Regional News from WTAJ
ALTOONA - It's time for Pennsylvania seniors to take a closer look at their healthcare coverage.
People on Medicare who don't like their prescription coverage or would like to see if they can save money will soon have a chance to explore their options Medicare's annual open enrollment period gets underway on October 15. From then until December 7, people can join, switch or drop their prescription drug or Medicare Advantage coverage.
Even if you like your current plan, you may want to take another look at it, because insurers can change their benefits, the doctors and hospitals involved in the plan and what they charge you for medical visits.
Local senior centers have trained volunteers that can help you figure out what's best for you.
At Blair Senior Services, Apprise Coordinator Billie Kochara says, "seniors get inundated with things from Highmark, things from UPMC, things from Geisinger, because it's that time of the year, and sometimes that overwhelms them in itself, so it's always good to come in and see what's going on ."
Seniors in Blair County can make appointments at senior centers in Altoona, Tyrone, and East Freedom for help choosing their Medicare plans.You can also call the state's apprise number at 1-800-783-7067 for free one-on-one help in other areas.
On Tuesday, the State Health Department announced the first 3 cases of EV-D68 in Philadelphia, and doctors there reported a total of 4 on Wednesday. Also, an Erie hospital is reporting 2 cases.
Altoona Pediatrician, Dr. Nader Younes says enteroviruses are common and they usually go away after a few days. Symptoms of EV-D68 are similar to a bad cold or the flu. Babies and children with asthma or bronchiolitis a common lung infection in young children are more likely to develop complications. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says 4 patients treated there recovered and left the hospital after 2 to 6 days. According to the State Health Department, one of them was from out-of-state.
Dr. Susan Coffin from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia talked about the patients, saying, "children that we've cared for, that we know have this virus, have the very typical picture of respiratory viral infection. So, fever, cough, wheezing and some of those require hospitalization have difficulty catching the breath."
Since EV-D68 is a virus, antibiotics won't cure it and unlike the flu, there are no anti-viral medications to treat it or vaccines to prevent it.
Patients receive supportive treatments, to help them breathe, and keep them comfortable as they recover. Most kids won't need to hospital care and not every child with a respiratory infection needs to see a doctor, but Dr. Younes says, "any time these symptoms keep getting worse anytime you start having difficulty breathing what i mean labored breathing retracted, I do believe it's a good idea to seek medical attention."
To prevent the spread of EV-D68, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, and keep your children home from school or daycare when they're sick.
HARRISBURG - The severe respiratory virus that's put children across the country, in the hospital with breathing problems, is now in Pennsylvania. The State Health Department announced Wednesday that 3 cases of EV-D68 had been confirmed in the Philadelphia area. Health officials say they were identified from specimens sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a Philadelphia hospital.
Pennsylvania's Physician General says the State Health Department is working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health on the cases, and will closely monitor the situation statewide. Dr Carrie Delone says parents should be vigilant and aware of signs and symptoms, but it's also important to know that other respiratory illnesses are circulating and the best course of action if you're unsure is to talk with your healthcare provider.
Enteroviruses can cause respiratory illness, rashes with fever, and neurologic illness like aseptic meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Most people with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious.
Health officials say many infections will be mild and require only treatment of the symptoms. Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized.
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Copyright © 2014 Renda. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.