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HEALTH WATCH: Florida Department of Health Gives Tips on How to Prevent Mosquitoes

By  //  September 16, 2018


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Risk of disease through bites of infected mosquitoes to humans has increased

The Florida Department of Health reminds residents and visitors that it is important to “Drain and Cover” during the coming months as rain becomes a daily occurrence in some areas. (Florida Department of Health image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Department of Health reminds residents and visitors that it is important to “Drain and Cover” during the coming months as rain becomes a daily occurrence in some areas.

The department encourages everyone to take simple precautions to protect themselves and their neighbors from mosquito-borne illnesses which have received increased recently in Florida.

In addition to Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus are also present in mosquitoes in Florida.

The risk of disease transmission through bites of infected mosquitoes to humans has increased.

To protect against mosquitoes, the department urges the public to “Drain and Cover:”

 DRAIN standing water:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

 COVER your skin with:

  • CLOTHING – If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
  • REPELLENT – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

 COVER doors and windows with screens:

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.

 Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites:

  • Clean out troughs and gutters;
  • Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain;
  • Turn over or remove empty plastic pots;
  • Pick up all beverage containers and cups;
  • Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water;
  • Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week;
  • Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week; and
  • Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.

The department has created a public service announcement on the “Drain and Cover” method, which you can view here.

Click here for a downloadable poster on preventing mosquito bites.

For more information on mosquito-borne illness prevention, visit their website.

Gov. Scott: Florida Continues to Provide Resources to States Facing Hurricane FlorenceRelated Story:
Gov. Scott: Florida Continues to Provide Resources to States Facing Hurricane Florence


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7 Tips for Living Healthy on the Cheap (that Save the Earth at the Same Time!)

Nothing beats an outdoor or at-home workout. Certainly can’t beat the cost. Ask Elise Carver. Photo: Elise Carver/Little Bantam Surf Trainer

The Inertia

Everybody wants to save a couple of bucks. But far too frequently, we attempt to do so by cutting corners when it comes to our own health. We eat ramen as a meal. Slumped over a pile of work, we might forget how adversely the grind impacts our bodies. Even if you’re a weekend warrior, you might still compromise on your diet, posture, or exercise habits. Perhaps worse than the individual impact, amid the hustle of a time-equals-money society, we tend to look past simple, but nevertheless important, measures for cutting down waste and pollution, issues that affect everyone. In the interest of a healthy wallet, body, and planet, here are seven tips for living healthy on the cheap (and saving the earth at the same time):

Imperfect produce doesn't mean it's not delicious and nutritious. It's just not a cover model. Photo:

Imperfect produce doesn’t mean it’s not delicious and nutritious. It’s just not a cover model. Photo:

1. Buy Ugly Produce:

Due to its quick expiration, fresh produce is often one of the more costly components of our grocery budgets… but we can’t afford to forget that it’s also the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Luckily, keeping your kitchen stocked with fruit and veggies is no longer as expensive as it used to be. “Ugly” fruits and vegetables – superficially abnormal, and therefore excluded from supermarket aisles — are offered at discounted rates by a variety of American companies like Imperfect Produce (serving the West Coast) and Hungry Harvest (serving the East Coast). Delivered directly to your door, these services are a simple, cost-effective, customizable and environmentally-friendly way to keep your eating –  and your conscience – squeaky clean.

Taylor Godber Workout

Professional snowboarder Taylor Godber knows the value of a workout at home – whether traveling or not. Photo: Courtesy Taylor Godber

2. Work Out at Home:

Group workout franchises have been wildly successful in recent years. Whether it’s CrossFit, yoga, pilates or some cutting-edge “strippercise” class, young people seem willing to fork over big money to stay in shape, and prefer the motivation and camaraderie of working out alongside peers. It’s nothing new – Richard Simmons made his money from a wave of busy people who wanted to bring this experience home. No gas money, no class fee, just the one-time purchase of a tape that could be used over and over. This sort of thing still exists, but the internet is a marvelous advent: with seemingly endless online fitness programs available for free, you’ll never have to repeat a workout again. (Note: It’s especially important to pay attention to form in the absence of a professional instructor’s corrective guidance.)

Max King Vanlife

You don’t have to use the van unless you have to use the van. Photo: Gabe Reuben

3. Limit Driving:

Whether you’re skating, biking or walking, minimizing car use has a number of benefits. In addition to saving you gas money and reducing emissions, alternative forms of transit help you avoid unnecessary time spent sitting. Between driving and work, the frequency with which we’re forced to occupy seated positions has allowed the proliferation of countless health issues, from lower back pain to carpal tunnel. Not only can such injuries prevent us from working effectively; they are capable of sidelining us from the activities we live for.

Reusable Bottles

Stay hydrated. And don’t kill the ocean. Wins! Photo: The Inertia

4. Keep a Few Reusable Water Bottles in Rotation:

I know, I know. It’s still technically more plastic than necessary. If one were to diligently wash their reusable water bottle, they wouldn’t need extras. I’m aware. But I’m also aware that life happens, that hardly anyone washes their water bottle so frequently, and that it sucks to get caught without one when you need it. In those scenarios, we tend to bite the bullet, buying yet another overpriced disposable water bottle and tacitly contributing to the massive pile of plastic waste enveloping our lands and oceans. Best to avoid it when we can. When you keep your water bottles in rotation, you’ll always have a clean one.


Steak. Maybe the biggest drain on our world’s water resources. Photo: Armando Ascorve Morales

5. Cut down on Meat:

I’m no vegan, but reducing meat consumption does offer clear benefits. A plant-based diet is heart-healthy, nutritious, and in comparison with a carnivorous diet requires substantially less water and energy to maintain. On the flip side, Americans love their meat. Wholesale conversion of the entire population to veganism or vegetarianism strikes me as unrealistic in this day and age. But you don’t have to make it a lifestyle to recognize that our current rate of meat consumption is wildly unsustainable. Mindful consumption, when adopted by a critical mass, is capable of making a huge difference. Small, reasonable changes to your diet can reduce your weekly grocery bill (meat ain’t cheap), methane in the atmosphere, and potential long-term health risks.

Get it?! Photo: Kat Yukawa/Unsplash

Get it?! Photo: Kat Yukawa/Unsplash

6. Keep Track of Your Purchases with Mint:

Mint helps you organize expenditures. If you’re twenty or thirty-something, you might notice that a disproportionate amount of your paycheck goes towards expensive, less-than-healthy pastimes (read: bars). Furthermore, Mint’s parent company, Intuit, recently achieved carbon neutrality. One of the most important things we can do as consumers is to support corporate responsibility. Now more than ever, where we put our money matters.

Outdoors Yosemite Valley

Endless inspiration: $0. Photo: Grant Ritchie on Unsplash

7. Make the Outdoors Your Playground.

Spare the entry fee of purchasing equipment, it costs next to nothing to get yourself outdoors. And beyond personal fulfillment, our favorite activities — surfing, biking, climbing, skiing and running, just to name a few — are great for cardiovascular health. Outdoor exercise also benefits mental health, with increased vitamin D absorption that combats seasonal affective disorder. Finally, and most importantly, passion can serve as a springboard for conservational efforts. There’s a reason why people who love the outdoors are often those most involved in environmental preservation: the more we engage a place, the more stake we have in protecting its future.

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Tennova Healthcare offers tips for treating bone spurs





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Getting fighting fit: All Black fitness coach shares health tips for everyday Kiwis

He’s charged with keeping the All Blacks in optimum shape so they can stay on top of the rugby world.

And now the side’s strength and conditioning coach Nic Gill has set his sights on helping everyday Kiwis get and stay fit.

His new book – Health Your Self – is promoted as a “one-stop handbook to a healthier, more energetic you”.

Read the full book extract of Health Your Self.

And it has a simple message that – just like All Blacks – ordinary Kiwis also need to learn to control their minds and choose good habits over bad if they are to succeed in their health goals.

This can even mean confronting those dearest to us, such as a loving mum or spouse who overfeeds you or a close buddy wanting you to drink one-too-many glass of wine.

“Each of us has different things in our life that make it difficult for us to stick to a healthy lifestyle,” Gill writes in the book.

“It might be habits that we learnt from our parents; our financial situation; time pressures; the people we live or socialise with; or a voice inside our head that constantly tells us to take the easy option. “

Sonny Bill Williams with Nic Gill during an All Blacks gym session. Photo / Brett Phibbs

“All of these are potential barriers to change – but as long as you’re aware of them, you can overcome them.”

And overcoming barriers is a challenge Gill knows plenty about.

Following another failed New Zealand Rugby World Cup campaign in 2007, Gill took over as All Blacks’ head of strength and conditioning in 2008, helping to lead the team into a period of unprecedented success.

During his tenure, the All Blacks claimed Rugby World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015 and won more than 120 tests at a winning percentage hovering above 80 per cent.

And while ordinary Kiwis don’t have to face up to hordes of Wallaby or Springbok tacklers, we do still have plenty of obstacles attempting to get in the way of staying healthy.

The first most “critical” step to overcoming these challenges is to find a strong inner motivation and desire to get and stay healthy, Gill said.

Next, the fitness guru identifies common challenges and solutions.

People who encourage your bad habits

Gill said these are often the friends you love spending time with who say, “Come on, let’s get another bottle of wine”, or “Right, we’ve walked for 20 minutes – we’ve earned an icecream”.

It could also be your spouse who buys too many chocolates or Friday-night fish and chips because they want to please you.

While this is OK as a “sometimes” activity, it becomes a problem when its regular and interferes with your health efforts.

So what should you do? Maybe suggest a coffee instead of wine to your old friend.

After all, true friends aren’t likely to be offended and you are still going to have a great time together, Gill said.

While possibly a littler trickier with your partner, this is the moment to use “good communication skills” to express gratitude for their kind thoughts but to try to also discourage them from doing it in the future.

People who show love by feeding you

Let’s face it, this is most likely going to be your mum because providing food for family members is a fundamental human behaviour, Gill said.

One way to tackle this is to tell your mum you know she just trying to make you happy, but, at the same time, you don’t want to eat too much because you want to be healthier and live longer so you are there for your parents when they are older.

Work issues

“I’m too busy with work’, is probably the most widely used excuse when it comes to changing our health habits. And for most people, it really is just an excuse,” Gill said.

The most simple way to find time to be healthy is to ensure you cook and prepare meals to take to work instead of watching TV when you get home and to take healthy snacks to morning teas and meetings rather than cakes and biscuits.

You can also try to exercise during your lunch break or to build exercise into your commute by getting off the bus a few stops earlier and walking the rest of the way.

Health Yourself, by Nic Gill, is published by Penguin NZ, is released on September 17 and has an RRP of $4

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Hurricanes can affect mental health: Strategies for coping

Alan E. Stewart is a weather and climate psychology professor at the University of Georgia who studies the effect severe weather has on our mental health. As Hurricane Florence makes landfall, he shares his advice on staying calm and clear-headed despite the uncertainties that come with a major storm.

Q: What are the best strategies you recommend for coping with a hurricane?

A: For both before and after a hurricane, there are several things. As the storm approaches, the best strategies in terms of coping emotionally center around preparation—do individuals and families have a plan for preparing their home and property for the storm? Have they packed important belongings to take with them if they evacuate, or moved them to higher floors if there is flooding expected? The central issue is planning—this helps people to cope with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty by doing something concrete that will preserve and protect their home and belongings, and also ensures their safety.

Coping after the hurricane depends on the extent to which people and their property were affected by the storm. Effective preparation, and how it relates to any damage done by the storm, can also help people feel like they are effectively managing the effects of a hurricane. For example, if people shelter in place and have minimal damages to their property, yet have an interruption in power and water, relying on their stores of food and water may make the aftermath of a hurricane seem more manageable.

Q: How can we help children better cope with a severe weather event, like a hurricane?

A: Children take their cues from how the adults around them respond. By remaining calm while following preparation and evacuation plans, children will see the hurricane situation as manageable and something with which they can cope. Conversely, if parents show signs that they cannot manage preparations or effects of the storm, then their children may respond similarly.

Q: Are there things children can do to relieve their stress?

A: Children may benefit from being involved in the family’s preparations for the storm, whether this is filling jugs of water for drinking, moving toys or other outside items that could be blown away, or helping to pack so the family can evacuate. This gives them something to do and a sense of purpose in helping their family to get ready for the storm. It helps children feel that they are making efforts to help their family or others.

Q: From a mental health standpoint, what effect can significant loss of property have?

A: In those cases where property and homes are destroyed, this is much harder. The psychological sense of home comes from the dwelling and the important belongings that are in the home. If the home and belongings are destroyed by the storm, then this may leave people feeling a deep sense of loss when they come back to survey the damage for the first time. The effects of the storm may not feel manageable. In these cases, about all people can do is to cope by salvaging what they can and trying to rebuild. People can try to cope and manage by doing what they can to accomplish—controlling those things that they can and realizing, often painfully, what they can’t control in the days and weeks following.

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Stay Healthy While Flying with These Germ-Fighting Tips

Airplanes often feel like a flying petri dish, and that was particularly true last week, when three different incoming flights at two U.S. airports were held on the tarmac for sick passengers.

First, a 500-person Emirates flight from Dubai to New York City’s JFK airport was quarantined with passengers complaining of flu-like symptoms. The next day, two flights coming in from Amsterdam and Paris were halted at the Philadelphia airport with the same affliction. The news prompted the Centers for Disease Control to remind passengers about the importance of getting a flu shot.

“People who are sick should protect themselves — and others — by not traveling,” the CDC said in a statement.

Thankfully, there’s no need to panic, says Dr. Travis Stork, a former ER physician, host of The Doctors and a member of PEOPLE’s Health Squad. Rather, a little common sense goes a long way.

“It’s important not to live your life in fear of this reality,” he says. “The key is to be germ aware, not a germaphobe.”

Stork says the first step is to ready yourself for flying with healthy habits.

“It’s important to get your immune system in good shape before you travel,” he says. “Rest up in advance so you don’t arrive to your flight exhausted and stressed, eat healthily and stay hydrated leading up to travel.”

RELATED VIDEO: Here’s What You Need to Know If You Get the Flu

And when it’s time to pick your seats for an upcoming flight, it may help to go for a window. Stork says a new study found that those in the aisle get the most exposure to germs and sick passengers and crewmembers.

Once on board, pull out the hand wipes.

“Take a moment to wipe down your tray table, arm rests and other hard surfaces,” Stork says. “Your risk of being exposed to the cold or flu virus is often the luck of the draw. When it comes down to it, you have no idea who sat in your seat before you. They could very easily have been sick and that’s why you have to assume your seat area might be contaminated.”

  • For more on the sick flights, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

It also helps to open your air vent.

“I usually point my vent in front of my face when I travel, to keep the air circulating and any potential airborne germs away from my face,” Stork says.

If you end up seated next to a sick passenger, don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendant to switch seats.

“Flight attendants are used to these kinds of requests and they will most likely happily seat you elsewhere, assuming other seats are available,” he says. “If you’re stuck, open your air vent and just do your best to avoid having your face directly in line with any coughing or sneezing.”

And keep in mind that staying germ-free on flights goes both ways. If you have the flu or any other serious illness, it’s best to avoid travel, Stork says.

Once you’re off the flight, maintain your healthy habits.

“Time zone differences, the stressors of travel and a new environment can be hard on your body and your immune system, so keeping it as strong as possible is important — especially if you have been exposed to a virus during flight,” he says.

But overall, remember that we’re constantly at risk of being exposed to infectious germs, Stork says, “whether you’re traveling on an airplane, a bus, a subway or just walking through the grocery store.” Your immune system is built to tackle them, and that — combined with a few healthy habits — will keep you protected.

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Local Pediatrician Offers Health Tips Ahead of Flu Season

HONOLULU (KHON2) – With flu season just around the corner, it’s important to keep your keiki healthy. So what can you do at home and in the doctor’s office to prevent your child from getting sick? Pediatrician Dr. Theresa Wee joined Take2 with tips.

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Health insurance tips for traveling abroad

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Tips for success when your kids are on your health care team

Be upfront about your needs, and set your own ground rules.

Image: © SelectStock/Getty Images

Allowing your kids to be involved in your health care can have many benefits. The arrangement provides advocates who can help you follow your treatment plan, talk to your doctors, and maybe even make appointments and take you to them. As an added bonus, you get to spend more time with your adult children.

But the arrangement isn’t always easy. “There’s a tendency for roles to reverse. The child becomes the parent. The parent may not be comfortable with that. Or the parent doesn’t want to burden the child, and lets health issues go until they’re too far gone,” says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Consider the following tips to navigate the relationship.

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Seven Key Health Care Marketing Tips To Impact And Alter Consumer Behavior


Health care consumers have been routinely sacrificing their health and longevity by delaying and avoiding care due to the escalating costs of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). Miraculously, however, the tides are turning, and we’re witnessing a vital and positive shift in health care consumer behavior with the surge in well-being programs.

Well-being programs, in essence, were designed to establish and reinforce positive behavior change. With the guidance of virtual wellness coaches, biometric screenings, holistic educational resources and incentive options, companies that implement well-being programs often boast decreased health care costs and healthier employees.

According to “The 8th Annual Industry Pulse Report,” released by the HealthCare Executive Group and Change Healthcare, 25.4% of respondents listed “incentives” as the key to encouraging positive and engaged health behavior, whereas only 3.4% of respondents identified high-deductible health plans.

Applying Behavior Change Principles To Health Care Marketing

The growing adoption of these programs is based on the fundamental understanding that daily healthy habits will result in positive and lasting behavior change. How do we take this proven approach to behavior change and apply it across health care marketing?

In some situations, people don’t look to change their unhealthy behavior until the habit becomes a tangible barrier to something in their life. Everyone knows smoking is terrible for your health. So, which is a more effective marketing campaign for a 40-year-old father to get him to change his behavior and quit? An advertisement stating “Smoking Kills,” or one that shows a daughter walking down the aisle stating, “You Won’t Want To Miss This,” with a call to action (CTA) to a smoking cessation program?

Your health care marketing has to, first and foremost, appeal to the emotional and human side of people. Impactful and memorable marketing campaigns are what resonate with your audience long term. At emagine, we apply the following keys to our clients’ marketing campaigns to impact and alter consumer behavior.

1. Build An Emotional Connection: If you’re looking to truly make a difference, it starts here. As referenced in the example above, your marketing should embody a genuine, empathetic, emotional connection with your audience. Translate what matters most to your audience through your campaigns. Spark that motivation for them to take action now.

2. Create An Engaging Community: A sense of community lets your audience feel they are not alone. It provides a safe and social way for them to share stories, challenges and their overall journey toward health, hope and happiness with others. Social networking platforms are a great community builder, providing your audience with a universal location to learn, connect, motivate and grow with one another. According to the aforementioned study, social media was cited by health care leaders as one of the top strategies used to engage with their consumers. 

3. Build Brand Pillars Of Trust And Transparency: Your consumers want your brand to be authentic, reliable and trustworthy. Create and offer educational resources to your consumers. Arm them with the appropriate tools to help them manage the health care needs of not only themselves but of their loved ones, as well. A resource center is an excellent way to house your materials in one convenient location on your website.

4. Invest In Mobile: Virtual care has empowered consumers to take back control of their health. Mobile technology has opened countless doorways to health care across America. In the past few years, we’ve seen mobile health empower consumers to self-diagnose, video chat with their doctors, and manage their prescriptions and appointments all from the palm of their hand. In fact, 79% of health care leaders feel diagnostic apps have the “greatest potential” for evolving the future of health care.

5. Strive For Accessibility And Affordability: The inability for high-deductible health plans to succeed with this consumer behavior change is, in part, because of these barriers to care. Fortunately, virtual care has stemmed from the desire to significantly reduce — or eliminate — both. The recent venture between Apple, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway is a prime example of organizations looking to transform health care. Actively strive for accessibility and affordability to stay competitive and truly impact consumer behavior.

6. Get Involved With Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Consumers want to know you are an accountable and environmentally friendly brand, investing in the social impact your brand has on its community and our planet. By building CSR into your marketing strategy, you can highlight key ways you’re taking action to make a difference to your audience.

7. Empower Your Consumers: Now, more than ever, consumers are actively taking control of their health. Empowering your consumers includes not only getting them to take that first step but keeping them motivated to continue making lasting progress.

As Confucius is credited for having said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” This methodology is equally true for behavior change. Ingraining behavior change that lasts a lifetime is done by creating and reinforcing positive, daily healthy habits in your consumers. Infuse these seven key health care marketing tactics to impact and alter consumer behavior, and remarkable change can follow.

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