Sunday, October 30, 2011

Need Gift Ideas?

If you’re looking for a gift, check out a site like where you’ll find suggestions for every occasion.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some Good College Advice…

If you just sent your son or daughter off to college, chances are you gave him or her plenty of advice. Here are three points you may have missed, thanks to Trent Hamm of

Don’t worry too much about picking a major early on. You don’t have to know what you want to do right now. Try things you’ve never done before. This is the time to see what does or does not interest you.

The biggest value you’ll get from college is your relationships with other people. Build relationships with students, professors, staff members, anyone you respect, admire and enjoy being with. They may help you with your career path and end up being your friends for life.

The biggest value you’ll get from your classes is transferable skills. You’ll learn to process information, manage your time and communicate (writing, speaking, presenting) with a variety of people. You’ll get as much value out of learning how to learn a particular subject (say, Western Philosophy) than you may get out of the specific subject itself. These are skills you’ll use no matter what career you pursue.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What is Your Walkability Score?

Q. What are “walkability” scores?

A. CEOs For Cities, a national network of urban leaders, commissioned a study released in August 2009 that explored the relationship between home values and walkability in various U.S. metropolitan areas.

Walkability is defined by the Walk Score algorithm, which calculates the closest amenities to a U.S. address. Scores range from 0 (car dependent) to 100 (most walkable).

The results showed that the walkability of cities translated into increased home values in 13 of the 15 housing markets studied. In the typical metropolitan area, a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market. The gains were larger in more dense, urban areas like Chicago and San Francisco and smaller in less dense markets like Tucson and Fresno.

Houses with above-average levels of walkability commanded a premium of about $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with average levels in the typical metropolitan area.

Walk Score is an approximation. It does not consider factors such as public transit, crime and topography. Lots of real estate agents, however, are adding the Walk Score to their listings.

If you have any questions, or need capable and trustworthy representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

America’s Safest Cities

Forbes has named these cities the safest based on crime rate, workplace fatalities, traffic deaths & natural disaster risk:
1. Minneapolis
2. Milwaukee metro area
3. Portland metro area
4. Boston (tie)
5. Seattle (tie)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make Sure Your Diploma Is Legitimate

If you’re about to sign up for an online education program or a specialized school, check to see if the school is accredited. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education maintains a database at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How To Complain Effectively

The customer may always be right, but sometimes you have to convince companies that it’s true. If you think you’ve encountered bad service, you not only have a right to complain, you have a responsibility. Here’s how to do it effectively:

 Decide what you want the company to do. Will you be satisfied with a refund, a credit, a repaired product or a replacement?

 Contact the seller as soon as possible. Talking to a customer service representative can solve many problems. Be ready with details and documentation. Be assertive yet calm (not threatening!) as you explain your position. Keep going up the ladder until you reach someone in a position of authority.

 If the issue is not resolved, write a letter to the seller’s national headquarters or the manufacturer of the item. Do your research since the manufacturer is often different than the brand name.

 If you are not satisfied (after a reasonable amount of time), file a complaint with a third party. In addition to complaining to the Better Business Bureau and your state consumer protection office, take your issue to the state or federal agency that regulates that particular business. You might also get help from a trade association or the local news media.

 If all else fails, consider filing a small claims suit or pursuing a dispute resolution program. You can get a directory of programs, including mediation, arbitration and conciliation, from the American Bar Association.

For more information, consult the “2009 Consumer Action Handbook”
a free 172-page guide from the General Service Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communication. You can order the handbook, which contains a directory of several hundred companies and a sample complaint letter, or download it at

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't Grocery Shop on an Empty Stomach

Use These Strategies To Shop Smarter For Groceries
You can read plenty of articles on the internet about how to save money on groceries, but do you really have a grocery shopping strategy? Here are some supermarket tips and secrets that will make you a savvy shopper.

 Approach grocery shopping like a job. You need to have a plan (take a list) and a budget to make the best use of your time and money.

 Stick to a time schedule. Shop for what you need and get out. It is said that if you’re in the store more than 30 minutes, you’ll spend an extra 50 cents to $1 per minute as you walk the aisles.

 Shop alone. Real Simple Magazine says parents will spend 10-40 percent more if they take their kids along. It might be worth it to hire a babysitter!

 Only buy “food” at a grocery store. Generally, you’re better off buying toiletries, cleaning supplies and pet food at a big-box discount store.

 Know the floor plan. Shop the perimeter first for fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and milk. You’ll find some good buys in the center aisles, but you’ll also be tempted by items like frozen convenience foods.

 Don’t assume everything on sale is a bargain. Stores often display “sale” items at the end of the aisles. Manufacturers pay to have their products put there so they aren’t necessarily a good deal.

 Check “price per unit.” Sometimes it’s cheaper per unit to buy two smaller items than it is to buy one supersize package.

 Look high and low. Stores often place higher-priced items at eye level (brands pay for the space). Check prices on the top and bottom shelves.

 Pay attention at checkout. Shoppers lose up to $3 billion a year on scanner mistakes (current sale prices not reflected).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kids Are Expensive

A new government study found the average cost to raise a child from birth through age 17 is $221,000! This does not include college. Here’s the breakdown:
 Housing – 32 percent
 Child care/education – 16 percent
 Food – 16 percent
 Transportation – 14 percent
 Health care – 8 percent
 Miscellaneous – 8 percent
 Clothing – 6 percent

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can Medication Make You Sick?

Medication is supposed to make us better, but it can have the opposite effect. Take care to avoid these medication mistakes:

• Mixing over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. You may be double dosing. For example, if you take a cold pill that contains acetaminophen (more than 600 OTC and prescription medicines do), don’t pop an additional Tylenol for good measure. Too much of the drug can cause liver damage.

• Not recognizing the “rebound effect.” That’s when a drug produces reverse effects when the effect of the drug has passed or the patient no longer responds to it. In other words, a remedy meant to help may make a condition worse. This has been known to happen with pain relievers, OTC eye drops, decongestant sprays, sleeping pills and teeth whiteners. Best advice: If you don’t think a drug or product is working, don’t just take more of it. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Do They Call It Bing?

Microsoft’s newest search engine is not named after a cherry and does not stand for “But It’s Not Google.” It’s meant to represent the sound of something found, as in “Bingo! I’ve got it!”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Should You Get A Flu Shot?

Despite all the publicity and serious worldwide concern about the H1N1 flu virus last year, many U.S. adults chose not to get vaccinated. As flu seasons approaches, here are some points to consider:

• The U.S. Centers For Disease Control reiterates that the flu is a contagious disease that can be life-threatening. They estimated that 60 million Americans contracted the H1N1 virus by March 2010. Some 270,000 were hospitalized and more than 12,000 died.

• The 2010-2011 vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1 and two other flu viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B). People who got the 2009 H1N1 vaccine (or had that flu) should still get the 2010-2011 vaccine.

• The CDC recommends that all people six months and older be vaccinated each year. Adults only need one shot while some children will need two. A new, higher-dosage vaccine will be available for people 65 and older. Most flu occurs from November through May. You should get the vaccine as soon as it is available in your area.

For flu prevention tips, see

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Education Innovation

Will students in the future use tablet computers instead of textbooks? Students, parents and teachers are helping to determine that as part of Started
by a student, the site includes some recommended apps and a social community that gives everyone a chance to discuss how schools can make the best use of technology.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stay Connected: Start A Family Blog

You don’t have time to send e-mails, much less cards, letters and photos to keep your family in the loop. You can use Facebook, but why not create your own blog? It’s easy, fun and you can do it as an individual or a group.

To get started, check out some of the free blogging hosts, such as, or Each one has templates, instructions and features like custom privacy settings and ability to post from your mobile phone. You can upgrade to a paid account later, if you need advanced features.

Here are some keys to success from experienced bloggers:
 Keep posts short and to the point (300 words or less).
 Include lots of photos (make sure to size them correctly).
 Don’t use it to vent (unless it’s entertaining).
 Set a date in your calendar so it’s updated monthly (or weekly).

Another plus: You can even publish your blog as a book once a year!

Monday, October 17, 2011

What Your Kids Are Doing

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows that 8-18 year-olds spend an average of 7 hours 38 minutes using entertainment media a day.
 They spend more time listening to music, playing games and watching TV on their cell phones than they spend talking on them!
 7th-12th graders spend an average of 1 hour 35 minutes a day texting, and that wasn’t counted as entertainment media in this study.
 Media use increases when they become tweens (11-14 years old).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where to Focus Your Money in a Remodel

Q. We are planning to sell our home soon. What room should we focus our main attention when getting our house ready for sale?

A. Focus on the kitchen. The kitchen is a major consideration in most sales. For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in a house.
If you have an outdated kitchen and plan to sell your home, a kitchen remodel usually doesn’t make sense. However, a kitchen makeover can work magic in brightening your home. Here are a few tips to liven up a tired kitchen without taxing your pocketbook:
1) A New Coat Of Paint. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in brightening any room. Focus on neutral colors.
2) Clean Up The Clutter. Put away any extra appliances, cookbooks, and other messy items that take up counter space.
3) Clean, Clean, Clean. Make sure everything sparkles...from the windows, appliances, counters, to the floor.
4) Out With The Old, In With The New. If your countertop tile is outdated, old, or grungy. replace it with new tile. Remember to keep the colors neutral. If you have an old stainless steel faucet replace it with a new one. These improvements can be completed inexpensively, and will increase the value and appeal of your home.
5) Replace Outdated Hardware. If you have old, outdated hardware on your kitchen cabinets, look for a new, stylish replacement.
6) Lighting. Make sure there is light shining in the kitchen when you show your house. You want your kitchen to look bright and spotless.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Help Your Kids Deal with Bullies

Bullies are among the top fears school age children expressed in a recent study. Here are six strategies for dealing with bullies in school:
1. Listen to your children. Encourage your kids to talk about school and other kids, so that you can hear if they are having any problems.
2. Take your child’s complaints of bullying seriously. A minor complaint may actually uncover a more serious problem.
3. Report bullying behavior to school officials. They can stop the problem at the source. If it’s happening to your child, chances are it’s probably happening to other children.
4. Help your child learn the social skills they need to make friends. A confident child who has friends is less likely to be bullied.
5. Teach your child non violent ways to resolve arguments. Teach your child self-protection skills, staying alert and verbal assertiveness.
6. Teach your child that they can walk away from a bully.
For more information on how to protect your children from bullies, go to

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Extra Calcium Can Save Your Life

How to Reduce Your Risk
of Colon Cancer…

You can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 15 percent just by drinking one glass of milk a day! Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that by drinking milk and taking calcium supplements (1,000 mg) daily you can reduce your risk of colon cancer by 24%.

The study analyzed the calcium intake of over 500,000 men and women, and colorectal cancer and was published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers recommended eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grain, while reducing your fat intake. They also recommended exercising regularly and getting a regular colon-screening test to reduce your risk of colon cancer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Secrets Of Female Millionaires

Did you know there are more women millionaires today than at any time in history? It’s true. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Woman Next Door, has come up with some interesting facts. The average female millionaire is 49 years old, married, a mother, spends 3-4 hours a week at the gym, and works a 50-hour week.

Stanley found three themes that stood out. Female millionaires were responsible for budgeting and financial planning in their households and had a detailed method of tracking expenses. Second, female millionaires focused selling their skills rather than merchandise. Service businesses enabled the women to do what they liked, and work a reasonable schedule.

Third, female millionaires viewed themselves as leaders. Four out of five women millionaires focused their attention on the future...and not what had happened in the past. The millionaire women were proactive, and believed it was their responsibility to move situations forward.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We All Tell White Lies Sometimes

Five Surefire Ways
To Spot A Liar…

Do you remember the old joke: “How can you tell if a politician is lying? Answer: Their lips are moving!”

Well, almost everyone lies at sometime, according to Dr. Robert Galatzer-Levy of the University of Chicago. In fact, research has shown that people lie in one-fourth of their daily social interactions.” White lies, little kid lies, vicious lies, lies of infidelity...and infamous ‘presidential’ lies! There can be severe penalties for lying. If you lie in court and get caught, you can go to prison. Most liars usually give themselves away with their body language or their words. Here are five surefire ways for becoming an expert ‘liar detective’:

1. Shifty Eyes. Shifty eyes are the hallmark of a liar, according to a recent study of people polled in 75 countries. Looking away or lack of eye contract are non-verbal signs that may indicate the person is lying.
2. Body Language Giveaways. Look at body movements. Is the person fidgeting? Is their body stiffening? Watch their hands, fingers, legs, and feet. Also, look at their emotional facial expressions. Watch for small, brief expressions that run counter to the person’s facial gestures.
3. Verbal Clues. Liars tend to hesitate, stammer, or stutter when speaking. Watch for slow speech, pauses, and a higher-pitched voice.
4. Inconsistencies. If a “liar” tells you something that doesn’t add up, ask for an explanation. Then watch for clues. Are they defensive? Do they give you too much information and go overboard with a lie?
5. Intuition. Pay attention to clues. Listen to what a person is saying (and how they’re saying it). Look at what a person is telling you with their body and gestures. Does the person say they’re glad to see you, but then moves away...or gives you a tepid handshake?
The chance a person is lying increases when their words and gestures don’t match. Asking questions is the best way of getting to the truth.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Need Pain Relief? Try This…No its NOT MaryJane

If you’re looking to relieve pain – try meditation. People all over the world have recognized the benefits of meditation for thousands of years.
And recent studies show even brief training in meditation can help ease pain.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte researchers found that
students who received a single hour of mindfulness training over three days significantly reduced their awareness and sensitivity to pain. Other studies show that meditation is particularly helpful to people who suffer from chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and migraines. Here’s how you can get started:

 Understand that most types of meditation have four elements in common: 1) a quiet location, 2) a specific and comfortable posture,
3) a focus of attention, and 4) an open attitude.

 Try this 3-minute exercise called A.C.E. recommended by Psychologist Elisha Goldstein, PhD. Do it several times a day:
• Awareness. Spend 60 seconds becoming aware of what is happening right now in your thoughts and emotions.
• Collecting. Spend another 60 seconds collecting your attention on your breathing. Notice where you are breathing most prominently ─ your nose, chest or belly.
• Expanding. Spend another 60 seconds expanding your awareness into your physical body and noticing sensations like tingling, warmth, pain and coolness at specific sites.

 Practice. Dr. Robert Bonakdar from the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine says the idea is to relax your body and become aware of your pain without judging it or fixating on it. Instead of running away from pain, come to terms with it. The reduced tension helps ease pain.

 Educate yourself. You can buy books and tapes on all kinds of meditation techniques (mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, relaxation response, guided imagery etc.) or seek out information on the internet. Try different techniques to see which one best suits you. If you have chronic pain, you might consider taking formal training.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learn How To Organize And Get Things Done

Do you feel like you’re always working to keep up, but don’t really get anything done, especially around holidays? In his best-selling book Getting Things Done, David Allen gives you an effective time management system to help you organize your stuff, your work activities and your personal life.

Allen’s key idea is to start with a “mind sweep” ─ get everything out of your head and down on paper (or other written form). Once your mind is cleared, your productivity goes up and you can focus on creative action. His five basic stages of mastering your personal or professional “workflow” are:

1) Collect. Capture anything and everything that is on your mind.
2) Process. Decide what each thing means. Is it something you should do? Do it now or later? Can you delegate it (and track on a “Waiting For” list)?
3) Organize. Place the items in categories, such as Projects, Calendar, Next Actions and Waiting For, and sub-categories of your choice. (To help you visualize this, he includes a diagram for navigating through the processing and organizing phases of your workflow.)
4) Review. Go over Calendar and Action lists daily and do a weekly customized review to get clean and current.
5) Do. Make choices about your actions based on what you can do, how much time and energy you have and your priorities.

Another one of his most popular methods is the “two minute rule.” If any task can be completed in less than two minutes (for example, a quick email response), do it immediately. Stop putting those little things off.

Allen says Getting Things Done is “just advanced common sense.” But once you learn how to get everything under control, real change begins.

Millions of people around the world have found that his methods work. To order the book, search for “Getting Things Done” at

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Get Smart About Your Heart

People often treat their cars better than they do their bodies. That’s what the president of the American Heart Association (AHA) says about the public’s awareness of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death around the world. The key is this: If you do the right things, most heart disease is preventable. While talking with your doctor is important, here’s what you can do on your own:

• Know where you stand. To get your personal heart score and learn what steps you may need to take to improve your heart health, go to and click on “Get your assessment.”

• Follow the AHA’s “Simple 7”:
• Get active. 150 minutes/week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise. Walking is a great way to start.
• Control cholesterol. Make diet and lifestyle changes if your level is 200 mg/dl or higher.
• Eat better. Follow the 2010 guidelines at The AHA takes these a step further by saying everyone should limit their daily sodium consumption to 1,500 mg a day.
• Manage blood pressure. Know yours and keep it in a healthy range.
• Lose weight. Understand the relationship between the calories you’re consuming versus the calories you’re burning off.
• Reduce blood sugar. Diabetes is one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
• Stop smoking. Seek out classes/support groups by contacting such organizations as the American Lung Association or Cancer Society.

• Track and manage your heart health by using the interactive tool at

Learn the warning signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest. Find this information at a doctor’s office, library or online sites like By acting quickly (calling 9-1-1) you may save a life, including your own

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Time to Shop for a Good Lender?

Q. We are shopping around for mortgage, but we don’t even know where to begin. What are the biggest mistakes people make?

A. First, before you begin, do your homework. Choosing the wrong mortgage is the biggest mistake people can make. Shop around. Make sure to look at the initial interest rate, future interest rates, and payments. Also, make sure you know if there are any prepayment penalties, and if so, what these are before signing anything.

Secondly, pay off your credit cards. Excessive credit can affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage. A lender doesn’t want you to get in over your head, and then have you unable to make your payments. Another big mistake is not having the home inspection done. Make the purchase of your new house contingent on passing a home inspection. Don’t skip this step. That way you’ll know whether there are any serious problems with the house (mold, leaking roof, poor foundation, cracks) before you buy. It’ll be money well spent!

Also, know the terms. Know the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved when talking with lenders and real estate agents. Pre-qualified means the lender is making an estimate about how much you can borrow based on the financial information you’ve provided. Pre-approved means the lender has verified the financial information you’ve supplied, and can offer you a loan at a specific amount, interest rate, and under certain conditions.

Lastly, hire a competent real estate agent who is experienced, who specializes in your area, and has a record of success. Ask the agent for specific information about how he/she plans to market your house.

If you are in the market for a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10 Ways To Live Forever!!

Back by popular demand. Want to feel better, look better, and live as if you’re a finely tuned sports car? Here are 10 more tips that’ll keep you feeling, looking, and living better...and enjoying life however long you live.

1. Take A Baby Aspirin Daily (81 mg.) reduces your risk of heart disease.
2. Let Grapefruit Be Your Friend. Grapefruit lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.
3. Find A Mate. Happily married people have lower blood pressure.
4. Treat Yourself To A Massage. A massage will soothe away your stress.
5. Have An Apple. It’s apple a day lowers your risk for heart disease.
6. Get A Pet. Studies show man’s (and woman’s) best friend really is just that.
7. Whistle A Happy Tune. Sing, whistle, or listen to music reduces stress.
8. Dress Your Salads. Leafy greens, high in antioxidants, protect your heart.
9. Go Wild With Watermelon. High in lycopene, it protects you from cancer.
10. Eat Chocolate! Dark chocolate, high in flavonoids—is good for your heart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trans Fats In Your Food—Just How Dangerous Are They?

It’s becoming one of the most frequently used ingredients in many foods...and it’s one of the most dangerous! Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated oils, are in everything from crackers, cake mixes, snack foods, cookies, breakfast cereals, microwave popcorn to french fries. Trans fats get their name from a distinct chemical structure. When manufacturers want a more solid, stable form of oil to make their products, they bubble hydrogen gas through vegetable oil. Sounds harmless? But what they are doing is changing the chemical structure of the fat.

Trans fats raise your level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and can also decrease your HDL, (the good cholesterol). Combined, these two effects put you at risk for developing heart disease. Trans fats also have been implicated in an increase risk of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and other cancers, and aging, according to recent studies. But don’t despair, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to trans fat foods at your neighborhood health food store. Just be sure to always check the labels on all foods for this hidden danger.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Here They Are—The Top 10 Jobs For Working From Home

Have you ever wanted a job where you didn’t have to drive to work? No traffic. No commuting. Flexible hours. And no sharing office space with people you might not care to see everyday. Now more and more people are opting for working at home. With technological advances and computers, home offices make working at home more affordable for employers, and much more convenient for workers.

How do you know if working at home is for you? Two traits can help to make someone more successful at working outside the office. First, successful at home workers or telecommuters are self-starters who don’t need “hands-on” help from managers. Secondly, they need to be an organized person with good time management skills. So if you’re interested in what career opportunities lend themselves to working at home, here’s a list of the Top 10 Jobs for working from home:

1) Computer Programmer / IT Specialist; 2)Accountant / Financial Advisor; 3) Graphic Designer; 4)Web Site Designer / Web Developer; 5) Communications Specialist; 6)Medical Transcriptionist;
7) Real Estate Agent; 8) Sales Representative; 9) Market Researcher; and 10) Translation Specialist.

For more information on working from home or telecommuting, go to,,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Here They Are—The Top 10 Jobs For Working From Home

Have you ever wanted a job where you didn’t have to drive to work? No traffic. No commuting. Flexible hours. And no sharing office space with people you might not care to see everyday. Now more and more people are opting for working at home. With technological advances and computers, home offices make working at home more affordable for employers, and much more convenient for workers.

How do you know if working at home is for you? Two traits can help to make someone more successful at working outside the office. First, successful at home workers or telecommuters are self-starters who don’t need “hands-on” help from managers. Secondly, they need to be an organized person with good time management skills. So if you’re interested in what career opportunities lend themselves to working at home, here’s a list of the Top 10 Jobs for working from home:

1) Computer Programmer / IT Specialist; 2)Accountant / Financial Advisor; 3) Graphic Designer; 4)Web Site Designer / Web Developer; 5) Communications Specialist; 6)Medical Transcriptionist;
7) Real Estate Agent; 8) Sales Representative; 9) Market Researcher; and 10) Translation Specialist.

For more information on working from home or telecommuting, go to,,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How To Keep Yourself Safe From Animal Borne Diseases

The pace is quickening. The headlines can be downright frightening...and every day the dangers of animal-borne diseases are growing. Does the thought of diseases like Mad Cow, SARS, West Nile Virus, and Monkeypox make you a little queasy?

There’s also Rabies, Salmonella, Tularemia (rabbit disease), Lyme Disease, and Avian Influenza (bird flu). Today, more than 50 percent of all viral and bacterial diseases threatening humans come from animals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. What are these dreaded diseases and where do they come from? Here’s information you should know, and important tips for avoiding them:

West Nile Virus. Virus transmitted through mosquitoes.
SARS. Virus first transmitted through civets (catlike animals) in China.
Mad Cow Disease. Viral disease caused by eating contaminated tissue from cattle.
Monkeypox. Virus transmitted through animal bites from rodent pets, prairie dogs, rats, mice, and squirrels.
Rabies. Viral disease often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
Salmonella. Bacterial disease usually caused by drinking contaminated water, or eating contaminated eggs or chicken.
Tularemia (rabbit fever). Bacterial disease usually caused by ticks, deer flies, rabbits. Also caused by drinking or eating contaminated food or water.
Lyme Disease. Bacterial disease usually caused by deer ticks.
Avian Influenza. Virus usually transmitted by birds. Birds excrete the virus; human-to-human transmission is rare.

Are you at risk for any of these diseases? Here’s vital information that can you protect you, your friends, and your family:
1. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.
2. Keep a clean environment.
3. Don’t own exotic pets or wild animals.
4. Protect yourself from ticks. When hiking, tuck your pant legs into your socks. Use insect repellent containing DEET.
5. Don’t keep reptiles if you have young children or are pregnant. They
transmit diseases, particularly salmonella.
6. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Remove any standing water from
areas around your home. Use insect repellent containing DEET.
7. Take any sick pets to a veterinarian.

For more information on the dangers of animal related diseases, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s web site at