Infections That Peak in the Spring and Summer: What Can Be Done to Avoid Them?

Winter and illness seem to go hand-in-hand. Ordinarily, the cold months represent the height of flu season. In 2020, cold weather also ushered in the most deadly COVID surges. Surprisingly, however, some infections are actually more prevalent in the spring and summer, as we discuss below: Chickenpox Although often seen in late winter, chickenpox tends to peak in the first few months of spring. Experts regard this as a seasonal illness, although many have been relieved to see vaccination efforts keep the spread to a minimum. Still, minor outbreaks continue to occur in April and May, Outbreaks are also common…

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April 24, 2021 – Annual Drug Take Back Day

National Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 24th from 10AM-2PM. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, participation in the annual National Drug Take-Back Day is the best way to get rid of your expired or unused prescription medications in a safe and effective way. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) stated reason for Take Back Day is to “provide opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.” Abused prescription drugs are considered both crucial public safety and public health issues. Listed below are local “National Drug Take Back Day” participating locations and addresses: Fairfax County, Virginia: Fair Oaks District…

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Surprising Dangers of Physical Rehab Centers

Physical rehab centers promise to promote long-term recovery, but research suggests that, for some patients, they may cause more harm than good. A 2016 report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that nearly one-third of patients staying in these centers suffered adverse events, often due to negligence. Nearly one-quarter of these patients were ultimately sent to acute care hospitals. Common issues cited in this report include: Medication Errors Nearly half of the rehab center incidents referenced in the 2016 HHS study involved medication errors. Mismanaged drugs included everything from blood thinners to narcotic painkillers. Errors can…

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How Political Instability Can Impact Us Emotionally And Physically: What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves?

  From election drama to Black Lives Matter protests and debates about the merits of various COVID interventions, political instability is the name of the game in 2021. While it’s important to remain informed and engaged, our emotional and physical health matters too — and both have been negatively impacted by the political difficulties of the past several months. Keep reading to discover why our health is at stake and what we can do to address the problem: How Political Instability Harms Our Health Political problems manifest in poor health due to both the poor execution of public policies, and…

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Updated Rules Governing Lead in Drinking Water

Since 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead and copper rule has governed our nation’s efforts to reduce lead in drinking water. This rule has often been criticized as overly complicated, under-enforced, and insufficiently strong to protect Americans’ health. However, as of just recently, the federal government provided a revised 409-page version of the lead and copper rule that provides new protections and closes previously available loopholes. The Good Under the new revisions, water utilities are required to test for lead at schools and child-care facilities every five years, and must do the same at secondary schools upon request. In addition,…

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What You Need to Know About the Recently Released COVID Vaccines: Part 1

  After nearly a year of dealing with COVID in the United States, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. Multiple vaccines have been approved for emergency use and are in the early stages of being administered to health care workers and the nation’s most vulnerable residents. We hold great hope in the COVID vaccines, but will they really be the miracle cure that we desire? Are they as dangerous as the skeptics claim? We delve into the greatest concerns and opportunities in this three-part blog series. Which Vaccines Will Be Available in the United States? As of…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Protecting Your Immune System From the Flu and COVID This Winter

Social distancing and mask-wearing may be key measures for reducing the spread of COVID, but the status of your immune system also matters. Unfortunately, the sheer stress of navigating a pandemic has done a number on our collective immune response — and this does not bode well as flu season approaches. Take this time to bolster your immune system by implementing these key strategies: Fix Your Diet Stress eating may be a common coping mechanism during COVID, but it’s exactly what we should be avoiding at this sensitive time. Instead of turning to junk food, stock your fridge and freezer…

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The Great Barrington Declaration And COVID: Part II

  Signed in early October, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration proposes an alternate method for handling the COVID pandemic. This statement advocates for a risk-based approach to mitigation, in which most people under the age of 60 are able to go about their lives as usual, while older individuals take extra precautions. In the first part of our blog series on the Great Barrington Declaration, we delved into the specifics of how this approach to COVID mitigation might work. Now, we’ll take a closer look at the individuals who signed the document, as well as the primary sources of criticism…

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When Should You Consider Getting a Second Medical Opinion?

You’ve visited your doctor in search of answers to your most urgent medical issues. Now, your gut tells you that their response was off. Intuition holds far more value than many health care professionals will acknowledge, so it may be worth your while to seek a second opinion. Keep the following considerations in mind as you continue your hunt for answers: Your Symptoms Have Yet to Disappear If your symptoms persist even after you follow your doctor’s instructions, an incorrect diagnosis may be to blame. Don’t assume you need to continue living with pain or discomfort. A second opinion may…

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