Thursday, October 29, 2009

CDC info

I have added some CDC info to the previous post- please read or go to the CDC website yourself at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Save the Emergency Room for Emergencies!

Please do NOT go to the Emergency Dept. if you just "think I have swine flu." There is no magic pill to make it go away, though there are antivirals that might help. You need to speak with your doctor about these meds. You are putting yourself at risk to get something else at the ED. You are also putting healthcare workers at risk.

Here's a little video from my previous employer: http://www.ktka.com/videos/2009/oct/27/26408/
For my fellow Etown community: http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/guest/patientcare/swineflu

EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNS: (taken from the CDC website)

In children:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash
In adults:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting

From the CDC websit:


Prevention & Treatment

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick? Oct 8
This season, there is a seasonal flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu viruses and a 2009 H1N1 vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (sometimes called “swine flu”). A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu infection. For information about the 2009 H1N1 vaccines, visit H1N1 Flu Vaccination Resources. For information about seasonal influenza vaccines, visit Preventing Seasonal Flu With Vaccination.

There are also everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.*
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
Other important actions that you can take are:

Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs * (for when soap and water are not available), tissues and other related items could help you to avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Keep away from others as much as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

If I have a family member at home who is sick with 2009 H1N1 flu, should I go to work?
Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with 2009 H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including covering their coughs and sneezes and washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, they should use an alcohol-based hand rub.* If they become ill, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs. For more information please see General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. CDC recommends that when you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.* You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
For information about what to do if you get sick with flu-like symptoms this season, see What To Do If You Get Sick: 2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Flu. A downloadable flyer containing this information also is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/2009-10/pdf/what_to_do_if_you_get_sick.pdf .

What are “emergency warning signs” that should signal anyone to seek medical care urgently?

In children:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash
In adults:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting
Are there medicines to treat 2009 H1N1 infection?
Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 called “antiviral drugs.” These drugs can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications. This flu season, antiviral drugs are being used mainly to treat people who are very sick, such as people who need to be hospitalized, and to treat sick people who are more likely to get serious flu complications. Your health care provider will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed to treat your illness. Remember, most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal flu.

What is CDC’s recommendation regarding "swine flu parties"?
"Swine flu parties" are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has 2009 H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity 2009 H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease.

CDC does not recommend "swine flu parties" as a way to protect against 2009 H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

CDC recommends that people with 2009 H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Contamination & Cleaning

How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface.

What kills influenza virus?
Influenza virus is destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols are effective against human influenza viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time.

*What if soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed in my facility? Updated on Sept 14
If soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How should waste disposal be handled to prevent the spread of influenza virus?
To prevent the spread of influenza virus, it is recommended that tissues and other disposable items used by an infected person be thrown in the trash. Additionally, persons should wash their hands with soap and water after touching used tissues and similar waste.

What household cleaning should be done to prevent the spread of influenza virus?
To prevent the spread of influenza virus it is important to keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

How should linens, eating utensils and dishes of persons infected with influenza virus be handled?
Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick do not need to be cleaned separately, but importantly these items should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.
Linens (such as bed sheets and towels) should be washed by using household laundry soap and tumbled dry on a hot setting. Individuals should avoid "hugging" laundry prior to washing it to prevent contaminating themselves. Individuals should wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub immediately after handling dirty laundry.

Eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap.

Exposures Not Thought to Spread 2009 H1N1 Flu

Can I get infected with 2009 H1N1 virus from eating or preparing pork?
No. 2009 H1N1 viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get infected with novel HIN1 virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

Is there a risk from drinking water?
Tap water that has been treated by conventional disinfection processes does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. Current drinking water treatment regulations provide a high degree of protection from viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of 2009 H1N1 flu virus to conventional drinking water treatment processes. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels typically used in drinking water treatment are adequate to inactivate highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as 2009 H1N1 would also be similarly inactivated by chlorination. To date, there have been no documented human cases of influenza caused by exposure to influenza-contaminated drinking water.

Can 2009 H1N1 flu virus be spread through water in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational water venues?
Influenza viruses infect the human upper respiratory tract. There has never been a documented case of influenza virus infection associated with water exposure. Recreational water that has been treated at CDC recommended disinfectant levels does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of 2009 H1N1 influenza virus to chlorine and other disinfectants used in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational venues. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels recommended by CDC (1–3 parts per million [ppm or mg/L] for pools and 2–5 ppm for spas) are adequate to disinfect avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as 2009 H1N1 virus would also be similarly disinfected by chlorine.

Can 2009 H1N1 influenza virus be spread at recreational water venues outside of the water?
Yes, recreational water venues are no different than any other group setting. The spread of this 2009 H1N1 flu is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Note: Much of the information in this document is based on studies and past experience with seasonal (human) influenza. CDC believes the information applies to 2009 H1N1 (swine) viruses as well, but studies on this virus are ongoing to learn more about its characteristics. This document will be updated as new information becomes available.-on the CDC website

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The LOVESEAT is homesick.....

This is our loveseat that we bought while in Manhattan, KS in the spring of 2007. We bought it because the futon we brought up with us broke a few months after we moved. We moved it from Manhattan, KS to E-town, PA. Once we had saved up some money and found the "big green" couch we had a decision to make.....
Lydia and Mike (cousin & hubby) came to visit us from New Jersey the first part of October and let us know that they were moving to Wichita, KS (back home for Lydia, Mike's a Jersey boy) come the first of November! Good for them, sad for us :(
We told them we were getting a new couch soon, they said they liked our loveseat. We said they could have it. Mike came up Monday and picked up our loveseat. I hope the new lovebirds enjoy the semi-new furniture!

So the loveseat is moving back to Kansas... I guess it just got homesick and Wichita is closer to WildCat land than E-town. GO STATE!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

In Transit......

Ever have one of those days where you feel like a control freak and feel like everyone wants to control your schedule and it makes you want to leap out of your life.....

It is so crazy how the little things can get us (me) down; but it's the big picture that is the important part.

It is amazing how listening to a sermon brings the focus back. Skip, our pastor at St. Paul's UMC gave a sermon yesterday titled "In Transit." We are all "in transit" and are awaiting God's direction. He spoke of the Moses taking the Jewish people out of Egypt and the Jewish people losing faith in the desert. The people were in transit awaiting on God. We have to decide to follow God's direction while in transit and realize the importance in the big picture.

Bek Life in transit.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Big Green Couch!

The couch came yesterday afternoon! Kiker approves! She likes the balance beam that the back of the couch provides! Regan knows she is not to be on the couch and this will be the rule!
NeoTech was more concerned about sun bathing than checking out the couch when it came.
Can you see the orange dining room and how well everything looks?
Matt made sure there was still enough room to play Wii
And then made sure it passed the nap test- it did...
The love seat (in the background) became homesick so it will be going back to KS with Mike and Lydia as they move back to Wichita.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Waiting for our couch to arrive!!!

After we found out we got the house of course we went furniture shopping we found this awesome couch and it has orange accents! (which compliment our orange dining room!) That was in June! We have visited the store many times since then to make sure we still liked it- and we still do!
So this last week we bought it and it will arrive this week! Matt also found a recliner that he liked and we ordered it. It is a custom piece where we got to pick out the fabric and the stain of the wood. No, it isn't your great-grandpa's recliner. I promise pictures when it arrives. Obviously the custom piece will take longer to be delivered.

We bought our bed off the floor when it was discontinued and our love seat we bought while in Manhattan, KS was an outlet piece. Our bedside tables were outlet pieces as well, so this purchase is a little exciting for me! Finding a recliner that Matt liked and the fact that it looks awesome makes me happy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fruits and Veggies-and maybe a little tofu!

I have started reading Skinny B$t!h (yes that was edited by me-the book uses the real word) by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It has some offensive language; but considering the garbage I have put in my body over the last few years I don't need anything sugar coated-literally! After reading a few chapters I realize that a vegan/vegetarian diet is very close to the diet Matt and I lived for over 3 years.

We basically ate smoothies, 2 food replacements, and 5 fruits/veggies per day. We eliminated most soda and increased our water intake. My skin loved it, my clothes loved it, my scale loved it, and most importantly my digestion system was singing the Hallelujah Chorus 24/7!

Life has been very busy (which could be considered an understatement) and is no excuse! But life happened and we went with the flow instead of what we knew was best.

We tried to get "back in the swing of things" over the last few years, but we couldn't get on the same page like before. This last month was the final straw and we have landed back on the same page again. We are ready to get back to our vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

So here's to getting back on the wagon of fresh produce and maybe a little tofu! :) I found an awesome website: www.chooseveg.com it has some great information and fantastic recipes!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome to my pumpkin patch!

It's FALL! I love the fall! Here is Etown the weather has just been fantastic! We have had a few rainy days; but that helps me water the mums I planted! the lows have been around the 40s-50s but the middle of the day hangs around the 50s-60s and I LOVE IT! The leaves are starting to turn and some have already fallen. Regan and I crunch them underfoot when we take walks.

We have put up a few fall decorations and I love seeing the welcome sign in the yard. It just makes me smile knowing this is my home. We are truly enjoying our first fall in PA!