On Health at Home and Abroad: Flu, Obesity and Chronic Diseases

From USA.gov: Test Your Flu I.Q. Annual outbreaks of the seasonal flu usually occur during the late fall through early spring. Most people have natural immunity and a seasonal flu vaccine is available. In a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu. Flu-related deaths range from 3,300 to 48,600 (average 23,600).  Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. Take CDC’s 10 question flu test and prepare yourself.

From Euromonitor: Health On The Go: A Review of Mobile Applications. Mobile health, also referred to as mHealth, has delivered an important number of platforms and applications (apps) via mobile devices in the past two years. Thousands of health and wellness applications are available for upload in mobile devices. The globalization of digital technology and internet access has opened a wide door to these applications as consumers from all regions in the world can download them. An estimated 80 out of 100 inhabitants hold a mobile cellular telephone subscription as a global average, while 30 out of 100 are users of the internet. Follow above link to read more. 

Also from Euromonitor: Calling in Sick? The 2011-2012 Flu Season in the United States. Flu seasons are notoriously difficult to predict, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 5-20% of Americans get the flu each year.  As of November 2011, however, flu activity in the US has been low, leading public health analysts to be cautiously optimistic that this will be a “typical” flu season. This also means that it is the ideal time to get vaccinated against the flu.  Access to flu shots will be easier than ever this year because the vaccine supply is at record levels. Manufacturers estimate that total production is around 166-173 million doses, the most ever in the US.

From OECD: Health: Medical Care Improving but Better Prevention and Management of Chronic Diseases Needed to Cut Costs. The quality of medical care is improving in OECD countries, with higher survival rates for life-threatening diseases. But there is a need for better prevention and management for chronic diseases, such as asthma and diabetes, with too many people unnecessarily admitted to hospitals. Obesity is a key risk factor for many chronic conditions, with severely obese people dying up to 10 years earlier than those of normal weight.  Health at a Glance 2011 shows that obesity rates have doubled or even tripled in many countries since 1980.  In more than half of OECD countries, 50% or more of the population is now overweight, if not obese.  The obesity rate in the adult population is highest in the United States, rising from 15% in 1980 to 34% in 2008.

From Euromonitor: Consumer Health Trends in China. Several factors seem poised to spur further development in China’s market for Over-the-Counter (OTC) health products, but legislative and regulatory barriers to growth remain. Unfortunately, this increased prosperity also led to greater urbanization, altered diets, and more sedentary lifestyles, creating greater risk for obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes. In fact, in 2010 China had more diabetics than anywhere else in the world, with an even greater number of adults exhibiting early symptoms of the disease.  n 2009, in the midst of this increase in the at-risk population, the government introduced health reforms aimed at reducing medical costs, making an expansion in self-care a particularly attractive proposition.

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