Featured Condtion/Disease: Seasonal Flu

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Seasonal Flu.

Definition

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year. Each year in the United States on average, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. This flu season could be worse.

Signs of Cold vs Flu


The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can be carried out, when needed to tell if a person has the flu.

What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

More Information
To read more information about Seasonal Flu, click here. 





 

*Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.
 

Resources for Healthy Eating and Exercise

Enjoy the benefits of a healthy weight

The National Institutes of Health encourage you to maintain a healthy weight so you can enjoy the benefits of  feeling good about yourself, having more energy to enjoy life, and a lowered risk for developing serious health problems.  It is important to assess your body fat, learn about the healthy foods you should eat, and find fun ways to increase your activity level:
          Assess your weight & health with these key measures:
          * BMI
          * Waist circumference
          * Risk factors for Diseases and Conditions Associated with Obesity
  • Be Active Your Way:  The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans describe the major research findings about the health benefits of physical activity:
         * Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
         * Some physical activity is better than none.
         * Benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, 
            and/or longer duration.
         * Most health benefits occur with at least 2 1/2 hours/week of moderate-intensity physical activity
        * Episodes of activity that are at least 10 minutes long count toward meeting the guidelines.
         * Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.
         * Health benefits of physical activity occur for children through older adults in every studied racial and 
            ethnic group.
        *  Health benefits of physical activity are attainable for people with disabilities.
         * The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks of injury and heart attack.
  • Track Your Food and Exercise with MyPyramid Tracker, an online dietary and physical activity assessment tool that provides information on your diet quality and physical activity status.  You can also find links to:
         * Nutrient information
         * Physical Activity Information
         * Calorie/Energy balance

It's important to make lifestyle changes with a focus on reducing calories from food and beverages, a healthy eating plan, and portion control. You will find information on how to eat right with menus, recipes, and food exchange lists to help get you started.

Click here for more resources on food, nutrition and fitness from USA.gov.

October is Children's Health Month


Children's Health month highlights the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. Each day you will find helpful tips and links on environmental and health topics.



HOW MANY TIPS CAN YOU FOLLOW IN 31 DAYS?



Calculate your Carbon Footprint
Protect your Children from Mold
Keep your House Pest Free
Beware of (Energy) Vampires
Eat your Veggies Safely
Be Sun-Wise
Test for Lead
Let's Move
Reduce Mercury Exposure
Reduce Use of Plastic Bags & Bottles
Keep our Air Breathable
Grow your Own Food
Reduce Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Help Children Avoid "Nature Deficit Disorder"
Watch Out for Lyme Disease






Visit here for Kids & Teens safety info
Click here to find tips for a safe and healthy Halloween

Featured Condtion/Disease: Traumatic Brain Injury

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Traumatic Brain Injury.

Definition
When a brain injury occurs, the functions of the neurons (nerve cells), nerve paths or parts of the brain can be affected. The affected neurons and nerve paths might be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages telling the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels and moves the body. Brain injury also can change the way the body works, affecting body temperature, blood pressure and going to the bathroom. These changes can be for a short time or for life. These injuries may cause a change or a complete inability to perform a function.

Signs
  • Losing consciousness after the brain injury.
  • Loss of memory after the trauma (brain injury) when they wake up after losing consciousness (called post-traumatic amnesia).
  • Personality change (meaning they will not act and react as they did before the injury).
  • Cognitive deficits (a change in the ability to think or reason). Changes can vary widely because no two head injuries are alike.
  • The black center of the eye is large and does not get smaller in light (called dilated pupils).
  • Tires easily and often.
  • Language deficits (problems talking as before; may have "lost" language or words they can't remember).
  • Behavior problems. Acting out or angry.
  • Can't "keep up" and doing poorly in school.
  • May not grow and develop normally. Skills delayed or not develop at all.
  • Recovery times are long, up to five years.
  • Different from other children their age. This becomes more obvious as time goes on, and they don't "catch up."
 More Information


To get more information about Traumatic Brain Injuries, click here.

 
*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

Pre-Existing Condition Insurance in Florida


Help for Getting Medical Insurance with a Pre-Existing Condition in Florida

As of July 1, eligible residents of Florida are able to apply for coverage through the state�s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To qualify for coverage:

  • You must be a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States.
  • You must have been uninsured for at least the last six months before you apply.
  • You must have had a problem getting insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available for you, even if it�s to treat a preexisting condition.

Below are the monthly PCIP premium rates for Florida by the age of an enrollee.

Ages 0 to 34: $363

Ages 35 to 44: $435

Ages 45 to 54: $556

Ages 55+: $773

In addition to your monthly premium, you will pay other costs. You will pay a $2,500 deductible for covered benefits (except for preventive services) before the plan starts to pay. After you pay the deductible, you will pay a $25 co-payment for doctor visits, $4 to $30 for most prescription drugs, and 20% of the costs of any other covered benefits you get. Your out-of-pocket costs cannot be more than $5,950 per year. These costs may be higher, if you go outside the plan�s network.

You can apply here (it can take a while for this page to load).

This was originally posted at the HealthCare.gov site here.