There is a mysterious respiratory illness that has already affected 1000 kids in 10 states. The disease hasn’t been officially identified but officials suspect a rare respiratory virus called human enterovirus 68. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is related to the rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
The illness, which has yet to be officially identified, begins with cold-like symptoms then quickly becomes severe, with many experiencing fever, coughing, body and muscle aches, and wheezing. Doctors said they weren’t sure how the virus is spread.
“He was unresponsive. He was laying on the couch. He couldn’t speak to me. He was turning white and his lips turned blue,” said one mother whose son came down with the illness.
I recently wrote an article about sickle cell disease for BlackandMarriedWithKids.com please read it here.
Sickle cell crises can affect many parts of the body and cause many complications.
Sickle cells can block the small blood vessels in the hands and feet in children (usually those younger than 4 years of age). This condition is called hand-foot syndrome. It can lead to pain, swelling, and fever.
Swelling often occurs on the back of the hands and feet and moves into the fingers and toes. One or both hands and/or feet might be affected at the same time.
The spleen is an organ in the abdomen. Normally, it filters out abnormal red blood cells and helps fight infections. Sometimes the spleen may trap red blood cells that should be in the bloodstream. This causes the spleen to grow large and leads to anemia. If the spleen traps too many red blood cells, you may need blood transfusions until your body can make more cells and recover.
Acute chest syndrome is a life-threatening condition linked to sickle cell anemia. This syndrome is similar to pneumonia. An infection or sickle cells trapped in the lungs can cause acute chest syndrome.
People who have this condition often have chest pain, shortness of breath, and fever. They also often have low oxygen levels and abnormal chest x ray results.
Damage to the small blood vessels in the lungs makes it hard for the heart to pump blood through the lungs. This causes blood pressure in the lungs to rise.
Increased blood pressure in the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension (PH). Shortness of breath and fatigue are the main symptoms of PH.
Delayed Growth and Puberty in Children
Children who have sickle cell anemia often grow more slowly than other children. They may reach puberty later. A shortage of red blood cells causes the slow growth rate. Adults who have sickle cell anemia often are slender or smaller in size than other adults.
Two forms of stroke can occur in people who have sickle cell anemia. One form occurs if a blood vessel in the brain is damaged and blocked. This type of stroke occurs more often in children than adults. The other form of stroke occurs if a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
Either type of stroke can cause learning problems and lasting brain damage, long-term disability, paralysis (an inability to move), or death.
Males who have sickle cell anemia may have painful, unwanted erections. This condition is called priapism (PRI-a-pizm). It happens because the sickle cells block blood flow out of an erect penis. Over time, priapism can damage the penis and lead to impotence.
When red blood cells die, they release their hemoglobin. The body breaks down this protein into a compound called bilirubin. Too much bilirubin in the body can cause stones to form in the gallbladder, called gallstones.
Gallstones may cause steady pain that lasts for 30 minutes or more in the upper right side of the belly, under the right shoulder, or between the shoulder blades. The pain may happen after eating fatty meals.
People who have gallstones may have nausea (feeling sick to the stomach), vomiting, fever, sweating, chills, clay-colored stools, or jaundice.
Sickle cell ulcers (sores) usually begin as small, raised, crusted sores on the lower third of the leg. Leg sores may occur more often in males than in females. These sores usually develop in people who are aged 10 years or older.
The cause of sickle cell ulcers isn’t clear. The number of ulcers can vary from one to many. Some heal quickly, but others persist for years or come back after healing.
Multiple organ failure is rare, but serious. It happens if you have a sickle cell crisis that causes two out of three major organs (lungs, liver, or kidneys) to fail. Often, multiple organ failure occurs during an unusually severe pain crisis.
Symptoms of this complication are fever, rapid heartbeat, problems breathing, and changes in mental status (such as sudden tiredness or confusion).
Entry pain – Pain during penetration may be associated with a range of factors, including:
• Insufficient lubrication. This is often the result of not enough foreplay. Insufficient lubrication is also commonly caused by a drop in estrogen levels after menopause, after childbirth or during breast-feeding. In addition, certain medications are known to inhibit desire or arousal, which can decrease lubrication and make sex painful. These include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, antihistamines and certain birth control pills.
• Injury, trauma or irritation. This includes injury or irritation from an accident, pelvic surgery, female circumcision, episiotomy or a congenital abnormality.
• Inflammation, infection or skin disorder. An infection in your genital area or urinary tract can cause painful intercourse. Eczema or other skin problems in your genital area also can be the problem.
• Vaginismus. Involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall (vaginismus) can make attempts at penetration very painful. Deep pain Deep pain usually occurs with deep penetration and may be more pronounced with certain positions. Causes include: • Certain illnesses and conditions. The list includes endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine prolapse, retroverted uterus, uterine fibroids, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids and ovarian cysts.
• Surgeries or medical treatments. Scarring from surgeries that involve your pelvic area, including hysterectomy, can sometimes cause painful intercourse. In addition, medical treatments for cancer, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can cause changes that make sex painful. Emotional factors Emotions are deeply intertwined with sexual activity and may play a role in any type of sexual pain. Emotional factors include:
• Psychological problems. Anxiety, depression, concerns about your physical appearance, fear of intimacy or relationship problems can contribute to a low level of arousal and a resulting discomfort or pain. • Stress. Your pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten in response to stress in your life. This can contribute to pain during intercourse.
• History of sexual abuse. Most women with dyspareunia don’t have a history of sexual abuse, but if you have been abused, it may play a role. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether psychological factors are associated with dyspareunia. Initial pain can lead to fear of recurring pain, making it difficult to relax, which can lead to more pain. As with any pain in your body, you might start avoiding the activities that you associate with the pain.
Almonds. Soak 10 raw almonds overnight in water to soften, then peel off the skins. Put almonds in blender with 1 cup warm milk, a pinch of ginger, and a pinch of nutmeg. Drink at night to help you relax before going to bed.
Baking soda. Add 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup ginger to a nice warm bath. Soak in the tub for 15 minutes to relieve tension and anxiety.
Oil. Sesame oil is great, but sunflower, coconut, or corn oil will work, too. For a wonderful, anxiety-busting massage, heat 6 ounces oil until warm, not hot. Rub over entire body, including your scalp and the bottoms of your feet. A small rolling pin feels marvelous! Use the oil as a massage before the morning bath to calm you down for the day’s activities. If anxiety is keeping you awake, try using it before you go to bed, too.
Celery. Eat 2 cups celery, onions, or a mixture of the two, raw or cooked, with your meals for a week or two. Both vegetables contain large amounts of potassium and folic acid, deficiencies of which can cause nervousness.
Onion. See celery, above.
Orange. The aroma of an orange is known to reduce anxiety. All you have to do to get the benefits is peel an orange and inhale. You can also drop the peel into a small pan or potpourri burner. Cover with water and simmer. When heated, the orange peel will release its fragrant and calming oil.
Orange juice. For a racing heart rate associated with anxiety, stir 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of nutmeg into 1 cup orange juice and drink.
Rosemary. Used in the Middle Ages to ward off “evil spirits,” rosemary has a calming effect on the nerves. Make a tea by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried herb to 1 cup boiling water; steep for 10 minutes, then drink. Inhaling rosemary can be relaxing, too. Burn a sprig, or use rosemary incense to ease anxiety.