Nurse Notes

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2


There are three different flu viruses —

Influenza A, B, and C.
Influenza A is the most severe of the three, causing outbreaks in birds and humans. It was the cause of the pandemics of H1N1 (Spanish and Swine Flu), and more. Influenza B is exclusively found in humans, but mutates at a much slower rate. Influenza C infects humans, dogs, and pigs, but is less common than the other two.

The word influenza is the Italian word for “influence.”
And it refers to the cause of the disease — people believed that the planets, stars, and moon influenced the flu. The word “influenza” was used for the first time in English in 1732.

Each year on average five to 20 percent of the U.S. population contract the virus.
Even worse: More than 200,000 people will be hospitalized from flu-related complications.

The Flu Vaccine is a good effective way to protect from getting the flu or if you do get it to make the symptoms less bothersome.

Flu shots can be given at doctors’ offices, clinics or some pharmacies. Don’t forget free flu shots are being given at Dorney Park and Coca cola park the weekend of Nov 3-4th. Registration is required. Contact Lehigh Valley Hospital website for details and online registration forms.

Asthma affects people of all ages and can make breathing a struggle.

Asthma is defined as a chronic lung disease that affects a large portion of the population. The symptoms can occur as a child, but adults can and do develop the symptoms.  The exact cause is unknown, but it can be inherited. Allergens and irritants such as things in the environment and infections can also cause symptoms.

Asthma affects the airways of the lungs. The airways become sensitive to asthma triggers likes allergens, fumes or exercise. When the exposure occurs, the airways narrow. When they narrow, the muscles tighten and there is an increase in mucus production in the lungs. This process can cause breathing difficulties along with wheezing.

The signs and symptoms of asthma are difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, rapid breathing, tightness in the chest. Severe symptoms include difficulty speaking, anxiety, pale face, blue lips and fingernails.  If you suspect severe symptoms seek medical help right away.

There are two types of medication that can be taken for asthma and should always be used as directed.  Long term medications are taken on a daily basis to control symptoms. Quick relief medication is taken when symptoms develop and are taken for a short amount of time until acute symptoms are under control.  Medication is usually given via inhaler so it can be directed into the lungs.

Common inhaled triggers of asthma include smoke, dust mold allergens, animal dander, air pollution, chemical fumes, weather such as high humidity and cold or dry air.  Other triggers include exercise, stress and anxiety, illness and some medications such as aspirin, NSAIDs and some beta blockers.

Ways to help your asthma include taking medications as directed by your doctor. Try to find out what triggers your attacks and see if you can find ways to avoid these triggers. Get a flu shot every year. A good diet including plenty of fluids is also helpful.