A quick update on Influenza
How does it spread?
The influenza virus spreads from person-to-person. The main form of transmission is through the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. Infected droplets are released into the air and breathed in by others. However, these droplets do not remain in the air long and generally only affect people within two metres.
It is also possible to get influenza by touching contaminated surfaces, and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
How infectious is it?
Because this virus is new, people have no immunity to it so it will spread more quickly and widely than the seasonal flu. The pandemic situation could mean lots of people become sick at the same time and this could have a big impact on our day-to-day lives, and place considerable pressure on the health services.
Experts aren’t yet sure how long people who have the new Influenza A (H1N1) virus are infectious and able to pass the virus to others. It appears they could be infectious from a day before they experience symptoms until about seven days after they first experience them.
Children, especially younger children, may be infectious for longer periods. However early use of antiviral medicines, such as Tamiflu, can reduce this infectious period.
If you’ve got flu symptoms, stay at home until essentially well, that is not sneezing and coughing as this is how the virus spreads. This is usually around three to four days after symptoms start, but may be up to a week.
Stop the spread of flu germs by:
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Regularly washing your hands and drying them thoroughly
- Avoiding contact with sick people and reducing time spent in crowded settings.
If your condition worsens, seek medical advice by phoning Healthline 0800 611 116 or your healthcare provider (Mapua Health Centre – 540 2211).
Get medical advice if you have a serious condition including respiratory disease, heart disease, liver disease, blood disorders and neurological conditions or have a suppressed immune system (including the effects of certain medications such as steroids or known to have HIV).
Do our cells pay the price when we sit too much? Excessive sedentary behaviors, typically characterized as sitting for prolonged periods, are an increasingly important health risk in our current age of televisions and computers. The link between television watching and obesity was first reported more than 30 years ago. Since then, extensive data have confirmed this connection in children and adults. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that, independent of exercise levels, sedentary behaviors are associated with higher risk of weight-related chronic diseases—including cardiometabolic conditions and certain cancers—as well as overall mortality. In this study Chinese researchers looked at cellular aging and found that a difference by age in the association between television watching and decreased telomere length—with the association present in younger participants (statistically significant in those aged 20–40 years, and suggestive in those aged 41–55 years), but not in participants aged 56 to 70 years. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(9):1360-1362.
On the other side of the equation – intense exercise is tied to lower death risk in older women. Older women who engaged in the greatest amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walking, were found to have a 65% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with women who performed the least amount of such exercise. This reinforces the message that adults should strive to meet physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Circulation 2017; 136:00-00 (published ahead of print).
Strawberries can be healthy for molecular pathways in chronic diseases. This study reviews how strawberry phenolics are able to exert anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antiproliferative, and antiatherosclerotic activities, acting on specific molecular pathways related to antioxidant defenses, metabolism, survival, and proliferation. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017;1398(1):62-71 However, it doesn’t mention whether adding cream is helpful………..?
Manuka honey may deal to biofilm formation by Clostridium difficile. Biofilm formation by C. difficile is associated with chronic or recurrent infections; biofilms may contribute to virulence and impaired antimicrobial efficacy. Manuka honey, derived from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), is known to exhibit antimicrobial properties that are associated with its significant content of methylglyoxal, a natural antibiotic, and this invitro study showed that Manuka honey effectively inhibited biofilm formation by C. difficile strains. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2017 doi: 10.1007/s10096-017-2980-1.
Mum’s multivitamin use may cut intellectual disability risk in autism. Investigators from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, found that maternal multivitamin supplementation, with or without additional iron or folic acid, was associated with a 31% reduced risk for ASD plus intellectual disability in children. By contrast, supplementation did not affect the odds of developing ASD without intellectual disability. BMJ 2017; 359