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Asthma and Peak-flow Meter

Peak-flow meter
Peak-flow meter for asthma management

Peak Flow Meter is an old tool useful for optimal control of Asthma. Still, it not utilized as much as it should be.

Peak flow meter provides us with a quick reading of the airflow, hence the state of airway function.

At Manuel Allergy Center, most patients receive training on the use of Peak Flow Meter and are provided with a chart to record the results regularly when the patients are symptom-free.

How to use peak flow meters?
Inhale air to the maximum capacity and blow out as rapidly as possible. The action will move the needle. Record the number. Repeat the tests three times and record the best value, when you are symptom-free.This number will serve as your average value. Compare this with the peak numbers when you suffer from symptoms of a cough or chest tightness.
Peak flow measurements give the patients an opportunity to assess your peak flow during the symptom-free states and its deviation due to exposure to triggering factors such as exercise, tobacco smoke, irritants.
Peak flow meters are not expensive to own; most insurances will pay for them.

Peak flow meters help you decide the next course of action to get relief of asthma symptoms as well as to prevent an attack of asthma by proactively using relief medications. A drop in Peak Flow measurement of more than 20% will require the use of inhalants, and a reduction of 50% may necessitate a visit to emergency room or urgent care centers for immediate treatment.  The readings also give us information on the risk factors for causing an asthma attack.

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HPV Vaccine and Cancer Prevention

Prevent cancer with HPV Vaccine

HPV vaccine helps to prevent cervical cancer!

HPV vaccine offers protection from many cancers. As a pediatrician and immunologist, it is frustrating to watch parents deny the teenagers the chance to be protected from HPV-related cancers.

What types of cancers are prevented by HPV vaccine?
HPV-related cancers include cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, cancer of penis, anus and rectum.
HPV-related cancers are the only malignancies which we can prevent by vaccination. Despite the availability of a very effective vaccine, Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the number of these preventable cancers is increasing. Let us do something about it. All of us need to get involved in educating the public to give their kids the essential HPV vaccine.

The following are the reasons why many of our parents do not want HPV:

  • Worry about the side effects of HPV vaccine; we have not experienced any side effects after administration of numerous doses in our practice. It is like any other vaccine, pain on the area of the shot is the most common complaint.
  • The belief that their children are not sexually active and so do not need the protection; this is a false belief, many children are sexually active.
  • False belief that giving HPV vaccine is equal to giving permission to engage in sexual activity; there is no proof that giving HPV vaccine encourages sexual activity.
  • The false belief that HPV vaccine can be given at a later date; HPV vaccine does not protect anyone once exposure to the virus takes place.

Dr. Manuel believes in the effectiveness and usefulness of HPV vaccine.

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Zika Virus

mosquito bug isolated on white

Beyond Allergy – Zika Virus – a prevailing threat

Powlin Manuel MD, MBA, MS.
Zika virus threat seems to be closer to home than we anticipated with new cases being reported in Florida. Threat of difficulty to control mosquitoes that carry the virus is even more with the enormous flooding in recent days in Louisiana. All physicians need to participate in spreading the information provided by CDC to their patients so that everyone can implement “baby steps” to protect from the infection as well as the spread of the virus.

Zika virus is spread by a type of mosquito called Aedes aegypti. Center for Disease Control(CDC) informs that “different mosquitoes spread different viruses and bite at different times of the day”.
CDC informs us that these mosquitoes spreading Zika virus bite primarily during the daytime, but can also bite at night.

CDC recommends using insect repellents to reduce the chance of getting bitten, in addition to use of protective clothing.
The following brand names are published by CDC for information of our patients. These include: Off, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon, Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug, Guard Plus, Repel, and SkinSmart.

Authorities in USA use aerial spratying regularly to control mosquitoes. However, it is not easy to control these moqquitoes as
“aegypti eggs are capable of surviving adverse conditions, such as dry or cold weather, as well as vector elimination efforts, including insecticide spraying .. efforts to eliminate Zika virus in a region will be more difficult than removing the adult vectors” (researcher Dave Muoio). “Spraying affects adults, but it does not usually kill the immature forms — the eggs and larvae. Spraying will reduce transmission, but it may not eliminate the virus.” the research reports states.
All of us need to be informed, vigilant, and takes measures to protect our families!

More on mosquito-repellents

Beyond Allergy – Insect Repellents and Protection against Zika Virus

Powlin Manuel MD, MBA, MS

To protect against mosquito bites is the most important step in preventing Zika Virus infection and consequent medical conditions. Zika virus is spread by a type of mosquito called Aedes aegypti. Center for Disease Control (CDC) informs that “different mosquitoes spread different viruses and bite at different times of the day”.

Aedes aegypti bite primarily during the daytime, but can also bite at night.

Insect repellents are the best source of protection to reduce the chance of getting bitten, in addition to use of protective clothing.

The following brand names are published by CDC:

  • Off
  • Cutter
  • Sawyer
  • Ultrathon
  • Cutter Advanced
  • Skin So Soft Bug
  • Guard Plus
  • Repel

Authorities in USA use aerial spraying regularly to control mosquitoes. However, it is not easy to control these mosquitoes.

CDC cautions that the effectiveness of natural insect repellents not registered with EPA are is not established. CDC suggest the following as the best practices

  • Always follow the product label instructions
  • Reapply insect repellents every few hours, depending on which product or strength you choose.
  • Do not spray repellents on the skin under clothing
  • If you are using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellents second.
  • Use EPA registered insect repellent.

Takes measures to protect our families from Zika Virus

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Zika Virus Prevention

Pregnant Woman Spraying Mosquito Repellant To Protect Against Zika Virus

Zika virus prevention is important especially with recent floods in many states.  The environment is ripe for the spread of the virus unless the government takes urgent measures for control mosquitos.

Many countries have intensified vector control operations to control the Aedes mosquito population. Vector control measures include:

  • Inspecting all premises, ground and congregation areas
  • Conducting mandatory treatment such as ultra-low volume misting of premises and thermal fogging of outdoor areas to kill adult mosquitoes
  • Increasing frequency of drain flushing and oiling to prevent breeding
  • Public education outreach and distribution of insect repellents.”
    According to CDC, also, to bite by an infected Aedes species mosquito, Zika virus can spread from:
  • Sex with a person who is infected by Zika virus.
    The sexual transmission can take place during oral, vaginal, anal sex as well as the sharing of sex toys.
  • From an infected pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • Through blood transfusion.
    According to CDC the most common symptoms are:
  • Fever
  • rash
  • joint pains
  • red eyes
  • muscle pain
  • headache

For more information on personal protection go to Zika Virus By: Manuel Allergy Center

All physicians and anyone involved in taking care of patients need to participate in public awareness. Zika virus infection has been a topic of discussion in many international airports to increase public awareness and educate travelers of the risk of Zika virus exposure when they travel to a foreign country.