Archive | December 2014

Part 3 KNOWING THE FACTS &TREATMENT ON THE FLU

FLU FACTS:

-Both colds and flu usually last the same seven to 10 days, but flu can go three to four weeks; the flu virus may not still be there, but you have symptoms long after it has left. Allergy can last weeks or months.

-The winter flu epidemic will be coming around us again and in a given locality it reaches its peak in 2 to 3 weeks and lasts 5 to 6 weeks. Then is disappears as quickly as it arrived. The reason for this is not completely clear. The usual pattern is for a rise in the incidence of flu in children, which precedes an increase in the adult population.

-The flu virus can lead to serious complications, including bronchitis, viral or bacterial pneumonia and even death in elderly and chronically ill patients. Twenty thousand or more people die of the flu in the America each year. Know this that the frequency of human contact across the world and the highly infectious nature of the virus make this explanation difficult to accept. Moreover there is no evidence of persistent or latent infection with influenza viruses. In any case, this idea is not really very difficult from the notion that the virus circulates at a low level throughout the year and seizes its opportunity to cause an outbreak when conditions allow.

-Even harder to explain is why the flu disappears from a community when there are still a large number of people susceptible to infection. Than even harder than that is why flu is a winter disease, which is not fully understood or known. However, flu is spread largely by droplet (aerosol) infection from individuals with high viral level in their nasal and throat secretions, sneezing, and coughing on anyone close at hand. The aerosol droplets of the right size (thought to be about 1.5 micrometers in diameter) remain airborne and are breathed into the nose or lungs of the next victim.

-Situations in which people are crowded together are more commonly in cold or wet weather and so perhaps this contributes to spreading the flu at these times. It is interesting that in equatorial countries, flu occurs throughout the year, but is highest in the monsoon or rainy season. Enough about facts but onto logical thinking for when we or someone we know has it and what questions we might be asking ourselves.

 

LOGICAL QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF:

Are the treatments for these illnesses the cold or the flu different? For any of these things, if it affects the nose or sinus, just rinsing with saline that gets the mucus and virus out is a first-line defense. It’s not the most pleasant thing to do, but it works very well. There are classes of medicines that can help the flu — Tamiflu and Relenza — antivirals that block viruses’ ability to reproduce and shorten the length and severity of the illness. But they have to be taken within 48 hours or the cat is proverbially out of the bag [because by then] the virus has done the most of its reproduction. For a cold or flu, rest and use decongestants and antihistamines, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, chicken soup and fluids. Zinc supposedly helps the body’s natural defenses work to their natural capacity and decrease the severity and length of a cold. Cells need zinc as a catalyst in their protective processes, so if you supply them with zinc, it helps them work more efficiently. You should also withhold iron supplements. Viruses use iron as part of their reproductive cycle, so depriving them of it blocks their dissemination. The majority of these infections are not bacterial and do not require [nor will they respond to] antibiotics. My rule of thumb is that a viral infection should go away in seven to 10 days. If symptoms persist after that, you’d consider if it’s bacteria like Strep or HaemophilusHYPERLINK “http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-much-aids-vaccine-do” HYPERLINK “http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-much-aids-vaccine-do”influenzae. Those bacteria cause illnesses that are longer lasting and need antibiotics for ranging 3 to 14 days, depending on the med used. Is that treatment approach the same for kids versus adults? In general, the same rules apply: Most children will have six to eight colds a year in their first three years of life, and most are viral. Adults have 3 or more a year. It’s very easy to test for strep and for that you should have a [positive] culture [before treating with antibiotics]. The principle behind that is knowing the organism the doctor will know what antibiotic to use to fight off the bacterial infection and you won’t build up antibodies from the antibiotic that you didn’t need in the first place if you are given the wrong antibiotic in the beginning. Are the strategies for avoiding cold and flu different? Avoidance is very similar: Strict hand washing, not sharing drinking cups or utensils, and avoiding direct contact with people who are sneezing. Their transmission is similar. As long as someone has a fever, they have the possibility to transmit infection. After they’ve had no fever for 24 hours, they’re not infectious anymore. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that just about everyone get the flu shot: kids 6 months to 19 years of age, pregnant women, people 50 and up, and people of any age with compromised immune systems. Is the shot beneficial to anyone who gets it? Unless you have a contraindication, there’s no reason not to get it=PREVENTION. Contraindications include egg allergy (because the vaccine is grown from egg products), any vaccines within a last week or two, and active illness at the time of your vaccine.

The best to do is PREVENTION so you can avoid the cold or flu in its active phase or post phase, so doing the following will help prevent it:

Live a healthy lifestyle overall=Good dieting, living good healthy habits and maintaining exercise with rest daily or 2 to 3 times a week including get a vaccine yearly for the flu with maintaining good clean anti-infection habits like as simply as washing the hands as directed above.

If you need help in being given the knowledge in how routinely lose weight if not maintain your good weight, knowing what foods are lean to leaner to leanest out of the 4 food groups, understanding why portions of meals including exercise balanced with rest is so important, how all 4 interact with each other impacting your metabolism rate, and keeping a healthier body with a higher chance of increasing your immunity with fighting off simple colds to possibly the flu when near someone contaminated with the virus and making this a regular part not just a few months to a year but for life then you came to the right blog. This is provided through Dr. Anderson and myself as your health coach if you need one in where we help you get started on this goal in your life. You can order Dr. Anderson’s book “Dr. A’s healthy habits” that provides the information on foods to help you lose the excess of weight with so much more in learning about the body to diseases in prevention and Rx. Most important, you make all the choices.   I needed to lose weight and lost 22 lbs. and hope to continue to lose another 20 lbs or so. So if you want to prevent getting the cold to the flu with so many other diseases and illnesses go to healthyusa.tsfl.com and join me. Take a peek for no charge, no obligation and no hacking. I hope you have learned something new from my blog.

****Recommended is to check with your MD on any changes with diet or exercise especially if diagnosed already with disease or illness for your safety.****

References for Part 1,2, and 3 on the two bugs The FLU and The COLD:

1-Wikipedia “the free encyclopedia” 2013 website under the topic Influenza.

2-Kimberly Clark Professional website under the influenza.

3-Web MD under “COLD, FLU, COUGH CENTER” “Flu or cold symptoms?” Reviewed by Laura J. Martin MD November 01, 2011

4-2013 Novartis Consumer Health Inc. Triaminic “Fend off the Flu”

5-Scientific American “Why do we get the flu most often in the winter? Are viruses virulent in cold weather? December 15, 1997

 

 

 

 

Part 2 Let’s prepare for the winter bugs. How contagious are these bugs & what are their symptoms?

People infected with an influenza or cold virus become contagious 24 hours after the virus enters the body (often before symptoms appear). Adults remain infectious (can spread the virus to others) for about 6 days, and children remain infectious for up to 10 days. Factors that may increase the risk of catching a cold are fatigue, emotional stress, smoking, mid-phase of the menstrual cycle, and nasal allergies. Factors that do not increase the risk of catching a cold include cold body temperature (Example being out in the cold or enlarged tonsils). General health status and eating habits do in that they have impact on your immunity and “fight or flight” in fighting off infection as opposed to getting sick due to a healthy body overall.

Watch for flu symptoms and in comparison here with the cold symptoms when trying to decipher what you have before going to the doctor.  Signs and symptoms (S/S):

Flu s/s=High Fever lasting 3 to 4 days, prominent headache,  general aches and pains which are often and severe, fatigue & weakness that lasts up to 2-3 wks., extreme exhaustion-early & prominent chest discomfort, cough-common & severe at times.  *Note weakness and tiredness can last up to a few weeks with the Flu.

Cold S/S-Fever-rare, headache-rare, slight aches, mild fatigue if even present, extreme exhaustion (never occurs), Chest discomfort-mild if present, cough-moderate and hacking cough with sore throat sometimes present.

Common symptom: Stuffy nose is present, a common symptom for children is diarrhea and vomiting.

Regarding cold symptoms also be aware for these specifics, which include:

-Sore throat-usually is going away in about a day or three; nasal symptoms include runny nose and congestion to follow, along with a cough by the fourth or fifth day.  Also, fever is uncommon in adults but a slight fever is possible.  For children fever they can have with their cold. *                                                                                                                                         -With the symptoms above you can also have the nose that teems with watery nasal secretions for the first few days later these become thicker and darker. Dark mucus is natural and does not mean you have developed a bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection.

**Know several hundred different viruses may cause your cold symptoms. A virus cannot be treated with an antibiotic since antibiotics can only fight off bacterial infections.*

Now let’s review what we know now, which is the common cold and the types of flu (Types A,B, and C), we know their symptoms (the cold versus the flu), we even know  The Flu statistics of how many are affected yearly with what complications can arise, based on Part 1 and part of Part 2.   The most important part of this article is letting my readers know or be aware of factors in prevention.

Let’s prepare ourselves in knowing factors for prevention of these 2 BUGS THE COLD and THE FLU (particularly) with knowing what to do when you or someone in the home has it.

The biggest factor in prevention of the COMMON COLD or THE FLU is living out your life utilizing great healthy habits and that would be washing your hands with soap and water often, especially:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • After handling animals or animal waste
  • When their hands are dirty
  • When someone in your home is sick                                                                                            FOR AVOIDANCE IN GETTING THE FLU OBTAIN YOUR VACCINE YEARLY!  The flu virus enters through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so those with the flu or a simple cold should never touch their faces unless they’ve just washed their hands.Avoid sharing food, drinks, and utensils.   Do not share drinking glasses-and to break off portions of food and to pour off beverages before consuming them.  Keep tissues handy. The flu spreads when infected people cough or sneeze. So adults use them and encourage your kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue or their upper arm if tissues aren’t available. (Coughing into a bare hand can also spread germs if kids touch something before they can wash.)Ask your doctor about antiviral medications. Although not approved for use in children under 1, these drugs can be used in older children & adults to prevent influenza or even can treat the flu in the first 2 days of onset.
  • Keep your face off-limits; This means the following:
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. MOST IMPORTANT!!! A healthy lifestyle may help prevent them from getting sick in the first place.
  • Use those wipes! Flu germs can live for several hours on surfaces such as countertops and doorknobs. Wipe down contaminated objects with soap and water.
  • Let your kids, including adults stay home when they’re sick. They’ll feel better sooner and won’t pass their illness on to their classmates or for an adult passing it on to colleagues at work especially the first few days when contagious so don’t go into work those few days.
  • For a child and an adult keeping the same routine schedule.                        For a child – keeping the same schedule for play time, bath, pajamas, bottle, story, then bed. Keeping a routine helps, that is one that is healthy of course.
  • Make sure you or your sick child who is sick gets enough sleep.      Too little sleep can cause the feeling of run-down and lower the immunity. Yet a National Sleep Foundation poll found that most children need 1 to 3 more hours of sleep than they’re getting every night usually. How much should they be getting? Experts recommend 11 to 13 hours a night for preschoolers and kindergartners and 10 to 11 hours for school-aged children. Adults 8 hours of sleep a day if not more when sick with a cold or the flu. How to make sure this can be accomplished: Establish an earlier-bedtime routine, this just takes discipline by the parent or yourself if an adult that is sick.
  • Keep your distance. Stay clear of people who are sick-or feel sick.
  • What to do when you have the cold or, worse, the flu:  Take care of yourself with rest, eating and drinking properly, going to sleep earlier, going to your doctor for treatment and changing your life style to a more healthier one with always practicing good health habits in your daily living=PREVENTION if your not already or just improving on those good habits your doing now.
  •  *Recommended is to check with your MD on any changes with diet or exercise or daily habits especially if diagnosed already with disease or illness for your safety.****
  • 1-Wikipedia “the free encyclopedia” 2013 website under the topic Influenza.3-Web MD under “COLD, FLU, COUGH CENTER” “Flu or cold symptoms?” Reviewed by Laura J. Martin MD November 01, 20115-Scientific American “Why do we get the flu most often in the winter? Are viruses virulent in cold weather? December 15,
  • 4-2013 Novartis Consumer Health Inc. Triaminic “Fend off the Flu”
  • 2-Kimberly Clark Professional website under the influenza.
  •   REFERENCES FOR PART 1,2, AND 3 ON THE COLD AND THE FLU ARE:

LET’S PREPARE for WINTER BUGS. WHO ARE THEY & WHAT ARE THEIR STATISTICS? Part 1

The weather has been warm for winter but it will be getting colder soon.  Those bugs that are common in the winter are 2 Viruses =The COLD and THE FLU.

HOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT:

Both influenza and the common cold are viral respiratory infections (they affect the nose, throat, and lungs). Viruses are spread from person to person through airborne droplets (aerosols) that are sneezed out or coughed up by an infected person, direct contact is another form of spread with infected nasal secretions, or fomites (contaminated objects). Which of these routes is of primary importance has not been determined, however hand to hand and hand to surface to hand to contact seems of more importance than transmission. The viruses may survive for prolonged periods in the environment (over 18 hours for rhinoviruses in particular=a common virus for colds) and can be picked up by people’s hands and subsequently carried to their eyes or nose where infection occurs. In some cases, the viruses can be spread when a person touches an infected surface (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, telephones) and then touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes. As such, these illnesses are most easily spread in crowded conditions such as schools.

The traditional folk theory that you can catch a cold in prolonged exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter settings is how the illness got its name. Some of the viruses that cause common colds are seasonal, occurring more frequently during cold or wet weather. The reason for the seasonality has not yet been fully determined. This may occur due to cold induced changes in the respiratory system, decreased immune response, and low humidity increasing viral transmission rates, perhaps due to dry air allowing small viral droplets to disperse farther, and stay in the air longer. It may be due to social factors, such as people spending more time indoors, as opposed to outdoors, exposing him or her “self” to an infected person, and specifically children at school. There is some controversy over the role of body cooling as a risk factor for the common cold; the majority of the evidence does suggest a result in greater susceptibility to infection.

The SIMPLE COMMON COLD:

The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, head cold) or simply a cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract which primarily effects the nose. There are over 200 different known cold viruses, but most colds (30% up to 80%) are caused by rhinovirusesThis means you can pass the cold to others, so stay home and get some much-needed rest for yourself and not passing it on to others for the contagious period at least.

If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving after a week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means you may need antibiotics, which only kill bacterial infections not viral.

Sometimes you may mistake cold symptoms for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or a sinus infection (bacterial). If cold symptoms begin quickly and are improving after a week, then it is usually a cold, not allergy. If your cold symptoms do not seem to be getting better after a week, check with your doctor to see if you have developed an allergy or inflammation or the sinuses (sinusitis).

Influenza is commonly referred to as “the flu”, this is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae, the influenza viruses. The most common sign or symptom are chills, fever, runny nose, coughing, aches and weakness to headache and sore throat. Although it is often confused with other influenza-like illnesses, especially the COMMON COLD, influenza is a more severe illness or disease caused by a different virus. Influenza nausea and vomiting, particularly in children but these symptoms are more common in the unrelated gastroenteritis, which is sometimes inaccurately referred to as “stomach flu” or “25 hour flu”. The flu can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia, even for persons who are usually very healthy. In particular it is a warning sign if a child or presumably an adult seems to be getting better and then relapses with a high fever as this relapse may be bacterial pneumonia. Another warning sign is if the person starts to have trouble breathing.

Each year, 10% to 20% of Canadians are stricken with influenza. Although most people recover fully, depending on the severity of the flu season, it can result in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and approximately 4000 to 8000 deaths annually in Canada. Deaths due to the flu are found mostly among high-risk populations, such as those with other medical conditions (such as diabetes or cancer) or weakened immune systems, seniors, or very young children. There are 3 types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Type A influenza causes the most serious problems in humans and can be carried by humans or animals (wild birds are commonly the host carriers). It is more common for humans seem to carry the most with ailments with type A influenza. Type B Influenza is found in humans also. Type B flu may cause less severe reaction than A type flu virus but for the few for the many can still be at times extremely harmed. Influenza B viruses are not classified by subtype and do not cause pandemics at this time. Influenza type C also found in people but milder than type A or B. People don’t become very ill from this Type C Influenza and do not cause pandemics.

The common cold eventually fizzles, but the flu may be deadly. Some 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and 36,000 die each year from flu complications — and that pales in comparison to the flu pandemic of 1918 that claimed between 20 and 100 million lives. The best defense against it:   a vaccine once a year.

References for Part 1 and 2 on the two bugs The FLU and The COLD:

1-Wikipedia “the free encyclopedia” 2013 website under the topic Influenza.

2-Kimberly Clark Professional website under the influenza.

3-Web MD under “COLD, FLU, COUGH CENTER” “Flu or cold symptoms?” Reviewed by Laura J. Martin MD November 01, 2011

4-2013 Novartis Consumer Health Inc. Triaminic “Fend off the Flu”

5-Scientific American “Why do we get the flu most often in the winter? Are viruses virulent in cold weather? December 15, 1997

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays. And what do these women rely on to get them through the holidays? 41 percent of women use food and 28 percent use alcohol as comforting mechanisms during that time.”

 

THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA)

HOW TO STAY SAFE DURING THE HOLIDAYS:

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s the time of year that we have to pay close attention to what is going on around us. Immediately following Thanksgiving the Christmas tunes started playing in the stores to match the display of holiday decorations, lights, Christmas trees and gift sets that all seem to miraculously appear overnight. For many of us, the holiday season can be very stressful with the demands of shopping, decorating, planning parties and the lack of money to spend on all these festivities may add up to distraction and anxiety. Predators are very busy this time of year, and they are ready to pounce on anyone who is simultaneously carrying a million shopping bags while searching for car keys and talking on the cell phone.  Well by now we are all set for the holiday, so that is one good positive note in decreasing the stress.  We are all guilty of befalling into the the mad hustle and bustle of the holidays with little focus on anything else. The downturn of the economy, high real unemployment rates, and very politically polarized as a nation which has fueled a negative influence on communities across the nation. That is exactly why a politically polarized nation is not good since there is no agreement with each other;  just look at the news alone.  Violent crimes, especially against innocent people, are on the rise, and the desperation of the times is only going to help influence the numbers to go up which has in NYC besides many other areas.
The following tips from the Los Angeles Police Department Crime Prevention Section can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Always carry your Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  •  Keep cash in your front pocket.

  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

What I’m thinking is that Christmas is a time when many people get depressed and stressed, unfortunately. People also drink more. So maybe there are more accidents waiting to happen. Just a caution to keep your defensive driving skills a little sharper perhaps.

When visiting with family and extended it can be stressful and a lot of times people wonder what the distant Aunt or in-law or brother etc… is thinking.  A good rule of thumb is never assume or wonder what the other family person is thinking.

If you want to enjoy your life, particularly during high stress situations, I would strongly recommend you never hear what another person thinks.

I think you will enjoy life better and you will enjoy other people much better by following this rule. Especially never hear what they think of you. “Never hear what people think of you. Instead, hear what they are feeling and needing at the moment they’re expressing those thoughts.”   words of wisdom by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.