1. Walker, Cathy JCN Associate Editor

Article Content

Preparing for Pandemic Flu

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthcare employers stockpile antiviral drugs and prioritize use for emergency service workers and other medical personnel in the event of an influenza pandemic. "Employers play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety, which in turn reduces the impact of a pandemic on the nation's health, the economy and society," an agency official reported. Healthcare and emergency services workers who might help sick people during an influenza pandemic should take antiviral drugs throughout the epidemic.


Two antiviral drugs can help prevent and treat all forms of influenza A, including H5N1. They are Roche and Gilead Sciences Inc's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline and Biota Holdings Ltd's Relenza.


"Planning and preparing for a pandemic influenza requires action by every part of society, including individuals and families, communities, and private sector employers as well as all levels of government," said Dr. Craig Vanderwagen, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response. Employers play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety, which in turn reduces the impact of a pandemic. Many public health experts agree some sort of influenza pandemic is inevitable, although no one can predict when or how severe a pandemic may be. - Accessed 1/13/2009.


Second-Hand Smoke- Worse Than Expected

In 2003, Pueblo, Colorado passed a municipal law making workplaces and public places smoke-free. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials tracked hospitalizations for heart attacks afterward. Pueblo's smoking ban caused heart attacks to drop by more than 40% in that city, and the decrease lasted three years. "We know that exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people's cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults," said Janet Collins, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She continues, "This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease."


Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke can raise heart disease rates in adult nonsmokers by 25 to 30%, the CDC says. Secondhand smoke kills an estimated 46,000 Americans yearly from heart disease alone. Smoking also causes a variety of cancers, as well as stroke and emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. - Accessed 1/13/2009.


Nurses Week 2009

Nurses Christian Fellowship wishes you a happy Nurses Week and thanks you for your dedicated service to those in your care. Christian nurses are in a unique position to provide complete care to our patients. Check out the NCF website ( for resources including Bible studies and bulletin inserts related to Nurses Week.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Harder on Women

New research suggests that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects women more often and more severely than men. In a study of more than 6,000 people world-wide with RA, 79% were women. Finnish researchers report that women had poorer outcomes in key measures such as symptoms and severity. "Obvious differences between genders exist in the prevalence, age at onset, and level of production of harmful arthritis auto antibodies," study leader Tuulikki Sokka, a rheumatology consultant at Jyvaskyla Central Hospital in Finland, said. "Furthermore, women report more symptoms and poor scores on most questionnaires, including scores for pain, depression, and other health-related items."


The study notes that some gender differences stem from how disease activity is measured rather than from the disease itself. "Given that [a] woman is the 'weaker vessel' concerning musculoskeletal size and strength, and her baseline values are lower than men's, the same burden of a musculoskeletal disease may appear to be more harmful to a woman than to a man," Sokka explained. - Accessed 1/21/2009.


Join Us at the NCF Summit 2009

Nurses Christian Fellowship welcomes nurses, nursing students, and nurse educators to celebrate nursing as ministry, discover resources, enjoy networking, grow professionally, probe Scripture, and listen to God at the Summit 2009. "Nursing as Ministry: Caring in Context" dates are June 25-28, 2009. Conference location is the Westin Dallas-Fort Worth Hotel, Irving, Texas. Up to 10 contact hours of CNE credit will be available. See for additional conference information.


No Secrets

"One of Satan's subtle deceptions is that you can do things in secret that will never be revealed. This is simply not so. The Bible stresses that everything done in darkness will one day be brought to light. So before you commit yourself to do anything questionable, seriously ask yourself, 'Am I willing for those around me to know what I am about to do? Am I willing for God to watch me participate in this activity?'"-FromExperiencing God Day-By-Day, p 287, Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby, 1998.


Cathy Walker


JCN Associate Editor