Bedroom Air Filter may be Good Idea for Asthmatic Children

April 22nd, 2020

LungsNew research shows that a bedroom air filter can significantly improve breathing in kids with asthma.

Asthma Study

The study included 43 children with mild to moderate asthma. The study was conducted during a period of moderately high fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution in Shanghai, China. PM2.5 are about 30 times smaller than the width of a single human hair, and can be inhaled into the deepest areas of the lungs.

For the study, two air filters were tested in the children’s bedrooms. One was a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and the other was a fake filter.

Each filter was used for two weeks with a two-week gap in-between.  Families did not know which filter was which.

Investigators found that on average, there was a 24 percent reduction in total airway resistance; a 43 percent reduction in small airway resistance; a 73 percent increase in airway elasticity; and a 28 percent reduction in exhaled nitric oxide, a marker of lung inflammation.

PM2.5 levels inside the kid’s bedrooms were up to two-thirds lower when the real HEPA filters were used compared to the fake ones.

The breathing benefits only lasted as long as the real air filters were used.    

The findings were published on April 6 in “JAMA Pediatrics.”

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath or wheezing

Asthma affects as many as 10 percent to 12 percent of children in the United States. It is also the leading cause of chronic illness in children.

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FDA Clears Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Stem-Cell Treatment

April 15th, 2020

COVID-19 CellCelularity a New Jersey biotech company announced on April 3 that it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a clinical trial of a proposed stem-cell treatment for COVID-19. 

Potential Therapy for COVID-19

The therapy, currently named CYNK-001 uses “natural killer (NK)” cells, a form of white blood cells that wage war against cancer and viral infection. The therapy is derived from placental cells.

The idea behind the therapy is that for patients who are starting to show symptoms or who may be at risk for a more severe form of the disease, can receive an intravenous infusion of NK cells to bolster their immune response to the virus. The additional NK cells can help slow down the virus’s ability to replicate within the body.

Testing will involve use of the treatment in a patient group of up to 86 people.

Initial results from the early trial are expected 30 to 60 days after the first patients receive their first dose.

If the early trial is successful, the company will conduct a placebo-controlled study that would evaluate the drug’s efficacy against COVID-19.

Stay Healthy

Reminder--you can take simple steps to help you and your family stay healthy:

  1. Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home as much as possible.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a face cloth when around others: You could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes
  5. Clean and disinfect: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

These small steps can have a big impact!

What IAA has to Say

Everyday scientists are discovering new methods to help patients. Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be kept up to date with the new discoveries in the world of health and science. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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Social Distancing Guidelines Extended

April 8th, 2020

Person sneezing and coughing with white cloud aroundThe United States has extended its set of social distancing guidelines until April 30.

The Guidelines

The guidance, which had an initial 15 day time-frame, urged Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 and advised older people to stay at home.

The guidelines also recommended Americans stay away from restaurants, bars and food courts, avoid discretionary travel, and work from home.

In addition to federal guidelines, states have also been imposing their own restrictions on residents as they endeavor to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This includes ordering nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay in their homes.

Keeping Your Distance

The other recommendation is keeping a safe six feet apart from other people.

According to the World Health Organization this is because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets containing COVID-19.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America understands that dealing with COVID-19 can be overwhelming, whether you have a diagnosis or not. IAA is keeping an eye out for all the latest information on COVID-19.

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Teeth can Provide Archive of Adult Lifespan

April 1st, 2020

ToothNew research suggests a tooth material called cementum can provide an archive of the entirety of the adult lifespan.

Teeth Reveal Person’s History

The materials that form teeth build in layers, like tree rings. As new layers form, evidence of a person’s diet and lifestyle become trapped-evidence that can be analyzed by researchers.

Until now, scientists have relied on enamel and dentine to investigate how early humans populations lived, but these have their limits. Enamel and dentine are only able to inform about the period during which the teeth are developing into late adolescence.

With cementum, from the time the tooth comes into the mouth, layers of cementum form.

The Study

The study analyzed the cementum layers from 50 human teeth. The teeth were sourced from a skeletal collection, complete with medical history and lifestyle data.

The analyzed teeth belonged to adults aged 25 to 69.

Scientists used advanced imaging techniques to highlight different cementum rings and link changes in microstructures and patterning’s of cementum fibers with various life events. Researchers were able to identify the signs of childbearing, menopause and other physiological stressors among the cementum layers.

In follow up studies, researchers hope to expand their understanding of the effects of physiological stressors on cementum. So far scientists have only studied structural changes in cementum, but researchers plan to find out the effects of life changes on the distribution of elements, such as zinc and copper in dental layers.

The research was published on March 25, in the journal “Scientific Reports.”     

What IAA has to Say

New discoveries are being made every day and Insurance Administrator of America thinks you should stay up to date! Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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Understanding COVID-19

March 26th, 2020

COVID-19 GermCoronavirus is officially a pandemic, making people across the nation concerned that they may become ill.

Symptoms of COVID-19

If you run a fever or experience shortness of breath, experts suggest these steps:

  1. Match your symptoms to those experienced by COVID-19 patients: Fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath are the three most common symptoms. Headaches, body aches, sore throat, and fatigue, sometimes occur, but are more often associated with the flu.  A runny nose rarely occurs with COVID-19 and sneezing is not a symptom of the virus.
  2. Access the severity of your symptoms: If you can still breathe reasonably well or your fever responds to over-the-counter medication, call your doctor to discuss the best care option. People who don’t have primary care physicians should reach out to their local health department for guidance on their symptoms and testing.
  3. People who are severely sick should go to the hospital. For example, not being able to readily draw a breath or feeling as if you may pass out.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Protect Yourself and Others

Take steps to protect yourself and others:

  •  Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Also, put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Clean and disinfect: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • ·Clean your hands often: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

The virus is spread from person to person, so it is important to practice social distancing.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America understands that dealing with COVID-19 can be overwhelming, whether you have a diagnosis or not. IAA is keeping an eye out for all the latest information on COVID-19.