Enjoying the Outdoors Cautiously

Barbecues, long hikes in the mountains, a gentle stroll through the park, sharing a beer with friends in the backyard, a 5k race, biking along the country roads. Summer is a wonderful time to get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer. The bugs agree! And some bugs, particularly ticks, bring disease with them. Don’t let the ticks chase you back indoors. Here are some ways to protect yourself:

High Five, the Clap, the Clam, and the Pox

Bad blood, morning drip, gooey stuff, the dose – no matter the name STI’s are serious business. HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are several diseases that fall within the category of sexually-transmitted infections. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk. Preliminary data indicates that cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea are up in both Frederick and Washington counties.

Consider Your Colon

Which cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States? It’s also the third leading cause in women! It’s also something that many people are not comfortable talking about. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the answer. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month so if you have been seeing more blue ribbons around and were wondering what it’s all about, now you know!

Year End Health Maintenance

Here we are in the thick of the holiday season- lethargic from the Thanksgiving Day feast and looking forward to the upcoming month of gatherings, celebrations and feasts.  Though we are surrounded by images of joy and happiness, the reality for many is that the holiday season is a harsh reminder of challenges we face within our relationships and families. Here are some pointers to help make it through the highs and lows of the season:

Influenza Season & Nurses

From September to December each year, nurses give more shots than all other times of the year put together, and we absolutely love it. There’s just something very satisfying about being the agent of prevention and keeping people safe from influenza because the flu is serious stuff. Over the past ten years an average of 32,743 deaths have occurred annually in the United States due to influenza. We nurses think that’s not something to sneeze at (pun definitely intended), at least when a simple vaccine can prevent the flu.

An Interview with Mayor David Gysberts

David Gysberts is a high-school guidance counselor. He’s gay. He loves the outdoors. He lives in a beautiful historic house. And he’s the mayor of Hagerstown, Maryland. “My identity, like everybody else’s, has many layers. I think of myself first as a child of God or the universe; a member of my family; a citizen of my country, my state, my county, my city; my profession; things that I do for hobbies – so being gay is not the most salient part of my identity,” he explained.

Crisis Averted

For years now, those of us who work in public health have been keenly aware of a looming crisis – the ever increasing resistance of bacteria to current antibiotics – from Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) to Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) to Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, to Multi-Drug Resistant Gonorrhea. From a public-health perspective, the prospects have looked pretty frightening and people would surely die for lack of an antibiotic treatment. And then came the most welcome medical breakthrough since the discovery of penicillin – the first new antibiotic in 30 years – teixobactin.

Are You One of the 6,000?

June seems like a blur to me. There was so much going on – the tragedy in Orlando and of course a month of Pride activities. Somewhere in the midst of everything, I totally lost National HIV Testing Day, which is held June 27th each year. Some people use National HIV Testing Day as their reminder to get their annual HIV test. Others use their birthday, New Year’s Day, or some other significant day that will jerk their memory to take care of this important health screening. With all that happened in June this year, you may have missed your […]

The Rest of the Story

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote a column about the obesity epidemic and how I’m one of every three Americans who is obese. I had made a commitment to myself to try to make some changes to my diet that would result in weight loss over time. I was equally committed not to “diet” in the traditional sense by denying myself the things I like. I had committed to exercising five days a week and to becoming more aware of what I eat by writing down what I was eating every day. And I’m happy to report that strategy […]