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5 Household Products to Disinfect your home from the Coronavirus

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Most people are staying indoors to stay protected from contracting the infectious disease known as COVID-19. They are making sure to practice proper hygiene by washing their hands for approximately twenty seconds with warm water and soap and resist touching their faces outside of home recommended by the CDC.

But what about when we get home? Are the typical everyday cleaning products effective enough to remove the coronavirus? There are available products you can find at local stores to disinfect every room in your home correctly. The everyday household products to add to your list include:

Bleach

One household product that is effective against the virus and bacteria is bleach. The CDC recommends a diluted bleach solution 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Be sure to use bleach as directed on the bottle, and never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Try to avoid using bleach frequently to clean your faucets, stainless steel products, and countertops as it can corrode metal over time. After disinfecting surfaces, make sure to rinse with water to prevent discoloration. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

For hard surfaces, alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol are useful against the Coronavirus. Apply the alcohol solution, but make sure not to dilute it. Once applied, let it sit on the surface for approximately 30 seconds to disinfect the surfaces. Take caution when using alcohol. It is typically safe for all surfaces but can cause discoloration to some plastics

Hydrogen Peroxide

According to the CDC, 3% hydrogen peroxide is effective within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. Pour the hydrogen peroxide in an undiluted spray bottle and spray it on the surface. Then let it sit on the surface for at least 1 minute. Hydrogen peroxide like bleach can discolor fabrics if it happens to get on your clothes.

Surface Wipes

In surface wipes, antiseptics are the active ingredient that works on bacteria as well as coronaviruses. The wipes physically remove the germs when you swipe in one motion and after a layer of the antiseptic is left on the surface it works to kill bacteria. CDC recommends to wipe down everyday surfaces like keyboards, doorknobs, phones, etc

Hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are recommended to kill bacteria. Unless hands are visibly dirty, the CDC advises washing hands with soap and water, as shown in the video below.

Dealing with an unknown virus such as COVID-19 has left the world worried about our everyday lives. There is some reassurance knowing we can keep our homes safe to protect ourselves and loved ones with household products that are accessible at local stores. The CDC has also released information regarding how to properly disinfect your clothes and how to make your own face masks for more preventative guidelines to follow.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/cleaning/common-household-products-that-can-destroy-novel-coronavirus/
  3. https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-the-expert-advice-on-which-cleaning-products-to-use-against-coronavirus
  4. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/07/how-do-i-disinfect-my-clothes-from-covid-19/
  5. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/04/do-i-need-a-face-mask/

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Lifestyle

What Sunscreen Should I Use?

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Summer is just around the corner, so it is important to keep your skin protected while you are outside. Applying the right amount and type of sunscreen can help you stay protected from UV rays. Here we will discuss what sunscreen works for you and just how much you need to apply.

Chemical or Physical Sunscreen?

There are two main types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. In physical sunscreens, it contains the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These sunscreens are referred to as “mineral” sunscreens, protecting you by sitting on top of your skin and deflecting the sun’s rays. 

The ingredients in chemical sunscreen contain oxybenzone, avobenzene, and homosalate work by absorbing the sun’s rays. 

Both are equally effective, according to Adam Friedman, MD, a dermatologist at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. Physical sunscreens tend to last slightly longer when exposed to direct UV light and rarely cause burning or irritation, compared to chemical sunscreens. Newer micronized versions of physical blockers can leave a whitish cast on the skin, and they rub off more quickly than chemical sunscreens. 

If you choose chemical sunscreen, make sure to buy one with at least three sunscreen ingredients to limit irritation. You can pick a sunscreen that contains both physical and chemical blockers. However, there’s no research that this sunscreen is any more effective. According to Dr. Friedman, people “have the advantage of hitting UV rays at every level,” 

How much to apply?

Organizations like the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend applying a full ounce of sunscreen to your body. Research shows most people only apply a quarter to half of that amount and are not getting the protection they need. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using anywhere from a quarter to a half of a sunscreen bottle for a long day at the beach.

Water-resistance is a crucial component to look for when shopping for sunscreen. If the sunscreen says it is water-resistant on the label, you still need to reapply sunscreen every time you get out of the pool or the ocean to keep your skin protected. 

Look for 30 SPF

Sun protection factor or SPF measures a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging your skin. As recommended by the AAD, wearing an SPF of at least 30 , which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, would be sufficient. An SPF of 50 blocks 98 percent, and though it may not seem like a huge difference, a small amount can have a significant impact, particularly if you have other risk factors.

Make sure to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours, perhaps more often, depending on your skin type, and always after swimming or sweating. When buying sunscreen, it’s also important to make sure that the label says “broad-spectrum.” This means that it also protects against UVA rays, which have been linked to skin cancer

Don’t just rely on sunscreen sunglasses are also important to keep your eyes protected from Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. This information can be found on the label on your sunglasses. A hat with at least a 3-inch brim can block as much as half of all UVB rays from your delicate eye area, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.sharecare.com/health/choosing-right-sunscreen/article/how-choose-best-sunscreen-you

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Fitness/ Diet

7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

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Inflammation refers to your body’s method of protecting itself against things that harm it, including infections, injuries, and toxins. One way to treat inflammation could be a prescription for pain medication. Another way to combat inflammation can come from your local grocery store. Here are seven food items you can find at your local grocery store to help fight your body’s inflammation.

1. Broccoli 

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is low-calorie and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Research has shown that consuming the right amount of cruciferous vegetables can decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. The vegetable’s high amount of antioxidants is related to its anti-inflammatory effects. Broccoli is high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that combats inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which leads to inflammation

2. Avocados

Avocados are loaded with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. This superfood also contains carotenoids and tocopherols that helps lower the risk of cancer. One study found when people ate a slice of avocado with a hamburger, and they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6. Other participants who ate the burger without avocado had higher levels of the inflammatory markers. 

3. Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can find on the market. This tea reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and other medical conditions. Most of its health benefits derive from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, including the substance epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in your cells 

4. Peppers

Bell peppers are not just known for their delicious flavor but are loaded with vitamin c along with chili peppers. Both peppers contain antioxidants that have substantial anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Bell peppers contain the antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce one marker of oxidative damage in people with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease Chili peppers have sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which can lead to healthier aging and reduce inflammation.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice with a rich, earthy flavor that has a bitter taste and is often used to season or color curry powders, mustards, etc. The flavorful spice has received a considerable amount of attention for its content of curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient. Turmeric lowers inflammation associated with arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.

6. Cherries

Sweet and sour cherries are packed with antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and catechins, that help fight inflammation. Although the effects of tart cherries have been studied more, sweet cherries also provide health benefits. In one study, participants who ate 280 grams of cherries per day for 1 month, had lower levels of the inflammatory marker CRP and remained low for 28 days after they stopped consuming cherries 

7. Dark chocolate and cocoa

Dark chocolate is supplied with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can decrease the risk of disease and lead to healthier aging. Flavanol-rich cocoa is responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and keeps the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy. Be sure to choose dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa; the higher the percentage of cocoa, the better to obtain these anti-inflammatory benefits.

Incorporating healthier options onto your plate won’t provide you with an instant cure for inflammation, but it could help reduce your flare-ups or lower your pain levels. Including anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is a more holistic way of addressing pain and inflammation, as opposed to taking medication.

Sources: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods#section6
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22100562
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20370896
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17584048
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21324570
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21324570
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18188410
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569207
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20944519
  11. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-tart-cherry-juice-benefits
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549461
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16877960

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Covid-19

Can Dogs Detect the Coronavirus?

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An innovative way to test the coronavirus could include trained dogs sniffing out those possibly infected with the virus. Last month a new study was announced in the U.K. by a team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the registered charity Medical Detection Dogs, and Durham University, to study the possibility of dogs to sniff out the coronavirus for screening efforts.

Due to the keen sense of smell from canines, this could help them detect the virus with high accuracy. A dog has around 125 to 300 million scent glands, while a human has about 5 million scent glands. This means a dog’s sense of smell is approximately 1,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.

Previous research has proven that dogs can identify lung cancer faster than doctors in clinical samples. Dogs can detect lung cancer in patients better than physicians’ “most advanced technology”. Other studies conducted by the same team stated that dogs are great at sniffing out infectious diseases, especially malaria, according to Prof. James Logan, head of the Department of Disease Control at LSHTM. Researchers are crowdfunding their study efforts to train medical detection dogs to screen individuals for COVID-19.

Scientists addressed the uncertainty if the virus is at all detectable through body odors, but prior knowledge of other respiratory illnesses, professionals hypothesize that it could be.

“It’s early days for COVID-19 odor detection. We do not know if COVID-19 has a specific odor yet. Still, we know that other respiratory diseases change our body odor, so there is a chance that it does,” explains Prof. Logan.

The researchers suggest that specially trained medical detection dogs could supplement the effort to screen for COVID-19 in the future. Trained dogs may be able to sniff up to 250 people an hour, rendering a quick and noninvasive screening process.

Researchers explained that the dogs’ would undergo training, including sniffing out odor samples from individuals with COVID-19 and teaching them to recognize the smells linked with the disease.

Dogs can distinguish who is ill because they can sense small differences in skin temperature, which can help to detect who has a fever. If successful in training, researchers believe that medical detection canines may be capable of screening for the infectious disease after just six weeks of training

In the future, scientists discussed that specially trained dogs could provide services in airports where they could “sniff out” travelers who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to Prof. Steve Lindsay from Durham University. Lindsay believes this could help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after establishing control over the virus. 

Regarding the new initiative, Claire Guest co-founder and CEO of Medical Detection Dogs commented on the future of the effort “In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect COVID-19. We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odor of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs.”  Guest stated that the goal of the initiative is to have dogs identify the disease in those who are asymptomatic and notify officials if they need to be tested.

The initiative could provide a noninvasive screening process to help detect the coronavirus and reserve testing resources for those who need to be tested. 

Do you think this could help identify COVID-19 cases? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: 

  1. https://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/could-dogs-help-detect-covid-19#Dogs-could-revolutionize-diagnostics

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