Health Promotion Newsletter Issue No. 32

11 Jan

Image result for happy new year 2017

Jan 11, 2017

I hope every one had a good jump start in 2017 despite the weather is cold and snowy.

On January 10,2017 we had an appreciation luncheon with the Therapeutic team ranging from  massage therapist students/instructor to  acupuncturists.  They all expressed how much they enjoy providing the treatment for many ACAS clients and that some of our clients even went extra miles buying some small gifts during the holidays for them.  I have to command to those clients who are so thoughtful to the practitioners  who take their own  time out to improve our health.

Looking back from last year 2016 in Health Promotion program, we had a good year with stable attendees averaged at 25 participants.  Thank you for filling some of the quotes for the final evaluation.    Many clients finds the workshops are useful and they can pick up some information away from the workshops.   Some clients suggested we should have more social gathering through Health Promotion program. As much as I love to provide a safe social and entertainment space for everyone, it is my responsibility to report to the funders (mainly pharmaceutical companies) on how we spend our funding.  I will try my best to accommodate more social time for everyone  who attends any workshops in 2017.  If you have any exciting ideas or suggestion I am welcoming your input.

Since this winter is cold and many of us experienced flu-like symptoms.  I’d like to share an article with you on the prevention for flu virus as follows.

Have a great month and thank you.

 

Best Regards,

Kenneth Poon

Health Promotion worker

(647)2783835


Image result for flu

This year, experts say the country needs to brace itself for another round of H3N2, the predominant strain of influenza that is circulating.

The idea of battling the flu, or grappling with a cough and cold isn’t fun. Cover your mouth in public spaces when you’re in a crowded environment, Canadian microbiologist Jason Tetro suggests taking a lesson from health-care workers: wear a fashionable mask. Wrap a scarf around your neck, mouth and nose as you’re bundling up to head outdoors or onto public transportation “It’ll help to prevent droplets from getting into your system and looks far less ominous than a mask,” Tetro said.

He suggests this move could offer up to 70 per cent protection against germs.

Wash your hands for 30 seconds 

During the enterovirus outbreak in 2014, Dr. B. Louise Giles insisted on reminding parents of the importance of thorough hand washing. This applies to the flu season, too.

“We know germs are on hands and with good hand washing – using soap and warm water – you’ll reduce the risk,” Giles, a Canadian doctor and pediatrician at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital, explained.

Teach your kids to rinse their hands with soap for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday or Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star so they’re thoroughly washing up.

Soap and water work best but if you must, use anti-bacterial hand gel. Just make sure you use the sanitizer liberally – you need to wet your hands for at least 15 seconds to break up and kill the microbes.

Fist bump instead of shaking hands

Our hands touch doorknobs, keyboards, bathroom taps and other surfaces. We often cough or sneeze into our hands, too. You don’t want to be shaking hands with your peers at the height of flu season.

This is why the experts say that a fist bump is your best bet when it comes to preventing the spread of germs in the office.

“Most of the time, we touch our faces so we need to make sure we’re not moving germs right up to our mouths, and noses,” Tetro said.

One study suggests that knocking knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria than a handshake does. A high five is better too – that passes along less than half the amount of germs as a handshake.

Cough and sneeze into your elbow

If you sneeze into the crease of your elbow, you’re less likely to transmit germs than you would if you cough into your hands, the experts say. “People don’t have contact with that part of the body,” Dr. Gerald Evans explained. If you’re worried about germs staying on your clothing, don’t. The germs will likely be absorbed into the fabric and won’t be a concern.

Stay away, or stay home

Giles also reminds parents to be mindful of other families: if your child is sick, don’t send him or her to school. That extends to adults, too. In 2014, the Ontario Medical Association recommended that Canadians should stay home if they’re under the weather and urged bosses to stop asking for sick notes.

Heading into work or the doctor’s office when you’re sick means you’re potentially infecting others.

If your child is sick, he or she could infect others who are more vulnerable, too. Their peers could be dealing with asthma or other underlying health conditions triggered by influenza.

If you’re heading to public spaces where germs could be at bay, it might even be worthwhile to keep your kids at home if they’re at high risk of complications from a nasty bout of the flu.

Keep your immune system strong

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night, drink eight glasses of water a day and eat your fruits and vegetables, according to pharmacist and Shoppers Drug Mart owner, Bhavika Prajapati.

“It’s never 100 per cent but you can greatly minimize your risk of getting the flu by simple things like practicing good hygiene, keeping your immune system healthy, getting your flu shot, lots of rest and staying hydrated,” she told Global News.

Get your flu shot

The single best way to arm yourself against the flu is to head to the clinic, roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated.

At this point, Evans says that vaccination rates nationally sit at a meagre 20 to 25 per cent while health-care workers report higher numbers at about 40 per cent.

Evans says that if at least 75 per cent of the public were to be immunized, “herd immunity” would occur. That means the risk of transmission to an unvaccinated person is low, if most of the people around them were vaccinated.

He cautions that while most of us feel healthy, the flu shot has benefits that extend beyond our own immune systems.

“I’m a doctor and I get my shot every year so the likelihood of me getting the flu is reduced, and that means I’m unlikely to transmit to my family, my friends and to my patients that I see,” he said.

“It’s one of those things where it’s good for you, but it’s also good for everybody around you too.”

Kids as young as six months old can start getting the vaccine.

It’s also recommended for populations at risk of complications. These people who are more vulnerable include pregnant women, children under five years old, seniors and residents in long-term care or nursing homes.

Those with underlying health problems, such as chronic diseases (asthma, chronic bronchitis, cancer) should also make their way to a flu vaccination clinic.

Evans suggests that getting the vaccine earlier helps. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be most effective, and its effects are long-lasting.

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For more on the flu season, read below the City of Toronto Public Health fact sheet:

Influenza (Flu)

Definition

Influenza, also known as “the flu”, is a contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It is caused by influenza A and B viruses. Each year in Canada about 5 to 10% of adults and 20 to 30% of children are infected with influenza, usually in the late fall and winter.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, fatigue and runny nose. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.

Diagnosis

It can be difficult to distinguish influenza from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illness based on symptoms alone. There are laboratory tests that can be done to diagnose flu, although it is not usually necessary for most people. Testing can be done by swiping the inside of your nose with a swab to collect the virus.

Complications

Most people will recover within a week to ten days. Some people are at greater risk of complications which include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Each year in Canada, about 12,200 people are hospitalized and 3,500 die due to influenza and its complications.

Risk Factors

People at high risk for complications related to influenza include:

* those with chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart and lung disease

* people who live in long-term care homes and other chronic care facilities

* healthy pregnant women

* Aboriginal Peoples

* children under 6 years of age

* persons 65 years of age and older.

Treatment

Most healthy people who get the flu will not need medical treatment. “Antiviral drugs” are prescription drugs that may be used to lessen symptoms and prevent complications. Antiviral drugs are usually used early to treat hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness, and people who are at higher risk for flu complications based on their age or other health conditions. For more information, see CDC’s “What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs” or speak with your healthcare provider.

Prevention

Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza. Flu vaccine prevents illness, doctor’s visits and hospitalizations. Each year, there is a new vaccine to protect against the flu virus strains that are expected in the coming influenza season. Even if the strains have not changed, getting vaccinated every year is needed to maximize protection.

Other steps you can take to prevent influenza infection include clean your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands; cover your cough and sneeze; stay away from people who are sick; and stay home when you are sick.

Self-care

If you have the flu the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term recommends the following:

* stay home and get plenty of rest

* drink lots of fluids

* avoid drinks with caffeine

* take basic pain or fever relievers but do not give acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin(r)) to children or teenagers under the age of 18

* treat muscle pain using a hot water bottle or heating pad – apply heat for short periods of time

* take a warm bath

* gargle with a glass of warm salt water or suck on hard candy or lozenges

* use spray or saline drops for a stuffy nose

* avoid alcohol and tobacco

 

Call your doctor or health care provider if:

* you don’t start to feel better after a few days

* your symptoms get worse

* you develop flu symptoms and are in group with risk factors for complications

You can also call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 to talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You do not need to provide your OHIP number and all information is confidential.

Transmission/Spread

Influenza virus is mainly spread by droplets made when people with influenza cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can then land in the mouths, noses or eyes of people who are nearby (within two metres). Less commonly, a person may also get influenza when they touch a surface or object that has influenza virus on it and then touch their own mouth, eyes or nose.

It can take from 1 to 4 days to develop influenza illness after being infected with the virus. People with influenza may infect others beginning from one day before symptoms start until about 5 days after becoming sick. Children and people with weak immune systems may spread virus in droplets for longer.

More information

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Flu Facts: https://www.ontario.ca/page/flu-facts

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza (flu) Webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/


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