Last year I blogged that taking the flu vaccine may help with contracting COVID-19, well enough time has passed and data has been collected to suggest. Yes, physicians/scientists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine after reviewing over 74,000 patients files from around the world, published that the flu vaccine may provide protection against COVID-19.
Their deduction after studying charts from vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients: in unvaccinated (recall Vaccines approved Dec. 2020) individuals who received the flu vaccine, COVID-19 infections were less likely to have the complications of a stroke, sepsis, and DVT. Those who had both vaccines (against SARS-CoV-2 and flu) and developed breakthrough COVID-19, were less likely to visit the ER or be admitted to ICU. Remember the SARS- CoV-2 vaccine prevents – to varying degrees dependent on which vaccine you receive – contracting a severe case or dying from the illness.
Everything I just stated is from a retrospective study, no definite cause and effect but the probable likelihood is assumed.
Flu activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 flu season both in the United States and globally. Please visit CDC Flu resource and read 2021-2022 information. Plan your flu shot for October so your immunity is present when flu season is at its peak.
Yes, your BBQ has a side of watermelon, naturally. You know it is hydrating and has a surprisingly low sugar content? But did you know it is also packed with antioxidants?
You’ve heard the term anti-oxidant in the same sense as ‘good for you’ but do you realize the important role it has in our bodies? A quick few facts that will have you looking for these free-radicals ‘eaters”. Free radicals cause disease and damage to our bodies. Think prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and yep, even cancer. The body needs balance if the free radicals outnumber the antioxidants, the body goes into ‘oxidative stress’. Stress of almost any kind is not good. This state causes damage to tissues, and we become ill.
Lycopene gives watermelon its vibrant pink hues, it is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables a red color. It is both an antioxidant and an anti-cancer nutrient. It is the most powerful antioxidant in foods. Lycopene is in many cells, its presence in the skin literally protects against solar radiation damage. High lycopene foods include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos.
H. Sies studied micronutrient’s role in cancer prevention and we have him to thank for these important contributions. Watermelon can also help people who already have cancer, plus since it is 90% water helps with the common problem of dehydration.
Watermelon can be made into a drink, a salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, look and ask around for healthy watermelon recipes.
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. Incredible is the fact, it is estimated that one out of seven people in the United States is diagnosed with skin cancer each year. According to the American Cancer Society, each year, more than 5.4 million basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed, Sun exposure is the major culprit. This blog is not about prevention, but I do want to remind you, it is easy enough to prevent sun damage to your skin. SPF greater than 30 (learn about sunblocks) applied after water exposure, with sweating along with a 3 inch brimmed head covering will protect you.
Skin cancer risk factors, you know many of them. Yes, fair skin, excessive exposure to the sun, and tanning beds will do it. But you need to realize a history of sunburn, fair skin, and family history are also risk factors.
Folks most likely to promote skin cancer are individuals with fair skin, blonde or red hair, light-colored eyes, a history of sun exposure, or a tendency to burn or freckle when exposed to the sun. Those who have a family history of skin cancer are also at increased risk. People with dark skin, myself included, can develop skin cancer
Squamous and basal cell skin cancers are the most common types. Melanoma, another less common type of skin cancer is a more serious type of skin cancer as it is more invasive.
In this short blog, I want to give you some clues so you can perform once a monthly a self-check of your skin. In a well-lit private place with a large wall mirror, you may find changes in the way your skin looks or feels. Use a hand mirror to check for anything new on your skin, discoloration, a new mole, or changes to a mole you already have. Don’t forget to check your scalp and between your toes.
Take a picture with your phone if you are concerned. This is important in case you think it is a pimple and watch if it changes. Below I will share well-known clues to suspecting abnormal skin lesions. Keep track of any changes you may see, and tell or email your doctor. Dermatologists are best at examining and recognizing skin lesions. Also, they can treat them with the latest removal techniques. The Mohs surgery to remove lesions has a cure rate exceeds 99 percent for new skin cancers and 95 percent for recurrent skin cancers
The ABCDE’s of suspicious skin lesions
- A – Asymmetry: One half does not look like the other half
- B – Border: Edges are irregular, uneven, or ragged; margins fade into the skin around the lesion.
- C – Color: Uneven color or varying shades; shades of black, brown, and tan can be present; also areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue
- D – Diameter: The size of the lesion, spot or mole can be very small or bigger than pea size (one-fourth of an inch) or larger
- E – Evolving: All of the above characteristics change over time making it suspicious for cancer
If you have a lesion or any skin change, find out if it is concerning by seeing a trained medical provider. Timely diagnosis and removal, if it is suspicious, is very important.
We need humility in dealing with this virus. The euphoria of ‘re-opening, for many this belief, is premature. I wish we did not hear or read another word on this virus, but not our reality! The names may have changed by WHO by using the Greek letters rather than the name of the site it originated in, no matter the name this virus is still a concern (see table below). The genome of the original continues to mutate with established or suspected phenotypic implications. Separated into ‘variants of concern’ & ‘variants of interest’ (seven at this posting), the medical world has not relaxed about this virus quite yet.
You Should Know, So Please Read
There is a reason a few days ago the UK delayed opening up. The Delta variant (alias Indian variant) is 90% of the new cases and 60% more transmissible and landing 20-29 y.o. in hospital. So still masks!
The CDC and OSHA recommend plexiglass barriers as protection against the spread of COVID-19 when social distancing can’t be practiced. Ventilation is a component of strategies to clean and maintain healthy facilities. Think about putting folks in large buildings or floors in open cubicles with shared ventilation systems. Yes, filters and much more would be needed to get me into that setting.
BTW, the ‘3-foot distance’ CDC recommendation doesn’t apply to a gym or health club, a choir, or contact sports. “This is only for everyday living in a lower risk environment,”
Have children going to attend in-person classes, please read what CDC is continuing to recommend despite the perceived ‘end’ to the pandemic.
This year we may see a ‘booster vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 given at the same time as the annual flu ‘shot’. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said that COVID vaccines may be co-administered.