Health care updates, August 13: getting ill during vacation

August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Isn’t it annoying when one gets sick or catches a bug while on vacation? Check out some examples below.

WHO Recommendations for the Post-pandemic Period
Travelers need not be too concerned anymore about the pandemic H1N1 swine flu although the threat is not yet over. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this week that the H1N1 pandemic is over although the H1N1 (2009) virus is expected to continue to circulate as a seasonal virus for some years to come. We are now in the so-called post-pandemic period, for which WHO issued guidance on “recommended activities during the post-pandemic period, including advice on epidemiological and virological monitoring, vaccination, and the clinical management of cases.”
As of August 1, 2010, more than 18,449 laboratory confirmed deaths in more 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have been attributed to the pandemic influenza H1N1 2009.

Don’t bring home malaria
Vacations in tropical countries are great but health experts warn about bringing home the wring souvenirs such as tropical diseases. There is the well-publicized case of British pop star Cheryl Cole who caught the tropical disease in Tanzania. Malaria is common in many parts of Asia and Africa. According to Dr. David Townes of the University of Washington: “It is important to consider not only destination, but specific itinerary, type of travel, activities, and accommodations.”
Check out the traveller’s tips of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on malaria and other tropical diseases.

A hep shot
Hepatitis diseases are infections of the liver. There are many types of hepatitis. Perhaps the most common and easily contracted, yet the easiest to prevent and treat is hepatitis A. Travellers are especially at risk of catching this viral infection due to contaminated food and drinks. The hepatitis A vaccine has been available since the mid-1990s and can be given starting at 12 months of age but should be renewed periodically. According to Trudy Murphy of the CDC:

The vaccine is also recommended for people who are most at risk of having the infection, including travelers and people who have liver disease or clotting disorders.”

Kids and ruptured appendixes
Friends of ours had to cut short their summer vacation when their daughter had appendicitis. Fortunately, it wasn’t ruptured. Although people may take appendicitis for granted, a ruptured appendix can be dangerous, as it can lead to life-threatening sepsis. Apparently, children are more likely to have ruptured appendixes than adults, and African-American, followed by Hispanic children are more susceptible than white children, according to researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). There are other factors involved aside from ethnicity, says AHRQ researcher Karen Ho:

“Poverty also plays a role. Children living in poor communities were 26 percent more likely to be hospitalized for this condition than those living in higher-income communities.”

Does your vacation make you happy?

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

In the coming days, it’s Easter school holidays in most European countries, which can last from 1 to 3 weeks. Most people, especially those with school children will take off from work to take care of the kids, and perhaps travel a bit.

When it comes to number of vacation days per year, European employees get much more than their counterparts in North America and Asia. Almost all European countries require employers to give their employees at least 20 days of paid leave. Most people get more. In contrast, US law does not provide for paid leaves. Paid vacation is based on the generosity of the employer. See more details of the number of paid vacation days here.

Vacation means not going to work and for many Europeans, it also means travelling. Almost everybody goes on a vacation trip in Europe. But does vacation really make us happy? Are Europeans happier than Americans because they get more vacation?

This Dutch study looked at the effect of vacation on people’s overall happiness. 1,520 Dutch adults, of whom 974 went on a vacation during the last 32 weeks participated in the study. The researchers assessed the participants’ level of happiness before, during, and after vacation. The results can be summarized as

  • Highest level of happiness was measured before the actual vacation during the planning stage.
  • Happiness immediately drops back to the original levels after coming back from vacation. At this point, there is no difference in happiness between those who went on holidays and those who didn’t.
  • The actual vacation itself made many people happy although some reported it to be stressful due to illness or conflicts with fellow travellers.
  • The amount of stress or relaxation during the actual vacation influence postvacation levels of happiness. Moderate relaxation doesn’t seem to increase happiness after vacation. Only a very relaxing holiday trip can boost postvacation happiness.
  • Postvacation stress can actually increase as many people find it difficult to get back to work after a vacation. Work also tends to pile up during those days of absence.

The study results suggest that the joy of vacation lies in the anticipation, not in the vacation itself. The authors’ take home message: take many short holidays during the year rather than one long one.

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip. What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

I’m back…

December 4, 2007 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

…from a long weekend. We needed to get out of town to reconnect with old friends we left behind when we move back down here to Bicol.

And a break from online duties is what a blogger needs from time to time right?

So I had time of from work, from the internet…although I did check my email’s inbox from time to time from my mobile phone. Otherwise, I was internet free for four days — not that there wasn’t internet where I went, I just chose not to get online.

Bliss. Fun. Great break from the stress of my daily routine. Now I’m back to blog and realized that Christmas is just around the corner. Brrr.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.