Jul 23 2017

What Do You Know About Juvenile Arthritis (JRA)?

A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): Who Gets Juvenile Arthritis? Juvenile arthritis affects children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. About 294,000 American children under age 18 have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. What Causes Juvenile Arthritis? Juvenile arthritis is usually an autoimmune disorder. As a rule, the immune system helps fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. But in an autoimmune disorder, the immune system attacks some of the body’s healthy cells and tissues. Scientists don’t know why this happens or what causes the disorder. Some think it’s a two-step process in children: something in a child’s genes (passed from parents to children) makes the child more likely to get arthritis, and something like a virus then sets off the arthritis. What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Juvenile Arthritis? The most common symptoms of juvenile arthritis are joint swelling, pain, and stiffness that doesn’t go away. Usually it affects the knees, hands, and feet, and it’s worse in the morning or after a nap. Other signs include: Limping in the morning because of a stiff knee Excessive clumsiness High fever and skin rash Swelling in lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body. Most children with arthritis have times when the symptoms get better or go away (remission) and other times when they get worse (flare). Arthritis in children can cause ...

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Jul 02 2017

Why Are You Waiting To Vaccinate Your Children?

We share more than food and culture within our homes and communities. We can also spread disease. Luckily, we live in a time when vaccines can protect us from many of the most serious illnesses. Staying current on your shots helps you—and your neighbors—avoid getting and spreading disease. Vaccines have led to large reductions in illness and death—for both kids and adults—compared with the “pre-vaccine era,” says Dr. David M. Koelle, a vaccine expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. Vaccines will prevent about 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among U.S. children born over the last 20 years, according to a recent report. Vaccines harness your immune system’s natural ability to detect and destroy disease-causing germs and then “remember” the best way to fight these germs in the future. Vaccination, or immunization, has completely eliminated naturally occurring smallpox worldwide—to the point that we no longer need to get shots against this fast-spreading, once-deadly disease. Polio too has been eliminated in the U.S. and most other nations as well, thanks to immunizations. Poliovirus can affect the brain and spinal cord, leaving people unable to move their arms or legs, or sometimes unable to breathe. “These childhood diseases used to be dreaded problems that would kill or paralyze children,” says Koelle. “In the 1950s, it was a common occurrence for kids to be fine in the spring, get ...

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Jul 04 2016

Where Do You Stand On Immunization?

A Press release from the World Health Organization (WHO) Immunization coverage: Where do we stand?   Key facts Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus. Global vaccination coverage is generally holding steady. Uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing. Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. But an estimated 18.7 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines. Overview Immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. Global vaccination coverage—the proportion of the world’s children who receive recommended vaccines—has remained steady for the past few years. During 2014, about 86% (115 million) of infants worldwide received 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine, protecting them against infectious diseases that can cause serious illness and disability or be fatal. By 2014, 129 countries had reached at least 90% coverage of DTP3 vaccine.   Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) causes meningitis and pneumonia. Hib vaccine had been introduced in 192 countries by the end of 2014. Global coverage with 3 doses of Hib vaccine is estimated at 56%. There is great variation between regions. In the Americas, coverage is estimated at 90%, while it is only 21% and 30% in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia Regions respectively. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that ...

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Jan 01 2015

The Latest News About The Flu

The most recent FluView report for the 2014-2015 flu season shows that flu season in the United States has begun and about half the country is experiencing high levels of flu activity. Reports of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths are elevated. Activity is expected to continue for several weeks, especially in parts of the country that have not yet seen significant activity. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. There are documented benefits from flu vaccination, including reductions in illnesses, related doctors' visits and missed work or school. Vaccination also prevents flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. While most of the viruses spreading this season are different from what is in the vaccine, vaccination can still provide protection and might reduce severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death. If you have not been vaccinated yet this season, get your flu vaccine now. CDC recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting flu: get vaccinated, take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs and takeantiviral medications to treat flu illness if your doctor prescribes them. For more information, please visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

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Aug 11 2014

The EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK of 2014-What You Need To Know

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:   The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. The CDC is surging resources by sending 50 more workers to the area to help bring the outbreak under control. What is Ebola? Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common. How is Ebola transmitted? Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. Can Ebola be transmitted through the air? No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air. Can I get Ebola from contaminated food or water? No. Ebola is not a food-borne illness.  It is not a water-borne illness. Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms? No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct ...

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Dec 05 2011

THIS WEEK IN HEALTH NEWS: WOMEN WHO EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES HAVE A LOWER RISK OF STROKE, VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND EFFECT ON BRAIN FUNCTIONING, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE GOES UNTREATED IN MANY TEENS, WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE THE FLU VACCINE?

WOMEN WHO EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES HAVE A LOWER RISK OF STROKE Dr. Susanne Rautiainen and her research group from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, reported in the journal: Stroke, that after collecting data on the dietary habits of women, they found that those women who consumed the highest amount of antioxidant containing foods (foods that have elevated levels of vitamins C, E, carotenoids, flavonoids and phytochemicals-fruits and veggies and grains) had a lower risk of stroke.  Lesson-Make half your plate fruits and veggies-especially if you are a woman!!! VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND EFFECT ON BRAIN FUNCTIONING Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine presented data recently showing that in a test group of young men, ages 18 to 29, that were told to play a violent video game for ten hours, MRI studies and cognitive testing performed afterwards revealed changes in brain function, and cognitive behavior. These changes did revert back almost to baseline, after a week of not playing the games. Lesson: parents, be careful with what video games your children are playing in your home and at the homes of friends. There is an abundance of violent and incredibly popular video games coming out daily, for all of the techno-game boxes and these games seem to obtain viewing access in many homes with young children. Be aware,  stay informed and stay connected ! HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE GOES UNTREATED IN MANY ...

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Sep 08 2009

Graehm Gray-Is it Time to Find an Alternative to Handshaking?

Graehm Gray, Editor-In-Chief I guess by now you have all heard about the Swine Flu. If you haven’t, where have you been hiding? Just turn on the television, or read your favorite newspaper or online news service. The reports of the novel H1N1, as they now refer to it, are everywhere. You can read about it in The Nerdel News and find out if you are in a category of people that needs to take the H1N1 vaccine. Okay, so you know about it. What are you doing about it? Are you washing your hands enough? How many door knobs did you touch today? Did you wash your hands after touching each one-probably not. Did you use the waterless antibacterial gel after touching each door knob? Again, probably not.  And what about those shoes you are wearing. Where have they been today? I doubt that you have followed the Japanese ritual of removing your shoes before you entered your home.  Are you tracking in millions of unseen microbes and bugs into your living room as we speak? Probably  yes! We are being bombarded by zillions of tiny invaders on a daily basis-bacteria, fungi and viruses. Most of the time, our immune systems are able to fight them. Sometimes they can’t. Some people have medical problems that weaken the immune system. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly also may have weakened immune systems. ...

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Sep 03 2009

Graehm Gray-Be prepared for the Flu of 2009!Here’s What You Need To Know!

I just received an email from my daughter's school. I am trying to get used to this age of technology. But it scares me to get a letter from her school. Especially an email which came on my Blackberry. Anyway, it's still summer, and she is home, so I know nothing is wrong, but I was still anxious. As it turns out, it was an information letter regarding the “Swine Flu”. As you all know, the Swine Flu (originally called this because of similar genes found in the virus that are also found in pigs), or as it is called now in the press “Novel H1N1” or just simply “H1N1”is a virus. It is from swine origin, spreading person to person and was first confirmed in the United States back in March and April of this year. Since that time, all fifty U.S. states, including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have confirmed cases of H1N1. The majority of cases are in the age group 5-24 years old, but people of all ages are at risk. So I went to the CDC site (cdc.gov) and here is what I found out: What are the major symptoms according to the CDC are:

Symptom (%)
Fever 93%
Cough 83%
Shortness of breath 54%
Fatigue/Weakness 40%
Chills 37%
Myalgias 36%
Rhinorrhea 36%
Sore Throat 31%
Headache 31%
Vomiting 29%
Wheezing 24%
Diarrhea 24%
How is H1N1 spreading? According to the CDC: The virus is spreading person to person by coughing, sneezing, touching ...

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Sep 03 2009

Graehm Gray-Should You Get the Novel Influenza A H1N1 Vaccine?

The vaccine against the infection with novel influenza A H1N1 will be available in October 2009. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current seasonal influenza vaccines are not likely to provide protection against novel influenza H1N1. Here are the five main targeted groups that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP) recommends get the vaccine: Pregnant Women-they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated Persons who live with or provide care for infants aged <6 months (e.g. parents, siblings, and daycare providers)- younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination of those in close contact with infants less than 6 months old might help protect infants by “cocooning” them from the virus; Health-care and emergency medical services personnel-infections among healthcare workers have been reported and this can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased absenteeism in this population could reduce healthcare system capacity; Persons aged 6 months-24 years- Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because there have been many cases of novel H1N1 influenza in children and they are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread, and Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because there have been many cases of novel H1N1 influenza in ...

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