the sponsored Spandex and designer Lycra that hallmark so much of the wellness industry. She invites us to digitally detox. To nestle into oversized hoodies. To shrug off layers of conditioned performance and productivity.

    We double inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Following Georgie’s voice as she repeats this sequence

    Our resourceful free range chef Beth Al Rikabi strips our diets back too, replacing refined, processed ingredients with locally sourced or foraged vegan produce. We devour warming millet and buckwheat porridge for breakfast and smoked parsnip soup for lunch, savouring buttery mouthfuls of Beth’s trademark pumpkin seed muffins. Perhaps the “simplest” activity we revisit throughout the retreat is breathwork. But if we are going to practise breathing, we are going to understand why, returning to that early stress regulation pillar: awareness.

    During an eye-opening workshop, Georgie unpacks the Bohr effect (which improves the efficiency of oxygen transportation through the blood). “As the world sped up,” she explains, “so did our breathing.” Today, research suggests that 60-80 per cent of the population is breathing dysfunctionally, which means taking too many breaths per minute, or taking in too much air per breath. Patrick McKeown, who developed the Oxygen Advantage method, identifies that a normal breathing rate for a grown adult at rest is roughly 12 breaths per minute, taking in half a litre of air per breath. Very few of us are keeping to this rate.

    If you want to know whether you’re dysfunctionally breathing (which statistically, you probably are), look out for these characteristics: too much movement in your upper chest (optimal breathing should engage the abdomen), sighing and yawning throughout the day, or breathing through your mouth (resting breathing should always take place through the nose). Dysfunctional breathing means that the levels of carbon dioxide in our arterial blood are lower than normal. Biochemically, this means a lack of oxygen is being released from haemoglobin, which triggers sleep apnoea, digestive disorders, stress disorders and numerous other health conditions.

    ‘You may notice that your feet and hands are completely numb! If they are – that’s perfectly normal!’ (Dorothy Herson)

    ‘You may notice that your feet and hands are completely numb! If they are – that’s perfectly normal!’ (Dorothy Herson)

    In layman’s terms: dysfunctional breathing is very bad, and in a world of chronic stress most of us are breathing dysfunctionally. Which is making us all even more stressed. For women, if we’re constantly in a low level state of stress, we’re much more likely to have painful, heavy periods. “The rhythm at which you’re breathing largely reflects the rhythm at which you’re living your life.” Georgie tells us, “and if we can sort out our breathing, we can learn how to override the stress response.” It is time for us to put this to the test.

    I cannot say I am overjoyed at the prospect of cold water exposure. As we descend upon Lake Coniston, wolf-grey clouds loom over the High Fells, and a cold breeze lashes our cheeks. “It looks freezing!” I shiver to the girl next to me as I peel off my jumper. “No!” She beams back. It’s “7C!” Freezing then, I think. We are split into two groups, and I watch as the first group of women emerge from the murky depths, their limbs raw and red, their expressions indiscernible. “You may notice that your feet and hands are completely numb!” Georgie calls out to the semi-submerged women. “If they are – that’s perfectly normal!”

    Before I can run away, Georgie asks our group to stretch out on the bank. She leads us through a breathing exercise linked to the Oxygen Advantage method (a series of breathing techniques which help regulate breathing) called “clear your head”, which establishes physiologically healthy breathing and regulates levels of body/brain oxygenation. The result should be a state of calmness. “This is a slightly lighter version of the world-renowned Wim Hof method,” Georgie explains. We double inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Following Georgie’s voice as she repeats this sequence.

    Minutes pass. I notice an unquestionable sensation of calmness; a subsiding agitation. As we breathe in, my mind becomes quieter. As we breathe out, I forget my fear of the water. When we eventually tread the pebble-strewn lake bed, I am remarkably serene. Of course, the water is cold but it doesn’t faze me as I’d anticipated.

    ‘As we breathe out, I forget my fear of the water’ (Dorothy Herson)

    ‘As we breathe out, I forget my fear of the water’ (Dorothy Herson)

    On my train back to London, the gentleman opposite me (who presumably hasn’t discovered headphones) plays pounding techno to the carriage. A baby screams and a VIP takes a string of business calls. I am already flushed and agitated. I take out Georgie’s breathing card and recall her words: “The world is not slowing down anytime soon”.

    I cannot change the modern world, but as Jenny and Georgie taught me, I can change my responses to it. The train rattles past factories and freight containers. The techno thumps on. I practise one of Georgie’s simple breathing routines, her words ringing through my mind as I inhale. Inhale. Hold. “When you’re in the storm,” she asked us, “can you be the silence?” I slowly let my breath escape.

    After days of walking, returning to nature and eating nourishing food, I undoubtedly feel less stressed. Restored. But where this retreat differs from others is that it also sends me away with the understanding and tools to implement changes in my everyday life. Stress, I’ve learned, is a cause of severe PMS, and the retreat has shown me that, through breathwork, I can regulate my stress response wherever I am. Given this, I – and perhaps other suffering women – can finally begin self-regulating PMS. I don’t yet know if I can “be the silence” in a world of endless stimulation and noise but – thanks to the retreat – I certainly have the tools to try.

    You can learn more about Georgie and the Oxygen Advantage method here, and book a Wild Times retreat yourself here. Visit here for more information on Beth Al Rikabi’s free-range cookbook

    Originally published

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