Watch Out For Those Ticks: Those of us here in NY could be at a greater risk for Lyme disease than ever before. A new study from the University of Toronto suggests that Lyme disease has been on the rise in northern states over the past two decades. Part of the change can be blamed on climate change; warmer temperatures up here in the North allow ticks to live here. Even parts of Canada that used to be considered too cold for ticks to live are experiencing significant cases of Lyme disease. To keep yourself safe from these ticks, use insect repellent if you’re spending a lot of time outside, avoid woody areas or areas with high grass, and shower as soon as possible after being outside.
Proof That People May be Getting Nicer: A survey from the Mayo Clinic asked people whether or not they would give up their organs to people who needed it. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said they would give a kidney or part of their liver to a family member or close friend, up from 76 percent in 2001. Even more surprisingly, 49 percent said they would do the same for a complete stranger, up from 24 percent in 2001. Donating organs has never been safer, with advances in technology such as laparoscopic kidney donations. Sixty-one percent of respondents say they would donate their organs upon their death, and with April being National Donate Month, there’s never been a better time to declare yourself an organ donor on your license. Read more at the Mayo Clinic’s website.
Put Down That Hookah: The Centers for Disease Control has just announced that hookah smoke is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke, if not more so. Smoking hookah releases nicotine into the body, and puts smokers at risk for lung, stomach, and oral cancers, just like cigarettes. But hookah may be even more dangerous than cigarettes, because you typically spend a longer time smoking hookah than you do smoking a cigarette or two. And unfortunately, public health officials have found that hookah smoking has become more popular over the last few years. Take a minute and think about the toxins you’re smoking next time you pick up a hookah.