Cornerstone Private Practice is there for me and my family… and that to me is not just insurance, it’s assurance.

West Nile rapidly increasing

West Nile virus is threatening to becoming the issue it was a decade ago. Here’s a short story on it from the Associated Press.

And here’s a link to the Arbonet Maps put out by the US Geological Survey through the Centers for Disease Control.  You can click on your state to see how many cases have been reported there.

Please take care to follow all the mosquito control precautions you’ve heard before (like eliminating standing water, wearing protective clothing and using repellant when necessary)

In Your Corner: June 2012

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Woo We!  It took a bit to get here, but summer is finally here and in full swing!  Don’t forget to check out this month’s edition of In Your Corner  to help fight the heat, the sun, and get a sneak peak of our new column, the Cornerstone Difference!  Happy Monday!

Got the Traveling Bug?

 

Bug

Well, if you’re taking a trip over the holidays, hopefully you’ve only got the figurative traveling bugs and not bed bugs!  It turns out that due to modern-day travel, bed bugs have been able to hitch rides on suitcases to almost every part of the globe.  Gross, right?  Well there are a few things you can do to avoid these yucky critters.

 

Bed bugs are little creatures about the size of apple seeds which feed on human blood while we sleep.  Their bites don’t hurt, but can create itchy welts that are more annoying than anything (like a mosquito bite).  The bugs can survive about a year without feeding, and females tend to lay about 300 eggs in their lifetime.  They don’t always discriminate when it comes to choosing where to take up residence, so unfortunately they can be an issue even at nice hotels.  With their rising populations, travelers have become more uneasy about bringing some home, so to help avoid that fate, here are some tips on preventative measures you can take while traveling:

 

1.      Keep your luggage in the bathroom–bedbugs don’t like the hard surfaces of bathroom floors

2.      Keep your clothes in bags and use the closets instead of the hotel’s furniture

3.      When you get to your hotel room, look around a bit.  Take the sheets off and check behind the headboards.  They’re sneaky but they aren’t too smart.  They usually hide in plain sight – if you just look for them.  If you find one, get a new room away from the one you had (they like to spread out a bit between the adjacent rooms).

4.    Lastly, when you get home from traveling, vacuum your luggage and wash your clothing in hot water.


A few simple steps and chances are you’ll have a pest-free trip!

Now that you’ve finished off the Halloween candy…

Smiling_pumpkin

 

Another possible connection between oral health and the rest of your body: pneumonia.  At the recent Infectious Disease Society of America meeting, investigators reported on an study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that seems to show a more than 40% increased pneumonia risk in seniors with a higher plaque burden.  The study is ongoing, but this appears to add to the list of reasons why taking good care of your mouth is an important part of taking good care of your whole body!

How to prepare for a zombie apocalypse

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Joke?  This is real advice found on the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website, under “Emergency Preparedness”.  It provides a brief history of zombies and then gives advice on making an emergency kit and plan to use if zombies began walking the streets.  One recommendation is to have a list of emergency contacts including “your local zombie response team.”  Sorry, but this is one service we don’t provide at Cornerstone!  Hope you had a nice, and zombie-free, Halloween!

In case your interested you can check out the full article here: CDC Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Uh-oh, the first one is here…

The first case of the flu in Virginia was just reported recently, and more are sure to follow.  Although it seems like there are options to get vaccinated on every corner, some of the questions and misconceptions about the flu vaccine persist.  Some of those are found in this short quiz on your “Flu IQ”.  Check it out and see how you score:

 

 

Update: Cantalope infection spreads

Following up on a recent post: the listeriosis outbreak linked with cantaloupes grown in Rocky Ford, Colorado has now spread to 19 or more states, including Virginia.  Please use caution when selecting your cantaloupes, and if their origin is uncertain, do not purchase and do not eat them!  Due to the incubation time of up to 70 days, more cases are still expected.  To read more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/.

Tick talk

Tick season has been bad this year, and one reason is Virginia’s new tick: the Gulf Coast Tick.  This tick can lead to Tidewater Spotted Fever, which is generally not deadly, but can make you feel lousy and look “spotted” for awhile.  This tick seems to have migrated from the Gulf Coast, and is now probably a permanent resident.

Most people have heard of Lyme disease, but ticks can actually transmit a number of different diseases, and now Tidewater Spotted Fever can be added to that list.  Prevention remains the best approach to dealing with tick-borne diseases.  Here are some important precautions you can take:

  1. Check for ticks every day.
  2. Wear protective clothing (i.e. long pants/sleeve).
  3. Use tick repellent on clothing & exposed skin.
  4. Avoid areas where ticks are abundant.

If you do find a tick on you, make a note of whether it is engorged or not, carefully remove it with tweezers, and then save it.  Put it between two sticky sides of tape and date it.  In general, a tick that has been attached for less than 48hrs is at very low risk for transmitting Lyme disease.  However, other tick-borne diseases can be spread sooner than that.  Monitor for any new rash or symptoms and contact your doctor with questions or concerns.  

Here’s a short segment on the new tick that recently aired on WAVY:  

New ticks in Hampton Roads: wavy.com