Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Chickenpox parties?? Natural immunity is NOT better.

Someone mentioned “Chickenpox parties” the other day, and while I had heard of that before, this time it really got me heated. Of course, I went ahead and started searching out some information, because that’s what I do, and found some pretty disturbing photos. (Spare yourself from seeing them.) They weren’t photos of just the chicken pox (that’s not the disturbing part), they were photos of really sick and spotty children playing with healthy, happy children–children oblivious to the fact that next week they’d be itchy, fevery, and potentially extremely ill. Guys, these kids could end up in the hospital, or worse…
 
It’s making me sick just thinking about it right now.

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What’s the difference between Tdap and DTaP?

The DTaP vaccine is for children 0-7 years and the Tdap vaccine is the booster given at age 11 and to adults age 19-64.

Both are inactivated bacterial vaccines that protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis.

We consider Tdap to be a booster vaccine because of it’s reduced dose of diphtheria and pertussis. Getting this booster after having the DTaP vaccine is important because the immunity from DTaP wanes after the vaccine given at age 4-6.

Since immunity wanes over time, the current recommendation is that everyone needs a booster for tetanus and diphtheria every ten years. This booster given to adults is called Td. It is also recommended that one dose of Tdap should be substituted for a Td dose in adults between 11 and 64 years.  Continue reading

I Had Shingles Twice–in College AND While Pregnant

Shingles is what you get when the chickenpox virus flares back up in your body again. When you get better from chicken pox the virus goes to sleep (dormant) in your nerve roots. For lots of people the virus stays dormant forever, but in times of weakened immune system (from stress/injury/certain medicines/other reasons) the chicken pox virus comes back out and causes shingles (not chicken pox). You can catch the chickenpox but you cannot catch the shingles.

Meredith with her two children having a great time at the beach! Everyone is happy and healthy!

Shingles is a painful skin rash that usually appears in a strip, band, or small area on once side of the face/body. Symptoms include headache, light sensitivity, flu-like feeling (no fever), itching/tingling/pain in infected area, and rash that turns to fluid-filled blisters that crust over. Some people feel dizzy or weak. And some people may have vision changes or loss of vision due to rash around the eye or other more extreme complications.

This was once thought of as something you get when you’re getting up there in age–say, pushing 70–but really, people of a much younger age are coming down with scary cases of shingles. I believe this is because we live much faster-paced, high-stress lives than people once did.

College is a time of high-stress for many people. When you go off to college you’re on your own for often the first time, you’re eating poorly (or I was), staying up too late…I could go on, but you get it.

Meridith was one such unlucky college gal that got shingles–twice. While it’s not very common to have shingles twice (extremely uncommon to have shingles more than twice), some people do get it more than once.

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