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Enterovirus Outbreak

January 29th 2015 02:52

enterovirus parents children illness health

Rare Virus Outbreak

Parents, did you hear about the virus that hospitalized children across 10 states? Learn more about Enterovirus D68 so you can protect your family.

Enterovirus Outbreak: What Parents Need to Know
By Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Helpful? 6 people found this helpful.
Enterovirus Outbreak: What Parents Need to Know
You may have heard or read about the respiratory illness that has required the hospitalization of children (sometimes in the intensive care unit) in ten states. In mid-August, a hospital in Missouri saw an increase in children with severe respiratory illnesses and had them tested for Enterovirus D68 (also called EV-D68). A few days later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified by another hospital in Chicago of a similar increase. These numbers are bound to change as the virus spreads.

Do you need to be worried? Read below for answers to the most common questions about this outbreak and what you can do to protect your family.

1. What is EV-D68?
Enterovirus D68 is a rare virus most commonly found in children. It primarily causes mild to severe respiratory illnesses. What’s unusual about this outbreak is the number of children who are getting it and the severity of their illness.

The virus itself belongs to a “family” of enteroviruses that cause 10-15 million infections in the U.S. each year. Usually enteroviruses just cause a bad cold and don’t warrant a trip to the ER, let alone a hospitalization. Rarely, enteroviruses can cause other illnesses such as a rash with fever and more severe illness such as meningitis and encephalitis.

2. What are the symptoms?
It initially starts as a cold, maybe with a cough. Most children with a common cold will be fine and not need to go to the hospital. But if your child is younger than 5, has allergies, asthma or any other chronic medical condition they are at higher risk.

3. What are red flags to watch for?
If your child has difficulty breathing, have him or her evaluated by a doctor right away. Signs of difficulty breathing include:
Breathing rapidly (children under 12 months usually breathe about 35-45 times per minute; children between the ages of one and two breathe at rates in the 30s; 3-to 8-year-olds usually breathe at rates in the 20s)
Flaring nostrils
Straining of the muscles —in the neck, above the clavicle or retractions of the muscles in the chest/abdomen
Additional red flags:
If your child has a high fever, is lethargic or has any other concerning signs, seek medical care. Children with bad allergies and asthma should also be seen by their doctor.

4. What’s the treatment?
There’s no specific “cure” for EV-D68. As we see with many viral illnesses (including ones like Ebola), the key is “supportive care” – that is, giving the body what it needs to support its system while it defeats the virus itself. In cases requiring hospitalization, this means IV fluids and breathing treatments. In more severe cases, this can include breathing tubes and ventilators to breathe for the patient while the body has time to heal itself.

5. Can this illness be prevented?
As with many viruses, there’s no vaccine for enteroviruses. However, since the virus is spread through close contact, there are some things you can do to keep your family healthy. Some of them may seem downright impossible with small children, which is why they’re so susceptible to spreading and catching this and any other contagious infection. Here are the basics:
Wash your hands for 20 seconds (especially after going to the bathroom or changing diapers). Help younger children and remind older children of the importance of thorough hand washing with soap.
Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly touched by multiple people.
Disinfect children’s school supplies, such as pencils, and encourage kids not to share them.
Stay home (or keep your child home) if you/your child is sick.
Avoid sharing eating utensils/cups or close physical contact with anyone who is sick.
Avoid touching your hand/nose/eyes/mouth/face with unwashed hands.

from: real age


6 Easy Prenatal Yoga Poses

January 28th 2015 00:51

pregnancy yoga easy exercises

6 Prenatal Yoga Poses

These calming prenatal yoga moves may be just what you need to ease your aches and pains -- and get the rest you need.

Basic stretches to help you through pregnancy and labor.

Calming, Anytime Exercises

Whether you're a first-time mom or an old pro, pregnancy is an exciting time. But the backaches, restless nights, poop troubles and cankles? You could do without those. Luckily, one simple thing can help -- exercise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. But this isn't the time to get adventurous with your workouts. That's why we've put together these easy, calming yoga poses that almost anyone can do.

Before You Get Started

If it's been a while since you've worked out, you may want to start with 5 minutes a few times a week and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day -- whether it's yoga, walking or swimming. While practicing these yoga poses, listen to your body and breath. Use props and modify poses whenever you need to, especially as your belly grows and you're feeling less graceful. Don't hold poses for a long time. Go slowly and carefully. Back off if you feel any pain or discomfort. Also, ask your doctor if exercise is safe for you, especially if you've been told you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Cat-Cow Pose (Bidalasana)

This pose gently warms up your spine and stretches your body. Practice this in the morning and evening to relieve back pain, and try it when labor kicks in, too.

Kneel in "table top position" with a straight back. Your hips should be lined up over your knees and your shoulders should be lined up over your hands. Keep your arms straight, but not locked. Breathe in, look up and relax your back. Let your belly move lower toward the floor, but keep it engaged. Slowly breathe out and bring your chin toward your chest. Gaze at your belly and round your back. Repeat at your own pace.

Suggested Time: 2 minutes
Benefits: Eases back pain and improves circulation

Child's Pose (Balasana)

This classic yoga pose is often done between other poses, and it's the perfect way to give yourself a little "me time." It may also come in handy when you're breathing through contractions.

Kneel on the floor with your big toes together and your knees spread apart. Breathe out and lean forward, dropping your belly between your thighs. Keep your arms straight and your fingers spread wide. Rest your forehead on the floor, relax your face and breathe deeply. If your bum is in the air, that's okay. When you're ready to come up, slowly walk your hands under your body until you're kneeling again.

Suggested Time: 1 minute
Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs and ankles

Squat (Malasana)

Squatting is considered the queen of all prenatal poses. It can relieve pressure on your pelvis and help you through labor.

Holding onto a partner or chair for support, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointed out. Engage your core muscles, lift your chest and relax your shoulders. Breathe out and lower yourself into a squatting position, or as far down as is comfortable. Most of your weight should be on your heels. Breathe in and return to a standing position. You can also modify this pose by sitting in a chair with your legs spread as far as is comfortable.

Suggested Time: 1-2 minutes
Benefits: Stretches hips and strengthens thighs and back

Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

This pose can help you maintain your balance as your belly gets bigger.

Stand with your feet about 4 feet apart, using a wall for support if needed. Lift your arms parallel to the floor, palms down. Turn your right foot out at 90 degrees, keeping your heels in line. Breathe out and bend your right knee, keeping it aligned over your right ankle. Rest your right forearm on your knee. Breathe in and reach your left arm over your ear, keeping your arm straight and shoulders relaxed. Stay in this pose for 5 breaths. Then breathe in and come up. Reverse your feet and repeat on the other side.

Suggested Time: 1-2 minutes
Benefits: Strengthens your legs and increases circulation

Butterfly or Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)

This pose is great for stretching your hips, but be sure to protect your loosening joints. Practicing this pose in late pregnancy may ease childbirth.

Sit up straight, using padding under your bum or a wall to support your back if needed. With your knees bent, bring the soles of your feet together. Gently guide your knees toward the floor. Place yoga blocks, pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees for support. Bring your feet as close to your body as is comfortable. Push the outer edges of your feet firmly into the floor and wrap your hands around your feet or ankles. Focus on your breath.

Suggested Time: As long as comfortable
Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs and knees

Side-Lying Pose (Savasana)

This restorative pose is a favorite of most mamas. It's a great way to get the rest you need each day and enjoy a special bonding moment.

Lie on your left side and rest your head on your arm or a blanket. Place a pillow or blanket between your thighs to support your hips. You may also want to place a blanket under your belly. Relax, focus on your breath and connect with your little one. If worries pop into your mind, acknowledge them and let them go. Return to your breath. When you're ready to get up, slowly work your way into a sitting position. Namaste.

Suggested Time: 15-20 minutes
Benefits: Relaxes your body and clears your mind

See the link for the pictures


Is Your Medical Info Safe?

January 26th 2015 18:17
privacy health doctors records medical information

Is Your Medical Info Safe?

When it comes to your personal medical information, are you confused about what your doctor, insurer and employer can share? While the HIPAA privacy rule offers you some protection by limiting when and how your health information is used, there are many other details that may seem puzzling. Separate fact from fiction by getting answers to seven common myths.

Top 7 Common Privacy Myths About Your Health Information
By David Zimmerle

You’ve probably heard of HIPAA, the law that protects your medical privacy. In short, HIPAA limits how healthcare providers, insurers and employers can use and share your health information. But once you go beyond the basics, the finer details of your privacy rights can be confusing, and myths and misunderstandings abound. We’ve compiled a few of the most common myths to help you separate fact from fiction.

Myth #1: Your doctor can’t discuss your care with family members
Fact: Healthcare providers can tell your family, other relatives or close friends any information they need to know to be involved or informed about your care. And as long as you don't object, providers can also share other medical details with your family or other people that are close to you. If you’re unconscious or otherwise not able to give consent, then it’s up to the doctor’s professional judgment to decide what to tell. If a doctor or hospital refuses to share information with your family, that’s the provider’s policy, not the law.

Myth #2: Hospitals cannot give your room number without your consent
Fact: Unless you tell the hospital to exclude your name from their directory, you will be listed as a patient. If someone asks for you by name, the hospital can tell them what room you’re in and your general condition. However, hospitals are required to give you a chance to opt out.

Myth #3: Your healthcare provider needs your approval before they can release your health information to another provider
Fact: Doctor’s offices can share your medical records for treatment purposes. That includes consultations about your care and referrals from one doctor to another.

Myth #4: Providers can disclose your health information to an employer
Fact: Unless you've given explicit, written consent, your healthcare provider is prohibited from sharing your personal health information with your employer. Employers can ask you for a note from your doctor related to sick leave, worker’s compensation or insurance, but they can’t ask the doctor directly.

Myth #5: Your doctor can’t communicate with you by email
Fact: Healthcare providers are free to email you—or send your health records by email—as long as they use encryption or another way to protect your health information from unwanted access or tampering. Likewise, it’s okay for healthcare providers to fax your records, but they must have security measures in place.

Myth #6: Providers are discouraged from leaving voicemail messages
Fact: If you have an outgoing message that verifies your name or phone number, providers are allowed to leave a message. And they can also leave a message with someone else if you've given that person permission to receive your messages.

Myth #7: If you think your health privacy has been violated, you can sue
Fact: No matter how serious the violation, the law doesn’t give you the right to sue. Your first recourse is to contact the Privacy Officer of the provider where you think the violation happened. If you can’t resolve the issue that way, you should file a formal, written complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. But note that you must file your complaint within 180 days.

The above has implications for Australia too , but the same conditions may not apply



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