Posts tagged with "flu"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

How States Can Combat COVID While Fighting The Flu

United States of Care Offers Suggestions to States on How To Deal With the Seasonal Flu Amid a Pandemic

(Washington, DC) Today, United States of Care (USofCare) issued a “Preparing for COVID-19 and the Flu,” recommendations to states for dealing with the seasonal flu amid a global public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.

“States have a long history of successfully dealing with the flu virus, encouraging vaccines and stopping a widespread flu outbreak,” said Emily Barson, Executive Director of United States of Care. “This year is different, as the nation’s already taxed health care system faces the unprecedented double whammy of influenza and COVID-19. As an organization engaging in one-on-one conversations with people, policymakers, and various health care leaders throughout the pandemic, United States of Care offers a unique view on what people need to know and what states can do to combat COVID-19 while fighting the flu.”

United States of Care’s “Preparing for COVID-19 and the Flu” breaks down how states can prepare for dealing with the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously. It includes the following suggestions:

  1. Communicate Clearly: State leaders need to be clear in their communications about why protective measures, such as mask requirements and closures, are necessary to keep people safe from the flu and COVID-19. States can play a vital role in providing people with clarity about what to do if they are infected with either the flu or COVID-19, as they have similar symptoms
  2. Prepare for Increased Health Care Demand: States need to have contingency plans in place so that health care system resources can be efficiently allocated.
  3. Address the Needs of High-Risk People: States will need to continually rely on the latest COVID-19 metrics and data on the flu’s trajectory, especially for high-risk populations to take additional measures.
  4. Develop Plans to Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates: In a typical flu season, less than 50% of people get vaccinated, and the rate is even lower among people of color. Increasing this rate is essential to minimizing the strain on our health care system. Clear communications are also vital due to people’s ongoing concerns about receiving medical care during the pandemic. States will need to develop plans to distribute flu shots in safe-settings, including at home for vulnerable populations.
covid-19, coronavirus, sara sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, health

THE CORONAVIRUS × NEED-TO-KNOW FACTS FOR TRAVELERS

World Travel Expert, Tammy Levent, Shares Safety Facts & Strategic Advice for Travelers

By: Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel and founder of TASK™

The coronavirus causes respiratory disease in those who contract it. The first case was found in Wuhan, China. As of March 4th, there are over 93,000 cases found globally.

The World Health Organization states that if you’re not in an area where the coronavirus is spreading, haven’t recently traveled to an where there are known cases of the virus, or haven’t been in close contact with someone who is showing symptoms of the virus, then your chances of contracting the virus is low.

If the CDC or World Health Organization has put out a “do not travel” elevated warning, then do not travel there. If they say do not go to China, obviously you are not going to go to China even if it means having to miss your business trip. Your health is more important. 

To keep track of the virus, you should monitor news updates and travel alerts regularly but be pragmatic and avoid making rash decisions. If your vacation is more than a month away, I would say waiting to cancel your flight may be the best move. There is no need to panic, things may be different in a month. You can always change the date for a later time. When booking flights, either online or with a travel professional make sure to ask about cancellation policies. When I travel, I get “cancel for any reason” and “medical insurance” to cover me if something happens overseas.  

No matter when or where you are traveling, basic hygiene is the best means of prevention. Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially before eating. Avoid touching your face or putting your hands in your mouth. If flying, be smart, wear a face mask when in close quarters.

I always take sanitizing wipes with me on airplanes and the first thing I do is wipe down the seat in front of me, the tray table, the headrest, armrest and seat belt. Another major thing that can help prevent sickness when flying is shutting off your ventilation on your overhead. I have been doing this for years. 

Never put your suitcase or purse on your pillow. Think of all the places your purse and luggage have been! They touch the bathroom floor, the airport floor, the street, and the pavement. It’s just not sanitary!

The big question surrounding the coronavirus is  “Should you cancel your upcoming trip?” Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. The decision depends on when and where you are traveling and what your current health condition is. Discuss health concerns with your doctor and use qualified resources for information like The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

ABOUT TAMMY LEVENT

National TV Travel correspondent, Tammy Levent is the CEO of Elite Travel, an award-winning national travel agency named the fastest-growing and most trusted in the nation and she is also the founder of TASK™ (The Travel Agent’s Success Kit) a business that helps struggling travel agencies successfully adapt to this new age of travel. 

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Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

CDC × COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday that it appears inevitable that COVID-19 will spread in United States communities. Officials said it’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a conference call that the spread of the new coronavirus in countries other than China has officials concerned about outbreaks in the U.S.

“Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country,” said Messonier. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

The CDC says the agency is preparing to address the potential spread of the virus in the U.S. and it’s encouraging Americans to begin planning as well.

“We will maintain, for as long as practical, a dual approach where we continue measures to contain this disease, but also employ strategies to minimize the impact on our communities,” said Messonier.

Messonier said that officials don’t know whether the spread of the disease in the U.S. would be mild or severe, but Americans should be ready for “significant disruptions” to their daily lives.

“We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” Messonnier said.

If the virus begins to spread amongst Americans, the CDC says it will becomes increasingly important to implement basic precautions to prevent more infections. That includes staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene.

Additionally, the CDC says community level intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings, like postponing or canceling large gatherings. Officials said it may become necessary for students and the workforce to meet over the internet, instead of in person.

“For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” said Messonier.

The virus is believed to have originated from Wuhan, China, where early patients had some link to a large seafood and live animal markets.

The CDC says more than 2,400 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, with a majority of the deaths in mainland China. However, other countries are now battling sizable outbreaks as well.

Europe’s biggest outbreak is in Italy, where more than 280 people have reportedly been infected. Iran has reported at least 95 cases. And, South Korea has more than 970 cases.

As of Tuesday, the CDC had confirmed 14 cases in the U.S., 12 being travel-related and two from person-to-person spread. A total of 43 cases have been confirmed in the group of people repatriated to the U.S. from either Wuhan or the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan, the CDC says. That’s a total of 57 cases.

At this time, there’s no vaccine or medicine to help stop the spread of the virus.

“In the absence of a vaccine or therapy, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment,” wrote the CDC.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of influenza (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illness are highly prevalent. The CDC is hoping COVID-19 is a seasonal disease like the flu, but officials are preparing in case it’s not.

Click here for CDC updates and to learn more about COVID-19.

Purdue University x Flu Vaccines

Influenza, measles, mumps and coronavirus COVID-19 are illnesses people hear about on a regular basis.

While coronavirus is relatively new and does not yet have a vaccine, the others all can be prevented or at least have their severity reduced by simply getting a vaccination, says Libby Richards, an associate professor of nursing in Purdue’s School of Nursing.

“It’s important to review your vaccination records with your health care provider,” she says. “Vaccinations aren’t just for kids. Adults need them, too. The vaccinations needed for adults depends on a few things, such as age and health history. Vaccines help your immune system fight infections faster and more effectively.”

A flu vaccination is particularly important, especially during severe flu seasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in its latest flu update on Feb. 14 that flu activity is still at a high level. Since October, at least 26 million Americans have suffered from the flu, resulting in the deaths of at least 14,000 adults and 92 children.

While flu vaccinations must be done annually, Richards says that the effectiveness of other vaccinations adults received as children diminish over time, so they might find themselves no longer protected. “Pertussis – whooping cough — and tetanus vaccines are perfect examples of vaccines that require booster shots throughout one’s life.”

Common vaccinations include, but are not limited to, shingles, pneumonia, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) influenza, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV.

Shingles vaccines are good for five years and are recommended for adults 50 and older. Pneumonia vaccines are recommended by the CDC for those 65 and older and should provide lifetime protection. A booster is needed for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years. Hepatitis A and B vaccines protect against some liver infections resulting in exposure to infected body fluids or food and water; each have different vaccination requirements.

“Talk to your health care provider to see what you need and when you need it,” Richards says. “Vaccinations can save lives by helping prevent or limit a disease or illness.”

Related Releases:
You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine
Suffering from the flu? Just stay at home
Balancing flu risks and death while everyone’s talking about coronavirus

360 MAGAZINE, Nicole Avena, PhD

Top Five Tips For Avoiding Colds and Flu This Season

1. Take It Easy. Stress is a sure way to compromise your immune system. Be sure to make sure that you are taking care of yourself and making time to rest and restore in order to keep your stress levels at a minimum.

2. Take Vitamin C. Supplementing your diet with Vitamin C is a great way to ward of colds and flu. We don’t typically get enough Vitamin C from our diets alone, so a supplement is often the best way to go. Vitafusion makes a Vitamin C gummy that is easy to take, and a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.

3. Avoid Closed Places. Cold and flu viruses spread via the air, so try to avoid spending too much time indoors where there may be people who are sick (like shopping malls). Try to get outdoors as much as you can, as the brisk air can be great for your health and also very refreshing.

4. Wash Your Hands, and Face. Washing your hands is a no-brainer, but don’t forget to wash your face! We often touch our face with our hands, and germs can be sitting there just waiting to invade. 

5. Use Sanitizer. Keeping your work and home areas clean of viruses is important. Use sanitizer to wipe down the places where germs might be lingering, such as door knobs, bathrooms, faucet handles, and keyboards.

Nicole Avena, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is the author of several books, including Why Diets Fail, and What to Eat When You’re Pregnant.