Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Primer on Human Metapneumovirus or HMPV


                I do a huge amount of continuing medical education, in part to continue to be licensed as a registered nurse in a number of states, some of which have different educational requirements than others, for continued licensure, and in part because I have a personal interest. In the past couple of years, for the purpose of being able to compound medication for both humans and veterinary uses, I also obtained a credential as a pharmacy technician. I hold certification in every state, and a license to practice in my home state. Of course, there is a fair chunk of continuing education involved in that too.  This is why it is surprising that I had absolutely not completed any continuing education which mentioned this.

                HMPV or Human Metapneumovirus was first discovered in 2001. It is a leading cause of respiratory infection within the world.  It is a relative of RSV or respiratory syncytial virus, which is a virus that can leave a premature child or young child with asthma for a lifetime, if he or she is to contract it as a youngster.  Both of my youngest sons had RSV in the 1990s and were therefore afflicted, thankfully only with mild asthma.  Both RSV and HMPV are members of the paramyxovirus family.

                HMPV can afflict people of absolutely any age and can impact both the upper respiratory and lower respiratory tree. It's incubation period after exposure is between 3-6 days and degree of illness is variable. Although it is a significant respiratory infection, sufferers may also have conjunctivitis.   In the US, winter and spring are the times of year that are most likely times to contract it.   One can contract it from coughs, sneezes, shaking hands, or from objects one might touch that were also touched by infected persons. Prevention is therefore important.  As yet, we have no specific treatment or immunization for it.

                 Prevention is therefore focused on:

1. Diligent handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap.

2. Avoiding those who are sick. Staying home if you are.

3. Avoiding kissing. Avoiding the use of utensils and cups which belong to others.

4. Covering your nose and mouth while sneezing.

5. Avoiding those who are sick and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, mouth or face.

6. Daily cleaning of your counters, sinks, doorknobs etc. can help to prevent spread throughout your home.

             We do have specific lab tests which can ascertain whether or not you have HMPV.      This is a common respiratory infection, and could easily be confused with COVID-19.   Although an infection with HMPV can produce a pneumonia and can conceivably kill infants, the elderly or those with a concurrent medical problem, most of the time, patients overcome this infection.  It's important to mention this because this infection can "muddy the waters" with COVID-19 concerns.  Those who reside in nursing homes, prisons etc., in close proximity may be at most risk for spread and for potential complications.

             Autumn and then winter are on their way. It is important to know that a persistent respiratory infection should be seen by your physician so that it can be differentiated between other infections. COVID-19 for example may require different treatment than the supportive care necessary in HMPV.

Authoritative information on HMPV

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Reminder About Comments That Contain Advertisements


          In the last few months I have received a number of comments for posting on this blog, which also advertise a product or a service.   Because I cannot appear to endorse a product or service that I know nothing about, I set a policy document regarding the posting of products or services in the form of a comment, back in 2014.  The link to our Advertising and Commentary Policy document appears within the black rectangle at the near top of the page, with other pages which concern my books and other blogs. These pages appear as links and the lettering is blue.  Since this particular page hasn't been noticed in the last several months, I have decided to post the page now as an actual post.

            Please contact me should you have any questions.  I do occasionally post and review a specific product or service, but a prior arrangement needs to be made. It took me time to research The Simple Pump, and some of the other products I have recommended.  Thank you for your understanding.

Advertising and Commentary Policy

        Effective May 1. 2014,  I will no longer be posting commentaries or responses to the posts here, when they includes or contain a link to a webpage for the purpose of advertising, unless there is a prior arrangement to do so. 

       Of late, a huge number of comments received do not relate at all to the post I have written.    Refrigerators on sale this weekend in India do not relate to a post on hand pumps for wells !    

        I am also being asked by others to remove comments or ads, and this is creating liability issues for me.  

     I  feel an obligation to provide information about products I actually use and can truly tell readers about, and not about products of which I know nothing.   

              My focus has always been to bring important preparedness information on varietal topics which only includes advertising when I personally know something about the product, and then I provide my own perspective and reactions.    My purpose has never been to log large numbers of followers, although we do have a fair number of unique users who although they have not signed up to become followers, but who do visit the site, and do participate.  We are a reference for reasonable family preparedness information and I do pay attention to issues of frugality here.

 I am also unable to allow posts here that have been placed anonymously or by "opaque users", due to issues of liability.   

I am also not available to the blogs on a daily basis, and so many comments, will simply not be reviewed or posted in a timely manner.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated understanding and cooperation.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A Reprise of the Benefits of Raising Chickens

These are Silky chickens.

      I wrote this first post in June of 2013.   Since I have spent a big portion of this Summer raising and caring for new chickens, and many others have as well as a source of eggs during our COVID-19 lockdown, I thought I would repost it.  Enjoy.

     There is a trend in the United States permitting those in quasi urban and suburban neighborhoods to own chickens.  Most of them have restrictions sufficient to prevent all night cackling, and I have read that many cities outlaw roosters, but I see the change in zoning to allow at least some chickens,   as a good thing.  Chickens allow families to have eggs, often in abundance, and that alone, can make them very worthwhile. Chicken manure when composted can be some of the best fertilizer.
          Chickens can also be incredible pets.  We have raised several injured chicks by hand who were simply thrown away by the feedstore, and each of them grew to be intelligent, cooperative and loving creatures, and one of them was a congenial rooster.   At our maximum here we had one hundred chickens. We presently have about fifty and they are either Rhode Island Reds or Bantams.  Many mornings I eat a large hard boiled brown egg fresh from one of the hens.    Linda from the blog  Practical Parsimony can vouch for what fantastic companions chickens can be. 


I love this one.  It looks like it has a screen door.

This one has a greens tray for growing greens for them, or for you.

This coop can be moved around your yard, permitting your grass to recover, and allowing your hens weekly fresh grass.

              Many of the pictures above which have appeared on this particular blog post were taken by, and were constructed by

     Laughing Chickens.     

   They are custom built, but are available to be constructed and sent via UPS in modular fashion, so that they can be easily assembled all over the country.    They are also constructed of reclaimed wood.

You can e-mail the owner at:

 You can call Duck at     (415) 295-4696

You may see additional and larger pictures at the Williams-Sonoma catalog online.


         Or, you can use all of this as inspiration, and build your very own

    We have so many eggs at the moment , but they decrease in Winter.

This is what we do with them:

*Have eggs for breakfast.   (We all have low total cholesterol)

 * Make a variety of different quiches, and freeze them in the freezer as quick dinners or lunches.
    (We make Quiche Lorraine, Broccoli and Cheddar, Chive and Cheese, Veggie and Herb)

* We cook them and add them to dog, and sometimes cat food.  Our animals are long lived and have great coats.

* Eggnog when the season is right.

* Give or trade some to friends.

*Make your own egg custard.

Egg custard recipe
(Although we use white sugar instead of brown in this, and we use less.)

This allows you to walk inside and collect eggs without a lot of bending or squatting.

The original post is configured slightly differently and has some additional information. It appears at: