White-all-purpose flour lasts longer than whole wheat flour (Photo: Shutterstock)
Flour is a traditional pantry staple, an ingredient of many dishes. Originally, flour was mainly from ground grains but today, it can be made from coconut, almonds and any other gluten free varieties. Flour is a necessity on each shelf with baking becoming a more popular hobby. It seems like those ingredients that last forever since it is dry in nature and people almost always end up keeping it for a very long time.
Different kinds of flours have different shelf lives. The plainer the flour the longer the shelf life but most flours stay fresh between three to eight months at room temperature. Flours are categorized depending on their level of processing.
White-all-purpose flour lasts longer than whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour contains bran and germ, which are rich in fats hence it easily deteriorates when exposed to light, moisture and air. Non-gluten flours like almond, coconut and pumpkin seed flours contain a lot of oil and so go bad easily.
It is however important to note that storage heavily influences the shelf life. Most people empty flour from packages into containers. This means it is hard to keep track of the expiration dates. Flour should be stored in airtight containers away from moisture, light and air. While this is useful during the viable life of flour, it does not necessarily cushion flour from going bad. Nevertheless, flour can still be good for consumption even after the expiry date.
So how do you know flour has gone bad?
The smell of flour can tell you whether it has gone bad or is still fit for your consumption. Most flours are odourless whereas gluten-free flours have a sweet and sometimes nutty smell. If flour is left exposed to air and moisture, the natural fats in flour oxidize leading to decline in quality and a musty sour smell.
The colour of flour should never change. Change means it has gone bad. White all-purpose flour should be white and fluffy. For wheat flour, it should be tan-brown. If it changes from the original color to a tan, sniff it. If white flour turns to a blue hue, it has started to grow mold. Store flour in airtigt containers to prevent entry of air and moisture (Photo: Shutterstock)
Sometimes spoiled flour will have flour beetles also known as weevils. If flour is left exposed, weevils can infest it. These bugs pose no established harm to your body. Getting rid of the bugs immediately, prevents the flour from discoloration and foul odor. After the weevils have been removed, it is still safe for consumption.
In case you missed the smell and proceeded to use it, bad flour will give your goodies a strange taste and texture. When consumed, this flour poses a health risk. Rancid flour contains mycotoxins which, when frequently consumed, cause health complications like cancer, kidney damage, reproductive problems and it also suppresses the immune system.
If you have opened the original storage package of the flour, ensure you keep in an airtight container. Glass, plastic and even resealable freezer bags will do. This prevents exposure to air and moisture.
Keep your floor in a cool, dark place away from light, preferably in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer. Storing flour in a cool place like in the fridge keeps it fresh and if your flour already has bugs, the low temperatures will help get rid of them.
Use thick layered freezer bags to keep flour from moisture and prevent it from picking other food flavors and scents.
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service have released index numbers of students who did not secure placement during school application or first revision.
School or center application for KCSE 2019 candidates was done between September 26, 2019, to December 31, 2019, while the first revision was done between 17th February 2020 and Monday, March 9, 2020, at 5.00 pm.
A good number of KCSE 2019 candidates have not secured chances into their preferred courses. This, however, does not mean the end of the road for them. KUCCPS has announced that it will open the student portal for the second revision between Thursday, April 2, 2020, and Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
95-year-old grandmother becomes the oldest woman in Italy to recover from coronavirus
A 95-year-old grandmother has become the oldest known woman in Italy to recover from coronavirus.
The northern region of Italy has been hit hard by the pandemic, while the country overall now has 53,578 confirmed cases with 4,825 deaths.
Alma Clara Corsini was among those diagnosed with the virus and was admitted to hospital in Pavullo on March 5.
But doctors and specialists oversaw her remarkable recovery and she has become the first person in the northern province of Modena to recover from coronavirus.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine,’ she said earlier this week. They were good people who looked after me well.”
According to Gazzetta Di Modena, doctors confirmed she was able to recover without “antiviral therapy” and her body showed a “great reaction”. Ms Corsini has now been discharged from hospital and has returned to her home in Fanano.
Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to test positive for the coronavirus. He made the announcement Monday.
“This morning I tested positive for Covid 19,” he wrote. “I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus.”
The Golden-Globe winning star of BBC’s “Luther” and Marvel’s “Avengers” joins a list of actors who have tested positive for the virus recently, including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.
Elba said he was tested last Friday after someone he had been exposed to tested positive.
“Look, this is serious,” the U.K. actor warned, appearing in a social media video next to his wife, Sabrina. “Now is the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands.”
On Monday, U.K. theaters closed after the government said to avoid public venues. Over 1,500 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.K., with 55 deaths.
“We live in a divided world right now – we can all feel it,” Elba added. “It’s been bulls–t. But now is the time for solidarity, now is the time for thinking about each other.”
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
A girl and her dog look out from a window during one of the many flash mobs taking place in Rome, on Sunday. The nationwide lockdown to slow coronavirus is still in its early days for much of Italy, but Italians are already showing signs of solidarity.Alessandra Tarantino/AP
With the number of cases worldwide from the novel coronavirus surpassing 150,000 and some 6,000 deaths, governments across the globe continued their struggle to contain the pandemic — hoping to limit the number of new infections, while treating those individuals suffering from COVID-19 and isolating others whose symptoms are not as severe but who might spread the disease.
Here’s a snapshot by region of what is happening as of Monday morning:
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said over the weekend that Europe had become the new epicenter of the pandemic after it peaked earlier in Asia.
“More cases are now being reported [in Europe] every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic,” Tedros, the organization’s director, said at a news conference at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
Officials in Italy have reported some 3,600 new cases and 368 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections there to nearly 25,000 and some 1,800 deaths. Italy is second in the number of reported infections and deaths only to China, where the epidemic was first identified in December.
Italian officials have expressed concern that the surge in infections has pushed the country’s health system to the saturation point, according to NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli. Health authorities say there is a severe lack of intensive care unit beds, ventilators and protective masks to treat the huge influx.
“It’s not a wave, it’s a tsunami,” Dr. Robert Rona, who is in charge of intensive care at Monza hospital outside Milan, told The Associated Press.
The disease first appeared in Lombardy, the region that is home to Milan, a metropolis of 3 million people that is Italy’s economic powerhouse. It started in a cluster of small-to-medium-sized towns in the region and Poggioli reports that “everything is being done to prevent a surge in cases in Milan.”
Spain, where the government formally declared a state of emergency over the weekend, ordered a lock down — requiring people to stay home to foster social distancing and for all non-essential shops to close, along with restaurants, bars, cafes and movie theaters.
In Spain, the total number of confirmed infections now exceeds7,800 cases, with 282 deaths.
Following a lengthy briefing on Saturday, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose wife has tested positive for the virus, said “extraordinary” decisions were required to combat the disease.
“From now, we enter a new phase,” he said. “We won’t hesitate in doing what we need [to do] to beat the virus.”
“During the state of emergency, people will only be allowed out on to public streets for the following reasons: to buy food, basic or pharmaceutical items; to attend medical centers; to go to and from work; to look after children, older people or those with disabilities or who are especially vulnerable; and to attend financial or insurance offices on force majeure grounds,” Sánchez said, according to The Guardian newspaper.
In a gesture of gratitude for doctors, nurses and other medical workers who work in Spain’s national health system, people went to their balconies all over the country at 10 p.m. local time to applaud in unison.
In France, municipal elections went ahead as planned on Sunday under what officials said were tight sanitary restrictions, including “safe spacing” of voters as they queued and providing hand sanitizer. There have been nearly 5,500 total confirmed cases in France, with 127 deaths from COVID-19. Despite assurances that the polling was safe, the interior ministry on Sunday reported turnout was just 18.3%, down 5% from elections six years ago.
France has already ordered a lock down similar to the one Italy and Spain have imposed.
In the United Kingdom, where nearly 1,400 cases have been confirmed so far with 35 deaths from the coronavirus disease, no lock down has been ordered.
However, the government is expected to lay out emergency measures this week, including requiring people 70 years and older to self-isolate for as long as four months.
Last week, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson signaled that it might be considering a different approach to the rest of the world — in essence, allowing a large percentage of the population to become infected, creating a “herd immunity” that would eventually stamp out the epidemic.
But public backlash to that suggestion, which would result in tens of millions of Britons becoming infected with the virus, forced the government to backtrack.
“We will do the right thing at the right time, based on the best available science,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote in an opinion piece that appeared in The Telegraph over the weekend. “Herd immunity is not our goal or policy, it’s a scientific concept.”
People wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus look at electronic accessories for sale from a street vendor in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on Sunday.Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images
Nearly 4,000 cases and more than 700 deaths have been reported in Germany and some 1,400 infections and more than 230 deaths in Switzerland. Hundreds of cases and scores of deaths have been reported also in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Greece.
New cases in China, where the epidemic began, have been decreasing steadily in recent weeks, with just 27 new cases reported in the WHO’s latest situation report, which is updated every 24 hours. It is a long way from the peak of the crisis in China about a month ago, when Beijing reported more than 14,000 new infections in a single day. A total of about 81,000 cases have been reported there since December.
In recent days, the country has begun shifting its efforts from the internal spread of the virus to keeping new cases from abroad from entering.
The number of new cases is also in decline in South Korea and Japan — two countries that were hard hit as the infection spilled over from China in the early days of the epidemic. Seoul reported 76 new cases and Japan 64, according to WHO.
Although government officials have refrained from critiquing the rest of the world’s response to the pandemic, some hospital officials haven’t been as reticent.
Zhang Wenhong, director of the infectious diseases department at Shanghai Huashan Hospital affiliated with Fudan University, wrote on the hospital’s social media account: “We had thought the world would synchronise controls with those taken in China – in the way that Singapore, Japan and South Korea have done.”
“But Europe has become the new epicentre and brought us huge uncertainties,” he wrote, according to the South China Morning Post.
In Iran, where the epidemic has infected some 14,000 people by official accounts, a 78-year-old member of the clerical body that chooses the country’s supreme leader has reportedly died from COVID-19. The virus has killed some 700 people in Iran, but suspicions about the government’s assessment of the epidemic within its borders has led some to question the official statistics as understated.
Elsewhere in the region, Qatar has reported more than 300 cases and 75 deaths; Bahrain more than 200 with one reported death; and Kuwait says it has more than 100 confirmed cases with 12 deaths.
A number of cases have been reported in a dozen other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In Canada, where last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he and his family would self-isolate after his wifeSophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for coronavirus, there have been nearly 250 cases, with 68 deaths.
Last week, the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro tested positive for the virus after meeting President Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. More than 120 cases have been reported in Brazil according to the latest WHO report, with 23 deaths from the virus.
The continent of Africa, which faced the brunt of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, appears thus far to have been largely spared from COVID-19. According to the WHO, South Africa has had 38 cases, with 21 deaths from the virus, while Algeria has had 37 confirmed cases and Senegal 21, with each of those countries reporting 11 deaths.
While the threat of the Corona virus needs to be taken with great concern, it is as important to understand the useless and counterproductive effects of panicking. Since there is no vaccine at this time, prevention is the best approach to any viral challenge. Panic is an extreme fear response triggering stress hormones that suppress immune function; increasing susceptibility to any pathogen, including viruses. But as we are well-aware, fear mongering is profitable for some of the news media. Some based on predatory action and others on ignorance of the debilitating effect panic has on the immune system.
Attribution and the Immune System
There’s extensive professional literature on the placebo (positive) and nocebo (negative) effects on illnesses, based on where we place the cause of what is happens to our bodies. There’s a possibility that the Corona virus was already in the US and people not knowing it existed, treated the symptoms (which are similar to other upper respiratory viruses) as a cold or the flu. Now, because we know the Corona is a different virus than the common flu, people are being tested with a stronger nocebo attribution. Additionally, people with compromised immune systems from other underlying illnesses, make the flu as well as the Corona virus more lethal. When the HIV virus that causes AIDS was discovered in 1983, it was thought to be so contagious that patients were isolated in hospital wards and medical staff wore plastic suits and gloves to “protect” themselves from the virus. As we now know, the virus is transmitted by sexual contact, contaminated needles and exchange of body fluids. The point is that scientific disclosure, rather than panic, is the approach to adversity.
Just like any other virus, the precautions for the Corona virus remain the same: washing hands frequently, staying away from infected persons, effective waste disposals, sufficient rest, clean water, personal cleanliness and avoid traveling to infected places and countries. I will add replacing panic with reason, because the best prevention is to strengthen the immune system.
Immune System Enhancers and Depleters
Meals without digital companions
Taking time for self-caring behavior
Experiencing compassion from self or others
Periodic news media fasting
Meals with digital companions or with watching the news
Living in the urgent present
Excessive access to news media
Psychoneuroimmunology to the Rescue
Psychoneuroimmunology is an inter-discipline that studies how thoughts and emotions affect nervous, immune, and endocrine system regulation. There’s extensive research on how the antibody IgA attacks upper respiratory viruses similar to the Corona virus. Fortunately, IgA’s can be increased by observing acts of compassion (videos of Mother Teresa). More recently, research indicates creating your own experience of compassion, with a specific meditation that I will illustrate below, is more effective than observing external acts of compassion. This means that if you are preventing the Corona virus with the usual precautions you can also strengthen your immune system by increasing IgA’s. Additionally, if you contract the Corona virus or any other virus, you can increase the effects of the medical attention you are receiving. I should caution that these immune enhancing methods should be practiced regularly because the increased IgA’s are not permanent (can last up to 6hrs).
The Method to Increase IgA’s
Sit quietly in meditation or contemplation and pay attention to your body.
Observe without interpreting what you experience.
When you sense you’re reducing tension and mind-noise, imagine you are inhaling and exhaling from your heart, instead of your nose.
While you do what is called “heart breathing,” bring to your awareness memories of acts of compassion from you or others. Experience the sensation and emotion in your body (embodiment).
Practice this method for 15 minutes several time a day.
The information I am offering here should never replace medical attention or professional consultation. If you experience symptoms of any virus, seek professional help, and then add what you learned here, after your are diagnosed and receive treatment. While I am not oversimplifying the danger of any virus, I argue that panic is not conducive to anything other than weakening your immune system. Hopefully, the Corona virus will subside without becoming pandemic in the US. Meanwhile, you have tools that empower you to help prevent infection and enhance medical treatment if infected. Always consult your health professionals rather than solely relying on what you learned here.
The NHS trust confirmed that two patients tested positive for coronavirus, with staff in close contact with them during treatment now being advised to self-isolate.
It is not known whether the child contracted the disease in the womb or was infected during birth. The Sun, which first revealed the case, reported that the baby was still being treated at the hospital but the mother has been transferred to a specialist infections hospital.
In a statement, North Middlesex university hospital NHS trust said: “Two patients at North Middlesex university hospital have tested positive for coronavirus. One has been transferred to a specialist centre and one is being treated in an isolation room.
“The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority, so in following guidance from Public Health England, we are regularly deep cleaning the areas where the patients are cared for and staff who were in close contact with these patients were advised to self-isolate.”
Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said previously that pregnant women should not start worrying about coronavirus. The government says there is no clinical evidence so far to indicate that the virus can be transmitted via breast milk.
Right now, it is showing no signs of slowing down which is why it is important to know the differences between the virus, the flu or a cold.
Here is how to know if you have been infected by the virus or dealing with just a cold or flu:
While these three share certain symptoms, the main differences lie in intensity and how they appear.
Let’s start with the COVID-19, which has spread to over 100 countries. The symptoms often appear more slowly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable difficulty breathing.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Some people can even develop pneumonia, kidney failure and in the most serious cases, death. It worsens rapidly in the elderly or anyone with medical problems like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Your chances of having the virus increases if you start showing all three symptoms – fever, cough and noticeable shortness of breath – after a recent visit to an affected country.
For the cold, LeRoy, a family medicine doctor and associate dean at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio says, “The common cold just starts out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose” and any fever is usually mild.
The common cold is caused by a strain of a virus that is different from the Covid-19.
One of the main differences between the common cold and the coronavirus is that cold symptoms usually peak within the first two to three days of infection, while the effects of Covid-19 appear two to 14 days after exposure.
Touching your face transfers virus that may cause common cold(videoblocks)
Flu symptoms, on the other hand, are more intense as they can include a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, vomiting or diarrhoea, a high fever (over 100.5 degrees), extreme exhaustion, muscle or body aches, a dry cough and chills.
The flu is caused by different influenza viruses that can be easily spread from human to human. It is likely to be passed with the first five days of infection.
Unlike the cold, the flu usually comes on suddenly which is why “It really hits you like a bus.” You probably have the flu if start the day well but start feeling terrible by afternoon.
Speaking with CNN, Dr Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, shared major differences between all three.
“The flu and the novel coronavirus, these affect other systems and the lower respiratory tract. You probably won’t have a runny nose, but what you might have is a sore throat, a cough, a fever or shortness of breath. So it’s a subtly different clinical diagnosis,” he said.
Here’s how to know if you have the coronavirus, flu or just a cold (CNN)
Poland added, “If you have an acute case of coronavirus or flu, you will feel so tired, so achy, you’d basically be driven to bed. Everybody would see the difference. What would increase the suspicion of coronavirus would be if you were short of breath. People can also develop pneumonia from the flu, which has a similar presentation, so either way you’re going to want to seek medical attention.”
So far, the coronavirus has killed over 4,300 people while the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 annually across the world, according to the WHO.
Right now, the best way to protect yourself from all three is to wash your hands regularly, keep them away from your face, and avoid standing close to people.
Constant sex kills Coronavirus? Here’s the truth behind the viral CNN screenshot
Ever since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the internet has been flooded with multiple fake and bizarre news and some of them even look so believable making it difficult for people to figure out what’s true and what’s not. However, the latest one shared with the screenshot of the popular news channel CNN is undoubtedly the dumbest among all the fake claims seen so far.
“Constant sex kills coronavirus” is the recent interesting piece of information that has surfaced online. To make it more believable, some miscreants have even shared it online as if it was aired on the CNN news channel with the image of the US journalist Wolf Blitzer and the channel’s logo. It has gone viral on multiple social media platforms and is been widely shared on Facebook and Whatsapp for quite some time now.
Evidence to prove it’s fake!
It has to be noted that the above-said solution to kill coronavirus cannot be found anywhere on the CNN website as it has not been reported by them. Also, just by looking at the font used to share the bizarre idea, it is evident that it doesn’t match with the other texts or the normal font style followed by the channel.
Meanwhile, it is also understood that it isn’t the first time this same CNN frame has been used to spread fake news. Earlier, it was used to spread the fake claim “Alcohol kills coronavirus” as well.
In an attempt to control the spreading of coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health officials have requested the public to avoid close contact with sick people. While they have advised not to give handshakes or kiss anyone, don’t you think, now sex will be more of a risk factor than a cure? There is no doubt that close contact with an infected person will definitely expose the partner to the disease. Therefore, it is clear that “constant sex WILL NOT kill the deadly coronavirus”.
The first reported case of the Coronavirus in South Africa has been exposed as nothing more than a common hangover by the alleged victim’s wife.
Joe Malatji (31) was placed in a special isolation unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital yesterday after claiming he’d been struck down by the deadly virus.However, these claims have been dismissed by his wife Zanele, who revealed that Joe spent the weekend drinking Mexican beers with his friends in Sunnyside.‘Udakwa njalo’, she said.
‘What do you expect to feel like when you spend a whole weekend drinking?’. ‘Well, I hope he enjoyed himself coz that’ll be the last beer he’ll have for a while.
He has a living room to paint and many other chores’, she revealed.Speaking from his bed in the Specialist Drama Unit, Joe was convinced his condition was attributed to something more sinister.
‘Listen, I’ve had my share of hangovers in the past and this is something else. Swine Flu, Ebola, something like that. Nothing to do with those delicious Mexican beers with the wee slice of lime in them’.
However, Dr Steph Van Vyk who’s been treating Joe wasn’t convinced.‘He is full of shit’, was her professional opinion.‘Anyone intending to ingest large quantities of imported Mexican beers is at great risk of contracting the same ‘deadly virus’ as Joe here’.
‘His symptoms included: singing Amapiano song Lorch; a compulsion to talk pure shit and a severe allergic reaction to attending work the next day’.
Dr Steph said there are some radical new treatments that may help anyone in Joe’s condition.
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