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Preventive Medicine
Surviving the Spring Pollen
Apr 20, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Spring is in full swing! Before we get excited and bolt out the doors for warmer weather, it is important to remember that pollen production is high during this season. Spring allergies can be complex. So, where does pollen come from? How do you prevent the allergies? Here are some things to know.

Common Questions About Allergies

Allergies and asthma have an interesting relationship that can affect everyone in some way. See our "Surviving Allergies and Asthma" blog to learn more about the connection between the two.

Where Does Pollen Come From?

Pollen comes from trees, shrubs, and grass. Every spring, summer, and fall, pollen is released from these plants for fertilization. These tiny grains are carried in the wind and can trigger the common symptoms we know of – runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes. To keep the allergies down to a minimum, try avoiding these plant [...]

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Preventive Medicine
Surviving Allergies and Asthma
Mar 26, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Allergies and asthma are often partners in crime. With pollen production now in high gear, here are some things you should know, including who to see and where to go if you need treatment. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an estimated 60% of approximately 25 million asthma cases in the U.S. are allergy related, making it the most common type of asthma. Other kinds include:

  • Non-allergic · Exercise-induced, which occurs on during or after physical activity (see our “Understanding Exercise-Induced Asthma” blog for more)
  • Aspirin-induced, caused by a sensitivity to non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen for example
  • Cough-variant, where the chief or even the only sign is a constant dry cough that never produces mucus or phlegm
  • Thunderstorm asthma, which is a form of asthma the occurs when stormy winds

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Preventive Medicine
What You Should Know About the Stomach Flu
Feb 2, 2018 By Nick E. Colovos, MD, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM

Everyone on the planet has had or will have stomach flu. Would you be surprised to know that stomach flu isn’t really flu at all? It’s actually a virus (norovirus) — and it’s highly contagious. Stomach flu spreads from infected feces or vomit. Yuck, right? The best way to protect yourself and your family is for everyone to wash their hands often and well. If you’re changing diapers or cleaning up after a sick kid, clean up after yourself too. This bug spreads easily and is often picked up when we touch hard surfaces used by many (doorknobs, sink faucets, cutting boards). The best ways to keep things clean and virus-free is to:

  • Stay away from food prep areas if you’re sick or recovering
  • Wash your hands with soap + warm water—hand sanitizers don’t do as good of a job
  • Wear gloves to do laundry
  • Use disinfectant cleaners generously to kill viruses

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Preventive Medicine
Do You Know the Difference Between the Cold and the Flu?
Jan 22, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

We’re in the midst of a bad flu season that may last longer than most. But do you know the difference between the cold and the flu?  Both are respiratory illnesses that have similar symptoms. Although there is no distinct way to differentiate one from the other, it is important to know the type of symptoms and severity each one can cause. Additionally, special tests can be done within the first few days to determine the type of illness.

Common Cold

  • Symptoms are gradual
  • Slight aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Milder conditions compared to the flu

Flu (Influenza)

  • Symptoms are abrupt
  • Fever/feeling feverish (chills)
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches and fatigue (tiredness)
  • Chest discomfort
  • Some may have diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children)
Just like how the common cold [...]

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Preventive Medicine
Fighting Flu Symptoms? Know Where to Go to Get the Right Care
Dec 5, 2017 By Emory Healthcare

Since the flu virus is very contagious and can sometimes cause serious complications like pneumonia, knowing where to go can keep you and your family safe if the flu bug visits your home this season.

First, Know the Symptoms

Flu and cold symptoms can seem similar. While there’s no sure-fire way to tell the difference, one hint that it could be the flu is a very sudden onset of symptoms, such as:
  • Bad cough
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Feeling wiped out
  • Fever with chills
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting

Then, Know If You and Your Loved Ones Are Vulnerable

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people who get influenza will recover within a few weeks. But it is possible to develop complications as a result of the flu virus, ranging from mild (such as upper respiratory tract or ear infections) [...]

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Preventive Medicine
When to Get a Flu Shot
Oct 6, 2017 By Nick E. Colovos, MD, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM

Get the flu shotIt may be your best chance at preventing the flu—but do you know the best time to get your flu shot? If you get it too soon, you might not be as well protected. But since it typically takes your body two weeks from the time you get the shot to develop immunity, you don’t want to wait too late. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season usually runs from November through the end of April, so it’s best to get the flu shot as early in October as possible.

Who needs a flu shot?

Everyone’s at risk of being infected with the influenza virus and can spread it to others. That’s why the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against it every year, even if you’ve never had the flu. If you have a less-developed or compromised immune system, a yearly vaccination is especially important (even critical). Not only [...]

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Preventive Medicine
10/17/17 Medicare 101 Live Chat Transcript
Sep 25, 2017 By admin

The Annual Open Enrollment period for 2018 Medicare coverage began on October 15th. Our live chat was a great opportunity to learn the A, B, Cs…and Ds…of Medicare. Topics included:

  • Overview of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D
  • Explaining Medicare Advantage
  • Differences between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage
  • Turning 65 and applying for Medicare
  • How Medicare works if you’re turning 65 but don’t plan to retire
The live chat had a good turnout and the transcript is now available below.

Live Chat Transcript

Oct 17, 11:58 AM EmoryHealthcare (Admin): Hi everyone, we'll get started shortly! Oct 17, 12:01 PM EmoryHealthcare (Admin): Welcome everyone! Thanks for joining us today for our web chat about Medicare 101. Oct 17, 12:01 PM EmoryHealthcare (Admin): Please note that all questions are moderated before appearing in the stream, so you

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Preventive Medicine
Back-to-School Bugs & Beyond: Know Where to Go
Sep 5, 2017 By admin

Back to school bugsBack-to-school bugs mean your kids may soon be coming home sniffing, sneezing or showing other signs of battling a “bug”? Your kid’s classroom can be just the kind of enclosed space that makes a great breeding ground for viruses and bacteria to multiply and spread. According to the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) elementary school children catch eight to 12 colds or cases of flu each school year.

Back-to-School Bugs

Back-2-school brings kids back in touch with lots of other kids. It can be a stressful time even for kids who have the healthiest immune systems. Children returning to school may be exposed to:
  • Colds, cold sores, coughs
  • Pink eye
  • Stomach bugs
You can prepare your kids for battling any back to school bugs by strengthening their immune systems. Here’s how:
  • Get your kids back on a good sleep schedule
  • Boost diets with

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Preventive Medicine
Kid's Health: Common back-to-school illnesses and injuries
Aug 4, 2017 By preventive

Kid's Health Going back to school can tax your kid's health. Catching up with old friends and make new ones can be an exciting time, but one that puts them back in close contact with one another — with a result no one looks forward to: illnesses and injuries. In the first few months of a new school year, there are lots of germs going around. They’re on desks, keyboards, in the classroom and on the playground where accidents also happen. Over time, your child will become immune to many infectious diseases. In the meantime, teach him to wash his hands well —and often. If your child does come down with a bug, keep him home from school until he’s fever-free for 24 hours without medicine. Common kid's health back-to-school illnesses and injuries include:

  • “Backpack-itis”: Overstuffed backpacks can cause head, neck and shoulder pain as well as lead to bad posture. Use your

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