Minimizing Covid-19

STOP FACE-TOUCHING

Allergic persons touch their faces a lot due to itchy. Take antihistamines e.g. Zyrtec to reduce the itch that drives face-touching. If urge to touch face is extreme, use a clean tissue, not fingers 

WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY

Soap/water OR alcohol sanitizer – with sanitizer, keep rubbing hands together until they are dry.  

WEAR A MASK OUTSIDE YOUR HOME, COUGHING, ALLERGIES OR COLD.

N95 is best, use others if N95 isn’t available.  If you have a cough, allergies or a cold and must be with others to reduce spread of droplets. Cover cough/sneeze with paper towel/Kleenex.

ASTHMATICS

Ensure that you have all emergency medication as in your Asthma Action Plan. If  traveling, bring these medications and your Asthma Action Plan. If refills are needed, request from your pharmacy 

CARRY PAPER TOWELS or KLEENEX

If you cough or sneeze cover your mouth and nose  AND  turn your head away from others. If someone else sneeze/coughs cover your face with tissue and leave the locale 

Flu vs Coronavirus

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Where's The Pollen Coming From?

It is March, one of the heaviest months for allergies with symptoms like sneezing, itchy red eyes, wheezing.  It's natural to think that yellow acacia trees are the cause.  But acacia and other flowering plants use bees to cross-fertilize and have larger waxy pollen grains.  Unless you have close exposure these grains won't be inhaled.

 

The showy acacia above isn't spreading allergy, but the large Monterey Cypress behind it is releasing about one gallon of pollen per week.  It just isn't as obvious about it.

San Francisco Bay Area Smoke Avoidance

 · Stay indoors as much as possible

· Avoid outdoor activity when the air quality is poor. Check it on AirNow:  cfpub.epa.gov/airnow.

· Keep windows and doors closed.  

· If you have air conditioning, put it on maximum recirculate to keep from drawing in outdoor air.

· When driving, put air conditioning on maximum recirculate as well.  

· Obtain a home air purifier with a CARBON filter, which adsorbs gases like smoke and fumes. 

· Wear a N95 or P100 rated mask outdoors. Sold in pharmacies. 

Supplements: "You pay your money, you take your chances."

Americans consume large amounts of "dietary supplements" available  from almost any retail outlet, including gas-stations and pharmacies' store-sections. However supplement production and sale is unregulated.  Almost no one is watching out for consumers by studying the safety and effectiveness of these products. The FDA's consumer updates address the caveats about dietary supplements HERE .  

Do You Really Need Distilled Water to Prepare Saline Sinus Rinses? - YES!

From the FDA Website:

For use as a nasal rinse because it’s not adequately filtered or treated. Some tap water contains low levels of organisms — such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas — that may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them. But in your nose, these organisms can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections. They can even be fatal in some rare cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 

What Types of Water Are Safe to Use?

Distilled or sterile water, which you can buy in stores. The label will state “distilled” or “sterile.”
Boiled and cooled tap water — boiled for 3 to 5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm. Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.
Water passed through a filter designed to trap potentially infectious organisms. CDC has information on selecting these filters.

Mistaken Reasons for Declining the "Flu Shot" Influenza Vaccine

A few patients are reluctant to receive the Influenza Vaccine because they've heard that only 40% of this year's influenza virus strains can be prevented with the shots.  However, preventing 40% is still highly desirable and the risk of the vaccine is minimal.  So, please have yourself vaccinated to prevent you and others from getting 

 

Others who decline the shot say "I got the flu shot but I got the flu anyway." They report "stomach flu" symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. "Stomach flu" has no relation to Influenza. We use the term as a shortcut to say "gastroenteritis."  Developing the GI disease is not prevented by the respiratory Influenza vaccine.  

Grand Rounds: Medical Effects of Mold Exposure California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco

This video below shows my July 15, 2014 lecture on the actual effects of mold exposure, as well as several medical myths surrounding it.    I was recovering from laryngitis & vocal quality was poor. Mold (Fungus) arises as a concern for many patients visiting an allergist.  Unfortunately, many false dangers are promoted by unqualified “experts.”  While living in damp or moldy conditions is associated with more respiratory symptoms, cause-and-effect has not been established.  Furthermore, the literature often does not distinguish between exposure to dampness vs. exposure to mold. A common unfounded health fear is that of Stachybotrys, misleadingly referred to as “Black Mold.” Most fungi (molds) which produce a colored pigment can grow as a black colony under specific environmental conditions.  Black colored mold is not necessarily Stachybotrys. Indeed, inhaling Stachybotrys is not detrimental. Stachybotrys must be eaten to cause poisoning, such as in contaminated foodstuffs.