Is Anyone Tracking the Flu During the Shutdown?

Normally during flu season the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lets us know the good and bad news, tracking how fast the flu is spreading, how severe it is and how well those flu shots are working. The information is especially important for figuring out next year’s batch of vaccines. But thanks to the ongoing government shutdown, the CDC hasn’t been able to update its FluView since Sept. 21, and its influenza activity map hasn’t been updated …

He Helped Solve the Mystery of Lyme Disease

In the 1970s, a cluster of cases of unexplained severe joint pain and swelling was breaking out in a small three-township area in Connecticut, as a 1976 New York Times article detailed. Fortunately, the mysterious affliction soon came to the attention of a team of Yale University medical researchers headed by rheumatology chief Dr. Stephen E. Malawista, who passed away on Sept. 19 at age 79 in Hamden, Conn. Malawista and his colleagues – Dr. Allen C. Steere and Dr. …

Lyme Disease: How Do 30,000 Cases Jump to 300,000?

Oops. Guess there’s been a little miscounting when it comes to Lyme disease. It’s really 10 times more common than we thought. Not 30,000 cases a year, but 300,000, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kudos to the CDC for making this concerted effort to find out the complete scope of this insidious, tick-borne disease. It comes, however, after  years of controversy over Lyme, including patients complaining that doctors didn’t fully understand it, …

Why Your Dog Wants to Move to Montana

Many of us who have dogs or cats tend to think of them almost as family members, which is one reason that Americans happily spent $53 billion last year on food, veterinary care,  chew toys and myriad accessories (such as sporty camouflage-colored harnesses for Chihauhuas). And at one time or another, we’ve all probably wondered what Princess or Fido is thinking when they stare at us with those big soulful eyes.  But now, thanks to a new survey on the state …

5 Things Caregivers Must Know About Diabetes

With a U.S. diabetic population of 26.9% age 65+, or 10.9 million, caregivers must be careful observers. If your parent or spouse has diabetes and is over age 65, read on. Their condition is unique to their age, but it’s not always treated that way. “Geriatric diabetes is not as well understood as it is for the pediatric population. Treating a 40-year-old the same way as an 80-year-old is inappropriate,” says Dr. Medha Munshi, a geriatrician and endocrinologist who runs …

Did You Get Your Flu Shot Yet?

Have you gotten your flu shot? ‘Tis the season, it’s not over yet. This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week. You might think that if you haven’t gotten your vaccination by now that there’s no reason. You still should! A vaccination now can still help you against this season’s flu. According to the CDC, flu season usually peaks in February and can last until May. This is still plenty of time to get sick if you haven’t gotten your shot. …