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Health Bulletins
December, 2011

Flu Shot

By First Insurance Company


What is the flu?

The flu (or common flu, influenza) is a viral infection that is spread from person to person in secretions of the nose and lungs (e.g. sneezing).


The symptoms are fever, malaise, and severe body aches.


When should I get a flu shot?

Because the flu season may begin as early as October and run through May, the best time to get a flu shot is in October or November. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be effective. The earlier you take it, the better!


Types of vaccines:

-The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus). It is suitable for people older than 6 months and people with chronic medical conditions.

-The “nasal-spray flu vaccine” — a vaccine made with live, weakened virus.

-The spray is approved for use in healthy people.


Who Should Get Vaccinated

• Children aged 6 months through 4 years, and people 50 years of age and older.

• Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season.

• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.

• People who are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater).


Who Should Not Be Vaccinated without Prior Physician Consultation

• People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.

• People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.

• Children younger than 6 months of age.


For further information go to

Environmental Health


Answer the questions below and see how the environment affects your health:

1. How does acid rain affect humans?

a. directly by burning your skin

b. indirectly by depleting soil and killing trees

c. depleting the ozone

d. water contamination


2. According to the WHO, how many deaths per year are related to environmental issues?

a. 13 million

b. 100000

c. 1 million

d. 6 million


3. Deforestation and loss of trees will cause which of the following:

a. soil erosion

b. atmospheric oxygen reduction

c. ground temperatures fluctuation

d. all of above


4. What is most common cause for Asthma?

a. genetic

b. respiratory illnesses

c. allergies

d. air pollutants


5. CFCs are chemicals known to cause ozone depletion, but how do they affect humans?

a. skin cancer and damage

b. hair fall

c. color blindness

d. allergies


Worlds Aids Day


World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year to unite the people in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. The theme between the period 2011-2015 is “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.”


Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect and respect themselves and others from HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness,

and fight prejudice.


If you want to support the cause, you can learn facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. If you are knowledgeable about HIV - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others. You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness. World AIDS

Day is also a great opportunity to raise money and show your support for people living with HIV.


For year round information and events please visit

Healthy Winter


It’s December already and it may be cold outside, but winter needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family. In this article, we will share with you 4 ways to stay healthy in the upcoming winter months.


1. Eliminate your sleep debt

The average person sleeps 6.5 hours while the recommended amount is 8-9 hours. But in winter, we naturally sleep more, due to the longer nights. So it’s perfectly natural to adopt hibernating habits when the weather turns cold and use the time to catch up on our sleep.


2. Eat a healthy diet

You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter so make your immune system stronger by eating healthy. Eat protein rich foods like dairy products, antioxidants like strawberries and a hearty breakfast in the morning. You should also avoid the urge to fill up on unhealthy comfort and sugary food to avoid weight gain.


3. Try new activities for the whole family

Don’t use the cold as an excuse for staying indoors and get out with the whole family to try out a new activity (like indoor climbing, brisk walks). Regular exercise helps to control your weight, boost your immune system and is a good way to break the tension that can build if the family is constantly cooped up inside the house.

4. Get your flu shot

No vaccine is 100% effective; however, people who have had the flu jab are less likely to get the flu. If you do get flu despite having the jab, it will probably be milder than if you haven’t been vaccinated.


Try to follow these tips and see for yourself how this winter can be healthy and fun!

Biopolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. In this article, we will give you an overview about Bipolar Disorder, its symptoms, risk factors and ways of treatment.


The severe symptoms of Bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. They can be divided into the “highs” and “lows” episodes:

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Symptoms of mania “highs”  

Symptoms of depression “lows”

  • Increased physical and mental activity
  • Heightened mood, exaggerate
  • self-confidence and optimism
  • Recklessness
  • Easily distracted
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Participating in high risk activities
  • Prolonged sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Inability in concentrating, making decisions
  • Disruptions in lifestyle
  • Being restless
  • Thinking of death and suicide
  • Social withdrawal
  • Substance abuse

Scientists are still looking for possible causes of bipolar disorder. However, it is rather evident that many factors are likely to act together to produce the illness or increase risk.


Ways of treatment include:

1. Mood stabilizing, atypical antipsychotic and antidepressant medications

2. Psychotherapy that includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family focused therapy and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

3. Psychoeducation which teaches people with bipolar disorder about the illness and its treatment.

4. Other treatments such as Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)—for cases in which medication and/or psychotherapy does not work.


It is important for people with Bipolar Disorder to get treatment since 30% of untreated people commit suicide!


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