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 


March 24 is World TB Day

 

March 21, 2018

 

In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was responsible for the death of one out of seven people in the United States and Europe. World TB Day marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch discovered the bacteria behind the disease: Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The day serves as a reminder that TB is not a thing of the past: even today, with all the advances of modern medicine, thousands of cases of active TB are still detected in the U.S. every year.

Active tuberculosis, the contagious form, is spread through the air through coughing or shouting. The droplets remain in the air for a period of time, which people can breathe in. It is not spread effectively through saliva such as by sharing drinks, eating after someone or kissing.

A person with latent TB cannot spread the disease. Someone with latent TB infection won’t have symptoms and may be completely unaware they have it. A person with active TB, on the other hand, is more likely to be symptomatic and contagious.

About 10 percent of latent cases will go on to have active TB in their lifetime. There are medications to treat TB disease and to prevent those with latent TB infection from progressing to active TB.

TB tests by skin or by blood are commonly performed as part of the TB evaluation, but they are not infallible. They can sometimes yield false negatives, and it can take two to 10 weeks post-exposure for a TB test to read positive for infection.  Anyone testing positive on their TB test will require a chest x-ray and may need further evaluation to determine if they have active TB.

Active TB symptoms include severe cough for 3 weeks or longer, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, loss of weight, loss of appetite, night sweats, fever or chills. It is recommended to contact a health care provider to discuss the symptoms and potential follow up.

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.


National Nutrition Month: Go Further with Food

 

March 8, 2018

 

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Go Further with Food.” I think we can all agree that there are days when cookies just taste better than a handful of almonds, but our bodies’ only fuel is what we eat. Choose wisely, and our health, energy level and well-being can all benefit.

 

Eating healthy is a series of constant choices. What should we have for breakfast, a hearty bowl of oatmeal and berries or that tempting donut? Our meals should be made up of a variety of healthy foods.  Eating good fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be dull or unpleasant: the produce section has a beautiful rainbow of colors and flavors from which to choose. And a sweet treat at the right time doesn’t have to be the wrong thing if we balance it with the other good food options we can take advantage of.

 

We can also make our food go further by decreasing the amount of food waste we produce and being mindful of what we buy at the store. Evaluate what foods you already have on hand, and be realistic about the amounts of each food you’ll actually use during the week. If you do buy too much, freeze leftovers to be used later. Taking a thoughtful approach to eating healthy and shopping healthy is good for our wallets, good for the community, good for the environment and, most of all, good for us.

 

By the way, spring’s a great time to find ways to be active outside! Go for a walk with family and friends. Ride your bike through new trails. Outdoor activities in your neighborhood or in any of our great city and county parks are not only a great way to stay healthy; they’re inexpensive, relaxing and fun.

 

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to learn more about making healthy changes to your lifestyle.

 

Visit the Nutrition Services page within Riverside University Health System-Public Health (www.rivcoph.org) 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.


Have a “Super” healthy party watching the “Big Game”

January 24, 2018

Super Bowl LII will be played Feb. 4 between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, 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, theSuper 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 http://www.foodsafety.gov/ :

  • 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 (www.rivcoph.org) 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.