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Measles Outbreak 2015: What’s the Big Deal?

Measles outbreak 2015: What's the big deal? This is. | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Every year we have a few measles outbreaks in the U.S., but they’re still pretty limited to a few hundred people. You’ve probably heard about the most recent one that started in Disneyland and may have led to over 100 people getting the measles so far in 2015.

The worry is the outbreaks are going to get more frequent and bigger, and that’s not just because of people coming to the U.S. from countries where fewer children are vaccinated, as some have speculated. The percentage of children getting vaccinated in the U.S. is down to 91 percent. Compare that to 89 percent in Mexico, for example, and you can see there’s not a lot of difference.

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How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last? 10 FAQs

How long do the flu symptoms last? Here are more flu answers from The Survival Doctor: http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2015/02/02/how-long-do-flu-symptoms-last/.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Doc, how call I tell the flu from a cold? Should I get seen? How long do the flu symptoms last?

Both online and in clinic, I get a lot of questions about the flu. In this post I’ll answer some of the most commonly asked.

Q: How do I know if I have the flu?

A: When seeing a patient for aches, pains, and fever, here are some of the clues that make me think I’m dealing with the flu:

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The Top 10 Most Popular Posts About Surviving Colds and the Flu

The Top 10 Most Popular Posts About Surviving Colds and the Flu | The Survival Doctor

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by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

The difference between cold and flu symptoms is somewhat a question of severity. Whereas a cold may make you feel like you’ve just run a race, the flu makes you feel like someone beat you with a baseball bat along the way. A cold can make you ache and feel fatigued. You can feel miserable and even run a low-grade fever or 100 F or so. But the flu puts you in the bed (where you should be). If you don’t listen to your body and take care of yourself, you could end up in the hospital. People die from the flu.

Just in time to celebrate the upcoming cold and flu season, here are my most popular posts about surviving colds and the flu for 2014.

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Sensation-Free Ebola Facts: What We Know and What We Don’t

Sensation-Free Ebola Facts: What We Know and What We Don’t | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In the medical field, other than death, nothing is absolute. One radio interviewer told me recently he would never be comfortable about the Ebola risks until we knew absolutely everything about it and there was zero risk for everyone. Guess what. He’s never going to be comfortable.

Part of the Ebola fear fuel in America right now is the fact that we don’t know everything about this disease. And when questions arise, people come out of the woodwork with answers, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Often, their answers boil down to: Well, we don’t know, but maybe, and if so, yikes!

All I know to do is go with what we do know now. As with any disease, we can ask: How much at risk are we? Can we can change any of our actions to reduce our risk? Is it worth it to us to change those actions? And if what we know changes, we can reassess the risk.

The facts, for now, Oct 20, 2014:

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3 Childhood Illnesses That Cause Swollen Necks

3 Illnesses That Cause Swollen Necks

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

When you’re sick and go to the doctor, one of the first things we often do is feel your neck. We’re looking for swelling in certain places, which can indicate an infection.

So if your child gets sick and you’re unable to get expert help, if there’s swelling in the neck, that can give you clues about what’s going on.

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4 Common Causes of Coughs in Kids—With a Printable Chart

4 Common Causes of Coughs in Kids—With a Printable Chart | The Survival Doctor

Part 2 in my childhood charts series. See more charts here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

This is part two of my series about tips on recognizing childhood illness. Last time, I talked about illnesses with rashes. This time, it’s illnesses that come with bad coughs.

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Disease-Scare Burnout? 4 Action Tips to Help Prevent Almost Any Infection

Disease-Scares. Best Tips Everyone Can Do To Prevent Any Infection Any Time.

Disease scares getting you down? 4 action-based tips you can take other than just worry.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Scares … can be quite scary. And the scarier the news, the more it sells. So headlines emphasize the worst scenario.

A few years back, a producer of a popular television program told me their crew called this phenomenon of headlining the latest bad health news their “scare of the week.”

Well, OK, they’ve scared us. Now what do we do?

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12 Things You Must Know About Ebola

Ebola Risks and Air Travel

Ebola Facts, Risks, and Air Travel

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Ebola is highly contagious and kills nine out of 10 people infected. So, why do I think headlines like USA Today’s “Ebola only a plane ride away from USA.” paint the wrong picture? Now that I think of it, why does my first sentence do the same? It’s all about perspective.

First, a little background.

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Ye Olde Childhood Rashes Chart: Quick-Reference for Today’s Outbreaks

Ye Olde Childhood Rashes Chart: Quick-Reference for Today’s Outbreaks

This is the first in my series of childhood-illness charts. See more here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Unless you’re of a certain age, you may have never seen some of the diseases in the chart on the next page. Join the crowd; many younger doctors haven’t either. Measles and rubella, which used to be so common, have been close to wiped out in the U.S. Chickenpox cases have come down to an estimated 80 percent of what they were in the 1990s. (Scarlet fever cases have remained about the same, but they’re still pretty rare compared with fifth disease and roseola.)

So why should you care about them? The words “close to” are key.

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About That Recall: Tips to Tell If You Get Listeria (Even Months Later!)

Nectarines and Peaches in latest Listeria Recall

Nectarines and peaches are in latest listeria recall.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Listeria symptoms can sometimes take weeks to develop. Here are some tips on protecting yourself and your family—plus what to do if you get sick and can’t get expert help.

Every so often, listeria gets in the news because of an outbreak found in commercial produce. The latest one is in peaches and nectarines at certain grocery stores, including Kroger, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Recalls happen periodically, and you should take them seriously. The one in cantaloupes in 2011 killed 33 and caused one miscarriage, and that was with a very quick, very publicized recall.

One of the problems is the listeria symptoms can be pretty generalized in most people, and sometimes it can take as long as 70 days from infection to symptoms. Meantime, a lot of people could have eaten the contaminated food.

Other than depending on recalls, there are precautions you can take, whether you buy your produce or are living off the land. And of course I’ll tell you what to do if you get the symptoms [… continue reading]