An Apple a Day

Welcome to my blog – An Apple a Day! This is where I hope you and I can have a conversation about all things health-related.

This column is meant to be an opportunity for you to learn my thoughts on everything from healthy living and fitness to immunizations and protecting yourself from infectious disease.

It’s a chance for me to share my ideas on how to optimize all we know about the latest and greatest in health science and innovation to keep you and your family happy and well. And you’ll get to read up on all the many things happening here at the County of Riverside Department of Health. Of course, there are a lot of pretty incredible things happening here— community forums, informative programs and comprehensive services, all designed to support your health and wellness goals.

Check in every week for a new blog where we will begin a journey towards your best health – together. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @rivcodoc and Facebook.

                                      Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer 

What you need to know about measles
May 06, 2019

It isn’t very easy being a parent today, especially when it comes to the issue of vaccines.

Each day parents are bombarded by conflicting messages about the safety of childhood vaccinations that often contradict what they’re told by their doctors and the traditional medical community. These warnings, often broadcast with scary headlines on social media, attempt to connect immunizations with autism (a theory long ago debunked), or tell readers vaccinations are not necessary, or that vaccines were created just to make “big pharma” billions and billions of dollars.
It can be dizzying for parents, and it’s okay to be confused and anxious. But let there be no doubt: not only are the risks of vaccination severely overblown, the benefits are just as underplayed. Bar none, vaccination is the best way to protect both children and adults from sometimes serious illnesses like measles, chickenpox, mumps and whooping cough.

Some may dismiss these naysayers as so out of touch with mainstream thinking that their impact is minimal. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that confirmed measles cases in the U.S. have reached the highest number since 2000. That year, just 19 years ago, measles was considered eliminated from the United States. Unfortunately, that victory is no more. In California, health officials are being forced to take dramatic steps we haven’t seen in decades to stop the spread of measles and in Los Angeles county have quarantined hundreds of students at two colleges.

The really scary question to consider is, given how easily cases of measles spread, how many individuals may be at risk for other diseases? Measles really is the canary in the coal mine. What plague is next?
Meanwhile here in Riverside County, we’re fortunate not to have had a confirmed case yet (as of May 6), but that hasn’t stopped us from taking action. We’re working with our local medical providers to make sure they have the latest information on prevention and testing, our laboratory is ramping up to test more “suspect” cases, and all our hospitals and health care facilities are being put on alert.

Today Riverside University Health System-Public Health is launching its measles resource page at filled with everything you need to know on measles from symptoms and shots to the latest news from reliable sources. If you’re not sure what you need to do to keep you and your family protected, look at the Q&As and our videos. Tell your physician about the medical resources we offer for them, too.
Don’t let confusion over measles and vaccination cause an outbreak in Riverside County too. Measles was beaten back once and we can beat it again. Let’s get educated together.

Have a “Super” healthy party watching the “Big Game”
January 28, 2019

Super Bowl LIII will be played Feb. 3 between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, bringing together millions of football fans throughout the country who will watch the game with eyes glued to their TV. Yes, time for that annual tradition, the Super Bowl Party.
If you’re the host, whether for a handful of friends or dozens of football fanatics, take some simple precautions so that the only personal fouls are the ones onscreen.
The menu:

The usual favorites like beer, chicken wings, BBQ ribs and potato chips will be in high demand – and hey, it’s a party – but it’s always a nice alternative to offer healthy snacks like carrot and celery sticks, nuts and water or non-sugary drinks. Let your guests have the choice.
There will be plenty of bathroom breaks, so make sure there’s lots of hand soap and fresh towels available for guests. Disposable wipes are also good to have for fans to use between bites.  
Here are some tips to keep the party safe from :

  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
  • Hot foods must have a heat source to keep them at or warmer than 140 °F.
  • Cold foods should be kept on ice to remain at a safe temperature at or below 40 °F. If you’re partying outside, make sure the cooler stays that way.
  • Perishable foods left out longer than two hours should be discarded and replenished with fresh servings. Those hot wings don’t improve with age!
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds to avoid spreading bacteria to your towels.
  • Never reuse paper towels. This product is for single use only. When used multiple times, bacteria can find their way onto the towel and hitch a ride around the kitchen.
  • Kitchen towels build up bacteria after multiple uses. To keep the bacteria from getting the upper hand, you should wash your kitchen towels frequently in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Visit the Nutrition Services page within Riverside University Health System-Public Health ( to learn more about healthy eating. The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page.