Asthmatic Child

  • Allergy & Flu News

    Vaccine Strategy Induces Antibodies that Can Target Multiple Influenza Viruses...

    Allergy-InstituteScientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) have identified three types of vaccine-induced antibodies that can neutralize diverse strains of influenza virus that infect humans. The discovery will help guide development of a universal influenza vaccine, according to investigators. The findings appear in the July 21st online edition of Cell. Learn more & also read: Allergy Treatment & Cough? Cold? Flu? Infection? Pandemic?

    X-ray crystal structure image of one of the newly-identified antibodies X-ray crystal structure image of one of the newly-identified antibodies
  • Allergy Management Tips For Food Manufacturing

    Allergy Management Tips For Food Manufacturing

    One of the biggest risks in modern food manufacturing is the rise of serious food allergies. While not entirely new, they have increased in recent years, and the public has become far more aware of the dangers.

    Kitchen, Restuarant & Foodservice First Aid Kitchen, Restuarant & Foodservice First Aid

    The problem goes beyond consumers inadvertently purchasing items containing allergens. Rather, food manufacturing itself has come under scrutiny as cross-contamination of food items on the front end can have devastating consequences. Ignorance is no excuse, and neither is accidental contamination. As such, food manufacturers must have solid plans in place to prevent the likelihood of cross-contamination.

    Below, learn more about the risk of food allergies and what food manufacturers can do to keep consumers safe.

    What are the Major Food Allergies?

    Before you can take steps to keep food products safe, you have to have a thorough understanding of the ingredients most likely to hurt your consumers. Nine out of 10 allergic reactions to food fall into the following categories: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Victims can suffer symptoms that range from breathing difficulties, swelling or, at worst, anaphylactic shock that can lead to death.

    While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has strict labeling requirements for ingredients in those eight categories, a food manufacturer cannot rely on labels alone. With millions of U.S. consumers at risk every time they purchase and consume food, it’s crucial to take every step possible.Food-allergens-poster

    The Risks of Cross-Contamination

    Cross-contamination does not necessarily mean that certain food items are dropped directly into the mix. It can happen at several stages of food manufacturing. In fact, food handling and storage is one of the likeliest culprits behind cross-contamination. Under ideal circumstances, foods with ingredients that fall into the eight allergens categories would be stored in an entirely different section, if not another facility; however, storage facilities don’t always have the luxury of massive amounts of sectioned space. Smaller facilities should provide designated allergen sections while closely monitoring all movement and providing plenty of signage.

    Similarly, food-handling equipment can result in contamination. Take pallets and forklifts, for example; if used across all food products in a single facility, the risk of cross-contamination can be much higher than if a facility uses specific machinery for different food items. When multiple machines are not practical, food handlers should take care to properly clean equipment on a regular basis.

    The Necessity of Sanitation

    Food manufacturing equipment must be constantly sanitized. For some, sanitation means simply eliminating the risk of bacterial contamination. However, despite efforts to kill microbes, allergens can sometimes make it through.

    All equipment should be visually inspected for any loose particles. Also, be sure to use the right cleaner, as some contaminants might not be as obvious as solid particles. Residues and pastes, for example, could be much harder to remove with standard cleaning supplies.

    The Benefits of Smart Labeling

    Labeling both in your facility and on the finished product can save lives. In food manufacturing and storage itself, labeling can ensure that products are properly separated and stored — and for consumers, labeling can be a vital red flag. Consumer product labeling should be as transparent as possible. It’s not enough to list the ingredients in the food. Rather, labeling should indicate whether food products are made in plants that also process with allergens — think: “may contain peanuts” or “made in a plant that also processes tree nuts.”

    With the right precautions in place, you can prevent deadly allergy-related accidents.

    Chris Bekermeier is the Vice President of Marketing at PacMoore. PacMoore is a food contract manufacturer that offers food processing and packaging services. Chris received his B.S. in business management from Eastern Illinois University and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

    MORE READING:  Allergy Treatment

  • World Asthma Day

    Today is World Asthma Day - Learn about Asthma and initiatives to improve conditions for those that suffer from this respiratory/pulmonary affliction:

    The vast majority of people with asthma have the potential to breathe easier. But they can’t reach that goal alone.

    It takes a team effort—participation by clinicians and caregivers, but also others where people who have asthma live, learn, work, and play—to help create systems and environments that help those with asthma live their lives without limit.

    World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

    This World Asthma Day (May 5, 2015) and Asthma Awareness Month (May 2015), the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) encourages clinicians and others to focus on identifying allergens and irritants that can lead to asthma attacks. Such triggers are unique to each person but can include tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, dust mites, pet dander, and more.

  • Decorative "Snow" & Asthma

    Spray Snow 2Be cautious of using decorative "Snow" during the Holidays ass well as exposure to areas decorated with this festive fluff. Especially if you have COPD or Asthma.

    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels; follow directions carefully.Spray Snow

     

  • Halloween is not the only creepy thing

    CDC releases combined summary of notifiable infectious, noninfectious diseases...

    The Summary (Infectious) summarizes data on dozens of nationally notifiable diseases and conditions in the United States.  Highlights include:

    • West Nile virus (WNV) In 2013, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease – including 1,267 cases of WNV meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis. There were 119 deaths. WNV disease incidence was similar to that during 2004-2007 but was higher than during 2008-2011.
    • Chlamydia — In 2013, about 1.4 million cases of this sexually transmitted disease were reported – decrease of 1.5 percent from 4.46.6 to 453.3 cases per 100,000 population. This is the first time since national chlamydia reporting began that the overall rate declined – largely due to decreases among women. It is not clear whether the decrease is due to fewer chlamydia infections or to a drop in chlamydia screening.
    • Pandemic & Germ Preparedness

      Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) —This fungal infection caused by inhalation of spores present in the dry soil of the southwestern U.S. and California was recently detected in Washington State, far outside its usual range. The 9,438 reported cases in 2013 are a 47 percent decrease from 2012. Cases decreased by 55 percent in Arizona, which reports the most cases of any state, and by 27 percent in California. Despite the decrease, valley fever remains a major source of illness in affected areas.

    • Cyclosporiasis — This intestinal illness is caused by a microscopic parasite lurking in contaminated food and water. In 2013, the largest number of outbreak-associated cases of cyclosporiasis – 784 -- was reported to CDC since 1997. At least two outbreaks were linked to fresh produce imported from Mexico (bagged salad mix and cilantro). But the vehicle of infection for more than two thirds of reported cases could not be determined. CDC is working to develop advanced molecular detection methods to link cases to specific sources of infection.
    • Dengue — Spread by mosquitoes, dengue is a potentially serious viral infection. In 2013, dengue outbreaks occurred in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Epidemics in the Caribbean and in Central and South America resulted in 794 travel-associated cases – more than in previous years.
    • Gonorrhea — U.S. cases of this sexually transmitted bacterial infection increased 8.8 percent from 2009 to 2012, but decreased slightly (by 0.6 percent) in 2013 to 106.1 cases per 100,000 population. Nationwide, the gonorrhea rate increased 4.3 percent among men and decreased 5.1 percent among women. Treatment for gonorrhea is complicated by the bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics.
    • Influenza-associated pediatric deaths — From Dec. 30, 2012, to Dec. 28, 2013, CDC received reports of 161 deaths among people under the age 18 years – a more than three-fold increase compared with 2012, and a two-fold decrease compared with the pandemic year 2009. There were 69 pediatric deaths from seasonal influenza per calendar year during 2005-2012 and 358 pediatric deaths reported during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic.
    • Measles — There were 10 measles outbreaks in 2013, accounting for three-fourths of reported cases. The three largest outbreaks accounted for more than half of cases. In each outbreak, measles spread after a U.S. resident who caught measles abroad introduced the extremely contagious viral infection into communities with pockets of people unvaccinated because of philosophical or religious beliefs.
    • Meningococcal Disease In 2013, U.S. rates of meningococcal disease continued to be at historic lows. However, there were serogroup B outbreaks at two universities – one in California and one in New Jersey – resulting in 13 cases and one death.
    • Novel flu viruses   In 2013, there were 21 cases of human infection with variant flu viruses in the U.S. – all associated with direct or indirect contact with swine. There were no human-to-human transmissions. Any public health laboratory that receives a suspicious specimen of flu virus – one that cannot be subtyped using standard methods -- immediately submits that specimen to CDC for further testing.
    • Whooping cough (pertussis) Reported pertussis cases decreased from 2012 to 2013. However, cases continue to exceed those reported during the 1990s and early 2000s.
    • Salmonellosis   Salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses per year in the U.S. The largest multistate outbreak in 2013 was traced to contaminated chicken. Other notable outbreaks were linked to live poultry, tahini sesame paste, cucumbers, and small pet turtles.
    • Hepatitis C (HCV)  After receiving reports of about 800 to 1,000 cases of acute HCV infection per year from 2006-2010, there was an increase of 73.9 percent to 2,138 cases in 2013. Investigations show a marked increase in the number of acute cases of HCV among young, nonminority people who inject drugs, many of whom also abuse oral prescription opioid drugs.
  • Smokin'

    We've talked about smoking a few times. Understand, we aren't preaching - in fact, many on our own Team smoke, and have for years. We (including the dedicated smokers here) just want to share information about smoking and the known or perceived health effects so everyone can make their own, informed decisions.

    Now, we found this fascinating infographic, we though we would share:smoking-in-gats

    Smoking in GATS Countries

    Smoking in GATS Countries
    688 million people smoke in 22 GATS countries.

    What are "GATS Countries"?
    It often refers to the 140 World Trade Organization countries that are a part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services... but in this case, the infographic references the Whorls Health Organization (WHO) Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) is a nationally representative household survey that was launched in February 2007 as a new component of the ongoing Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS). The GATS enables countries to collect data on adult tobacco use and key tobacco control measures. Results from the GATS assist countries in the formulation, tracking and implementation of effective tobacco control interventions, and countries are able to compare results of their survey with results from other countries.

    Countries:
    Initially, the GATS will be established in the following 16 low- and middle-income countries where more than half of the world’s smokers live and that bear the highest burden of tobacco use: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Viet Nam.

    Topics covered in GATS:

    • Tobacco use prevalence (smoking and smokeless tobacco products)
    • Second-hand tobacco smoke exposure and policies
    • Cessation
    • Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions
    • Exposure to media
    • Economics

     

  • The Impact of Climate Change on Your Health

    You think sniffles are bad?

    climate_change_health_impacts600wClimate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

    In the U.S., public health can be affected by disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems, including disturbances originating here and elsewhere. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.

  • Cough? Cold? Flu? Infection? Pandemic?

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    It is cold and cough season - get ready to fight flu and infection! Read our Blogs on these subjects and STOCK UP:
    Flu Season Ebola Cough and Cold
    DecongestantSee Our Cold & Cough Remedies.
    Get Ready for Cold Season!Shop-Now
    Pandemic-PackProtection Against Nasty Germs.
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  • Asthma Awareness Month

    Roughly 8 percent of adults and more than 9 percent of children in the United States have asthma.

    May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the National Institutes of Health emphasizes the scientific progress being made in asthma research, from basic science, such as how lung cells work, to clinical trials on current and future treatments for the disease. NIH-led research includes studies of environmental factors, how the body’s own defense system plays a role, and the microbiome — all the microbial organisms that live in and on the human body.

    The three main NIH institutes that support and conduct asthma-related research are the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Each institute focuses on a particular area of research, all with the common goal of developing effective strategies to manage and prevent the disease.

    Asthma is a disease of the lung in which the airways are inflamed. Because of this inflammation, the airways can easily narrow, causing symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Asthma is estimated to cause millions of urgent medical visits and missed school and work days in the United States each year. In some cases, the disease can be fatal.

    Combined, NIH has nearly 600 research projects related to asthma currently underway, including many clinical trials that are recruiting patients. Details on these clinical studies can be found at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.

    Environmental Factors

    NIEHS research focuses on how environmental factors impact diseases, such as asthma, and how to prevent these diseases. New research has shown that different kinds of air pollution affect asthma differently. For example, ultrafine particles from vehicle emissions get deeper into the lungs where the effects may be more significant. Other studies have shown that being overweight or obese increases sensitivity to indoor air pollution in urban children with asthma. In those cases, weight loss and reducing exposure helped reduce asthma symptoms. Work at NIEHS has also revealed that allergic responses to specific environmental agents such as allergens from pets, pests, and molds, involve many different types of immune cells in the lung. Understanding these cells and how they respond to environmental triggers offers the potential to develop improved therapies that target specific types of asthma.

    Research and Risk Factors

    NHLBI supports a broad asthma research portfolio that includes studies on risk factors, mechanisms of disease susceptibility and severity, asthma genetics and genomics, and novel and improved therapies and prevention strategies. Current initiatives include addressing asthma disparities through clinical studies, such as the Best African-American Response to Asthma Drugs trial; pushing into new research frontiers such as the microbiome in lung health and disease; and the development of new therapeutics for asthma. NHLBI also supports the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, which translates research discoveries into improved clinical practice and quality of life for patients with asthma.

    Asthma and the Immune System

    NIAID-supported research focuses on understanding the immune system’s role in asthma and on identifying new strategies to treat and prevent the disease. For example, studies conducted through NIAID’s Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) have shown that programs aimed at decreasing exposures to household allergens, such as dust mites, cockroaches, and rodents, and at implementing guidelines-based asthma therapy can reduce disease symptoms and health care visits. ICAC studies also have shown that asthma attacks can be reduced substantially with medications that disrupt the effects of allergy on the airways. ICAC continues to design and implement immune-based therapies for asthma, and conduct studies to define and treat the disease in inner-city children. In addition, NIAID-supported investigators are studying the role of microbial exposures in the development and progression of asthma.

    NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of NIH. For more information on environmental health topics, visit http://www.niehs.nih.gov. Subscribe to one or more of the NIEHS news lists to stay current on NIEHS news, press releases, grant opportunities, training, events, and publications.

    NHLBI plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

    NIAID conducts and supports research at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide, to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

    About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

  • Are Temporary Tattoos Dangerous for your Kids?

    TatSummer vacation is on the way.  Time to pack your swim suit, hit the beach, and perhaps indulge in a little harmless fun.  How about getting a temporary tattoo to mark the occasion? What’s the harm?

    Just because a tattoo is temporary, however, doesn't mean it’s risk free. Some consumers report reactions that may be severe and long outlast the temporary tattoos themselves. The risk varies, depending on what’s in the ink. In this webinar, you will learn about different kinds of temporary tattoos and important safety information.

    These Children's First Aid Kits come with fund decorated theme bandages and stickers instead of harmful temporary Tattoos. These Children's First Aid Kits come with fun decorated theme bandages and stickers instead of harmful temporary Tattoos.

    The webinar will be presented by chemist Bhakti Petigara Harp, Ph.D., and epidemiologist Katherine Hollinger, D.V.M., M.P.H. Chemist John Gasper, B.S., M.A., J.D. will moderate the presentation. All three are with FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC).

     

    DOWNLOAD THE PDF ON TEMPORARY TATTOO SAFETY:FDA Basics - Temporary Tattoo Webinar May 13, 2014 Tattoo-PDF

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