Health Notes

Nasty Norovirus Alert

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on January 12, 2017

Officials are warning everyone to be diligent about hand washing and sanitizing surfaces after a rise in the number of norovirus outbreaks. The nasty virus is hitting hard at local long term care centers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Office of Epidemiology has received reports of at least 20 outbreaks of norovirus since November. It’s a highly contagious virus that can spread quickly – especially among susceptible populations. The main focus now is to prevent and contain the norovirus to stop it from spreading further.

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No, You Don’t Need an Antibiotic

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on January 5, 2017

Let me preface this by saying, yes, sometimes antibiotics are very necessary to fight and cure illness. But when it comes to cold and flu, antibiotics really aren’t the answer.

Antibiotics don’t work for viruses, they work on bacteria. Taking antibiotics for viral infections such as a cold, cough or the flu won’t:

  • Cure the infection
  • Keep other people from catching it
  • Help you feel better

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Omaha Student Diagnosed with Tuberculosis

December 1, 2016
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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 […]

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Leadership. Commitment. Impact. World AIDS Day 2016

December 1, 2016
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The 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 […]

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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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