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12 Things You Must Know About Ebola

Ebola 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

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 and can’t get expert help.

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Lyme Disease: Tick Bites, Rash, Determining Your Risk

This is how small the tick that causes lyme disease can be.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

When someone comes in my office for a tick bite, their main concern is usually, what’s their risk for Lyme disease.

And I can’t blame them. Lyme disease from tick bite warnings are all over the media (one reason probably is New York is a high-risk state), and since the disease has only been recognized in the U.S. since 1975 (first suspected by a physician in Lyme, Connecticut, who was seeing kids with unusual symptoms) we’re still learning about it. This, and its rather general initial symptoms, make it rife for myth and speculation.

One thing’s for certain, Lyme disease is serious business. And it’s at full force in the summer because that’s when the ticks that spread it are most prevalent. So, in this post, I’ll try to answer some of the most common questions I’m asked.

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7 Truths about Tuberculosis and How They Affect You

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by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Lately I’ve had several interviewers ask me a question I haven’t been asked before: How contagious is tuberculosis? I’m guessing the reason is either the highly reported outbreak in a California classroom, a couple of publicized cases of multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis found in foreigners traveling here in the United States, or the news of camps of children—some reportedly with TB—at the U.S.-Mexican border.

But then, I should never be surprised that people would like to know about the risk of one of the oldest, deadliest, and still most worldwide prevalent diseases around. And since this could well be a deadly concern in disaster situations, I thought it a good subject to address.

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Knee Injury Prevention: Lessons Learned From Girls Soccer

Girls are more prone to knee injuries. Specific exercises can significantly decrease risk.

James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Question. What do adolescent girl athletes and the rest of us have in common? Answer. Knee injuries, of course :).

In fact, anyone who gets in a little too much of a hurry or doesn’t watch what they’re doing is susceptible. Add jumping or a quick pivot for whatever reason and your risk increased greatly.

A while back, I jumped off a porch with such a jar I thought I’d shaken my teeth out. The reason was I landed without bending my knees and it’s a wonder I didn’t injure one of them.

You can be in tiptop shape (unlike me), and have the strongest of legs and still get hurt—just because you land or pivot wrong.

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of recent research in knee injury prevention triggered by the growing amount of injuries in girls’ sports. It seems they are particularly prone to ACL tears. The keys are not only strength but balance, and training our brain to make our legs land in the correct position. A little preparation can go a long way to prevent a debilitating injury.

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Why It’s Possible to Drown in a Dry Parking Lot

Why It's Possible to Drown in a Dry Parking Lot | The Survival Doctor

Part 3 in my series on drowning. See all my posts about rescuing drowning victims here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Ever heard of parking lot drowning? That’s what lifeguards anyway. Others may call it secondary drowning.

It can happen minutes to hours after a near-drowning victim is revived. It can even happen to someone who didn’t nearly drown—who just sucked a little too much water down their lungs, coughed and choked, and then appeared perfectly fine.

Later on (maybe, say, sitting in a parking lot), the victim can suddenly become unable to get enough oxygen. If not treated they can, in essence, drown.

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When Someone’s Drowning: 4 Resuscitation Tips. (Some May Surprise You.)

When Someone’s Drowning: 4 Post-Rescue Tips. (Some May Surprise You.) | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

This is part 2 of my drowning series. See part 1, about essential swimming skills and rescuing drowning victims, here.

Once you pull someone drowning to safety, what next? If they’re unresponsive and not breathing, three things should be done at once if there are enough people around to do them: Call 911, start CPR, look for an AED machine.

In a survival situation, if you can’t call 911 and there’s no AED machine,

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Why You Might Need Swimming Lessons Even If You Can Swim

TSD-pinterestfb-watercompetency

James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Every year even good swimmers drown. Some are in an accident or become unconscious due to a seizure, alcohol, or another reason. Some drown trying to help others. And some just don’t know how to swim as well as they thought.

According to a survey done by the American Red Cross, 80 percent of Americans say they can swim, but only 56 percent can complete all five critical water safety skills that make up what’s known as “water competency.”

Could you? The skills are:

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7 Father’s Day Gifts to Keep Him Prepared

Special

James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Father’s Day is close at hand. How about getting the old man something a little different this year? Something he can use—that might even help him avoid or treat an injury.

Here are seven Father’s Day gifts that I think any man would relish. Since Father’s Day is close at hand, I made sure you could buy them all through Amazon Prime because if you sign up for a free trial, you can get many of them within a couple of days. The last on the list, if you wish, you can get directly from me.

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