Autumn Health and Safety

While the media is full of Ebola updates, other concerns should not be forgotten this Fall. Enterovirus, Rabbit Fever and other concerns are actually more likely to affect Americans directly than Ebola. Of course, too, we are at the beginning of cough, could and flu season – so it’s time to get ready for that.

Have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Make Halloween festivities fun, safe, and healthy for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Read these tips and articles:

ake steps to prevent the flu.

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year in the fall. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often. Stay home if you get sick.

  • Flu Season Is Around the Corner
  • Seasonal Flu Vaccination
  • Take 3 Actions to Fight the Flu –

    CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu): 

    Step One

    Take time to get a flu vaccine.

    Take time to get a flu vaccine like this young boy from an older female nurse.

    • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
    • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. (See upcoming season’s Vaccine Virus Selection for this season’s vaccine composition.)
    • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
    • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season’s vaccines are available.
    • Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
    • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
    • Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
    • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
    Step Two

    Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

    Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs like this mother teaching her young child to wash hands.

    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
    • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
    • See Everyday Preventive Actions[257 KB, 2 pages] and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for more information about actions – apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine – that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like influenza (flu).
    Step 3

    Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

    Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them like this older woman listening to her doctor.

    • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
    • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
    • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors[702 KB, 2 pages], treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
    • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
    • Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Get smart about antibiotics.

Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but not viral infections. The common cold and the flu are viral infections, so avoid using antibiotics if you have one of these. Using antibiotics when they are not needed causes some bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic, and therefore stronger and harder to kill. See your doctor or nurse to find out if your illness is bacterial or viral.

Cough? Cold? Flu? Infection? Pandemic?

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It is cold and cough season – get ready to fight flu and infection! Read our Blogs on these subjects and STOCK UP:
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Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Month

Did you know that October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month?

Learn CPR!

Learn CPR!

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one killer in America – Learning CPR can help save those around you. Recent Statistics show that 66 percent of the people who collapse after the electrical activity is disrupted in their heart survive. That’s true if someone else sees it happen and calls 911, and if the person receives CPR from emergency response crews or bystanders.

There is a critical 3- to 5-minute window to save a victim of SCA.

Know the cardiac chain of survival:

■ Early recognition of SCA, which may include any of the following: collapsed and unresponsive, gasping, gurgling, seizure-like activity.

■ Early access to 9-1-1.

■ Begin CPR immediately.

■ Retrieve and begin use of an AED immediately.

■ Early advanced care from first responders.

Recently, the focus has been on deeper, harder CPR for a longer duration — more than an hour in some cases — with fewer, shorter interruptions. EMS Teams that have been employing this strategy started seeing better survival numbers right away.

Our recommendations: Learn CPR at Home, or Schedule a Group CPR & AED Training at your location. Get and AED… Need help? Try the AED Grant Program!

Read More:

CPR ProductsCPR-AED-BANNER

We carry a large selection of CPR products including Professional CPR & First Aid Training Mannequins, CPR Masks & CPR Mouth Barrier devices, CPR Kits, CPR Prompting devices, Safety Training Videos, CD’s and More.

AED Products

AEDs & AED accessories including AED Trainers & Automatic Defibrillator from Phillips, Defibtech, HeartSine, Zoll & Meditronics.

Cough, Cold, Runny Nose

The Dark Side of Autumn. While turning leaves and a cool breeze are lovely, Snot is Not.  A common head or chest cold most often includes a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and of course coughing. These symptoms can last for up to 2 weeks.

Did you know that while rhinovirus is the most common type of virus, there are actually over 200 viruses that can cause colds?

Preventing the Common Cold

  • Practice good hand hygiene – wash regularly with antibacterial soap, carry hand wipes or hand sanitizer and use them!
  • Avoid contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections
  • If you catch cold – stay home if possible, otherwise always cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading the infection – and clean your phones, keyboards, mouse, and work areas at school or work whenever you sit down or leave.

Signs and Symptoms of the Common Cold

What are you doing to prepare for Flu, Cold and Cough Season this year? We’ve talked a lot about Influenza (always a popular subject with our readers) but the common cold is a seasonal dilemma that few dive into deeply enough… it’s not just a nuisance, it can lead to loss of work, more dangerous illnesses, and complications from misuse of medications and treatments.

Image of cough and cold medication

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Ever wonder what the Snot Color Means?
(OK, “Mucus” is a nicer term) At, first, when the germs that cause colds infect the nose and sinuses, the nose makes clear mucus. This is the body’s natural protective action and acts to help wash the germs from the nose and sinuses. After 2-3 days, the body’s immune cells fight back, changing the mucus to a white or yellow color. As the bacteria that live in the nose grow back, they may also be found in the mucus, which changes the mucus to a greenish color. This is normal and does not mean you or your child needs antibiotics.

How to Feel Better…

Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you or your child feel better. Remember, always use over-the-counter products as directed.  Many over-the-counter products are not recommended for children younger than certain ages.

Cough and cold medications that contain nasal decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants, and expectorants commonly are used alone or in combination in attempts to temporarily relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in children aged <2 years.

According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–Cooperative Adverse Drug Events Surveillance project, which is jointly operated by CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission: During 2004–2005 alone, an estimated 1,519 children aged <2 years were treated in U.S. emergency departments for adverse events, including overdoses, associated with cough and cold medications.

Tips for Safety at Home with Over-the-Counter Cold Remedies:

Do

  • Throw away old cold and cough medicines labeled for children less than age 4.
  • Read the label carefully to see what ingredients are in any medicine you give your child.

Don’t

  • Don’t leave any medicines where your child might be able to reach them.
  • Don’t tell children that medicine is candy.
  • Don’t take adult medicines in front of your child.
  • Don’t give children younger than age 4 any medicines intended for older children.
  • Don’t give your child two medicines that contain the same ingredients.

For tips on safely managing coughs and colds, talk to your child’s doctor or your pharmacist.

Antibiotics are Needed When…

Antibiotics are needed only if your healthcare provider tells you that you or your child has a bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider may prescribe other medicine or give tips to help with a cold’s symptoms, but antibiotics are not needed to treat a cold or runny nose.

Antibiotics Will Not Help if…

Since the common cold is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help it get better.  A runny nose or cold almost always gets better on its own, so it is better to wait and take antibiotics only when they are needed. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful, and may lead to unwanted side effects like diarrhea, rashes, nausea, and stomach pain. More severe side effects may rarely occur, including life-threatening allergic reactions, kidney toxicity, and severe skin reactions.

Each time you or your child takes an antibiotic, the bacteria that normally live in your body (on the skin, in the intestine, in the mouth and nose, etc.) are more likely to become resistant to antibiotics. Common antibiotics cannot kill infections caused by these resistant germs.

See a Healthcare Provider if You or Your Child has:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4° F
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • Symptoms that are not relieved by over-the-counter medicines

Your healthcare provider can determine if you or your child has a cold and can recommend symptomatic therapy. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to always call your healthcare provider right away.

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Follow the steps above to:

  1. Avoid the Common Cold
  2. Contain your Illness to avoid infecting others if you fall sick
  3. Treat the symptoms to recover
  4. Be responsible and careful with children, medications, and illness
  5. Know when self-treatment is not enough and it’s time to sesk professional help

Ebola: Prevention, Protection, Spread

Ebola HF – it is here. Now what?

CDC & WHO Recommendations for Ebola transmission prevention and protection:

Ebola: Protective measures for general public – What you need to know

The risk of Ebola transmission is low. Becoming infected requires direct, physical contact with the bodily fluids (vomit, faeces, urine, blood, semen, etc.) of people who have been infected with or died from Ebola virus disease (EVD).

To protect yourself, your family, and your community from EVD transmission, immediately report to the nearest health facility if you develop symptoms indicative of EVD, including high fever, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, or haemorrhaging. Isolation and professional clinical treatment increase a person’s chance of survival.

Only people who have been sick with Ebola virus disease and recovered from this traumatic experience can explain what it was like and what their needs were during the illness. That is why a group of 6 Ebola survivors were asked to play a critical role in a new training programme for health workers on Ebola care, which was established by WHO in consultation with the Ministry of Health and with support from USAID.

There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola.

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:

  • Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or
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    an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.

  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
  • After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.

EBOLA SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of Ebola include

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

Healthcare workers who may be exposed to people with Ebola should follow these steps:

  • Wear protective clothing, including masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection.
  • Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures. For more information, see “Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in the African Health Care Setting”.
  • Isolate patients with Ebola from other patients.
  • Avoid direct contact with the bodies of people who have died from Ebola.
  • Notify health officials if you have had direct contact with the blood or body fluids, such as but not limited to, feces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen of a person who is sick with Ebola. The virus can enter the body through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth

Fulfilling an urgent need

With the number of people infected with Ebola escalating at an alarming rate in Liberia, the Ministry of Health, WHO and other partners are racing to train a sufficient number of health workers to care for Ebola patients while avoiding the risk of becoming infected themselves.

“We realized that we need a new training programme that will be able to prepare 400 health workers over the coming weeks to be rapidly deployed into the new and existing Ebola treatment units,” explains Dr Abdikamal Alisalad, WHO Training Coordinator. “This first training course is planned to be replicated in future in other training centres in different parts of the country.”

The first group of health workers began the course, which is designed for 50 participants, in early October. Participants are being selected by the Ministry of Health, and many health workers have volunteered to be considered.

“This training will teach me how to help my people and how I can protect myself while caring for others.”

Zainab Sirleaf, nurse and participant in the WHO Ebola training programme

The training courses run on a rolling schedule. During the second week of the training programme (following the exercises in the mock treatment unit), participants are deployed to functioning Ebola treatment units in Monrovia where they work under supervision of qualified medical personnel. At the end of the second week, they receive a certificate qualifying them for employment in Ebola treatment units.

While the group starts their mentored work the second week, a new group of 50 trainees begins the course. The best-performing candidates from each group will be asked to serve as facilitators in future sessions.

Ebola Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

Fact sheet on Ebola

H2HIn the 2014 Ebola outbreak, nearly all of the cases of EVD are a result of human-to-human transmission.

Frequently asked questions

2 to 21 days The incubation period from time of infection to symptoms is 2 to 21 days.

Travel guidance for health authorities and the transport sector

Ebola

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

An American aid worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus while in Liberia arrived in the United States from West Africa on August 2, 2014.

Despite concern among some in the United States over bringing Ebola patients to the country, health officials have said there is no risk to the public. He was escorted into an Atlanta hospital, wearing a bio-hazard suit, for treatment in a special isolation unit.

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See Pandemic Protection Products – features items recommended by the CDC, WHO, and American Red Cross

The facility at Emory, set up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is one of only four in the country with the facilities to deal with such cases.

A second infected member of the group, missionary Nancy Writebol, will be brought to the United States on a later flight, as the medical aircraft is equipped to carry only one patient at a time.

Brantly is a 33-year-old father of two young children. Writebol is a 59-year-old mother of two.

CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said this week that the agency was not aware of any Ebola patient ever being treated in the United States previously. But five people in the past decade have entered the country with either Lassa Fever or Marburg Fever, hemorrhagic fevers that are similar to Ebola.

Genetic analysis of the virus indicates that it is closely related (97% identical) to variants of Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus) identified earlier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria announced a cumulative total of 1603 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 887 deaths, as of August 1, 2014. Of the 1603 clinical cases, 1009 cases have been laboratory confirmed for Ebola virus infection.

In Guinea, 485 cases, including 358 fatal cases and 340 laboratory confirmations of EVD, were reported by the Ministry of Health of Guinea and WHO as of August 1, 2014. Active surveillance continues in Conakry, Guéckédou, Boffa, Pita, Siguiri, and Kourourssa Districts.

In Sierra Leone, WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported a cumulative total of 646 suspect and confirmed cases of EHF as of August 1, 2014. Of these 646, 540 cases have been laboratory confirmed and 273 were fatal. Districts reporting clinical EVD patients include Kailahun, Kenema, Kambia, Port Loko, Bo and Western Area, which includes the capital, Freetown. More recently, Tonkolili, Bambali, Moyamba, Bonthe, and Punjehun Districts have also reported confirmed cases of EVD. Reports, investigations, and testing of suspect cases continue across the country.

As of August 1, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO reported 468 clinical cases of EVD, including 129 laboratory confirmations and 255 fatal cases. Suspect and confirmed cases have been reported from Lofa, Montserado, Margibi, Bomi, Bong, Nimba, RiverCess, Grand Cape Mount, and Grand Bassa Counties. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Monrovia.

In Nigeria, WHO and the Nigerian Ministry of Health reported 1 probable fatal case and 4 suspect cases as of August 1, 2014.

CDC is in regular communication with all of the Ministries of Health (MOH), WHO, MSF, and other partners regarding the outbreak. Currently CDC has personnel in all four countries assisting the respective MOHs and the WHO-led international response to this Ebola outbreak.

Based on reports from the Ministry of Heath of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia, the Ministry of Health of Nigeria, and WHO.

Prevention

The prevention of Ebola HF presents many challenges. Because it is still unknown how exactly people are infected with Ebola HF, there are few established primary prevention measures.

When cases of the disease do appear, there is increased risk of transmission within health care settings. Therefore, health care workers must be able to recognize a case of Ebola HF and be ready to employ practical viral hemorrhagic fever isolation precautions or barrier nursing techniques. They should also have the capability to request diagnostic tests or prepare samples for shipping and testing elsewhere.

Health staff dressed in protective clothing constructing a perimeter for the isolation ward.

MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward.

Barrier nursing techniques include:

The aim of all of these techniques is to avoid contact with the blood or secretions of an infected patient. If a patient with Ebola HF dies, it is equally important that direct contact with the body of the deceased patient be prevented.

CDC, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, has developed a set of guidelines to help prevent and control the spread of Ebola HF. Entitled Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers In the African Health Care Setting, the manual describes how to:

  • recognize cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (such as Ebola HF)
  • prevent further transmission in health care setting by using locally available materials and minimal financial resources.

Personal Protection

Facts-About-Ebola

Ebola Fact Sheet

Ebola Fact Sheet

 

Health, Medical & Nursing Education

Healthcare Training?

What an amazing field – and how to explain, explore, demonstrate, simulate, practice, teach and learn?Anatomy

Here’s how:

Medical Manikin & Simulators Center – Anatomy, Nursing Skills, Trauma, ACLS +

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The Best Way to Stop Bug Bites according to Consumer Reports

According to the CDC, Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products are your best defense against West Nile

In a recent article entitled “Best Way to Stop Bug Bites”, Consumer Reports once again recommends Natrapel 8 hour, and references their 2010 study which found Natrapel to be the only non-Deet repellent to receive their recommendation. This is another phenomenal endorsement from a trusted consumer resource. Check out the full article here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/05/best-way-to-stop-bug-bites/index.htm

 

 

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Summer Surprises and Safety

When you are walking or playing sports, attending summer camps, vacationing, or having general fun with friends and family, make sure you know your risks and are prepared to take action against heat distress, poor air quality, lightning strikes, wildfires, floods, rip currents, hurricanes and tornadoes… just to name a few. 

We are Ambassadors of NOAA & The Weather Ready Nation Program!

We are Ambassadors of NOAA & The Weather Ready Nation Program!

Summer Safety means being Weather-Ready. This summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asks you to Be A Force of Nature! by becoming Summer Weather-Ready. Help us spread the word to ensure that everyone stays safe this summer! Summer in the northern hemisphere begins June 21 and lasts until September 23. It’s an active season for people, the atmosphere and the oceans. People stay out later and longer, and more storms spin up. This combination provides us the opportunity for lots of fun, outdoor activities, but it also increases our risk to certain environmental hazards. NOAA wants to raise the nation’s awareness to be Summer Weather-Ready!outdoor_first_aid_kit_banner

Can carrying around a brochure help save your life?

“My Medicines” … This Brochure Can be a Lifesaver

My-MedicinesCan carrying around a brochure help save your life? Yes, if it’s the “My Medicines” brochure offered by FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. It’s designed to help consumers track the medications they use.

My Medicines features a chart that allows you to list information about your prescription medicines, including the names of the medicines, how much you take, when you take them, what condition they are treating, and the number of refills.

The brochure also offers advice on how to use labeling information, how to avoid problems with your medicines, and questions you should ask your doctor or pharmacist about your prescriptions.

The brochure is available online at www.fda.gov/womenshealthsafemeds, as well as through the mail and from insurance providers, pharmacies, hospitals, health fairs, senior centers, and other venues.