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Know your spots: recognizing measles

measles

Once a common childhood infection, the measles virus is now almost entirely preventable with a vaccine. There is now an average of about 60 cases of measles per year in the United States, and while most of those cases originate outside of the country, it’s still important to know the signs and symptoms of this illness, especially for young children or travelers.

In 2014 there were 644 cases of measles in the U.S., with the majority being imported from abroad. As of March 13, 2015, there have been 176 reported cases centered around four outbreaks, and with cases present in 17 states, the majority have been linked to a California amusement park. The majority of these cases are predominantly young, unvaccinated children, who are too young to have completed the MMR course.

Risk factors for measles include being unvaccinated, traveling internationally in areas where vaccinations are uncommon and having a vitamin A deficiency. Most common in children under five years old (the same age that the second MMR vaccine is administered), symptoms of measles appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and include:

  • Dry cough
  • Fever of up to 104°F
  • Conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes)
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Koplik’s spots—tiny white and bluish spots inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek
  • Flat, red skin rashes

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How to choose a pediatrician

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Choosing a pediatrician can be overwhelming, no matter if it’s your first or fourth child. Thankfully, Affinity Health System has a whole team of experts to guide moms-to-be.

At around 20-24 weeks of your pregnancy, your doctor, midwife or a nurse educator may ask you if you’ve selected a pediatrician. This is a great time to start thinking about what you would want in a pediatrician for your new bundle of joy.

When I was at 22 weeks, I too needed to start thinking about choosing a pediatrician for my son. This is a great time to think through any preferences you may request in a pediatrician.  A connection specialist, like myself, will be able to match your family with a pediatrician. Some of the questions I will ask you include:

  • In what city do you prefer to have a pediatrician?
  • Are there certain specialties that you would request of your pediatrician?
  • Would you like to meet the pediatrician prior to your first appointment?

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10 non-meat foods that are protein-rich

Whether you eat meat or not, protein is a vital part of our diets. Below are just a few of the foods that will help you reach your protein intake for the day.

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Now is “A Time to Heal”

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Regaining health after cancer means adjusting to a new normal, and whether you were diagnosed six months ago or 15 years ago, reaching that goal means something different to everyone. Just as survivors of cardiovascular issues undergo cardiac rehabilitation, you can benefit tremendously from post-cancer rehabilitation.

A Time To Heal (ATTH), a 12-week, holistic program for cancer survivors and their caregivers, aims to help you meet your health and wellness goals and tackle roadblocks along the way. This research-based rehabilitation program is free of charge and focuses on topics such as stress management, smart nutrition and supplementation, and dealing with anxiety. ATTH is open to people diagnosed with any type of cancer from any health care system.

Cancer and its treatment takes more than just a physical toll on survivors and their loved ones. ATTH can help survivors regain physical, emotional, intellectual, psychological and spiritual health after cancer treatments. Participants will benefit from guided gentle stretching designed to promote flexibility, clearer thinking and physical strength, as well as weekly instruction by experts on health-enhancing topics that can be taken out of the classroom and used to not just survive, but thrive. Continue Reading »

Change of the cholesterol tune?

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For years we have been cautioned about consuming cholesterol-containing foods as a way to control our blood cholesterol levels. Perhaps that is why a collective gasp was heard when the 2015 Dietary Advisory Committee Scientific Report recently proposed lifting dietary cholesterol-limiting recommendations.

The Dietary Advisory Committee is made up of health experts who are charged with researching scientific and medical literature and making recommendations that guide dietary health practices. They make suggestions that other organizations review; organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture or the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. The last published set of Dietary Guidelines was in 2010 and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines will be published later this year. The guidelines are just that, a highly referenced nutrition guide for not only nutrition professionals, but also the general public.

The current dietary guidelines advise Americans to limit dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams per day. For egg lovers this poses a challenge, with the average egg taking up most of this allowance. So why the change in recommendations by the Dietary Advisory Committee? Continue Reading »

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