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CDC Panel Recommend Health Workers And Elderly to Get First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s advisory board recommends that the first to get the vaccines are frontline health workers and elders, as the 6.4 million doses of supplies for the vaccine are limited for a certain period.

The group that will be receiving this first will be called Phase 1A, where they will most likely receive the vaccine by the end of this year.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing both the vaccines, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use authorization.

There are about 21 million healthcare workers that include people that work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, home healthcare, pharmacies, emergency medical services as well as those working in public health, where around 3 million Americans who are older are living in the skilled nursing or long term facilities.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) was officially the first step that the agency took to prioritize the act, and how important it is.

Focusing on the healthcare workers that need to be protected against the imposing threat of their jobs, they would be able to care for the people without worrying too much, as the cases spread across the country.

The group Phase 1A will also be focusing on the group that is most affected by the virus.

“I believe my vote [in favor of the recommendation] reflects maximizing benefit, minimizing harm, promoting justice, and mitigating health inequities,” said Dr. Jose Romero, the committee chair in explaining his support of the priority groups.

The CDC will be planning to use a text-based system to closely monitor the people after their vaccination if an event of a side effect occurs. It would be useful for doctors to take note of the effects and to report it for future reference.

Dr. Helen Talbot, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, was the only member to vote against the recommendation, based solely on her misgivings about the lack of safety data on vaccinating residents of long term care facilities.

“I’ve spent my career studying vaccines in older adults, and traditionally we’ve tried vaccines in young, healthy populations and hoped it worked in frail, older adults,” she said during the meeting.

“We have now entered the realm of ‘We hope it works, we hope it’s safe,’ and that concerns me on many levels,” she added.

She noted that while studies so far show that the elderly who are vaccinated don’t experience significantly higher adverse events, that could also mean that the vaccine isn’t as effective, either. (So far, both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna report that their shots are around 95% effective in protecting against disease in all age groups.)

Talbot also worries that they might not have the facilities, or aren’t as equipped to thoroughly monitor potential side effects from the vaccine.

“I’m still struggling with that since we don’t have a good safety surveillance network in place yet,” she said.

While most Americans won’t be receiving the vaccine right away as it is available, it’s for the greater good that the health workers are to receive it first, since they will be the ones that would still be at risk of the infection as they take care of their patients.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, said the end is in sight.

“For all the people who are anxiously awaiting [a COVID-19] vaccine, we hope this vote gets us one step closer to the day when we can all feel safe again when this pandemic is over,” she said.

Source: Time

Health

Due To Their Loss of Smell, Covid-19 Survivors Have To Get Creative In The Kitchen

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Dr. Alex Yeats who is an emergency physician has taken out an amazing dinner option one day. According to his wife, she has nothing to do with it even though it does look so appetizing. Sarah Yeats who is an emergency nurse from Atlantic Beach, Florida said, “It was black bean pasta with almonds and turmeric chunks and I was like ‘I’m not eating that, it’s disgusting”.

The husband and wife work at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Sarah Yeats had contracted Covid-19 at work and brought it home in August.

According to a report, people who have been contracted with COVID-19 usually lost much of their sense of smell and also taste. The condition is called Anosmia which means a condition known as “smell blindness” or even loss of smell. This is actually a common symptom of COVID-19. Despite having the symptom, people still need to eat and of course, they have to modify their meals as a result.

Picture: Google

Because of the restriction of not having the ability to smell and taste correct, they have to be creative when they are preparing their meal so that they get enough flavor and nutrition in their meal for them to eat. These are some simple tricks that they follow to be creative in the kitchen:

1) Serving New Flavor Combinations On The Table

Dr. Marta Becker who is an otolaryngologist said, “Some sensations of our food such as spicy hot pepper, mintiness are things we experience with the hot and cold sensors of our mouth”. She also added, “You can get the acid, heat, even saltiness, but not the layers of things like cilantro and chipotle”. Because of that, texture, color, and even rituals around cooking have become more important to some people right now rather than just the taste.
Alex Yeats said that texture has become a lot more important when cooking. He and Sarah Yeats tend to eat salmon several times a week because it has a fuller, more umami body, and a better mouthfeel than a flaky white fish, which just tastes dry for them. Sarah Yeats also stated, “I wanted to make sure there was green in everything because foods that are white and gray, they’re just so unappealing now”. Immersing in the processes of cooking and meal planning each week also helped her keep interested in food prep. She added, “Having Covid inspired us to use our raclette oven because it’s a process for cooking that makes it fun”.
2) Odd Odors Are A Promising Sign
Phantom smells are actually a common topic in the online Covid-19 support group. The couple said that they have gotten whiffs of jet fuel and cigarette smoke where there was none. Becker said, “A lot of people get trash, or smoke, something rotten or burning rubber”. She also added, “It’s really gross, but it’s usually a good sign things are trying to sort themselves out. When the recovery happens, sometimes the wires can get crossed”.
3) Scent Training Helps
“Scent Training” is a method of using things like rose, lemons, cloves, garlic, eucalyptus, and menthols that have a really strong smell to retrain the brain. Becker said it’s a tactic she recommends to patients since there is no cure for anosmia. She mentioned, “Retraining your brain to what things smell like so you can remember is a bit mysterious. But using the memory to retrain the neurons can work in both directions. The memory can help you smell, and the smell can help you remember”.
Sources: CNN 
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Different Colors On Vegetables And Fruits Have Various Benefits? What Is it?

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Certainly, many Malaysians do not know that different colors of vegetables and fruits have different vitamins and minerals as well as different functions.

Through a post on Facebook by the Nutrition Department Ministry of Health Malaysia, we are advised to take various types and colors of vegetables and fruits.

Take at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.

Follow the information sharing by MOH below to find out more about the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables:

1) Red color

  • Contains Lycopene as an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage and is good for heart health.

2) Purple color

  • Contains Anthocyanin as an antioxidant that helps lower the risk of cancer, improve the body’s immune system and memory.

3) Green color

  • Contains chlorophyll, fiber, and iron which are good for red blood cell formation, good for digestion, and boost the body’s immunity.

4) Orange color

  • Contains Beta-Carotene as an antioxidant that can improve eye health and anti-aging agents.

“But there is a similarity despite the different colors … that VEGETABLES and FRUIT can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases,” wrote MOH Nutrition Department on the post.

“VEGETABLES & FRUIT contain phytochemicals that supply antioxidants that help fight free radicals as well as support our body’s immune system …,” added MOH Nutrition Department.

Source: Nutrition Department Ministry of Health Malaysia

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As Part of Curriculum, Children In Siberia’s School Throw Buckets of Icy Water Over Themselves

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As school children, having a cold shower in the morning is the least favorite thing that they have to go through first thing after they woke up. They would prefer to have a nice warm shower instead so that they are going to feel great to start the day.

The story is different for Siberian school children as they have to throw buckets of icy water over themselves. This has to be done because it is part of the school curriculum.

All the five and also six-year-old at the school in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia have to drench themselves in icy water. In fact, most of the students’ parents have given their permission for their children to take part daily because they believe that doing that, can help to ward off infections.

Picture: DailyMail

The teachers there stated that the cold showers that they are doing could lead to the children being less sick. Other than that, they also say it could make the children be more “sensible, balanced and also optimistic”. According to a report, the children would take cold showers daily after they had a hot sauna. They also declared that the temperature should be no lower than 25C.

A spokesperson for the Krasnoyarsk education department said, “The little walruses warmed themselves in the sauna and went outside for a traditional cold water shower”. Even though the process might sound challenging for the children to withstand, they actually have been taught breathing exercises for the deep cold.

A teacher named Lyubov Daniltsova said, ” Our doctor confirms that children in groups that practice dousing get through the flu season a lot more easily but generally the statistics show there is 95 percent of healthy children in the ‘wet’ group, compared to 75 percent among the others”.

Sources: DailyMail

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