Protecting Your Immune System From the Flu and COVID This Winter

Social distancing and mask-wearing may be key measures for reducing the spread of COVID, but the status of your immune system also matters. Unfortunately, the sheer stress of navigating a pandemic has done a number on our collective immune response — and this does not bode well as flu season approaches. Take this time to bolster your immune system by implementing these key strategies: Fix Your Diet Stress eating may be a common coping mechanism during COVID, but it’s exactly what we should be avoiding at this sensitive time. Instead of turning to junk food, stock your fridge and freezer…

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Tips For Using Masks And Hand Sanitizer Safely — And How to Avoid Injury

  Hand sanitizer and face masks are all but impossible to find on store shelves these days, and for good reason: they represent two of the most vital tools available for protecting ourselves and our loved ones against the spread of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, while these products can limit the spread of the disease, they’re far from risk-free. Improper use can lead to a variety of injuries. Keep the following in mind as you make the most of these essential tools: Store Hand Sanitizer Carefully Now that your kids are constantly around, they have observed you and other members…

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What Is the Actual Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for Covid-19?

The disease Covid-19—caused by the novel coronavirus—clearly can be deadly, especially for seniors and those who are immune-compromised or metabolically unwell. But how dangerous is it, precisely? Epidemiologists measure something called a Case Fatality Rate (CFR), which tracks the number of deaths caused by a disease per the number of “cases” of that disease. It seems like it should be straightforward to calculate this number, but many things prevent clarity. For instance: What exactly constitutes a “case”? Do we only count those who test positive according to an official Covid-19 test? Do we also count people who show symptoms but…

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February Is National Heart Month: Tips For Achieving a Healthy Heart Now And Year-Round

The Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day may be your February high points, but there’s far more to this month than chocolate and chicken wings. It’s also National Heart Month — a key opportunity to raise awareness of the concerning role heart disease plays in modern society. Think of this as your second shot at a New Year’s resolution: the chance to reassess your habits and commit to a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate the following practices into your daily routine to protect your heart this month and throughout the year: Eat More Fruits And Veggies Eating healthy can feel like a struggle…

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What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Do you feel moody, tired, or overwhelmed during specific times of the year? If so, you may suffer from a mental health issue that plagues millions of Americans: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Although it remains widely misunderstood, awareness of this problem is on the rise. The sooner you can identify it and seek help, the easier you’ll find it to get through the year’s most miserable seasons. Signs And Symptoms SAD symptoms can vary dramatically from one person to the next, to the point that the timing of the disorder is often more indicative than the symptoms themselves. Issues typically…

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Protecting the Elderly And Other Individuals From Hypothermia During the Winter

Hypothermia fatalities are on the rise, with seniors proving especially vulnerable. Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that, while the general population suffered a hypothermia-related fatality rate of 0.3 and 0.5 per 100,000 between 2003 and 2013, this rate increased to 1.1 per 100,000 for women over the age of 65 and 1.8 for men within that age range. With seniors — especially those dealing with illness or injury — the following precautions can provide not only additional comfort, but also, valuable protection against a deadly condition: Know the Signs Hypothermia isn’t always immediately obvious to outsiders or…

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The Surprising Dangers of Humidity — And How You Can Combat Them

Summer has arrived, and with it, that oppressive humidity we all dread. Humidity isn’t merely uncomfortable, however; it can also be downright dangerous. Hence the oft-repeated phrase, “It’s not the heat — it’s the humidity.” Read on to learn why humidity is so dangerous and what you can do to keep safe this summer: How Humidity Impacts the Body’s Heat Regulation The human body has the remarkable ability to cool itself down via sweat and evaporation. In an ideal situation, a person dealing with excessive heat would allow that heat to escape through the skin. As sweat evaporates, it draws…

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May Is Stroke Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and for good reason — many people have no idea the true extent of the havoc strokes wreak on American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in twenty United States deaths can be attributed to stroke. Read on to learn the basics, including symptoms and common risk factors. Who Is at Risk? A variety of factors can increase your risk of suffering a stroke. Some are not within your control, such as: Age: The older you get, the greater your risk of experiencing a stroke. Race: African Americans are more…

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Keeping Moms Healthy: Tips and Tricks for Mothers of All Ages

From childbirth to graduation and beyond, moms face a myriad of health issues. Often, these concerns go undetected or untreated. But while many mothers regard their children’s health and safety as their number one concern, self-care is equally essential. Below, we highlight a few tips and tricks that can keep moms healthy in all stages of life: Keep Visiting Your Doctor While the bulk of your doctor visits may involve childhood scrapes or illnesses, regular checkups are just as important for parents. How often you visit will depend on your age and current health status. Experts at Duke Health recommend…

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Do’s And Don’ts For Getting a Second Opinion From Another Doctor

You respect your doctor’s opinion but aren’t so sure that you agree. While it’s tempting to play along, your gut may be more accurate than you suspect; a notable Mayo Clinic study reveals that 88 percent of those who seek additional opinions for complex conditions obtain either a new or refined diagnosis. Unfortunately, seeking a second opinion can be challenging even if you’re ordinarily assertive. If you’re reluctant to speak up, these do’s and don’ts might help: Don’t: Avoid Speaking Up For Fear of Being Too Demanding If you’re dealing with a serious illness or condition, don’t keep quiet when…

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