I have herpes viruses and so do YOU

Herpes. What? HERPES?! I don’t have THAT. Do I?

Yes. And I do too. And I have a form that’s uncommon, painful, and straight-up weird. But first, let me explain why YOU are harboring herpes viruses…

Unless you live in under a rock completely removed from civilization you have at least ONE of the herpes viruses in your body.

You have one RIGHT NOW in your body. Herpes viruses, once they infect and cause disease, they hang around in your body forever, some ready to come back out and reactivate. Continue reading

Summer 2017 — Zika

Dr. Timothy Brei, left, examines Aryanna Guadalupe Sanchez-Rios during her check up on on May 5, 2017. (Photo: Heidi de Marco, Kasier Health News)

We aren’t hearing about the Zika virus as much as we did last summer, but it’s still around and still pretty scary, especially for expectant mothers.

In the summer of 2016 you may have heard zika mentioned on the news at least several times, if not more. Health officials were urging everyone, especially pregnant women, to wear bug spray with DEET when venturing outside. Being infected with the mosquito-borne virus while pregnant lead to babies born with birth defects and other health problems. Last year the US had over 5,000 reported cases (many other cases without symptoms unreported) in thousands of American cities.

The summer of 2017? As far is mid June there have already been 650 reported cases of zika in the US. However, most people don’t have symptoms and don’t even know they have the virus. Most cases go unreported.

The CDC has reported that the types of mosquito that carry Zika, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are appearing in more counties in the southern U.S. where they haven’t been before.

It’s not going away. But officials expect reported cases to lower over time.

Continue reading

Why do we need booster shots?

You’d think most vaccines would leave you protected from the disease for life, right? While some vaccines do have very long-lasting immunity to disease, certain vaccines need to be given more than once to make sure the body has that long-lasting protection. Vaccinations like these need to be given more than once to yield full protection from disease. These extra shots are called BOOSTERS.

The immune system needs to create memory cells that will recognize the pathogen should it enter the body. To do that the immune system needs to “see” the pathogen at least once and make antibodies necessary to fight it off. Once this happens, the immune system’s memory cells keep that pathogen in it’s memory banks, so to speak. How cool is that? The immune system is so darn amazing, isn’t it?

So the initial vaccination dose activates an immune response in the body so that memory cells are created. Sometimes this is all the body needs. But in some cases, additional doses of a vaccine might be needed periodically to “boost” the immune system’s memory of the disease. Continue reading

Can you vaccinate your child if he is sick?

Red Typewriter Magazine

You don’t need to go canceling your child’s vaccination appointment if he has the sniffles, cough, upset stomach, sore throat, ear infection, mild diarrhea, low-grade fever (less than 101*F), among whatever other mild symptoms may arise. He is still able to get his vaccinations, and here’s why:

Vaccines don’t make mild illnesses worse. In fact, your kiddo’s immune system battles millions of microbes and foreign antigens every day and vaccines offer only a teeny tiny fraction of those antigens for the immune system to process. For otherwise healthy children and babies, vaccines can not overload the immune system; in fact, that would be really hard to do. (For more about not being able to overload the immune system: http://www.thevaccinemom.com/2015/07/can-a-babys-immune-system-handle-more-than-one-vaccine-at-a-time/)

Vaccine also don’t make symptoms of mild illness worse. However, vaccines can SOMETIMES cause soreness and swelling at the injection site or mild fever. Continue reading

Lyme Disease season is HERE and it’s worse than ever

This is a great little informational video on this year’s tick season: HERE

It’s a little hard to understand because Dr. Goudarz has a thick accent, so I’ve dictated the important points below! Please read because if you live in the northeast (US), this year’s tick season is BAD.

Here we go…

It’s summertime and that means ticks and consequently, Lyme disease is on the rise. There has already been a higher rate of infection his year so far US northeast.

Why?

There have been exceptionally warm winters in the northeast, as well as reports and evidence of a higher number of white-footed mice (main reservoir for lyme and three other pathogens).

Ticks are being tested and researchers are finding more than 1/3 of ticks testing positive for lyme. And on top of that, an increasing number of ticks infected with another tick-associated disease. Continue reading