Health Buzz: Another SARS-like Coronavirus Case Identified

How to serve aphrodisiac foods; cook up some family fun on Valentine’s Day

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This Coronavirus Resembles Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

A British man who recently traveled to the Middle East and Pakistan has been sickened by a respiratory illness that looks an awful lot like SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Now receiving treatment at a Manchester, England hospital, the man is the 10th confirmed case of this particular coronavirus, the BBC reports. This newer coronavirus was first identified last fall, when the World Health Organization alerted health officials of an ill Qatari man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia. In 2002, a SARS outbreak killed 800 people worldwide and infected 8,000 with symptoms such as high fever, headache, body ache, and a dry cough. While news of these infected individuals may conjure images of frightened folks in surgical masks like in 2002, Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) says there's no need to panic. "Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low," the HPA told Reuters. "And the risk to travelers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low."

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  • How to Serve Aphrodisiac Foods

    You read one time that asparagus was an aphrodisiac. So last Valentine's Day, you bought five pounds of it, cooked it for your date, and then waited for a magical rush of heart-pumping, hair-standing lust that transforms two ordinary people into Scarlett and Rhett—or better yet, Kim and Ray Jay. Did it work? Probably not. And if it did, kudos, but it wasn't because of the asparagus. That's not quite how aphrodisiac foods work, says Kantha Shelke, a food scientist and spokesperson with International Food Technologists. We live in the Viagra culture, she says. "People expect instant gratification, and I don't believe any food can give you that."

    Aphrodisiac foods aren't magic potions that immediately turn you on. They're foods that typically do three things: excite your senses, open your blood vessels, and make you feel comfortable and focused, Shelke says. Take a cup of hot tea. In terms of senses, it's got a lot going on. It's warm to the touch, and provides moist, rising steam, along with vibrant smells of added spices. Tea also gets the blood moving (to all your parts), and it makes you slow down, feel good, and focus on the matter (or lover) at hand.

    Shelke shares another, somewhat surprising Western aphrodisiac: pumpkin pie. Your senses will dig the bright color, creamy texture, rich taste, and spicy aromas. As a plant-based food, it opens blood vessels, and, Shelke adds, "It always conjures happy memories and a feeling of comfort and safety, and that's usually when you perform the best." [Read more: How to Serve Aphrodisiac Foods]

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    • Cook Up Some Family Fun on Valentine's Day

      Once upon a time, Valentine's Day wasn't solely for significant others, writes U.S. News blogger Keri Glassman. Think back to your early school days—come on, it wasn't that long ago—when we were told to make every classmate a valentine. Perhaps our teachers were onto something, because although Valentine's Day is often associated with romance and gifts of heart shaped chocolates, roses, and jewelry, it's more or less just a day to celebrate love. That can mean love for a special someone in your life, as well as love for a friend, or even your dog! Yes, all those gifts are great, but the Valentines from my kids are what really melt my heart.

      We try to show love for one another every day, so February 14 is really not so different. But, I like to use the day as an excuse for some fun-filled family time in the kitchen, which is so much more than a room for cooking. For my family, it's where I teach my children about healthful foods, where my little Picassos get to work, and where we create all sorts of goofy memories—and our Valentine's Day plans reflect just that!