Will We Have Hantavirus Outbreaks or Pandemic? - Virus 6

Thursday, April 9, 2020
A case of Hantavirus infection in China

People was quite “hysteria” when knew there is another virus, Hantavirus infection in addition to Covid-19.

The news was spread around the globe by Chinese English newspaper, Global Times about two weeks ago, exactly in the middle of Coronavirus pandemic.

The question then, Will We Have Hantavirus Outbreaks or Pandemic? Before answer the question, let’s know the first infection history.

We knew Hantavirus during Korean war, 1951 – 1953. The virus caused:
- dead to 190 American soldiers
- infected other 3,000 American soldiers

The infection was transmitted from rodents to human through:
- less likely by biting
- feces
- saliva
- urine

Hantavirus transmission from mouse to human
(credit to Herald journalism)

A reported said that fatality rate due to Hantavirus is about 38%, very much higher compared to Covid-19, around 3% to close to 10% in many places.

Yes, it is serious and dangerous. However, there is “little” possibility to be outbreaks or pandemic with at least 5 reasons:

1) No infection through human to human recorded until recently.
2) Not all mice carry Hantavirus
3) house mice and roof rats have never known to infect people with Hantavirus
4) limited people only contact to mouse that carries Hantavirus
5) Early infected persons can be treated better and likely cured in the intensive care

Hope, one dead case of Hantavirus infection in Yunnan province, China on March 2020 will not spark to all over the world.

Solvang is One of Danish Towns in America

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
One side of Solvang town

I knew Danes have settled in northern parts of America. They are easily found in the states such as:
- North and South Dakota
- Illinois
- Iowa
- Wisconsin
- Michigan

It is interesting to know that Solvang is Danish town in Santa Ynez valley, Santa Barbara, California. The reason to live in California was to avoid harsh winter in northern part.

Solvang is Danish word for sunny field, the town has 5,900 population with European tastes and influences.

This beautiful “little village” is a kind of gateway to see Danish early settlement in California.

The town is small enough to walk around for two or three hours, especially at the weekend, and enjoy peaceful setting of historic Denmark heritages.

We may found authentic Danish products if stop by in the:
- bakeries (sell Danish pasteries, bread and decorated cakes)
- souvenir shops
- antique shops
- museums
- candle shops
- many small shops
- a lot of restaurants

In specific days, we may “watch” parades and shows such as car show, include classic cars.

Have you visited Solvang or any Danish town in America?

The Roles of Incretin Hormones for Diabetes Patients - Diabetes 22

Friday, April 3, 2020
Fig 01- Incretin hormone in the body (credit to Wiley Online Library)

We just mentioned little bit about Incretin Hormones in the previou post, How Lipotoxicity Relate to Diabetes? - Diabetes 6 | Tanza Erlambang Update

This hormone is created to trigger our body to respond to food intake. Our body has two kind of Incretin Hormones:
- GLP 1 (Glucagon Like Peptide 1)
- GIP (Gastric Inhibitory Peptide)

When we are eating foods, our gut produce GLP 1 to stimulate beta cells in pancreas to produce insulin and our body to decrease appetite.

In case of appetite decreasing, there is involvement of the mechanisms of brain – gut responses. The responses include by increasing of energy expenditure.

Scientists may exploit this mechanism by designing specific drugs and foods to treat metabolic diseases and over weight people.

Other roles of GLP 1:
- influence gut motility
- inhibit secretion of gastric acid
- inhibit secretion of glucagon.

Fig 02- Bell peppers. Spicy vegetable

Fig 03- Cheese in the grocery. Illustration

In respect to diabetes, GLP 1 has several functions:
- inhibit releasing of post-prandial glucagon
- slow down the stomach emptying
- the most important is increasing insulin sensitivity.

We will discuss little bit about GIP (Gastric Inhibitory Peptide) by next post.

Other diabetes relate posts:

An Affordable Battery for Electric Bicycle

Monday, March 30, 2020
The Alizeti 300c Battery.

We bike just for health purposes, usually on Saturday or Sunday, the distance less than 10 km (6.2 miles). Our bike is a traditional one.

Electrical bike (e-bike) could reach between 32 km (20 miles) to 200 km (124 miles), depend on battery sizes, with single charge:

- 500 watt could reach 60 km (37 mile)
- 3,000 watt will be ride up to 200 km (124 miles)

This type of bike (e-bike) is quite popular recently, especially for these customers:
1) Tourists
Tour operators in many tourists destinations around the globe, provide e-bike for tourists who enjoy cycling, but not have perfect fitness to up the hills and reach medium distance, around 60 km.

2) General public
Several advantages for general public, even without physical training to ride e-bike are:
- easy
- faster speed
- longer distances
- more functionality
- save time

Alizeti 300c is one of affordable batteries available in the market. The 500 watt battery can be installed in any e-bike. The price is US$ 580, quite reasonable.

Then, we might ride with speed of 32 km per hour (20 mile per hour) with 64 km (40 miles) distance.

Do you like to ride bike? Traditional or e-bike?

Homemade Face Masks to Combat Spread of Covid-19 – Virus 5

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Sewing own face masks (credit to NBC Connecticut)

We might all knew that many hospitals are facing shortage of protective gears (health supplies) for health care workers or Covid-19 patients or general public across America.

Some of important supplies are:
- testing kits
- eye protection
- gloves
- gown
- face masks (surgical and N95 type respirator)

In case of face masks, these disposable items which cost less than 75 cents are ran out as well. Un-believable for rich country such as America.

One hospital may need 5,000 to 15,000 face masks: surgical face masks to patients and N95 respirators for medical workers.

Designs of homemade face masks (credit to Dr Monique Tello)

Luckily, sewing people (mom, nanny and kids) step up to supply the homemade face masks to hospital in many states.

You may ask a question: could homemade masks protect us from Covid-19?

Before answer this question, I posted article: Can Face Masks Contain Wuhan Coronavirus?

The commercial face masks, I quote from my own post: “The surgical mask is effective to block big droplets, but we may inhale very small droplets from the sides of filters.”

Moreover, “N95 respirator is able to block from 95% to 99% airborne pathogens, germs or virus. It is good for health care workers who handle Coronavirus patients (suspected or infected).”

The homemade face mask effectiveness is depend very much on the materials. The following material effectiveness to block 0.02 micron particles (less than Corona virus size):

- scarf is 49% effective
- silk is 54% effective
- linen is 62% effective
- cotton blend is 70% effective
- vacuum cleaner bag is 86% effective.

Thus, at least, homemade face masks are suitable to halt spreading of droplets from infected patients or preventing dispersion of coughing particles. 

When Will Vaccine for Covid-19 Available? - Virus 4

Sunday, March 22, 2020
A vial of Vaccine, just for illustration only (credit to Nasdaq)

In simple way, we all might know that vaccine is an antigen from a particular virus, bacteria or other pathogen agents, injected into human bodies.

The main purpose is to train, boost, encourage and trigger our immune system to recognize, then to combat a pathogen, in this case let’s say Covid-19.

We might wonder: why is it so long to find the effective vaccine for Covid-19?

The answer is that long steps and processes must be followed from searching and selecting vaccine candidates until to be ready for mass productions.

Step 1: Finding and develop “candidate” vaccines by available techniques such as messenger RNA

Step 2: Testing to animal (model)

Step 3: Clinical trial to human being. Trials to small number of people

Step 4: Trial to more people. To find out how immune system responds to potential Covid-19

Step 5: More and more patients are tested in long term.

Step 6: Reviewed by relevant agencies such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US

Step 7: This is a final step. If FDA approves, then mass production for cure the Covid-19

It will take 12 to 18 months from step 1 to step 7, if everything goes well. Thus, almost certainly that we will have no “medicine” to combat Covid-19 in this cycle. 

A Hiker Gave Water to a Thirsty Wild Snake

Friday, March 20, 2020
A thirsty wild snake drinks water (credit to Newsflare)

When I was kid, I often saw a long small snake with green color either nearby or climbing coconut trees. Our family owned coconut and palm plantations.

As far as I remember, I never noticed that snakes drink water. I knew they catches mice and frogs.

Just recently, a hiker found a thirsty snake in drought palm areas, Thailand. Then, he gave water from a bottle. Look like the reptile drank joyfully. The touching moment.

The scientific name for snake is Gonyosoma oxycephalum with some common names:
- the red-tailed green ratsnake
- the red-tailed racer
- the arboreal ratsnake
- red-tailed Ratsnake
- red-tailed Green Climbing Ratsnake

The red-tailed green ratsnake as a pet (credit to Tumblr)

The habitat of red-tailed green ratsnake is South East Asian Countries such as:
- Laos
- Malaysia
- Indonesia
- Thailand
- Vietnam
- Philippines
- Myanmar
- Cambodia

This kind of snake is sold in pet shops both in America and European countries in recent years.

The snake is not dangerous and not aggressive, thus become popular as a pet in American households.

Have you seen this kind of snake in nature or pet shop?