etnt health

  • Sure Signs You Have a Pollen Allergy, According to a Doctor

    Pollen allergy season will be early this year, and it may be potentially worse than ever, and according to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published yesterday, that may be because of global warming. "It is clear that global warming is the major culprit in the lengthening of pollen seasons, and it seems to be playing a more moderate role in exacerbating annual pollen levels," said study lead author William Anderegg, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. "A pollen allergy is an allergic reaction that typically consists of nose and eye symptoms that occur when a person is exposed to tiny grains (pollens) that are released for fertilization by plants and trees," Ujwala Kaza, M.D., a specialist at ENT and Allergy Associates, tells us. "Typical pollen allergy symptoms can include" the following. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You May Feel Nasal Congestion If you feel "stuffy in your nose or that your nose feels blocked," you may have a pollen allergy, says Dr. Kaza. "Pollen exposure can trigger various allergic reactions, including symptoms of hay fever," adds the CDC. "Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, occurs when allergens like pollen enter your body and your immune system mistakenly identifies them as a threat." 2 You May Have a Runny Nose Do you feel like "your nose is constantly drippy and feels like a faucet?" asks Dr. Kaza. This may also be due to allergic rhinitis, says the CDC. "If you have allergic rhinitis, your body then responds to the allergen by releasing chemicals that can cause symptoms in the nose." 3 You May Sneeze This is "where you get that itchy feeling in your nose and you set off a series of these," says Dr. Kaza. You may also have difficulty breathing. "People with respiratory illnesses like asthma may be more sensitive to pollen. Exposure to pollen has been linked to asthma attacks and increases in hospital admissions for respiratory illness," says the CDC. 4 You May Have Itchy Eyes You might be "constantly rubbing your eyes," says Dr. Kaza. "Pollen exposure can result in 'allergic conjunctivitis' in some individuals, causing red, watery, or itchy eyes," says the CDC. 5 You May Itch Elsewhere, Too "Itchy ears, itchy throat, itchy palate (roof of your mouth)—having those areas you really wish you could scratch" could be the result of a pollen allergy, says Dr. Kaza.RELATED: Simple Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack, According to Doctors 6 You May Have Other Symptoms "You can have other symptoms, coughing, postnasal drainage (dripping at the back of your nose into your throat) though the most common symptoms are the ones we see above," says Dr. Kaza. "When you have all of these symptoms together and they occur at certain times of the year (spring, early and late summer, fall), this often indicates a pollen allergy." And, she adds: "You can have any of these symptoms with other types of allergies as well—pets, dust. So they are not just specific to pollen." 7 What to Do If You Experience These Symptoms "Sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose are not specific to allergies," says Dr. Kaza. "These symptoms often occur with other conditions such as the common cold. However, when we see these symptoms at certain times of the year and we see them in connection with itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy palate, or itchy throat, then that often means a pollen allergy." As for how to help yourself? See a specialist like Dr. Kaza and "check pollen forecasts on local news and online sources and plan to spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high," says the CDC, and "take your allergy and/or asthma medications as prescribed by your health care provider." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, According to New Research

    If you had COVID-19, suffering either a mild, moderate, or severe infection, and are still suffering from mysterious symptoms weeks to months later, you aren't alone. Long COVD, aka long hauler syndrome, is a health condition plaguing COVID survivors around the world. Over the last year, health experts have continued to study their symptoms and struggles, in hopes of understanding the mysterious illness. Now, a new systematic review of studies has identified the five most common symptoms to look out for. Read on to find out what they are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You May Have Fatigue Per their research, 58 percent of those with long hauler syndrome suffer from fatigue, making it the most common symptom of long and acute COVID-19. "It is present even after 100 days of the first symptom of acute COVID-19," write the researchers. "The symptoms observed in post-COVID-19 patients, resemble in part the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which includes the presence of severe incapacitating fatigue, pain, neurocognitive disability, compromised sleep, symptoms suggestive of autonomic dysfunction, and worsening of global symptoms following minor increases in physical and/or cognitive activity." 2 You May Have a Headache They also explain that neuropsychiatric symptoms are common with long haulers. A headache was the second most reported sign of the syndrome, with 44 percent of all surveyed reporting it. "The etiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in COVID-19 patients is complex and multifactorial," the researchers explain. "They could be related to the direct effect of the infection, cerebrovascular disease (including hypercoagulation), physiological compromise (hypoxia), side effects of medications, and social aspects of having a potentially fatal illness." 3 You May Have Attention Disorder Adults have a double risk of being newly diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder after the COVID-19 diagnosis, according to the study, with the most common psychiatric conditions presented being anxiety disorders, insomnia, and dementia. All of these can contribute to an individual struggling with being able to pay attention, which could explain why attention disorder, a neuropsychiatric condition, was reported by over one-quarter (27 percent) of those surveyed. 4 You May Have Hair Loss Exactly one out of four long haulers reported hair loss as a symptom. "Hair loss after COVID-19 could be considered as telogen effluvium, defined by diffuse hair loss after an important systemic stressor or infection, and it is caused because of premature follicular transitions from active growth phase (anagen) to resting phase (telogen)," the researchers explain. They add that it is a "self-limiting condition" lasting approximately 3 months, "but it could cause emotional distress." 5 You May Have Dyspnea Difficulty breathing, aka dyspnea, was found in 24 percent of patients. Researchers explain that abnormalities in CT lung scans persisted in 35 percent of patients—even after 60-100 days from the initial presentation. If you experience this or any other symptom mentioned here, contact a medical professional to discuss if you have Long COVID.RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 6 Protect Yourself and Others The best way to avoid long hauler syndrome is to stay away from COVID in the first place. So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • This is When We'll Return to Normal, Says Expert

    The coronavirus has killed more than 425,000 Americans and wounded many more. We'll never return to pre-pandemic normal. But how about normal-ish? When can we go to a baseball game or out to eat without worrying about death around every corner? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has a stock answer for that: "Fall," he has said, always adding that it depends on the number of people who get vaccinated. However, one noted former Harvard professor is less optimistic. Read on to hear when he thinks things will actually return to normal—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. "It's Not Realistic" That Things Will be Normal in the FallDr. William A. Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School who is known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS and the human genome, spoke during an online program organized by Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College."Do you think this is realistic?" asked the moderator about Fauci's fall prediction."It's not realistic," said Dr. Haseltine. "This thing is going to come bouncing back in some form in the fall, and it's going to make us worried. And there are going to be variants that escape our drugs and our vaccines, just like there is with the flu." "Is it going to be worse than the flu?" he continued. "Maybe a bit worse than the flu? I would say steady state is kind of going to be like a really bad flu year. What we have to do is cope with it in different ways. We have to say, well, who's it really going to be killing—well, 40% of the people4pm. killed were in our nursing homes, assisted living. And another way to tackle this, which we haven't even begun to talk about is how we handle our elder population. They're very fragile and they're dying in massively disproportionate numbers. And so a solution may not be a vaccine as much as it is a better way to ensure the safety and care of our older population."So when might we get back to normal? More like 2022, he says.RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciHow to Stay Healthy Until Things are Back to NormalUntil we've reached herd immunity, follow the public health fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dr. Fauci Says This is "Proven" to Stop COVID

    We are nearing more than 400,000 deaths from coronavirus in America. Numbers like that are "a problem," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS. "There's no doubt about it. You can't run away from that, but that doesn't mean you give up," he says, "you've got to keep hammering out the correct public health message. If we do five fundamental things…as simple as they sound, they can certainly turn around the spikes that we see and can prevent new spikes from occurring. We know that because our experience has proven to us that that is the case." Read on for the techniques Fauci says are proven to stop COVID—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Dr. Fauci Says We Need the "Universal Wearing of Masks" Incoming President Joseph Biden will ask all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his presidency. "He just wants to get — and it's a good idea — uniform," Fauci told the Today Show. "He's saying, 'Hey, folks, trust me. Everybody for 100 days.' Now, it might be that after that, we still are going to need it. But he just wants it, everybody for a commitment for 100 days. And I discussed that with him, and I told him I thought that was a good idea." 2 Dr. Fauci Says You Must "Maintain Physical Distance" You must keep social distancing and wearing masks even after being vaccinated. "Obviously, with a 90-plus percent effective vaccine, you could feel much more confident" that you won't get COVID-19, Fauci told CNN. "But I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you have been vaccinated….even though, for the general population, it might be 90 to 95% effective," said Fauci, "you don't necessarily know, for you, how effective it is." 3 Dr. Fauci Says "Avoiding Congregate Settings or Crowds" is Essential "Any crowd, whether it's a protest, any crowd when you have people close together without masks is a risk," Fauci said last year. The same goes for families or friends congregating indoors for family meals; if you don't shelter with the person, don't have them over, or go there. 4 Dr. Fauci Says Do "Things More Outdoors, as Opposed to Indoors" "I would get as much outdoors as you possibly can," Fauci told the Washington Post. "If you look at the super spreader events that have occurred, I think it's incorrect to call people super spreaders. The event is super spread. They're almost always inside super spreader events—in nursing homes, meat-packing, prisons, choirs in churches, congregations of weddings and other social events where people get together. It's almost invariable. Nothing's 100%, but it's almost invariable that it's indoors. So when you are indoors, make sure you have a mask when you're outdoors, keep the mask on."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 5 Wash Your Hands Frequently "Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next," says the CDC. "Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed handsPrepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed handsTouch a contaminated surface or objectsBlow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people's hands or common objects." 6 How to Survive This Pandemic "Those simple things" really do work, says Dr. Fauci. So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dr. Fauci Warns Don't Go Here Anymore

    With COVID-19 deaths hitting a striking record yesterday—4,320 souls lost—it's time to get even more serious about protecting yourself from the potentially deadly, certainly contagious disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned there are some places that are safer than others. The coronavirus "is really leading to a very, very serious number of people who are getting sick and dying from this," he says. Read on to hear where you should not go anymore—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Don't Go to Bars "Bars are really problematic," Fauci told Kaiser Health News. "I have to tell you, if you look at some of the outbreaks that we've seen, it's when people go into bars, crowded bars. You know, I used to go to a bar. I used to like to sit at a bar and grab a hamburger and a beer. But when you're at a bar, people are leaning over your shoulder to get a drink, people next to each other. It's kind of fun because it's social, but it's not fun when this virus is in the air. So I would think that if there's anything you want to clamp down on, for the time being, it's bars." 2 Skip Going Into the Restaurant; Order Takeout or at Least Eat Outdoors "If we're in the hot zone the way we are now, where there's so many infections around, I would feel quite uncomfortable even being in a restaurant," Fauci said to Kaiser Health News. "And particularly if it was at full capacity." 3 Enter the Hairdresser with Caution "I mean, again, it depends," Fauci said when asked if he gets his hair cut at a salon. "I used to get a haircut every five weeks. I get a haircut every 12 weeks now — with a mask on me, as well as a mask on the person who's cutting the hair, for sure." 4 Don't Travel Anywhere if You're at High Risk The CDC just said anyone travelling from foreign countries into the United States would be tested. Is travel safe? "It depends on your individual circumstances," says Fauci. "If you are someone who is in the highest risk category, as best as possible, don't travel anywhere. Or if you go someplace, you have a car, you're in your car by yourself, not getting on a crowded subway, not getting on a crowded bus or even flying in an airplane." 5 Avoid All Indoor Gatherings With People You Don't Shelter With "The most common" way to get COVID-19, Fauci says, is "common household contacts and in congregate settings, particularly when it's closed, such as cruise ships, nursing homes and prisons"—and even dinners with family or friends—"the factors that may increase the risk of airborne transmission are things that we wouldn't expect, such as just singing or speaking loudly or breathing heavily."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 6 How to Survive This Pandemic As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dr. Fauci Issues "Very Serious" COVID Warning

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has heard your theory, or maybe it's your brother-in-law's: That the COVID deaths are so high because they're somehow inflated, by flu cases or, as the President claimed, the CDC's "fake news." His response? "We've had now over 360 to 370,000 deaths, we're averaging 2 to 3,000 deaths per day, and 200 to 300,000 infections," Fauci told WGN yesterday. "These are real." Want proof? "Go to the hospitals and talk to the healthcare providers who are knocking themselves out 24/7 to take care of these people. These are real people, real numbers, and it's not a hoax." Read on to hear his warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. The Virus, Says Fauci, Can Harm Anyone—Even YouDr. Fauci said that COVID-19 is unique—in how mystifying it is. "In all of my experience of dealing with infectious disease outbreaks over, you know, about 40 years, we've never seen anything like this," he said. "It is true that those who are elderly and those who have underlying conditions have a greater propensity to have a serious outcome of COVID-19. But the thing that we don't have a crisp, clear answer on is that why so many people, particularly young people, get infected and have either no symptoms at all, or just mild to moderate symptomatology. Whereas other people, including some young people, clearly overwhelmingly, the people who get into trouble are elderly, but we certainly have many examples of individuals who are young in their thirties, in their forties, and even in their twenties who get into serious trouble, why they get into trouble. And the overwhelming majority of younger people don't—we don't know, you can hypothesize that the level of receptors in the nose, in the throat, in the lung of people who do well is very low. Whereas the receptors for the virus are very high and those who get into trouble, but that's just summarizing.""We don't know that as a fact," he said, "which is the reason why we still have a lot to learn about this very perplexing disease. The one thing we do know" is that COVID-19 is "leading to a very, very serious number of people who are getting sick and dying from this. Despite the fact that many, many, many people do really quite well."RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study FindsFauci Says "It's Incomprehensible" That Anyone Thinks It's a HoaxDr. Fauci pointed to the violence in D.C. as evidence of how divided we are as a country. The facts have become divisive too, he says. And it baffles him. "We have had situations where you're in a state or city or a region where the hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill individuals, the hospitals that have 20 intensive care unit beds and have 50 intensive care unit patients waiting to be taken care of—they're being stretched to the limit," he said. "And even in those regions, some people still think it's fake news or that it's a hoax or that it's made up— it's incomprehensible, that that is going on, and I'm not going to solve it in any discussion with you. But I think the country needs to really, really examine where we are in the divisiveness that has spilled over into our attempts to address a very critical historic public health challenge. It does nothing but get in the way of an effective response, when you're a people who don't believe the reality, that's staring them right in the face."RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal"How to Survive This PandemicAs for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • I'm a Doctor and Warn You Never Take this Vitamin

    Vitamins are essential for our health. Our bodies just cannot function without them. Although most of our vitamins are obtained from our diet, one-third of adults, and more than 50% of those over age 55, report taking daily vitamin supplements.  People generally believe that vitamins must be safe, and that even if they don't result in any benefit, they are unlikely to cause harm. It's an unfortunate fact that this does not seem to be true. As a doctor, I am often asked:Which vitamins are recommended? Is it safe to take vitamins?Which vitamins might be dangerous?What are the side effects of taking vitamins?Are there any special points about taking vitamins safely?Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 Which Vitamins are Recommended? The truth of the matter is that most people get all the vitamins they need from their diet. If your body has enough vitamins on board, if you take extra vitamins, you will simply excrete them in your urine and feces.There is generally no need to take vitamin supplements. However, there are a few exceptions:Folic acid – Pregnant women are advised to take 400 mcg folic acid per day. This is to help prevent the baby from developing neural tube defects (e.g. spina bifida).Vitamin D  – The current recommendation is for UK adults, at least, is to take 10 mcg (400 IU) per day of vitamin D. This is because low levels of vitamin D are very common. This advice was issued in April at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because vitamin D is made in the skin in sunlight, and people were only advised to go outside to exercise for 1 hour per day. As the winter is now approaching and the days are becoming shorter, it may be wise to top up vitamin D levels, because all respiratory infections are more common in the winter months, and vitamin D plays an important role in our immune defense. 2 Is it Safe to Take Vitamins? A 2016 review in the Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin reviewed all the good quality randomized controlled trials on the use of vitamins between 1993 -2015. The authors concluded that taking high doses of vitamins A, E, D, C, and folic acid did not always help prevent disease, and in some situations could be harmful. They proposed that vitamins should be only issued under the control of a trained pharmacist. 3 Which Vitamins Might be Dangerous—and When? Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are important molecules as they have many anti-cancer effects in the body. However, their effect is complex and too many can be harmful.In many studies where vitamin E has been given to patients to try to reduce the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or death, there has been no significant benefit.Some studies have looked at the effect of vitamin E to prevent prostate cancer, or lung cancer, have even found this led to a small increase in risk. It seems that there are risks associated with taking vitamin E at high doses.Vitamin C – Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant with many properties, highly beneficial for health. However, many large studies have failed to show that taking vitamin C supplements has any effect on reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer, or death.Many people believe high dose vitamin C can prevent upper respiratory infections.  However, this does not appear to be the case. A 2013 Cochrane data review including 29 trials, and 11, 306 participants failed to show that taking vitamin C supplements prevented the common cold.Vitamin C supplements may even be harmful. In one 2004 study, vitamin C supplements in diabetic women lead to an increase in the mortality from cardiovascular disease.Adverse effects from vitamin C are only seen in those taking supplements. They are not seen when large amounts of vitamin C are ingested in food. Vitamin A – Vitamin A—also known as retinol—is largely derived from beta-carotene, the red/orange pigment in many vegetables such as carrots. Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that by having a good dietary intake of vitamin A, the risk of cancer of the lung, breast, pancreas, and bladder, is reduced. However, taking vitamin A supplements does not seem to have the same effects.For example, in the Beta Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), 18,000 current or recent smokers, and asbestos workers, were randomly assigned to vitamin A or placebo and followed up. After 6 years there was a 28% increase in lung cancer and a 17% increase in mortality in the vitamin A group.In pregnant women, high doses of vitamin A have been shown to increase the risk of neural tube defects by a factor of 3.5. Vitamin A is now regarded as teratogenic.Although vitamin A is known to be important for bone growth, taking excess vitamin A is not necessarily beneficial. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with poor bone growth, but excess vitamin A results in increased bone resorption (bone clearance) with fragile bones and an increased risk of fracture.Folic acid – This is a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate deficiency increases the risk of developing a new cancer, but excess folate also increases cancer risk, by increasing the rate of cancer cell growth.In one 2009 Norwegian study, 6837 patients with cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to either folic acid supplements or a placebo and followed up for 9 years. The folic acid group showed a significant increase in cancer outcomes and mortality compared to those on the placebos.Vitamin D – At one time, experts believed that vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and bowel polyps. However, a large, 2006, randomized trial of 36,282 postmenopausal women who took calcium and vitamin D supplements for 7 years, did not show any reduction in colonic cancer incidence.In the UK, calcium and vitamin D supplementation is recommended for perimenopausal or postmenopausal women at risk of osteoporosis, as it has been shown to improve bone mineral density and prevent fracture. 4 What are the Side Effects of Taking Vitamins? Although most vitamins are well tolerated, side effects are possible with any types of medication. Always check with your healthcare provider if you have chronic medical conditions or take any other regular medication, before you start taking any new tablets, including vitamin supplements.If you have any signs of an acute allergic reaction—acute anaphylaxis—after swallowing a vitamin tablet, you must seek urgent help immediately.Vitamin E – Side effects are rare. These include headaches, dizziness, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, tiredness, and skin rashes. Rarely, vitamin E can cause bleeding problems with nosebleeds, or bleeding gums.Vitamin C – Side effects are rare. These include headaches, flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and migraine at high doses. High doses of vitamin C may increase uric acid levels leading to kidney stones. Vitamin C may raise blood sugars in diabetic patients.Vitamin A –  Side effects are rare. These include headache, fatigue, lethargy, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Vitamin A can also cause skin drying and cracking, loss of skin (desquamation) and hair loss. At high doses, vitamin A can cause liver toxicity – you should not drink alcohol when taking any vitamin, A supplements.  This list is not exhaustive – always consult your doctor.Folic acid – Side effects are rare. These include – fatigue,  nausea, bloating, passing wind, malaise, and skin rashes. An increase in epileptic seizures has been reported. Some people complain of a bitter taste in the mouth. There may be an association with insomnia.Vitamin D – Side effects are rare. These include nausea, vomiting and skin rashes. Taking too much vitamin D may result in high levels of calcium – hypercalcemia – which is a serious medical condition, associated with confusion, muscle weakness and bone pain. Take your vitamin D supplements exactly as directed and do not be tempted to take too much. 5 Special Points About Taking Vitamins Beware of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, which can potentially accumulate in the body and are more likely to cause toxicity. Although vitamins K1 and K2 are safe, synthetic vitamin K3 is known to be highly toxic.Water-soluble vitamins, such as most of the B vitamins, are easily excreted from the body every day in the urine. These vitamins are not stored in the same way and are less likely to ever cause toxicity.RELATED: The Unhealthiest Supplements You Shouldn't Take 6 Can you take too many vitamin supplements? The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) – is the amount of vitamin you need every day to stay healthy.The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the maximum amount you should take before you are at risk of an overdose or serious side effects.The UL is not stated on the product label. You can find out the RDA and UL online.The RDA is much lower than the UL. If you stick to the RDA you should not run into problems.Most nutritionists feel that taking a multivitamin is unnecessary if you are eating a healthy diet, but there may be a benefit to certain vitamins in certain situations. A good example is the current UK advice to take additional vitamin D during the current pandemic.It's important to note that some vitamins should be taken together, and some at sperate times.For example, calcium and vitamin D are taken at the same time, but calcium prevents the absorption of iron from the gut, so calcium and iron should be taken at separate times. 7 Final Thoughts from the Doctor We all need to think carefully about our health right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, reaching for a bottle of vitamins will never be as good for you as eating a nutritious balanced diet. Your body is designed to absorb vitamins and minerals from food, not from supplements. These are less well absorbed and do not have the same effects as nutrients from natural food sources. If you are thinking about vitamins, why not concentrate of improving your diet instead? Far more delicious, safer, and much more interesting! And to further protect yourself, and get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID. Dr. Deborah Lee is a medical writer for Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.

  • Major City Announces "Life and Death" Stay-at-Home Warning

    As experts predicted last fall, the COVID-19 health crisis is spiraling out of control post-holiday season, with some parts of the country being completely overwhelmed with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The situation is so bad in Los Angeles—with hospitals full and an positivity rate of over 20 percent—that the county's health department has announced that even leaving the house is a "high risk" activity. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. Los Angeles Calls Any Activity Outside the Home a "Matter of Life and Death"Los Angeles County, home of California's largest city, Los Angeles, surpassed 11,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, with more than 1,000 new deaths added in less than a week. Overall, they added 13,512 new cases (840,611 to date), 224 new deaths, and have 7,898 people currently hospitalized as a result of the virus. And, experts are expecting things to go from bad to worse when the surge-upon-surge of the Christmas and New Year's holidays begin to pile up. On Tuesday the LA County Health Department issued a bleak statement on social media, warning that any activity that involves leaving your home puts you at extreme risk of becoming infected with the potentially deadly virus. "Our actions over the next couple of weeks are a matter of life and death for many," the county public health department tweeted. "Community transmission rates are high and any activity outside your home is high-risk."Our actions over the next couple of weeks are a matter of life and death for many. Community transmission rates are high and any activity outside your home is high-risk.Stay home. If outside, keep your face covering on, wash/sanitize your hands and keep distance from others. pic.twitter.com/TwAahqTKd8— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) January 5, 2021During a Monday briefing, Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer also warned that nothing is safe, urging residents to take extreme caution when leaving the home to run errands. "Assume that this deadly invisible virus is everywhere, looking for a willing host. Don't let that be you or someone you care about," she said. "We're likely to experience the worst conditions in January that we've faced the entire pandemic — and that's hard to imagine."According to the county's latest statistics, more than one in five people who are tested for COVID-19 are receiving a positive test, with the number of cases doubling between November 30 and January 2. "That is a human disaster, and one that was avoidable," Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis added at the health briefing on Monday, warning that the crisis could still deepen "beyond comprehension if the health restrictions in place are not fully obeyed."As a result of the health crisis, the healthcare system in Los Angeles County is overwhelmed to the point that patients are "filling hallways and gift shops" and ambulances are being instructed to reduce oxygen use and even avoid transporting anyone who has little chance of survival. RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal"How to Survive This PandemicAs for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, stay home if you're instructed to, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • 5 Things You Should Never Touch to Avoid COVID, According to a Doctor

    As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, resulting in record-breaking hospitalizations and deaths, protecting yourself from infection is more important than ever. In addition to following CDC guidance, which includes social distancing, avoiding crowds, and mask wearing, taking extra precautions—including not touching specific items—can help protect your health. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anne Rimoin, Professor of Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the Geffen School of Medicine, reveals to Eat This, Not That! Health five things you should avoid coming into physical contact with. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 Don't Touch Your Face Dr. Rimoin notes that the number one thing you shouldn't touch is your own face! She specifically recommends avoiding making contact with your: "eyes, nose or face before completely sanitizing your hands." 2 Don't Touch Common Touch Surfaces Any common touch surfaces are a no-go, per Dr. Rimoin. She specifically suggests refraining from using handrails, as they aren't usually disinfected. Other common touch surfaces can include anything in the grocery store, ATM machines, credit card terminals, and elevator buttons.  3 Don't Touch Anything in a Public Restroom While some businesses have opted to close their public restrooms, it may be impossible to avoid using them altogether during the pandemic. However, Dr. Rimoin warns that anything in a public bathroom could be harboring COVID-19. If you do touch surfaces in a public restroom, make sure to wash your hands while in it, and even consider sanitizing them after you walk out.  4 Beware of Doorknobs Most people don't disinfect doorknobs after every use. While you might be safe in your own home, when out in public you could potentially come into contact with infected droplets, warns Rimoin. RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal" 5 The CDC Says You Can, in Fact, Catch COVID By Touch Remember, the primarily way the virus is spread is via respiratory droplets traveling from person-to-person "Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn't thought to be the main way the virus spreads," the CDC reminds.  6 How You Can Stay Safe As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • 5 Places You Shouldn't Go Even If They're Open, According to a COVID Expert

    As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country after the holiday season, protecting yourself and others from the virus is just as crucial—if not more—than ever. Not only do experts predict a surge upon surge due to holiday traveling and gatherings, but new, more infectious variants of the virus have been detected, meaning it will likely spread more rapidly than before. One easy way to slow the spread of the virus is by avoiding particular places where it is more likely to spread. And, just because a place is open, doesn't mean it isn't dangerous in terms of infection likelihood, infectious disease expert Dr. Anne Rimoin, Professor of Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the Geffen School of Medicine, explains to Eat This, Not That! Health. Read on to discover the places you should avoid, according to Dr. Rimoin—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 Don't Go Anywhere People Are Likely to Let Their Guard Down "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should," says Dr. Rimoin. "The virus is circulating so widely, anything that you do that puts you in contact with others outside your own household carries more risk now than it did previously. Anywhere that people are more likely to let their guard down and remove their masks and not social distance are particularly high-risk." 2 Don't Go to a Bar or Nightclub When city or statewide closures are issued, bars and nightclubs are usually the first establishments to be shut down. And, according to Rimoin, these popular nighttime spots are very risky. Not only are most bars and nightclubs indoors in small, poorly ventilated spaces, but they aren't conducive to social distancing or mask wearing.  3 Skip Out on Sporting Events There have been studies that have found sporting events to be conducive to COVID-19 spread. However, it isn't the players who are in the most danger. "The more people someone interacts with, the closer, the longer, and the more frequent the interaction, and the more contact with frequently touched surfaces, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread," explains the CDC on their page devoted to sporting events.  Indoor events pose a greater risk than outdoor events." They also point out that the "greater the number of sporting events someone attends, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spread." Bottom line: the safest way to watch sports is in the safety of your home.  4 Don't Go to Any Concerts or Performances Dr. Rimoin does not recommend going to a concert or performance of any type during the pandemic. It may be difficult finding one to attend, anyway, considering concerts have been pretty much taboo since March, Broadway has been shut down, and other types of gatherings discouraged by local and state governments.  5 This is Essential: Postpone All Family Gatherings Dr. Rimoin reminds that any gatherings—even with family members or close friends, any "people outside your own household"—is incredibly risky. In fact, health experts maintain that these types of situations are the primary way the virus is being spread.RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 6 Avoid the Airport Surprisingly, the airport is a riskier place than an airplane in terms of COVID-19 transmission, because of the way air is circulated and filtered on a plane. However, traveling by plane "requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces," reminds the CDC. If you do opt to take a flight during the pandemic, keeping your mask and social distancing while in the airport is extremely important.  7 How You Can Survive This Pandemic As for yourself, listen to Dr. Rimoin and also follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • CDC Just Warned Doing This Puts You at "Higher Risk" for Catching COVID

    Over the last year, health experts have continued to study how COVID-19 spreads from person to person. As part of their research, they have determined that the risk of COVID-19 transmission varies dramatically in terms of specific places and activities. In other words, you are much more likely to catch or spread coronavirus in certain locations or situations. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated a page on their official website about traveling, revealing a new list of activities they consider to be some of the more risk. The following are some activities that put you at higher risk for COVID-19, per the CDC. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 Traveling to Certain Countries or Territories According to the CDC, traveling from a country or United States territory with a Level 2, Level 3, or Level 4 Travel Health Notice is incredibly risky. Currently this includes the majority of the world—yup, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, Poland, you name it—minus Australia, Greenland, New Zealand, China, and a few countries in Africa and Asia.  2 Social Gatherings The CDC has continued to warn against any large social gatherings. These include weddings, funerals, or other types of parties. Don't go to them—or if for some reason you must, "wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people," the CDC advises. 3 Other Mass Gatherings Sporting events, concerts, or parades are all specifically named by the CDC as mass gatherings that are higher risk. "A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, such as a concert, festival, conference, or sporting event," they have said in the past. 4 Going to Crowded Places Crowded indoor spaces are incredibly dangerous for COVID spread. "Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters," are also risky, according to the CDC. 5 Public Transportation "Taking public transportation like trains or buses or being in transportation hubs like airports," is putting yourself at COVID risk, according to the CDC. Why? Being in any enclosed space with other people can offer the opportunity for the virus to spread. RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 6 Traveling By Boat Whether traveling on a cruise ship or river boat, you are putting yourself in a risky COVID situation warns the CDC: "CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high. It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises." 7 How to Survive This Pandemic As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • The Surgeon General Just Made a 'Scary' Admission About the COVID Surge

    With only 4 million of a promised 20 million COVID-19 vaccines administered, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, promises the effort will "ramp up" and urges you to "have hope," he said on CNN this morning. "We're using everything to get these vaccines into arms," he said. But we're in danger until then—severe danger. More than 350,000 Americans have died of coronavirus, with many more projected to die soon; when asked about President Trump denying these numbers,  as he did in a tweet this morning, Adams said he has no reason to believe they weren't true. "What I want people to know is, the projections are pretty, pretty scary, but they're projections—and what we do now matters," he said. Read on to see what he feels you need to do "to temper this surge"—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 "Accept" Your Vaccine Although the quantities of the vaccine delivery have been well under expectations, Adams has a different fear: That even when it is easily available, you might refuse it. Anywhere from 70 to 90% of Americans need to take it in order for us to reach herd immunity. Speaking of Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine, Adams said: "I saw an article last week that 60% of his nursing home workers have refused the vaccine. And that's something that I'm terribly concerned about." 2 "Self-Quarantine" if You Traveled Over the Holidays "If you gathered over the holidays, outside of your household, without a mask, there's still measures you can take right now," said Adams. If you have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19—and if you travelled, assume you have—"Stay home and monitor your health," advises the CDC. "Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19." 3 "Get Tested" if You May Have Been Exposed The CDC recommends the following get tested:People who have symptoms of COVID-19.People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings.People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state ​health department. 4 "Wear a Mask" Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said we all must wear a mask uniformly. And if we can't, then perhaps it should be mandated. "There's going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that's important and they mandate it and everybody pulls together and says, you know, we're going to mandate it but let's just do it. I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly," he has said. 5 "Wash Your Hands" One of Fauci's safe and effective public health measures, washing your hands is also something Adams has advised. Do it for 20 seconds at a time after contact with germs. 6 "Watch Your Distance" Staying six feet away from someone you're not sheltering with is essential to stop the spread. "Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds," says the CDC. 7 How to Survive This Pandemic—Because Adams Admits 350,000 Americans Have, in Fact, Died From It The morning of Adams' interview, President Trump called the number of cases and deaths from COVID "Fake News" and "far exaggerated," blaming the CDC's "ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low." However, when asked about this claim, Adams said: "From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers." So follow Adams' and Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dr. Fauci Predicts When We'll Return to Normal

    Coronavirus numbers are surging across America—and vaccinations are lagging, with only about 3 million administered, well short of the administration's 20 million end-of-year goal. How did we get here, and how can we stop COVID-19 from rampaging through our towns—and our bodies? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Andrea Mitchell yesterday on MSNBC about the "worst possible" timing of it all. Read on to discover how you can avoid getting sick—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. Dr. Fauci Says Masks Becoming a "Political Issue" Doomed Us but Thinks We'll Get Somewhat Back to Normal by Fall"Well, the pandemic emerged from the standpoint of a societal issue at the worst possible time," said Dr. Fauci, when asked to look back on this "tough year," "because anybody who views what's going on throughout the world, but particularly in our own country, there's a great deal of divisiveness in the country. And if there's any situation in which one needs to pull together, because we are all in it together, it's when you have an infectious disease outbreak of pandemic proportions. And the divisiveness that has permeated this year—and it has been striking in that has made it very, very difficult. What has gone on, if you have the wearing of masks or not turn into a political issue is not helpful when you're trying to implement a public health program. I think that's obvious to anybody that that does not help when you have some people feel that an outbreak that is killing people at a record proportion in which you have a couple of hundred thousand new infections a day and two to 3,000 deaths per day."He said the debate between wearing a mask vs. shutting down was a false choice. "We can do both, we can keep the country open and we can abide by the public health measures," Fauci said. "That together with a vaccine, I believe in 2021 we will see this behind us. … It's not going to happen in the first few months. If we do it correctly, hopefully, as we get into the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021, we can start to approach some degree of normality."Fauci went on to express bafflement that some people still think the virus isn't that big a deal, or will "go away"—or isn't real at all."There are still people in this country that are saying it's a hoax or that it doesn't exist, or that it's fake news," said Fauci. "That's unimaginable to me that with all of the death and suffering that's going on right now, that people are blowing it off saying that it doesn't exist. And yet you go to certain regions of the country, even in areas where the hospitals are being stressed and strained to take care of the people: There still is skepticism as to whether this is real. You're not going to get a good public health response. That's unified and consistent when you have that kind of attitude in certain parts of the country. And indeed we do have that kind of attitude in certain parts of the country."RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to DoctorsDr. Fauci Explained the Vaccination DelayAs for the vaccine delay, Fauci had an explanation. "Well, there were a couple of things going on," he said. "First. I had the opportunity to have a nice conversation yesterday morning, early in the morning with general Gus Perna"—the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, responsible for distribution—"about just this issue that we were hoping that as we ended December 31st, we will have had 20 million doses in the arms of individuals. That's not the case. What we hope is that they will be now gaining momentum as we catch up with this. Whenever you have a very large operation, such as trying to vaccinate an entire country with a new vaccine, there always will be bumps in the road and hiccups about that. We hope that that's what this is a reflection of. And as we get into the first week or so of January, we'll catch up quickly with that 20 million dose in the arms projection that we had."How to Survive This PandemicWell, one thing you can do is…wear a face mask. Fauci feels it's the best way to save lives and keep the economy open, which should appeal to both sides of the aisle. "We don't want to shut down completely," Fauci said in an online interview with Howard Bauchner, the Journal of the American Medical Association's editor-in-chief, earlier this fall. "That's almost radioactive now when you say that because of the situation of not wanting to hurt the economy. Well, if you don't want to shut down, at least do the fundamental, basic things…the flagship of which is wearing a mask."The other thing you can do is get vaccinated when it's available. It's "safe," promises Fauci, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dr. Fauci Reveals "Disturbing" Way You'll Get COVID

    One "disturbing" characteristic of COVID-19 made it clear the battle against coronavirus would be unlike any other disease-prevention effort, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert: The fact that so many cases were passed along by people who had no symptoms. "We're seeing that even people without symptoms of transmitting it, and that to me is something that was the game-changer," said Fauci in an interview on Wednesday with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "It was the game-changer in everything we did." It changed testing, because only testing symptomatic people would miss those who were asymptomatic, he explained. For more about how you'll potentially catch COVID-19, read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. This asymptomatic spread is one reason why masks are so importantAdditionally, "Mask wearing became much more important, because if you're only worried about somebody who's symptomatic, then you'll know who you're dealing with," said Fauci. "But if you don't know who's infected, then everybody should be wearing a mask, which is the real fundamental rationale for saying we need universal and uniform wearing of masks."The stealthy nature of the disease took even Fauci—who has served six presidential administrations over four decades—aback. "I guess you could use the word surprising. It was a combination of surprising and disturbing," he said. RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to Doctors"I've never seen a virus like this""The other thing that has really been an issue is that I've never seen a virus like this—and I've been dealing with viral outbreaks for the last, you know, 40 years—where you have such a range of involvement of seriousness, from 40% of the people who get infected and have absolutely no symptoms at all, to those who have symptoms," added Fauci. "About 80% have mild to moderate symptoms that generally require staying at home for a few days, maybe sometimes a couple of weeks."And then about 20% to 25% of COVID patients get severe enough symptoms that they require hospitalization and intensive care, "and then they die," said Fauci. "Hence the 335,000 deaths that we've had so far. Usually when you have a disease that is so very real, it can kill people, not just old people and not just people with underlying conditions. But now we're starting to see more younger, relatively healthy people can get involved." RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciThat's what Fauci considers "the mystery" of COVID-19—how differently it can behave in different people. It is "one of the reasons why we have a messaging difficulty, because most of the people who do well are young people," he said. According to the CDC, more than 19.4 million cases of coronavirus have been reported in the U.S., and more than 337,000 people have died.How to survive this pandemicAs for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • I'm a Doctor and Would Never Touch This During COVID

    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been discussion that the COVID-19 virus lives on surfaces for extended periods of time. This certainly drove the sales of hand sanitizer up at the beginning of the pandemic. As we have progressed, there are still people wearing gloves when they enter a public place out of fear of contracting the virus from surfaces. This is probably not as helpful as face masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but viruses do live on surfaces. Although the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 has been found to be less frequent through contact with surfaces, there are still some surfaces that are concerning for the health of the public. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Door Handles As any surface that comes in contact with many different people certainly has a high risk for transmission of any disease, including COVID-19. Door handles are known to be a very common surfaces where people contract the influenza virus. It is good practice to wash your hands, or at least sanitize with an alcohol-based solution, after entering or exiting a public place. 2 Masks Although masks are very helpful in minimizing the transmission of COVID-19, touching the mask with your hands can be detrimental. If you touch the mask, the oils and debris within your hands can actually damage the mask and reduce the effectiveness of the mask. There is also the possibility of viral particles still living on the surface of the mask. If you touch these particles they can get transferred to your hands and then possibly to your nose or eyes. This is why it is recommended that you wear your mask and only take it off when you are able to wash your hands.  3 Plexiglass Separators It is difficult to order a sandwich or pick up a coffee at a neighborhood cafe without being confronted with plexiglass barriers. Thought to be very helpful in minimizing the community spread of COVID-19, they have become almost omnipresent. These barriers stop the particles from transferring from one person to another. The virus therefore can be found on the surface of the plexiglass. These separators should be washed often, and handwashing must occur after coming in contact with them. RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds 4 Remotes in Hotel Rooms Hotel rooms have been a point of concern for infection control long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the hotel room, the remote control is one of the most common sources of contamination.  Although the risk is low for COVID-19 transmission, the likelihood of contact with other viruses and bacteria from previous guests makes the remote control an item that needs to be disinfected before it is used. 5 Straws From Other People Drinks The risk of transmission of COVID-19 is much higher when in contact with the oral secretions of an individual who has the disease.  Straws and drinks have a high concentration of these secretions within them. It is a good recommendation to never share straws or glasses with others, but it especially not advised during a pandemic.  As with many other items on this list, it is necessary to wash your hands after coming in contact with straws and drinks of others.RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID 6 Discarded Napkins or Tissues During cold and flu season it is very common to use nasal tissues, and napkins to clear the nasal congestion. It is good practice to throw the tissue away and wash your hands immediately afterward in order to reduce contamination. If you happen to pick up tissue or napkin that may have been used for this purpose, especially for someone else, it is imperative to clean your hands as soon as possible. Although COVID-19 is more likely to be transmitted from person to person rather than through contact with surfaces, it is still important to be vigilant. Hand hygiene is a very important step in reducing the likelihood of transmission of any virus or bacteria, even COVID-19. Do not touch your face, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes, after touching a possibly contaminated surface. This is good practice even when not in the midst of a pandemic, but has obviously been highlighted given the current events. 7 The Final Word From the Doctor As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus, According to the CDC

    You might have a bad case of COVID-19. You might get COVID-19 and feel fine. Either way, you might soon after have what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has warned about: a "post-viral" syndrome that attacks your body long after COVID leaves you. It's called Post-COVID Syndrome, or Long COVID, and its sufferers are dubbed "long haulers." Knowing the signs of this syndrome is one way to tell if you've already been infected. "Though there is limited information on late sequelae of COVID-19, reports of persistent symptoms in persons who recovered from acute COVID-19 illness have emerged," says the CDC. "The most commonly reported symptoms include" the following—read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this comprehensive list of the Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 You May Feel Fatigue This isn't just a "sleepy" feeling. Post-COVID fatigue can be debilitating, and resemble chronic fatigue syndrome, a.k.a. myalgic encephalomyelitis. And it may never go away. "About 75 to 80% of chronic fatigue syndrome cases are post-viral in nature," Dr. Mark VanNess, department chair of Health and Exercise Science at the University of the Pacific, tells ABC News. "The viral infection and following immune response are precipitating causes for long-term symptoms." 2 You May Have Dyspnea This is otherwise known as shortness of breath, or difficult or labored breathing. "Persistent shortness of breath—not being able to climb up a few flights of stairs, for example, or being unable to complete usual exertional activities without getting winded—are complaints repeatedly seen on long-COVID forum sites," reports Scientific American. "Small studies have found persistent lung findings like fibrosis (a form of lung scarring), perhaps explaining these symptoms. A retrospective multicenter study published in the Lancet of 55 recovered noncritical patients found that over 60 percent of patients had persistent symptoms three months after discharge, while just over 70 percent had abnormal findings on their lung CT scans. A quarter had demonstrable reductions in lung function." 3 You May Develop Arthralgia The joint pain can be serious. "The current outbreak of COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is characterised by clinical signs and symptoms such as interstitial pneumonia, fatigue, and headache," says a study in the Lancet. "Arthralgia is one of the symptoms that occurs in patients with COVID-19, and is present in 14·9% of cases." 4 You May Have Chest Pain "Early clinical studies have shown that COVID patients may experience complications like myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), abnormal heart rhythms and other cardiac sequelae weeks after contracting the virus," according to Scientific American. "These conditions may help explain why some long haulers experience shortness of breath, chest pain or their heart racing. One non–peer reviewed study, involving 139 health care workers who developed coronavirus infection and recovered, found that about 10 weeks after their initial symptoms, 37 percent of them were diagnosed with myocarditis or myopericarditis—and fewer than half of those had showed symptoms at the time of their scans." 5 You May Have Cognitive Impairment Long-haulers complain of "brain fog," what Dr. Fauci calls "difficulty concentrating." "It has become increasingly recognized that the virus also attacks the nervous system," writes Andrew E. Budson, MD for Harvard Health. "Doctors in a large Chicago medical center found that more than 40% of patients with COVID showed neurologic manifestations at the outset, and more than 30% of those had impaired cognition. Sometimes the neurological manifestations can be devastating and can even lead to death." 6 You May Suffer Depression "Researchers are carefully monitoring mental health outcomes," reports Scientific American. "Unquestionably, the longer-term psychosocial effects this virus is exacting on COVID survivors have yet to be fully elucidated. Anxiety, hopelessness, depression, even postraumatic stress disorder —especially in health care workers or patients following ICU experiences—have all been reported and need further study."RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 7 You May Have Myalgia Myalgia means pains in your muscles or tendons. It often goes in tandem with other symptoms. "There is no medical definition or list of symptoms shared by all patients – two people with long Covid can have very different experiences. However, the most common feature is crippling fatigue. Others symptoms include: breathlessness, a cough that won't go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gut," reports the BBC. 8 You May Get Headaches Post-COVID headaches can be like a jackhammer on your brain that does not stop. "In the early hours of an April morning, at her home in Erie, Malea Anderson woke up with what felt like an explosion of ice water up her spine and into her head," reports the AP. "She had a massive headache and tried to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, but her limbs wouldn't cooperate. She feared she was having a stroke." She wasn't. It was Post-COVID Syndrome. 9 You May Have a Cough "Initial observational experience with post-COVID-19 patients supports the conclusion that there is not a high incidence of post-COVID-19 chronic cough and, when such a persistent cough does occur, it is not reported as severe, nor as the most troublesome symptom affecting a patient," says one study. But it can happen. 10 You May Have a Fever Your temperature may rise above 100.4 degrees. "Recurrent fevers, persistent constipation or diarrhea, intense bouts of fatigue, debilitating brain fog and vivid hallucinations — some people who catch COVID-19 experience symptoms like these for months on end, and we're still learning why that is," reports Live Science. 11 You May Get Palpitations "We are starting to see more patients with cardiovascular symptoms ranging from chest pain to palpitations to presyncope or syncope – which is feeling lightheaded, like you're going to faint – that are often accompanied by neurologic symptoms such as brain fogginess, headaches, numbness, or other sensations in various parts of the body," reports the University of California San Francisco. "These are part of a constellation of symptoms that folks in this so-called COVID-19 long-hauler category are experiencing." 12 You May Have "More Serious Complications" These "appear to be less common but have been reported," says the CDC. "These complications include:Cardiovascular: myocardial inflammation, ventricular dysfunction Respiratory: pulmonary function abnormalities Renal: acute kidney injury Dermatologic: rash, alopecia Neurological: olfactory and gustatory dysfunction, sleep dysregulation, altered cognition, memory impairment Psychiatric: depression, anxiety, changes in mood." 13 What to Do if You Experience These Symptoms Contact a medical professional immediately if you or someone you know is suffering from Long COVID. Doctors are still learning about the syndrome, but can connect you with specialists who can try to help alleviate your symptoms, although there is no cure in sight. To confirm if you have had coronavirus, ask your doctor for an antibody test, although these are not 100% accurate. And try not to get COVID-19 in the first place—follow the public health fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live, and wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • The One Thing You Shouldn't Do Even If It's Allowed, Says Dr. Fauci

    COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out nationwide, and many Americans are feeling optimistic about what 2021 will bring, compared to this pandemic year. But there's one thing you can't afford to do right now, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert: You cannot give up on public health measures.Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Monday, Fauci reiterated his prediction that coronavirus vaccines will be available to the general public this spring. But he said that prevention efforts such as mask-wearing and social distancing will be necessary until the vaccine is available worldwide."Until we get that veil of protection, then we are constantly going to be challenged," he said. Read on for more of his warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. We need more consistency between states, said FauciFauci also criticized the lack of a fully coordinated national response to COVID-19. Since the early days of the pandemic, states have been left to set their own policies on preventing and mitigating the virus. "What we've had was a considerable disparity, with states doing things differently in a non-consistent way," said Fauci. "There have been a lot of factors that have led to the fact that, unfortunately for us, the United States has been the hardest-hit country in the world, but I believe that disparity among how states do things has been a major weakness in our response."The coronavirus "doesn't know the difference between the border of New York and New Jersey, or Florida and Georgia," he added.RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to Doctors"We're really at a very critical point"On Sunday, Fauci warned against a potential rise in cases, driven by the recent holidays. "We very well might see a post-seasonal—in the sense of Christmas, New Years—surge," said Fauci on CNN's State of the Union. "If you look at the slope, the incline of cases that we've experienced as we've gone into the late fall and soon to be early winter, it is really quite troubling.""When you're dealing with a baseline of 200,000 new cases a day and about 2,000 deaths per day, with the hospitalizations over 120,000, we are really at a very critical point," said Fauci. "As we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciHow to survive this pandemicAs for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, get vaccinated when it's available to you, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • If You Have This "Horrifying" COVID Symptom, Call Your Doctor

    Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of sense of taste and smell are just a few of the symptoms most commonly reported by those infected with COVID-19. However, over the last year we have come to understand that the highly infectious virus can manifest itself in unusual ways, presenting itself in some rare and frightening ways. According to a new report, some people with zero history of mental illness who become infected with coronavirus are experiencing severe psychiatric symptoms. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 One Woman Who Had COVID Saw "Horrifying" Things Dr. Hisam Goueli told the New York Times about a 42-year-old physical therapist and mother of four young children who visited his psychiatric hospital on Long Island over the summer with no history of psychiatric symptoms or any family history of mental illness. Sobbing, she told him that she "kept seeing her children, ages 2 to 10, being gruesomely murdered" adding that she had a plan to kill them. "It was like she was experiencing a movie, like 'Kill Bill,'" Dr. Goueli, a psychiatrist, said. "It's a horrifying thing that here's this well-accomplished woman and she's like 'I love my kids, and I don't know why I feel this way that I want to decapitate them,'" he said.The only clue to her condition was that she had been infected with COVID-19 in the spring, experiencing only mild symptoms prior to the psychiatric symptoms months later.  2 …And There Are More Patients With Similar Symptoms Dr. Goueli reveals that she was just the first of many patients he saw with similar symptoms. "But then we saw a second case, a third case and a fourth case, and we're like, 'There's something happening,'" he said. And, other doctors across the country have reported similar occurrences, including a 36-year-old who "believed her three children would be kidnapped and, to save them, tried to pass them through a fast-food restaurant's drive-through window," a 30-year-old construction worker in New York City "who became so delusional that he imagined his cousin was going to murder him, and, to protect himself, he tried to strangle his cousin in bed," and a 55-year-old woman in Britain had hallucinations of monkeys and a lion "and became convinced a family member had been replaced by an impostor."There is additional scientific data backing up the link between the two, including a British study of neurological or psychiatric complications in 153 patients hospitalized with the virus, reporting 10 people who had "new-onset psychosis" and another finding 10 patients in one Spanish hospital suffering COVID-induced psychological symptoms. 3 Why Is This Happening? Experts believe that these sort of neurological manifestations of the virus could be due to the body's immune response to and subsequent inflammation caused by the virus. "Some of the neurotoxins that are reactions to immune activation can go to the brain, through the blood-brain barrier, and can induce this damage," Dr. Vilma Gabbay, a co-director of the Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein in the Bronx told the NYT.Interestingly, most of these patients didn't suffer a severe initial infection. Dr. Goueli claims that his patients who experienced these types of psychological issues had no respiratory problems. However, they did report subtle neurological symptoms including hand tingling, vertigo, headaches or diminished smell. However, two weeks to several months later, he said they "develop this profound psychosis, which is really dangerous and scary to all of the people around them."Also, they tend to be younger than those who fall into the high risk category, in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. "It's very rare for you to develop this type of psychosis in this age range," he pointed out.  4 "Does This Eventually Go Away?" As for the repercussions, some of the people who develop this COVID-related psychosis require weeks of hospitalization, and many doctors struggle to treat them. While some are discharged in a week, others stay in the hospital for months. For example, the physical therapist with plans to murder her children "was getting worse" every day. "We tried probably eight different medicines," including antidepressants, antipsychotics and lithium. "She was so ill that we were considering electroconvulsive therapy for her because nothing was working." After four weeks they found a medication that worked, risperidone, and went home "95 percent perfect.""We don't know what the natural course of this is," Dr. Goueli said. "Does this eventually go away? Do people get better? How long does that normally take? And are you then more prone to have other psychiatric issues as a result? There are just so many unanswered questions."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 5 How to Get Through This Pandemic Without Illness As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's—the nation's leading infectious disease expert—fundamentals and help end this surge, no neither you or anyone else has to experience this torture—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • CDC Issues COVID Vaccine Warnings for These Health Conditions

    The CDC has updated its guidance about the COVID-19 vaccine for people with certain pre-existing medical conditions. "Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19," the CDC said. "mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine." mRNA means messenger RNA; mRNA vaccines target messenger cells, which tell certain other cells in the body to perform specific actions. The COVID-19 vaccine tells the body's immune cells to develop antibodies to the spike protein that enables the coronavirus to attach to cells. Read on to see which conditions are mentioned—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. Guidance targets immune conditionsThe CDC's new guidance involved people with HIV, weakened immune systems and certain autoimmune conditions, like GBS and Bell's Palsy.People with HIV and weakened immune systems "may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware of the limited safety data," said the CDC. People with HIV were included in clinical trials, but "safety data specific to this group are not yet available at this time," the agency said."People with autoimmune conditions may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine," the CDC said. But the agency noted that this group of people should also be aware of a lack of safety data, even though people with autoimmune conditions were included in clinical trials. During vaccine trials, some people developed Bell's palsy, a temporary facial paralysis. The newly issued CDC guidance says the FDA "does not consider these to be above the rate expected in the general population. They have not concluded these cases were caused by vaccination. Therefore, persons who have previously had Bell's palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine."The agency also said that people who have GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) can receive a vaccine, and no cases of GBS were reported in mRNA COVID vaccine trials.RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciAdvice on allergic reactions comingEarlier this month, the CDC said that people with a history of severe allergic reactions can get the COVID vaccine, but they should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor and be monitored for 30 minutes afterward. The New York Times reported that at least six severe allergic reactions have been linked to the Pfizer vaccine; last weekend, a doctor with a severe shellfish allergy suffered a reaction after getting the Moderna vaccine but recovered after using his personal auto-injector. On Dec. 25, the CDC said that guidance about reactions to the COVID vaccine would be posted to its website starting this week.As of Monday, more than 2.1 million people nationwide have gotten the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 11.4 million doses have been distributed.How to survive this pandemicAs for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, get vaccinated when it's available to you, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • These 6 States Just Had a Record Spike in Coronavirus Cases

    According to the Covid Tracking Project, more Americans were hospitalized over the last week than any other week of the pandemic, with daily records breaking multiple times. Even more worrisome? The US broke another record on Sunday with more people traveling through airports (1.28 million) than any day since March 2020, when our national health crisis began, making it likely that another surge of infections is days to weeks away. While some states are experiencing a slight improvement in regard to hospitalizations, others are in crisis mode with six breaking records for the number of people hospitalized. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.  1 Alabama is Breaking Hospitalization Records The Covid Tracking Project shows that Alabama has been breaking records daily in terms of hospitalizations. Currently hovering over 2,500, one projection predicts the number will be increased by 1,000 up to 3,500 in mid-January. "I'm certainly glad to get a shot of the vaccine," Gov. Kay Ivey said last week when she received the vaccine. "I highly recommend it. And the more people who take it, the greater immunity we'll have. The more we have, the better. We need a lot of immunity in our state. But we're going to whip this thing, and I want to thank all our health care heroes." 2 California's ICUs are Nearing Capacity Most of California is on lockdown, as their ICU's are nearing capacity with the state's Department of Public Health reporting 0% in both the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions. On Monday, military personnel were deployed to help in the state's battle against the virus. "At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 75 U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force military medical personnel deployed to California as part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation," a statement from the Army said on Monday. 3 Georgia's Hospitalizations Are Also Increasing Hospitalizations continue to increase at an alarming rate in Georgia, where a total of 40,787 patients have been hospitalized in total. Over the last 14 days, the average daily increase in new patients was 225 new patients a day—up from 203.93 during the previous 14-day period. On May 1, when the Georgia Emergency Management Agency began reporting current statewide hospitalizations they reported 1,500 current hospitalizations. According to the newly created Georgia COVID-19 Data Hub, as of Dec. 27, there were 4,104 current hospitalizations. 4 Mississippi Just Had Its Single Highest Daily Death Count Last week Mississippi saw its single highest daily death count this week and a record number of hospitalizations. As of Dec. 22, there were 1312 people hospitalized in Mississippi with confirmed infections—339 in the ICU and 195 on ventilators. "People are dying from COVID. COVID is killing Mississippians. COVID is one of the leading causes of death in Mississippi," State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. "I think we are on track, unfortunately, to hit 1,000 deaths this month if you see we're ramping up quickly."  5 North Carolina's ICUs are Breaking Records On Monday the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,888 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths with hospitalizations reaching a record high. Currently there are 3,192 people hospitalized with at least 733 patients in the ICU, another record high.  6 South Carolina is Breaking All the Wrong Records For the first time since the start of the pandemic the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day on Sunday with 4,370 positive tests. They also broke their record for hospitalizations. Additionally, health officials said the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in South Carolina has reached a record high of 1,780, breaking the prior record set in July. RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 7 How to Survive This Pandemic—No Matter Where You Live As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Dangerous Side Effects of Smoking Marijuana, According to Science

    Cannabis has seen an ever-increasing acceptance within society in the past few years. There are now 35 states that allow for at least the medical use of cannabis, with Mississippi and South Dakota being added to the list this year. Although many people believe there are great uses of cannabis, such as for pain or depression, there are obvious side effects. As an Emergency Physician, I see these side effects of cannabis use very often. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You Might Feel Nausea and Vomiting One of the most common side effects that is not well known is that it can cause severe nausea and vomiting. The condition, called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, is usually seen with daily users but can occur in any patient. It is characterized by nausea and vomiting that can need IV fluids and anti-nausea medications. Most patients describe that these symptoms improve with hot showers or using creams made from the active ingredient found in chili peppers, capsaicin. Although the symptoms can be managed, the best treatment is complete abstinence from cannabis. RELATED: What Smoking Marijuana Every Day Does to Your Body 2 You Might Feel Anxiety Cannabis is used for some patients who have depression or anxiety. There is a subset of patients who will experience a paradoxical effect. Some patients will have severe anxiety and even paranoia after use. Most patients can connect the anxiety with the use of marijuana that contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Some patients find their anxiety is lessened with cannabis products that are higher in CBD or cannabidiol. If you are using cannabis for the treatment of depression and anxiety, it is important to work closely with a physician to ensure appropriate treatment. 3 You Might Feel Hunger It is difficult to see cannabis in popular movies or television that does not highlight the "munchies" that occur. For some patients, particularly cancer patients or AIDS patients, cannabis is specifically used for the treatment of their complete lack of appetite. Although helpful for some patients, increased hunger can lead to detrimental side effects, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you are going to be using cannabis for medical treatment, it is important to track your caloric intake and monitor your weight.  4 You Might Feel Sedation or Impairment As with many medications, there is the possibility of decreased attention and increased sedation with cannabis use. This can lead to dangerous conditions if the patient is operating heavy machinery or even driving. Consumer Reports published an article last year confirming that in states that have legalized cannabis usage, auto accidents have increased in comparison to their neighboring states. The article goes on to describe that possibly 50% of medical cannabis patients drove while under the influence. It is essential to realize the sedative features of cannabis and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.RELATED: Medical Marijuana Mistakes You Could Make, Warns Doctor 5 You Might Develop Psychiatric Health Concerns Depression and anxiety are certain diagnoses that proponents of cannabis use state are safely treated. There is data suggesting, however, that cannabis can be problematic in patients with other psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. Some studies suggest there is a direct correlation between the usage of cannabis as a teenager and the development of schizophrenia later in life. 6 You Might Feel Dry Mouth Specifically, for patients who use cannabis by smoking, dry mouth can be a very common side effect. Although it seems more of a nuisance than a true side effect, dry mouth can have some major health concerns. Good oral health, such as gum and dental health, requires a moist environment. With drying out of the oral cavity, there can be a regression of the gums which can lead to tooth decay and even teeth falling out.  7 You Might Foster Decreased Sperm Health Cannabis has been found to reduce sperm viability in a number of different ways, one of which being the number of sperm produced. In a study in Denmark, weekly use of cannabis was found to reduce the number of sperm. Other studies have looked at the health of the sperm in patients who use cannabis regularly. There seems to be a correlation with cannabis use and sperm that do not have appropriate forward movement, or appropriate ability to contact and thereby fertilize the egg within the female reproductive tract. There has been a major push to legalize the use of cannabis for medical treatment of many different disorders. Although there is anecdotal evidence of its benefits, specifically in seizures and chronic pain, it is not without side effects. It is important to consult your physician before starting any medical treatment, including cannabis. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, According to the Mayo Clinic

    The coronavirus is a devious disease. "Most people who have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recover completely within a few weeks," says the Mayo Clinic. "But some people — even those who had mild versions of the disease — continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery. These people sometimes describe themselves as 'long haulers' and the condition has been called post-COVID-19 syndrome or 'long COVID-19.'" The Mayo Clinic goes on to name the "most common signs and symptoms that linger over time" and we've rounded them up here in this story, along with comments from medical experts. Read on to see if you have these symptoms—and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't miss COVID Symptoms Normally Appear in This Order. 1 You Might Now Have Fatigue, Muscle Pain or Headache "Long-term symptoms of COVID can be summed up by the old quote: 'I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.' The various symptoms of COVID experience are as varied as people are," says Sheldon Zablow, MD. "For some, it is clear a viral illness has gotten hold of them and for others, they are not even aware they have been infected. The most common symptoms can also be the same ones that last for weeks or months called long-haul symptoms." A profound fatigue is usually the most common. "Muscle and joint pain can occur and is often associated with weakness and lethargy in individuals with lasting symptoms," says Dr. Zablow. 2 You Might Now Have Shortness of Breath, Chest Pain or a Cough The virus is a respiratory illness and can cause lasting damage. "Many individuals are experiencing a prolonged recovery from these symptoms," says Dr. Matt Ashley from the Centre for Neuro Skills. "This can vary from a nuisance to use of oxygen therapy for prolonged periods." 3 You Might Now Have Joint Pain "People have described long term pain in their joints (arthralgia), following COVID infection and recovery from the acute period of the illness," says Dr. Ashley.  4 You Might Now Have a Fast or Pounding Heartbeat "According to one study out of the University of Frankfurt in Germany, more than half of patients studied who had COVID-19 were found to have ongoing cardiac inflammation," says Hackensack Meridian Health.  5 You Might Now Have a Loss of Smell or Taste "A prolonged loss of smell or taste is a tell-tale sign that you've previously had COVID," says Peter Bailey, MD. "A common clue left behind by the virus is a lingering loss of smell or taste, even if mild. If you can't taste your morning coffee or breakfast like you used to, this could be a lingering symptom of having had the virus."RELATED: Unhealthiest Habits on the Planet, According to Doctors 6 You Might Now Have Memory, Concentration or Sleep Problems "Often the most bothersome long haul symptom is described as 'brain fog,'" says Lisa Ravindra, MD, FACP. "This difficulty with concentration and thinking coupled with profound fatigue has resulted in some of my patients taking prolonged time off work and needing to seek mental health treatment due to the stress of not knowing when they will recover." 7 You Might Now Have a Rash or Hair Loss "Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.While many people think of this as hair loss, it's actually hair shedding," says the AAD. "It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding phase of the hair growth life cycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase." 8 You Might Now Have Organ Damage Caused by COVID-19 "As the pandemic unfolds, we are learning that many organs besides the lungs are affected by COVID-19," says the CDC. "COVID can also affect your renal system (acute kidney injury), your brain, heart, and liver." Says the Mayo Clinic:"Organs that may be affected by COVID-19 include:Heart. Imaging tests taken months after recovery from COVID-19 have shown lasting damage to the heart muscle, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms. This may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future.Lungs. The type of pneumonia often associated with COVID-19 can cause long-standing damage to the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can lead to long-term breathing problems.Brain. Even in young people, COVID-19 can cause strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis. COVID-19 may also increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease." 9 You Might Now Have Blood Clots and Blood Vessel Problems "COVID-19 can make blood cells more likely to clump up and form clots," says the Mayo Clinic. "While large clots can cause heart attacks and strokes, much of the heart damage caused by COVID-19 is believed to stem from very small clots that block tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in the heart muscle."RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 10 You Might Now Have Problems With Mood and Fatigue "There have been reports of people recovering from COVID having neurologic symptoms that can linger including poor concentration, short-term memory difficulties, and even significant depression," says Dr. Zablow.  11 Many Long-Term COVID-19 Effects are Still Unknown "Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 will affect people over time. However, researchers recommend that doctors closely monitor people who have had COVID-19 to see how their organs are functioning after recovery," says the Mayo Clinic. "Many large medical centers are opening specialized clinics to provide care for people who have persistent symptoms or related illnesses after they recover from COVID-19. It's important to remember that most people who have COVID-19 recover quickly. But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to reduce the spread of the disease by following precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds and keeping hands clean." And for more about long-hauler symptoms, don't miss this full list of all 98 Symptoms Coronavirus Patients Say They've Had.

  • Dr. Fauci Just Gave a Date for Getting Back to "Normal"

    Last holiday season, people were gathering with friends and family from across the country to celebrate the holidays, going to see holiday blockbusters in the movie theaters, and attending holiday parties with coworkers. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things look drastically different this year. As the most devastating year in recent history winds down, the question many people are asking is: When will life go back to normal? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the nation's top infectious disease expert spoke to FiveThirtyEight's PODCAST-19 and revealed when he thinks that will happen. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. It Depends on VaccinationDr. Fauci explained that everything relies on whether Americans decide to get vaccinated. "It's going to depend on our success in vaccinating what I would say is an overwhelming majority of the population, between 70 to 85 percent," he revealed. "If we can do that, by mid to end of the summer, I think as we get into fall, October, November, times like that, I think we will be very close to a degree of normality.""There's Light at the End of the Tunnel"Even with people getting vaccinated, you need to observe public health measures. "Until you get a degree of immunity, that the level of infection is so low in the population, that there really is no longer a threat of a person getting infected. Because when you get the virus right now, we're having a massive amount of community spread in the United States," said Fauci. "If you get down to a very, very, very low baseline, then you could start pulling back on things like mask wearing, and congregating. You can start going to restaurants and going to a movie or going to a theater, but until you get that level of virus really low by vaccinating, a substantial proportion of the people, you still have to have some degree of public health measures that you're implementing."While we are currently in the midst of the darkest months of the pandemic thus far, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths surging across the country, it isn't going to be this bad forever. "This will end," he confirmed. "I think they need to know because a lot of people, understandably, have COVID fatigue. They're exhausted with this. And it's very difficult to maintain some public health standards and public health measures when you've been doing it now for almost a year. The first case in the United States was January 21, 2020. So I think what we need to get people to understand is that help is on the way, there's light at the end of the tunnel, and just hang in there a bit more and we're going to be OK."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciHow to Survive This PandemicAs for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • The CDC Just Issued New Warning About COVID Vaccine

    In Alaska, three people have had allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, following two medical workers in the U.K. who experienced something similar. Each of them demonstrated symptoms of anaphylactoid reaction, leading U.K. authorities to advise anyone with that condition to not take the vaccine. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued its own warning. Read on to hear it, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. Use Caution if You "Have Experienced Severe Allergic Reactions"Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, was asked if he agrees with the U.K. directive. "I do. I do," he said. "We are very carefully monitoring these things. And when we see something like an allergic reaction, you modify the recommendation and you say that someone who has a history of a severe allergic reaction, that those individuals don't get vaccinated now with this product, or if they do get vaccinated, they do it in a location that has the capability of responding to an allergic reaction." Officially, the FDA says "you should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you: had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine."The CDC weighed on December 19th, with the following posting:"CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911."What the CDC RecommendsThe CDC goes on: "If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get that specific vaccine. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say DoctorsCDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex—may still get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have an milder allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis)—may also still get vaccinated.If you have a severe allergic reaction after getting the first shot, you should not get the second shot. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice."Safeguards Are in PlaceSays the CDC: "CDC has provided recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination providers about how to prepare for the possibility of a severe allergic reaction:All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site. People with a history of severe allergic reactions should be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine. All other people should be monitored for 15 minutes after getting the vaccine.Vaccination providers should have appropriate medications and equipment—such as epinephrine, antihistamines, stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and timing devices to check your pulse—at all COVID-19 vaccination sites.If you experience a severe allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination providers should provide rapid care and call for emergency medical services. You should continue to be monitored in a medical facility for at least several hours.Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated for COVID-19, including normal side effects and tips to reduce pain or discomfort."How to Survive the PandemicAs for yourself, the vaccine is not yet available to those who aren't the highest priority, so follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • Brain Tumor Signs You Should Never Ignore

    Earlier this year, Tom Parker, the British singer best known for the boy band The Wanted, was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, an inoperable brain tumor. He's only 32. "We are all absolutely devastated but we are gonna fight this all the way," he wrote on Instagram. "We don't want your sadness, we just want love and positivity and together we will raise awareness of this terrible disease and look for all available treatment options. It's gonna be a tough battle but with everyone's love and support we are going to beat this." There are warning signs of brain tumors; read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 A Different Kind of a Headache Many of us get headaches, sometimes often. But how do you know when a headache is suspicious and might be cancer? "Changes in frequency, type or intensity of headache should prompt neurological evaluation," says Santosh Kesari, MD, Ph.D., neuro-oncologist at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.  2 The Worst Headache of Your Life It might qualify as the "worst headache of your life," or if you get migraines, this headache might be longer lasting, says Joshua Mansour, MD, a triple-board-certified oncologist in Los Angeles. Get it checked out.RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds 3 A Headache That Wakes You Up Persistent and worsening headaches, especially if a headache wakes you up at night, are signs you shouldn't ignore, says Martin Mortazavi, MD, neurosurgeon and chairman of the California Institute of Neuroscience.  4 Memory Changes Forgetfulness and short-term memory loss could indicate a tumor in the temporal or frontal lobes of the brain, which controls memory. "Sometimes this can occur over months to years, and patients can be thought to have a dementia condition before imaging is done to reveal a brain tumor," says Kesari.  5 Unexplained Nausea or Vomiting Persistent queasiness or vomiting that has no apparent explanation can be the sign of a brain tumor, says Mortazavi. RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 6 Weakness Unexplained weakness in your arms or legs could be a sign of a brain tumor in the frontal lobe motor cortex, the neurons and pathways that control the muscles, says Kesari.  7 Personality Changes "Patients present with change in behavior, including disinhibition presenting as risky behaviors, or apathy and doing less they normally would," says Kesari. "Patients may not be as effective at job or home functions. These patients usually have tumors in the frontal lobe where executive functions reside." 8 Vision Changes If you have persistent double vision, you should report it to your doctor, says Mansour. Sometimes vision changes may be more subtle: "Patients may or may not be aware of vision loss with brain tumors," says Kesari. "They may keep bumping into things on the side of the body related to the vision loss, and/or have repeated car accidents on the side of the loss." 9 Speech Changes Slurred or thick speech—or fluent but nonsensical speech—could result from a tumor affecting the speech areas in the brain's temporal or parietal lobes, says Kesari.RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal" 10 Difficulty Walking Losing your balance, feeling unsteady or your feet, or weakness or numbness in the legs, can be a brain tumor symptom. Generally, it's related to a tumor affecting the frontal lobe, the motor fibers that reside there, or the cerebellum, says Kesari.  11 Hearing Changes  Sudden hearing changes are always worthy of investigation by a doctor. A brain tumor affecting the eighth cranial nerve can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ear, or vertigo, says Kesari. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

  • This One Symptom May Mean You've Already Had COVID

    Since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, researchers have continued to learn more and more about the highly infectious virus, responsible for the deaths of over 1.62 million people around the world. They have come to understand that while the majority of people experience common symptoms — fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, dry cough included — and recover from the virus, there are others who are plagued with ones that are mysterious and sometimes linger for months on end. Now, according to multiple case reports, some people infected with COVID-19 are experiencing a slew of symptoms that can be most commonly described as "parkinsonism." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. Patients are Experiencing Parkinson's-Like Symptoms—But It's Not Parkinson'sOne of the reports published in The Lancet surrounds a 45-year-old man from Israel who spent a week in the United States. On his return flight he sat near a symptomatic passenger. Within two days he started experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including dry cough, muscle pain, and loss of sense of smell. After testing positive and being hospitalized with fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain, he returned home. However, in the next three week he started experiencing a slew of troubling symptoms: he had trouble speaking, writing, texting, his cognitive performance declined and had tremors in one hand. Doctors later called it "a case of probable Parkinson's."Other similar case reports include a 35-year-old woman in Brazil who contracted the virus and then experienced  a bunch of Parkinson's like symptoms including hypophonia (slowness of speech) and bradykinesia (slowness of movement), a 58-year-old male COVID-19 patient in Madrid who also displayed symptoms associated with the condition, including tremors and eye movement abnormalities. "The distinction between parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease is important to make," Dr. Emily Troyer, a psychiatrist and neuropsychiatry researcher at University of California San Diego, told The Daily Beast. Taylor explains that parkinsonism and neuropsychiatric complications have been linked to other viral infections, including the common flu to West Nile virus, herpes, and HIV, so it isn't surprising that they could be associated with COVID-19."A number of things can cause parkinsonism, including certain medications, exposures, and several types of illnesses. Parkinson's disease, on the other hand"—like the kind actor, author and advocate Michael J. Fox has—"refers to a specific illness with a well-defined set of symptoms, disease mechanisms, potential treatments. With that said, I'm not surprised that we are seeing case reports of parkinsonism that are temporally associated with COVID-19."RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say DoctorsHow to Stay Healthy During the PandemicIf you have tested positive for COVID-19 and experience any of these "parkinsonism" type of symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. And follow the fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.