Health Notes

Think Spring… and Spring Break Safety

by Dr. Jessica Jones on February 19, 2015

It’s that time of year again, when the winter doldrums have us all dreaming of escaping to someplace warm. For some, that means planning for a spring break getaway just a few weeks from now.

When it comes to travel planning finding a swimsuit that fits shouldn’t be the only thing on your “to-do” list. There are a few other things to consider to ensure your trip is not only fun, but safe:

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Measles Strikes Douglas County

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on January 22, 2015

First Disneyland, now Douglas County. The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed a case of the measles.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus, which spreads by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It’s so contagious, any person exposed to it who isn’t immune may likely catch it. It starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About 30 percent of those who get the measles also develop complications including ear infections, diarrhea or pneumonia.

The most vulnerable are those who delayed or avoided the childhood MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. It’s the best defense against the disease. It comes in two doses. The first at 12-15 months, and a follow-up between ages 4 and 6. If you’re not sure if you’ve been vaccinated, your Methodist Physicians Clinic health care provider can test your immunity.

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Vaccines Put Outbreaks on Ice

Thumbnail image for Vaccines Put Outbreaks on Ice January 15, 2015

Score one for viruses, germs and the importance of vaccines. When it comes to disease, no one is immune. Just weeks ago, an outbreak of mumps sidelined several professional hockey players in the NHL. More than a dozen players were infected with the disease and with an incubation period of 14 to 18 days, more […]

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AIDS Diagnosis Means Ongoing Care

Thumbnail image for AIDS Diagnosis Means Ongoing Care December 1, 2014

Today, more than a million Americans are living with AIDS. It’s a pretty staggering number. But now consider this: As of two years ago, only 30 percent of Americans with HIV had the virus under control. And approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in […]

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Keeping Foodborne Bacteria Away from your Holiday Plate

Thumbnail image for Keeping Foodborne Bacteria Away from your Holiday Plate 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 […]

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Five Viruses that Should Worry You More Than Ebola

Thumbnail image for Five Viruses that Should Worry You More Than Ebola 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 […]

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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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