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Cristia Medical Supply, Inc

Cristia Medical Supply Blog

  • Ebola Facts and Fiction What You Need to Know

    EVD short for (Ebola virus disease) was first discovered in 1972 with two simultaneous outbreaks one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola gets its name from a later outbreak that occurred near the Ebola Congo River. Sadly enough this virus is nothing new, however it has recently grabbed headlines due to the recent outbreaks in Liberia and West Africa which have claimed the lives of thousands and is the most deadly and aggressive Ebola outbreak since it was first discovered in 1972. On August 8, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the most recent Ebola outbreak to be an international crisis and said that all countries must work together to contain the virus to prevent it from becoming a worldwide pandemic.

     

    It is believed that Ebola was first introduced to the human population from contact with animals who are natural carriers of the disease. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts and they can easily spread the virus to chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupine. Humans often encounter these animal dead in the rainforest which exposes them to the decease and increases the chance of transition. Any contact with an infected animal can cause someone to get infected through the transfer of blood, mucus, or bodily fluids. The disease is then spread from human to human through direct or indirect contact with bodily fluids. For example, a person can become infected from contact with bedding or clothing that had been previously infected by someone with Ebola. This means that healthcare workers who are treating patients infected with Ebola are particularly at risk especially when proper precautions and preventive training are not in place.

     

    Once a person becomes infected with Ebola the incubation period is 1 to 21 days and humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. This makes the disease hard to spot early on. Once a person becomes infectious they will develop symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle pains, and a sore throat, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, and eventually impaired kidney and liver function. In some cases both internal and external bleeding occurs (blood oozing from the stool and gums). The average rate of death for Ebola patients is around 50%, however this number is greatly increased in areas with poor healthcare systems such as West Africa and Liberia. The World Health Organization put out figures stating that so far 9,936 people have been infected by the recent Ebola outbreak, and of those 9,936 infected people 4,877 people have died from the decease, however this number is expected to rise as the decease spreads.

     

    So nearly 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola from the recent outbreak and of those 10,000 infected people nearly half have died. Every time you turn on the TV to watch the news you hear about the Ebola virus. This all sounds pretty scary right? The question you should be asking yourself is - Should I be concerned? What should I be doing to protect myself? And will Ebola find its way to my town? Those are all very good questions and the answers are not that simple. I believe that Ebola is much more dangerous than officials have led us to believe. When this outbreak first occurred, the CDC and President Obama clearly stated not to worry and that Ebola would never make it to the United States. But guess what happened? Ebola made it to the United States. That is a clear indication that health officials did not have this disease under control and that they will say what they need to say in order to prevent a mass hysteria and panic. Once Ebola did find its way to the United States, officials told us not to worry. They claimed to have it under control. They stated that Ebola in the Unites States would be stopped with patient zero. But guess what happened? They did not have it under control and it has already spread to other people. Ebola hasn’t even been in the United States for one month. Imagine how things might look in one year if this disease continues to spread and so far that’s exactly what it has done. Let me be clear, I am not hear to bash the government or come off as a conspiracy theorist, however I do think it’s a good practice to not simple listen to everything to hear about such a deadly virus on blind faith. We must look at the facts, and determine what we can and should be doing to protect ourselves and our families. Now that you have some general background information about Ebola, let’s dive into some facts and some fiction as well as things you can do to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease.

     

    You might have already heard that the US government has a patent on Ebola and is behind some grand conspiracy to spread the virus. Yes it is true that the US government does have a patent on a stain of Ebola, however it is not for the reason that some some would lead you to believe. If you take a close look at the patent and the strain, you will find that it is for a much weaker strain than the deadly one that has been killing thousands of people. The reason the US government has this patent is for research purposes. It is not part of some grand conspiracy.

     

    Another frightening thing we keep hearing is that Ebola is an airborne virus. Yes studies have shown that Ebola can be spread through the respiratory system of pigs which technically makes it an airborne virus however it does not affect humans in this way. Humans cannot contract Ebola via the respiratory system. The virus would need to mutate in order for this to happen. With each new Ebola case, the virus has the chance to mutate into an airborne virus that can effect humans. However, this is not something to be concerned about at the current time.

     

    You may have been told that you have no defense against Ebola and that you are helpless to protect yourself and your family. You must simply wait on a cure or vaccine. This is simply not true. Your first line of defense against Ebola and any virus for that matter is your immune system. Be sure to protect yourself by keeping your immune system strong. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your immune system and prepare for a viral attack. Supplements such as Vitamin C, Garlic Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, and Reishi Mushrooms, have been shown to significantly strengthen the immune system and ward off viral attacks. If you intended to be traveling in an area with a large population of Ebola infected people, invest in protective gear like exam gloves, and face mask. Most medical supply stores should have all the essentials required to adequately protect yourself.

     

    At this point it is too early to determine if Ebola will end up becoming a worldwide pandemic or not. However why take the chance and not protect yourself? Taking precautions against Ebola will not only provide you with a defense against the disease but such precautions are also good practices for general health. Be sure to wash your hands regularly and take very good care of your immune system in case you do come in contact with this deadly virus.

    Jonathan Anderson, © Cristia Medical Supply, Inc.

  • West Nile: Staying Safe in the Outdoors

    West Nile: Staying Safe in the Outdoors

     

    Spring, summer and fall are all times of year for you and your family to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Maybe your family likes to go camping. Maybe your family likes the beach. Or maybe your family just likes spending time in your own backyard.

     

    It doesn’t matter what type of outdoor activities you and your family enjoy, as long as you know how to protect yourself. This past winter was one of the worst winters in history, and the massive amounts of snow coupled with the many rainstorms we’ve seen have made it a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

     

    Mosquitoes are more than just annoying bugs that leave you with red and itchy bumps all over your skin. Because mosquitoes travel from person to person and animal to animal, they carry a variety of different diseases that can easily be spread. One of the most common viruses carried by mosquitoes is the West Nile virus.

     

    Although it has been around since the early 1900s, West Nile became an epidemic back in 2012, spreading from Europe to North America and taking the lives of 286 people in the United States alone. Today, the West Nile virus has been making a prevalent comeback, with cases of it being reported in Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas.

     

    In most instances, someone infected with the West Nile virus will be perfectly fine. In fact, 80 percent of individuals who have been exposed to the West Nile virus have never had any symptoms. Some people infected experience a high fever that goes away after a few days, and only about one percent of people infected with the disease will experience serious neurologic illness that could lead to death.

     

    Even though the chances of the West Nile virus turning serious or deadly to you or one of your family members, you still want to be protected when you are enjoying some time outdoors. If you will be outside, use the following tips to prevent catching the West Nile virus.

     

    Know the signs and symptoms of West Nile.

    The first step in prevention is knowing how to recognize and treat West Nile virus. Although there is no exact cure or vaccine against the virus, educating yourself on what to look for and what to do can be a lifesaver.

     

    In most cases, individuals with West Nile virus will not experience any symptoms; however, some will. About 20 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus will experience a high fever and possibly a headache, diarrhea or vomiting. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, use a cold compress on them to try and reduce the fever.  If they experience a rash, either at the site of the bite or all over their body, use a hydrocortisone cream to eliminate swelling and itchiness. Although these symptoms will typically disappear on their own and the infected individual will make a full recovery, it’s best to contact your doctor.

     

    Sometimes, the symptoms can be worse. Less than one percent of people infected will suffer from neurological illness, including disorientation, serious headaches, seizures, coma, and paralysis. Some people with serious West Nile infections will be able to fully recover; however, 10 percent of people with serious West Nile infection will die. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, they need to be taken to the hospital immediately.

     

    Use bug repellent when outdoors.

    One of the best ways to prevent West Nile virus is to use bug repellent when outdoors. Putting bug spray on your body and clothes will deter mosquitoes from biting you, and with the different varieties of bug sprays available, you can choose which one is right for your needs. You should also use citronella candles around your patio or outdoor area to keep bugs away as well as a bug lamp. You can even spray your yard down with a bug repellent that will keep mosquitoes from hatching and living in your yard.

     

    Wear protective clothing.

    Although warm weather may be the time for tank tops and shorts, this skin exposure is putting you at greater risk for mosquito bites. Instead, opt to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and gym shoes when outdoors. Light fabrics will keep you cool but will also protect you by keeping the mosquitoes away. Plus, wearing protective clothing and bug spray can be a major defense mechanism.

     

    Steer clear of standing water.

    Mosquitoes live and thrive in wet areas, so keep them out of your yard by eliminating any standing water. Invest in a sump pump to remove built up water from your yard, or create an underground irrigation system to help water flow away from your home. If you’re camping, try to set up camp as far away from lakes or other bodies of water, as the mosquitoes will be more prevalent in these areas.

     

    Mosquito-proof your home.

    Even though your chances of mosquito bites are higher when outdoors, those pesky bugs can make their way into your home if you’re not careful. To eliminate this issue, make sure to mosquito-proof your home. Make sure all window screens are secure and fix any tears you may find. Don’t leave doors or windows without screens open for extended periods of time, as this will give the mosquitoes an opportunity to get inside.

     

    Know who is at risk.

    Mosquitoes don’t have a preference as to whom they bite and who they infect, but some people are at greater risk of having a serious reaction to the West Nile virus. Young children, elderly individuals, and those suffering from conditions such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease are at greater risk of having the West Nile virus become serious or even fatal. Make sure these individuals are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves when outside.

  • Preparedness: Tips for Being Ready for an Emergency

    Preparedness: Tips for Being Ready for an Emergency

    We don’t live in a utopian society. In fact, with all the disappearing planes, random sinkholes, and the verge of another Cold War, starting to prepare yourself for an emergency seems more and more like a good idea. Sure, some people take preparedness to an insane level (just think of all those people who stocked up on supplies on December 31, 1999). But sometimes being prepared is actually a smart move, especially if something horrible, whether natural or man-made, were to happen. If you want to take some precautions for the varying emergencies that could occur at any time, use the following tips to help prepare yourself for the worst.

    Stock up on non-perishable food and water.

    When an emergency strikes, you will not be able to get to your local grocery store with the same convenience you’re currently used to. And even if you could, you’d be fighting off massive amounts of unruly people. Instead, do yourself a favor and stock up on non-perishable food and bottles of water. Any canned foods are a good idea, as these tend to last much longer and are typically pre-cooked, meaning although you’d like to heat them, you could just eat them directly out of the can.

    Other non-perishable items to stock up on are boxed items, such as macaroni and cheese, pasta, or instant stuffing. These items typically just require the addition of water and a source of heat. You obviously want to stay away from items like bread, which can get moldy, and fruit, which can go bad. Plus, anything that needs to remain cold is also a bad idea, especially if you were to be without power for a long period of time.

    Along with many cases of bottled water, you should also fill up any possible container with water, especially if the emergency is eminent. You never know if the emergency will knock out water supplies, so having buckets, coffee cans and empty milk containers filled with water can be a great addition to your stockpile.

    Stock up on necessary medical supplies.

    When it comes to preparedness, most people only tend to think of the food and water, but they forget about the medical supplies and necessities they will also need. Having a first aid kit is a great idea, as this will provide you with the basic necessities, including bandages, gauzes, and ointments. This way, if you or someone you love were to become injured during the emergency, you would have the supplies on hand to treat it, especially since you likely won’t be able to get to a doctor.

    If you suffer from a specific medical condition, you should also consider stocking up on the necessary equipment or medication you need. For example, if you suffer from asthma, you should stock up on inhalers or nebulizers. If you have diabetes, you should consider stocking up on insulin. When you have your necessary medical supplies on hand at all times, you’ll be able to get through the emergency without any major issues.

    Create a safe house or safe zone for your family.

    Having a safe place to go during an emergency will help keep you and your family safe. If you live in an area that is prone to tornados, you may want to consider having an underground shelter built near your home. If that’s not possible, you need to dedicate an area in your home that you and your family will go to when an emergency strikes. During tornados, you should choose the lowest and most interior room in your house, such as a basement closet. Plus, you want to be sure that everyone in your family knows where exactly to go in case of an emergency.

    No matter what you choose as a safe zone, be sure that this area is where you keep your emergency food, water, and medical supplies. This way, if/when the emergency happens, you won’t have to scramble to find everything.

    Stock up on other emergency essentials.

    Along with food, water, and medical supplies, it’s also a good idea to stock up on other emergency essentials you may need, especially since you don’t know what type of emergency may occur or how long you will need to survive off your supplies.

    For example, you will want to have a battery-powered radio as well as extra batteries on hand. This is great to have during tornados or other bad storms. You should also stock up on blankets, flashlights, paper towels, toilet paper, and lighters/matches. If you have pets, make sure you have supplies for your pets too, such as extra food and bowls to feed them. Depending on what type of emergency you want to prepare for, you may even want to add items like gas masks or even guns and ammo to your supplies.

    Pay attention to current events.

    This may seem like a strange tip, but having a general idea about what’s going on in the world can help you be better prepared. For example, knowing about a massive storm heading your way can help you and your family prepare for the possible weather conditions you may face, such as a tornado or hurricane. Knowing about current events between the US and other countries can also help you determine if a war may be brewing.

    Nobody ever wants to be in an emergency situation, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Instead of waiting to the last minute, or instead of assuming that it will never happen to you, take the time to become prepared for the possible emergencies in your area. Taking the few hours out of your day to do this will be extremely beneficial to you and your family in case an emergency situation does occur.

    , © Cristia Medical Supply, Inc.

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