#AOENEWS - March '20
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What is already known about this topic?
An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.
What is added by this report?
Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this virus and the outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.
ATTITUDES TOWARDS EPILEPSY by: Dr. Lance Fogan, M.D.
Blog # 115
February 25, 2020
ATTITUDES TOWARDS EPILEPSY
What does the public understand about epilepsy and what do they think about those people afflicted with epilepsy? A recent study in the United Kingdom (UK) explored these questions. The population studied was in the UK but my assumption is the American public would hold similar opinions. Researchers at the University of Bangor in Wales explored these attitudes.1 Four thousand people in the UK were asked to share their views and knowledge about epilepsy, driving with epilepsy, work, family life and relationships.
People with epilepsy report experiencing stigma, prejudice and discrimination. They often feel they are treated unfairly. They inhibit themselves from discussing their condition and from seeking help. This can lead to withdrawing from social contacts and feeling shame or depression.
Below are the findings in this study:
RISKS AND SAFETY CONCERNS
Attitudes towards driving and looking after children were explored. Half of the people would not let their child ride in a car with a driver who had epilepsy. Almost half said they would feel uncomfortable if their child rode in a car with a driver with epilepsy. Over a third said they would not employ someone with epilepsy to babysit their child.
Personal fear and social avoidance
Stigma was low in this category. People said they would not be embarrassed if someone in their family had epilepsy. Most said they would be happy to work with or date someone with epilepsy. However, 25% of responders said they would be afraid to be alone with someone with epilepsy; just under a quarter would be nervous to be around a person with epilepsy fearful of them having a seizure.
Work and role expectations
Most people said they believed people with epilepsy can be as successful as others at work and can lead ‘normal’ lives. Approximately 25% of responders believed people with epilepsy cannot do many work activities safely that others can.
People were asked if they thought people with epilepsy were less smart than others, or whether they shouldn’t marry or have children. Most responders disagreed with these statements.
This British research found the average person in the UK has a largely positive attitude towards people with epilepsy. But 10% of the four thousand persons in the study queried had a negative attitude and one percent had a very negative attitude toward people with epilepsy. These responses suggest that work needs to be done to increase tolerance toward people with disabilities and to ensure that people with epilepsy are no longer treated unfairly because of their epilepsy.
It’s understandable that driving has more negative attitudes but it highlights that more education is needed to show there are many ways to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. Fear and misunderstanding are forces behind discrimination and stigmatizing attitudes. This information of what the population knows and believes about epilepsy is important to inform people with epilepsy and their loved ones.
The study highlights that myths about epilepsy need to be challenged, knowledge about this condition needs to improve and that fear and prejudices need to be addressed. Training in schools and work places and first aid advice will give the general population confidence in helping people with epilepsy.
Holmes E., Bourke S.,Plumpton C. Attitudes towards epilepsy in the UK population: Results from a 2018 national survey.European J. of Epilepsy. February 2019 Volume 65, Pages 12–19.
Read full study here: https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/s1059-1311(18)30684-8/fulltext
A former Rutgers University chemistry department employee is suing the university for knowingly exposing him to hazardous chemicals, causing him to have two major seizures and develop extreme anxiety, a federal lawsuit alleges.
In court documents filed in May 2019, Jacob Moskowitz said Rutgers hired him as a scientific glassblower with no knowledge or experience in the position, then tasked him with handling chemicals that pose serious health risks.
The lawsuit was originally reported by the Courier News in Bridgewater.
Moskowitz created and repaired laboratory glassware, and sealed vials containing “hazardous source materials” such as thorium, a radioactive metal found in rocks and soils.
But over the course of his two-year tenure with the university’s chemistry department, Moskowitz repeatedly suggested ways to make the sealing process safer, and was ignored by university officials, the suit claimed.
Tim Ulmer & "i Am ME" by Tim Ulmer & Angels Of Epilepsy, Inc.
I thank God for my epilepsy every hour of every day!
People’s first memories usually begin around the age of 3, but my first memory was tumbling down a tall, wooden staircase with high wooden moldings when I was only 18-months old, and it was soon after that when my epileptic symptoms started to appear. Although there are around 40 types of epilepsy, a half-century ago, there were only three, and I had symptoms of two: petit mal and psycho-motor.
My parents were great schoolteachers who were later awarded for their achievements. They were always concerned about the epilepsy, and although medical knowledge wasn’t great in 1970, they had an idea about my side-effects. In the nature of the best schoolteachers, they never stopped me from doing anything I wanted, and I frequently succeeded. I was the only descendent of my two families’ long and decorated military heritage who wanted a military career—and I was the only one who couldn’t. I’d been working for 13 years for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and would’ve gotten it if it wasn’t for epilepsy.
Now that I’m a parent, I tremble at how awful that was for my parents to know how many years I’d worked to get into the Navy set me up to be shot down in a minute. But disappointments are part of life, especially epilepsy, and the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the better.
- Tim Ulmer
Survivor, Advocate, & Writer
AOEat's Healthy On Pinterest
Yep. I’m going there. That awkward, not-often talked about subject coupled with epilepsy. First thing’s first. That time of the month sucks. An unwelcome guest that barges in and makes itself home every month, with us ladies. Sometimes we feel sleepy. Sometimes we experience belly aches or are… to put it politely, cranky.
Seizure triggers are situations that can bring on a seizure in some people with epilepsy. For example, sleep deprivation. Caffeine or stress. Maybe a culmination of these. Do you know your seizure triggers? Surprisingly, a woman’s menstrual cycle can be a seizure trigger as well. This form of epilepsy is called “Catamenial Epilepsy”
- Tiffany Kairos
Epilepsy Survivor & Advocate
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