Archive for Health/Nursing

As Climate Change Continues, the Heat Index Increases

The heat index is used by the National Weather Service to issue heat event warnings. This article – Increased frequency of and population exposure to extreme heat index days in the United States during the 21st century –  from Environmental Research Communications– posits that this measure of the “apparent temperature” will reach beyond the upper thresholds of this tool as more episodes of high heat are experienced, putting millions of people at risk. The combination of high heat and humidity will jeopardize many with the likelihood of heat stroke. We will have an adumbration of this condition this upcoming weekend. Stay out of the sun, limit physical activity, and stay hydrated.

 

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Climate Change is a Priority Health Issue

Against a background of soaring temperatures in northern Europe (100+ degrees), rainfall that has flooded parts of southern New Jersey, hail the size of golf balls in France, and in light of the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit, a number of United States medical /health groups have joined together to issue U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health, and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda that states “Climate change is the ‘greatest public health challenge of the 21st century’.” This brief but cogent document outlines steps that must be taken to address this most pressing problem. Since climate change more adversely affects those already in dire straits, a social justice component in battling climate change is introduced.

 

 

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Anti-vaxxers Are Not Just Limited to the United States

The Wellcome Global Monitor 2018 report has just been released, and it reveals that many high-income countries, including the United States, have significant segments of the population that do not believe in the efficacy of vaccines, while conversely, low-income countries recognize the benefits of vaccines. In fact, “In France, one in three people disagree that vaccines are safe, the highest percentage for any country worldwide.”  (Consult Chapter 5 of the report) Voluminous country data is contained in the appendix.

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Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables

This comprehensive report, along with references and methodologies, from the Environmental Working Group, takes a look at what vegetables/fruits contain toxic chemicals. According to their work “Nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the U.S. comes with pesticide residues….The most surprising news from the USDA tests reveals that the popular health food kale is among the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. More than 92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected, and a single sample could contain up to 18 different residues.” Read the report to find how other produce rank in this sobering evaluation.

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County by County Health Rankings in the United States

Utilizing a vast array of metrics from diverse sources, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin have compiled a health profile for every county in the country; the data can be selected at either the state or county level. Here is the New Jersey report; Hudson County’s figures are here. The report’s key findings are also available. You also have the ability to compare counties.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: The Writings of Clara Barton

Clara Barton is an American hero; her list of accomplishments is awe-inspiring. For those who want to capture her thoughts and deeds, the Clara Barton Papers housed at the Library of Congress give us a peek into her world. Diaries, correspondence, speeches, and reports populate this vast collection of 62,000 items. A timeline and a directory of additional resources are supplied.

One should also visit the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum for more primary and secondary source material. And while you are at it, take a tour of her Maryland home.

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Vaccines Are Safe

That is the pronouncement from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Anti-vaxxers are doing an incredible of amount of harm by spreading misinformation. This in light of numerous studies debunking their claims, such as this recent major report – Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism: A Nationwide Cohort Study , Annals of Internal Medicine (March 5, 2019). We in New Jersey and New York have seen what unvaccinated children undergo when a disease like measles takes hold. A refresher on the history of this disease should show how efficacious vaccines are in combatting the deadliness of this illness.

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