Tag archives for: public health,

Two glasses of sparkling water with lemon sit on a table on a summer day

Swimming in sweetness

Categories: Children's Health  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Wellness

So how much sugar is lurking in the things you eat and drink? It adds up. That popular sports drink, for example, has five teaspoons of sugar. That orange soda contains a whopping 13 teaspoons. Last year, the World Health Organization recommended that healthy adults consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day — half the amount of their previous recommendation. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six to nine teaspoons per day. (UPDATE: The federal government’s advisory panel on nutrition released new recommendations Thursday, for the first time advising specific limits on added sugar, saying it should …Read More >

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Ebola under a microscope in a colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM)

Setting up defenses against Ebola

Categories: Infections  /  News

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa —along with the first patient diagnosed in the United States, who died Wednesday in a Dallas hospital — has raised concerns about whether the disease could ignite and spread in this country. But doctors and public health officials in San Antonio say that’s unlikely. They are confident the city is well-prepared to deal with this latest disease threat, should the need arise. “Our organization has the staff, facilities, protective equipment and the standard healthcare practices to properly protect ourselves, our patients and our community, just as we do every day against many infectious agents,” …Read More >

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A young RN holds a newborn baby upright at a medical examination

Protecting kids from preventable illnesses

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

While parents in Bexar County are doing a little better than in the nation as a whole at getting their young children vaccinated, Bexar still lags behind much of Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The CDC released its 2013 National Immunization Survey of children 19 to 35 months of age. Bexar County is one of only a half dozen cities or counties that provide local data to the survey. In 2013, 70.6 percent of Bexar County children had received the complete recommended seven-vaccine series, compared to 70.4 percent for the nation as a whole.  For …Read More >

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Up close view of mosquito sucking blood from a human

A West Nile warning

Categories: Infections  /  News

It’s back. The first case of West Nile virus in Texas this year has surfaced 80 miles to the north, in Travis County, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported last week. West Nile is a mosquito-borne infection. And experts say the best protection for you and your family is to use insect repellent outdoors, and to drain standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including buckets, flowerpots, birdbaths — even old tires. “West Nile virus infections generally occur in the late summer to early fall,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist and assistant professor of medicine at …Read More >

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A microscopic view of MERS in black and white

Guarding against MERS

Categories: Blog  /  Infections

This month, the first two known cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, were reported in the United States. In case you haven’t been following the news, MERS is a worrisome new infection that first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, MERS has expanded to six countries in Southwest Asia — although individual cases have also occurred in Europe and Malaysia. MERS is part of a family of infectious organisms known as coronaviruses. It causes severe respiratory illness, with no known effective treatment. With growing frequency, public health experts are sounding the alarm on another new disease …Read More >

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A mother smiles as she holds her newborn baby girl who is smiling back at her

Simple test saving newborns

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  Pregnancy

A beautiful newborn baby — by all appearances perfectly healthy — goes home from the hospital in the care of delighted parents. What they don’t know is that within that tiny, beating heart lies an undiagnosed defect that can surface tragically, days or weeks later, without warning. Beginning Sept. 1, hospitals were required to begin screening newborns for these life-threatening heart problems before they’re discharged, so they can be treated in time. A new state law, H.B. 740, adds the screening to the list of conditions babies must be tested for. “These cases are heartbreaking because the babies often leave …Read More >

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An adult female nurse receiving an intramuscular immunization from female doctor

Sounding the alarm on flu

When the flu virus tried to sneak into San Antonio a couple of flu seasons ago, it was Kathleen Lawless who sounded the alarm. Lawless, manager of Microbiology Services at University Health System, oversees a staff of 45 medical laboratory scientists and some impressive technology occupying a maze of labs on University Hospital’s third floor. She and her team hunts down and identifies the viruses and bacteria that make people sick. They have plenty of business, in a sprawling healthcare system that handles 830,000 outpatient visits and 22,000 hospital admissions each year. With such a large volume, the lab often …Read More >

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