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For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Mirena, Nexplanon, Sprintec, Provera, NuvaRing, Depo-Provera, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step, Ortho Evra, TriNessa, Mononessa, Lutera, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yaz

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – A parched climate might be the perfect environment for spreading West Nile virus, a new study suggests. Researchers examined 15 years of data on West Nile virus infections in people across the United States and found that epidemics were larger during years of drought. There were also bigger outbreaks in areas that had not experienced large epidemics of the mosquito-borne virus in the past. "We found that drought was the dominant weather variable correlated with the size of West Nile virus epidemics," study author Sara Paull, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a university news release. She is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. West Nile first appeared in North America in 1999, and since then has caused outbreaks each summer. But there has been significant variation in the severity of those ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Choosing a Pest Control Service

Posted 23 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Pests are a nuisance and may be a health hazard. But you're not doing your family any favors by using toxic chemicals inappropriately. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends: Get estimates from several recommended companies in your area. Ask questions about their processes. Ask how long each company has been in business at the current location, and check to see if there have been complaints filed against the company. Request a list of references. Ensure that technicians are licensed and certified to use pesticides correctly. Request a copy of pesticide labels and how much is applied during treatment. Read more

Related support groups: Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Confirmed in Eastern National Parks

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Planning a hiking trip in an eastern U.S. national park? Better pack tick repellent – a new study found these parks are home to ticks that carry Lyme disease. Blacklegged ticks – also known as deer ticks – carrying Lyme disease were found in nine national parks: Acadia National Park in Maine; Catoctin Mountain Park and Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland; Fire Island National Seashore in Long Island, N.Y.; Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., and Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This is the first time researchers have confirmed that the ticks are living at the parks, although it's long been suspected that the ticks were there because of human Lyme disease infections. "We know Lyme disease is increasing both in numbers of infections ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Elimite, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix Cream Rinse, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker, Lyclear, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution, Lice Bedding Spray

DEET Repellents Safe in Pregnancy to Prevent Zika, Researchers Say

Posted 11 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 – DEET insect repellents won't harm a pregnant woman or her fetus when used as instructed to prevent infection with the Zika virus, a new research analysis suggests. Exposure to the mosquito-transmitted virus during pregnancy can cause devastating birth defects, including microcephaly, which results in abnormally small heads and brains. Because of this, recommendations to mothers-to-be include protecting themselves from mosquito bites by using products containing DEET in areas where Zika is circulating. But some women worry that the repellents themselves might pose a toxic threat to an unborn child. Not so, say the authors of a new research review. "Given what we know about both Zika and DEET, the evidence overwhelmingly favors use of DEET-containing products," said Dr. Blair Wylie, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School's division of maternal-fetal ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

How to Keep Bug Bites at Bay

Posted 24 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 23, 2016 – Bug bites can make you more than itchy. Ticks, mosquitoes and certain flies are known to spread some nasty diseases. But U.S. health experts say there are ways to keep pesky insects in their place. One of the best ways to prevent bug bites is to use an insect repellent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET. These products (which include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) offer protection against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. It's unclear how effective natural insect repellents are in preventing bug bites, the CDC said. The agency says other repellents that may only protect against mosquitoes include: Picaridin, which is also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin (products include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus). Oil of lemon ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Avoiding Insect Stings

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Mosquito bites may be an itchy nuisance, but allergic reactions to the bites of other bugs can make them downright dangerous. To minimize bug bites, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests: Hiring an exterminator to get rid of nests around your home. Keep calm, and slowly move away if you spot a stinging insect. Don't wear perfume or clothing with bright colors when you're spending time outdoors. Insects might otherwise mistake you for a flower. Keep drinks and sweet foods covered outdoors. Always wear shoes with a closed toe to make sure you don't get stung if you step on an insect. Make sure clothes fit snugly so a stinging insect doesn't get between your skin and clothing. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

7 Ways to Give Ticks the Slip

Posted 22 May 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 22, 2016 – While only a few tick species infect people with diseases, the rising popularity of many outdoor activities and the spread of residential developments has upped the odds that one of those creepy parasites might latch on to you. "Luckily, ticks don't fly, jump or fall from the sky," vector-borne disease expert Stephen Wikel said. He's a professor emeritus of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University's Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, in North Haven, Conn. "They generally move from grass to a living host, and crawl upwards, looking for a warm, moist area to feed. Ticks also have incredible anti-detection defenses. For example, their saliva is loaded with antihistamines, anticoagulants and other inhibitors that prevent wound healing, and dampen pain and itch responses; unfed nymphs are so small, they can be mistaken for freckles," he said. So, how can you ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Elimite, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix Cream Rinse, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccination, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution, Lyclear, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Lice Bedding Spray

Health Tip: Apply Mosquito Repellent Correctly

Posted 17 May 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Mosquito repellents can keep bug bites and related illnesses at bay, but you have to apply it properly. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises: Always read the product's label. Never put repellent near the mouth or eyes, and use it carefully around the ears. Never put repellent on open skin or on a wound. When applying to the face, spray onto hands first, and then rub onto face. Spray only in well-ventilated areas, and avoid inhaling fumes. Never spray repellent near food. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

Watch Out for Disease-Carrying Insects This Summer

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 5, 2015 – People who spend lots of time outdoors in the summer need to be careful about insect bites, an expert says. Certain insects, such as ticks and mosquitoes, may be carriers of disease, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, said Dr. George Ruggiero, chief of family medicine and director of medical education at Peconic Bay Medical Center in New York. Anyone who develops headache, fever, chills and aches after flu season ends should consider the possibility that they've been bitten, he said. People who develop a rash should also be seen by a doctor, he added. "A combination of education and taking the right precautions are the best ways to prevent mosquito- and tick-borne diseases," Ruggiero said in a medical center news release. "Always be cognizant of your surroundings and diligent in your self-examination in order to prevent any serious ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Elimite, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix Cream Rinse, Diethyltoluamide, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker, Lyclear, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Lice Bedding Spray, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccination

Summer Spurs Calls to Poison Centers

Posted 12 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 12, 2015 – The wet spring in many parts of the United States has led to mold and mildew in some homes, leading people to get out the bleach. As a result, calls about bleach exposure are on the rise this summer, the Nebraska Regional Poison Center says. Household bleach can cause problems if it gets in the eyes or is swallowed. Also, bleach should never be used with other cleaning products. When bleach comes into contact with other cleaners that contain acids or ammonia, a dangerous gas can form. Summer also brings an increase in calls about insect bites and stings, and barbecue-related toxins, the poison center said in a news release. If someone is stung, watch closely for signs of an allergic reaction, especially within the first hour, the poison center said. Many people use DEET-containing insect repellents. These products should be applied sparingly to skin and ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Anaphylaxis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Chloride/Chlorpheniramine/Dextromethorphan/Ephedrine/Ipecac/Phenylephrine, Rolatuss, Ammonium Chloride/Chlorpheniramine/Codeine/Phenylephrine, Quelidrine, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Using Insect Repellent

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

-- If you're heading outdoors, especially during dawn or dusk, remember to protect yourself against insect bites. The Environmental Working Group offers these tips: Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to keep bugs away. You may want to use a DEET or Picaridin insect repellent. But avoid using insect repellent excessively during pregnancy. Avoid using oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD during pregnancy. Wash hands after applying insect repellent, and wash the repellent off when you come inside. Read more

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