Health – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:51:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 New Depression treatment introduced by Bay Area businessman https://martineztribune.com/2018/10/10/new-depression-treatment-introduced-by-bay-area-businessman/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:51:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=9764 BY TIFFANY YOUNG According to the latest statistics, there are more than 16 million individuals in the United States who have experienced clinical depression in the past year. They make up around 6.7 percent of the country’s total population, and this number is alarming. Experts are saying that this number might increase in the years …

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BY TIFFANY YOUNG

According to the latest statistics, there are more than 16 million individuals in the United States who have experienced clinical depression in the past year. They make up around 6.7 percent of the country’s total population, and this number is alarming. Experts are saying that this number might increase in the years to come as more people are falling victim to the depression epidemic. Scientists have been searching for methods on how to treat depression and one of the most frequent advices to those who are going under a major depression episode is to seek help from their friends and families, because what they need is someone who they can speak with regarding their problems.

Being under the state of clinical depression is now considered as a mental illness. It inhibits someone’s ability to think clearly, and their daily routines are changed because of the negative feeling. Other people are taking their own lives, which is the worst thing that could happen to someone who is having a depressive episode. There is an increase in the number of suicides in the United States, and everyone can fall victim to it. News about famous celebrities killing themselves has been shocking the world for years, and the frequency of this event happening today rises. The government has been exerting a lot of effort to help the people who are depressed, and they have been asking the scientists across the country to develop a more effective treatment for people who are going under the state of depression.

In the Bay Area, a businessman named Ara Chackerian managed to create a company that offers an innovative therapy that would allow people with depressive episodes to be treated. The company, called the TMS Health Solutions, has been operating for years, and its founder revealed that the reason he opened up a medical firm is because he wanted to help a lot of people who are going under depressive episodes. He claimed that the innovative therapy offered at his medical firm will allow someone to recover from their depressive state.

The medical firm uses the transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is a process involving the use of electromagnetic signals to stimulate the brain. The brain that is being fed with electromagnetic signals will start to react and the depressive thoughts will be eliminated from the brain. Those who have already tried the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment is saying that it is effective in changing the way they feel, and they even referred the company to their friends and family members. The TMS Health Solutions is also helping people who are having psychological and mental issues, and it has been showing positive effects.

Chackerian stated that the treatment offered at his medical firm has a lot of potential. He knew that this will be the next big thing in the field of medicine, and he believes that the doctors from the future will be using the transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat a wide range of psychological and mental illnesses.

Today, people who are experiencing major depression episodes are trying to reach out to Chackerian, hoping that their disorder will be treated. After a series of information drives about the potential of the transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat a lot of people who are having psychological and mental issues, thousands of individuals have expressed their interest in visiting the medical firm founded by Chackerian. The business that he established is slowly becoming known across the country, and he believes that his business will also be known around the world, accepting patients fro overseas and introducing humanity to the advantages of the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment.

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West Nile in Martinez; fogging launched in multiple areas https://martineztribune.com/2015/10/30/west-nile-in-martinez-fogging-launched-in-multiple-areas/ Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:00:28 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=2181 By DONNA BETH WEILENMAN Martinez Tribune MARTINEZ, Calif. – West Nile virus has been found in a group of mosquitoes north of Marina Vista near Fairmont Road, and in a sentinel chicken near Escobar and Pine streets in Martinez, said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District. The …

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By DONNA BETH WEILENMAN
Martinez Tribune
Larvae of Culex Mosquitoes. As seen here, larvae make dense groups in standing water. (JAMES GATHANY, CDC / On File)
Larvae of Culex Mosquitoes. As seen here, larvae make dense groups in standing water. (JAMES GATHANY, CDC / On File)
MARTINEZ, Calif. – West Nile virus has been found in a group of mosquitoes north of Marina Vista near Fairmont Road, and in a sentinel chicken near Escobar and Pine streets in Martinez, said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The district has started fogging in Martinez and in neighboring areas, she said.

So far this year, eight mosquito groups, 11 birds, 17 chickens and one horse in Contra Costa County have tested positive for the virus, Bass said.

In 2006, two people from Contra Costa County died of the disease, and since 2005, 54 have been diagnosed with West Nile virus, she said. However, recent studies have indicated that a majority of cases are not diagnosed and the disease is underreported.

Of those affected, only one in five will show the symptoms of a fever accompanied by headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most will recover, but lingering weakness can last for weeks to months, according to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For about 1 percent, particularly those 60 and older or those with other medical conditions, the disease is worse. They’ll develop a serious neurological illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, and about 10 percent of those will die, the center’s information said.

Martinez residents should take precautions, Dr. Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific program supervisor, said.

“At this time of year, the type of mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus are less selective about their blood source and are more likely to bite people,” he said. “Wearing mosquito repellent when outdoors is important.”

A vaccine is available to prevent the disease in horses, but so far, none has been approved for humans. Schutz recommended the use of repellents containing DEE, which Bass said is the most effective agent; Picaridin, a pepper derivative; or oil of lemon eucalyptus, as well as staying indoors at dawn and dusk or when mosquitoes are present. Bass said citronella is helpful but only in small areas.

In addition, Martinez residents should dump standing water to prevent mosquito breeding. Bass said residents should check their yards at least twice a week for flower pot saucers, rain gutters, boat covers, trash that can collect water, lawn indentations that hold water for several days, trash can lids, old tires, bird baths and anything that can hold water for more than five days.

Residents can prepare for anticipated winter rains, but also need to note where sprinkler water collects, too, she said.

She said neglected swimming pools continue to pose “an enormous problem in Contra Costa County.” Even a partially filled pool can produce more than a million mosquitoes – including the two types that transmit West Nile virus – and can spread disease up to five miles away, she said.

Martinez residents may report neglected swimming pools by calling (925) 771-6195, or by visiting www.ContraCostaMosquito.com. The same website tells visitors how to obtain free mosquito-eating fish for ponds and water troughs, and provides the district’s fogging schedules. Dead birds can be reported to the state hotline, 877-968-2473.

Bass said residents don’t need to take any precautions before the district fogs their area. The usual product used is Pyrocide 7067, a botanical pesticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers.

“We use very little, approximately 1/4 teaspoon of active ingredient per acre.” The products used are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for both mosquito control and public health protection, she said.

We all need to work together to combat mosquitoes and West Nile virus,” Bass said. “A few hundred mosquitoes only need a few tablespoons of water to thrive and become biting adult mosquitoes. And it only takes one bite to get the virus.”

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There’s no excuse for these moms https://martineztribune.com/2015/08/06/theres-no-excuse-for-these-moms/ Thu, 06 Aug 2015 23:45:09 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=1105 MARTINEZ, Calif. – Everyone knows that being a mom is tough. Finding time to balance kids, a household and work is difficult. Often times, moms end up making their health the lowest of their priorities. Some moms are too busy to eat healthy. Other moms struggle with finding a gym that has childcare and, even …

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The "No Excuse Moms" group at Martinez Athletic Club. (COURTESY / On File)
The “No Excuse Moms” group at Martinez Athletic Club. (COURTESY / On File)

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Everyone knows that being a mom is tough. Finding time to balance kids, a household and work is difficult. Often times, moms end up making their health the lowest of their priorities. Some moms are too busy to eat healthy. Other moms struggle with finding a gym that has childcare and, even so, are not always comfortable leaving their children there.

But for a group of moms in downtown Martinez, there are no more excuses to not workout. Every Sunday at 9 a.m., the workout group “No Excuse Moms” meets at the Martinez Athletic Club for a free one-hour workout. Moms often bring their children, ranging in age from 6 weeks old to 13 years old.

“By offering a free workout, we can make good health accessible to all moms. What’s wonderful about our workouts is that moms don’t feel pressure on themselves to find a sitter when they need to exercise. Also, no one feels self-conscious about working out with their kids present because we are all moms here,” explains No Excuse Mom Martinez leader, Pam Borsellino. “The older kids usually play with each other or workout with the moms. Moms incorporate their babies as extra weight for lunges and squats or they crawl around. Best of all, no one blinks an eye when someone has to take a break for a feeding or diaper change.”

The Martinez group is one of 350 local groups that make up the No Excuse Mom Movement, a non-profit organization consisting of approximately 40,000 mothers around the world.

“The No Excuse Mom Movement has given us no excuses when it comes to taking care of ourselves. As moms, we are so busy trying to take care of everyone else that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Our meetups give us the opportunity to connect with other moms, have our kids meet other kids, and make our health a priority,” Borsellino said.

The No Excuse Mom Martinez group meets every Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Martinez Athletic Club, 729 Castro St., Martinez. This is a free workout club. For more information, please email pamela_borsellino@yahoo.com or join the Facebook page, No Excuse Mom Martinez.

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The Kid’s Doctor: Simple precautions can help avoid hot car deaths https://martineztribune.com/2015/07/13/the-kids-doctor-simple-precautions-can-help-avoid-hot-car-deaths/ Mon, 13 Jul 2015 20:28:29 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=533 By SUE HUBBARD, M.D., www.kidsdr.com The Kid’s Doctor Heat stroke is the second leading cause of non-traffic fatalities among children, with the first being back-over deaths. As summer temperatures soar, these tragic accidents become all too frequent. The state of Texas leads the country in child vehicular heat stroke deaths, followed by Florida and California. …

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By SUE HUBBARD, M.D., www.kidsdr.com
The Kid’s Doctor

Heat stroke is the second leading cause of non-traffic fatalities among children, with the first being back-over deaths. As summer temperatures soar, these tragic accidents become all too frequent.

The state of Texas leads the country in child vehicular heat stroke deaths, followed by Florida and California. But children who are trapped in vehicles have died in milder climates, as well. The temperatures outside may be as low as 60 degrees, but the inside of a car heats up quickly, with 80 percent of the increase in temperature happening in the first 10 minutes.

The reason for this is due to physics. The sun’s short-wave radiation is absorbed by dark dashboards and seats. The heated objects, including child seats, then emit long wave radiation which heats a vehicle’s interior air. All of this can lead to tragedy.

A child’s thermoregulatory system is not the same as an adult’s, and their body temperatures will warm three to five times faster. When a child’s body temperature rises to about 107 degrees or greater, their internal organs begin to shut down. This scenario can then lead to death. If you see a child who’s been left in a hot car, call 911 immediately. Every minute matters.

The greatest percentage of these tragic deaths are totally unintentional. The parents of children who die in hot cars are not “bad” parents” or “child abusers,” however. On average, there have been about 37 deaths per year in the U.S. due to vehicular heat stroke, and in most cases this is not due to reckless behavior but simply to forgetfulness. Parents and caregivers both admit to “just forgetting” a child was still in the car. It truly can happen to anyone.

So how can you remember that your precious, quiet, sleeping child is in back seat? Make it a routine to always look in the back seat before you lock and leave the car. Put your purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the back seat as an extra reminder to look for your child.

Lastly, if your attends a daycare center, have a plan in place that the childcare provider will call you if you haven’t notified them that your child will not be coming to school, and the youngster doesn’t show up. It could save a life!

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award-winning pediatrician, medical editor and media host. “The Kid’s Doctor” TV feature can be seen on more than 90 stations across the U.S. Submit questions at http://www.kidsdr.com. The Kid’s Doctor e-book, “Tattoos to Texting: Parenting Today’s Teen,” is now available from Amazon and other e-book vendors.

(c) 2015, KIDSDR.COM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

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Take precautions to avoid ticks and Lyme disease https://martineztribune.com/2015/07/13/take-precautions-to-avoid-ticks-and-lyme-disease/ Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:06:36 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=543 MAYO CLINIC Q&A Tribune Content Agency DEAR MAYO CLINIC: In the summer, my kids play outdoors most of the day, and we’ve found ticks on their clothing. Is Lyme disease something I should be worried about? What are the early symptoms? Does bug spray keep ticks away? ANSWER: Lyme disease is the most common illness …

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MAYO CLINIC Q&A
Tribune Content Agency

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: In the summer, my kids play outdoors most of the day, and we’ve found ticks on their clothing. Is Lyme disease something I should be worried about? What are the early symptoms? Does bug spray keep ticks away?

ANSWER: Lyme disease is the most common illness spread by ticks in the United States. So it is worth taking precautions to prevent this disease, especially if your children play in wooded, grassy or bushy areas and you live or vacation in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can carry the bacteria and spread it when they feed.

The ticks tend to live in long grasses, bushes, shrubs and forested areas. If your children play where grass is short or their play area is covered with another material, then ticks aren’t a big concern. If, however, they go hiking in the woods or play in long grass, or if your yard has a significant number of bushes and shrubs, then you need to take steps to make it less likely your children will end up with ticks.

One of the most effective ways to deter ticks is to wear clothing that covers the arms and legs, including long-sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into socks, along with a hat. Of course, in the summertime that kind of clothing can get uncomfortable, especially for kids who are running and playing.

If your children prefer to be in shorts and t-shirts and they play in tick-prone areas, then it’s important that they wear insect repellent. To keep ticks away, the repellent should have a 20 percent or higher concentration of DEET. Some parents worry about the safety of DEET. If you follow the directions, though, DEET is safe for children ages 6 months and older.

You can also use an insect repellent called permethrin on your children’s clothing. This repellent does not just repel ticks; it kills them. You can spray it on clothing in advance, so that it has time to dry before your children wear it, or you can buy clothing that already has permethrin embedded in the fabric.

If you notice a tick on your child’s skin, take it off as soon as possible. The best way to do that is with tweezers. Pinch down by the head where the tick is attached to the skin. Don’t squeeze, crush or twist it. Instead, pull the tick out carefully using consistent pressure.

If the tick is very swollen, that means it’s been feeding for quite some time. A tick must be attached for 36 hours or more before it can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. If you find a swollen tick on your child, and you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent, remove the tick and bring it with your child to a doctor. The doctor may decide to give your child an antibiotic to prevent Lyme disease.

Symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease include a flu-like illness that usually involves aches and pain. Some people develop a fever, but others do not. The symptom to watch for, though, is a bull’s-eye mark at the spot where the tick attached. It occurs in up to 80 percent of people with Lyme disease. It’s normal for a small bump to develop after a tick bite. If over several days, however, the redness expands to form a rash in a bull’s-eye pattern, with a red outer ring surrounding a clear area, then you need to see a doctor. Be sure to mention that your child has recently been outdoors around ticks.

Treatment for Lyme disease usually involves a short course of antibiotics. If treated in its early stages, Lyme disease can often be effectively eliminated without any long-term problems. — Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic Q & A is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. E-mail a question to MayoClinicQ&A@mayo.edu. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org.

(c) 2015 MAYO FOUNDATION FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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What’s next for California’s contentious vaccine law https://martineztribune.com/2015/07/06/whats-next-for-californias-contentious-vaccine-law/ Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:20:09 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=415 JULIA HOROWITZ Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a hotly contested California bill to impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in the wake of an outbreak of measles at Disneyland late last year. The following is a look at what the new law signed Tuesday …

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JULIA HOROWITZ
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a hotly contested California bill to impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in the wake of an outbreak of measles at Disneyland late last year.

The following is a look at what the new law signed Tuesday means for the nation’s most populous state:

WHAT PROMPTED THE BILL
After a measles outbreak at Disneyland in December sickened over 100 people in the U.S. and Mexico, Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica introduced the bill, designed to raise immunization rates in under-vaccinated pockets of the state.

The state’s overall vaccination rate appears sufficient to maintain what immunologists call herd immunity, or the percentage at which enough people are vaccinated to protect the community as a whole. But suburban areas have seen a decline in immunizations in the past decade, with some schools having immunization rates near 50 percent. Herd immunity for measles is between 92 and 94 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pan, who is a pediatrician, and Allen, whose father has polio, framed the legislation as a crucial public health measure, holding that the Disneyland outbreak is only a hint of what’s to come if community immunity continues to drop.

WHAT IT DOES
California now joins West Virginia and Mississippi as the only states without a personal-belief exemption for vaccines. Medical exemptions will still be available for children with serious health issues. When considering exemptions, doctors may take family medical history into account.

Effective the 2016-17 school year, children whose parents refuse vaccination and are not granted a medical exemption must be homeschooled. School-age children who currently claim a personal-belief exemption will need to get fully vaccinated by kindergarten and seventh grade, the state’s two vaccine checkpoints. The law applies to both public and private schools, as well as daycare centers.

The California Assembly’s Health Committee also approved legislation Tuesday requiring home daycare providers and daycare center workers to be vaccinated against measles, pertussis and influenza.

WHAT SUPPORTERS SAY
In a rare message accompanying his signature, Brown expressed his support for the new law.

“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown wrote. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”

The bill’s supporters, including doctors, hospital representatives and health advocates, celebrated the news at an elementary school Tuesday. Lawmakers held babies, declaring the public would be better protected as a result of the bill.

“The science is clear,” Pan said. “Californians have spoken. The governor and the Legislature have spoken. No more preventable contagions. No more outbreaks. No more hospitalizations. No more deaths. And no more fear.”

CONTINUING BACKLASH
The bill has proved contentious, with thousands of parents calling representatives and protesting at the Capitol. One state senator said pushback has been so fierce that he briefly closed his district office out of concerns for his staff’s safety. Amid this intensity, the bill passed through four legislative committees and survived votes in both houses. The Senate on Monday approved amendments to the bill, and the governor signed it less than 24 hours later.

Opponents of the bill were deeply emotional Tuesday, but they vowed to continue their fight. Our Kids Our Choice, an advocacy group that rallied against the bill, said it still has a number of options and is considering both litigation and taking the question directly to voters through a referendum. Pan and Allen said they are confident the bill would withstand a legal challenge, noting similar laws have held up in state courts and even in the Supreme Court.

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Data registry helps Contra Costa emergency providers save cardiac arrest patients https://martineztribune.com/2015/07/06/data-registry-helps-contra-costa-emergency-providers-save-cardiac-arrest-patients/ Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:22:43 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=406 A national data registry that helps Contra Costa emergency medical providers optimize the initial treatments that cardiac arrest patients receive in Contra Costa County should become standard across the country, according to a study issued by the Institute of Medicine. The Institute, a nonprofit that is part of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended the …

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A national data registry that helps Contra Costa emergency medical providers optimize the initial treatments that cardiac arrest patients receive in Contra Costa County should become standard across the country, according to a study issued by the Institute of Medicine.

The Institute, a nonprofit that is part of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended the expansion of a registry tracking out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, including treatment, outcomes and factors such as bystander intervention, in its report, “Strategies to Track Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act,” released June 30.

Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services (EMS), a division of Contra Costa Health Services, uses data from CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) to measure the efficacy of strategies to improve cardiac arrest survival rates and to set internal benchmarks, said county EMS Director Patricia Frost.

“The gold standard for measuring any EMS system is its cardiac arrest survival rate,” Frost said. “CARES data have helped us identify areas for improvement as well as what works well in our county.”

CARES also revealed that Contra Costa’s patients were twice as likely to survive, on average, if a bystander witnessed their cardiac arrest and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

That information influenced county EMS providers to emphasize and grow programs such as Contra Costa’s HeartSafe Communities campaign to teach hands-only CPR to residents and to place public-access automated external defibrillators in the community.

The annual number of cases in which bystanders performed CPR on cardiac arrest victims before paramedics arrived has increased 50 percent over the past six years, thanks in part to those efforts.

Contra Costa in 2009 became one of the first California counties to participate in CARES, which was developed at Emory University in Atlanta in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). More than 800 emergency medical services agencies and 1,300 hospitals in 36 states have now joined.

To learn more about Contra Costa’s cardiac system of care, visit cchealth.org/ems/cardiac-arrest.php

To read the Institute of Medicine report, click the “reports” link at iom.nationalacademies.org.

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