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    Virus & Pandemic

    • Today is World Malaria Day.

      Malaria is still a Worldwide issue... mosquitoes_infographic_lg

      Learn more:

      World Malaria Day

      Malaria – The Scourge of Africa, but found in the US, too!

      Consumer Reports Recommends Natrapel

      Read the NIH statement on World Malaria Day — April 25, 2017

    • Travel Bug

      Most of us love to travel - exploring new places, learning about other people, cultures, architecture, art,, and more.

      The last thing anyone wants is to become ill or injured while away from home. Planning a spring break trip? Protect Yourself While Traveling

      We have shared articles and information about Traveling and how to Plan and be SafeTravel Safety TipsBeing Prepared for Emergencies When Traveling or in a HotelTravel First Aid Kits, a Guide For RV Travel, and the Travel Safety App from the CDC.

      Another thing to consider is that the Flu travels, too - while it may not be Flu Season at home, there may be outbreaks where you go. The risk for exposure to influenza during travel can depend on the time of year and destination. If you plan on traveling, make sure you know how to protect yourself from the flu. Check out the Influenza Prevention: Information for Travelers page at Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

      Travel-Map

    • Can insect repellents be used by pregnant or nursing women?

      BUGXThe CDC says that most repellents can be used on children aged >2 months. Protect infants aged <2 months from mosquitoes by using an infant carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit. Products containing OLE specify that they should not be used on children aged <3 years. Other than the safety tips listed above, EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children or on pregnant or lactating women.

      Industry leaders say Pregnant or lactating women should use the physical barriers described above to prevent contact with ticks. They may also consider having their OUTER clothing treated with Ben's® Clothing and Gear according to the label instructions. Ben's® Clothing and Gear provides 2 weeks of protection to clothing and gear. Other than the routine precautions, because there are too few studies conducted to examine the effects on infants of a mothers transdermal exposure to insect repellents, the EPA does not recommend specific precautions for using registered repellents on pregnant or lactating women. We recommend that you contact your physician with questions.

      pregnancy-buttonOther Pregnancy-related Topics:

    • Why should I use insect repellent?

      insectrepellents-animatedInsect repellents can help reduce exposure to mosquitoes that may transmit disease such as Zika Virus, West Nile virus and EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis). These diseases can cause serious illness and even death. Using insect repellent allows you to continue to play and work outdoors with a reduced risk of mosquito bites.

      Learn more: read DEET?. &  The CDC says to use insect repellent

      The Centers for Disease Control has additional information available.

      When should I use mosquito repellent?
      If you are travelling, consult the State Department and CDC warnings for areas of concern for Zika, Dengue, West Nile, and other Mosquito-borne diseases. Apply repellent when you are going to be outdoors. Even if you don't notice mosquitoes there is a good chance that they are around. Many of the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus bite between dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors around these times of the day, it is especially important to apply repellent. In many parts of the country, there are mosquitoes that also bite during the day, and some of these mosquitoes have also been found to carry West Nile virus. (CDC)

    • Zika Update

      While the initial "panic" over Zika has abated, the issue has in fact worsened. Many US States and Territories have taken measures to prevent and protect from the virus. As of Today, there are still no locally contracted cases know in the US and Dc, but many in US Territories - other cases are lab- or travel-related.

      Now, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) has launched a huge International study of approximately 10,000 women to study the Zika Virus and pregnancy - In a massive effort to enroll women throughout affected and potentially affected areas, NIH, with other health organizations have begun a multi-country study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants. Learn more

      Data from the CDC:
      Pregnant Women with Any Lab Evidence of Zika Virus Infection as of June 9, 2016:

      • US States and DC: 234
      • US Territories: 189

      As of June 15, 2016 (5 am EST)

      • Zika virus disease and Zika virus congenital infection are nationally notifiable conditions.
      • This update from the CDC Arboviral Disease Branch includes provisional data reported to ArboNET for January 01, 2015 – June 15, 2016.

      US States

      • Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported: 0
      • Travel-associated cases reported: 755
      • Laboratory acquired cases reported:  1
      • Total: 756
        • Sexually transmitted: 11
        • Guillain-Barré syndrome: 3

      US Territories

      • Locally acquired cases reported: 1,436
      • Travel-associated cases reported: 4
      • Total: 1,440
        • Guillain-Barré syndrome: 6

      zika-virus

    • 5 Things You Really Need to Know About Zika

      Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and most recently in the Americas. Because the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will continue to spread. According to the CDC; here are 5 things that you really need to know about the Zika virus.

      Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

      Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. To date, there have been no reports of Zika being spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, cases have been reported in travelers to the United States. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.

      These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. The mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

      The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

      Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.  Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

      Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.Zika_prevent-mosquito-bites

      Learn more about DEET & Picaridin.

      Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.

      Read more about how to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

      Infection with Zika during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects in babies.

      Waiting for a baby. Close-up of young pregnant woman touching her abdomen while sitting on the couchZika virus can pass from a mother to the fetus during pregnancy, but we are unsure of how often this occurs. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly (a birth defect in which the size of a baby’s head is smaller than expected for age and sex) in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Additional studies are needed to determine the degree to which Zika is linked with microcephaly. More lab testing and other studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

      We expect that the course of Zika virus disease in pregnant women is similar to that in the general population. No evidence exists to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible or experience more severe disease during pregnancy.

      Because of the possible association between Zika infection and microcephaly, pregnant women should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

      Pregnant women should delay travel to areas where Zika is spreading.

      Until more is known, CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

      If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area where Zika is spreading, either do not have sex or use condoms the right way every time during your pregnancy.

      For women trying to get pregnant, before you or your male partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection. You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

      Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites.

      Man using insect repellantDuring the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. The infected mosquito must live long enough for the virus to multiply and for the mosquito to bite another person.

      Protect your family, friends, neighbors, and community! If you have traveled to a country where Zika has been found, make sure you take the same measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites at home as you would while traveling. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants , use insect repellant, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

      For more information on the Zika virus, read Zikaand for the latest updates, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

    • DEET?

      mosquitoes_infographic_lgWith the current Zika Scare we are getting a lot of questions about Mosquitoes... What is best? What about Deet? What is Permethrin?

      Simple answer is that DEET is the most effective mosquito and insect repellent, and while many think it is dangerous because is it petroleum based, it is one of the most aggressively tested products by the EPA and FDA, and after decades is still strongly recommended by the CDC for avoiding mosquito-borne viruses, and is still registered by the EPA as an effective insect repellent.

      This is not to say that other chemical and even natural  insect repellents are not effective - many are... just make sure they have passed FDA and EPA scrutiny.

      The CDC says to use insect repellent, and Consumer Reports Recommends Natrapel Three Years in a Row!

      Now what about Permethrin? Many mothers have heard of permethrin as a lice treatment. It's also great for treating clothing... this can keep the mosquitoes from ever coming into contact with your skin at all. Cool.

      Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products

      BUGXOur Huge selection Bugs the competitors - First Aid Store offers Name Brand Insect Repellant in Relief Pads & Repellent Pumps. Wasp & Hornet Spray, Bite Relief with Applicator & Repellent Towelettes. Ben's Outdoor, DEET, Natrapel with Permathrin - After Bite and more!

    • Zika

      So - what's the deal with Zika Virus?

      • MOSQNo vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
      • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
      • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
      • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
      Our Huge selection Bugs the competitors - First Aid Store offers Name Brand Insect Repellant in Relief Pads & Repellent Pumps. Wasp & Hornet Spray, Bite Relief with Applicator & Repellent Towelettes. Ben's Outdoor, DEET, Natrapel with Permathrin - After Bite and more!
    • Preparedness for all Calamities - Stay Strong and Survive!

      Earthquakes in California - Well that was the idea, but seismic activity is up Globally in areas that never worried about Earthquakes before. Tornadoes & Hurricanes have been ravaging areas that previously weren't concerned with weather disasters. Wherever you are, you should be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours without outside services, better, have supplies and a plan to sustain your workplace or household for 5 days or longer (we learned this from Katrina!)

      Emergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in "Tornado Alley"; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

      Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto

      Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.

      Here are some survival recommendations, plans, lists and ideas:

      Preparedness for All Hazards

      Emergency preparedness requires attention not just to specific types of hazards but also to steps that increase preparedness for any type of hazard. The resources below are intended to help professionals take an all-hazards approach to preparedness.

      Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur! Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur!
    • Global Handwashing Day

      Yes, there really is a Global Handwashing Day! It is next Thursday, October 15.

      Why?

      • Handwashing can reduce the number of people who get diarrhea by about 30%.
      • Handwashing helps slow the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses - Handwashing it critical to stopping pandemics and flu outbreaks.

      Washing your hands should involve these 5 scientifically proven steps:

      Wash Hands1) Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

      Why? Because hands could become recontaminated if placed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use, clean running water should be used. However, washing with non-potable water when necessary may still improve health. The temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal; however, warmer water may cause more skin irritation and is more environmentally costly.

      Turning off the faucet after wetting hands saves water, and there are few data to prove whether significant numbers of germs are transferred between hands and the faucet.

      Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs

      2) Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

      Why? Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin. Microbes are present on all surfaces of the hand, often in particularly high concentration under the nails, so the entire hand should be scrubbed

      3) Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. 

      Why? Determining the optimal length of time for handwashing is difficult because few studies about the health impacts of altering handwashing times have been done. Of those that exist, nearly all have measured reductions in overall numbers of microbes, only a small proportion of which can cause illness, and have not measured impacts on health. Solely reducing numbers of microbes on hands is not necessarily linked to better health 1. The optimal length of time for handwashing is also likely to depend on many factors, including the type and amount of soil on the hands and the setting of the person washing hands. For example, surgeons are likely to come into contact with disease-causing germs and risk spreading serious infections to vulnerable patients, so they may need to wash hands longer than a woman before she prepares her own lunch at home. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods

      4) Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

      Why? Soap and friction help lift dirt, grease, and microbes—including disease-causing germs—from skin so they can then be rinsed off of hands. Rinsing the soap away also minimizes skin irritation. Because hands could become recontaminated if rinsed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use, clean running water should be used. While some recommendations include using a paper towel to turn off the faucet after hands have been rinsed, this practice leads to increased use of water and paper towels, and there are no studies to show that it improves health.

      5) Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

      Why? Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands; therefore, hands should be dried after washing. However, the best way to dry hands remains unclear because few studies about hand drying exist, and the results of these studies conflict. Additionally, most of these studies compare overall concentrations of microbes, not just disease-causing germs, on hands following different hand-drying methods. It has not been shown that removing microbes from hands is linked to better health. Nonetheless, studies suggest that using a clean towel or air drying hands are best

      Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies.

      Microbes are all tiny living organisms that may or may not cause disease.

      Germs, or pathogens, are types of microbes that can cause disease.

      Spread the word about how to stop the spread of germs on Global Handwashing Day and every day.

      Celebrate Global Handwashing Day to promote handwashing with soap throughout the world.

      Global Handwashing Day Logo

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