As a Nurse Practitioner, mom, wife, friend, sister and neighbor, people are always asking me for health advice. I love translating complicated medical information to help people navigate their way toward better health and wellness. I’ll help you find the information you need to make the best decisions for your health and the health of your family.
Here’s to better health,
Nurse Barb Dehn RN MS NP
If you were born in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or other Asian countries you may be at increased risk for liver cancer. In fact, Santa Clara County has the third highest rate of liver cancer in the US, with San Francisco County having the highest. This is largely due to high numbers of people who contracted Hepatitis B at birth in their countries of origin.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B, known as Hep B, is a viral disease that’s prevalent in many parts of the world, causing inflammation of the liver and a yellowing of the skin, known as jaundice. Many people with Hepatitis B here in Northern California have no symptoms and are unaware that they have the virus and can spread it to others.
The most common way Hepatitis B is transmitted is when a mom who is infected gives birth to a baby, who is then not vaccinated or immunized. This is the way many people from Asia become chronic carriers of Hepatitis B which can lead to other serious health concerns.
I’m back at FAME after a lovely safari weekend at Tarangire National Park, known as the park of elephants and Baobab trees. There has been more rain than usual for this time of year; maybe it is an El Niño effect, who can say, and in any case the grass is lush and green and there’s water.
On the road to Safari, what I saw was herds of cows and goats being led to whatever water had collected into impromptu mini-lakes and ponds along ditches on the side of the road, and then after the animals were cared for, the women and older children were washing clothes, giving the babies their baths and finally filling large buckets for their cooking and drinking water. It’s all the same water. No filters that I could see, and hopefully a fire to boil it at home.
There is so much here that is different, and yet so much is the same. Most of the people who come to the hospital, and many of the staff do not have running water. A daily hot shower that I take for granted is as rare as the likelihood of me seeing the white giraffe. […]