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.

New “Toolkit” Could Help Repair Damaged DNA

March 18th, 2020

Strand of DNAScientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Oxford discovered a new “toolkit” to repair damaged DNA that can lead to aging, cancer and motor neuron disease (MND).

Tool to Repair Damaged DNA

Research shows that a protein called TEX264, together with other enzymes, is able to recognize and “eat” toxic proteins that can stick to DNA and cause it to become damaged.

The new findings are important because accumulation of broken, damaged DNA can cause cellular aging, cancer and neurological diseases.

The breakthrough was published in “Nature Communications.”

New Insight

By studying TEX264, scientists have gained new insight into how the body naturally finds harmful proteins and repairs the DNA damage they cause.

The findings also have implications for chemotherapy, which deliberately causes breaks in DNA when trying to kill cancerous cells. Scientists believe targeting the TEX264 protein may offer a new way to treat cancer.

The next step is to investigate whether manipulating the expression and properties of protein TEX264 can reverse the effects of aging and alter the course of diseases like cancer and MND.

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Experts Suggest Screening All Adults for Hepatitis C

March 11th, 2020

Vials of bloodA panel of experts says it is worthwhile to screen adults in the United States for hepatitis C.

New Recommendations

New recommendations call for screening all adults aged 18 to 79 for hepatitis C.

The recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) published in “JAMA” come as hepatitis C infections are on the rise.

The USPSTF review of evidence on newer antiviral therapies for hepatitis C found the therapies were 95 percent effective at clearing the virus. New antivirals need to be taken for just eight to twelve weeks and the side-effects are short lived.  

Previous guidelines recommended screening for anyone born between 1945 and 1965.

Experts currently estimate that 4.1 million Americans have hepatitis C and that half don’t realize they’re infected.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) spreads through contaminated blood.

Long-term liver infection with HCV is known as chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is usually a “silent” infection for many years, until the virus damages the liver enough to cause signs and symptoms of liver disease. These include:

  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Itchy skin
  • Jaundice
  • Poor appetite
  • Spider-like blood vessels on your skin
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Weight loss

The virus can cause the risk of liver cancer and cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, which can lead to the need for a liver transplant.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be kept up to date in the world of health.  Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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