The best way to avoid the flu is spending the months from fall until spring in a solitary bunker, communicating with other people only electronically. The second best way is getting the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months who doesn’t have a specific contraindication to it. Because of the increasing number of different flu vaccines that are now ...

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If another case of Ebola emanates from the unfortunate Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the root cause analysts might mount their horses, the Six Sigma black belts will skydive and the safety champions will tunnel their way clandestinely to rendezvous at the sentinel place. What might be their unique insights? What will be their prescriptions? One never knows what pearls one will encounter from after-the-fact risk managers. I can imagine Caesar consulting a Sybil ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 22, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Office Visits Linked to National HTN Control. While hypertension treatment rates have risen over the past decade, but control of hypertension may have plateaued, according to a national study that suggested regular office visits as a key factor.
  2. A Youthful Approach to Breast Cancer Prevention. Most of us are ...

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Ebola is everywhere. Turn on the television, and you will see the headlines. “Ebola in America.” Or, “Hospital worker who handled Ebola is on cruise.” And then there is the “Ebola fears prompt parents to keep children home from school.” The headlines go on. Go onto Facebook or Twitter, and you will see Ebola as the most viewed article, or the most tweeted topic. Ebola is everywhere. Ebola is incredibly infectious. Ebola is ...

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While driving to work, I listened to Mike and Mike (a radio sports talk show). Mike Greenberg made a wonderful point about his job. He described what they do as “professional over-reactors.” They take every game and extrapolate, sometimes irrationally, about the implications of that game. Does this remind you of health reporting? A study appears in a serious medical journal, and the press “blows it up” as the next great advance. ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 21, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Study Links Enterovirus in Kids to T1D. Enterovirus infection may be tied to the development of type 1 diabetes.
  2. LVAD Patient Education Misses the Mark. Patient information on left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) is biased in favor of the device, and is suboptimal for helping people determine their pros ...

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Ebola: Whos looking out for the nurses? Being a nurse is a risky job.  Needle-stick injuries, violence, back injuries, and infectious disease are all potential threats.  But until recently, nursing was not usually viewed, like police work, or commercial fishing, as a life-endangering career choice. Those who risk their lives for their work go into it knowing the risks, and receive intensive training and protective gear. Not so the ...

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Nancy Snyderman shows indifference for her role as a medical communicator I wish Dr. Nancy Snyderman the best of health. I'm happy that she remains free from the deadly Ebola virus, and hopefully it will stay that way. It must have been extremely difficult for her to be under quarantine, especially since she was feeling healthy. It's simple: When you feel good, you want to be active. In Dr. Snyderman's case, she ...

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In June 2014, the first patient with Ebola arrived at Liberia’s county hospital, Redemption. As tensions grew around the city of Monrovia, administrators at JFK Hospital began to devise plans for handling patients with suspected Ebola. Officials from the CDC then came and gave us lectures. They discussed prevention of spreading and what our plans would be in the event of a potential outbreak. Before that moment, there were no ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 20, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Ebola: Politicos Mull Travel Restrictions; Docs Say No. As Ebola continues to dominate the headlines, one hotly debated question is whether the U.S. should ban travelers from the West Africa nations where the disease is raging, as a preventive measure.
  2. Ebola: Do the Dogs Have It? Bentley, the dog ...

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