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  • 08/18/2023 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Mary Ann Kilheeney

    Did you know that EG.5 is now the most prevalent variant of COVID in the U.S.? EG.5 accounts for more than 17% of cases in the U.S.  This variant has virologists, a medical researcher or scientist who studies viruses and diseases caused by them, following EG.5 closely.  EG.5 transmissibility can evade immunity.

    Data indicates that symptoms of EG.5 are the same as other variants. Current tools still work:  the antivirals currently available should work against it and the diagnostic tests (both the at-home rapid tests and tests received at medical facilities) all  recognize this variant.

    It is very possible that EG.5 is the most prevalent variant of COVID around because of waning population immunity. Especially since it has been some time since boosters have been provided.  The good news is that there should be new COVID vaccine and booster shots available in Fall 2023. Talk with your doctor about scheduling  your booster when you sign up to get the Flu shot this fall.

    Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to COVID.  They should always take need precautions, such as frequent handwashing, wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.

    For more information, please visit https://publichealth.jhu.edu .

    Read more at The New York Times

  • 07/26/2023 4:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week the United States weather map is one big heat alert with a bright red stripe of temperatures in the 100s covering the south and much of the Great Plains states.  The Southwest is baking with more than 26 days over 110 in Phoenix. Smoke from the wildfires is making the summer a tough one for anyone with health issues, especially older adults. 

    When the air gets this hot, older adults, in particular, struggle. Boston University Professors Deborah Carr and Ian Sue Wing, along with researcher Giacomo Falchetta, explain the risks to watch for – from medications that can make people more sensitive to heat to worsened cognition in people with dementia

    Why do older adults feel the heat?

    Read more at The Conversation.

    The Conversation is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to helping academic experts share ideas with the public.

  • 07/08/2023 10:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Most of us have had annual flu shots every fall and are now considering whether we should get  another Covid  vaccine booster and the RSV . The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a lesser-known threat whose toll in hospitalizations and deaths may rival that of flu, now has the first shots to protect older adults.  Getting these three vaccines might prevent another tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses this year.  And for most of us on Medicare, all of these preventive vaccines should be free.

    Normally, doctors recommend that you get the flu vaccine in September or October.  The same holds true for the Covid shots, and you can get both at the same time.  The RSV vaccine is also recommended for the Fall.   So, talk to your doctor about if and when you should get several or all of the three vaccines,

    Read more at The New York Times

  • 07/07/2023 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is July and hot and humid in Washington, D.C.  the mosquitos and bugs are everywhere.  You cannot walk out in the garden without stirring up a whole army of blood sucking insects.

    Wirecutter tested bug control sprays, creams, socks, and gear to determine which ones  actually work.  If you don't have one, get  a battery-operated plastic tennis racket bug zapper laced with live current.  It can make a game out of killing flies, fruit flies, or mosquitoes, if you have good eye/hand coordination. Watch out for lamps.

    They recommend skipping sonic reppelers, repellant-infused bracelets, and citronella candles.

    Click here to read the Wirecutter list.

    Click here to read research from The Conversation.

  • 02/04/2023 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The White House stated that it will end COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11.  The  sweeping pandemic measures to curb the spread of Covid 19 have been in place nearly three years. 

    The COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) were put in place in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump. Biden has repeatedly extended the measures, which allow millions of Americans to receive free tests, vaccines and treatments. The government has been paying for COVID-19 vaccines, some tests and certain treatments under the PHE declaration. When it expires, those costs will be transferred to private insurance and government health plans.

    For more information go to CDC.gov

  • 01/10/2023 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The sooner you act on your COVID-19 symptoms, the better. If you test positive — and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 — treatments are available to reduce your chances of severe illness.

    Here's what you need to know:

    • Don't delay  get tested as soon as possible after your symptoms start. Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.
    • If you test positive, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider right away to find out if treatment is right for you, even if your symptoms are mild. There are multiple options for treating COVID-19 at home or in an outpatient setting.
    • Click here for COVID-19 treatments COVID-19 Treatments

    If you're symptomatic, you may also want to consider using the Test to Treat program. With thousands of locations nationwide, it can provide faster, easier access to lifesaving COVID-19 treatments. If you test positive, you can see a healthcare provider, and if eligible, get a prescription for an oral COVID-19 treatment and have that prescription filled — all at one location.

    Click here to find out more about U.S. Health and Human Services HHS Test to Treat Covid-19 program.

  • 12/29/2022 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Starting January 5, all travelers entering the U.S. from China, Hong Kong, and Macau must present negative Covid-19 tests.  The change is intended to slow the spread of the virus after a surge of cases in China.  This testing requirement applies to all air passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status and included all who are entering the U.S. through a third country.  Similar restrictions are already in place in Italy and Japan.

    Read news release from the CDC

    Read more at The New York Times

  • 12/27/2022 12:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2021, for the second consecutive year, life expectancy in the United States dropped according to final mortality data published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

    Life expectancy is now almost two adn a half years shorter than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic and Covid-19 was a major cause of that decline. Life expectancy declined 1.8 years in 2020 and  0.6 years in 2021.  As a result, life expectancy in 2021 was  76.4 years.

    Nearly 1 in 10 deaths in 2020 were due to Covid-19.  That death rate due to Covid-19 increased to 1 in 8 deaths in 2021 making it the third leading cause of death.  The leading causes of death remain heart disease followed by cancer.  these three causes resulted in almost half of all deaths last year.

    Another increasing cause of death in 2021 was drug overdose with nearly 107,000 deaths due to drug overdose.

    Read more at CNN

  • 12/02/2022 6:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Most of the US is no longer masking, following vaccine mandates, or keeping social distances.  But Americans 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems are still at elevated risk from COVID-19.  Most people dying of the coronavirus are 65 and older and are dying at almost two to three times the rate at which people die of the flu.

    Track confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. and the spread around the world.

    U.S. vaccine distribution and delivery, tracked by state.

    Guides: Booster shots | Vaccines | Variants | Masks

    Read more at The Washington Post

  • 11/11/2022 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The estimation is that 80% of Americans have been infected at least once with COVID 19.

    And all of us know people who have been infected twice or more with COVID 19.  Many of them have been fully vaccinated.  A new study indicates that they have  a much higher risk of death, hospitalization and other complications compared with people infected once. 

    The paper was published November 10, 2022, in Nature Medicine  It is based on an analysis of electronic medical records of 5.8 million patients in the VA’s national health-care database. Of the 5.8 million records, 443,588 were of individuals infected once, and 40,947 were individuals who had been infected two or more times.  It found that patients with reinfections tended to have more complications in various organ systems both during their initial illness and longer term.  Individuals with a second COVID infection were also more likely to be diagnosed with long COVID. People’s vaccination status or whether they were boosted did not impact the results of the study.

    Click here to review the  new study

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