4 Things You Need to Know About The 2019 Measles Outbreak

One of the most interesting health issues to resurface this year has been the Measles. Which is interesting because, in the year 2000, the United States was able to declare that the Measles had been eliminated. However, in these last six months, we have seen 1077 cases. A number that is still growing. The last time we saw these kinds of numbers was in 1992. Here is what you need to know about these recent outbreaks:

1. Over 26 states have reported a Measles breakout

These states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.

2. Small Community Centered

Most of the reported breakouts include a small number of people affected; only a couple at a time. But the most significant reported amounts are in an Orthodox Jewish Community in New York City, specifically in Rockland County. This group has been vaccine skeptic, and the measles virus has spread wildly. So much so that the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, declared a public health emergency on April 9th. He said that anyone who has not been vaccinated within a specific zip code must get the vaccine. If they refused, they would be fined $1,000.

3. It’s an aggressive virus.

You may have the virus and not show any symptoms. A person can have it up to four days before they ever show signs, and they can easily infect another person during that time if a person who has contracted the measles were to walk into a room, cough and then leave. Hours later, an unvaccinated person could get the virus from the droplets in the air from the infected person. No other virus can do that.

4. It’s making its way into the US from tourists

Many of the outbreaks that stemmed from people that have traveled to countries where measles still is a significant problem. Outbreaks in California have originated from strains of measles found in Vietnam or Thailand. New York’s epidemic seems to come from Jerusalem. If you are traveling to another country this summer, the CDC recommends that you are up on your vaccines so that you do not contract this aggressive virus.

If more people are vaccinated, it creates what is called the herd effect. It helps the people who cannot get vaccines like small children or people or autoimmune diseases from getting the disease. If you need to check up on your vaccines, make sure to call your doctor. If you have already been vaccinated for measles, most people do not need a have the vaccine again, but if you got it before 1967, you might. Your doctor will be able to help you determine what you need as far as vaccines go.

5 Tips For Your Healthiest Summer

With Summer here, its time to go out and have an adventure. It’s time to take a vacation! It’s time to live your best life!! And having that best life means not only being happy but being healthy. Here are five tips for your healthiest Summer.

  • Its all about that water

    Our bodies need water to function! Keep your body happy and make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. If you are starting to feel a little bit hungry, that may be your first sign that you are dehydrated! Pick up a glass of water before your pick up a snack and see how you feel. Most likely, you’ll be more full and will feel better.

  • Eat all the colors of the rainbow

    When eating its essential that your plate has a full spectrum of color to ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you need. This can look like a colorful salad with tomatoes, yellow peppers, carrots, and berries. Or it could be a kabob with mushrooms, red onion, bell peppers and pineapple on it. Be creative and see how many colors you can get into your meals.

  • Be social while you eat

    It is easy to want to overeat when delicious foods surround you at parties, bbqs, and gatherings. Here are a few tips to keep your intake in check. Sit down while you eat. You’re less likely to keep eating if you’ve moved to a seated position over standing by the food. Then talk to someone while you eat. If you are talking to someone, you are eating slower and filling up more between eat a bite. If you are going out to eat, try sharing a meal. Restaurants typically have more substantial portions than what we require. Not only will you be full, but you will also save on a meal!

  • Smart snacking

    Have a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack can help you feel fuller longer. But what you snack on matters! We suggest nuts. They are full of healthy unsaturated fats! If you want to take your snack on the go, try getting snack sized baggies. You can portion out your snacks ahead of time, and you won’t overeat so that your snack turns into a meal. If you are about to head out to a party that you know will be full of unhealthy foods, you should eat before you eat! Grabbing some fruit before a party can help fill you up before you go and gorge yourself on your mom’s potato salad.

  • Play outside

    Use the warm summer weather to get out of the gym during your workouts. Hiking, biking, running, swimming is all an excellent way to get in exercise while outdoors. You could also choose a family-friendly activity and bring the whole family along. Nothing beats bonding with your loved ones over a shared activity. If you are on vacation, try walking to your destinations. Many places outside of the US are more walking friendly, and you will experience your vacation spot in a whole new way. You’ll be like one of the locals!

Know Before You Go: Quick Tips to Take Before You Travel

As you plan your summer vacation, the last thing that you plan for is to get sick. However, studies have shown that around 15% of travelers experience some medical need during their travels. It can range from accidents or injuries surrounding their exciting plans or could be that they fall sick from some foreign bug. Either way, travelers that experience these type of medical needs often have some questions about how their medical needs will be paid for. So before you go on vacation, here are a few tips to make sure that your health has a priority.

  • Call Your Health Provider

    One of the easiest ways to find out if your health provider will pay for out of the country health benefits is to ask them! Some health policies will provide a certain amount of health coverage, but many will make you pay out of pocket and then submit for reimbursement. And if you have original Medicare, there is not international coverage. You will want to make sure that you are asking the following questions:

    • Will my policy cover me while I travel abroad?
    • Will I have to submit for a reimbursement
    • Will my coverage include preexisting conditions
    • Ask about injuries that are due to circumstances outside of your control, such as acts of war, natural disaster, or acts of terror?
    • Will preauthorization be needed for treatment in a hospital?
  • Get a Quote for Travel Medical Insurance

    This type of insurance is different than travel insurance because it focuses on your medical care or you need for evacuation instead of trip cancellation. If you should get injured or sick while on a trip, it helps to pay for your medical needs, and if you were to get injured in a remote area where you could not receive proper medical care, it would cover the cost of the evacuation to get to an appropriate hospital. Many types of travel insurance also include this aspect, so make sure that you are looking at precisely what is covered when you purchase it. It will usually cost you to 4-8% of what you have paid to go on your trip.

  • Don’t take unnecessary risks

    While we understand that for some, going on an adventure is part of their vacation, it is important that you are not signing up for an unsafe situation. Many times accidents that happen while on vacation are simply that, accidents. A person trips while walking on cobblestones or one may be involved in a car accident. These are all very normal if not unfortunate circumstances. But if you are signing up for an experience, make sure you are working with a reputable company that complies with basic safety standards.

    We hope that your summer vacations are full of fun and excitement and that sickness and injury stay far away. But if you should get ill, we hope that you’ve taken these tips to heart and covered yourself for any travel mishaps that you may encounter.

Summer Sun Skin: 5 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer

Summer brings so many good things for us! Time off from school, family vacations, beach trips, warm weather and lots and lots of sunshine! But while you are partaking in soaking up these rays, it is essential to think about how to protect your skin. Your skin can go through some severe damage during this season. So here are fives ways to protect your skin this summer!

  • Drink Water

    When the temperatures rise your body sweats and lose hydration. On top of that, your skin is made up of 64% water. So when you are not drinking enough water, it can show! It can also lead to headaches and itchy patches on your skin. So it is essential that you are keeping your body well hydrated with eight glasses of water a day.

  • Sun protection is key

    One of the most significant issues with too much sun exposure is skin cancer, and one of the easiest ways to avoid this is to wear sunscreen. Anything over SPF 30 will block out about 97% of the UV rays. You will want to make sure that you are covering any part of your skin that will be in the sun and then reapply every two hours. If you are swimming or sweating you may want to apply more often. But sunscreen is not the only way to protect yourself from the sun. You can also cover up with clothing. Light long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat can do wonders to keep you from getting sunburned. You may also want to seek out shade. Some choose to carry an umbrella with them for a little extra protection against the sun.

  • Exfoliate

    During the summer months, your skin experiences a lot and needs to be exfoliated. Between sweat, sunscreen, and other elements, your skin can be easily clogged and can lead to acne and breakouts. Regular exfoliation and washing allows your pores to breath and makes for happier skin.

  • Feed your skin

    The saying you are what you eat holds some weight here. Your skin reacts to what you are eating, and if you are not feeding yourself good, nutritious foods, your skin is one of the first telltale signs. But eating foods that vary in all the colors of the rainbow can help your skin can help protect your skin from outside elements while also giving you a healthy glow.

  • Quit Smoking

    Smoking has many adverse side effects, but on top of those havoc-wreaking consequences, it also hurts your complexion.
    There are plenty of reasons other than your skin health to give cigarettes the boot—like an increased risk of lung cancer—but all those packs also wreak havoc on your complexion. Smoking causes the small elastic fibers and collagen in your skin to be damaged and over a period that leads to wrinkles in your skin. Smoking makes you age much faster than the average person would. So this summer, put down your tobacco use for good.

    We hope that this list has given you a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your skin happy this summer. We know that it is easy to be excited for beach days and warm vacation spots, but taking care of your skin today will have lasting benefits for the rest of your life.

There are plenty of reasons other than your skin health to give cigarettes the boot—like an increased risk of lung cancer—but all those packs also wreak havoc on your complexion. Smoking causes the small elastic fibers and collagen in your skin to be damaged and over a period that leads to wrinkles in your skin. Smoking makes you age much faster than the average person would. So this summer, put down your tobacco use for good.

We hope that this list has given you a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your skin happy this summer. We know that it is easy to be excited for beach days and warm vacation spots, but taking care of your skin today will have lasting benefits for the rest of your life.

Your Healthcare Options Part 1

Healthcare Options

What Are Your Healthcare Options?

If you are over or close to the age of 65, Medicare is something that you might be utilizing or thinking about using. If you are in that boat, then it is essential to know your open enrollment times. If you are looking to go with the Medicare Advantage Plan, open enrollment is upon us.

Recipients of Medicare have a choice between the Medicare Advantage Plan or the Medicare Supplement Plan which is like a PPO plan. The difference between the two is that in the Advantage plan you will pick a primary care physician who will direct your care. They are known as the gatekeeper. If you need to see any specialist, they will provide a referral for that. Under a PPO contract, you have the flexibility to direct your care. You do not have a primary care physician, and you have a choice of any doctor in your provider network. This option does have a higher cost in comparison to the Medicare Advantage Plan so we often see people in this area choose the Advantage Plan and it works well for them. Many doctors prefer this plan over the PPO option, as well, because there are Medicare Reporting standards that they are held to and it is easier to capture that data on this particular plan.

The Medicare Advantage plans and Part D have open enrollment starting on October 15 and ending on December 7. So if someone has original Medicare and purchases a drug plan without any other supplemental coverage that is the time that they can change their drug plan because Medicare by itself does not cover medication.

At Bernardini & Donovan, we work very closely with a majority of our clients who utilize the Medicare Advantage Plan. If that is something that you know that you want to look into, there is no one better for you talk to than us. Our years of experience allow us to help you plan and see how you can have the low cost of the Advantage Plan while having the best possible health care available to you. Please feel free to call us today to set up an appointment if you have questions.

The Power of Giving

The Power of Giving

The Power of Giving

One can find many quotes about giving:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of other.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Or maybe you’ve heard this one:
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

 

The fact of the matter is that giving changes something inside of us and changes the world around us. But how can this one simple act create that much change?

 

Scientists have started to study the biological changes in humans through the act of giving. Darwin’s survival of the fittest would initially lead one to believe that as humans we are not intrinsically designed to give or nurture. But that is not the case. Studies have shown that when a person gives their money willingly that the prefrontal cortex of the brain lights up. It is the same region that is engaged when we experience pleasure from food or relationship. Their studies showed that our brains are hardwired to respond to this very basic concept.

 

There are also examples and bountiful testimonies of people who experIenced emotional changes in their lives when they started giving financially. They describe it as before they started giving they were reinforcing the idea that they never had enough, that they must continue to strive for more. But in the act of giving they not only found peace in their circumstances, but they also had a better view of money and were able to grow their wealth as well as their physical health.

 

At Bernardini & Donovan, we are always looking for ways to grow in our appreciation of all that we have been given. We know that looking beyond ourselves is vital to be a greater service to others. We hope to help our community not only through our service but by giving back to the countless others who have helped us and giving to those who are in need.