Tag Archives: CDC

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Fog and drizzle early…then rain. High 51. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Friday night: Cloudy with light rain early…then becoming partly cloudy. Low 33. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts presents “A Night with Dancers”

Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space is proud to present an evening with Queens-based dancers and choreographers Monica Hogan, Hazel Lever and Selma Treviño who will be performing works-in-progress. Artists and the culturally curious are invited to participate in an evening of movement and discussion, to help workshop works in progress and gain unique insight into the artistic process. Dancers are especially encouraged to join us for a unique networking and community building opportunity. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving. Read more: The Queens Courier

NY regulators approve Con Edison rate freeze

New York utility regulators have approved freezes on electricity, natural gas and steam delivery rates for Con Edison customers. Read more: NBC New York

NY lawmaker: Parents should take parenting classes

New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don’t go, 6th graders won’t move onto 7th grade. Read more: Fox New York

After brief we warmup, winter to tighten grip with return of polar vortex

A brief warmup to the 50s over the next few days will be followed by another return of the polar vortex to the tri-state area and a chance of snow next week. Read more: NBC New York

CDC: More young people getting the flu than in any other age group

Flu season started early and strong this year, and on Thursday a new report revealed it’s hitting a different group of people especially hard. Read more: CBS New York

 

 

Avoid the flu this season: Tips for keeping your employees and business healthy


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com

QNE_p046.pdf - Adobe Acrobat

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s flu season began four weeks earlier than expected, resulting in the earliest flu season in a decade.

While the early arrival proved to be tough on families, it was especially difficult for small businesses and start-ups that rely on their staff to stay profitable and productive during the holidays and tax season.

The CDC estimates that each year the flu results in 75 million days of work absences and 200 million days of diminished productivity for businesses nationwide. Cumulatively, the flu costs businesses an estimated $6.2 billion in lost productivity each year, with small businesses proving to be no exception.

To keep your staff healthy and business booming, Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Pharmacy offer the following tips to avoid catching the flu this season:

 

* Encourage employees to get immunized

Immunizations are a simple and effective way for adults and businesses to protect themselves from catching and spreading the flu. The CDC recommends getting an annual flu immunization as the first and most important step in protecting yourself against the flu.

Get immunized early and persuade your staff to do the same.

Encourage your staff to get immunized by taking them out for lunch and immunizations.

Find a location near you that administers the flu shot. This year, your local Sam’s Club Pharmacy offers scheduled and walk-in immunization appointments for all adults age 18 and over – no membership required. Sam’s Club has also implemented additional options for adults to increase flu protection convenience including increased inventory, trained pharmacists to administer immunizations and a privacy screen at each pharmacy for a more comfortable experience.

 

* Stop the spread of germs

In addition to getting the flu immunization, simple daily measures can protect you and those around you from getting sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

 

* Stay home when sick

If you or a staff member begins to exhibit flu-like symptoms, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from spreading the flu and infecting others.

If you are sick with a flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Additional information about the flu, last year’s outbreak and how to avoid catching the flu this season can be found on the CDC website.

- BPT

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Flu outbreak felt in Queens as Cuomo declares public health emergency


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

CDC/Photo by Jim Gathany

Two days after Christmas, Diane K. woke up with a bought of the flu. The 66-year-old Bayside resident, who preferred her last name not be used, fought off the viral infection’s high fever and aches over the next few days with Tamiflu and rest. But when it was announced that this season’s flu had reached epidemic proportions, Diane decided she didn’t want to take another chance.

“I’m usually very healthy,” she said. “I don’t get sick, but with the epidemic — I’m the only person I know who hasn’t gotten the flu shot yet.”

Diane called several local pharmacies, many of which had run out of the vaccine in the wake of the epidemic, before running to the Rite Aid on Bell Boulevard for the high-dose version of the shot.

In response to the early and rapid spread of this year’s flu season, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for all of New York State. The governor also issued an executive order which permits pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations to patients between the ages of six months and 18 years of age, suspending for the next 30 days the State Education Law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing agents to those older than 18.

So far this season, 19,128 cases of the flu have been reported in New York, over four times the number of cases reported last year. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) stated that as of January 5, 2,884 patients were hospitalized with the flu.

Two children in New York State and 18 children across the United States have died as a result of this year’s seasonal flu.

On January 10, Governor  Cuomo gets a flu shot to encourage all New Yorkers to guard against a bad influenza season. (Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s flickr)

“We are experiencing the worst flu season since at least 2009, and influenza activity in New York State is widespread, with cases reported in all 57 counties and all five boroughs of New York City,” Cuomo said. “Therefore, I have directed my administration, the State Health Department and others to marshal all needed resources to address this public health emergency and remove all barriers to ensure that all New Yorkers — children and adults alike — have access to critically needed flu vaccines.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested this year’s known influenza viruses against the three viruses included in the 2012-2013 vaccine. To date, all of the influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2) viruses that have been tested match the vaccine and approximately 69 percent of the known influenza B viruses match the vaccine.

According to the CDC, the flu has reached epidemic status, causing 7.3 percent of deaths last week. The CDC’s epidemic threshold is marked at 7.2 percent.

Every region of the United States — excluding the Southwest and California — registered a spike in the number of cases of the flu over the past week.

The CDC said that flu-associated deaths each season range from 3,000 people to about 49,000 people. Those at increased risk for serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

The CDC cautions those hoping to obtain the flu vaccine that the coveted shot may be difficult to find. Pharmacies have reported an increase in the number of people looking to get vaccinated, and contacting more than one provider may be a necessary part of the search.

A pharmacy staff member at the CVS on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria said they ran out of the flu shot several days ago and had just been restocked today.

“We have them in stock now but now a lot people are coming in to get them,” said the pharmacy staff member, who estimated they would be out of the vaccine again by the end of the day.

 

RECOMMENDED LINKS

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High of 52. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then clear. Low of 37. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Best Flicks of 2012

This seven-film series at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, opens with The Deep Blue Sea, the portrayal of a woman who abandons her passionless marriage to a wealthy barrister to enter a torrid affair with a troubled former Royal Air Force pilot. Other films in the series include The Turin Horse, Neighboring Sounds, This Is Not a Film, Moonrise Kingdom, Cosmopolis and In Another Country. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Students return to Far Rockaway school damaged by Sandy

Students returned to classes Monday at The Bay School in the Far Rockaway section of Queens for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. Read more: NY1

Elected officials review Queens library system’s slow recovery from Sandy

The Queens Library was not spared by Hurricane Sandy and now the system is trying to recover from $7.5 million in damage caused by the storm, including 100,000 books damaged in four branches in the Rockaways. Read more: NY1

2 women critical after carbon monoxide incident

Two women were critical after being overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning during an apparent boiler leak in a home in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

Teachers union blasts Bloomberg for NRA comments

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire for radio remarks in which he compared the teachers union to the National Rifle Association. Read more: ABC New York

“Dating Game Killer” gets 25 years to life for NYC slayings

A California serial killer and one-time contestant on “The Dating Game” was sentenced Monday to another 25 years to life for killing two women in New York in the 1970s. Read more: NBC New York

Flu outbreak in 2013 expected to be among the worst in decade, CDC warns

This year’s flu outbreak is one of the worst in 10 years, according to experts — and a quick glance around your half-empty office.Read more: New York Daily News

Giffords, Kelly launch gun control initiative

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched an initiative aimed at curbing gun violence on Tuesday, the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting that killed six people and left her critically injured. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Wednesday night: Overcast. Low of 55. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the North after midnight. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: She-Devil Comedy Festival

The Laughing Devil’s first annual She-Devil Comedy Festival, running October 24 through 28, is a 100-woman-strong showcase, featuring some of the funniest up-and-coming queens of stand-up. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Suspect accused of killing cop, driver in custody at hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds

Police captured the suspected killer of two people, including a Nassau County police office, after a witness heard gunshots coming from a car in Queens. Read more Queens Courier

Suspect charged with hurling anti-gay slur, using taser on man in Queens

A man has been charged with a hate crime in connection to an attack in Ridgewood, Queens, in which he allegedly shocked another man with a Taser while calling him an anti-gay slur. Read more: CBS New York

Man says he was paid to spy on Muslim groups

Outraged members of the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College say Shamiur Rahman told them he was a paid informant of the police after pretending to be a part of their group. Read more: NY1

Union slaps Queens Library with lawsuit for Board of Trustees meeting minutes

Members of the union representing Queens Library workers are suing the library officials for refusing to give them copies of minutes from Board of Trustees meetings. Read more: New York Daily News

Dozens speak out in City Council members’ hearing on stop-and-frisk policy

Residents on both sides of the issue voiced their concerns to New York City lawmakers Tuesday night about the practice of stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of people a year. Read more: CBS News

Billionaire gives $100 million to Central Park

A billionaire hedge fund manager pledged $100 million Tuesday to the private organization that maintains Central Park in partnership with New York City. Read more: ABC New York/AP

Serious birth complications rising in the U.S

Severe complications from childbirth are rare in the U.S., but they are becoming more common, a new government study finds. Read more: Reuters

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 63. Winds from the NE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Tuesday night: Overcast. Low of 55. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Meet the Candidates

St. John’s is holding a Meet the Candidates night from 7 p.m.to 9 p.m. at the Belson Moot Courtroom in the School of Law, where candidates for the New York State Legislature will take part in a public forum to discuss issues of importance to college students and the local community. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

 Grand jury probe likely in shooting

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Monday said a grand jury would have to decide whether criminal charges are warranted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist in Queens last week by a detective. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Four teens killed in horrific car crash on Long Island; teen at wheel only had learner’s permit

They died on Dead Man’s Curve. Four Queens teenagers were killed Monday when their car — driven by a 17-year-old with only a learner’s permit — sped off a treacherous stretch of a Long Island highway and wrapped itself around a tree. Read more: New York Daily News

Churches battle liquor store next door

Two churches in Queens are now in the middle of a nasty battle because of what’s in the middle between them. Read more: ABC New York

Residents upset over calls that accuse State Senate candidate of supporting Muslim radicals

Joseph Concannon is a relatively unknown Republican State Senate candidate but he’s created an uproar in the 11th district. Bayside residents like Andy Rothman are crying foul over a Concannon robocall that accuses incumbent State Sen. Tony Avella of supporting Muslim radicals. Read more: NY1

U.S. meningitis cases mount from thousands of patients at risk

More cases of fungal meningitis tied to contaminated steroid shots are expected to be confirmed on Tuesday, U.S. health officials said, and some patients who received the injections may have to wait weeks to know if they are infected. Read more: Reuters

Sandusky to learn sentence in child sex abuse case

Jerry Sandusky will learn what penalty a judge considers appropriate for the 45 counts of child sexual abuse for which the former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June. Read more: AP

More West Nile spraying in Queens Thursday


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Thursday, September 13 there will be another round of West Nile spraying in Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the 1,993 cases of the disease that have been reported so far this year is the highest number reported to CDC through the first week in September since 1999, when it was first detected in the U.S.

The spraying will take place from 7:30 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday morning in the following parts of Queens:

Middle Village, Maspeth, Rego Park and Ridgewood, bordered by Grand Avenue, Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard to the north; Fresh Pond Road to the west; Metropolitan Avenue to the south; and 80th Street, Farmville Avenue, Woodhaven Boulevard and 63rd Road to the East.

Parts of Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hollis, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills and Oakland Gardens, bordered by Long Island Expressway to the north; 188th Street, 80th Drive, Utopia Parkway, Homelawn Street and 169th Street
to the west; 90th Avenue, 191st Street and Hillside Ave to the South; and Hollis Hills Terrace, Richland Ave and 210th Street to the east.

Parts of Pomonok, Auburndale, Flushing and Bayside, bordered by 33rd to the north; 162nd Street, Laburnum Avenue, Kissena Boulevard to the west; Booth Memorial Boulevard, Utopia Parkway and 48th Avenue to the south; and Clearview
Expressway to the east.

The pesticide being used, Anvil 10 + 10, poses no health risks when used properly, but the Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.

• Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.

• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.

• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

Residents are also advised to take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around a home or property, including eliminating standing water in yards. In addition, New Yorkers are urged to:

• Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers in which water collects;

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors. Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall;

• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and change the water in bird baths twice a week;

• Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds; and

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.

A mother’s story: The challenges of living with Autism


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Edna Luna’s curly-headed, big-eyed little boy was always a little different.

The way he related to the world, his cognitions, were unlike those of other children.

Concerned, Luna took her toddler-aged son, Winter, to see a doctor, who diagnosed him with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) – a nebulous term for any delay in progression.

Displeased with the doctor’s unspecific diagnosis, Luna’s desperation took her to the Internet, searching through countless testimonials of parents in similar situations.

“My child doesn’t respond when spoken to.”

“My child is hypersensitive to noise.”

“My child doesn’t interact with other children.”

The screen said “Autism.”

Luna is a single mother living in Flushing with her two sons, nine-year-old Winter and 19-year-old Nathaniel (Nate), both of whom are Autistic.

She too is Autistic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one percent of all children are classified as living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Parents of one child with ASD have a two to eight percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.

For Luna and her two sons, routine is essential.

Winter awakes at 6:30 every morning. He attends third grade at Robin Sue Ward School, after which Luna picks him up and the pair run errands or walk the links at a nearby golf course. Wherever they go, Winter needs fair warning. There can be no surprises.

Some nights, Winter wakes up at 3 a.m. Through the wall, Luna hears her son reciting lines from movies or conversations he heard throughout the day. She says it’s his way of making sense of the world.

“At the end of the day you’re exhausted,” said Luna. “A lot of the things you feel during the day you had to keep to yourself. Just connecting to the world is a challenge.”

And other people aren’t kind.

“They see you reprimand your child and people get rude,” said Luna. “Sometimes people talk to him and he won’t talk back. If it’s too loud, he won’t sit still. Sometimes he just gets frustrated and has a meltdown.”

Luna wishes others could relate and that people understood ways to connect with affected children.

There are days when Nate refuses to leave his room, spending the entire day playing computer games.

An interest in computers evolved into expertise. Nate can take apart and reassemble hard drives, motherboards and monitors. He also taught himself how to build guitars.

“Anything he gets into, he’s an expert,” said Luna.

Constant teasing in school caused Nate to develop anxiety – occurrences unnoticed until students showed up at Luna’s door to tell her what had been happening.

Edna says Nate can appear angry and disrespectful, even lazy. Luna feels he needs constant supervision.

When Nate was 11, he expressed his struggles to his mother – the frustrations of social interaction, resorting to mimicking the actions of his classmates.

Luna justified his behavior. After all, it had been how she acted in school.

As her own Autism diagnosis, unseen for almost 30 years, became clear, she questioned life-long mannerisms previously perceived as normal.

As a child, Luna arranged her mother’s bobby pins in a long, straight line across the dresser, a compulsion she continued for years. When overwhelmed, she repeatedly flapped her hands at chest level — a practice she would later discover was called stimming. At night, Luna opened the window to her fifth-floor Astoria apartment, sat on the ledge and dangled her feet outside. She felt no danger, no fear – a symptom, she now knows, of Autism.

Luna also admitted that her childhood had been rather friendless.

“I never spoke to anyone,” she said. “I was a loner.”

Now Luna works as a part-time makeup artist and occasionally sings at restaurants around the borough. Several health issues make it difficult for her to hold a full-time job and her sons could need her at any minute.

Her passion, however, lies in her charity work. Budget cuts to local programs have driven her to work even harder.

My Charity 4 Kids, an organization in conjunction with Savannah’s Family Workshop and Volunteer One, assists children afflicted with Autism, Asperger Symdrome and blindness. Luna hopes to create workshops for parents, helping them adjust to raising a developmentally-disabled child.

While she admits to not being an expert, Luna says there’s a certain knowledge you gain from raising an affected child and from living with Autism yourself.