- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
This little guy here, the Aedes Aegypti is responsible for Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue fever.
This mosquito is most active and likely to bit during the day, in the first few hours after sunrise and before sunset.
With the current worry about Zika virus and it’s possible association with microcephaly in newborns, it’s a good time to review the differences in these illnesses, Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue, all caused by viruses transmitted by a mosquito bite.
Symptoms of Zika
According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, Zika may be associated with microcephaly and other serious complications for newborn babies. I emphasize the words “may be” associated as this is being actively studied right now.
Meningitis B has devastating consequences
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, their child, who’s away at college contracts a rare form of Meningitis, and it’s the one type that’s NOT included in the mandatory meningitis vaccine required for college students. In the current situation at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where 4 students were affected and 1 needed to have both feet amputated to save his life. At Princeton, 7 students have been affected, and luckily none of them fatally. There’s also been one case reported in a staffer at UC Riverside. The first case was recognized in March, 2013 and the 7th just last week, in November, 2013.
The student from Santa Barbara was a lacrosse player who was apparently in septic shock. What happens is that the toxins from the meningitis bacteria overwhelm and damage the blood vessels in the limbs, which deprives the tissues of oxygen. The tissue in those limbs then die and if it’s not treated, can lead to more serious and life-threatening issues. Amputation is a last resort to save the person’s life.
What’s going on?
College students are required to be vaccinated against Meningococcal meningitis, which is a very serious infection. Most have received a series of 2 vaccines. Though the number of cases in the US is between 800-to 1,500 each year, a small percentage of people who contract any type of meningitis can have serious, even life-threatening consequences.
What Causes Meningitis?
Meningitis may be caused by bacteria or by a virus, which makes it even more confusing. In the case of the Meningitis outbreaks in the Santa Barbara and Princeton students, it was caused by Niesseria Meningitis, sero group B. (more…)
Spring may have sprung, but it’s still cold in many parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Not only that, but we’re seeing a spike in Flu like illnesses. In fact, in many parts of New England, there were more reported cases of the flu in April than had been reported in January.
Some experts think it’s because of the persistent Polar Vortex and the fact that people are staying indoors where they have a higher likelihood of being exposed to the germs that lead to colds and flu. While we don’t have an exact cause for this sudden spike in flu cases, what I can tell you is that it’s normal for the flu to last well into late spring.
If you or someone you live is experiencing the worst symptoms of the flu, here’s some tips that might help:
• Wash your hands regularly to help prevent spreading the flu.
• Fight Fever with Fluids. Liquids are the ultimate defense for a bad fever. Try to drink 2 to 3 additional ounces of fluid every hour. Water is your best ally in this situation, but non-carbonated sports drinks can be a great substitute.
• Elevate your head. Congested sinuses and post nasal drip can lead to difficulty breathing, especially when lying flat. Here’s a trick from the ICU: Put extra pillows UNDER the mattress to elevate the head of the bed. The increased angle will help drain your congested sinuses and help relieve pressure.
• Just Relax. Studies have shown that elevated levels of stress can have negative effects on your immune system. So, turn down the stress to help turn up your immune system. Plus, relaxation time can help you cope with symptoms.
• Keep your medicine cabinet stocked up. It’s important to look for a medication that can treat the toughest symptoms at once. My go to when I have aches, fever, a sore throat nasal, sinus and chest congestion and a cough is also what I give my own family. Vicks DayQuil Severe and NyQuil Severe, which you can find in my medicine cabinet right now.
These contain maximum strength active ingredients and offer an over the counter solution for the worst cold symptoms. My husband prefers the liquid NyQuil because it allows him to fight off the worst symptoms while he sleeps. I like the DayQuil Severe caplets because they’re purse sized, they’re easy to bring along when I travel, and they help me when I have to power through even the worst symptoms.
• Remember: If you’re taking prescription medications, do check with your health care provider about any over the counter medications. And remember, these medications are only indicated for adults. Check with your pediatric care provider for questions about how to best treat children.
You can find more information about the flu from the CDC.
For more information, please visit Vicks.com.
Disclosure: I’m working with Vicks to help alert people about prevention and treatment options for the flu.
It’s that time of year again when the flu is spreading and more people are getting sick. As a health care provider, I get vaccinated. In full disclosure, I don’t like getting any shots, I’m a big baby. I keep my eyes slammed shut, gripped whatever is closest, hold my breath, and then take a big sigh of relief that it’s over and done for another year.
Big Misconceptions and Myths
One of my friends surprised me the other day, she mistakenly thought that people routinely get sick just from getting the flu vaccine. (more…)
This season’s flu is a doozy! I’ve got some practical advice right here.
• It’s not too late to get vaccinated
• You’ve heard it a million times, because it’s true, wash your hands….a lot
• Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it before and after trips to the store, work, restaurants, coffee shops, everywhere
• If you’re sick, please stay home
• If your children are sick, keep them home where they’ll be more comfortable