Consumer Health

CDC Feature: Staying Healthy on a Cruise

The CDC published another feature on travel earlier this month; this time on Staying Healthy on a Cruise.?á At least this one isn’t an advisory like the ones for Spring Break or Carnival.

It recommends being up on the appropriate immunizations and vaccines and mentions precautions regarding seasickness and norovirus.

Along these travel lines, the books display at the Isché Library highlight a variety of travel topics.

Urban Chicken: Keeping Poultry at Home

As the “locavore” movement continues to blossom across the country, it’s no longer only rural citizens who have access to less-industrialized food options: even residents of cities are finding ways to grow their own produce, or at least acquire it from nearby sources. This provides more economical and healthy options for cooks. A part of this movement has been the choice of some urban homesteaders to raise their own poultry.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) currently has a page on its website with helpful information about Keeping Backyard Poultry. The major point that the CDC addresses is the prevention of the spread of Salmonella, an illness that is transmitted in a variety of ways. It can be spread through contact with poultry (or any birds), including?áchickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Salmonellosis is an infection with the bacteria called?áSalmonella.?áMost persons infected with?áSalmonella?ádevelop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the?áSalmonella?áinfection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. The CDC highly recommends hand-washing and careful hygiene to anyone handling live poultry or poultry products such as meat or eggs. All poultry and poultry-related equipment and supplies should be considered contaminated even if the animals look healthy.

Interestingly enough, the?áTimes-Picayunepublished an article?álast year that examined troubles with feral chicken populations which have grown since Hurricane Katrina. Recently, local ABC affiliate WGNO-TV covered a story about the difficulties in catching feral chickens in the city. New Orleans has its own special set of issues when it comes to the cosmopolitan bird.

CDC’s Spring Break Advisory

Much like the Carnival Advisory we wrote about last month, the Centers for Disease Control has posted a Spring Break Travel Advisory. I wonder how many Spring Breakers even know that the CDC exists?

Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge

Ever wonder why fashion models and fitness buffs are perpetually dining on fish and veggies??á

Because?áSeafood is healthy!

Not only is it full of protein, Omega 3s, vitamins and minerals- it typically contains fewer calories and fat grams than other protein sources (i.e. poultry and eggs).

With all of this positive information letÔÇÖs take a minute to ponder how lucky we are to live in New Orleans, Louisiana- a veritable wonderland of seafood!

OK. Minute is up.

Now itÔÇÖs time to take action and join the Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge!

Started by Bobby Hebert (former New Orleans Saints Quarterback) and his WWWL SportÔÇÖs Talk co-host (Deke Bellavia), Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge ?áwill follow these men as they see who can lose the most weight in 40 days simply by incorporating more seafood into their diet. The best part? Anyone can join this challenge.

Take the pledge, submit your healthiest seafood recipe and?áshare your inspirational seafood success story all in the name of encouraging all of?áLouisiana to eat their way to health . . . with Louisiana Seafood of course!

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is today, February 7th. The CDC reports “Among all racial/ethnic groups, African Americans bear the greatest burden of HIV in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection during their lifetimes. In 2009, blacks made up 14% of the US population but accounted for nearly half (44%) of all new HIV infections.”

Know the facts about HIV/AIDS in New Orleans and get involved in?áLouisiana.

*Edit* the Gambit blog has more on this topic.

CDC’s Carnival Advisory

Library Shoebox Float - 2010

Library Shoebox Float - 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a Carnival Advisory linked from their main webpage at the moment.

A couple of quick points about the page:

  • New Orleans is the 5th listed city for “most popular Carnival celebrations” after Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nice, France; Venice, Italy; and Quebec, Canada. I’ll give them Rio & Venice, but really Nice & Quebec have more popular celebrations than we do?
  • “Most people participate in Carnival and Mardi Gras to have fun, but these festivities are also associated with certain health risks, primarily from crime, unsafe food, excessive drinking, risky sex, and heat-related illness.” I don’t think this year we’ll have any heat related illness but you never know with our crazy weather.
  • And, of course, the advisory is written for travelers, not carnival natives/locals who know how to prepare and what to expect.
  • Health Resource Guides from City Health Dept

    The New Orleans Health Department has issued a new Health Resource Guide entitled a Guide to Behavioral Health Resources in the Greater New Orleans Area which “provides information on accessing mental health and substance abuse resources in the Greater New Orleans area.” This new guide is in addition to A Guide to No or Low Pay Community Healthcare in Orleans Parish which was released in August 2011. Both brochures are available from the Health Department webpage as PDF downloads.

    What is Walk Score? is a website that designates a number ranging from 0-100 to any address based on its “walkability.”

    According to the website “Walk Score uses a patent-pending system to measure the walkability of an address. The Walk Score algorithm awards points based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within .25 miles receive maximum points and no points are awarded for amenities further than one mile.”

    The Walk Score for LSUHSC is 75. When compared against the rating chart (below)we see that LSUHSC is Very Walkable.

    90ÔÇô100 Walker’s Paradise ÔÇö Daily errands do not require a car.
    70ÔÇô89 Very Walkable ÔÇö Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
    50ÔÇô69 Somewhat Walkable ÔÇö Some amenities within walking distance.
    25ÔÇô49 Car-Dependent ÔÇö A few amenities within walking distance.
    0ÔÇô24 Car-Dependent ÔÇö Almost all errands require a car.

    What is the Walk Score of your home? Find out here!

    World Pneumonia Day!

    Surprisingly, just about every 20 seconds a child under age 5 succumbs to the disease pneumonia. ?áIn its 2nd year of existence, the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia is raising awareness about the disease. It is preventable and there are effective and affordable options that help protect children. The symptoms include but are not limited to: cough, shaking chills, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain. Its symptoms often mimic those of the flu but when it doubt, get checked out.

    ?áFor more info, visit:

    Hair Professionals Might Save Lives

    Hair professionals in the front line of early skin cancer detection

    Have you ever considered that your hair stylist might be one of your greatest advocates in the battled against skin cancer?

    Probably not, but according to an article published by (published by the American Medical Association), ÔÇ£Nearly 60% of 203 hair professionals surveyed at 17 salons in the Houston area said they already had recommended at least once that a customer see a health professional for an abnormal mole.ÔÇØ

    The article goes on to suggest the benefits of training Hair professionals on how to detect the early signs and appearances of scalp, neck and face cancer. Good to know there is one more benefit to taking a little time
    for pampering!

    Read the full article here.

    Halloween Candy Warning

    The Food and Drug Administration issued an update last week on the health hazards of eating too much black licorice.

    From the update: If youÔÇÖre 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.

    FDA experts say black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root. Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. When that happens, some people experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.

    I wonder if this applies to black jelly beans too?

    LSU Clinics & NO Musician’s Clinic

    The former St. Charles General Hospital is the new location for the LSU Healthcare Network Clinics. It is located at 3700 St. Charles Ave with free parking at 3715 Prytania St. The offices officially opened on Monday, October 10th. This is also the location of the New Orleans Muscian’s Clinic. WWL-TV featured the opening on it’s nightly broadcast.

    Take the DPT Health Fair survey

    The Doctor of Physical Therapy students, Class of 2013 will host the 5th Annual LSUHSC Health and Wellness Event on October 21, 2011. They want to find out what you, the LSUHSC community, would like to get out of the event this year. They will use the responses we obtain from the survey to formulate our event. They would like the opinions of everyone in order to maximize the experience for those attending.

    Please click on the survey link below and complete a short survey. Your feedback is important and will contribute to the success of the event.

    Thank you in advance for your participation.

    F as in Fat

    The Trust for America’s Health has released a new report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011 which finds that adult obesity is increasing across the Nation. Louisiana is the 5th most obese state with 31.6% of its adult population being obese; we are one of the 16 states with an obesity rate above 30%.

    FDA’s Scoop on Silicone

    Today the FDA highlighted various resources regarding Breast Implants on their website.

    The information is available to encourage continuous education for those who have already undergone forms of breast augmentation, in addition to providing authoritative information for those considering Breast Implants.

    Within this page readers can find a link to the Update on the Safety of Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants (2011) – Executive Summary that supplies interesting facts about ÔÇ£Preliminary data from the post-approval studies; a summary and analysis of adverse events reported to FDA since approval; and a review and analysis of recent clinical publications about the safety and effectiveness of silicone gel-filled breast implants.ÔÇØ

    Even though this procedure has been around for quite a while it is good to know that current resources are available.