Health Notes

Triple the Threat: Hepatitis C Infections on the Rise

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on May 18, 2017

A new report from the CDC shows alarming news about the rates of hepatitis C infection in the U.S. New data released just last week show the numbers have tripled in just five years, reaching a 15-year high.

A dangerous blood-borne virus, Hepatitis C is an infection that attacks the liver. Most people become infected by sharing drug needles. There is no vaccine, and for most, it is a long-term, chronic infection that can cause long-term health problems and even death. There are treatments for hepatitis C, and a diagnosis means close supervision by a health care provider. [click to continue…]


What You Should Know about Zika in 2017

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on May 4, 2017

Zika Update - Aedes MosquitoEight months ago, the Zika virus was in all the headlines. The virus had been found in mosquitoes here in the U.S., and travel warnings were in place for pregnant women going to a specific area in Florida.

Today, thanks to effective measures taken by the CDC and Florida health officials, state and local officials say there is no sign of the virus in mosquitoes in the state so far this year. But that doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

While officials in Florida are already working to prevent the virus from returning, scientists say there may be a resurgence of cases of this mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. over the next few months. More states than just Florida are at risk. In Texas already this year, there have been 11 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus in the Brownsville area. No other states currently have reports of local mosquito-borne transmission, but states are on the lookout.

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Your Shoes May Be Making You Sick

April 14, 2017
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Do you remove your shoes before walking through your home? If not, you may want to think again. New research done at the University of Houston says your shoes may be full of diarrhea-causing bacteria, and tracking the bugs through the house can put you at a high risk for contamination. Researchers tested the soles […]

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Measles Exposures Reported in the Metro

March 23, 2017
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The Douglas County Health Department has health care providers on alert after laboratories confirmed a case of the measles in the Omaha metro area. Exposure to the virus was reported in several public locations in both Douglas and Sarpy counties: Delta Flight 798 from Minneapolis to Omaha (March 12th between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.) […]

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Time to Check your Mumps Vaccine

March 16, 2017

Is your family up-to-date on their mumps vaccines? If they’re not, now is the time. When the final count came in for 2016, it proved to be the biggest year for mumps in a decade. A total of 5,311 cases were reported to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year. This year, […]

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Nasty Norovirus Alert

January 12, 2017
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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 […]

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No, You Don’t Need an Antibiotic

January 5, 2017
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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 […]

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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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