Health Notes

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on February 4, 2016

It’s the virus that’s making headlines internationally and now here locally with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Zika virus as a global health emergency. Just this week, there have been two confirmed cases of Zika in Douglas and Sarpy counties here in Nebraska. In both cases, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says the women in their 20s had recently traveled to Zika-affected countries. Neither was hospitalized.

As with any new health warning, Zika is causing a wave of uncertainty and panic. So let’s clear the air with what we do and don’t know about Zika virus, and who should be concerned.

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Top 8 Tips for Staying Healthy

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on February 4, 2016

Protect Against IllnessIt’s that time of year again when it seems like everything is catching. Colds, flu and everything in between is making for misery at home, school and in the workplace.

So how can you keep yourself safe from what’s going around? Here are my top eight tips to protect your good health:

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CDC Issues Travel Warning for Pregnant Women

January 15, 2016
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If the cold winter weather has you considering a trip south, you may want to pay close attention to a virus making headlines – especially if you are expecting. The CDC just issued new warnings and guidelines for pregnant women traveling to countries hit by the Zika virus. The agency has received reports of 26 cases […]

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Charlie Sheen Announcement Brings Awareness to HIV

November 18, 2015
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On Tuesday, Hollywood icon Charlie Sheen announced to the world that he is HIV positive. In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s TODAY Show, he said he learned of his diagnosis four years ago. Every time I hear a celebrity talk about their medical challenges – whatever they may be – I believe it’s […]

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Water-Borne Bug Strikes Douglas County Kids

September 14, 2015
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The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) says it’s investigating 31 cases of a nasty water-borne parasite making kids in the metro sick. The parasite is known as Cryptosporidium, and there have been 25 confirmed cases locally just since August 1st. The median age is 11, but has struck people ages 1 to 38. Several of […]

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Preparing for Your Trip to Cuba

September 8, 2015
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Cuba’s beautiful Cienfuegos Bay. Blog photos courtesy of Dr. Marvin Bittner. For decades, trade and travel to Cuba, our nearest island neighbor, was off limits to Americans. However just a few short months ago, the U.S. lifted its restrictions against this country just 90 miles off the Florida coast. Now, Americans have the opportunity to […]

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Tainted Cilantro Spreads Sickness

August 10, 2015
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Cilantro is a longtime favorite summer garnish. It’s used in salsas and salads to add a fresh lime-like flavor to any dish. But some cilantro has been bringing a little something extra to the family meal: human feces. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a partial ban on some cilantro imported from Mexico […]

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Eight Tips for Keeping Your Summer Foods Safe

July 16, 2015
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In the summer, we talk a lot about the bugs that bite – causing itches and diseases that are less than fun. But have you thought much about the bugs inside your favorite summer feasts? Outdoor picnics and grilling can mean prime time for dangerous food-borne bacteria. The most common ones we see include salmonella, […]

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Pack These Travel Tips for Your Next Retirement Trip

June 5, 2015
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No matter where the destination may be, many people look forward to seeing the world once they retire. What many don’t consider are all of the precautions you should take to make sure your trip is both enjoyable and safe. Health and safety should be at the top of your travel “to-do” list. So what […]

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Tapeworms Cause Brain Infections in U.S. Patients

May 29, 2015
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As summertime grilling season gets underway, the CDC is sounding the alarm about a danger that could be lurking in your dinner meat. There’s been a massive spike in the rate of tapeworm infections in the brains of patients here in the U.S. The brain infections, called neurocysticerosis, begin when cysts harboring larvae from pork […]

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