Health/Fitness

H1N1 CAUSING SEVERE FLU CASES LOCALLY

January 5, 2014 (San Diego) -- Flu activity is increasing across the nation and San Diego is no exception.

While flu activity in San Diego has not reached the high levels being seen in some parts of the country, more cases are being reported here compared to the same time last year.

To date, 357 lab-confirmed influenza cases have been reported in San Diego. This is over 1.5 times higher than the 216 cases reported at the same time last year. The number of lab-confirmed cases reported this past week is 154, double the number reported this same week last year.  The flu reports this year are still within the expected range.


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A HEARTY RECOVERY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Leon Thompson also contributed to this report

January 3, 2014 -- As many of you know, our cofounder of East County Magazine and our own "East County Eater" columnist Leon Thompson recently had open heart surgery to patch him up after years of indulgent eating clogged up his arteries.  Already a survivor of one heart attack, like many people in this situation, Leon was initially hesitant to undergo such a seemingly drastic procedure.

Five days after his operation, which wound up being a quintuple bypass, Leon  insisted that we bring our sound equipment to his room at Grossmont Hospital so that he won't miss a beat in recording for our radio show. For his return to the radio, we started out by interviewing Leon on his amazing recovery, which is an inspiration to anyone facing open heart surgery. 

Hear for yourself how energetic he's feeling - and how he's already setting the pace for walking a mile a day around the recovery ward.

This interview originally aired on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ Radio:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/1x5gj5h5h7/Leon-HospitalInterviewPost-Surgery.mp3 .

(Note: You can also read Leon's "Heartfelt Message" to our readers, penned along with a review of hospital food just days before his surgery, here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/heartfelt-message)


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT CONTINUES LEASE NEGOTIATIONS WITH SHARP HEALTHCARE

 

January 2, 2014 (La Mesa)--The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), the public agency that serves as landlord of Grossmont Hospital, has announced it is continuing negotiations with Sharp HealthCare to add another 30 years to its existing lease agreement for the operation of the La Mesa hospital.

The GHD board recently voted to finalize discussions with Sharp officials to extend the current 30-year lease, which was signed in 1991 and is scheduled to expire on May 30, 2021. The parties are discussing extending the lease to May 29, 2051.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

January 1, 2014  (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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SURGE IN LAST-MINUTE ENROLLMENTS FOR OBAMACARE

 

Could Obamacare provide impetus for a county hospital in East County?

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Consumers signing up for  new healthcare options or “Obamacare” through Healthcare.gov rose seven-fold in December, when over 975,000 people enrolled.  From October 1 through December 24, a total of 1.1 million people signed up for the new health insurance marketplaces nationwide.  Over a million more signed up through state websites, bringing the total to two-thirds of the 3 million goal set by the White House.

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called this a “welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable heatlh care coverage,” adding hat the surge came in part because “we met our marks on improving HealthCare.gov.” She added that the site supported 83,000 concurrent users on December 23rd alone before the deadline to sign up for coverage starting January 1.


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VISITING ANGELS LAUNCHES HALO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

 

 

December 24, 2013 (El Cajon) --The Halo Community Foundation has been established, just in time for a holiday gift to help people in need in our community, Visiting Angels has announced.   The mission of the Halo Community Foundation is to provide quality in-home care to low-income individuals suffering from illnesses, disabilities, and/or physical impairments.

The Visiting Angels’ East County Office can assist low income individuals receive critical in-home care for a better quality of life.  The foundation provides care to qualified individuals based upon needs and income level free of charge. 


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BOIL WATER ORDERED ISSUED FOR CLOVER FLAT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

December 19, 2013 (Boulevard)--The County Department of Environmental Health has issued a boil water order yesterday for Clover Flat Elementary School after testing showed coliform bacteria in its drinking water system.


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SCIENCE AND HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

December 19,  2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

SCIENCE

HEALTH

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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REPORT: MORE CALIFORNIA CHILDREN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE

 

December 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County-) -- More California children are getting the health care coverage they need. According to a report from Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, more than 100,000 California kids gained health insurance between 2010 and 2012, which puts the state's uninsured rate among children at about 8 percent.

Despite high poverty rates and a weak economic recovery, said the Georgetown Center's executive director, Joan Alker, children's access to health coverage is improving through federal and state programs.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE SMARTPHONE APP FOR HEART ATTACK RESPONSE

 

December 4, 2013 (San Diego) — By a 5-0 vote, San Diego Supervisors Tuesday approved efforts to add the PulsePoint smartphone app to regional 9-1-1 emergency systems. The system enables notification of trained citizen volunteers to respond quickly to cases of sudden cardiac arrest and initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while awaiting medical responders. The measure was introduced by Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn.

Nearly 1,000 lives are lost daily in the U.S. due to sudden cardiac arrest, which can occur even in active, seemingly healthy people with no history of heart disease. Cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death among adults over age 40 in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association, of 383,000 people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest, 90% die.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS DIRECT CONSTITUENTS TO PHONY CA HEALTHCARE “RESOURCE” SITE

 

"It's outrageous that our elected officials in California are using taxpayer dollars to intentionally mislead their constituents and divert them from CoveredCA.com ... Republicans in California should be ashamed… the GOP’s newest tactics is to lie to voters and prevent sick people from getting the care they need.”—Dr. Paul Song, oncologist and Courage Campaign executive director

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2013 (San Diego)—The California Assembly Republican Caucus, chaired by East County representative Brian Jones (R-Santee), is taking heat for creating a phony website (http://www.coveringhealthcareca.com/) designed to divert consumers from the state’s official Covered California site (https://www.coveredca.com/). 

Covered California is the website for consumers to get information on new healthcare exchanges and sign up for healthcare coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Republican members including Jones are promoting the sham healthcare site, labeled a “California Resource Guide” directly to constituents on their official Assembly websites paid for by taxpayers.


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TICK NUMBERS ON THE UPTICK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

November 25, 2013 (San Diego) --Ticks might be tiny, but they can pack a punch when it comes to affecting your health. The County’s Health and Human Services Agency warns of an increased possibility of contracting a tick-borne disease.

“It’s important to know that there are several diseases carried by ticks,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., County Public Health Officer. “People who work or play in grassy or brushy areas need to take special care to avoid exposure to ticks.”

In 2012, HHSA received reports of San Diego County residents with confirmed or probable tick-borne illnesses.  This included 14 cases of Lyme disease, two cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, two cases of other rickettsial diseases (which include spotted and typhus fever), and one case of ehrlichiosis, a bacterial disease affecting people and animals. Ticks can also carry tularemia and cause tick paralysis.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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DON’T GO IN THE WATER

By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2013 (San Diego) -- The County Department of Environmental Health has issued a warning for swimmers and surfers to avoid coastal waters for at least 72 hours after the rainstorms currently moving across the region.

Levels of bacteria in ocean waters and Mission Bay can rise to dangerous levels after a rainstorm due to urban runoff, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets.


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STATIN DRUG GUIDELINES BROADENED TO INCLUDE MILLIONS MORE PATIENTS

 

By Leon Thompson

Critics cite pharmaceutical funding of organizations pushing new guidelines

November 17, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Many more American may soon be prescribed statin drugs to prevent heart disease. That’s due to new guidelines just released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology for use of cholesterol lowering drugs – specifically statins.


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PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES IMPROVEMENTS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT: CONSUMERS CAN KEEP EXISTING PLANS FOR ANOTHER YEAR

 

November 15, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama yesterday announced changes aimed at fixing flaws in the Affordable Healthcare Act and the roll-out of ‘Obamacare.’

A key change is to allow consumers with individual healthcare coverage to keep their existing policies for another year. The move comes in response to criticism that some insurers had cancelled policies despite promises made by the White House that consumers could keep their existing healthcare plans if they chose to do so. An assessment will be done to determine whether additional changes or extensions are needed.


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VIRTUAL DENTAL CLINIC TO HELP UNDERSERVED CHILDREN

 

By California News Service

November 14, 2013 (San Diego) – Going to the dentist is getting easier for children in California, because the dentist is coming to them. A "Virtual Dental Home" system being launched in Los Angeles today is designed to benefit low-income children enrolled in L.A. County's Head Start programs. The system was created at the University of the Pacific, and is being demonstrated in communities from Eureka to San Diego.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

November 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.


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SALADS AND SANDWICHES RECALLED DUE TO E-COLI

Sandwiches and salads sold by Glass Onion Catering, a California company, have been recalled due to possible contamination with e-coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.  There have been 15 cases of bacterial illness believed to be associated with the products so far.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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COUNTY TO CONSIDER REGULATING E-CIGARETTES

November 6, 2013 (San Diego)--The popularity of electronic smoking devices is increasing and on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors directed staff to review the County’s smoking and tobacco use policy to determine how “e-cigarettes” fit into it.

County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) staff were asked to come back to the Board in 90 days with recommendations to address electronic vapor devices. The battery-operated devices vaporize liquid nicotine into an aerosol mist that can be inhaled or “vaped.”


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REVOLUTIONARY BRAIN SCANNING TECHNOLOGY UNVEILED IN SAN DIEGO

 

November 6, 2013 (San Diego) – The Center for Tomography Research Laboratory (CTECH Labs) will introduce the latest technology in brain scanning at the 6th International IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference on Neural Engineering at the Sheraton Hotel, San Diego, on November 7th at 3:00 PM PST.

The Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (or the ECVT) was first developed by CTECH Labs to enable 4D brain activity scanning. The technology offers low-cost, radiation-free, instantaneous detection of abnormalities in the brain caused by tumors, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other brain dysfunctions.


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WHOOPING COUGH ON THE RISE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Five new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, have been reported at area schools this week according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.  The new cases include a student at Maryland Avenue Elementary School in La Mesa here in East County.

There have been 216 cases of pertussis reported in the county so far this year, compared to last year’s total of 165 cases for the entire year, so the rate of whooping cough is on the rise.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

October 31, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

WHY ARE JERKY TREATS MAKING PETS SICK? FDA ASKS HELP FROM VETERINARIANS AND PUBLIC

October 23, 2013 (Washington D.C.) -- If you have a dog or cat that became ill after eating jerky pet treats, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would like to hear from you or your veterinarian.

The agency has repeatedly issued alerts to consumers about reports it has received concerning jerky pet treat-related illnesses involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats in the U.S. since 2007. Approximately 580 of those pets have died.

To date, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has conducted more than 1,200 tests, visited jerky pet treat manufacturers in China and collaborated with colleagues in academia, industry, state labs and foreign governments. Yet the exact cause of the illnesses remains elusive.

To gather even more information, FDA is reaching out to licensed veterinarians and pet owners across the country.


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WHOOPING COUGH CASE AT HELIX IN LA MESA

October 18, 2013 (San Diego) --  A 15-year-old student at Helix Charter High School in La Mesa has contracted whooping cough.  The disease was also reported at three other schools in San Diego County this week. Countywide, 202 cases have been reported so far this year – up from 127 cases for the same period last year, or roughly a 50 percent increase.


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DROOPY EARLOBES? GO UP A NOTCH

By Rebecca J. Wllliamson

October 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East Coutny) -- Droopy earlobes?  Here’s my solution: go up a notch.  Get a hole pierced higher than your original hole--not up the side of the earlobe but directly above.  This allows the lower hole to heal, over time. Wear dangling earrings  to camouflage the original piercing.


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USDA HEALTH ALERT: SALMONELLA LINKED TO CHICKENS IN CALIFORNIA

 

 October 7, 2013 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)  has issued a broad public health alert due to 278 illnesses in 18 states caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg.  The illnesses, which are mainly in California, are believed to be associated with raw chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.


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22 SICKENED WITH SALMONELLA IN SAN DIEGO: STORE BRAND CHICKENS ALSO CONTAMINATED

 

October 11, 2013 (San Diego) – Nearly two dozen San Diegans have fallen ill with salmonella due to raw chicken products from Foster Farms facilities in California.  However the products were also sold under other brands and store names including Ralph’s, Safeway, Kirkland (sold at CostCo), O Organics, and Eating Rights. 

Foster Farms announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with federal inspectors to make improvements to its processing.  They company has not recalled products, insisting that cooking the tainted chickens thoroughly eliminates risk.  But Consumer Reports contends that the chicken products should be recalled to protect consumers.


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