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Naturist Health. The purpose of this webpage is to provide naturists with useful, accurate, and current information via weblinks relating to health and personal safety issues of special concern to those without clothes. The listing below is just an introductory grouping of recognized health topics that we hope will be appended with useful links. If you have a good 'link' about one of these topics, or know of a link to an informational website ... send the URL and a description of the site through the Contact NetNude link which is on the front page of NetNude. Thank you. If you know of any other naturist related health issues, send it in too.
Note: the following websites, which are in plain text, have been asked for link permission with no reply. I have included them anyways as health problems are important. Just cut and paste into the URL field of your browser.
This page relates to those health issues unique, or at least those posing an increased threat, to naturists.
Skin CancersDescription: There are three major types of skin cancers: basal cell, squamous cell and the much rarer, but aggressive and often life-threatening melanoma. Melanoma usually involves moles and other pigmented skin lesions and melanoma's characteristic changes to these moles are recognizable - even by the layman. The following weblink (under Melanoma) created by a UC Medical School professor presents both textual information and photographic views of both benign and cancerous forms and a self-guided tutorial to help train individuals to better recognize the danger signs. This material is presented only as a guide and should not substitute for regular dermatological examinations by trained medical professionals. a. Melanoma b. Squamous cell carcinoma c. Basal cell carcinoma
Solar Effectsa. "Safe" tanning To tan or not to tan, that is the question.... The overwhelming consensus of the field of dermatology is that any sun tanning is not good and should be avoided like the plague. However, there have been a few papers from the scientific community suggesting on an epidemiological basis that cancer risks are relatively small and there are numerous benefits to be gained with prudent exposure to sunlight. "Are we really dying for a tan?" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1116197/ "Skin cancer prevention and UV-protection: how to avoid vitamin D-deficiency?" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19775358 b. SPF: What it really implies c. Sunburns, avoidance and treatment d. Cataract development and the sun e. Skin drying, wrinkling, and freckles
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac and other skin irritantsNaturist/nudist recreation is somewhat more likely to expose an individual to the hazards presented by these three dangerous plants than do clothed activities. The most important aspect of one's knowledge of these toxic shrubs is their identification. Tourists to unfamiliar regions should take care to learn how to recognize local varieties so they may wisely avoid any contact with them. Following are selected websites which provide detailed information concerning: identification, mode of action, toxicity, treatment, and eradication of these three urushiol-producing plants common to North America. General information: http://poisonivy.aesir.com/ http://www.umm.edu/outdoor/poison_ivy.htm - - - -
Airborne health issuesa. SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (SARS) SARS is a potentially lethal respiratory illness caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Its origin is presumed to be Asia where this virus made the jump from livestock to humans and was rapidly carried by those infected to many different countries presumably through air travel. It is considered very contagious and SARS epidemiologists believe that it can be spread by close personal contact with human secretion droplets(cough/sneeze, etc.), direct contact with droplet-contaminated surfaces, and possibly even more widely by aerosol(airborne) means. It was first diagnosed in February 2003 in Hong Kong, China and has subsequently spread to many different continents. In 2003, it was identified in travelers returning from Asia or their direct contact victims in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. As it is a viral agent, antibacterial treatments for this disease are ineffective and research is being conducted around the globe by many different agencies and organizations to discover new antivirals and other medications that can either prevent or cure this syndrome. Since SARS first made its appearance new information relevant to its prevention and treatment are being discovered daily, thus specific information is in constant flux. The best way to protect yourself and your family from this disease is to stay abreast of new discoveries and changing recommendations through the use of the following governmental websites of the U.S.A., Canada, and the World Health Organization: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/index.htm http://www.who.int/csr/sars/en/
Parasites and Vector Borne Pathogensa. Ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, tropical sandflies b. Arthropod-borne diseases 1) malaria 2) encephalitis 3) less common but ugly tropical diseases c. Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellents: A Clinician's Guide This review of current literature provides one with currently accurate information regarding various important aspects of mosquito biology, life history, disease transmission, and most importantly how individuals can protect themselves and their families from these potential killers. Evaluations of various repellent compounds are presented, from which informed choices can be made. Naturists more often expose all their skin surface to these scourges, so we must be more informed and vigilant. http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/01jun98/mosquito.htm DEET Online This chemical compound(N,N-diethyl-m toluamide - also variously listed as N,N- diethyl-meta-toluamide and N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) has been in use since the mid-twentieth century and the number of individual applications worldwide are estimated at over 200 million per year. In all this time, only a handful of lethal exposures have ever occurred and these were in gross violation of labeled directions. In fact, in some of these cases, DEET ingestion actually caused some of these hospitalizations. The following web site provides you with what you need to know about this lifesaving, yet often misunderstood material. http://www.deetonline.org/ What you can do for yourself and your family at home and abroad Avoidance is obviously the best advice we can follow, so limiting our exposure to mosquitoes and other airborne disease vectors will best keep us all healthy. The importance of physical barriers if you live in an area where mosquitoes are prevalent can’t be overly stressed. Homes should have windows and doors with tight- fitting screens and every effort should be made to remove all stagnant water breeding habitats from your immediate environment. Mosquitoes prefer rank vegetation and damp environments, so regularly trimming and thinning home shrubbery and minimizing watering will usually make your immediate home environment less attractive as resting areas for adult mosquitoes. Livestock and outdoor pets serve as attractants and hosts, so the fewer you have near your home itself, the smaller the resident mosquito population may likely be. Like a neighborhood watch program for crime prevention, people can arm themselves with information and visit and even inspect cooperative neighborhood yards to both locate and help neighbors avoid involuntarily breeding mosquitoes on their own property. If some neighbors are unwilling to work with volunteers, and one strongly suspects they have breeding sources on their property, a call to the county/municipal health department or mosquito abatement district is usually the best recourse. Your confidentiality will always be fully protected. Many, if not most mosquito species have short flight and home ranges, so your actions can play an important role. Mosquitoes don’t need much water in which to breed, thus even puddled water in relatively small containers as tiny as a cemetery urn, an old auto tire, or even a water-filled tree hole can produce hordes of nuisance or disease vectoring mosquitoes. So, constant vigilance and surveillance are important during mosquito breeding periods. Remember: As with medical matters, you are usually your own best physician and nobody knows your own property as well as you. Legally, mosquitoes are the responsibility of those property owners rearing them, so depending upon local and state health codes, one may be charged for abatement actions should they be substantial and therefore deemed necessary. Some jurisdictions have property tax supported vector control agencies, so professional inspections and treatments are already on one’s tax bill and they may not even be aware of it. A call to one’s municipal or county environmental health agency will often steer one to the best course of action. Public health agencies often provide free information and even talks can be scheduled for local groups, clubs, and school classrooms. These professionals typically bring videos and sometimes even exhibits so the uninformed can learn more about the identification, lifestyles and habits of mosquitoes. With the availability of online search engines, such as Google.com and others, naturist travelers can easily obtain valuable, if not crucial information about vectored and infectious disease information for any place or region they may plan on visiting. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain web links to detailed and current country-by-country information for international travelers. All too often, tourists arrive uninformed and suffer needless mosquito exposure. Bringing along mosquito repellent lotion is always advisable, as it may not be easy to locate and purchase safe, yet efficacious repellents in some locales. http://www.cdc.gov/travel/ Remember: Mosquitoes, through the diseases they can carry, have been responsible for more human death and suffering than any other living organism on this little blue planet. - - - - - - - d. West Nile Virus (WNV). Rather than providing a brief description of the various aspects of this mosquito-borne viral disease on NetNude, readers here should avail themselves of the many websites that have been created by various and sundry agencies and jurisdictions to provide both the layman and health professional with current WNV information. A Google.com search will uncover hundreds of WNV-related websites; however, two of the most extensive internet databases are those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Canada. Virtually all aspects of this disease are discussed within the two following indexed links: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
Waterborne Amoeba6 die from brain-eating amoeba after swimming PHOENIX — It sounds like science fiction but it’s true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die. Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future. "This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we’d expect to see more cases." According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s. In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache. "We didn’t know," Evans said. "And here I am: I come home and I’m burying him." After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California. Deadly infection Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment. Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve. The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said. People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they’ll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said. Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said. "Usually, from initial exposure it’s fatal within two weeks," he said. Researchers still have much to learn about Naegleria. They don’t know why, for example, children are more likely to be infected, and boys are more often victims than girls. "Boys tend to have more boisterous activities (in water), but we’re not clear," Beach said. Extremely rare In central Florida, authorities started an amoeba phone hotline advising people to avoid warm, standing water and areas with algae blooms. Texas health officials also have issued warnings. People "seem to think that everything can be made safe, including any river, any creek, but that’s just not the case," said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Officials in the town of Lake Havasu City are discussing whether to take action. "Some folks think we should be putting up signs. Some people think we should close the lake," city spokesman Charlie Cassens said. Beach cautioned that people shouldn’t panic about the dangers of the brain-eating bug. Cases are still extremely rare considering the number of people swimming in lakes. The easiest way to prevent infection, Beach said, is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water. "You’d have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with" to be infected, he said. David Evans has tried to learn as much as possible about the amoeba over the past month. But it still doesn’t make much sense to him. His family had gone to Lake Havasu countless times. Have people always been in danger? Did city officials know about the amoeba? Can they do anything to kill them off? Evans lives within eyesight of the lake. Temperatures hover in the triple digits all summer, and like almost everyone else in this desert region, the Evanses look to the lake to cool off. It was on David Evans’ birthday Sept. 8 that he brought Aaron, his other two children, and his parents to Lake Havasu. They ate sandwiches and spent a few hours splashing around. Specific information: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/faqs.html#common_us Additional sources of information: http://naturistaction.org/AlertsAdvisoriesUpdates/NAC_Advisory_-_Deep_Creek_Hot_Springs_10-27-99.txt
Waterborne parasitesThere are more than 70 recognized parasites that may infest/infect humans who bathe in or consume fresh-/seawater and seafood animals. These include, but are not limited to: nematodes(roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), trematodes(flatworms, flukes), and smaller but no less harmful protozoan parasites such as Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba, and Giardia. Needless to say, avoidance or prevention is always the best course of action. Ingestion of some of these organisms can be painful and even possibly a fatal experience. Some parasites, like swimmers itch, are more nuisance than potentially harmful. In North America most bathers will not encounter many of the nightmarish parasites common to the tropics; but naturist visitors to these idyllic vacation destinations may discover these paradises come with real hazards. In any case, one should take care to ingest only water that has been purified in some acceptable manner and food items properly prepared and thoroughly cooked. Vigorously boiling questionable water for a full 3 minutes will kill virtually all these organisms. Filtering devices work well for larger protozoans; but harmful, non-filterable viruses and bacteria require supplemental chemical treatment. Specific illness, parasite, and pathogen information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/index.htm. General sources of information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/healthywater/factsheets.htm http://www.cdc.gov/travel/food-drink-risks.htm
Waterborne health issuesa. Pool sanitation 1) Chlorine, bromine, UV-sterilization, and ozone use. b. Diseases 1) Bacterial 2) Viral
Food Safetya. Potluck and outdoor dining safety b. Food poisoning avoidance, recognition, and treatment
Travel Health and WelfareTRAVEL HEALTH The following links provide an exhaustive range of topics - all relating to travel safety, medicine, and destination health or disease advisories from organizations representing both Canada and the United States of America. Although all of these websites contain freely accessible information, the non-profit organizations linked below may solicit donations, subscription and/or membership fees for certain member privileges and information access. However, some of the information they provide may not be available through government websites. Most of these links contain specialized search engines or indices to permit the online visitor to quickly locate certain topics. Naturists visiting extremely remote destinations should consider joining IAMAT, as it has an international association of reasonably-priced medical service providers for English language travelers, as well as detailed guides to these areas and their unique health issues. Naturists, by virtue of their love for sun and water, are more likely to be exposed to certain insect and waterborne diseases than are clothed travelers; thus forewarned is forearmed.... http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/tmp-pmv/index.html http://www.iamat.org/ http://www.istm.org/ http://www.astmh.org/index2.html a. Vaccinations b. Traveler's Medicine c. Civil Unrest and political threats
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