Concerns of ‘Flurona’ Coinfection Rise This Flu Season

The term “flurona” is being used to describe a coinfection of both flu and COVID-19. There are few documented cases of flurona, but doctors say it could rise as flu season progresses. Researchers are still unsure of how the flu will affect COVID-19, but early studies suggest an influenza infection can increase someone’s odds of contracting COVID-19 and may worsen its severity. The best way to prevent infection and coinfection is to get vaccinated for both the flu and COVID-19, as well as to continue mitigation efforts such as wearing masks, maintaining distance from others and frequent handwashing.

OSHA Boosts Statutory Penalties in Response to Inflation Spikes

To account for an abnormally high inflation spike, OSHA is increasing penalties for violations by 6.2 percent, which is the largest increase in recent history. The minimum fine for willful and repeated violations increased from $9,753 to $10,360, while the maximum fine for the same category rose to $145,027. Legal professionals say this spike could lead to sharp increases in total fines from the agency, especially with respect to repeat violations, as OSHA aims to ramp up enforcement.

Replace That Butter with Olive Oil for a Longer Life

A long-term Harvard study found that people who consume more olive oil can reduce their risk of premature death. Participants who consumed the most olive oil had a 19 percent lower risk of cardiovascular-related mortality, a 29 percent lower risk of neurodegenerative mortality and a 17 percent lower risk of cancer mortality. The findings confirm that replacing animal fats like margarine, butter and mayonnaise with plant oils like olive oil can help prevent chronic disease and promote a longer, healthier life.

Stark Disparities in Air Pollution Exposure Among Certain Groups

A recent study found that minorities and low-income populations in the U.S. are being exposed to disproportionately high levels of air pollution (PM2.5). While overall PM2.5 levels have decreased significantly from 2000 to 2016, Black Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans are still exposed to up to 13.7 percent higher levels of pollution than their White counterparts. Previous research shows that minority groups are also at higher risk of premature death from air pollution. The study authors say targeted air pollution reduction strategies are needed to ensure that all groups are protected from environmental hazards.

[Hannah Sabitoni]