Prevention

Be vigilant about bug spray

Steve Calechman

Contributor

It’s likely people are trying to spend more time outside this summer, whether to avoid indoor situations where COVID-19 may spread or just for enjoyment. But the threat from illnesses spread by ticks and mosquitoes hasn’t changed, so knowing basic information about insect repellent, and using it the right way, will help people protect themselves.

Healthy headphone use: How loud and how long?

Headphones and earbuds are nearly ubiquitous, but how often do people think about whether or not they are using them safely? Knowing about safe listening levels and safe length of listening time will help people protect themselves while using their listening devices.

Daily decisions about risk: What to do when there’s no right answer

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With COVID-19 cases still rising in many places, all of us must make daily decisions involving personal risk. But often, there’s no single right answer that applies to everyone. Here’s how to make sensible decisions around many different activities.

Collaborative care: Treating mental illnesses in primary care

Collaborative care is a team-based model of integrated psychiatric and primary care that can treat mental illnesses in the primary care setting. Providing this patient-centered care in the primary care setting improves access to mental health care and reduces stigma.

Reducing your risk of changes in thinking following surgery

As more older people undergo surgeries, the risk of complications increases, including for cognitive decline following their procedures, particularly after cardiac surgery. But awareness and pre-planning with your care team can help you avoid such complications.

No spleen? What you need to know to stay healthy

Wendy Stead, MD

Contributor

You don’t need your spleen to live a normal, healthy life, but the spleen does play an important role in defending the body against infection, so those without it need to take certain precautions to ensure they remain healthy.

Health coaching is effective. Should you try it?

The growing field of health and wellness coaching uses motivational techniques and positive psychology to offer people individualized support as they work to achieve their health goals.

Eating during COVID-19: Improve your mood and lower stress

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost your mood and immunity.

COVID-19: If you’re older and have chronic health problems, read this

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Older people who have a chronic medical condition are at increased risk for severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19. Just how old is “older,” what constitutes chronic disease, and how can you lower risks?

What one study from China tells us about COVID-19 and children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study of children in China infected with COVID-19 found that most had illness that was asymptomatic, mild, or moderate. Younger children are at higher risk of running into trouble and it’s important to take extra precautions with them.