RSV vaccine approved for older adults
The FDA has approved a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for adults 60 and older. The virus is associated with 6,000 to 10,000 deaths each year in adults 60 and older and at least 60,000 hospitalizations in that age group, according to The New York Times. It’s expected to be available in the fall.
Warning signs of skin cancer
With summer officially here, the Skin Cancer Foundation lists five recommendations to protect yourself:
- Examine yourself head to toe once a month. Keep an eye out for new or changing lesions that grow, bleed or do not heal.
- If in doubt, check it out. Follow your instincts and visit your doctor if you see a spot that just doesn’t seem right.
- See your dermatologist for a professional skin exam every year even if you don’t see anything suspicious.
- Follow up regularly, especially if you’ve already had a squamous or basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, or precancers like actinic keratosis.
- Practice sun safety. Make daily sun protection a part of your lifestyle.
Urgent Care vs. ER?
Research published by the National Institutes of Health shows that one in four ER visits can be treated at an urgent care center, and 90% of patients who went to an urgent care center were in and out in an hour or less.
Walking breaks counter effects of sitting
Mounting evidence suggests that prolonged sitting may be as dangerous to your health as smoking. Now a small study reported in “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise” suggests that doing five minutes of light walking for every 30 minutes of sitting can help offset the harm. The participants sat for eight hours on five separate days and followed different patterns of light walking on a treadmill. Their blood sugar levels, and blood pressure were measured every 15 and 60 minutes, respectively. The researchers found that five minutes of walking after every half-hour of sitting was the only duration that significantly lowered both blood sugar and blood pressure.
Covid-19 News Update – by John Schieszer
Vitamin D may help fight COVID-19
Studies have increasingly found that patients with low vitamin D levels have a five times greater chance of COVID-19 infection, severe disease, and death. Researchers at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research in Pennsylvania conducted a study that indicates vitamin D strengthens the barrier function of the lung lining by up to 40 percent, preventing viruses from penetrating the body’s airways to cause infection. Senior author James Mullin says physicians should be recommending supplemental vitamin D right away. “The benefits are clear and the risks minimal,” he says.
New COVID variant highly transmissible
As of April 15, the new Arcturus variant comprised 7.2% of all U.S COVID cases, an increase from 3.9% a week prior. As infection numbers begin to tick up, Southern states in particular may be in for a summer surge, say epidemiologists. Most of these states have the lowest full vaccination rates – Georgia’s rate is 56.9%, according to the most recent CDC data.
With testing down and vaccine rates unlikely to change, epidemiologists urge taking safety protocols into your own hands to avoid infecting anyone, particularly those who are immune-compromised or have pre-existing conditions. Wear masks indoors and use rapid testing before seeing an older family member.