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Simply put, strep throat is miserable.

Streptococcal pharyngitis (the dreaded condition's full name) is a bacterial infection that causes a painful sore throat and a fever. And for the unlucky people who get it, symptoms can also include headaches, belly pain, and a rash.


At least there's Netflix. Photo by iStock.

Strep throat and infections like it are much more than a schoolyard nuisance.

Strep is just one of the group A streptococcal (GAS) infections. That's science for the dream team of gnarly illnesses that also includes pneumonia and flesh-eating infections.

Each year, strep throat affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. and streptococcal diseases result in 1,200 to 1,600 deaths.

But we're one step closer to eliminating strep throat completely, thanks to a new vaccine.

StreptAnova, a vaccine developed by Memphis-based physicians James Dale and Gene Stollerman, was designed to prevent GAS infections, particularly in children and teens, who are most susceptible to the illnesses.

So long, strep throat. Photo by iStock.

The vaccine is especially important for people in developing countries. In an interview with Upworthy, Dale explained that strep throat infections can lead to rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Those diseases cause 233,000 deaths each year.

"A vaccine designed to prevent rheumatic fever and invasive infections could have a major impact on the health of millions worldwide," he said.

Before the vaccine is made available to the public, it must be tested, tested again, and tested some more.

Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a vaccine, it must undergo a battery of trials, typically conducted in three phases. Phase 1 trials are conducted with a very small group of closely monitored individuals.

For StreptAnova, the Phase 1 trial is taking place at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, 45 healthy adults will receive three injections of StreptAnova over six months. Physicians will follow up a year later to assess the individuals and their response to the drug.

Science-ing the hell out of some samples. Photo by iStock.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials are similar but larger-scale, enrolling a few hundred and a few thousand people, respectively. The larger trials provide proof of effectiveness.

Following the tests, there's a lot of paperwork, applications, licenses, and procedures. If the vaccine passes muster, it's made available to the general public.

A vaccine usually requires 10 to 15 years of research and testing before it shows up at the doctor's office. But Dale is willing to wait.

"I do not really have a 'Plan B,'" he said. "I plan to continue working on the clinical development of GAS vaccines until they are available to everyone that could benefit."

Eye protection on, ladies. We've got science to do. Photo by iStock.

While preventing strep throat completely is several years away, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy.

Strep is easily contagious, as any contact with droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze can be all it takes to get yourself sick.

Sorry, you have strep. Don't go to work. And stop sharing sodas. Photo by iStock.

If you're living or working with someone with strep throat, keep your hands clean and try to avoid touching your eyes and mouth. And for once in your life, don't share. It's best to avoid sharing personal items like cups or utensils with anyone who may have symptoms.

Wash your hands long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Photo by iStock.

But don't worry, 24 hours after the infected person begins antibiotics, the risk of contracting the illness decreases dramatically, and you can go back to preparing for flu season, which is just around the corner.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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