Health & Disease Prevention

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Overview

Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking steps to improve your health today!

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. This is important because some diseases and health conditions don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

Here are some more things you can do to take care of your health:

  • Eat healthy and get active.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your family’s health history.
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on your shots.

Healthy Habits

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Eat healthy and get active.

Remember, it’s never too late to start healthier habits. A healthy eating pattern and regular physical activity can help control your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers in the normal range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine.

In addition:

Small Changes

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results – like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Here are some examples:

  • Take a walk instead of smoking a cigarette.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.

Get more ideas for small changes you can make to stay healthy.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family.

Use this family health history tool to keep track of health problems that run in your family. Then share this information with your doctor.

 

Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they’re sick. But doctors also provide services – like screening tests and shots – that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions before they cause any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to be screened for things like:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

Learn more about getting screened.

Stay up to date on your shots.

Everyone needs shots (vaccines) to stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse which shots you need to stay healthy – then make sure you stay up to date. For example, everyone age 6 months and older needs a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Find out which shots you may need:

Use the myhealthfinder tool to get personalized preventive services recommendations.

 

Cost and Insurance

What about cost?

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you.

The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover many preventive services. This means you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

If you don’t have insurance, check out these resources to help you get health care:

Source https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health


What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease in most people. The causes probably include a combination of age-related changes in the brain, along with genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The importance of any one of these factors in increasing or decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease may differ from person to person.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease. It is characterized by changes in the brain—including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles—that result in loss of neurons and their connections. These and other changes affect a person’s ability to remember and think and, eventually, to live independently.

 

Aging and Alzheimer’s Risk

Older age does not cause Alzheimer’s, but it is the most important known risk factor for the disease. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease doubles about every 5 years beyond age 65. About one-third of all people age 85 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimer’s damage. These age-related changes include atrophy (shrinking) of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, vascular damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and breakdown of energy production within cells.

However, age is only one risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without ever developing dementia.

 

Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people worry about developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially if a family member has had it. Having a family history of the disease does not mean for sure that you’ll have it, too. But it may mean you are more likely to develop it.

People’s genes, which are inherited from their biological parents, can affect how likely they are to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Genetic risk factors are changes or differences in genes that can influence the chance of getting a disease. These risk factors are the reason some diseases run in families.

There are two types of Alzheimer’s—early-onset and late-onset. Both types have a genetic component.

Some Differences Between Late-Onset and Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Late-Onset Alzheimer’sEarly-Onset Alzheimer’s
 Signs first appear in a person’s mid-60s Signs first appear between a person’s 30s and mid-60s
 Most common type Very rare
 May involve a gene called APOE ɛ4 Usually caused by gene changes passed down from parent to child

Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Most people with Alzheimer’s have late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, in which symptoms become apparent in their mid-60s. Researchers have not found a specific gene that directly causes the late-onset form of the disease. However, one genetic risk factor—having one form, or allele, of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene on chromosome 19—does increase a person’s risk. APOE ɛ4 is called a risk-factor gene because it increases a person’s risk of developing the disease. However, inheriting an APOE ɛ4 allele does not mean that a person will definitely develop Alzheimer’s. Some people with an APOE ɛ4 allele never get the disease, and others who develop Alzheimer’s do not have any APOE ɛ4 alleles.

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease occurs between a person’s 30s to mid-60s and represents less than 10 percent of all people with Alzheimer’s. Some cases are caused by an inherited change in one of three genes. For other cases, research shows that other genetic components are involved. Researchers are working to identify additional genetic risk variants for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Health, Environmental, and Lifestyle Factors that May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease

Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart diseasestroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, sleep, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical trials are testing some of these possibilities.

Early-life factors may also play a role. For example, studies have linked higher levels of education with a decreased risk of dementia. There are also differences in dementia risk among racial groups and sexes—all of which are being studied to better understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and to develop effective treatments and preventions for all people.

 

Source https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-causes-alzheimers-disease


National Men’s Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.

Set an Example with Healthy Habits

You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices.

  • Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
  • Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
  • Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke—which causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quitline (for English speakers, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669]; for Spanish speakers, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA [1-855-335-3569])
  • Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Remind Men to Get Regular Checkups

Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history.

  • Men can prepare for doctor’s visits. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
  • It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Encourage Men to Seek Help for Depression

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.

  • Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible. If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
    • Call 911
    • Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
    • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/index.html


Health Threats From High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure threatens your health and quality of life

In most cases, the damage done by high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) takes place over time. Left undetected (or uncontrolled), high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack — High blood pressure damages arteries that can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Stroke — High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or even burst.
  • Heart failure — The increased workload from high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.
  • Kidney disease or failure — High blood pressure can damage the arteries around the kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter blood effectively.
  • Vision loss — High blood pressure can strain or damage blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Sexual dysfunction — High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.
  • Angina — Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or microvascular disease (MVD). Angina, or chest pain, is a common symptom.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure can cause a narrowing of arteries in the legs, arms, stomach and head, causing pain or fatigue.

Source https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure


5 Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure

What you don’t know about high blood pressure could hurt you. High blood pressure affects one in three Americans,1 yet many people with the condition don’t know they have it.

 

Uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. Fortunately, high blood pressure is treatable and preventable. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly and take action to control your blood pressure if it is too high.

  1. High blood pressure may be linked to dementia.

Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function.2 Timing seems to matter: Some evidence suggests having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (age 45 to 65) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life.3 The takeaway? It’s never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage it.

2. Young people can have high blood pressure, too.

High blood pressure doesn’t just happen to older adults. About one in four men and nearly one in five women age 35 to 44 has high blood pressure.4

High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, a condition that is on the rise among younger people. Experts think the increased risk for stroke among young adults is a direct result of the rising rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes—conditions that are preventable and treatable.

Younger people should get their blood pressure checked at least once each year. You can get your blood pressure checked at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or at many grocery stores.

3. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms.

High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms, such as sweating or headaches. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked. Even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk for high blood pressure.

4. Many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it.

About 11 million U.S. adults with high blood pressure aren’t even aware they have it and are not receiving treatment to control their blood pressure.1Most people with uncontrolled blood pressure have health insurance and visit a health care provider at least twice a year, but the condition remains undiagnosed, hidden from the doctor and patient.5 CDC is working with providers to find patients with high blood pressure who are ” hiding in plain sight.” Ask your provider what your blood pressure numbers mean and whether they are too high. Stick to your treatment plan and follow your provider’s advice if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

What You Can Do By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle includes

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough physical activity
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol use Learn more about steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure.

5. Women and minorities face unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.

Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. High blood pressure can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, and it can cause low birth weight and early delivery. Certain types of birth control can also raise a woman’s risk for high blood pressure. Women with high blood pressure who want to become pregnant should work with their health care team to lower their blood pressure before becoming pregnant.

African American men and women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other race or ethnic group.4 These individuals are also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. Experts think this is related to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and stroke among this group. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing sodium in your diet, getting more physical activity, and reducing stress, can help lower blood pressure.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/highbloodpressure/index.html


Sun Safety

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s UV Index for your area, and follow these recommendations to help protect yourself and your family.

Shade

You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.

Clothing

When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor.

If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.

Hat

For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.

If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.

Sunscreen

Put on broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.

How sunscreen works. Most sunscreen products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor.

SPF. Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

Reapplication. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Expiration date. Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

Cosmetics. Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same sun-protective ingredients used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, be sure to use other forms of protection as well, such as sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm


Suicidal Behavior

Suicide causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. On average, 112 Americans die by suicide each day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and more than 9.4 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months. But suicide is preventable, so it’s important to know what to do. For more information, go to www.sprc.org

 

Warning Signs of Suicide

If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Get help immediately.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

 

Get Help

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you think someone is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone—stay there and call 911.

Source https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/suicidal-behavior


Types of Strokes

The type of stroke you have affects your treatment and recovery.

The three main types of stroke are:

 

Ischemic Stroke

Most strokes (87%) are ischemic strokes.1 An ischemic stroke happens when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked.

Blood clots often cause the blockages that lead to ischemic strokes.

 

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures (breaks open). The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.

High blood pressure and aneurysms—balloon-like bulges in an artery that can stretch and burst—are examples of conditions that can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.

There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when an artery in the brain bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a less common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It refers to bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover it.

 

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” It is different from the major types of stroke because blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time—usually no more than 5 minutes.2

It is important to know that:

  • A TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke.
  • A TIA is a medical emergency, just like a major stroke.
  • Strokes and TIAs require emergency care. Call 9-1-1 right away if you feel signs of a stroke or see symptoms in someone around you.
  • There is no way to know in the beginning whether symptoms are from a TIA or from a major type of stroke.
  • Like ischemic strokes, blood clots often cause TIAs.
  • More than a third of people who have a TIA and don’t get treatment have a major stroke within 1 year. As many as 10% to 15% of people will have a major stroke within 3 months of a TIA.2

Recognizing and treating TIAs can lower the risk of a major stroke. If you have a TIA, your health care team can find the cause and take steps to prevent a major stroke.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/types_of_stroke.htm


How Is Alcohol Abused?

How Is Alcohol Abused?

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

Binge Drinking Alcohol

Binge drinking is one such sign of alcohlism. This type of drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves consuming alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. For men, that means drinking five or more drinks in about two hours; for women, that involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours.

Excessive Alcohol Use

This type of alcohol abuse pattern is easy to spot. These are people who sit down and attempt to down a great deal of alcohol at the same time. There’s intent to this drinking that is hard to hide. But this isn’t the only type of alcohol abuse out there. People may also abuse alcohol if they:

  • Take in alcoholic beverages and drive
  • Drink alcohol throughout the day
  • Consume alcohol in order to feel a buzz, without drinking in a binging manner
  • Feel the need to drink every single day
  • Drink a large amount of alcohol in social situations

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.

Difficult drinking patterns can shift electrical activities within the brain, and when that happens, people might have little to no control over how they drink or when they drink.

 

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


: National Public Health Week and COVID-19

COVID-19 AND DAILY THEMES

The COVID-19 pandemic means public health is the topic of the day worldwide. How does that apply to our National Public Health Week daily themes? Here are just a few ideas.

 

MONDAY: MENTAL HEALTH — advocate for and promote emotional well-being

 

COVID-19 is causing heightened levels of stress. In particular, isolation and quarantine can be highly stressful. As can separation from loved ones, especially those detained off-shore or in other countries. And many in the public health and health care sectors, as well as those working in affected industries, are shouldering a significant mental health burden.

 

Reach out and check on your loved ones and community members. And read and share such resources as the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips on managing anxiety and stress.

 

 

TUESDAY: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

Research to date finds pregnant women and young children do not seem to be more susceptible to COVID-19. If anything, women (in general) may have a survival advantage over men (In China, 2.8% of infected men have died, compared to 1.7% of women).

 

Still, pregnant women and children are considered “at-risk populations” and need some special support during the pandemic. Check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s issue brief Novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”: Special Considerations for Pregnant Women. HealthyChildren.org has a COVID-19 page for children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers links to clinical guidance and other resources, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has posted a practice advisory.

 

 

WEDNESDAY: VIOLENCE PREVENTION — reduce personal and community violence to improve health

 

Increased stress can lead to increased aggression, feeding a cycle of violence especially in communities already under strain. And, as APHA member Elena Ong writes in this Public Health Newswire post, “Since the first case of the new coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, in December, there’s been a surge in reports of microaggressions, discrimination and violent attacks against people who look Chinese or Asian.”

 

Much of the stress people are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to fear fed by misinformation. Help counteract the “infodemic” of bad and troubling information by sharing WHO’s mythbusters and resources on APHA’s COVID-19 page and Get Ready site. And as Ong reminds us, “let’s fight fear-mongering with principled and visionary leadership.”

 

 

THURSDAY: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH — help protect and maintain a healthy planet

 

In perhaps one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution, specifically CO2 levels, diminished in Italy due to dramatic lifestyle changes. Yet as always, changes in people’s lifestyle patterns can have unexpected consequences on our environment. For now, remain vigilant in recycling plastics. If you are sick, dispose of soiled items by double-bagging in secured containers with lids. Continue to advocate for increased funding to improve our water infrastructure and adequate funding to support public health workers in monitoring, preparing for and responding to the health effects of climate change.

 

 

FRIDAY: EDUCATION — advocate for quality education and schools

 

As with any illness, reliance on science-based information and response is key. Schools at all levels should be engaged in active surveillance and communicate with their state and local public health departments should a person display possible COVID-19 symptoms. Distance learning is now more necessary than ever, heightening the need for access to technology and high-speed internet As schools are often the key source of daily nutrition for students in low-income families, school systems are now called on to find ways to distribute meals while maintaining social distancing.

 

Reach out to your local school system to see if volunteers are needed, whether for meal distribution, online learning support or other tasks. If you’ve found yourself suddenly at home with your school-aged children, CDC has advice on how to talk to them about COVID-19, as does the National Association of School Psychologists.

 

 

SATURDAY: HEALTHY HOMES — ensure access to affordable and safe housing

 

During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual. For those living in unsafe environments, problems like mold and secondhand smoke exposure can worsen existing health conditions.

 

Share CDC’s workplace, home and school guidance. And while designed to help people prepare their homes for an outbreak, CDC’s Protect Your Home page is still useful now, in the midst of the pandemic. The National Center for Healthy Housing’s Fact Sheets, Checklists and Guides page offers links on ways to keep your home safe, the costs of home upkeep and seasonal maintenance checklists.

 

 

SUNDAY: ECONOMICS — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

 

One of the most dramatic reactions to COVID-19 has been that of the stock markets and the underlying industries they represent. It already appears clear that many industries and their employees will suffer a significant financial hardship. On an individual level, the burden of being out of work and (potentially) hospitalized for an extended period of time can have disastrous impacts on financial health.

Advocate for paid sick leave and a living wage. Urge your members of Congress to prioritize public health infrastructure and paid sick, family and medical leave in any future legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

These tips brought to you by the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association and APHA.

 

Source http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2020/covid-19