Sep 01 2014

World Health Organization Issues Report on E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed by manufacturers as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco, and require global regulation in the interest of public health, this new World Health Organization (WHO) report states. The report states that while e-cigarettes represent an “evolving frontier filled with promise and threat for tobacco control,” regulations are needed to: Impede e-cigarette promotion to non-smokers and young people; Minimize potential health risks to e-cigarette users and nonusers; Prohibit unproven health claims about e-cigarettes; and Protect existing tobacco control efforts from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. It explains that while additional research is needed on multiple areas of e-cigarette use, regulations are required now to address health concerns, in particular for: Advertising: An appropriate government body must restrict e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to ensure that it does not target youth and non-smokers or people who do not currently use nicotine. Indoor use: legal steps should be taken to end use of e-cigarettes indoors in public and work places. Evidence suggests that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol increases the background air level of some toxicants, nicotine and particles. Since 2005, the e-cigarette industry has grown from one manufacturer in China to an estimated US$3 billion global business with 466 brands, a market in which the tobacco industry is taking a greater stake. The report highlights WHO’s concern about the role of the tobacco industry in this market.   The regulations ...

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Aug 11 2014

The EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK of 2014-What You Need To Know

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:   The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. The CDC is surging resources by sending 50 more workers to the area to help bring the outbreak under control. What is Ebola? Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common. How is Ebola transmitted? Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. Can Ebola be transmitted through the air? No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air. Can I get Ebola from contaminated food or water? No. Ebola is not a food-borne illness.  It is not a water-borne illness. Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms? No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct ...

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Jun 26 2014

Food Allergies: Autoimmune Update Part Three

Imagine what life would be like if you had to constantly check out the ingredients in your favorite foods to make sure your life wasn’t in danger after eating even a tiny bit. For some people with severe food allergies, that’s become their way of life. Food allergies cause about 30,000 severe allergic reactions and 150 deaths every year in the United States. They affect nearly 4% of adults and about 7% of children under 4 years old. Several studies show that food allergies are becoming more common. Food allergies occur if your immune system has an abnormal reaction to food. Normally, your immune system protects you from germs and disease by fighting off the harmful organisms that can make you sick. When your immune system makes a mistake and attacks a harmless substance you eat, it can cause serious, even life-threatening, allergic symptoms. Symptoms of food allergy can include coughing; tingling in the mouth; skin reactions like hives and itching; and nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea. Food allergies can also cause a sudden and severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis brings life-threatening symptoms, which can include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure and narrowing of the airways and wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe). Foods that can cause allergies include fish and shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster and crab; eggs, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts such as walnuts. Peanut ...

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Jun 07 2014

Head Lice-Are Your Children At Risk?

It's the summer and kids are going to camp. That generally means they are sharing towels, hair brushes and whatever else. We are talking about close contact. And that also means you need to be aware of that dreaded-HEAD LICE. In the United States, infestation with head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) is most common among preschool- and elementary school-age children and their household members and caretakers. Head lice are not known to transmit disease; however, secondary bacterial infection of the skin resulting from scratching can occur with any lice infestation. Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment. Head lice are mainly spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. The most common way to get head lice is by head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Such contact can be common among children during play at: • school, • home, and • elsewhere (e.g., sports activities, playgrounds, camp, and slumber parties). Uncommonly, transmission may occur by: • wearing clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons worn by an infested person; • using infested combs, brushes or towels; or • lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person. Reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States are not available; however, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur ...

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May 26 2014

The CDC Guide To The 2014 FIFA World Cup In Brazil

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup is a football (soccer) tournament held every 4 years with teams competing from all over the world. The 2014 World Cup is scheduled from June 12 through July 13, 2014 and will be located in twelve cities across Brazil. If you plan to travel to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, follow the recommendations below to help you stay safe and healthy. What can travelers do to protect themselves? Before your trip: • Schedule a health appointment at least 4–6 weeks before you depart on your trip. Talk to your doctor or nurse about vaccines and medicines recommended for Brazil. See the Find a Clinic webpage for help in finding a travel medicine clinic near you. o CDC recommends all travelers be up-to-date onroutine vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and flu. o Other recommended vaccines may includehepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, yellow fever, and rabies. o Medicine for malaria and travelers’ diarrhea may be recommended. • Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance. • Pack a travel health kit. • Monitor travel warnings and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State. • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home. During your trip: • Follow security and safety guidelines. US travelers may be targets for criminals during mass gatherings. o If possible, don't travel at night, avoid questionable areas, and ...

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May 16 2014

Update on Autoimmune Diseases Part Two

When an intruder invades your body—like a cold virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin—your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you. But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self.) This is the second article in the series: the first article: "Juvenile Arthritis-What You Need To Know" appeared in November 2013: www.nerdel.com/blog/2013/11/21/juvenile-arthritis-what-you-need-to-know/ The Immune System Your immune system is the network of cells and tissues throughout your body that work together to defend you from invasion and infection. You can think of it as having two parts: the acquired and the innate immune systems. The acquired (or adaptive) immune system develops as a person grows. It “remembers” invaders so that it can fight them if they come back. When the immune system is working properly, foreign invaders provoke the body to activate immune cells against the invaders and to produce proteins called antibodies that attach to the invaders so that they can be recognized and destroyed. The more primitive innate (or inborn) immune system activates white blood cells to destroy invaders, without using antibodies. Autoimmune diseases refer to problems with the acquired immune system’s reactions. In an autoimmune reaction, antibodies and immune cells target the ...

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May 10 2014

Let’s Not Forget About The Obesity Epidemic!

Childhood Obesity Facts Childhood obesity rates remain high. Overall, obesity among our nation’s young people, aged 2 to 19 years, has not changed significantly since 2003-2004 and remains at about 17 percent. • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. • The prevalence of obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years decreased significantly from 13.9% in 2003-2004 to 8.4% in 2011-2012. • There are significant racial and age disparities in obesity prevalence among children and adolescents. In 2011-2012, obesity prevalence was higher among Hispanics (22.4%) and non-Hispanic black youth (20.2%) than non-Hispanic white youth (14.1%). The prevalence of obesity was lower in non-Hispanic Asian youth (8.6%) than in youth who were non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black or Hispanic. • In 2011-2012, 8.4% of 2- to 5-year-olds were obese compared with 17.7% of 6- to 11-year-olds and 20.5% of 12- to 19-year-olds. Note: In children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. Obesity and extreme obesity rates decline among low-income preschool children • Obesity and extreme obesity among U.S. low-income, preschool-aged children went down for the first time in recent years, according to a CDC study. • From 2003 through 2010, the prevalence of obesity decreased slightly from 15.21% to 14.94%. Similarly, the prevalence of extreme obesity decreased from 2.22% to 2.07%. • However, from 1998 through 2003, ...

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May 01 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Sports keep children healthy, teach them to work as part of a team, and help them develop the discipline to achieve their goals. During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we encourage America's sons and daughters to get active and challenge everyone to join the movement for a happier, fitter Nation. For 4 years, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has worked with community and faith leaders, educators, health care professionals, and businesses to give our children a healthy start and empower schools to build active environments. My Administration launched the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, replacing the old Physical Fitness Test to put a stronger emphasis on students' health. We also created the new Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, which encourages all Americans to commit to eating right and getting regular exercise. Because everyone should have the chance to get active, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is expanding I Can Do It, You Can Do It! -- a program that creates more opportunities for Americans with disabilities to participate in fitness and sports. For more information or to learn how you can get involved, visitwww.LetsMove.gov and www.Fitness.gov. By leading more active lifestyles, we can invest in our futures and encourage our children to do the same. This month, ...

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Apr 25 2014

Smoking Affects Your Brain. Secondhand Smoke Is Affecting Your Child’s Brain. Isn’t It Time To Quit!!

Even if you don’t smoke, a new study shows, secondhand smoke affects your brain much as it does a smoker’s. It’s one more reason to steer clear of secondhand smoke in cars and other enclosed spaces. We know a lot more than we used to about the dangers of tobacco smoke. “When you smoke, you inhale thousands of hazardous chemicals,” explains Dr. Michele Bloch, a tobacco control expert at NIH. “They travel all around inside your body and cause damage to numerous parts.” Cigarette smoke can quickly damage delicate lung tissue. It doesn’t have a chance to heal when it’s exposed to smoke day after day. The result can be a wide range of deadly lung conditions, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The chemicals from tobacco smoke travel from the lungs into the bloodstream. They damage your heart and blood vessels to cause cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease kills over 800,000 people a year nationwide. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death nationwide. People who smoke are up to 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to have a heart attack. Tobacco also causes cancer. Up to 90% of lung cancer deaths are linked to smoking. But the smoker isn’t the only one harmed by tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke can make it more likely you’ll get heart disease, have a heart attack or die early. Bloch says. ...

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Apr 19 2014

Is Your Child Up To Date on Their Immunizations?

Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children in Easy-to-read Formats: The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. While these diseases are not common in the U.S., they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do occasionally occur in this country. Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly – especially in infants and young children. Check the schedule for the age or age range when each vaccine or series of shots is recommended. Or create a personalized schedule that shows the recommended dates for your child. If your child has missed any shots, use the catch-up scheduler tool to see recommended vaccination dates for the missed or skipped vaccines. See your child’s doctor with any questions. For more information, call toll free Para más información, llame a la línea de atención gratuita 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

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