Can you tell us about flu vaccinations? I don’t understand how the vaccine can wear off so quickly that it’s required every year. what other vaccine acts like this?
How can we be so confident in guessing which viruses will be prevalent in the coming season? I keep wondering if the vaccine really makes sense, since I doubt that many people actually die from flu.
Flu viruses evolve quickly, which is why each year the vaccine is made to protect against different strains. If you catch the flu, your body will recognize that particular strain, but not the slightly different one that may emerge next year or the year after.
You are right that most other vaccines work for much longer than a flu vaccine. those organisms do not mutate as rapidly as influenza viruses.
Because virologists have to predict which flu strains will become a problem many months ahead of time, they don’t always guess correctly. Nonetheless, the flu vaccine saves lives. Experts estimate that during the past three decades, anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 people die annually from complications of influenza.
I am desperate for help with my dandruff.
The flakes are driving me crazy.
Dandruff can cause itching and flaking of the scalp that is both uncomfortable and unsightly.
When it gets really bad, dermatologists call it seborrheic dermatitis.
Scientists now think that bad dandruff is caused by a yeast infection (Malassezia).
This fungus can even cause inflammation around eyebrows and the creases of the nose, lips and ears.
Although there are many dandruff shampoos, we continue to hear from readers that they get relief using home remedies such as Listerine soaks, Vicks VapoRub, milk of magnesia or dilute vinegar rinses. we are sending you our Guide to Hair and Nail Care for more details on these remedies and other ways of dealing with dandruff. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (64 cents), self-addressed envelope to Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, no. H-31, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. it also can be downloaded for $2 from our website, www.peoplespharmacy.com.
I’m a critical-care nurse with a daughter who’s a transplant recipient. I know that hospital housekeeping departments do the best they can.
Often, though, the cleaning staff doesn’t think to sanitize every surface patients and staff touch. this should definitely happen after one patient is discharged and another is admitted, but it doesn’t always.
When I’m at work, before any admission, I am careful to thoroughly clean things like call lights, phones and monitor wires. I clean my shoes and stethoscope at the end of my shift, and I don’t reuse my white jackets without laundering.
Of course, whenever my daughter is hospitalized, I am careful to clean her room, too. we have had very good results through the years with this approach.
As you know, the immune systems of transplant recipients are suppressed to prevent rejection of the organ. as a result, they can’t fight off infections like healthy people do.
We appreciate your attention to potential contamination of hospital rooms. we spoke with Dr. Robert Muder about his successful infection-control program at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He found that recruiting housekeeping staff to the team and reframing the job as preventing infections rather than just cleaning rooms really helped.
You recently wrote that sea salt has no iodine, but there are brands on the market that are iodized. I use Hain Iodized Sea Salt, and I also have seen Morton Iodized Sea Salt. I trust this is a better choice than regular salt.
Thank you for alerting us to these brands of iodized sea salt. when you use one of them, you don’t have to worry about too little iodine in the diet causing goiter. most commercial sea salt has very little iodine, raising the concern about thyroid health and goiter.
• Write to the Graedons at their website, www.peoplespharmacy.com. Their newest book is “Recipes & Remedies from the People’s Pharmacy.”