Friday, September 19, 2014

Options for protection come with flu season

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s time for flu vaccine again and while it’s important for the whole family, this year health officials have some different advice for different ages: Certain kids should opt for the ouchless nasal spray. Seniors, expect to get a new kind of pneumonia shot along with that flu jab. And too many […]

Preventing RSV infections in our kids

By Jeff Ribordy As we head into fall and eventually winter, children may once again be exposed to many cold viruses. One of the worst is called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV for short. For most of us big people, and even for big kids, if we catch RSV we get nothing more than a […]

OK, we have germs, but they’re *our* germs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sorry, clean freaks. No matter how well you scrub your home, it’s covered in bacteria from your own body. And if you pack up and move, new research shows, you’ll rapidly transfer your unique microbial fingerprint to the doorknobs, countertops and floors in your new house, too. In fact, researchers who studied […]

This epidemic should scare us

By Richard Fleming, M.D. A major disease epidemic is sweeping the country, but it is not getting much media attention. This disease has rapidly increased year by year. Almost 2,000,000 people each year are coming down with this illness, twice as many as ten years ago. The disease is responsible for much suffering. It shortens […]

Study: Combining vaccines boosts polio immunity

WASHINGTON (AP) — New research suggests a one-two punch could help battle polio in some of the world’s most remote and strife-torn regions: Giving a single vaccine shot to children who’ve already swallowed drops of an oral polio vaccine greatly boosted their immunity. The World Health Organization officials said the combination strategy already is starting […]

Preventing falls in the elderly

By David Crawford, M.D. When I was in grade school we thought someone falling down was hilarious. We would intentionally trip our classmates or pull the chair out from under them as they sat down. But falls are not as funny for the elderly as they can cause serious injury, hospitalization, and sometimes death. Not […]

Can you understand your doctor?

By Richard Fleming, MD Sometimes it seems doctors and their patients do not speak the same language. I am not referring to cases where the doctor only speaks English and the patient only speaks Spanish. Interpreters and telephone “language lines” can help in those situations. No, I am talking about times when both doctor and […]

Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don’t know how to determine that. Being licensed and likable doesn’t necessarily mean a doctor is up to date on best practices. But consumers aren’t sure how to uncover much […]

Don’t just sit there

By Michael Vovakes, MD We know exercise is good, but did you know that even if you exercise, sitting too much can be bad for your health? A recent study of over 2,200 adults ages 60 and older shows that every extra hour of sitting during the day increased one’s risk of becoming disabled. This […]

Fact or fiction on the Net?

Chelle Cordero It’s been said that sometimes a little knowledge is dangerous. It is easy to look up health care information online, but is self-diagnosis using the information you find the healthy thing to do? Internet sites that offer “a healthy dose of FREE medical info” also can cause a lot of anxiety and “cyberchondria” […]

Unapproved device buys time for new pair of lungs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jon Sacker was near death, too sick for doctors to attempt the double lung transplant he so desperately needed. His only chance: An experimental machine that essentially works like dialysis for the lungs. But the device has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and there were none in the […]

Designer T-cells fight viruses after transplants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bone marrow transplants save thousands of lives but patients are vulnerable to severe viral infections in the months afterward, until their new immune system kicks in. Now scientists are developing protection for that risky period — injections of cells specially designed to fend off up to five different viruses at once. “These […]

Safe at home

By Richard Fleming, MD Although we are in the middle of baseball season, this article is not about scoring runs at the ballpark. No, today I want to talk about how everyone has the right to live in a safe, secure environment. Unfortunately, some homes are not safe because of turmoil and violence. Domestic violence […]

Study: Colon cancer screening helps some over 75

WASHINGTON (AP) — How old is too old for a colonoscopy? A surprising number of people older than 75 haven’t ever been screened for colon cancer — and researchers reported Monday that it’s not too late for them to get caught up. Some may even consider screening into their 80s. Colon cancer screening is powerful, […]