Posted on : April 30, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Miscellaneous
A 2 year old boy visiting from Mexico was the first to die in the United States due to the outbreak of the swine flu. The toddler had flown to Matamoros, Mexico from Mexico City on April 3rd with his mother and siblings and proceeded to cross the border into Brownsville, Texas to visit an aunt. On April 8, the child came down with a fever and was confirmed to be suffering from the swine flu early last Wednesday and died this past Monday.
Many Texas schools were shut down this week due to the swine flu outbreak as well as several California state schools. There are officially 14 confirmed swine flu cases in California but no deaths. “While swine flu patients in California have had only mild to moderate illness, strong action is needed by every single one of us to limit the spread of the virus and minimize the impact on people’s health,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. The cases in California include 7 in San Diego County, 5 in Imperial County, 1 in Sacramento County, and 1 in San Bernardino County.
An interactive map on the Wall Street Journal website allows you to see the cases of swine flu around the world. In the United States alone, there have been over 90 cases including 51 in New York city with a majority affecting students and faculty of a school in Queens. Around the world there have been approximately 26 confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu in New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Austria, and Israel. To view the interactive map, please visit the Wall Street Journal website.
Posted on : April 27, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health and Fitness
Recently the swine flu has been spreading throughout Mexico and the United States.
What is swine flu? The swine influenza virus, or SIV, is a contagious respiratory disease that affects pigs. Symptoms can include fever, disorientation, stiffness of the joints, vomiting, and even death. The human case of swine influenza A, or H1N1, can be passed through people who work with poultry and swine. The 2009 swine influenza outbreak appears to be a result of reassortment and zoonosis. Zoonosis is the transmission of any infection disease from other animals to humans. Reassortment is the mixing of the genetic material of two similar viruses that are infecting the same cell.
The outbreak was detected in three areas of Mexico, as well as the United States, Canada, and Spain and over 1,800 cases have been found. There are some standard personal precautions against the swine flu. This includes:
- Frequent washing of hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- Make sure you cough into tissues and dispose of the tissue immediately
If you have contracted the swine flu, contact a healthcare professional immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These antiviral drugs help fight against the flu by keeping the virus from reproducing in the body.
Posted on : April 23, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance
Everyone knows that health coverage is in dire need of help. The government has proposed a public plan that Republicans believe may force private insurers out of business. Many believe that there is a middle ground that should aim to make health insurance more affordable without the addition of competition for private insurers.
Universal coverage is said to increase premiums for everyone since the large amount of uninsured people will begin to get coverage. Uninsured people raise the premiums by approximately 1.7%. Universal coverage will raise the premiums by a higher percentage but reforms that increase the number of people with health insurance may make that 1.7% even smaller.
Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute states, “There is no evidence that a dollar spent on universal coverage will save more lives than a dollar spent on clinics, or reducing medical errors, or nutrition, or fighting poverty, or even improving education.” This argument is to ensure that universal coverage, though it’s a good idea in theory, has an obligation to see that people who cannot afford insurance get access to good health care but there should be a better way. Young and healthy people will be forced to overpay under a universal coverage plan.
Another approach would be an easier way for people to buy their own health insurance. Any tax breaks given to employers can be applied to individual insurance policies. This relieves the anxiety of losing insurance when you leave a job and you can take your insurance wherever you go.
Posted on : April 21, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance
In these economic times, along with the healthcare crisis and millions of uninsured, many are delaying or postponing medical care. According to a Daily News article, a recent survey suggests that more than 20% of Americans are putting off taking care of their health because of recent losses and the cost of healthcare nowadays.
The survey, by Thomson Reuters, found that approximately 21% of Americans will have trouble paying for their health insurance and health care services in the next few months. The last time the question was asked was in a 2006 survey. The number back then was 15.9%, more than 5% lower than it is today.
Posted on : April 20, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Doctors and Providers
An Intracorp press release launched today introduces a workers’ compensation nurseline to provide information and assistance to employees and managers whenever an injury occurs on the job.
The goal of Intracorp and CIGNA’s workers compensation nurseline is to assist callers in evaluating symptoms and accessing appropriate care. This enable enhanced return to work outcomes and reduces workers compensation costs.
“When an injury happens at work, it’s not always clear what kind of medical attention an individual needs,” said Betsy Robinson, Vice President and Intracorp. “Out of caution, managers might send employees straight to an emergency room for evaluation. But depending on the circumstances, that may not be best option, and it’s among the most costly choices. Having access to the nurseline will allow the nurse to ask the caller a few questions about the individual’s symptoms and situation, then help the caller to decide upon the appropriate type of care or other available informational resources to access. It also helps to facilitate prompt and accurate reporting of workplace injuries (BusinessWire).”
Intracorp, a subsidiary of CIGNA Corporation, has specialized in workers’ compensation for more than 39 years. They help provider workers’ compensation and disability programs to enhance the productivity of their workforce. Together with CIGNA, a leader in the health insurance industry, Intracorp hopes to succeed in helping reduce costs while improving the work environment.
A press release from Humana out today introduces their new short term health insurance plan. HumanaOne wants to help people who have lost their jobs recently due to the economic downturn get health insurance, even if its temporarily. The Short Term Medical health insurance plan offer affordable, temporary insurance for people in the following situations:
- Graduating college students
- People in between jobs
- Part time, temporary, or seasonal employees who are not offered employer-sponsored health plans
- Retirees not yet eligible for Medicare
- Unemployed individuals
- And new employees waiting for their benefits to begin
HumanaOne’s Short Term Medical health insurance plans are available in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The plan is flexible offering different options depending on the individuals needs. Deductibles range from $500 to $5,000 for individuals and $1,000 to $10,000 for families. The plans have a $2 million maximum benefit and include prescription drug coverage for time periods between 30 days up to 6 months or a year.