National Health Observances

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


Food Allergy Myths and Misconceptions

FARE is dedicated to speaking up for the 32 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Whether you live with food allergies or care for someone who does, brushing up on the facts is a great place to start. You can show your support for the food allergy community by helping to dispel these popular myths and misconceptions.

Myth: Each allergic reaction will get worse and worse.

Fact: Food allergy reactions are unpredictable.

 

Myths and Misconceptions

 

  1. Myth: Food allergies aren’t serious.

Fact: This is more than just an itch or a stomachache. Food allergies can cause symptoms from hives and a stuffy nose, to vomiting, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. If an allergic reaction is severe or involves several parts of the body, it becomes anaphylaxis and can be life-threatening.

Food allergies are not only potentially life-threatening, they’re life-altering. People with food allergies must always be vigilant to ensure they avoid reactions.

 

  1. Myth: Eating a little bit won’t hurt.

Fact: For someone with a food allergy, even a trace of a food allergen can trigger a severe reaction. You must remove the allergen completely from your diet to stay safe and live well.

Avoiding cross-contact between a safe food and your food allergen is just as important as avoiding the allergen itself. Cross-contact occurs when an allergen is accidentally transferred from one food to another. The food that was safe before is now dangerous for people with that food allergy.

 

  1. Myth: Each allergic reaction will get worse and worse.

Fact: Food allergy reactions are unpredictable. The way your body reacts to a food allergen one time cannot predict how it will react the next time. You don’t know if a reaction is going to be mild, moderate or severe. You should always be prepared with emergency medication, just in case.

 

  1. Myth: A food allergy that has only caused mild reactions is a mild food allergy.

Fact: There are no mild or severe food allergies—only mild to severe reactions. What caused a mild reaction in the past may lead to a severe reaction in the future, and vice versa. Never let your guard down. Always take precautions to prevent allergic reactions before they happen.

From the moment you know or suspect you or a loved one has ingested an allergen, take action. Even mild symptoms can quickly progress to a severe reaction, or anaphylaxis. You should be watchful and prepared to give medication—seconds count!

It is important for every person with life-threatening food allergies to have an individualized food allergy action plan. This document explains the symptoms of an allergic reaction and what medication(s) you should take for each symptom(s).

 

  1. Myth: Food allergies are the same as food intolerances.

Fact: Unlike food intolerances, food allergies are “IgE- mediated.” This means that your immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE for short) when it detects a food allergen. IgE antibodies fight the “enemy” food by releasing histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals then trigger the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Food intolerances do not involve the immune system. And while they can cause great discomfort, they are not life-threatening. A food allergy, on the other hand, can be fatal. Learn more about food intolerances.

 

  1. Myth: Peanut is the most common food allergy in kids.

Fact: Milk and eggs are actually the most common food allergies in children—although peanuts do get a lot of attention for causing severe reactions.

All food allergies, no matter how common or rare, are serious.

 

  1. Myth: Peanut is the most “dangerous” food allergy.

Fact: No single food allergy poses a greater threat than another. While only eight foods (milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish) account for the vast majority of food allergies, virtually any food can cause an allergic reaction. And even a very small amount of the problem food is enough to cause a reaction.

 

  1. Myth: All allergy-inducing ingredients must be listed on food labels.

According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), the eight most common allergens must be labeled on packaged foods sold in the U.S. These allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

This federal law, which took effect January 1, 2006, states that these ingredients must be listed if they are present in any amount. They should be featured clearly and in plain language, even if they appear in colors, flavors or spice blends. However, people can be allergic to foods other than the eight most common. These allergens can appear in surprising places, and they may not be listed on food labels.

Always read food packaging labels and ask questions about ingredients before eating a food that you have not prepared yourself.

 

9.Misconception: If a food doesn’t traditionally contain an allergen, or you don’t see the allergen listed in the description, it’s safe to eat.

Fact: Allergens can appear in unexpected places. For example, fish or shellfish are sometimes dipped in milk to reduce their fishy odor, posing a problem for people with milk allergy.

Never assume anything about how a food has been made or served. Always read food labels and ask questions about ingredients before eating a food that you have not prepared yourself.

 

10.Misconception: I have a food allergy because my skin or blood tests were positive.

Fact: Positive skin prick and blood tests are not always accurate. About 50 to 60 percent of these tests can give “false positive” results. This means that the test is positive even though you are not allergic to the food being tested.

It is important to discuss test results with your primary care doctor or an allergist. He or she will interpret them based on your history. If it is unclear whether you have a food allergy, an oral food challenge can help. For this procedure, a healthcare professional will closely supervise as you consume the food in question.

Learn more about diagnostic tests for food allergies.

 

  1. Myth: A food allergy always develops in childhood. Then you’re stuck with it for life.

Fact: You can develop a food allergy at any age, even to a food that you’ve safely eaten before.

Children may outgrow a food allergy over time. This is common with allergies to milk, egg, soy, and wheat. Allergies that are harder to outgrow include peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Source https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/food-allergy-myths-and-misconceptions


Arthritis pain: Do’s and don’ts

Will physical activity reduce or increase your arthritis pain? Get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. You can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions with exercise, medication and stress reduction. How do you know what will work for you?

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you figure it out.

Whatever your condition, it will be easier to stay ahead of your pain if you:

  • Learn all you can about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged
  • Enlist your doctor, friends and family in managing your pain
  • Tell your doctor if your pain changes

Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity.

  • Keep your joints moving.Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.
  • Use good posture.A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.
  • Know your limits.Balance activity and rest, and don’t overdo.

In addition, lifestyle changes are important for easing pain.

  • Manage weight.Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.
  • Quit smoking.Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.

When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.

What to do

Choose the right kinds of activities — those that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that’s right for you.

Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.

What to avoid

Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Tennis
  • High-impact aerobics
  • Repeating the same movement, such as a tennis serve, again and again

Many types of medications are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

What to do

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.

Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain. Use alone or with oral medication.

Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pain.

What to avoid

  • Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly.
  • Don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.
  • Focusing only on pain.Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.

It’s no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you’re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.

What to do

Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.This well-studied, effective combination of talk therapy and behavior modification helps you identify — and break — cycles of self-defeating thoughts and actions.
  • Relaxation therapy.Meditating, doing yoga, deep breathing, listening to music, being in nature, writing in a journal — do whatever helps you relax. There’s no downside to relaxation, and it can help ease pain.
  • Some people get pain relief through acupuncture treatments, when a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at specific points on your body. It can take several weeks before you notice improvement.
  • Heat and cold.Use of heat, such as applying heating pads to aching joints, taking hot baths or showers, or immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax, can help relieve pain temporarily. Be careful not to burn yourself. Use heating pads for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Use of cold, such as applying ice packs to sore muscles, can relieve pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise.

  • Massage might improve pain and stiffness temporarily. Make sure your massage therapist knows where your arthritis affects you.

What to avoid

  • If you’re addicted to tobacco, you might use it as an emotional coping tool. But it’s counterproductive: Toxins in smoke cause stress on connective tissue, leading to more joint problems.
  • A negative attitude.Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating. As long as you dwell on them, they escalate, which can increase your pain and risk of disability. Instead, distract yourself with activities you enjoy, spend time with people who support you and consider talking to a therapist.

Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/ART-20046440?p=1


8 Natural Therapies for Arthritis Pain

1.     Acupuncture

This form of Chinese medicine involves inserting thin, small needles through the skin at specific acupoints on the body. It is designed to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue, improve blood flow and activate the body’s natural painkillers. Best for: osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, bursitis, carpel tunnel syndrome

 

2.     Massage

Gentle manipulation with moderate pressure has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness, and even improve range of motion. However, timing is important. Listen to your body. Massage may not be as helpful during a very active flare when joints are especially tender and sensitive. Best for: osteoarthritis, low back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis

 

3.     Tai Chi

Tai chi is a Chinese practice that combines gentle flowing movements, deep breathing and meditation. It has been shown to not only reduce joint pain, but also improve range of motion and function, as well as feelings of well-being. The Arthritis Foundation offers a Tai Chi DVD specifically created for people with arthritis. Best for: fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

 

4.     Yoga

Yoga is an Indian practice that uses deep breathing, meditation and body poses. It has been shown to decrease joint pain and stiffness, as well as improve relaxation and reduce stress. The Arthritis Foundation offers a Yoga DVD specifically created for people with arthritis. Best for: fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, low back pain

 

5.     Weight Loss

Losing one pound removes four pounds of pressure on swollen, painful joints. Maintain a healthy weight by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity. Make sure you choose food from the five important food groups (fruits, vegetable, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains). Try to do 30 minutes of low-impact exercise five days a week. Best for: osteoarthritis

 

6.     Physical Therapy

Physical therapists can provide various ways to reduce strain and pressure on painful and swollen joints. These include manual therapy and counseling on proper positioning and body movement. They can also recommend assistive devices such as braces and splints to support joints and shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower extremities. Best for: all forms of joint pain (back, knee, shoulder, hand, wrist, ankle)

 

7.     Topical Gels

These gels work by stimulating sensory nerve endings in the skin, and the body responds by reducing pain signals through the nervous system, according to Doreen Stiskal, PhD, chair of the physical therapy department at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. Voltaren Gel and capsaicin cream are two options. Best for: osteoarthritis

 

8.     TENS

Often used by physical therapists and chiropractors, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) is a form of electrical stimulation used to relieve pain. Small electrodes are placed on the affected area and electromagnetic current is delivered through the skin. Best for: osteoarthritis

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/natural-therapies/8-natural-therapies-for-arthritis-pain


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


What is World Health Day about?

7 April 2020 is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.

In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce.

This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.

We are calling for your support on World Health Day to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforces are strong enough to ensure that everyone, everywhere gets the healthcare they need.

The tagline for World Health Day is: Support nurses and midwives.

Source https://www.who.int/news-room/campaigns/world-health-day/world-health-day-2020


: 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