AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
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|San Pedro Daily||Thursday
April 24, 2014
|Front Page||Weather||foto of the day||Regional News||Classified Ads|
TROPIC AIR BELIZE
New King Air
Our King Air on its way to its new home in Belize. After a week or so of crew familiarization it will be placed primarily on our routes to Cancun and Roatan
SPTC Interview by BBC
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation were interviewed by BBC World from the UK in regards to Mr. Kent Gabourel's participation in the Queen's Baton Relay which will take place on July 23 of this year in Glasgow, Scotland.
SP Lions Easter Pancake
Brunch A Hopping Success!
On Saturday morning, April 19th the San Pedro Lions hosted their third annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny fund raiser. Over 100 children and half as many adults enjoyed a fun-filled morning of pancakes, craft activities, games and of course a visit from the Easter Bunny himself.
Event organizer Lion Tamara Sniffin commented, “We couldn’t be happier with the turn out we get each year for this Easter event, it is clear most of the grown-ups are having as much fun as the kids! Of course none of this would be possible without the donations we receive from local businesses and individuals to off-set the expense of hosting the breakfast. With their support, this fund raiser is even more profitable, and in turn we give this back to our community.”
The pancake breakfast included sausage, orange slices and juice, with the ever popular topping table. Kids of all ages enjoyed loading their pancakes with butter, syrup, sprinkles, jelly, chocolate syrup, shredded cheese, marshmallows, sliced bananas and even jellybeans! The dining tables were supplied with crayons and coloring sheets with some parents even trying their artistic skills! Games included ‘Pin the Tail on the Bunny’, dunking for Easter Eggs, Go Fish, Egg and Spoon races and puzzle races. Three large Easter baskets were raffled off and at the craft tables children made Bunny Ear Headbands and Easter Egg Wreaths to carry home. Parents enjoyed photographing their children with the guest of honor, the one and only Easter Bunny, while some children were not so sure about the oversized hare!
The San Pedro Lions would like to thank the club members and Leos who assisted with the event, and Peace Corp volunteers from the mainland, Jason and Krystal who were very helpful. The Lions also extend a heartfelt thanks to Caye Mart, The Greenhouse, Cost Less, Madisco, Super Value Store, Dalia’s, The San Pedro Sun, MASH, Local Grocery Store, Best Price, Running W Meats, Big Tree, Liquor Stop, Liquor Box, Marina’s, Mermaid Supermarket, Rocks, Al Maza, San Pedrano Store, Paradise Market, Best Price and Island Supermarket for their generous donations. With support from the community, the San Pedro Lions can continue their mission TO SERVE, and thank all who made the event a huge success!
Ministry of Health on alert;
CHIKV detected in Latin America
and the Caribbean
CHIKV, a mosquito-borne virus which causes an illness similar in transmission to dengue fever, has become an emerging threat within Latin America and the Caribbean. Infection causes an acute fever which can last anywhere between two to five days, succeeded by a prolonged period of joint pains, intense headache, sleeplessness, and weakness. While vector control is the best method of prevention, CHIKV has no specific treatment with medication. With cases being reported in both regions, the Ministry of Health is tonight on alert and is launching a countrywide awareness campaign. This afternoon a press conference was held in Belize City where public health officials, as well as Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts were on hand to discuss the threat of the disease.
Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services
“For this disease there is no vaccine so basically once somebody gets the disease you treat the symptom. Chikungunya, unlike dengue where somebody can get a series of dengue cases, can only get Chikungunya once, so you get it and it’s finished. Chikungunya however, is a disease that doesn’t lead to a lot of deaths but it leads to a protracted illness where instead of people being ill for a week or two they can be sick up to six months or a little longer with a cardinal feature being the joint pain. It is transmitted by a mosquito. Now, for Belize when we spoke to the population about dengue we spoke about the Aedes Aegypti, now this same mosquito also transmits dengue. In addition, there is another variety of the Aedes mosquito that is present in Belize that can also transmit this Chikungunya. So the approaches then to managing, well let me just give the cases. For the region we started in St. Maarten and I believe St. Maarten reported up to April about twelve hundred cases, confirmed cases of Chikungunya and you have as far north as Dominica with seventy-two cases. I believe recently there are some cases reported in Dominican Republic, I think about seventeen cases reported in Dominican Republic around the fourth of April and in French Guiana last week, the confirmed about forty-six cases. So, nowhere on the mainland of the Americas, except for French Guiana we have other cases confirmed. So Belize has no cases but I must say that we have all the environmental conditions, we are tropical just like the Caribbean. The mosquitoes are there, the environmental conditions are there and the level of interaction is happening where I think it is really safe to say that it’s not if but when it will come here. So we are in a preparation mode to deal with this so today, what we had with our staff to start off a major sensitization having done some groundwork, start off formal sensitization with a staff and then we need to also have sensitization with the general population so that they can be aware of what is on the horizon and what they can do to help.”
The public is advised to take all necessary precautions by getting rid of breeding grounds for mosquitoes, including old tires, buckets, etc.
Good night’s sleep
good for brain health
A good night’s sleep may be essential to brain health, say Swedish researchers who found depriving healthy young men of a night’s sleep increased blood concentrations of brain molecules to levels seen in brain damage.
Researchers from Uppsala Unversity report the findings of their small trial, which was funded mostly by the Swedish Brain Foundation (Hjärnfonden) and Novo Nordisk Foundation, in the latest online issue of the journal SLEEP.
Lead investigator Christian Benedict, a sleep researcher at Uppsala’s Department of Neuroscience, says:
“We observed that a night of total sleep loss was followed by increased blood concentrations of NSE and S-100B. These brain molecules typically rise in blood under conditions of brain damage. Thus, our results indicate that a lack of sleep may promote neurodegenerative processes.”
Sleep deprivation linked to higher levels of brain damage molecules
For their study, the team recruited 15 normal-weight, healthy young men to spend 2 nights in a sleep laboratory.
On one of the nights, the participants were totally deprived of sleep, and on the other night, they slept normally for about 8 hours.
Before and after each night, the men gave fasting blood samples, from which the researchers could measure blood levels of the brain molecules, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100 calcium binding protein B (S-100B).
These molecules are normally found in the cell matter of neurons (the workhorses of the central nervous system) and glia cells (the cells that support neurons), which together make up brain tissue.
Raised levels of these molecules in the blood is thus usually a sign of damaged brain tissue, or that something has gone wrong with the blood-brain barrier, or both.
The results showed that total sleep deprivation increased levels of NSE and S-100B by around 20%, compared with levels measured after a night of sleep.
Christian Benedict says:
“In conclusion, the findings of our trial indicate that a good night’s sleep may be critical for maintaining brain health.”
He and his colleagues suggest further studies should now be done – where both blood and spinal fluid samples are used – to find out whether the raised levels of brain molecules really are due to brain cell damage, blood-brain barrier damage, or “is just a consequence of increased gene expression in non-neuronal cells, such as leukocytes.”
Meanwhile, in another recently published study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health suggest that lack of sleep may increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a group of older adults free of dementia, they found shorter overall nights’ sleep duration and poor sleep quality were linked to increased brain build-up of beta-amyloid protein, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
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