Thursday, April 23, 2015

Keeping your family safe from botulism.

     You are likely aware of the botulism outbreak in Lancaster, Ohio. It appears tied to contaminated food from a potluck dinner at a Lancaster church. Botulism can be deadly, as we have seen during this outbreak. The bacteria that causes botulism, called Clostridium botulinum, is most often transmitted from fruit, vegetables, seafood, and honey. The Dispatch has an excellent article about protecting your family from botulism and it can be found here. If you have difficulty accessing that article, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has an excellent page dedicated to information about botulism and its prevention. That page can be found here. Stay healthy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring 2015 Allergies

     As Spring is in full bloom in Central Ohio, allergy season is in full bloom also. Here in the middle of April, the trees are pollenating, the grass is pollenating (a little early this year), and the mold counts are quite high. The molds are a tricky one. There are molds that prefer dry conditions and molds that prefer wet conditions. During the Spring, when it rains for a few days then warms up and is sunny and windy (something that has happened frequently this last 4 weeks), the mold counts are high.
     There is an excellent website that gives frequent updates about allergy counts. It is the AAAAI site, a national professional allergy group. The closest reporting station is in Dayton, Ohio and here is the link. If you are wondering "What is out there today, allergy wise?", this is an excellent resource.
     Although years ago everything was by prescription only, now the vast majority of allergy medicines are over the counter: the big three antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra), two of the top nasal sprays (Nasacort and Flonase), and the allergy eye drops Zaditor and Patanol. The doses are on the package or check our website.
     If you are having problems keeping the symptoms under control, contact us to discuss what further needs to be done to help.

Measles Update

     As you have heard in the news, there has been an increase in the number of cases of measles in the United States this past year. Nearly 75% of them are linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. Sadly, this outbreak, along with the recent increases in the cases of whooping cough and mumps, is related to fewer persons being immunized. This lowers the immunity of a group of people and leads to outbreaks such as what is being seen. None of the doctors at Hilliard Pediatrics has seen a case of the measles. We hope it stays that way!
     People who have received two doses of the vaccine of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine are very well protected. The majority of the people that have been infected in the recent outbreak have not received both doses. Of the more than 100 California residents infected, only 6% had received both doses!
     Like many other illnesses, the signs and symptoms of measles are common ones. It is the exact symptoms that help us decide when a patient has measles. Eight to 14 days after exposure a fever, cough, cold, and spots in the inside cheeks of the mouth (Koplik spots) occur. A rash begins on the face and head and spreads downward, becoming widespread and obvious on the legs and buttocks on the third day of the illness. Common serious complications are encephalitis and pneumonia.
     It appears this recent outbreak is winding down. As always, we recommend you have your children vaccinated at 1 year of age and 5 years of age. This two-shot series safely provides excellent protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.