Although health officials have said that there is little threat of a major Ebola virus outbreak on U.S. soil, those at higher risk of exposure are being advised to use extreme caution. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines for how health care workers and people at risk can minimize their chances of infection.
Guidance for health care workers
Whether they're traveling in areas hit by the outbreak in West Africa or working with people who may already have Ebola in the U.S., health care workers have been warned to be meticulous about hygiene. In health care settings, workers should wear full protective gear and sterilize any equipment they need to use, according to the CDC. They should also contact health officials if they've come into contact with any bodily fluids of people who may have the virus or the bodies of those who've died from it. Outside of the health care setting, people in areas affected by the outbreak have been warned to avoid contact with any items that people with Ebola may have handled.
Drug trials progressing
The CDC cautioned that no vaccine for the Ebola virus yet exists. However, as USA Today reported, testing on potential vaccines has reached the human testing trial? stage. A vaccine developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada recently entered the clinical trial phase at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland. Another vaccine, created by the pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline, is also underway in Maryland. Physicians have also been using experimental drugs and blood transfusions to combat the virus. So far, none have been entirely successful.
In a column on NBC News, Arthur Caplan, founder of New York University Langone Medical Center's Division of Bioethics, reiterated that there is no cause to believe that the U.S. will face an outbreak of Ebola. However, he endorsed the use of accelerated testing for potential treatments and enhanced training of health care workers at hospitals equipped to handle the disease.
Caplan's advice for the average citizen? "Get a flu shot." According to Caplan, flu symptoms can look a lot like the symptoms of early-stage Ebola. That could lead to a lot of people mistaking the flu for Ebola, causing undue panic and crowding hospitals. Even without the threat of Ebola, flu vaccines can be a powerful tool for senior care. According to the CDC, as many as 49,000 people have died of the disease each year since 1976, although some years the total deaths were as low as 3,000.
Though "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" sounds like nothing more than an old adage, many studies have actually proved it is more than just a saying. Consider these four unexpected benefits of apples.
Though you may love your sweet treats, they aren't really very good for you. Sugar is often an unnecessary additive that has a lot of detrimental effects on health. It contributes to obesity, heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions. Consider these tips to cut sugar out of your diet and make senior living more enjoyable.
Regardless of age, activity is always a factor of good health. However, as people age they become less active for a variety of reasons. They may have a chronic condition like osteoporosis or just be fearful they may strain themselves. Luckily yoga is good for both. Yoga helps relax the mind and body, and is fun to do with friends. Consider these reasons why you should take that yoga class in your senior care community.
On Oct. 10, celebrate World Mental Health Day by focusing on your health and wellness needs.