UK faces life-threatening flu epidemic this winter – as two toddlers die of virus in the US – The Sun

UK faces life-threatening flu epidemic this winter – as two toddlers die of virus in the US

  • 31 Oct 2019, 12:30
  • Updated : 1 Nov 2019, 10:25

A LIFE-threatening flu epidemic could hit the UK this winter, experts have warned — as two toddlers die of the virus in the US.

Health officials confirmed a four-year-old boy from California died from the virus last month while another child, under the age of four, died in New York this week.

Flu season typically starts in October and can stretch to March — but experts say these early fatalities could be an indicator of a severe outbreak.

Cameron Kaiser, a public health officer of Riverside County in California, said: “We should never forget that the flu still kills.

“I always recommend people get their flu shots every year, but a death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual.”

Britain and America’s flu season tends to mirror what happens in Australia, which has seen a spike of deadly cases in recent months.

Get the jab

Professor Robert Dingwall, a public health expert at Nottingham Trent University, told The Sun Online: «The Australians have had a very bad flu season and we should expect the same flu strain to appear here later this winter.

«Fortunately, it is a variant on the strain that was here last year and the available vaccines should give good protection.

«However, it does mean that it is more important than ever for people who are offered vaccination to take it up.

«If you are not in one of those vulnerable groups, it is also worth thinking about investing a few pounds in protecting yourself from what could be a rather unpleasant experience.

«This is especially the case if you are working in a job that involves a lot of contact with the general public, especially with children — toddlers are particularly good at spreading the virus.»

Vaccine delays

Prof Dingwall added that there had been a delay in the manufacturing of some vaccines, including a nasal spray for children, generally aged two and three.

He said: «There have been some delays with one vaccine product, mainly because of manufacturing issues.

«Injectable supplies are generally available for under 16s and over 65s.

«The adult version for those between 16 and 65, including pregnant women, has been delayed by a couple of weeks, although it is now coming through.

«The nasal spray version for under 16s has also been delayed because one batch required further testing before it could be released.

«There are some indications of an increase in demand as people become more aware of the benefits of vaccination, which is also putting pressure on supplies.»

What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick

The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.

The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

It’s more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (December to March).

Prof Dingwall added: «We are looking at a bad flu season that will put extra pressure on health services at a time when they are already struggling after ten years of squeezed NHS funding.

«Getting vaccinated at any time between now and Christmas would be a public-spirited act that would help your GP and local hospital to cope better — but they are still likely to be having a hard time by January.»

We are looking at a bad flu season that will put extra pressure on health services at a time when they are already struggling

Professor Robert Dingwall

Australia has just had one of its worst flu seasons in two decades — second only to the country’s worst outbreak in 2017 when 745 people died which was double that of the previous year.

Most recent figures show that there have been 662 fatalities in Australia so far this year.

Experts in Australia say this year’s surge in cases could be down to the fact that three strains of the virus are in circulation — influenza A(H1N1), influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B.

Professor Robert Booy, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Sydney, said this“certainly makes things worse”.

He also said immunity could be lower due to the quiet flu season in 2018.

Prof Booy told the Sydney Morning Herald: “We went from a very busy to a very quiet year, and as a consequence, as the virus mutates and changes the level of immunity in the community starts to fall off again, and therefore we may have a lot more susceptible people.»

However, Public Health England says that the flu season in Australia is «not a clear predictor» of what will happen in the UK.

A spokeswoman said: «Australia spans tropical and sub-tropical latitudes while the UK is temperate and so seasonality is generally more consistent.

«Australia had an early start to the flu season with flu levels higher than seen typically at the beginning than in previous years.

How to Disinfect Laundry for Bacterial and Viral Infections

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

We all hope that no one in our family will become ill with bacterial or viral infections like enterovirus, influenza, or even a bad cold. But when it happens, it is important to prevent the spread of the disease to others in the household. Fortunately, the scientists at Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension Yates Association have done the research and provided the information necessary on how to kill bacterial and viral infections in your home laundry.


Research shows that it is rare to become infected from handling biologically infected garments, even medical scrubs. However, until these clothes and bed linens are washed or dry cleaned, you are encouraged to wear disposable rubber gloves when handling soiled laundry and discard the gloves after use. It is best to use a plastic laundry hamper that can be wiped down with disinfectant to carry laundry and keep it away from your face.

Laundry Disinfectants

Disinfecting your home laundry can be done inexpensively, easily and without damage to the fabric. These four categories of products are safe for fabrics and are available at local stores. They are recognized by microbiologists at the USDA Textile and Clothing Laboratory. Follow the product’s directions carefully and use the amount of disinfectant recommended on the product’s label.

  • Pine oil disinfectants: These are effective in hot and warm water, and can be used on both white and colored fabrics. Some brands include Pine-Sol, Spic-n-Span Pine, and Lysol Pine Action. They should be added at the beginning of the wash cycle. To be effective, the product must contain 80 percent pine oil.
  • Phenolic disinfectants: These are also effective in hot and warm water and can be used on white and colored fabrics. Lysol brand disinfectant is available in most areas. Phenolic disinfectants may be added to the wash or rinse water if the rinse water is warm.
  • Liquid chlorine disinfectants (sodium hypochlorite): Also known as chlorine bleach, it may be used in hot, warm or cold water temperatures on white fabrics only. To be effective, there must be a 5.25 percent to 6.15 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite. Not all chlorine bleach formulas are that strong, so read the labels. Examples of liquid chlorine bleaches include Clorox and all supermarket house brands.

Read and Follow Label Directions

Chlorine bleach should always be diluted with water before adding it to the washer, and should never be poured directly on clothing. It is not suitable for use on wool, silk, spandex, or certain dyed and finished fabrics and will cause permanent damage. Be sure to read the care labels on all items to be washed.

  • Quaternary disinfectants: These are extremely effective in all water temperatures but is less readily available than the other products. Lysol and Clorox offer quaternary formulas, as well as other brands. The Amway company manufactures Pursue, which is not recommended for laundry but can be added to the final rinse by following the dilution rate per gallon of water recommended on the label. Many household cleaners contain effective disinfecting ingredients but are not recommended for laundry purposes because they can damage fabrics.

Note: Oxygen-based bleaches (OxiClean, Clorox 2, OXOBrite are brand names) do not provide disinfectant qualities when used in home laundry processes.

How to Use Laundry Disinfectants

Transmission of most viruses and bacteria is from person to person or contact with body fluids and it is believed that transmission from inanimate objects, such as clothing, is extremely rare. Normal laundry procedures should be using hot water (100 degrees F. or above with 140 degrees F being optimal), a disinfectant product following product directions, and finally, a high heat machine drying cycle. These steps kill any virus in question, even the AIDS virus.

12 Totally Natural, Genius Ways To Relieve Bug Bites

Tbh, I’ll try anything at this point.

Summer is arguably the best time of year—you know, other than the bug bites.

Something that makes them even more annoying? Those bug and mosquito bites are little allergic reactions brought on by insects. Think about it: Their symptoms (pain, itching, swelling) are all characteristic of a localized allergic reaction, says David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

(Keep in mind, however, that if a bug bite turns into an itchy rash all over your body, that’s a sign of a more generalized response by your immune system, which could require medical attention, says Dr. Cutler.)

But as far as those mild, localized, itchy bites go, hold off on a trip to the drugstore to find your anti-itch remedy—experts say these 12 natural ways to relieve bug bites can be just as effective as any over-the-counter treatments.

1. Tea tree oil

This natural oil is capable of alleviating itching, pain, and swelling, according to dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD. Tea tree oil is also antibacterial, which can help prevent infection of the bug bite (which can happen if you scratch it so much, that you create an open wound!).

2. Honey

If you don’t mind a bit of stickiness, honey is an anti-inflammatory and can make the itching a little less tempting, says board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD.

4. Milk and water

This is Dr. Schultz’s favorite technique. Mix equal parts skim milk and water, dip a thin cloth (like a handkerchief or an old T-shirt) into the concoction, and dab your skin. You’ll find the protein from the milk super-soothing on the itchy bite location.

5. Lemon or lime juice

These fruit powerhouses provide itch relief and are antibacterial, says Dr. Schultz. But if you go this route, make sure you’re inside—these juices can burn your skin if you’re out in the sun, he says.

3. Lavender oil

Dr. Schultz says dabbing a few drops of lavender oil to the itchy or painful bite can help dull the sensation—and help you resist touching and picking at it.

But, keep in mind: Oils from different brands may be more acidic than others, so make sure to dilute it with a drop or two of water first, says Dr. Schultz, which can help prevent any irritation from the oil.

7. Toothpaste

“Most toothpastes have a mint or peppermint flavor, and the menthol ingredient creates a cooling sensation on your skin,” says Dr. Schultz. Your brain picks up on this feeling much quicker than the itching sensation. Plus, the astringent nature of toothpaste helps reduce swelling.

8. Basil

This spice isn’t just limited to the kitchen. Basil leaves contain chemicals such as camphor, which creates a cool feeling, similar to menthol in toothpaste, says Dr. Schultz. Crush a few leaves and apply the bits directly to your bumps.

9. Apple cider vinegar

This is a great home remedy to block itching because of its low acidic levels, says Dr. Schultz. Dab it onto individual spots or, if your body’s been a buffet for bugs, you can add two-to-three cups to warm water and soak in a tub. And apple cider vinegar may work even better, says Dr. Schultz.


Related Information

Effective March 8, 2019, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 (PRIA 4) reauthorized the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) for five years, through fiscal year 2023. This page provides background on PRIA and explains changes and continuities across PRIA 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA 1)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 established a new system for registering pesticides, called the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, or PRIA. The new section 33 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) created a registration service fee system for applications for specified pesticide registration, amended registration, and associated tolerance actions, which set maximum residue levels for food and feed.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was required to make a determination on the application within the decision times specified. Fees covered 90 different categories of registration applications. PRIA also provided funding for worker protection activities.

Fee Waivers under PRIA 1

  • Fee waivers for small businesses:
    • 50% fee waiver for businesses with These screens augment the 21-Day Completeness Screen established under PRIA 2, which checks to make sure all components of the application are present. This completeness screen does not include evaluation of quality of submission.

    Clean Labels/Two-Day Label Review

    PRIA 3 included a provision to ensure “clean” labels. Previously, some labels may have been approved by EPA with numerous conditions. The label conditions were placed on the accompanying label amendment, which made state enforcement of the labels more difficult. This applied to registration applications submitted under PRIA 3.

    Label Resolution Period

    The label resolution period applies to RD and AD actions only, and only to actions submitted under PRIA 3. EPA provided a draft accepted label to applicant on or before the PRIA due date. The applicant:

    • Agreed to all of the terms associated with draft accepted label.
    • Did not agree to one or more terms and requested additional time to resolve difference(s).
    • Withdrew the application without prejudice for subsequent resubmission, but forfeited the associated registration service fee.

    An applicant who requested additional time to resolve differences had up to 30 days to reach agreement with the Agency on the final terms of the EPA-accepted label. If agreement was reached, EPA had two business days after submission of the revised label to review and approve the final stamped label.

    IT Enhancements

    PRIA 3 provided funding for and required EPA to:

    • Develop electronic tracking of registration submissions.
    • Develop tracking of status of conditional registrations.
    • Enhance the endangered species database.
    • Allow for electronic submission and review of labels and confidential statements of formula.

    Miscellaneous Changes

    • PRIA 3 due dates that fell on a weekend or holiday were extended to the next business day.
    • There was a limitation on the number of new product applications (5) with a new active ingredient or first food use application; each additional new product application was subject to its registration service fee, as was a new inert approval submitted with the new a.i. or first food use package.
    • Applicant-initiated information submitted after completion of the technical deficiency screen was subject to 25% of the related fee for «new active ingredient and first food use» category.
    • If an application was associated with and dependent upon a pending inert ingredient approval, the decision time line for the associated application was extended to match the PRIA due date of the pending inert action, unless the due date for the associated action was further out, in which case it was subject to its own decision review time line.
    • There is a similar approach for applications associated with and dependent upon external review (Human Studies Review Board, Scientific Advisory Panel).
    • If an inert approval application covers multiple inert ingredients grouped by EPA into one chemical class, a single registration service fee was assessed.

    Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 (PRIA 4)

    Effective March 8, 2019, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 (PRIA 3) reauthorized the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 3) for five years, through 2023. PRIA 4:

    • Expands the number of covered categories from 189 to 212;
    • Provides enhanced financial incentives for reduced-risk submissions;
    • Continues small business fee waivers as well as exemption for federal and state agencies and IR-4 applications that meet certain criteria;
    • Continues PRIA set-aside for farm worker protection activities, partnership grants and pesticide safety education programs;
    • Raises the annual maintenance fee collection target from $27.8 million to $31 million;
    • Eliminates appropriations constraint (the “1-to-1” provision) on spending FIFRA maintenance fees;
    • Creates two new maintenance fee set-asides (up to $500,000/year for each, from 2018 through 2023) for:
      • efficacy guideline development and rulemaking for invertebrate pests of significant public health or economic importance;
      • Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) inspection support;
    • Eliminates maintenance fee set-aside for IT enhancements;
    • Establishes new reporting requirements for (a) efficacy guidelines and rulemaking deliverables (b) GLP inspections (c) registration review mitigation implementation (d) identification of reforms to streamline new a.i. and new use review processes, (e) registration of pesticides to control vector-borne public health pests, and (e) EPA and stakeholder evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of worker protection activities, partnership grants, and pesticide safety education programs funded under the PRIA set-aside.

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    Is It Sinusitis or Allergies?

    In this Article

    You’ve had a stuffy nose for what feels like ages. It’s gone on for more than just a few days, so you know it’s not a cold. But which is it: sinusitis or allergies?

    They have similar symptoms, so it’s easy to confuse them. But there are key differences in the things that trigger them and the kind of treatment you get.

    What Kicks It Off

    With both sinusitis and allergies, your nose and sinuses get stuffed up, but it happens for different reasons.

    If you have allergies, the passages of your nose and sinuses swell because they’re trying to flush out «allergens.»That’s just a technical word for anything you’re allergic to, like pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander.

    Sinusitis usually develops because of allergies or a cold. Sometimes, but not often, it’s from bacteria that cause an infection.

    When you have allergies or a cold, your nose and sinuses get inflamed. That blocks mucus from draining, which can cause an infection — not to mention pain and pressure.

    If you have allergies, you’re more likely to have sinus problems. That’s because the inside of your nose and sinuses often swell up when you breathe in triggers.

    What It Feels Like

    The symptoms of allergies and sinusitis overlap a lot. Both can give you a stuffy nose. If it’s allergies, you may also have:

    If it’s sinusitis, besides a stuffy nose, you may have:

    • Thick, colored mucus
    • Painful, swollen feeling around your forehead, eyes, and cheeks
    • Headache or pain in your teeth
    • Post-nasal drip (mucus that moves from the back of your nose into your throat)
    • Bad breath
    • Cough and sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • Light fever

    See your doctor to figure out what’s going on, because it’s tricky to know for sure.

    When It Comes and When It Goes

    If you have allergies, you’ll start feeling symptoms soon after you come into contact with the stuff you’re allergic to. Your symptoms keep up as long as you’re still surrounded by those triggers.

    Allergies can happen any time of year. They may be «seasonal,»which means you get them only in the spring or fall. Or they may be year-round. For instance, you might be allergic to pets or mold, which can be a problem no matter the season.


    Sinusitis usually happens after you’ve had a cold or allergies. But certain symptoms will keep going, even after your cold goes away. You’ll probably have a stuffy nose and cough for more than a week or two.

    You may hear your doctor talk about two kinds of sinusitis: «acute»and «chronic.»There’s a simple way to tell them apart. If your symptoms last less than 4 weeks, it’s acute. If they go on for 3 months or longer, you have chronic sinusitis.

    What Eases Symptoms

    If you have allergies, the first thing you turn to may be decongestants or antihistamines. They’re the most common treatments, and they ease a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Your doctor may also suggest corticosteroids, meds that reduce inflammation.

    If you have seasonal or year-round allergies, you may need a long-term solution. Your doctor might suggest you start your allergy medicine before the season begins. Or he may recommend allergy shots. For around 3 to 5 years, he’ll give you regular injections of a small amount of whatever kicks off your allergic reaction. It’s a bit like getting a vaccine. Your body develops an «immunity»and will have less and less of a reaction to your allergy trigger.


    For sinusitis, antihistamines may help. You can also try nasal decongestant sprays, but you should use them for only 3-4 days. After that, you could get what’s called the «rebound»effect, which means your symptoms start to get worse rather than better in between dosing so you’ll feel the need to use more and more of the decongestant nasal spray..

    Another option are nasal sprays that have corticosteroids. You can use these as long as you need them. It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit.

    You can also check out natural solutions for your symptoms. Try a humidifier, salt-water rinse, or hot pack.

    If your sinusitis is caused by bacteria, your doctor may put you on a round of antibiotics. You may take them anywhere from 3-28 days.


    Many doctors think antibiotics are overused. It’s best not to take them unless your symptoms last longer than 7-10 days.

    What would you like to learn about next?


    American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: «Colds, Allergies and Sinusitis — How to Tell the Difference,»»Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy).»

    American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: «Sinus Information,»»Allergy Medication,»»Allergy Medication,»»Seasonal Allergies.»

    Bela B. Faltay, MD, Akron General Health System.

    Toddler milestone: Writing and drawing

    When and how it develops

    Your child’s early attempts at writing certainly won’t look much like words and sentences, but his scribbles, lines, and drawings are all helping him get ready to learn his ABCs — and perhaps someday produce the next great American novel.

    Many children are able to grasp a crayon and shove it around on a piece of paper when they’re about 12 or 13 months old. Their writing and drawing skills improve in tiny incremental steps throughout the toddler years until they’re able to draw recognizable pictures and, eventually, put a few letters down on paper.

    12 to 18 months
    Over the last several months of his first year, your child’s fine motor skills improved steadily. Now she’s physically ready to grab hold of a crayon and start experimenting. At 12 or 13 months, some toddlers are already able to scribble vigorously, while others start tentatively (they’ll drag a crayon around on paper, scrawling inadvertently). If yours takes longer, that’s fine, too. Children develop at different rates, some faster than others. By around 16 months, your little one will probably be a scribbling pro, creating a gallery’s worth of drawings for the refrigerator.

    19 to 25 months
    Your toddler’s scribbles will start taking discernible shape now, though he doesn’t yet form letters and numbers — he can’t hold a writing implement steadily enough yet for that. But he’s become enthralled by anything he can draw with — crayons, pens, and colored pencils. Beware, this is prime time for crayon scribbles on the wall. And he’s probably starting to spend longer on each individual drawing now, covering more of the paper rather than making a single swirl. Draw a single line and he can easily imitate it, though it may not be very straight.

    26 to 30 months
    At about 29 or 30 months, kids move from mere scribbles to true art. They’re more interested in coloring and painting, and they start adding colors and trying to represent real objects and things.

    A drawing may look to you like a solid mass of green ink, but ask your child and she’ll tell you it’s a snake in the jungle. She may also start attempting to incorporate language into her drawings: Look closely at a painting and you may see that the larger scribbles are figures, while the chicken scratches are attempts at letters or words. She may also start signing his pictures, though the letters won’t look like any alphabet you recognize.

    31 to 36 months
    By the time he’s 2 1/2, your child will be able to hold a thick pencil or crayon solidly in a writing position. According to Nina Lief, a child development expert and co-author of The First Three Years of Life, children this age are usually able to master the up-and-down movement required to make a «V,» which is a little trickier and requires more dexterity than making a straight line.

    Between now and his third birthday your toddler will also start making circular strokes, and some will be able to write a few letters — or squiggles that look an awful lot like letters. A few will start writing their first name — or a few letters of it — around or just past their third birthday. Many don’t, though, and that’s okay.

    Don’t feel pressured to push your child to learn to write, Wait until he’s really interested and excited about it. Writing is a developmental skill that does not have a formal timetable, so toddlers can take their time and still be developmentally on track. .

    What’s next

    As preschoolers get more adept at using crayons and pencils, they’ll start making more elaborate and accurate drawings. Most will be able to write their first name before they enter kindergarten, especially if they’ve been learning the alphabet in daycare or preschool. Sometime before her fifth birthday, your child will learn to make horizontal lines, to copy a circle and a square, and to draw people (she’ll probably start with stick figures and add on curves as she gets better at it).

    When to be concerned

    All children are different, but if yours hasn’t started scribbling by the time he’s about 15 or 16 months old, bring it up the next time you see his doctor. Keep in mind that premature babies may reach this and other milestones later than their peers.

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