Coronavirus Update from Maryland Department of Health

I received a clinician letter from the Maryland Department of Health today regarding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). To summarize:

1) There are no lab confirmed cases in Maryland thus far.
2) Testing is recommended for those with fever, cough or shortness of breath, and travel to China within 14 days prior.
3) If you meet the above criteria, call ahead to your healthcare provider before being seen so precautions can be taken.

More info and updates from the Maryland Department of Health, including precautions, can be found here:

Rules of Exercise over 40

On to my number one rule for exercise when you’re over 40 – don’t get injured! The key to staying healthy and fit as we age is consistency (in exercise and diet), and that’s also the most difficult part. I always recommend starting an exercise regimen gradually and don’t rush progression too much since the goal is sticking with it. This article has practical tips on avoiding injury:

Coffee Drinkers – Beware or Cheer?!

Does drinking countless cups of coffee delay our demise?

A big thank you to my friend who pointed out this valuable research demonstrating the relationship between coffee consumption and reduced mortality. Very reassuring indeed.

What is the Grandparent Shot?

What is the grandparent shot? Glad you asked!

Many people call TDAP (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) the grandparent shot. Your immunity as a grandparent helps protect your grandkids from pertussis, which is whooping cough.

Babies are especially vulnerable to whooping cough since they don’t get their first vaccine for it until they’re two months old and are not fully immune until six months old.

TDAP is recommended as a one time booster for all adults who haven’t had it since their childhood vaccines. It’s also recommended for all expectant moms during each pregnancy.

Welcome summer! Not welcome – ticks!

School’s out and the season we’ve all been waiting for is here – tick season! I wanted to remind everyone that the best way to prevent Lyme disease is by covering up with clothes/spray and checking for ticks as soon as you can after coming in from outdoors. An imbedded tick that has only been present a short time can just be removed. If you think it’s been attached over 36 hours, call your doctor for a preventive dose of antibiotic like doxycycline.

Belly fat is a real nuisance!

How can I lose my belly fat? I get this question quite a bit, and I found this helpful article summing up all the research-based advice. Belly fat is not only a nuisance, but also a danger to your future health!

Measles Update from the Department of Health

I received a measles outbreak update letter from the Department if Health this week. Just wanted to share the updates:
– Four cases in Maryland so far limited to Pikesville/Towson areas (zips 21208, 21209, 21215)
– MMR vaccine is given routinely at ages of one and 4-6 years old. This series provides 97% immunity. It’s not recommended to routinely test for immunity since having received the vaccine twice supersedes the blood test result.
– For those born before 1957, immunity is assumed since everyone in that age group was exposed to measles in childhood.
– Measles is VERY contagious so If you have symptoms of it (rash, fever, pink eye, runny nose, cough), call ahead to your doctor’s office or urgent care so they can prepare for your visit.

On the Job Experience is Priceless

Ahh – I remember medical training with such fondness! There’s nothing like on-the-job training. I remember one time in residency that I walked an intern through doing her first paracentesis (which went fine) and the patient asked me afterwards if I was her mom!