How long can viruses live outside the body?

517019433 virus sneeze

We have all seen the news reports about the tiny, disgusting germs that are on the surfaces we all encounter every day in our homes and places of work. With cold and flu season upon us, preparations are now being made by many to prevent transmission of viruses, but before you go through drastic measures, there are some important facts about viruses that you should know, such as how long do viruses live on our phones, doorknobs, and keyboards?

There is not one answer to this question. The life of a virus (technically, viruses are not alive) depends on what type of virus it is, the conditions of the environment it is in, as well as the type of surface it is on.

Cold viruses have been shown to survive on indoor surfaces for approximately seven days. Flu viruses, however, are active for only 24 hours.

All viruses have the potential to live on hard surfaces, such as metal and plastic, longer than on fabrics and other soft surfaces. In fact, infectious flu viruses can survive on tissues for only 15 minutes. Viruses tend to also live longer in areas with lower temperatures, low humidity, and low sunlight.

How long these germs are actually capable of infecting you is a different story. In general, viruses are not likely to be a danger on surfaces very long. In fact, while cold viruses can live for several days, their ability to cause infection decreases after approximately 24 hours, and after only five minutes, the amount of flu virus on hands fall to low levels, making transmission much less likely.

518780419 hand washThe best defense against active viruses remains thorough hand washing. In addition, wiping down surfaces with anti-bacterial or alcohol-based cleaners will help kill viruses and decrease the chances of transmission.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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History of MRI

History of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Physicians send patients for MRI’s to help them diagnose medical conditions. Do you know what an MRI is?
An MRI is a computerized map of harmless radio signals emitted by the human body. It is excellent for viewing soft tissue and seeing any defects that may be present.
In 1977 the first human scan was performed in a prototype MRI machine.
MRI works by creating a strong magnetic field, protons in the nucleus of the hydrogen atoms are magnetized.
• MRI creates a steady state of magnetism in the body
• Radio waves during the study change the steady state orientation of protons
• MRI stops the radio waves and measures the body’s electromagnetic transmission
• Signals that are transmitted are used to create images of the body by computerized axial tomography.
The rotating magnetic field was discovered by Nikola Tesla in 1882. This eventually led to the definition of the Tesla Unit which describes the strength of a magnetic field. MRI machines, which were developed almost a century later, are calibrated in Tesla Units. The stronger the magnetic field, the stronger the amount of radio signals that are given off by the body’s atoms. The stronger the radio signal will lead to a better quality of the MRI image.
Jamaica Hospital offers the most up-to-date MRI technology and an appointment can be scheduled by calling 718-206-6743.mri mri

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Your Child and the Battle Against Junk Food

187539116 kid and junk foodChildhood obesity has become a common health concern for parents. It is estimated that one in every five children is overweight.  A child is defined as obese when they are well above the normal weight for their age. One of the contributing factors in obesity is unhealthy eating habits. It is recommended that parents introduce healthy eating to children as early as possible.  For some this may be easier said than done, because children are so easily attracted to the appeal of junk food.

What makes junk food enticing to children is sugar, high sodium, the taste of fat-commonly hydrogenated oils, in addition to bright, colorful packaging, fun shapes and unnatural food coloring. Parents can win the fight against junk food by making healthy food more appealing to children’s senses.

Here are a few tips on converting kid favorites into healthier choices:

  • Hot dogs- instead of regular beef and pork hot dogs, purchase turkey franks with low sodium and without added nitrates. Decorate the hot dog with colorful vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, red and yellow peppers.
  • Salty cheese snacks- make plain cheese fun by cutting it into quirky shapes or adding bright and sweet fruit. You can make cheese and fruit shish kebabs.
  • French fries- opt for baked sweet potato fries and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, B6, and D. They are a source of Iron, magnesium and potassium.
  • Ice cream- frozen yogurt is just as tasty and contains less sugar and fat. Adding toppings such as fruit and granola is a plus.
  • Popsicles- freeze real fruit juices with bits of fruit into bars.
  • Potato chips- kale chips are rich in vitamin A and easy to make at home. Make them delicious by adding herbs and spices.
  • Candy- healthy alternatives to candy include raisins or strawberries and bananas lightly drizzled with chocolate.
  • Milk shakes- smoothies made with fresh fruit and low fat yogurt are a healthier option.
  • Meat lasagna- load lasagna with vegetables instead of meat, choose low fat cheese and whole-grain pasta.
  • Macaroni and cheese-use low fat cheese, add Greek yogurt to make it creamy and spinach to make it nutritious.

The battle against junk food is not lost. Keep food exciting and nutritious for your family by sourcing healthy recipe websites or visit Jamaica Hospital’s Facebook and Twitter pages for suggestions. In addition to healthy eating, keep your family physically active and also make an appointment with your family doctor to ensure that everyone is at their recommended weight. Feel free to share these tips with friend and family.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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A New Care Model For Patients With Hypertension at Jamaica Hospital

Diabetes.meetingTo help individuals manage their high blood pressure, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has recently implemented group visits for hypertension at our MediSys Family Care Center in Jamaica, Queens.

The group model has become increasingly popular and provides many benefits for both patients and providers. Group visits offer participants a unique and supportive setting.  Participants have the opportunity to learn from each other and gain the necessary self-management skills to improve their health.  Group visits have shown to improve adherence to care, increase trust in their providers, lower hospitalization rates, and improved quality of life.

The hospital’s hypertension group visits consist of approximately four to six patients.  The groups meet regularly for an extended visit that is led by a physician. Patients have the opportunity to learn about disease management from their physician and from each other.

Patients discuss a range of topics, including nutrition, exercise, and medications. Members are encouraged to engage in a free-flowing dialogue that is facilitated by the doctor.  The doctor offers support, education, and counseling.

Although it is a group model, each patient receives individualized care.  Each patient has their vital signs monitored, blood work reviewed and medications are altered as needed.

Group medical visits have been incorporated as one of our Patient Centered Medical Home PCMH initiatives.  PCMH is a new model of care that focuses on delivering high-quality, well-coordinated primary care.  It also emphasizes the importance of self-care in the management of chronic disease.  Jamaica Hospital has achieved PCMH designation at several off-site care centers.

Jamaica Hospital is proud to be a pioneer in the evolution of healthcare and invites members of the community to experience the many benefits of group care. For more information on Jamaica Hospital’s hypertension group model, please call 718-206-7088.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Type 1 Diabetes- What you should know?

78160636_T1DDiabetes is on the rise and what has significantly increased is the rate of type 1 diabetes (T1D), formerly known as “juvenile” or “juvenile onset” diabetes. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found that more than 13,000 children and young people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year.

T1D is often first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. However, people may develop T1D at any age. The exact cause of T1D is unknown, there is no cure and it cannot be outgrown. In most cases of T1D, the body’s own immune system, which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses, mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Doctors believe genetics may play a role in this process, and exposure to certain environmental factors, such as viruses, may trigger the disease.

The good news is that it can be controlled with insulin therapy, exercise and diet. Are you, or a family member, experiencing any of the following symptoms?
• Increased thirst
• Frequent urination
• Bedwetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
• Extreme hunger
• Unintended weight loss
• Irritability and other mood changes
• Fatigue and weakness
• Blurred vision
• In females, frequent vaginal yeast infections

A simple blood test can identify type 1 diabetes. Be sure to consult with a physician if you or a family member is experiencing any of the above symptoms by contacting Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

please do not smoke!Secondhand smoke is a combination of side stream smoke-which comes from the end of a burning cigarette and mainstream smoke-which is exhaled by the smoker.  It may seem harmless but the smoke that comes from the end of the cigarette is considered to be even more harmful than the smoke inhaled by the smoker; because there are no filters. Secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone; however, pregnant women, children and partners of people who smoke are the most vulnerable.

There are over 250 harmful chemicals that can be found in the smoke created by tobacco products. Some of these chemicals are carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, arsenic, vinyl chloride and formaldehyde. The Environmental Protection Agency categorizes secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen; meaning that it can cause cancer in humans.

The more you are exposed to secondhand smoke, the higher your risk of developing diseases and suffering from the health effects. Respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness and coughing can be triggered by secondhand smoke. Other harmful health effects include the increased risk of developing heart disease, respiratory disease and strokes.

Pregnant women who consistently breathe secondhand smoke may have miscarriages or give birth to low birth-weight and premature babies.  For newborns exposure can escalate the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Children can experience increased occurrences of asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and ear infections.

Secondhand smoke is harmful, despite the level of exposure.  Breathing in even a little smoke can be dangerous and the effects on your health can be immediate. There are several ways to reduce the risk of exposure to second hand smoke. You can ask members in your family not to smoke in your home, disallow smoking in your car and choose smoke- free restaurant and indoor places.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Truth or Myth? Wearing Deodorant Increases your chances for Breast Cancer.

deodorant 185816767A major concern has been that the aluminum-based compounds found in antiperspirants have estrogen-like effects that may fuel breast cancer growth. There’s no evidence to support that claim, nor is there any evidence to support another concern that’s been voiced: that the preservatives found in deodorants and antiperspirants, called parabens, cause cancer.

 

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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The Facts about High Blood Pressure and your Kidneys?

kidney 491244117High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes.

High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. When the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys.

If the kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle.

Most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. In rare cases, high blood pressure can cause headaches.

Kidney disease also does not have symptoms during its early stages. A person may have swelling called edema, which happens when the kidneys cannot get rid of extra fluid and salt. Edema can occur in the legs, feet, or ankles and less often in the hands or face.

Once kidney function decreases further, symptoms can include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness or feeling tired
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Generalized itching or numbness
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Darkened skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Following a healthy eating plan can help lower blood pressure.  Your health care provider may recommend a dietary approach that includes foods that are low in fat and cholesterol, dairy that is fat-free or low-fat, fish, poultry and nuts, as well as, consuming less read meat, sweets and added sugars.

If you are experiencing symptoms and would like to speak with a physician, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001.

 

 

 

 

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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If Your Baby is Not Latching On; It Could be Tongue-Tie

161685587 mom breast feedOne of the most intimate moments shared between mother and baby is during breastfeeding. If the infant does not latch on to the mother’s breast she may feel rejected, bewildered and frustrated. Before becoming distressed a mother should look into reasons why the baby is refusing to breastfeed; one of which could be a condition called ankyloglossia, otherwise known as tongue-tie.

Tongue-Tie is a congenital condition which restricts the tongue’s range of motion. It is caused by an abnormally thick and short lingual frenulum. The frenulum is the membrane which connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.  The degree of severity in tongue-tie varies from mild cases, where the lingual frenulum loosens over time or severe cases of complete ankyloglossia where the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth.  This can affect feeding.

Breastfeeding requires the baby to place the tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If the infant‘s range of motion is limited and is unable to place the tongue in the right position, this will interfere with the ability to get milk. Poor breastfeeding can lead to poor nutrition.

A consultation with a lactation specialist or physician to explore all causes for breast-feeding refusal is usually the first step in evaluating the baby. If it is determined that the infant does have severe tongue-tie and the ability to feed is compromised, a simple and quick surgery may be suggested.

The surgical procedure most commonly recommended is called a frenotomy; which can be done with or without anesthesia. During the procedure a physician will examine the frenulum, then use sterile scissors to snip it free. A frenotomy can also be done by laser. The physician may also recommend a frenectomy which is a surgical revision of the frenulum.

After surgery the infant’s tongue movement should improve greatly and in most cases breastfeeding can commence immediately.

To obtain more information about breastfeeding or to schedule a consultation with a lactation specialist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-291-3276.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Obesity and Arthritis: What is the Relationship?

200249480-001When asked what health problems are directly attributed to obesity, the most common answers are hypertension, heart health, and diabetes, but obesity has a large affect on another condition – arthritis.

One out of five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that number nearly doubles among those considered obese. Obesity not only raises the risk of getting a certain type of arthritis; but for those who already have arthritis, obesity makes the condition worse.
Here’s a look at what fat does to arthritis, as well as some tips to put you on the road to losing weight.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage – the flexible but tough connective tissue that covers the ends of bones at joints. Age, injury, heredity and lifestyle factors all affect the risk of OA.

OA has a logical link to obesity: The more weight that’s placed on a joint, the more stressed the joint becomes, and the more likely it will wear down and be damaged.
Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees. If a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on the knees, causing those who are overweight to be at greater risk of developing arthritis in the first place. Once a person has arthritis, the additional weight causes even more problems on already damaged joints.

Jamaica Hospital offers nutritional clinics to help those looking to loose weight and avoid developing osteoarthritis. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 718-206-7001.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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