The Allergy Station
🎃 Happy October! 🎃
Happy October 2021 to our wonderful friends and family! We hope this message finds you well. As much cooler weather and a “True Fall” settles into the Sacramento Valley, we transition our news to focus on upcoming events. Stay tuned and keep checking out our website: www.theallergystation.com. We are working HARD to keep current events and information housed there.
Still dominating the news cycle is the pandemic, and its effect on our lives. But there is LOTS of encouraging news! Vaccination rates are up, Delta’s impact is receding in much of the country, natural + vaccine immunity is building a larger safety net, home-based testing is becoming more available, new antivirals are forthcoming (soon, hopefully), boosters have been approved for at-risk groups … and overall, we may achieve the goal that coronavirus becomes an endemic, not a pandemic virus. We have cared for several VERY sick patients with this virus. ** The fact remains that more than 95% of patients hospitalized for COVID are unvaccinated.
Read the following articles below to gather more information, and call us if you need to make a personalized plan.
A quick guide to current eligibility for COVID Vaccine boosters in higher risk patients:
Hot off the press – if you received the Johnson & Johnson (JnJ) vaccine for primary, see here:
New oral antiviral:
Note: Molnupiravir (MK-4482 [previously EIDD-2801], developed by Merck, was filed for EUA with the FDA on 8/11/21. At an interim trial analysis by the DSMB (data safety monitoring board), it was deemed unethical to continue the trial. The differences between active and placebo arms were so significant that the manufacturers filed for accelerated use. ER/Hospitalization and death were cut by 50% in those on active treatment.
Reassuring Trial of Vaccine in Allergic Patients:
An honest conversation between two brilliant physicians about all things COVID:
A nice review of home-based, self-testing kits for COVID-19:
Note: Since this article was published, a recall of >400k Ellume tests kits was required due to false positives. Our stance is that these tests are very useful if you have been exposed and have symptoms. They help us come up with a quarantine plan faster.
Below is a great review for our Summer to Fall to Winter transition, which seemed like it happened in ~ 2 weeks. Ragweed pollen is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall, and needs to be avoided, along with other allergic triggers like mold and grass pollen. Five great tips to remember:
Plan your battle in advance. Although they are labeled “fall allergies”, many allergic triggers start to appear in mid-to-late August. Start taking your allergy medications about two weeks before your symptoms normally start. Getting in front of your symptoms means controlling them a lot better. Don’t stop your medications until pollen counts have been down for about two weeks, usually after 1st frost – 34*F
Fight mold. Mold allergies can be tough to outrun. Mold can grow anywhere there is water and is a frequent foe in the fall. Mold can be found in your basement, bathroom, a leaky cabinet under your sink, or in a pile of dead leaves in your backyard. The key to reducing mold is moisture control. Be sure to use bathroom fans and clean up any standing water immediately. Scrub any visible mold from surfaces with detergent and water, and let completely dry. You can also help ward off mold by keeping home humidity below 60 percent and cleaning gutters regularly.
Keep pollen at bay. Ragweed, or any pollen that triggers your allergy symptoms, needs to be kept out of your house. Leave your shoes at the door, and take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes after you have been working or playing outdoors. Close both car and home windows and use your air conditioning so pollen doesn’t get indoors. Monitor both pollen and mold counts to help you know when you’re less likely to be under siege.
Be armed for combat. Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask (great way to use your extra supply ;) when mowing the lawn or doing other outdoor chores. Wear gloves so you won’t transfer pollen to your eyes or skin. Take your allergy medication before heading outside. If your allergies are severe, consider having someone else do the gardening and fall raking.
Use your HEPA filter to clean that cooler air you’ve been waiting for. We’ve all gotten used to running HEPA filters during the “smoke months”. The same HEPA filter can help with pollen too. Here are 2 good guides on HEPA filters.
HOLIDAY FUN and Dr. Miller’s Travels
Stay tuned here https://www.theallergystation.com/blog for more info on FUN and SAFE holiday activities.
And, here’s a quick clip of Dr. Miller’s appearance with the Emmy Award winning comedienne, Vicki Lawrence, supporting a patient education campaign on CSU (chronic spontaneous urticaria). https://www.theallergystation.com/post/dr-miller-partners-with-emmy-award-winning-comedienne-vicki-lawrence-on-patient-outreach-campaign
Stay well everyone!