Health Notes

Keeping Foodborne Bacteria Away from your Holiday Plate

by Dr. Jessica Jones on November 10, 2014

The holidays are a time for sharing with family and friends. But the last things you want to share are bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Without great care, unfortunately, holiday meals and gatherings are a breeding ground for things that can make people sick. Foodborne illnesses are all too easy and quickly spread.

Each year, an estimated 48 million people in the U.S. experience a foodborne illness. Also known as “food poisoning,” symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. The symptoms come on fast and are fairly short-lived. Children, the elderly and those with other illnesses can become very sick. The most serious cases – about 3,000 each year – can end in death.

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Five Viruses that Should Worry You More Than Ebola

by Dr. Sasan Gholami on October 20, 2014

Every time we turn on the news, one disease is making international headlines: Ebola.

And while the Ebola virus is a violent and deadly disease, there are many other viruses that are perhaps more concerning than Ebola – and you are much more likely to catch them. In fact, two of the nation’s top infectious disease doctors – both of whom successfully treated two Ebola patients – say two common viruses are far more dangerous than Ebola here in America.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with contaminated body fluids or surfaces those fluids touched. American health care controls and isolation units such as those at our medical partner Nebraska Medicine have been very successful at containing the infection on U.S. soil.

Because Ebola is not an airborne disease, it makes this virus much easier to contain. However, several other viruses on American soil are airborne and easy to spread.

Here’s a short list of five you should put on your radar:

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Staying Ahead of the Game: Flu 2014

Thumbnail image for Staying Ahead of the Game: Flu 2014 September 18, 2014

Anyone with school-age children knows once a bug starts to spread, it’s hard to stop. Without protection, viruses like the flu can hit your home before you know it. That’s why it’s important to think about vaccinations now… before the assault from influenza begins. We’ve all seen the tell-tale signs of flu: muscle aches, fever, […]

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What Every Parent Should Know About Enterovirus D68

Thumbnail image for What Every Parent Should Know About Enterovirus D68 September 8, 2014

Methodist hospitals and Methodist Physicians Clinic locations are on alert for a virus making hundreds of kids across the Midwest sick. Doctors are bracing for a possible outbreak from a bug known as Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68. In Kansas City, the virus has sent more than 30 children a day to one local hospital, with […]

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Understanding Ebola Risk and Stopping the Deadly Disease

Thumbnail image for Understanding Ebola Risk and Stopping the Deadly Disease August 14, 2014

Every day it seems the numbers climb. Today, the official number of Ebola cases is nearing 1,900, with more than 1,000 deaths just since February. As the disease spreads, so does the fear and the rush to contain it. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made […]

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Deadly Ebola Virus Outbreak Sparks Travel Warning

Thumbnail image for Deadly Ebola Virus Outbreak Sparks Travel Warning July 31, 2014

Anyone watching the news out of West Africa can’t help but be blown away by tragedy unfolding there: More than 1,300 people in three countries and a death toll now topping 720 people, all from a single, highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus. The current West Africa outbreak started in Guinea in March, and within […]

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Health News Headlines: Chikungunya Hits Near Home, Whooping Cough Outbreak

Thumbnail image for Health News Headlines: Chikungunya Hits Near Home, Whooping Cough Outbreak July 24, 2014

Chikungunya Arrives in Douglas County The first case of the mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya has been confirmed in Douglas County. Lab tests confirmed the infection, Nebraska’s fourth known case. The 50-year-old patient became ill after being bit by an infected mosquito during a recent trip to Puerto Rico. Chikungunya has been found in the Caribbean, […]

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World Hepatitis Day Shines Global Light on Disease

Thumbnail image for World Hepatitis Day Shines Global Light on Disease July 10, 2014

On July 28th, the world will turn its attention to a viral epidemic that kills 1.4 million people across the globe, yet remains largely ignored. World Hepatitis Day urges the public to “think again” about this silent killer. Viral hepatitis – inflammation of the liver causing acute and chronic liver disease – is a group […]

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The Only Contagious Thing You Should Catch

Thumbnail image for The Only Contagious Thing You <i>Should</i> Catch June 26, 2014

And no, this time we’re not talking about a bug or a virus. It’s something that when one person catches it, it’s almost impossible to not at least smile. They say laughter is the best medicine. And they just might be right. Especially when it comes to your heart. A study done in 2005 at […]

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What Bites Back When Summer Stings

Thumbnail image for What Bites Back When Summer Stings June 12, 2014

It’s that time of year again, when the creepy crawlies of spring and summer start to emerge. They’re out in full force, and they’re hungry. The most common bug bites come from ticks and mosquitos. And while most of the time they are fairly harmless, some pack a nasty punch. Here’s a guide to the […]

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