Air quality district offers safety tips in wake of active wildfire season

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Women wear surgical masks as they walk along Castro Street in downtown Mountain View Friday afternoon. Bandanas and typical surgical masks do not protect against harmful smoke particles, according to a Santa Clara County Public Affairs health advisory issued last week. Fitted N-95 masks with two straps, available for purchase at most hardware stores, are most effective.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California wildfire season takes place between spring and early fall.

However, wildfires are continuing to spark late this year. Most recently, the Camp Fire in Butte County last week had a severe impact on air quality throughout the Santa Clara Valley, with multiple air quality advisories issued.

An ear-replaceable experience: How Pacific Hearing Service is serving an entire country by training one dedicated man

Courtesy of Barbara Beck
Zambian driver turned audiologist-in-training Sammy Fundiwa traveled to Los Altos to study how to take care of ears and hearing aids so that he can help his fellow villagers upon his return. Currently, 17 million Zambians rely on Entheos Audiology Cooperative clinics and the countrys lone audiologist to treat their ear problems.

Pacific Hearing Service in Los Altos is lending a hand – and an ear – as it trains the Zambian man set to become only the second audiologist in the African nation, which has a population of 17 million.

Sammy Fundiwa was a driver in his village of Chibombo, where the poverty level has normalized health care not as a necessity, but as a luxury. The Entheos Audiology Cooperative, which Pacific Hearing audiologists Deborah Clark and Jane Baxter joined in 2015, had traveled to Africa to provide hearing services to those who lived in and around Chibombo.

Deflecting mosquitoes during bite season

Courtesy of Center for Disease Control and Protection
The best way to fend off mosquitoes is to apply a repellent with 15-50 percent DEET, 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus. Repellents with lower percentages are not as effective.

Mosquitoes are incredibly well adapted for living on Earth in extreme conditions. They exist at 8,000 feet in the Himalayas and below sea level in the California desert. The eggs of mosquitoes can survive months to decades in desert, frozen tundra and even on dried flowers.

When it rains, the eggs hatch immediately, releasing mosquito larvae. Water reduces the amount of oxygen available to the eggs, which triggers hatching. Mosquitoes’ normal diet is nectar and aphid excrement. Blood is ingested only to fulfill reproductive needs. Mosquitoes become sexually mature at 2 days old and mate in swarms at dusk or dawn.

El Camino Hospital hires new chief operating officer

El Camino Hospital recently appointed James D. Griffith as its new chief operating officer.

Griffith previously worked as COO and chief strategy officer for Tanner Health System in Carrollton, Ga.

Creative ways to squeeze exercise into a workday

Courtesy of Wavebreak Media Ltd.
Modify the way you work to fit in extra exercise, including swapping out your desk chair for a Swiss exercise ball to strengthen your core and posture.

You may often feel like your workday is so busy that you barely have time to breathe and are utterly exhausted by the time you get home. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, daily work stressors and long work hours can have a negative impact on health behaviors.

That’s why it’s important to break up the workday and get in some exercise to counteract the negative impact. Following are four creative ways to squeeze exercise into your work routine, no matter how busy you may be.

Leaps and bounds: El Camino YMCA member runs through barriers to qualify for NYC Marathon

Courtesy of El Camino YMCA
After giving birth to two children, local resident Patricia Kubala hit the gym. She joined the El Camino YMCA in Mountain View three years ago to lose weight and met instructor Kathryn Wolfe, who introduced her to the idea of a runner’s club. Kubala plans to run in the New York City Marathon next month.

Local resident Patricia Kubala, 27, is conquering much more than she expected nearly three years ago when she joined the El Camino YMCA in Mountain View to start taking care of herself again after having two children: She plans to run in the New York City Marathon Nov. 4.

Kubala has lost 47 pounds, a direct result of the three to five times per week she commits to showing up at the Y to work out.

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