safe

dentist

Is it safe to visit the dentist?

It has been more than eight months since the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns, which means it is past time for most people to get their regular dental exam and cleaning.

The pandemic has created fear about a slate of normal activities, particularly ones that require close contact indoors, like going to the dentist.

But dentists are doing their part to reassure people that it is safe to come to the office.

“The transmission of COVID in the dental office is practically nonexistent,” said Dr. Richard Nagy, president of the California Dental Association on KCBS Radio’s “Ask An Expert” program Wednesday.

That is because dentists are well-versed in infection control policies.

“Ever since the mid-eighties when the HIV scare came, dental offices were the leaders in infection control policies for blood borne pathogens,” explained Dr. Nagy.

He says between state of the art PPE, face masks, face shields and disinfectants, the likelihood of transmission is low.

And if you really feel concerned, talk to your dentist about their safety practices and give them the chance to assuage your worries. Dr. Nagy says while it might feel strange, you could even ask the dentist about their COVID status.

“I think that’s a valid question for the dentist and I think most dentists would be very happy to answer that because again, the answer would be, ‘no I don’t have COVID as well as my staff or my office has not seen COVID patients’.”

And with many more months to go before the majority of Americans have access to a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Nagy says it is time to stop putting off seeing the dentist.

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medicine

New program is launched for safe medicine disposal

The Medication Education & Disposal Project has launched a statewide program to offer free services to dispose of expired, unwanted and unused medicines.

Safe Medication Return is operated by MED-Project, which is the Washington State Department of Health’s approved program operator.

Drug manufacturers fund the program at no cost to taxpayers.

MED-Project provides state residents with year-round medicine drop-off locations such as at pharmacies, medical facilities and law enforcement offices. Along with existing operations in several counties, MED-Project has activated about 150 additional drop-off sites.

Residents who prefer mailing back unwanted medicine for disposal can request free prepaid and preauthorized packages. Information is at med-project.org, or people can call (844) 633-7765.

MED-Project also is launching a public awareness campaign about safe disposal of unwanted medicine. A mobile-friendly website provides drop-off location information and instructions, as well as downloadable educational materials.

“We want to encourage Washington state residents to take their medication as prescribed, store it safely and dispose of unwanted or expired medicine securely,” said Dr. Victoria Travis, MED-Project’s national program director, in a news release.

For more information about the MED-Project drug takeback program and available services in Washington state, including accepted types of medication, call (844) 633-7765 or visit the website.

Source Article

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dentist

Dentist offices remain ‘extremely safe’ during coronavirus pandemic

Cesareo Contreras
 
| MetroWest Daily News

ASHLAND –  More than nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, many local businesses are still struggling to get by. But for Dr. Sandra Cove, who owns a dental office at 37 Main St., business has been great.  

“People are knocking the door down,” she said. 

The anxiety of the pandemic is weighing down on many. And that is often reflected on oral health, Cove said.

It’s not uncommon for Cove to see people around the holidays come in with problems, given the stress during this time of year. She is seeing patients with major dental issues at a rate she has never seen in her career. 

From cavities and inflamed gums to chipped and infected teeth, the issues are various.  

“We have this phenomenon in dentistry. Whenever people are under a lot of stress, a lot crazy things happen – a lot of root canals and broken teeth,” she said. “A lot of this stuff happens around Christmas time and Thanksgiving and it only lasts for a week or two, but this going on for six months, where every day, I must have two or three broken teeth due to stress or people gums are completely on fire because they are overreacting to the bacteria because their defenses are down.” 

Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society, said she isn’t surprised by number of patients Cove has seen with new and serious dental problems.  

“Sandra, I know, is very busy, and many practices are busy,” she said. “Some practices never slowed down. They saw a lot of emergency care. … The bottom line is that we are seeing a breakdown because people were very concerned about going to the dentist. ” 

While some dental offices are doing well, others have been hit hard.  

Hanlon is the dean of operations at Tufts University and manages all of the school’s clinical operations. Unlike Cove, she said she has seen a decline in the number of people visiting the clinic. Before the pandemic, the college would see around 600 people a day. Now they are seeing half of that. 

In June, the association conducted a survey to better understand how dental offices in the state were faring during the pandemic. The survey was taken by more than 400 dental practice owners. 

More than half of responders said they expect it to take between seven months to over a year to get the number of patients they had before the pandemic hit. 

Nearly 90% of dental practices are spending between $8 – $29 or greater per patient on personal protective equipment, according to survey. 

Moreover, more than half or respondents said the pandemic has cost their practice $225,000 in office upgrades and loss in patients. 

Cove said she thinks a big reason why people are coming to her office is because they feel reassured that the appropriate measures are in place to keep them safe from the coronavirus. 

After the start of pandemic in March, Cove

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fitness

Are Group Fitness Classes Safe During the Pandemic? | The Strategist

Photo: Cole Burston/Getty/Getty Images

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, kettlebells and resistance bands have been hot commodities (right up there with toilet paper and hand sanitizer) as we pivoted from working out at the gym to exercising at home. Those of us who like the motivation of following along with an instructor turned to virtual workout classes on Instagram Live and other subscription platforms for our fitness fix. Streaming a class at home isn’t exactly the same as participating in person, though, especially if you enjoy the camaraderie of a group class or are tempted to press pause mid-workout. So when gyms and studios took their classes outside to parks and rooftops during the spring and summer to allow for social distancing (Physique 57, 305 Fitness, Barry’s, and Tone House are still offering outdoor classes throughout the city this month), working out almost started to feel normal again.

But what will we do when it gets too cold? Depending on local regulations, reopened gyms have introduced a variety of safety measurements. Crunch, for example, is limiting occupancy to one-third in many gyms and installing advanced air-filtration systems. Last month, Equinox opened Equinox+ In the Wild, a full outdoor gym near Hudson Yards that offers both ground classes and equipment for working out on your own. With heat lamps and tented areas, it’ll be a safe, outdoor option even as winter approaches.

Indoor group classes are currently not allowed in New York City, but if they do open up (or you live in an area where they’re happening), how can you best protect yourself and others from COVID? To find out, we asked two infectious-disease doctors — W. David Hardy of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Peter Katona of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — about everything from exercising with a mask to sharing equipment.

Both doctors agree that, weather permitting, outdoor classes are still the way to go. “If you’re outdoors, you’ve got sunlight, you’ve got temperature, you’ve got air currents — you’ve got all these things working in your favor,” Katona says. But if you don’t have that option and you find yourself in an indoor class, there are steps that you and your gym can take to make the experience as safe as possible.

One thing to look out for is how well your studio promotes air circulation, whether through leaving doors or windows open or maintaining a high-quality HVAC system. Class capacity should also be far smaller than in normal times to allow for distancing — lots of distancing. “Six feet would be the bare minimum,” Hardy says, “because while you’re exercising, you are breathing forcefully.” Those hard exhalations could cause you to expel more respiratory particles, and those particles could travel a longer distance compared to regular breathing. You should also

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health

Active surveillance may be safe for Black men with prostate cancer, study finds

Nov. 3 (UPI) — African-American men on active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer are more likely than their White counterparts to experience disease progression and ultimately require treatment, a study published Tuesday by JAMA found.

However, men of both races included in the study were at the same risk for metastatic cancer — cancer that has spread to other organs — and death from the disease.

The findings, researchers said, suggest that active surveillance is just as safe for African-American men as it is for White men.

In active surveillance, a person’s cancer is monitored closely, with prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood tests taken every six months as well as annual digital rectal exam and prostate biopsies, according to the American Cancer Society.

Based on the results of these more frequent assessments, more aggressive treatment may be recommended, the society said.

“Our research provides evidence that active surveillance is safe for African-American men,” study co-author Dr. Brent Rose said in a press release.

“This means more African-American men can avoid definitive treatment and the associated side effects of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bowel problems,” said Rose, assistant professor of radiation medicine and applied sciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men, after skin cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, but African-American men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease and more than twice as likely to die from it than men in other ethnic groups, the agency estimates.

The cancer is typically slow growing, and low-risk disease may not need to be treated immediately after diagnosis, if ever, and can instead be monitored under an active surveillance approach, Rose and his colleagues said.

However, because of the increased risk for prostate cancer and death from the disease among African-American men, active surveillance is used less frequently in this population, according to their researchers.

For this study, Rose and colleagues reviewed data on 8,726 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2001 and 2015.

About one in four of these study participants were African-American, the researchers said.

Just under 60% of African-American men included in the analysis experienced disease progression, compared to 48% of White men, the data showed.

In addition, 55% of African-American men in the study required treatment compared to just over 41% percent of White men.

Despite these differences, African-American and White men were diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer at about the same rate — 1% versus 1.4% — and faced the same risk for death — about 1% — as one another.

“Physicians and patients should discuss active surveillance for African-American men with low-risk prostate cancer,” Rose said.

“However, due to the increased risk of progression, African-American men need to be carefully followed and promptly treated if their cancer progresses,” he said.

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health

Germany eyes antigen tests to keep elderly safe from virus

BERLIN (AP) — As Europe tries to break a surge in coronavirus infections, Germany is counting on a new type of test to avoid closing nursing homes to visitors, a move that caused considerable anguish among residents and relatives in the spring.

So-called antigen tests, which look for a specific protein on the virus, were first launched months ago. They are cheap and fast, but experts said at the time they are also less accurate than the standard PCR test, which detects even the tiniest genetic trace of the virus.

Still, Germany — which has managed to contain the spread of the outbreak better than many of its neighbors — announced recently that it is bulk-buying millions of antigen tests each month.


“We have a new strategy,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Monday. “We can now basically perform rapid tests on visitors to nursing and care homes.”

Nursing homes will receive up to 20 free monthly tests per resident. These can be used to test patients, staff and — crucially — visiting relatives, who might be unwitting carriers of COVID-19, posing a potentially devastating threat.

“Health insurers will cover the costs for a certain number of visitors each month,” Merkel said. “That’s huge progress in terms of protection.”

Germany has one of the world’s oldest populations. More than 24 million people are 60 or older and about 900,000 people live in nursing homes. A further 2.5 million younger people have serious disabilities.

That means almost 30% of Germany’s population of 83 million are particularly vulnerable to the virus, Merkel said.

“Almost everyone knows somebody they don’t want to infect,” she said.

Germany has reported about 550,000 coronavirus cases — less than half the number recorded in Britain, Spain and France. Germany’s confirmed virus death toll of 10,669 is also one-fourth of Britain’s.

A Health Ministry spokeswoman told The Associated Press that manufacturers have agreed to supply Germany with 9 million antigen tests in November and 11.5 million tests in December.

Experts caution that while antigen tests have become more accurate, they should not be seen as a replacement for the standard PCR method.

Scientists in Switzerland recently scrutinized two widely available antigen tests, sold by Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories and Swiss pharma giant Roche. The researchers concluded that out of 100 people infected with the virus, only between 85 and 89 tested positive using the antigen method.

“It does fulfill the criteria that are published by the (World Health Organization), which should be more than 80% sensitivity,” said Isabella Eckerle, who heads the Center for Emerging Viral Diseases at the University of Geneva, where the tests were validated.

While the tests are less accurate, they provide quick results, she noted.

“One big advantage of these tests would be that you, for example, can build up a decentralized testing center,” Eckerle told The AP. “So you build up a tent, let’s say, in front of a school or in a park, and then people can come. And then after 15 minutes, they

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health

Germany eyes antigen tests to keep elderly safe in 2nd wave

BERLIN (AP) — As Europe tries to break the surging second wave of coronavirus infections, Germany is counting on a new type of test to avoid closing nursing homes to visitors, a move that caused considerable anguish among residents and relatives in the spring.

So-called antigen tests, which look for a specific protein on the virus, were first launched months ago. They are cheap and fast, but experts said at the time they are also less accurate than the standard PCR test, which detects even the tiniest genetic trace of the virus.

Still, Germany — which has managed to contain the spread of the outbreak better than many of its neighbors — announced recently that it is bulk-buying millions of antigen tests each month.


“We have a new strategy,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Monday. “We can now basically perform rapid tests on visitors to nursing and care homes.”

Nursing homes will receive up to 20 free monthly tests per resident. These can be used to test patients, staff and — crucially — visiting relatives, who might be unwitting carriers of COVID-19, posing a potentially devastating threat.

“Health insurers will cover the costs for a certain number of visitors each month,” Merkel said. “That’s huge progress in terms of protection.”

Germany has one of the world’s oldest populations. More than 24 million people are 60 or older and about 900,000 people live in nursing homes. A further 2.5 million younger people have serious disabilities.

That means almost 30% of Germany’s population of 83 million are particularly vulnerable to the virus, Merkel said.

“Almost everyone knows somebody they don’t want to infect,” she said.

Germany has reported about 550,000 coronavirus cases — less than half the number recorded in Britain, Spain and France. Germany’s confirmed virus death toll of 10,669 is also one-fourth of Britain’s.

A Health Ministry spokeswoman told The Associated Press that manufacturers have agreed to supply Germany with 9 million such tests in November and 11.5 million tests in December.

Experts caution that while antigen tests have become more accurate, they should not be seen as a replacement for the standard PCR method.

Scientists in Switzerland recently scrutinized two widely available antigen tests, sold by Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories and Swiss pharma giant Roche. The researchers concluded that out of 100 people infected with the virus, only between 85 and 89 tested positive using the antigen method.

“It does fulfill the criteria that are published by the (World Health Organization), which should be more than 80% sensitivity,” said Isabella Eckerle, who heads the Center for Emerging Viral Diseases at the University of Geneva, where the tests were validated.

While the tests are less accurate, they provide quick results, she noted.

“One big advantage of these tests would be that you, for example, can build up a decentralized testing center,” Eckerle told The AP. “So you build up a tent, let’s say, in front of a school or in a park, and then people can come. And then after 15

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fitness

Residents gear up for a safe, sanitised Dubai Fitness Challenge



a person on a court: Residents gear up for a safe, sanitised Dubai Fitness Challenge


© Provided by Khaleej Times
Residents gear up for a safe, sanitised Dubai Fitness Challenge

Armed with a packed calendar of over 200 virtual sessions and 2,000 classes across 150 locations, Dubai residents are all set to welcome a ‘safe and sanitised’ fourth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC).

Most of the residents have already made fitness a big part of their lifestyle this year, due to the pandemic. While several people have taken up running and yoga, there has also been a big boost people using YouTube and other video portals for at-home workout routines.

Tanya Zag, a Dubai-resident said being indoors amid the curfews took a toll on her mental well-being. “I began running a few months ago and it has become the best stress buster for me. It empowers me and even if I have had a tough day at work, running takes all my worries away.”

“I am really looking forward to the DFC this year. The entire city is buzzing with electrical energy, which is fantastic,” she added.

Jhona Meryl, a fitness influencer said: “It’s really exciting because it’s a collective effort, and the best part is that when people do something continuously for 30 days, it becomes a habit and enforces positivity, which is something people really need right now.”

Day 1 of DFC

Starting today, residents are all set with their athletic wear, yoga mats, personal exercise tools, and of course, their face masks for outdoor activities. To ensure social distancing, prior booking has been made essential for all events on www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com.

The annual event, launched in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is one of the most sought events where families and individuals break a sweat, irrespective of their fitness levels.

The hybrid event has promised to make fitness easy and accessible to all – from young adults, teenagers, families, older residents and people of determination, to businesses and schools.

Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, has promised the event will maintain strict safety and hygiene regulations, social distancing guidelines and sanitisation requirements.

“For us, sports are an essential activity at all times, but it has become even more important in this period of Covid-19. Exercising and staying fit strengthens your immune system and a strong immune system is your best defence against illness,” he said.

What to look forward to?

Residents can look forward to a packed calendar of free fitness events, sports activities, health and wellness programmes and virtual sessions, including three dedicated Fitness Villages, ten community-centric Fitness Hubs.

Participants can unlock free 30-day programmes from leading global apps – Fitbit Premium, NEOU, Steppi, Sweat, Sworkit, Daily Burn, FIIT and Les Mills on Demand.

This year, the challenge is placing an elevated focus on at-home sessions with the Find Your 30 virtual content hub. Free-to-access, the facility is being hosted on the DFC website, allowing participants

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fitness

Are Outdoor Fitness Classes Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

In addition to the fact that instructors and class participants weren’t required to wear a mask during their workouts, health experts believe that the large class size, small space, and intensity of the workout were all factors that played into the high rates of transmission. (In fact, no class participants in a low-intensity yoga class ended up testing positive.)

“Granted, people weren’t wearing masks and it was in an indoor space,” Dr. Wong says. “These people were just dancing, but they were breathing heavily, which made the risk of transmission very high.”

Are outdoor fitness classes any safer?

Just like outdoor dining, health experts say that outdoor fitness classes are much safer than indoor ones because they allow for better airflow and ventilation. This can better disperse respiratory droplets, potentially reducing the risk of them landing on your mouth or eyes, or on surfaces that you may touch and then transfer to your mouth, nose, and eyes. It also likely reduces the risk of airborne transmission as well.

Humberto Choi, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic who treats COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, adds that the breeze—which aids airflow—also plays a role in making outdoor classes a safer option.

That’s why many gyms and studios have begun offering outdoor offerings. For example, the Fhitting Room, a HIIT studio based in New York City, recently started hosting outdoor classes in Central Park, Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, and on the rooftop at Showfields.

Plus, SoulCycle is offering its indoor cycling classes outdoors in Hoboken and Short Hills in New Jersey; Hudson Yards, Bridgehampton and Montauk in New York; Union Market in Washington, D.C.; downtown L.A., Santa Monica, and Manhattan Beach in California, among others. And if you’re in the mood to dance, 305 Fitness has 45-minute outdoor group classes in New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Health experts say that while the risk of transmission isn’t completely eliminated with outdoor fitness classes, it’s significantly lower.

“If you’re outdoors, the risk is not zero, but it is much lower than indoors,” Dr. Weisenberg says. “Exercise and heavy breathing may increase this chance, but it should still be low, as long as you are outside and social distancing is maintained. Mask wearing can further reduce this risk.” (More on this later.)

How can you stay safe in an outdoor fitness class?

While generally speaking, an outdoor fitness class is going to be a safer option than an indoor one, all outdoor classes are not the same in risk level—and there are some things in your control (and some in your gym’s) that can make them safer or riskier.

Location and setup is one of these factors. For example, some classes might claim to be outdoors on a rooftop, but it’s actually on a rooftop that’s semi-covered, Dr. Wong says—which brings up the whole ventilation issue again. “That may not be as safe as a completely open rooftop, so people need to be mindful of those,” she says.

The smaller

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dentist

Is it safe to go to the dentist right now? What to know before you go

gettyimages-1169329645

Deciding if you should go to the dentist now is a personal choice — here’s what the WHO and the ADA have to say.


Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

If you’ve never been a fan of going to the dentist, then you may have an excuse to skip your routine visit this year — depending on your views about COVID-19 safety. Dental cleanings and check-ups are important to keep your mouth healthy and avoid costly procedures, like a root canal, down the line. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, there is conflicting guidance out there about whether or not you should still go to the dentist for non-emergency appointments.

The WHO released a statement in August recommending that people skip routine dental check ups and cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. It said you should only visit the dentist for necessary procedures, including if you have pain, an infection or need emergency attention. In the meantime, the WHO recommends using “remote consultations” if you’re not sure if you should see a dentist or not. 

In response, the American Dental Association released a statement saying it “strongly” disagrees with the WHO’s advice on dental care and that going to the dentist is essential. “Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health,” ADA president Dr. Chad P. Gehani, DDS said in the statement. 

Although you should talk to your own dentist before making any swift decisions, safety concerns around visiting the dentist are not clear-cut this year. I talked to an orthodontist to get more information on navigating this complicated (and personal) decision.

Why going to the dentist may be risky 

“The relative safety of visiting the dentist right now is very state and individual-specific. For those states with surging numbers of cases of COVID-19, I would advise to see your dentist only in the case of emergency (severe pain or infection),” Dr. Heather Kunen, DDS, MS and cofounder of Beam Street said.

According to the WHO report, the nature of oral health visits creates a risk of contracting the coronavirus for both patients and health care workers, because of the ways experts believe the virus is transmitted. First, there’s evidence that respiratory droplets produced by coughing, sneezing and talking spread the virus. Because they are working in your mouth and are in close contact with you (far closer than 6 feet), your dental provider will be exposed to those droplets — along with blood and saliva.

Second, the WHO suggests that the coronavirus can be spread through aerosol transmission. Many common dental procedures, such as a teeth cleaning, generate aerosols, which puts the workers at risk of contracting the virus.

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It’s important to talk to your dentist before you make any decisions about oral health care. 


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In addition

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