Sunglasses Are Healthy

Please assure me that you are smart enough to wear sunglasses outdoors? The skin around our eyes and eyelids is among the body’s most delicate and thinnest. Wrinkles are created by sun exposure among other causes. Harmful rays – Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can damage not only the skin, but also the cornea, lens, and other areas of the eyeball.Sunglasses do protect against vision damage/loss and cancer. Think cataracts, ultraviolet light can pass through the eye to the lens and cause cataracts, most common cause.Wear sunglasses, decreases your risk over your lifetime of cataract formation.

So if not for fashion, please for eye safety. They can both make you stylish and keep you safe. Do not skimp, it is a health investment, get ‘large’ covering as much as comfortably possible of your eyes.  Look for lots of eye coverage, a big lens with label coverage or protection against UVA and UVB rays.

This goes for children also. It is suggested that children as early as possible wear sunglasses. If they will keep them on that is the start age.

Be creative with children make it natural for them to use throughout their lives.

‘I Am Negative!’- Really?

So you got a NEGATIVE SARS CO-2 test result (being incorrectly called COVID-19 test). The presence of the virus is being determined in the PCR test. Recall COVID19 is the disease/illness with whatever of the many possible symptoms.

Okay, what exactly does a negative result mean? IT is not a get out of the house card. First, realize that the accuracy of the tests is still in question. Also how much virus replication is necessary for present-day tests to sense? The PCR is the most used test to assess the presence of this virus in your body. A Negative test does not mean you do not have a low level or even a high level of the virus. Individuals for example with type O blood type might not develop symptoms nor test positive but may actually be shedding the virus!  As you can imagine these are the unknowing folks that spread the infection, they feel ok and test negative hence home free?

A Chinese study, after vigorous tracking, shows approx. 44% of transmission is from presymptomatic folks. So common sense tells you if you wait for symptoms to quarentine\isolate, you most likely already ‘shared’ the virus. Think about how the common cold virus spreads.

If you were exposed Monday – your test is negative, day five (when symptoms commonly start your test has a 38% chance of being a ‘false’ negative. Do you get the idea? Please wear a mask distance this virus is not a hoax!

Motivation

My intent in blogging is to share symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment essentials. The what if, what to do descriptions can save you from preventable disease and help with chronic disease care. Health is always on our minds and having learned from my patients I continue to be a physician sharing knowledge and experiences. Some are rules that will make you realize that our bodies speak to us – we must listen! There are lessons you should not learn the hard way. There are rules that unless followed your body will revolt. The information herein builds while respecting the individual’s intelligence to pay attention and recognize their bodies’ needs.

DocHandal’s website present philosophy and our mission dictate what and how we share free medical information. We try hard not to become, nor appear to be commercial, regional, bias, nor political. 

We ALWAYS welcome reader comments and input no matter the topic.

The Senate Must Act

One out of 6 workplace deaths is due to violence!

I sincerely hope they will pass the Workplace Violence Prevention for Healthcare and Social Service Workers Act. This bill, also known as H.R. 1309, attempts to make hospitals safer for those who work in them. Even before the current pandemic, healthcare has always been a surprisingly dangerous field. According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare providers experienced workplace violence at a rate that was four times higher than other employees in private industry. In fact, the number of workplace violence incidents in the healthcare industry exceeds that of almost every other industry combined.

COVID -19 By The Numbers

You should not rely on soundbites or headlines that incompletely or dictate reality, please use information you can gather, such as what I have mentioned below, as sources and form your own insights. A wonderful example is the constant mentioning of the fatality rate from this virus illness. You can read it is 7 % here, 4 % there but in reality, the fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes. To that end please read on and have a look at these sites, unless I am ‘preaching to the choir’.

How many cases are there? Many but one website is the go-to site listing the best available data regarding US number  COVID-19. I recommend John Hopkins University (JHU) US dashboard. The JHU’s Center for System Science and Engineering (CSSE) responsibly maintains this publicly accessible dashboard.

For worldwide numbers, I personally watch the JHU site by country listing.

To review your state’s case number, turn to the Health Department’s websites ex. my state -Arizona (AZ site). Some states may have varying useful and current data. It is important to look at what dates are of data. AZ site reporting customarily lags a week. Please look for the timestamp of the latest update. 

 

COVID -19 in Healthcare Providers

More than 600 nurses worldwide are known to have died from COVID-19, which has infected an estimated 450,000 healthcare workers, the International Council of Nurses based data from 30 countries. By the time you read this, the numbers will be greater. to my knowledge at present, there is no study for how many doctors nor paramedical providers have contracted the disease not have died.

On average, 7 percent of all cases of COVID-19, are among healthcare workers, if you due to the simple math from the more than 6 million reported cases worldwide the estimate of about 450,000 infections among healthcare workers.

The number of infected healthcare varies dramatically between countries, fewer than 1% in Singapore and more than 30% in Ireland Sadly in the US many states are not tracking the numbers of infected healthcare workers. 

YES, lack of equipment, fatigue that lowers immunity and emotional stress make this group especially vulnerable. This report also showed 72% of ill healthcare workers were women mean age 42. 

Please do not forget the Paramedical personnel the non-doctors and nurses are on the TRUE front lines of this pandemic. Doc Handal continues to author and co-author on relevant paramedical topics  – the latest publications are related to the pandemic of COVID-19. Journal of EMS publications include: ‘The Ethics of PPE and EMS in COVID-19 Era’ and ‘Paramedicine Strategic Planning‘.

New Saliva Test

There likely will be a time, before the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 arrives, when you will get a test. This pandemic is far from over in this humble physician’s opinion. Have a listen to this short podcast and be current on viral testing. FDA approved the saliva at-home test.

Banned Masks!

California and Colorado, including many public venues and attractions, have banned face masks with valves, as reported by Forbes unless you can just put tape firmly over the valve!

N 95 Masks with valves are for industrial purposes not for medical use.

Don’t just see ‘N-95’ and buy the mask. N95 face masks with one-way valves are readily available to purchase. The valve filter allows your breath to be expelled. Yes, it is cooler and more comfortable in the summer months but not at all helpful. Yes, less restrictive than masks without a valve, but they are also useless in preventing the COVID-19 spread. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends covering your nose and mouth in order to protect yourself from infection but also to protect others from coming into contact with your respiratory droplets. These masks can put other folks in danger of catching the virus you exhale. Recall even if you have no symptoms you can expel virus. Studies say anywhere from 4-5 days of the virus living in your body to 14 days on average.

The eyes are the other site of virus entry, hence glasses or visors are part of healthcare personnel attire (PPE).

 

 

It is not ALL CLEAR

At present COVID-19 mortality rates is 50% to 62% for adults admitted to the ICU. The hallmark lung findings: dry cough and fever and then pneumonia is not found in everyone. COVID-19 doesn’t always go completely away ad you are back to yourself! It might linger for weeks in some and in others might leave permanent body organ damage.

However, the burden of COVID-19 infection in children was much lower compared with seasonal influenza, with CDC reporting (as of April 28)  eight deaths in children ages 14 and younger related to COVID-19 compared with 169 influenza-related deaths in the same age group during the 2019-2020 flu season.

Adults can suffer heart attacks when infected with the SARS Co-2 virus. Not all will have had hypertension or Diabetes Type 2 although these pre-existing conditions are commonly seen in these patients. Often no lung symptoms! This is from a retrospective study within a single health system in New York City.

To re-iterate my advice: You do NOT want to get this virus if you can avoid it. Please follow safe distancing and  not venturing out unnecessarily. Age, as well as other medical conditions, should make you more patient as we all wait for a worthwhile vaccine or at least until medical professionals decide upon the best treatment plans. 

This infection is so hard to recognize and treat as in every person the virus acts differently. Is it because of what shape our immune system is in? Hence you have read my recent blog on a current regimen to boost body defenses (immunity) it as well as in the media.