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Smoke alarms with mom’s voice wake kids up faster, study says

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A smoke alarm that broadcasts a mother’s voice would wake children much more quickly than alarms that blast high-pitched tones, a new U.S. study finds.

Sleeping children, as it turns out, are fairly impervious to the screeching of a smoke alarm. Researchers found that most children ages 5 through 8 took more than five minutes to wake up with a standard alarm, as compared with around four seconds when they heard the sound of their mother’s voice, according to the results published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“The thing that was most remarkable to us was to see a child sleep five minutes through a very loud high-pitched tone, but then sit bolt upright in bed when their mothers voice sounded through the alarm,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Gary Smith, who directs the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “We didn’t expect the difference to be so dramatic.”

Smith hopes that in future studies, researchers will find that a generic female voice is just as effective at waking young children since that would be an easier and cheaper alarm for companies to design. The current research “is an important step towards optimizing smoke alarms for waking up young children,” he said.

Even though the alarms currently on the market are not optimal for waking kids up, “we want to make it really clear that standard alarms work,” Smith said. “We don’t want to give the impression that parents should stop using the high-pitched tone alarms. They will wake up the adults and they can then rescue the children. They are lifesaving. In this country, about half of the residential fire deaths are in homes without alarms.”

Only 52% roused by standard alarm

To take a closer look at the effect of a mother’s voice on her sleeping child, Smith and his colleagues recruited 176 children between the ages of 5 and 12 and brought them into the sleep lab for testing. The lab had rooms that were set up to look like a typical bedroom, Smith said.

The children’s brain activity was monitored with electrodes on their scalp and face, and they were allowed to fall into the deepest stage of sleep. Then one of four types of simulated smoke alarm was sounded and researchers measured how long it took for a child to wake up and follow a previously rehearsed escape plan.

The experiment was run four times with each child, each about a week apart, so that all the children were exposed to all four types of alarm: standard high-pitched tone, the mother’s voice with instructions like “wake up” and “get out of bed,” the mother’s voice saying the child’s name, and the mother’s voice saying the child’s name and then giving instructions.

Maternal voice alarms woke up more than 86 per cent of children, prompting most to successfully perform the escape procedure within five minutes of the alarm’s onset. (Godong/UIG/Getty)

There was no significant difference in time to waking between the three alarms that used the mother’s voice. But there was a very large difference between all three of the maternal voice alarms and the standard alarm.

Maternal voice alarms woke 86 to 91 per cent of children, prompting 84 to 86 per cent to successfully perform the escape procedure within five minutes of the alarm’s onset. That’s compared to 52 per cent of kids waking to the standard alarm and 51 per cent escaping.

Nearly 6 per cent of kids did not wake to any of the alarms and had to be manually awakened after five minutes.

‘This could make a big difference’

The study was not designed to determine whether a mother’s voice has a different effect on her child versus any other human voice, the authors note. Further research is also needed to determine how children’s responses are affected by the content of the voice alarm message, they write.

“In real life terms, this could make a big difference,” said Dr. Hiren Muzumdar, director of the Pediatric Sleep Evaluation Center at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who wasn’t involved in the study. “It would seem that it could save a lot more kids.”

It might even help save other family members, Muzumdar said. “If a fire starts near a child’s room, the child could go wake up their parents,” he explained.

It wasn’t surprising to Muzumdar that children might sleep through a loud blaring alarm. “Kids have a much higher threshold for arousals,” he said. “In fact, children with significant sleep apnea rarely appear sleepy during the day because their sleep isn’t disturbed. In adults with significant sleep apnea, there is much more daytime sleepiness,” said Muzumdar, who specializes in sleep-breathing disorders.

Though Muzumdar would have expected children to wake more quickly to a mother’s voice, “I would have expected just a little difference,” he said. “But this is a staggering difference. It’s just remarkable.”

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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