Coronavirus Vaccine Ready for Human Testing

March 4th, 2020

Vial of vaccineOn February 25, the drug maker Moderna said that the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine is ready for the government to start testing on humans.

Vaccine for Coronavirus

Moderna has shipped vials of the medicine, called mRNA-1273, to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, MD.

NIAID expects to begin the clinical trial with 20 to 25 healthy subjects by the end of April, to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and efficacy against infection.

That would mark a three month period between vaccine design and human testing, with first results becoming available as early as July.

It could take a year for the vaccine to go through the regulatory process and become widely available. 

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals.

The strain that the world is now dealing with is called coronavirus disease 2019 also known as COVID-19. 

Symptoms can show up anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. The patient might notice:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The virus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000.

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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Elton John Ends Concert Due to Walking Pneumonia

February 26th, 2020

MicrophoneElton John cut his New Zealand concert short on February 15 because he is suffering from walking pneumonia.

Entertainer Cuts Concert Short

While performing in Auckland, New Zealand, the 72 year old entertainer lost his voice and had to be helped off stage.

John ended the show after playing 15 of the planned 25 songs.

What is Walking Pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia is how some people describe a mild case of pneumonia. The doctor may call it “atypical pneumonia” because it is not like more serious cases. You probably won’t have to stay in bed or the hospital.

Walking pneumonia is due to a bacterium called mycoplasma pneumoniae. A lung infection is often to blame. Lots of things can cause it, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Chemicals
  • Fungi
  • Inhaled food
  • Viruses

Walking pneumonia spreads through sneezes or coughs, but it spreads slowly. If you get it, you could be contagious for up to 10 days.

Symptoms generally start 15 to 25 days after you’ve been exposed to mycoplasma and slowly worsen over two to five days. You might have:

  • Chest pain when you take a deep breath
  • Cough that may cause violent spasms
  • Headache
  • Mild flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness

There may also be some lingering weakness that may last when other symptoms go away.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to know what is going on in the world of health Remember; with IAA one call does it all.

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Chronic Complainers in the Workplace

February 19th, 2020

Woman with hands over her head and looking frustratedEvery office has at least one—that one person in the office who always seems to find something to complain about. But what is that doing to your health?

Chronic Complainers and Your Health

Chronic complainers do not usually see themselves as negative people. Rather, they perceive themselves as constantly being on the losing end of things. Therefore, they see the world as being negative and are responding appropriately to the circumstances.

When having to continually listen to a chronic complainer, it can hurt the listener’s own health. When your body is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol works in tandem with adrenaline. The adrenaline creates a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure. The longer the pattern continues, the increase of your chances of developing:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

Besides negative effects on a person’s health, they may also start to think in the same manner as the chronic complainer.

Dealing with Chronic Complainers

Chronic complainers complain to those around them because they seek sympathy and emotional validation.  Some tips for managing interactions with chronic complainers are:

  1. Do not try to convince them that things are “not as bad” as they think they are or suggest that they are overreacting.
  2. The best way to extract yourself from the situation is to validate their feelings or express sympathy, and then redirect to the task at hand.
  3. Avoid offering advice or solutions and stick to sympathy and emotional validation.

Chronic complainers’ perceptions about their hardships are deeply embedded in their personality or sense of identity. Therefore, they are not looking for advice or solutions. In fact, they might feel as if their identity is being threatened, according to “Psychology Today.” 

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that working alongside chronic complainers can be challenging, but keeping a positive attitude is good for your health. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.   

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First Peanut Allergy Pill Approved by FDA

February 12th, 2020

Bag of peanutsThe first treatment for peanut allergy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A Pill to Treat Peanut Allergies

Palforzia—a specially prepared peanut powder that’s consumed daily, helps children and teens better tolerate peanuts so that accidental exposure is less likely to cause a serious reaction.

In patients four to 17, two-thirds of those taking Palforzia were able to tolerate the equivalent of two peanuts, according to one study.

The FDA requires patients to take their first dose and each increased dose under supervision in a certified health center.  Doctors and their patients must also enroll in a special safety program. 

The pill is not a cure. Even with treatment patients must still avoid peanuts and protection is lost if the patient stops taking the powder daily.

A skin patch is being developed which is up for FDA review.

Allergic Reactions

Peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks. A peanut allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as something harmful. Direct or indirect contact with peanuts causes a person’s immune system to release symptom-causing chemicals into the bloodstream.  

An allergic response to peanuts usually occurs within minutes after exposure. Peanut allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Digestive problems, such as stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Skin reactions, such as hives, redness or swelling
  • Tightening of the throat

Peanut allergies affect 1.2 million children.

What IAA has to Say

Having a peanut allergy can make life a little complicated. Insurance Administrator of America hopes that this new drug will allow children to live their lives without worrying about having an allergic reaction. IAA knows that these breakthroughs can make a world of difference.

Interesting in reading more on this topic? Click here!

More “Forever Chemicals” in Water Than Initially Thought

February 5th, 2020

Water bottle A new report has found that Americans are more widely exposed to synthetic polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) than previously thought.

Forever Chemicals in Tap Water

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated in 2018 that 110 million Americans were potentially exposed to PFAS. New findings released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), show that number to be much higher.

The EWG studied samples of tap water from 44 areas in 31 states and Washington D.C. Out of all the sites, only Meridian, Mississippi was found to have no trace of PFAS. Particularly high levels were found in major metropolitan areas, including Miami, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.

 The EWG found that on average that each area showed signs of six to seven different “forever chemicals” mixed together.

 The EPA has a recommended health limit of 70 parts per trillion for how much PFAS are considered safe for drinking water. 

 The federal government has started to look at stricter rules for PFAS, including how much is considered acceptable drinking water, how to prevent them from entering the food supply and when amounts are high enough that they are required to be cleaned up in soil or groundwater.

PFAS and the Body

 PFAS are persistent in the environment and in the human body—meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time.

 There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects:

  • Cancers
  • Gastrointestinal diseases (such as ulcerative colitis)
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy (risk factor for decreased fetal growth)
  • High cholesterol (risk factor for heart disease)
  • Liver damage
  • Thyroid disease

 PFAS can be found in:

  • Commercial household products: Including polishes, waxes, paints, and cleaning products.
  • Drinking water: This is typically localized and associated with a specific facility.
  • Food: Food packaged in PFAS containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
  • Living organisms: Including fish and animals where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
  • Workplace: Including production facilities or industries that use PFAS.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the chemicals are so common almost all Americans have a measurable amount of the most well known types of PFAS in their blood.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be aware of what is going on in the world of health. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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