Warning: Avoid these novel treats in shopping malls and restaurants
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If your grandkids urge you to indulge them in a popular new snack at the mall, just say no. The FDA is warning that consuming products with liquid nitrogen added at the last minute can lead to injury. The products are marketed under names such as “Dragon’s Breath” and “Nitro Puff.” They’re cheese puffs or cereal pieces that are frozen in liquid nitrogen and then dipped in a special sauce. When you put them in your mouth, the products release vapor that looks like smoke. Liquid nitrogen is also added to some cocktails to make them look like they’re emitting fog. But the FDA says all of these products can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs and may cause breathing problems. The agency advises you to avoid the products.
Flu shots are available for all adults 19 years and older and children between the ages of 8 and 18. Please call the office (508) 833-8020 to schedule an appointment.
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ALERT RESIDENTS ABOUT
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO MEASLES AT AN AREA HOSPITAL AND OTHER LOCATIONS
Those exposed or developing symptoms are urged to call their healthcare provider
BOSTON (August, 23, 2018) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC). The individual, during their infectious period, was in a number of locations that could have resulted in exposures to other people. Measles is very contagious and people who are not immune and visited the locations on the below specified dates may be at risk for developing measles or may now be developing symptoms of the disease. Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.
DPH urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures. Lahey hospital has been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and is collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.
Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times:
Facility: Location: Dates and times
Logan Airport Terminal B Boston 8/15, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Lexington High School Library 251 Waltham St., Lexington 8/16, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex 80 Worthen Rd., Lexington 8/19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lahey Outpatient Center, Lexington 16 Hayden Ave., Lexington 8/20, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Emergency Department 8/20, 1:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central and 5 Central (ICU and CCU) 8/20 from 8:00 p.m. to 8/21 at 9:00 p.m.
Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.
Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.
People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.
People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:
- Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
- Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.
“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated. If they become ill we ask them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”
For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. Further information is available on the DPH website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/measles.pdf
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide. This wide-scale increase was driven by expanding and intensifying positive mosquito findings.
For additional information on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness, please visit.
Avoid Mosquito Bites:
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
3. Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
5. Extra batteries
6. First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
8. Multi-purpose tool
9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
11. Cell phone with chargers
12. Family and emergency contact information
13. Extra cash
14. Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]
15. Map(s) of the area
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Be Red Cross Ready
Good News! As of May 1, 2018 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will reimburse for the Shingrix vaccine for adults age 50+. Harvard Pilgrim may be the next insurance to sign on. Other private insurers will allow payment beginning September 1, 2018. Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for the Shingrix vaccine. A second injection is required 2-6 months after the first. Please call the office for more information (508) 833-8020 or to schedule an appointment.
It’s time to start preparing for the Cape Cod tick season. Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, miyamotoi, and now Powassan are names you should be familiar with.
TickSmart “To-Do” List for May
Spray all outdoor shoes with Permethrin
Make sure pets are protected
Have yard treated with effective tick killers
Be especially vigilant about doing daily tick checks
Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Ticks These Days by Thomas Mather
Back in the day, we had ticks. Big, yucky American dog ticks. They usually crawled to the top of your head, you felt a lump, pulled the tick out, flushed them (or found some other form of revenge), and that was that. Usually no one got sick. Ticks were mostly just an annoyance, and that’s what people knew about ticks. American dog ticks are still around but these days, there’s another tick, a tiny blacklegged tick, smaller than a freckle.
It’s also known as the deer tick, and it crawls up under clothes, latches on without much fanfare, and these ticks are LOADED with disease-causing pathogens.
Once attached to people or pets, deer ticks are just hard to find! Their numbers are on the rise and they occur in more & more places – even your backyard! Read our “Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Ticks These Days” and stay disease-free.
Top Ten Things
10. Ticks crawl up
Ticks don’t jump, fly, or drop from trees onto your head and back. If you find one attached there, it most likely latched onto your foot or leg and crawled up over your entire body. Ticks are “programmed” to try and attach around your head or ears. On their normal hosts, ticks also usually crawl up; they want to blood feed around the head, neck, and ears of their host, where the skin is thinner and hosts have more trouble grooming.
9. All ticks (including deer ticks) come in small, medium and large sizes
Ticks hatch from eggs and develop through three active (and blood-feeding) stages: larvae (small-the size of sand grains); nymphs (medium-the size of poppy seeds); adults (large-the size of apple seeds). If you see them bigger, they’re probably partially-full or full of blood.
8. Ticks can be active even in the winter
That’s right! Adult stage deer ticks become active every year after the first frost. They’re not killed by freezing temperatures, and while other ticks enter a feeding diapause as day-lengths get shorter, deer ticks will be active any winter day that the ground is not snow-covered or frozen. This surprises people, especially during a January thaw or early spring day. Remember this fact and hopefully you’ll never be caught off-guard.
7. Ticks carry disease-causing microbes
Tick-transmitted infections are more common these days than in past decades. With explosive increases in deer populations, extending even into semi-urban areas in the eastern and western U.S., the trend is for increasing abundance and geographic spread of deer ticks and Lone Star ticks; and scientists are finding an ever-increasing list of disease-causing microbes transmitted by these ticks: Lyme disease bacteria, Babesia protozoa, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and other rickettsia, even encephalitis-causing viruses, and possibly Bartonella bacteria. Back in the day, tick bites were more of an annoyance but now a bite is much more likely to make you sick.
6. Only deer ticks transmit Lyme disease bacteria
The only way to get Lyme disease is by being bitten by a deer tick or one of its “cousins” found around the world. Deer ticks also are known as blacklegged ticks in the U.S., sheep ticks in Europe, or Taiga ticks in Asia. Dog ticks, Lone star ticks and other types of ticks just don’t seem to be able to transmit Lyme disease. While that’s good news, it makes saving any tick that you find biting more important so you can identify it. Doing so may save a lot of unnecessary doctor visits and treatments.
5. For most tick-borne diseases, you have at least 24 hours to find and remove a feeding tick before it transmits an infection. Powassan virus is an exception.
Even a quick daily tick check at bath or shower time can be helpful in finding and removing attached ticks before they can transmit an infection. You’ll probably want to check even more carefully if you know you’ve likely been exposed. Many of the disease-causing microbes transmitted by ticks need a “re-activation” period in the tick once it begins to feed. The germs eventually make their way into the tick’s salivary glands and the tick spits them into you while feeding. Some infections, especially viruses, move into the tick salivary glands faster than others. Lyme disease bacteria take at least 24 hours to invade the tick’s saliva.
4. Deer tick nymphs look like a poppy seed on your skin
And with about 1 out of 4 nymphal deer ticks carrying the Lyme disease spirochete and other nasty germs in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and upper mid-western U.S., it’s important to know what you’re really looking for. They’re easy to miss, their bites are generally painless, and they have a habit of climbing up (under clothing) and biting in hard-to-see places.
3. The easiest and safest way to remove a tick is with a pointy tweezer
Think of a tick as a little germ-filled balloon. Squeeze it too hard on its back end, and all the germs get pushed to the front end, which by the way, is attached to you by the tick’s straw-like mouthpart. Using really pointy tweezers, it’s possible to grab even the poppy-seed sized nymphs right down next to the skin. The next step is to simply pull the tick out like a splinter. Don’t worry if the mouthpart stays in your skin as long as you’ve got the rest of the tick by its head. Other tick removal methods, like a hot match, Vaseline, dish soap and cotton, or various little key-like devices don’t work as consistently as pointy tweezers on all types of ticks. Remember to save the tick and try to identify it (see # 6).
2. Clothing with built-in tick repellent is best for preventing tick bites
An easy way to avoid tick bites and disease is to wear clothing (shoes, socks, shorts or pants, and shirt) with permethrin tick repellent built-in. This strategy can be especially effective for protecting children. Dressing kids in tick repellent clothes everyday is a safe and easy way to keep ticks from biting and transmitting disease. Commercially-treated tick repellent clothes last through at least 70 washes, while using kits or sprays to treat your current outdoor wardrobe can last through 6 washes. Tick repellent on clothing, not skin is something everyone needs to know about to stay safe outdoors.
Top Ten Things Thumb
1. Tick bites and tick-borne diseases are completely preventable
There’s really only one way you get a tick-transmitted disease and that’s from a tick bite. Reducing tick abundance in your yard where you spend a lot of time, wearing tick repellent clothing everyday, treating pets every month with tick repellent spot-on products, getting into a habit of doing a quick body scan for attached poppy-seed sized or larger ticks, and pulling ticks off quickly and safely are all great actions for preventing tick bites. These days, ticks are more than just an annoyance. One bite can make you sick, even change your life! Remember these 10 things and you’ll stay safer.
The author is professor of public health entomology at the University of Rhode Island, and is director of the non-profit TickEncounter© Resource Center. His Think T.I.C.K Take ACTION! strategy and toolbox for tick-safe living is available on www.tickencounter.org.