Children Diagnosed with Kawasaki-like Illness

May 27th, 2020

 Child in bed with thermometerChildren and adolescents are coming down with a rare inflammatory syndrome, potentially connected to COVID-19.

Rare Syndrome

Children are becoming ill with symptoms similar to toxic shock and Kawasaki disease. This includes inflammation of the blood vessels and potentially fatal damage to the heart.

Scientists are trying to determine whether the syndrome is linked to the new coronavirus because not all children with the syndrome tested positive for the virus.

COVID-19 cases in children are mostly mild and infrequent. Only five percent of cases nationwide were in children.

Signs and Symptoms

 Kawasaki disease is a rare inflammatory syndrome typically affecting children under the age of five. Symptoms of the disease include:

  • Eye irritation
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes

 The exact cause of this inflammatory syndrome in children remains a mystery.

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Allowing Children to Make Food Choices can Improve Health

May 20th, 2020

Kids in the kitchen cutting veggiesEnabling children to make decisions about food and educating them about healthy choices through example—can lead to improved nutrition and healthier lifelong eating habits, experts said on May 11.

Children and Food

According to the new scientific statement in the “Journal of the American Heart Association,” an “authoritarian” approach to dietary decisions has been repeatedly linked to children eating when not hungry and eating less healthy foods, which increases the risk for obesity and eating disorders. However, an entirely “indulgent” approach in which children are allowed to eat whatever they want—does not provide enough boundaries for the development of healthy eating habits. This method also increases the risk of obesity.

Allowing children to decide what and how much they eat among healthy food options encourages them to develop and eventually take ownership of dietary decisions. That also might help them develop eating patterns linked to a healthy weight for a lifetime, reducing the risk for heart disease and diabetes as they age, the authors said.

Many children are influenced by the emotional atmosphere surrounding eating. If children feel pressure to diet, or eat certain foods, it may be harder for them to listen to internal cues that tell them when they are full, the authors noted.

As many as 14 million children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parental Guidance

Parents can do many things to help children develop healthy eating habits:

  1. Show by example: Eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains with meals or as snacks.
  2. Go food shopping together: Grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Let your child make healthy choices.
  3. Get creative in the kitchen: Encourage your child to invent new snacks or name a food your child helped to make.
  4. Offer the same foods for everyone.
  5. Reward with attention, not food: Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods.
  6. Focus on each other at the table: Try talking about fun and happy things at meal time. Try to make eating meals as stress-free as possible.
  7. Listen to your child: If your child is hungry, offer a small healthy snack—even if it is not a scheduled time to eat.
  8. Encourage physical activity: Walk, run and play with your child, instead of sitting on the sidelines.
  9. Be a good food role model: Try new foods yourself.

 Parents play a vital role in helping their children make healthy decisions.

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Insurance Administrator of America knows that kids can be picky eaters, but it is important to help them make healthy choices. IAA knows that you can be a great example for your children!

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New Blood Test Detects Multiple Cancers

May 13th, 2020

 Vials of bloodFor the first time, a blood test has been shown to help detect many types of cancer in a study of thousands of people with no history of symptoms or disease.

New Blood Test

The new study was the first “real world” test in routine medical care. The test is designed to spot genetic mutations in patient’s blood cells that indicate the presence of cancer.

Using a liquid biopsy, along with standard screening methods, doubled the cancers that were detected in the study. A liquid biopsy looks for DNA and other things that tumors shed in the blood, to try and find cancer at an early stage.

Until now, these tools have been tested on blood samples from people with and without cancer to estimate their accuracy.

Nearly 10,000 women were recruited. They were encouraged to continue their regular screenings and were given a blood test, which was repeated if the findings suggested cancer. If the second test came back suspicious, they were given a whole body PET-CT scan.

Results

After one year, 96 cancers had been diagnosed. The usual screenings found 24 and the blood test helped to find 26 others. The remaining 46 were found because symptoms appeared or the cancer was discovered in other ways.

Of the 26 cancers that were spotted with the test, nine were in the lungs, six were in the ovaries, two were in the uterus, two were in the colon, and two were lymphomas (blood cancer). Of these, 17 were diagnosed at an early stage.

The authors plan to follow the participants for five years.

It was only studied in women 65 to 75 years old and needs to be tried in men, other ages and more diverse groups.

The results were published in the journal “Science” on May 1.

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CDC Adds New COVID-19 Symptoms to Official List

May 6th, 2020

 COVID-19 CellThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added six new symptoms to its official list of COVID-19 symptoms on April 26.

New COVID-19 Symptoms

The symptoms that have been added to the official list are:

  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Sore throat

The previously known symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have a wide variety of symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Keep Safe

In order to stay safe and healthy, everyone should:

  1. Wash your hands often: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Avoid close contact: Put distance between yourself and other people. Stay home as much as possible.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face cover when around others: You could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes: Immediately wash your hands.
  5. Clean and disinfect: Make sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants to keep you up-to-date on the world of health. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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Calls to Poison Control Centers on the Rise

April 29th, 2020

Cleaning productsA study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” says calls to poison control centers are on the rise.

Numbers Rise

A team of CDC investigators using data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS), The American  Association of Poison Control Centers, and the CDC itself, compared reports of poisonings from disinfectants and cleaning supplies, in the three month window from January through March 2020.

Overall, the poison centers received a total of 45,550 calls during that time period. There was a 20.4 percent increase over the same period in 2019 and a 16.4 percent increase compared to 2018. The breakdown is 28,158 calls related to cleaners and 17,392 linked to disinfectant.

Of all means of ingestion, inhalation of fumes represented the largest increase in exposure routes, jumping 35.3 percent for all forms of cleaners.

This study was reported on April 20.

The CDC did say that the data does not show a definite link between the rise in calls and COVID-19. The agency did say the calls spiked in the beginning of March 2020 when many local health agencies began issuing advisories.

Minimize the Risk

The CDC recommends five steps to minimize the risk of poisoning:

  1. Follow directions on product labels.
  2. Don’t mix chemicals.
  3. Wear protective gear, like gloves.
  4. Use all products in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Store chemicals out of reach of children.

Keeping daily used surfaces and items clean is important, but it is vital to remain safe while doing so.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that the coronavirus has everyone concerned about their health, but it is important to keep everything sanitary in a safe manner. Keep safe and healthy from IAA!

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