Archive | February 2020

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Check your health insurance to see if it includes international travel coverage, the CDC recommends. Also, consider travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance. The CDC estimates that — without insurance, a medical evacuation can $100,000 or more.”

Consider traveling in the U.S.!

CDC Centers of Disease and Control Prevention

68 U.S. Cases now as of Friday now, no cure to Corona Virus but know the preventions!

The corona virus spreads continues to grow around the globe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

“I told my children that while I didn’t think that they were at risk right now, we, as a family, need to be preparing for significant disruption of our lives,” says Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC plans to expand testing across the U.S. as a preventative measure.

Currently, if you live in the U.S. the risk of getting the virus remains very low, but public health officials say there will likely be outbreaks in the United States. So this is a good time to review your emergency game plan.

Here’s what you need to know to make good decisions to plan, prepare and even prevent the spread of the disease.

1. This virus is contagious, but it’s not as deadly as other outbreaks

In China, more than three quarters of the cases have been classified as mild. Symptoms include low-grade fever and a cough. Some people also experience fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhea.

Overall, the death rate in China is estimated at 2 percent, and the average age of death among those with COVID-19 is in the 70’s. People with underlying medical problems, and particularly smokers, seem to be at higher risk.

Compared to prior outbreaks of novel viruses, this coronavirus appears less deadly than other human coronaviruses that have spread in recent years. For instance, the death rate was about 34% for MERS, and about 10% for SARS.

The flu causes more than 12,000 deaths a year in the U.S. An annual vaccine is the most effective way to prevent flu, but there are other strategies to prevent it. So far, there’s no vaccine against the new coronavirus, but some of the same strategies to prevent flu can also protect against coronavirus.

2. To fend off coronavirus, follow flu prevention tips

The top tip: Wash your hands. Why? Viruses can spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, close contacts can be infected. In addition, the virus can end up on door knobs, elevator buttons and other surfaces. If you touch those surfaces then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you can become infected.

This is why it’s important to wash rigorously. Here’s the CDC’s guidance.

“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.”

“Americans are friendly. We not only shake hands, we also hug. These are ways we can transmit the virus,” Katz says. She recommends an elbow bump.

Here’s 5 more things to remember, per the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

3. Don’t panic — start to prepare

This is not the time to panic, but it is a time to prepare – good old fashioned preparedness planning for your family,” says Rebecca Katz, who directs the Center for Global Health Science and Security.

Think about the threat of a possible outbreak in your community the way you’d think about a big snowstorm or a hurricane. If it never hits, great. But if it does, you’ll be glad you prepared.

Don’t hoard, but do stock your cupboards with some extra food and cleaning supplies. Each time you grocery shop, buy a few extra items. Shelf stable foods such as beans and rice are good options. Also, utilize your freezer to preserve foods, everything from meats and vegetables to cooked grains and bread. Think about having enough on hand to last a few weeks.

  • Check the medicine cabinet to ensure you have basic medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Think about a back up plan if schools were to close during an outbreak.
  • If you take a daily prescription medication, have as much of a supply on hand as possible.
  • Ask your employer about a work-from-home option.

“If there’s widespread virus in your community, you may not want to go to the [store]. You may want to distance yourself from others,” Katz says.

4. The uncertainty of masks to prevent illness

Overall, there’s not conclusive evidence that wearing a face mask can help prevent people from being infected by the virus. And public health officials give mixed messages about usefulness for the general public. As we’ve reported, masks may not fit the face tightly, so you’re still able to breath in infected droplets. And, experts worry that masks can give a false sense of security.

Health care providers are trained to use masks properly, and there’s evidence that they’re effective in clinical settings. For people at home, the CDC recommends using masks in certain situations. For instance, if you’re caring for an infected person at home, the proper use of masks can protect the caregiver.

5. Be smart about travel

The CDC updates its travel advisory information frequently. The federal government uses a 4 level scale to rank risk. Level 1 = lowest risk, Level 4, highest.

For Italy, where there’s been sustained spread of the novel coronavirus, there’s now a Level 2 Alert. The CDC advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. “Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.”

Check your health insurance to see if it includes international travel coverage, the CDC recommends. Also, consider travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance.

The CDC estimates that — without insurance, a medical evacuation can $100,000 or more.

If you’ve planned a cruise or overseas travel consider the possibility of travel disruptions in the event of an outbreak. “Think about the consequences of being caught on ship or over a border when decisions are being made,” that could limit or disrupt your travel without much warning says Christopher Mores of George Washington University. If you were quarantined, what would your back-up plan be for your work and family responsibilities back home? This is definitely something to consider.

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

Affected Geographic Areas with Widespread or Sustained Community Transmission (Remember Widespread or Sustained and the U.S. is not a widespread yet).

Last updated February 26, 2020

  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea”

 World Health Organization

Corona virus is now in California but don’t panic!

Image result for Coronavirus

Thanks through CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as the reference for the update on 2/27/2020:

Limited information is available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). No vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 is available; care is supportive.

Affected Geographic Areas with Widespread or Sustained Community Transmission (Remember Widespread or Sustained and the U.S. is not a widespread yet).

Last updated February 26, 2020

  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea

The CDC clinical criteria for a COVID-19 person under investigation (PUI) have been developed based on what is known about MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV and are subject to change as additional information becomes available.

Healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness. CDC guidance for evaluating and reporting a PUI for MERS-CoV remains unchanged.

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Contact your local or state health department

Healthcare providers should immediately notify their localexternal icon or stateexternal icon health department in the event of a PUI for COVID-19.

Criteria to Guide Evaluation of PUI for COVID-19

Local health departments, in consultation with clinicians, should determine whether a patient is a PUI for COVID-2019. The CDC clinical criteria for COVID-19 PUIs have been developed based on available information about this novel virus, as well as what is known about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These criteria are subject to change as additional information becomes available.

Clinical features and epidemiologic risk
Clinical Features & Epidemiologic Risk
Fever1 or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath) AND Any person, including health care workers2, who has had close contact3 with a laboratory-confirmed4 COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever1 and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization AND A history of travel from affected geographic areas5 (see below) within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever1 with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization6 and without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)7 AND No source of exposure has been identified

The criteria are intended to serve as guidance for evaluation. In consultation with public health departments, patients should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the need for testing. Testing may be considered for deceased persons who would otherwise meet the PUI criteria.

Recommendations for Reporting, Testing, and Specimen Collection

Updated February 3, 2020

Healthcare providers should immediately notify both infection control personnel at their healthcare facility and their local or state health department in the event of a PUI for COVID-19. State health departments that have identified a PUI should immediately contact CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 770-488-7100 and complete a COVID-19 PUI case investigation form available below.

CDC’s EOC will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays.

Testing for other respiratory pathogens should not delay specimen shipping to CDC. If a PUI tests positive for another respiratory pathogen, after clinical evaluation and consultation with public health authorities, they may no longer be considered a PUI. This may evolve as more information becomes available on possible COVID-19 co-infections.

For biosafety reasons, it is not recommended to perform virus isolation in cell culture or initial characterization of viral agents recovered in cultures of specimens from a PUI for COVID-19.

To increase the likelihood of detecting COVID-19, CDC recommends collecting and testing multiple clinical specimens from different sites, including two specimen types—lower respiratory and upper respiratory. Additional specimen types (e.g., stool, urine) may be collected and stored. Specimens should be collected as soon as possible once a PUI is identified regardless of time of symptom onset.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Think of your bones as a “bank” where you “deposit” and “withdraw” bone tissue. During your childhood and teenage years, new bone is added (or deposited) to the skeleton faster than old bone is removed (or withdrawn). As a result, your bones become larger, heavier, and denser.

For most people, bone formation continues at a faster pace than removal until sometime after age 20. After age 30, bone withdrawals can begin to go faster than deposits. If your bone deposits don’t keep up with withdrawals, you can get osteoporosis.”

National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

The key to Healthy BONES!

Image result for skeletal bones     Image result for bones              Image result for skeletal bones

The infrastructure of the human body that allows us to perform our daily activities from standing, to sitting, to walking, or even climbing is our skeletal system. The major pillar or beam in the skeletal system is the vertebral column (spinal column). This bone structure allows us to bend, stand upright, twist, to dancing up a storm down the happy trail of life, if taken care of properly. If not, you may not be considering your life a happy tune, during that time of injury that can be a short or long haul before resolved, if ever. This infrastructure is so vital in our activities of our daily life. Many of us don’t realize that until the injury or damage sets in. There is one way you can bypass this disaster, don’t have it become a part of your life which is taking preventative measures; especially if you do heavy lifting in your life; like in my job as a nurse. One major ingredient to preventative measures is proper body mechanics but the trick here is never lift heavy items from below your waist level without bending your legs or even better without a second person helping you or some form of support but there is more to it than just that. There are more factors involved in helping you keep your back with all other bones strong. That would be healthy dieting, maintaining a good weight for your height (body mass index), and good exercise (not necessarily work out but if that is what you enjoy doing, it’s even better and don’t stop). All these ingredients to a better development and maintenance of your skeletal system=HEALTHY HABITS. A plus and benefit that many choose to do is going regularly to a chiropractor who can keep your spine in alignment (see one before injury starts). Recommended in Rockland County, NY is Dr. Diane Gregory, who I go to for my back and who has done both prevention & Rx; www.gregorychiropractic.com.

The key is to be living a healthy life. This consists of diet, exercise, activity and healthy habits learned and practiced in your routine of daily living that will help prevent or assist you in treating bone and back injuries; even problems caused by the inactivity with doing heavy lifting (Ex. lack of any muscle tone or muscle knots), which can inflict bone or back injuries. The better we treat ourselves EVERYDAY regarding health the higher the odds we will live a longer life. One common problem in America that can occur if not living healthy and/or using improper body mechanics with heavy lifting, especially frequently, can increase the risk of sciatica nerve damage. The pain of sciatica is typically felt from the low back (lumbar area) to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. The sciatica nerve is the largest nerve in the body that begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock to send the nerve ending down the lower limb to the foot. Depending on the precise cause of the sciatica symptoms with the duration, the outlook for recovery from sciatica ranges from excellent to having long term chronic symptoms. This can be prevented to some extent by avoiding low back trauma injuries. Thinking before lifting is the one of the best ideas. Osteoporosis is a common bone problem that is a abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones attributable to a lack of calcium, most common in postmenopausal women. This progressive bone disease that’s characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density leads to an increased risk of a fracture. The causes of this disease that are modifiable (can be changed) would be: Vitamin D deficiency, menopause, excess alcohol, tobacco smoking, malnutrition (identified risk factors include low dietary calcium and/or phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, boron, iron, fluoride, copper, vitamins A,K,E, and C; also D where skin exposure to sunlight provides an inadequate supply. Excess sodium is a risk factor. High blood acidity may be diet related, and is a known antagonist to the bone. Some have identified low protein intake as associated with lower peak bone mass during adolescence and lower bone mineral density in elderly populations. Other risk factors are inactive, underweight, heavy leads-a strong association between cadmium and lead with bone disease has been established. Low-level exposure to cadmium is associated with an increased loss of bone mineral density readily in both genders. Some studies even show soft drinks can increase the risk of osteoporosis related to high phosphoric acid. Others suggest soft drinks may displace calcium containing drinks from the diet rather than causing osteoporosis.

Another bone disorder is osteomalacia that is a softening of the bones caused by defective bone mineralization secondary to inadequate amounts of available phosphorus and calcium. The most common cause of the disease is a deficiency in vitamin D, which is normally obtained from the diet and/or from sunlight exposure. We can help our bones in many ways. There is not just one food to eat or one type of exercise to do or one healthy habit to practice to keep you healthy with strong bones, there are choices.   Wouldn’t you want less risk of bone or back injury or disease for yourself and for others throughout the nation including the future generations? Than join me and others. If you like what you see spread the good cheer. Let’s build a stronger foundation regarding HEALTH in America.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

MAYO CLINIC

Pneumonia and how it effects your lungs!

human lungs

 

The respiratory system consists of the lungs, throat, diaphragm, nose and mouth. Working together, these organs convert the air that is breathed into oxygen for the blood.

The process begins when a person breathes in air. Once taken into the body, the air travels through the throat into the chest cavity where it is processed by the bronchial tubes into the alveoli of the lungs. There, unneeded air such as carbon dioxide is removed and prepared to exit the body.

If one of these components of the respiratory system fails, oxygen intake is compromised, and the result can be serious if not fatal.

The major organ used in respirations is our lungs.  Your lungs are organs in your chest that allow your body to take in oxygen from the air. They also help remove carbon dioxide (a waste gas that can be toxic) from your body. The lungs‘ intake of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide is called gas exchange. Gas exchange is part of breathing.

To make this more simplistic in understanding how vital this organ is let us look at the car.  It operates mainly with the engine but also works with a transmission without either the car would fail in operation, including the oil system.  Let’s look at the body; remember both the car and the human body operate on systems, not one unit.  Our body’s engine is the heart with our transmission is the lungs; one completely without the other would die in about less 7 minutes.  The renal system (kidneys) is our oil system that filters our blood taking toxics out via the kidneys dumping into our urinary bladder to void out our system (the toxics are the yellow in our urine).  Get the idea of how our body is similar to the car.

Without losing our topic here lets now continue with anatomy of lungs.  The lungs are pyramid-shaped, paired organs that are connected to the trachea by the right and left bronchi; on the inferior surface, the lungs are bordered by the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the flat, dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs and thoracic cavity. The lungs are enclosed by the pleurae, which are attached to the mediastinum. The right lung is shorter and wider than the left lung, and the left lung occupies a smaller volume than the right. The cardiac notch is an indentation on the surface of the left lung, and it allows space for the heart.  The right lung has 3 lobes whereas the left has 2.  How does this deal with pneumonia well let us know get into this diagnosis.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick. You may cough, run a fever, and have a hard time breathing. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. But older adults, babies, and people with other diseases can become very ill. They may need to be in the hospital.

You can get pneumonia in your daily life, such as at school or work. This is called community-associated pneumonia. You can also get it when you are in a hospital or nursing home. This is called healthcare-associated pneumonia. It may be more severe because you already are ill. This topic focuses on pneumonia you get in your daily life.

What causes pneumonia?

Germs called bacteria or viruses usually cause pneumonia.

Pneumonia usually starts when you breathe the germs into your lungs. You may be more likely to get the disease after having a cold or the flu. These illnesses make it hard for your lungs to fight infection, so it is easier to get pneumonia. Having a long-term, or chronic, disease like asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes also makes you more likely to get pneumonia.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria usually come on quickly. They may include:

  • Cough. You will likely cough up mucus (sputum) from your lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
  • Fever.
  • Fast breathing and feeling short of breath.
  • Shaking and “teeth-chattering” chills.
  • Chest pain that often feels worse when you cough or breathe in.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Feeling very tired or very weak.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

When you have mild symptoms, your doctor may call this “walking pneumonia.”

Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms. They may not have a fever. Or they may have a cough but not bring up mucus. The main sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how well they think. Confusion or delirium is common. Or, if they already have a lung disease, that disease may get worse.

Symptoms caused by viruses are the same as those caused by bacteria. But they may come on slowly and often are not as obvious or as bad.

How is it treated?

If pneumonia is caused by bacteria, your doctor will give you antibiotics. These almost always cure pneumonia caused by bacteria. Be sure to take the antibiotics exactly as instructed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Pneumonia can make you feel very sick. But after you take antibiotics, you should start to feel much better. Call your doctor if you do not start to feel better after 2 to 3 days of antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you feel worse.

There are things you can do to feel better during your treatment. Get plenty of rest and sleep, and drink lots of liquids. Do not smoke. If your cough keeps you awake at night, talk to your doctor about using cough medicine.

You may need to go to the hospital if you have bad symptoms, a weak immune system, or another serious illness.

Pneumonia caused by a virus usually is not treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, antibiotics may be used to prevent complications. But home treatment, such as rest and taking care of your cough, usually is all that is done.

How can you prevent pneumonia?

Experts recommend immunization for children and adults. Children get the pneumococcal vaccine as part of their routine shots. Two different types of pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for people ages 65 and older. If you smoke, or you have a long-term health problem, it’s a good idea to get a pneumococcal vaccine. It may not keep you from getting pneumonia. But if you do get pneumonia, you probably won’t be as sick. You can also get an influenza vaccine to prevent the flu, because sometimes people get pneumonia after having the flu.

You can also lower your chances of getting pneumonia by staying away from people who have a cold, measles, or chickenpox. You may get pneumonia after you have one of these illnesses. Wash your hands often. This helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause pneumonia.

You are more likely to get pneumonia if you:

  • Smoke. Cigarette smoking is the strongest risk factor for pneumonia in healthy young people.
  • Have another medical condition, especially lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
  • Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.
  • Have an impaired immune system.
  • Take medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (such as Prilosec or Protonix) that reduces the amount of stomach acid.
  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Recently had a cold or the flu.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Without HIV medicine, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. Once someone has a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about 1 year. HIV medicine can still help people at this stage of HIV infection, and it can even be lifesaving. But people who start ART soon after they get HIV experience more benefits—that’s why HIV testing is so important.”

HIV.gov

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“In late 2019, a new coronavirus emerged in central China to cause disease in humans. Cases of this disease, known as COVID-19, have since been reported across China and in many other countries around the globe. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus represents a public health emergency of international concern, and on January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared it to be a health emergency for the United States.”

KFF Global Health Policy