Health Notes

Omaha Student Diagnosed with Tuberculosis

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on December 1, 2016

The Douglas County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that a student at Omaha’s Benson High School has a confirmed case of tuberculosis. The diagnosis has many of the student’s schoolmates and their families wondering what they need to know about this infectious respiratory illness.

Tuberculosis, commonly called TB, is caused by a bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. TB bacteria can also attack elsewhere in the body, such as the kidneys, brain and spine.

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Leadership. Commitment. Impact. World AIDS Day 2016

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on December 1, 2016

World AIDS DayThe goal is lofty: to make the United States a place where new HIV infections are rare. And when HIV/AIDS does occur, give patients high quality, life-extending care to every person, regardless of their circumstance, free from stigma and discrimination.

But today,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, with nearly one in eight of those not even knowing they are infected. And while the Affordable Care Act forbids discrimination against people living with HIV seeking health care coverage, that high-quality care isn’t always available.

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Polio-like Virus a Cause for Concern

October 13, 2016
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A strange virus is having devastating effects on children and families, causing polio-like symptoms in its young victims. The strain of enterovirus called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) affects the nervous system – specifically the spinal cord. The result is a sudden and mysterious muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. The damage is […]

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Going Batty: A Warning about Rabies

September 8, 2016
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“Rabies! Rabies!” Ok, so maybe it’s not quite like a scene from “The Goonies,” but yes, it’s getting to be that time of year when bats are becoming more active outdoors. Now one of my most recent cases is prompting a warning.

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Travel Warnings for Zika Now Include U.S.

August 2, 2016
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After confirmed cases of transmission in a Miami, Fla., neighborhood have quickly doubled, the CDC has just issued its first travel warning inside the U.S. when it comes to the dreaded Zika virus. Pregnant women are being advised to avoid the area of Wynwood, a small community just north of downtown Miami, while the virus […]

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World Hepatitis Day Aims to Spread the Word, Cure the Disease

July 28, 2016
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It’s a disease that affects 400 million people worldwide, yet an estimated 95 percent of people with hepatitis don’t even know they have it. That’s the reason why the World Health Organization (WHO) declared July 28th as World Hepatitis Day. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can lead to scarring, cirrhosis or even […]

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Olympic Traveler Prepares for Healthy Trip to Rio

July 18, 2016
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Richard Smith once had Olympic dreams of his own. As a member of the U.S. National Wrestling Team in the 80s, the Bryan High School graduate traveled the world competing against top international competitors. “Germany, Poland, England, France, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, Argentina,” said Richard, listing off just a few of the countries […]

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On the Lookout for Mumps

June 6, 2016
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Did your student bring home a little something extra for summer break? An outbreak of the mumps is spreading across Nebraska. The state Department of Health and Human Services says an outbreak of the mumps that began with 10 cases at Midland University has now more than doubled to 21. The outbreak began just as […]

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New Guidelines Aimed at Zika Risk Prevention

May 10, 2016
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As researchers learn more and more about the dangerous Zika virus, officials are narrowing down the focus on who is at risk and how to stop the disease. Once thought to be a virus with relatively harmless symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, the rapidly-spreading virus has now officially been linked […]

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What You Should Know about Elizabethkingia

April 19, 2016
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A common bacteria is having an uncommon outbreak – making dozens of people deathly ill in three states. And unfortunately, no one knows exactly why or where it’s coming from. Right now, the greatest outbreak of Elizabethkingia is in Wisconsin, where 59 people have taken ill with the disease. About a third those patients confirmed […]

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