How to stay healthy and fit on Memorial Day, according to a doctor

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Follow general precautions to avoid foodborne illness at barbecues and other gatherings on Memorial Day.

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Memorial Day is here, and summer will soon be here. Some diseases, like COVID-19, are less of a threat, but others are. New coronavirus variants keep an eye on, and Second human case of bird flu It has just been detected in the United States.

As Memorial Day celebrations begin in the US, how concerned should people be about coronavirus and bird flu? Knowing that there is an outbreak of bird flu in poultry and cows, is it safe to drink milk and eat eggs? Are there any special precautions to take when making hamburgers? What other major health issues should be considered during the holidays and summer, such as staying cool to avoid heatstroke?

To get answers to these questions, I spoke with CNN’s wellness expert Dr. Leana Wen. Wen is an emergency physician and clinical associate professor at George Washington University and previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner.

CNN: Given the spread of avian flu and new coronavirus variants, is there anything we should do?

Dr. A.S. Lena Wen: Although there are New coronavirus variantsThe level of coronavirus activity in the United States remains quite low. People should assess their risk of severe illness if they become infected with COVID-19. People at higher risk, such as those who are elderly or have chronic medical conditions, should make sure they are vaccinated and have a plan to access antiviral treatment. They should get tested if they have symptoms, and so should people they have close contact with.

People who want to reduce the risk of infection with coronavirus and other respiratory viruses should try to attend outdoor rather than indoor gatherings whenever possible. When traveling in crowded airports and train stations, they may want to consider wearing a well-fitting N95 or equivalent mask.

With regard to the bird flu, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention He continues to advise that the risk to Americans is low at this time. That’s because so far only Two human cases this year, and both have been in farm workers who came into direct contact with infected cattle. Both individuals had mild symptoms, and no cases of human-to-human transmission have been reported during this outbreak.

People who work in the poultry and dairy industries and who otherwise come into regular contact with wild birds, backyard flocks, and cows should take note of this Guidance from the C.D.C. And wear personal protective equipment when working with animals. Healthcare providers should keep an eye out for farm workers with possible flu-like symptoms. Other people don’t need to change their behavior at this time, and they certainly shouldn’t worry about avian flu infection during Memorial Day or early summer gatherings.

CNN: Does this mean it’s still safe to drink milk and eat eggs and meat?

Wayne: Yes. US Food and Drug Administration has issued guidance Pasteurized milk is safe to drink. Viral fragments have been found in the commercial milk supply; however, these were not live viruses that could cause infection. Pasteurization kills viruses, including the influenza virus.

Similarly, tests conducted by the US Department of Agriculture found that no live virus in hamburgers cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The agency advises that Baked eggs and poultry They are also safe to eat.

Of course, this does not mean that people should eat raw or undercooked meat. These meats harbor a variety of germs, including bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. In addition, it is not safe to drink raw milk. It may also contain bacteria. In addition, one hypothesis about the spread of avian flu is that raw milkPeople should not consume unpasteurized milk or raw milk products.

CNN: What effect will this have on gatherings? Is it OK to eat hamburgers and hot dogs and enjoy barbecues and buffets?


Wayne:
Yes! Please follow general precautions Cook meat to prevent food-borne illnesses. Recommended Internal TemperatureBe careful about dishes or utensils that come into contact with raw meat, and keep clean utensils separate from dirty ones. Keep meat in the refrigerator until ready to cook. If you use a cooler, make sure it’s filled with plenty of ice. And wash your hands often and thoroughly.

CNN: We’ve talked a lot about infections. What other major health issues should we consider during the holidays and summer season, such as staying cool to avoid heatstroke?

Wayne: When the weather gets hot outside, we have to be careful Effects of high temperatures on healthHeatstroke occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit and they are unable to cool themselves effectively. It is a medical emergency and can quickly become life-threatening.

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Summer is almost here, so people should take steps to avoid exposure to UV rays when doing outdoor activities such as swimming.

People should be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can progress to heatstroke. They should pay attention to those who are most vulnerable to heat illnesses. This includes children and the elderly and other individuals who suffer from medical conditions that reduce their ability to regulate their body temperature.

When high temperatures are forecast, everyone – especially the most vulnerable people – should try to stay in air-conditioned spaces or in the shade if they are outside. They should stay hydrated and seek shelter in a cool place immediately if they notice symptoms such as headache, dizziness, muscle pain and fatigue.

CNN: And we can’t forget skin protection, right?

Wayne: Absolutely. skin cancer The most common cancer in the United States. One of the major risk factors is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Everyone should take steps to reduce their UV exposure. These include staying in the shade, wearing hats, and using sunscreen broad spectrum sunscreen The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least 30.

Speaking of prevention, people often have more time on their hands during the summer. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and consult their doctor about all their health concerns. Now is the time to make sure they are up to date on all their health information. Cancer Screening and to get long-term medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, under good control.

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Disclaimer : The content in this article is for educational and informational purposes only.

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