Health Information

Adult Immunization
December 26, 2013

You never outgrow the need for vaccines. The specific immunizations you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, high-risk conditions, type and locations of travel, and previous immunizations.

Some adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Generally this is true, except that:

  • Some adults were never vaccinated as children
  • Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time
  • As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (such as flu and pneumococcus)

Take the quiz below to find out what vaccines you need and consult us to update your immunization schedule.

http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched

Data retrieved from CDC.org

Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel
December 26, 2013

Every year many of you are traveling internationally — for vacation, business, and volunteerism, and to visit friends and family.

Whatever your reason for traveling, the information in this post will help you to be Proactive, Prepared, and Protected when it comes to your health—and the health of others—while you are traveling.

BE PROACTIVE!
Take steps to anticipate any issues that could arise during your trip. The information in this section will help you plan for a safe and healthy trip.

The most common symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • Learn about your destination
  • See a doctor before you travel
  • Think about your health status

Are you too sick to travel? (Recent illnesses, injuries, or surgeries)
Do you have any special health needs? (Babies and small children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with weakened immune systems).

BE PREPARED!

No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt during a trip, but sometimes these things happen. You may not be able to prevent every illness or injury, but you can plan ahead to be able to deal with them.

  • Pack smart
  • Plan ahead for illnesses or injuries during your trip
  • Know what to do if you become sick or injured on your trip
  • Know and share important information about your trip

BE PROTECTED!

It is important to practice healthy behaviors during your trip and after you return home. This section outlines how you can protect yourself and others from illness during your trip.

  • Pay attention to your health during your trip
  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed
  • Be careful about food and water
  • Try not to take risks with your health and safety
  • Limit alcohol intake, and do not drink alcohol and drive
  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities
  • Respect your host country and its people by following local laws and customs
  • Pay attention to your health when you come home

At DMC, we provide you with the travel advice you need and we customize your immunization according to your travel destination.

Ref: CDC.org

Acute bronchitis
December 26, 2013

Bronchitis develops when there is swelling and irritation of the bronchi, the large tubes that carry air to the lungs. There are two types of bronchitis: acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long-standing).
Acute bronchitis often occurs with a viral infection, such as the common cold, and is sometimes called a "chest cold". The most common symptom of acute bronchitis is a nagging cough. Treatment of acute bronchitis usually involves treating the symptoms, such as sore throat and congestion. Antibiotics do not help to eliminate acute bronchitis caused by a virus.

Causes:
Most cases of bronchitis are caused by a viral infection of the upper airways, such as the common cold or the flu. Less commonly, a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis, which causes pertussis (whooping cough), is the cause.

Symptoms:
The most common symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • A persistent cough; this may last 10 to 20 days
  • Some people cough up mucus, which may be clear, yellow, or green in color

Fever is not common in people with acute bronchitis. However, having a fever can be a sign of another condition, such as the flu or pneumonia.

Diagnosis:
Diagnostic testing, such as x-rays, cultures, and blood tests, are not usually needed for people with acute bronchitis. However, testing may be recommended if the diagnosis is not clear based upon the examination or if another condition, such as pneumonia, is suspected.

Treatment:

Relief of symptoms — There is no specific treatment for bronchitis. There are a few treatments available for the common cold.

  • A nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug , aspirin, or acetaminophen can help to relieve the pain of a sore throat or headache.
  • Heated, humidified, air can improve symptoms of nasal congestion and runny nose, and has few to no side effects.
  • Cough suppressant medications have not been shown to be helpful for most patients.
  • Inhaler medications, commonly used for patients with asthma, are only helpful for those patients whose symptoms include wheezing or airflow obstruction and would require prescription.

Antibiotics — Antibiotics are NOT helpful for most people with bronchitis since the illness is typically caused by a virus. Antibiotics treat bacterial, not viral infections.
Many people request antibiotics in the hopes that it will get rid of the cough, and some people even think that antibiotics have helped on previous occasions. However, there is no benefit of antibiotics for most cases of bronchitis.

Preventing the spread of illness:

Hand washing is an essential and highly effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Wet your hands with water and plain soap and rub them together for 15 to 30 seconds. Pay special attention to the fingernails, between the fingers, and the wrists. Rinse your hands thoroughly, and dry with a single use towel.
Alcohol-based hand rubs are a good alternative for disinfecting hands if a sink is not available. Spread the hand rub over the entire surface of your hands, fingers, and wrists until dry.
Wash your hands before preparing food and eating; after going to the bathroom; and after coughing, blowing the nose, or sneezing. While it is not always possible to limit contact with people who are ill, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after direct contact, when possible.
In addition, use a tissue to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Throw away used tissues promptly and then wash your hands. Sneezing/coughing into the sleeve of your clothing (at the inner elbow) is another way of containing sprays of saliva and secretions and does not contaminate your hands. Sneezing and coughing without covering your mouth can spread infection to anyone within two meters.

Uptodate.com

Respiratory Flu (Influenza)
October 29, 2013

The flu is highly contagious. It is transmitted by the respiratory route (coughing, saliva, etc.) and by rubbing the eyes or nose with fingers that have picked up the virus. The incubation period is from 1-4 days. It usually begins quite suddenly with fever, headache, chills, muscle/joint aching, chest soreness, non-productive cough, runny nose, sore throat, and occasional nausea. The fever can last from 1-7 days (usually it averages 3-4 days).



Complications:
There are sometimes complications from the flu called secondary infections which may require antibiotic therapy. These are usually sinus infections, ear infections or lung infections (i.e. bronchitis or pneumonia).If you do not begin improving after 4-5 days of illness, have a persistent fever, and/or have developed thick discolored nasal discharge, and/or are coughing up a discolored mucus from your lungs or develop ear pain, you need to be seen by a health care provider.

Prevention:
Do not spread your cold or flu. Stay home until your fever is gone. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands afterward. Do not share food and drinks.

Managing the Common Cold
October 29, 2013

The common cold got its name from how frequently people get this kind of infection. The average adult experiences two to three colds per year, while children average eight to twelve colds per year. Infections like colds are caused by viruses-in fact, there are more than 200 known viruses that cause these infections. The viruses attach to the cells that line the nose and throat and then multiply, causing the familiar symptoms. Some cold viruses attach to the cells in your lower respiratory tract and cause cough as well as runny nose and sore throat. Influenza(or the "flu")is used to describe a particular type of virus that causes more severe illness than the common cold. Many people choose to prevent acquiring this illness by getting the flu vaccine each year.

Method of Spreading

  • Colds may be spread through coughing or sneezing.
  • Colds are also spread hand-to-hand. If you shake, touch, or hold the hand of an infected person (who may not have apparent symptoms) and then touch your eyes or nose, you are more likely to infect yourself with the virus.
  • In addition, you can "Catch" a cold if you rub your eyes or nose after touching a hard, nonporous surface, such as a telephone or a doorknob, shortly after an infected person touched it.

Symptoms

The aches and pains that we usually call a cold are really signs that the body is fighting the infection.
These signs and symptoms can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose(including nasal discharge that might be thick,opaque,or discolored-this discharge is part of the common cold unless it lasts more than 10 to 14 days)
  • Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Muscle aches
  • Low grade fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

These symptoms usually last from two to seven days. A cough may last longer than this, but as the illness improves,the cough is usually dry and the fever has gone away.

Medication tips

Since most infections are viral (not bacterial,)antibiotics won't make you better faster. Treatment is directed at the symptoms causing you the most distress:

  • Take Paracetamol for the fever, sore throat and muscle aches
  • Antihistamine can ease the eye itching, sneezing and congestion, especially mucus dripping down your throat
  • Cough medicines' benefit is likely to be small to non-existent

Self-Help Tips

  • Eating soup and drinking liquids often eases nasal congestion by loosening secretions.They may also make your throat feel better.
  • Taking a long,hot shower may help relieve your congestion and cough.
  • Be sure to wash your hands frequently so you don't transmit your infection to your friends and roommates.
  • Taking vitamin C has not been proven to be beneficial, but drinking juices helps with your hydration.
  • Getting plenty of rest will help give your body time to recover.

When To seek Help

  • If you have a high or persistent fever.
  • If you have asthma or smoke cigarettes and are coughing up green phlegm.
  • If you can't hold down your liquids.
  • If you just aren't getting better after a period of time.

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