With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, and the annual flu season fast approaching, what can people expect when these two illnesses collide? Are we at greater risk for getting either virus? And could this encounter change how we approach health care now and in the future? Matthew Solan, executive editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, talks to Dr. Amy Sherman, an infectious disease expert with Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, about what we may expect when COVID and the flu season meet. To learn more check out our Harvard Medical School Guide, COVID-19, Flu and Colds.
Recent record temperatures in the U.S. suggest that heat-related illness isn’t confined to the dog days of summer. Dr. Aaron Bernstein, the interim director of the Center for Climate Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, describes the symptoms to watch out for, particularly if you have a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes, and explains what safety steps to take. He also tells Francesca Coltrera, editor of the Harvard Health Blog, who bears the brunt of potentially life-threatening heat-related illness and how local actions can help reverse this growing health threat.
Right up there on the list of unpleasant medical topics best avoided includes problems that can befall the male genitourinary system. Despite its prosaic purpose, the machinery associated with eliminating waste and fostering procreation possesses a certain artfulness. Usually it can be safely ignored, functioning faithfully in the background…until something goes awry and this delicate plumbing gets our undivided attention. We asked Dr. Marc Garnick to take us on a tour of the system that voids waste and engages in reproduction. He’s the Gorman Brothers Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. At the end of this podcast we’ll have some takeaways from the Harvard Annual Prostate Disease Guide.
Your daily dose of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or supplements can add up quickly. But as you take more pills, you increase your risk for potential problems. Harvard Health Letter Executive Editor Heidi Godman spoke with pharmacist Joanne Doyle Petrongolo from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital for advice about ways to reduce your pill burden. For more information, check out our Harvard Special Health Report Aging in Place.
Information overload, aging, underlying conditions—they can all cause your concentration to become fragmented. And if you’re wondering how to focus enough to get through your work or chores, we have the answers. Harvard Health Letter Executive Editor Heidi Godman spoke with neurologist Kirk Daffner and neuropsychologist Kim Willment, both of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to find out about easy ways to boost your focus. For more information, check out our Harvard Medical School Guide Improving Concentration and Focus.
Sending kids back to school in the fall is always a hopeful time in America. For most families, school is a vital part of the community. With the surge in coronavirus in many areas of the country, getting kids back in the classroom safely will require a major re-evaluation to reduce transmission rates that can impact people of all ages. We talked to Alan Geller, a senior lecturer in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Like it or not, for school teachers and administrators, things are going to be different. Don’t expect the traditional
If you thought creating a good walking program was as easy as slipping on your sneakers, think again. Sure we’ve all been walking since toddlerhood, but taking advantage of walking’s lifelong health benefits also means thinking about fall prevention, dressing in layers as the weather changes, even considering different walking techniques and styles. Harvard Fitness Advisor Michele Stanten, author of the Harvard Health Publishing special health report on Walking for Health, describes how to get the most out this easy, fundamental exercise routine.
Dr. Ashish K. Jha, head of the Harvard Global Health Institute, offers information on where we are where we’re going with the COVID-19 outbreak. Some take-aways: Communications missteps by the WHO regarding asymptomatic transmission have been quickly corrected. Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from people who are not showing symptoms. A second wave has begun, particularly in the south and Midwest. And calculations show we’ll reach more than 200,000 COVID-19 related deaths by September. Jha offers advice for parents, teachers and administrators on workable back-to-school scenarios. We know you don’t want to hear it, but COVID-19 will be a fact of global life for the rest of the year until a vaccine becomes widely available.
The slow, steady, coordinated movements associated with the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi provides a remarkable mind-body exercise for people of any age. Harvard’s Dr. Peter Wayne has studied Tai Chi’s myriad benefits, particularly how a regular practice of Tai Chi can help prevent falls, ease stress, or lower blood pressure. He’s the faculty editor of the Harvard special health report An Introduction to Tai Chi.
Sooner or later, most of us have difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep. If that sounds like you, rest assured there are ways of meeting the challenge if you make sleep a priority and make lifestyle adjustments that improve what the experts call your “sleep hygiene.” We consulted Harvard sleep specialist Dr. Lawrence Epstein and learned there are myriad tools available in your sleep toolbox. Dr. Epstein is the faculty editor for the Harvard Health Publishing special health report Improving Sleep.