Prepared by Bassam Mechammil


December 2009


For comments; please email Mechammil@aol.com


What is pandemic (H1N1) 2009?

Updated 11 June 2009

What is the new influenza A(H1N1)?

This is a new influenza A(H1N1) virus that has never before circulated among humans. This virus is not related to previous or current human seasonal influenza viruses.

How do people become infected with the virus?

The virus is spread from person-to-person. It is transmitted as easily as the normal seasonal flu and can be passed to other people by exposure to infected droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing that can be inhaled, or that can contaminate hands or surfaces.

To prevent spread, people who are ill should cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, stay home when they are unwell, clean their hands regularly, and keep some distance from healthy people, as much as possible.

There are no known instances of people getting infected by exposure to pigs or other animals.

The place of origin of the virus is unknown.

What are the signs and symptoms of infection?

Signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.

Why are we so worried about this flu when hundreds of thousands die every year from seasonal epidemics?

Seasonal influenza occurs every year and the viruses change each year - but many people have some immunity to the circulating virus which helps limit infections. Some countries also use seasonal influenza vaccines to reduce illness and deaths.

But influenza A(H1N1) is a new virus and one to which most people have no or little immunity and, therefore, this virus could cause more infections than are seen with seasonal flu. WHO is working closely with manufacturers to expedite the development of a safe and effective vaccine but it will be some months before it is available.

The new influenza A(H1N1) appears to be as contagious as seasonal influenza, and is spreading fast particularly among young people (from ages 10 to 45). The severity of the disease ranges from very mild symptoms to severe illnesses that can result in death. The majority of people who contract the virus experience the milder disease and recover without antiviral treatment or medical care. Of the more serious cases, more than half of hospitalized people had underlying health conditions or weak immune systems.

Most people experience mild illness and recover at home. When should someone seek medical care?

A person should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).

Supportive care at home - resting, drinking plenty of fluids and using a pain reliever for aches - is adequate for recovery in most cases. (A non-aspirin pain reliever should be used by children and young adults because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.)



Foods That Fight Cravings


Appetite Suppressant Foods



What you eat makes all the difference when it comes to appetite, satiety and willpower. Eating foods high in fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates will actually make you hungrier. The good news is that certain foods have the ability to make you feel fuller while also suppressing your appetite.


 A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center discovered that study participants who ate meat-filled lunch entrees over the course of four days consumed 420 additional calories and 30 more fat grams per day than those who chose a mushroom-based meal. "Not only does this swap help you get in more veggies and slash calories without feeling hungrier, it also ups your intake of one of the key nutrients tied to weight control -- Vitamin D," said Cynthia Sass, R.D., co-author of "The Ultimate Diet Log." "In fact, trading three ounces of 90 percent lean ground turkey for a half-cup of chopped Portabella mushroom once a week, without making any other changes, would save you 7,280 calories a year."



According to a recent study from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, certain fatty foods, like butter, send messages to the brain that actually tell the body to ignore appetite-suppressing signals from the two hormones -- leptin and insulin -- that are responsible for weight regulation. However, olive oil and grapeseed oil did just the opposite, allowing the "I'm satisfied" signal to do its job in the brain. Also, a separate study from the University of California, Irvine found that these good fats trigger production of a compound in the small intestine that curbs hunger pangs. "You can banish the butter and switch over to olive oil for everything from cooking to baking," advised Sass.



A study conducted at Louisiana State University found that overweight women who ate tofu as an appetizer consumed less during the main meal than those women who were given chicken as their pre-meal snack. "Eating protein has been found to lead to great satiety, and tofu is a fabulous source, especially for non-meat eaters," said Katherine Brooking R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic



According to a clinical trial conducted at the Canadian Center of Functional Medicine, all of the volunteers who ate a soluble fiber, like oatmeal (whole grain, not instant), reported a drop in appetite, as well as experienced weight loss. "Oatmeal is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, so you'll be less inclined to be munching throughout the day," Brooking said. For a double-punch effect, she also suggested adding a soluble fiber fruit, like sliced apple, to this warm breakfast treat.



"Soy milk is one of the most amazing foods that will stop appetite cold," stated Anne Katherine, psychotherapist and author of "How to Make Almost Any Diet Work." Studies show that proteins tend to satisfy cravings, and while researchers don't completely understand why this is, they suspect that a high-protein food, like soy milk, can tame appetite-stimulating hormones. In fact, according to one study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," volunteers who followed various diets reported feeling less hungry during the high-protein weeks and consumed about 440 calories less per day.



A veggie broth, as opposed to a cream-based soup, can balance appetite hormones and curb cravings. Research has shown that people who eat a low-calorie bowl of soup before their main entrée consume up to 20 percent fewer calories during the main course. The reason: The stomach sends satiety signals earlier in the digestive process.



Swedish researchers have discovered that eating rye bread increases the feeling of being full and can lead to a lower-calorie intake throughout the day -- even up to eight hours -- compared to eating whole wheat bread. The study, published in "Nutrition Journal," also concluded that those who ate rye bread also had a lower insulin response. "Rye has a high level of fiber in two parts of the grain -- the bran or outer coating and the endosperm, the portion surrounding the seed that supplies it with nutrients," said Sass.



Research from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate offers more of a feeling of satiety than milk chocolate. "If registered dietitians had prescription pads, I'd be doling out regular doses of dark chocolate to all my clients," said Sass. "Not only is it loaded with antioxidants and natural substances that protect your heart, boost circulation and lower blood sugar, but research shows it can also help you feel more satisfied." Her advice is to melt a few pieces of dark chocolate squares and use as a dip for fresh fruit. "You'll save 200 calories compared to eating four chocolate dipped pretzels."



Dirty babies get healthier hearts


AFFLUENT, modern babies live in a sanitized world. This has already been blamed for a high incidence of asthma and allergies, but might also up the risk of developing a host of other conditions common in rich countries, such as stroke and heart disease.

According to the "hygiene hypothesis", our immune system evolved to handle a germ-laden world. If we don't encounter many pathogens during infancy, it doesn't learn to keep itself in check, and turns on inflammation - normally a response to infection - in inappropriate situations. This reaction, the hypothesis goes, is responsible for the recent increase in asthma and allergies, both associated with inflammation.

Recently, it has emerged that chronic inflammation may also increase the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart diseases. So might the hygiene hypothesis be implicated here too?

To find out, Tom McDade of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and colleagues turned to health surveys, which began at birth, of 1534 children in Cebu City in the Philippines, where western levels of sanitation are generally not found. When these people reached 20, McDade's team were able to test their blood for C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of chronic inflammation.

They found that the more pathogens the people had encountered before age 2, the less CRP they had at age 20. Every episode of diarrhoea back then cut the chance of higher CRP later by 11 per cent; every two months spent in a place with animal faeces cut it by 13 per cent. Being born in the dusty, dirty dry season cut the chance by a third.

McDade suggests that early exposure to germs could reduce chronic inflammation later in life, and therefore the risk of developing a host of serious conditions. "This takes the hygiene hypothesis well beyond allergy," he says. "This is consistent with the effect of germs on immune development," says Richard Gallo of the University of California, San Diego.

McDade hopes that one day we may be able to safely expose babies to the protective elements of germs without incurring the risks that come with infections. In the meantime, he is taking a less high-tech approach: "If my 2-year-old drops food on the floor, I just let him pick it up and eat it."

10 Falsehoods About Credit That Can Cost You

Facts and Falsehoods

When it comes to finances, it's important to know where you stand -- especially with something as important as your credit score. Here, we present the 10 most common (and most costly) falsehoods about credit.


Falsehood No. 1: I have one credit score, and it's locked in for a year.

Fact: The three credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian, and Trans-Union -- operate independently, and their scoring differs. That's why you should get a copy of each report every time you check your credit, says Kate Lister, author of Finding Money. And because your score is constantly changing (it's recalculated every time your credit report is pulled), "Review your credit report at least every six months for inaccuracies," says Ann-Marie Murphy, co-founder of Quizzle, a credit-management site for consumers.


Falsehood No. 2: I shouldn't check my credit too often, because a lot of inquiries can lower my score.

Fact: "You can check your credit report through a credit bureau as often as you like with no negative impact," says Lynnette Khalfani Cox, a personal finance expert. Your inquiry is considered a "soft inquiry" that has no bearing on your credit score.

Falsehood No. 3: Closing unused accounts lowers my available credit and will improve my score.

Fact: Not so. While it feels fiscally responsible to close out an account that's at zero, it's actually a big zero for your score. By closing accounts, you're decreasing your amount of credit available, so your proportion of credit used will be higher -- making you appear to be a higher risk to lenders. Closing old accounts also removes your history.


Falsehood No. 4: Paying cash and carrying no debt will help my credit score.

Fact: "Having no credit history or never using credit has a negative impact on your credit score," says Cox. "FICO reports that people with no credit cards tend to be higher risk than those who use credit cards responsibly."

Falsehood No. 5: All debt is created equal.

Fact: Ten percent of your score is based on your mix of credit. "If you're heavy in one area of credit, your score may be lower," says Hallie Hawkins, co-founder the Certified Credit Report Reviewer Certification Program with the Institute of Consumer Financial Education.


Falsehood No. 6: Paying off my credit-card balances every month improves my credit score.

Fact: Not necessarily. The bank doesn't notify the credit bureau as soon as it receives your payment. "The only way to be sure your balance shows as zero is to cease using the card for a month or more," says John Rackley, a certified mortgage-planning specialist.

Falsehood No. 7: If my debt is less than 30 percent of my income, it has a positive effect on my score.

Fact: The credit-scoring agency has no record of your income, and is therefore not factored into your credit score, says credit administrator Michele Brander. What's vital is that you establish your ability to pay on time.


Falsehood No. 8: Incorrect personal information negatively impacts my score.

Fact: Your personal information has no impact on your credit score. "Income, employment history, race, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, and age are not factors in credit scoring," Brander says.


Falsehood No. 9: Once a collections account is settled, derogatory information will be removed from my report.

Fact: Paying a collection account in full is the fiscally responsible thing to do, but it will remain on your credit report for seven years, says Hawkins.


Falsehood No. 10: One missed payment won't hurt my credit score.

Fact: Think again before you flake out. "The single biggest determinant of your credit score is how well you've paid your bills in the past," Cox says. Credit scoring formulas take into account your late payments, how late they were, and how long ago the late payments occurred.


From: George Deeb

The Bad Economy

The economy is so bad.......

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Parents in
Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into
Mexico .

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

The economy is worse than divorce. I lost half my money and still have the wife.

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear.


باريس -ا ف ب - تكفي بعض الوقاية والممارسات البسيطة لوقف انتشار فيروس انفلونزا أ(اتش1 ان1) المعروف باسم انفلونزا الخنازير وانقاذ الكثير من الارواح، كما تنصح الهيئات المعنية بالصحة.

وتفيد الكثير من هذه الممارسات في الوقاية من الرشح الموسمي الذي يتسبب سنويا بوفاة نحو 500 الف شخص في العالم. ويقول ريتشارد بيسير من المعهد الاميركي لمراقبة الامراض ان "غسل اليدين واستخدام المحاليل الهلامية الكحولية (جل) يمكن ان تقلل من انتشار الفيروس".

واكتساب هذه العادة الاساسية للنظافة، من شأنه كذلك ان يقي كثيرين من التهابات الامعاء التي تصيب سنويا ملايين الاشخاص في اوروبا وحدها. وينبغي ان يستغرق غسل اليدين بالصابون ثلاثين ثانية على الاقل، مع الحرص على تمرير الصابون بين الاصابع وتنشيف اليدين بمنشفة جافة وليست رطبة، او بمنديل ورقي يمكن استخدامه لغلق صنبور الماء واعادة فتح باب الحمامات العامة.

ويقول البروفسور ديديه حسين من وزارة الصحة الفرنسية ان "الحرص على غسل اليدين يمكن ان يتيح منع فيروس موجود على الطاولة من الانتقال الى فمنا وجهازنا التنفسي".

ولخفض انتشار الفيروس، ينبغي لدى العطس، ان يغطي الشخص فمه، "ولكن ليس بيده، وانما بذراعه"، كما يقول بيسير. لان تغطية الفم باليد يعني ان ننقل كل الجراثيم الموجودة لدينا الى كل ما نلمسه.

ويشكل تنظيف الانف والعطس والبصق والسعال كلها وسائل عالية الخطورة لنقل الفيروس. والافضل ان يغطي الشخص الذي يسعل فمه بمنديل ورقي يقوم برميه فورا ثم بغسل يديه. وينبغي رمي المناديل المتسخة في سلة فيها كيس ومغطاة. وفي ظل انتشار وبائي، ولتفادي نقل العدوى الى الآخرين والى الشخص نفسه، يفضل تجنب الاحتكاك الجسدي بالاخرين، مثل تقبيل الاخرين او المصافحة بالايدي، كما يقول البروفسور ديديه راولت، الاختصاصي الفرنسي في الامراض المعدية.

ولذلك ينبغي في حال عدم وضع كمامة على الفم، الاحتفاظ بمسافة مترين كحد ادنى بين الاشخاص، كما تؤكد الهيئات الصحية.

وتنصح هذه الهيئات باداء التحية بانحناءة من الراس بدلا من المصافحة التي تنقل الكثير من الجراثيم. كما تنصح بتهوئة اماكن العمل والمواظبة بصورة متكررة على تعقيم مقابض الابواب وصنابير المياه وايدي وزجاجات نظارات القراءة، والهواتف، ولوحة مفاتيح الكمبيوتر.

كما ينبغي ان يبقى كل شخص تظهر لديه اعراض الرشح، مثل الحرارة ووجع الراس والام العضلات، في المنزل. كذلك ينبغي ان يضع كل شخص مصاب بالرشح كمامة تستخدم مرة واحدة لمنع انتشار رذاذ او بخار السعال او العطس من حواليه.

ويقول البروفسور حسين "ننصح كل المرضى بارتداء كمامات للتخفيف من انتشار الوباء"، مضيفا ان الكمامات التي يستخدمها الجراحون تكفي لمنع انتشار رذاذ العطس، لكن ينبغي تغييرها كل اربع ساعات. وقامت فرنسا بتخزين مليار من هذه الكمامات. هناك كمامات حماية خاصة للكادر الصحي الذين يحتكون مباشرة مع الاشخاص المصابين بالفيروس مثل رجال الاسعاف والعاملين في المطاعم. ولكن المشكلة ان الناس لا يزالون يترددون في ارتداء الكمامات لدى الاصابة بالرشح الموسمي.


حمص خالية من انفلونزا الخنازير

اكد المجلس الصحي الفرعي في ان محافظة حمص خالية تماماً من مرض انفلونزا الخنازير مشيداً بالاجراءات المتخذة من قبل الجهات المعنية للوقاية من هذا المرض خاصة في مجال التوعية والارشاد الصحي وفحص الحالات المشتبه بها من قبل مديرية الصحة اضافة للفرق الطبية المنتشرة في المراكز الحدودية التي تجهد في حماية المسافرين والوافدين الى

القطر.واشار اعضاء المجلس الى اهمية مواصلة التنسيق بين الصحة المدرسية ومديرية الصحة لتنفيذ البرامج الرقابية والارشادية المقررة في المدارس .وناشد اعضاء المجلس الصحي المواطنين لمراجعة مديرية الصحة في حال الاشتباه في حالة مرضية للتأكد منها ومعالجتها بالسرعة القصوى .وتطرق المجتمعون الى اجراءات الوقاية من المرض المتبعة خاصة للاطفال الصغار والمسنين وتم تخصيص رقم الهاتف / 110 / في مديرية صحة حمص للرد على كافة التساؤلات حول المرض واجراءات الوقاية بدوره تحدث مدير الصحة المدرسية حول الاجراءات المتبعة في المدارس والجولات الميدانية وفحص الخزانات والمياه اضافة للتثقيف الصحي وتشكيل لجان لمتابعة الرشوحات والنظافة ومنع بيع الاطعمة في المدارس واشار الى حملة التلقيح المدرسي التي ستبدأ هذا الشهر بدوره مدير مؤسسة مياه الشرب تحدث عن اجراءات التعقيم ونظافة المياه بالتعاون مع التربية .اما عضو المكتب التنفيذي لقطاع الصحة فأشار الى ان ارقام الاصابات في سورية محدودة وتمت معالجتها في الاوقات المناسبة وسيصل الى القطر في الفترة القادمة / 7 / مليون جرعة لقاح لمرض انفلونزا الخنازير واثنى على خلو محافظة حمص من هذا المرض بفضل التعاون المثمر بين كل الجهات المعنية . حضر الاجتماع الذي عقد في مبنى المحافظة نائب رئيس مجلس المدينة ومدراء البيئة والصرف الصحي والصحة المدرسية ومعاونو مدير الصحة.‏

أكثر من 9 مليون ليرة ايرادات قلعة الحصن

بلغت الإيرادات المالية لقلعة الحصن لقاء زوار القلعة اعتباراً من بداية العام الجاري ولغاية نهاية شهر أيلول الماضي /9/ مليون و/822/ ألفاً و/390/ ليرة. وبلغ

إجمالي عدد زوار القلعة خلال الفترة المذكورة آنفاً /147/ ألفاً و/369/ زائراً وموزعين: 159 ألفاً و/888/ زائراً، عرب وأجانب.45 ألفاً و/340/ زائراً سورياً.15 ألفاً و/909/ زوار طلاب من جنسيات مختلفة./3282/ زائراً ضموا وفوداً رسمية 22 ألفاً و/950/ زائراً من بعثات علمية وطلاب مدارس.‏


عدد سكان قرية الفحيلة ثابت

حسان شبلخ

 الوفيات تعادل الولادات في قرية الفحيلة منذ ثلاث سنوات والرقم 2914 نسمة ثابت منذ فترة طويلة وتقع قرية الفحيلة إلى الجنوب الشرقي من حمص وتبعد 52 كم عن مركز المدينة وفي لقاء مع السيد منير عبد النور رئيس البلدية أفاد أن مختار

الفحيلة السيد عيسى شهلا أيضاً مختار منذ أكثر 52عاماً وإلى وقتنا الحاضر. وعند سؤالنا عن أهم الصعوبات والمشاكل في قرية الفحيلة أجاب لا وجود للمشاكل في قرية الفحيلة وعلى كافة الأصعدة الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والبيئية - وتابع أن الأراضي في الفحيلة مفرزة منذ عام 1985 مما ساعد على تطبيق المرسوم 59 لعام2008   الخاص بالبناء ولا يوجد مشاكل كون الأراضي مفرزة ويتم ترحيل النفايات بالعمل الشعبي إلى وقتنا الحاضر.‏