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160726VitaminD-300Many who live in the Northwest are vitamin D deficient. This is due to many reasons. One, is that we do not get enough sunlight to help produce enough vitamin D, often because many people have indoor jobs.

Common symptoms include muscle or joint pain, weakness, tiredness and fatigue, and possibly depression. There is a blood test to determine vitamin D deficiency, however, most insurance companies don’t cover it.

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Are you at risk for developing whooping cough, also known as pertussis? You may be unaware that the incidence of this illness has increased in both Oregon and the nation. However, you can prevent it with improved vaccinations and boosters.

Background
The name pertussis (intense cough) was first coined by Thomas Sydenham in 1670. The name pertussis is preferable to whooping cough because most infected individuals do not "whoop." The cause of the illness is a toxin, produced by a bacterium called Bordetella Pertussis that is found in the mouth, nose and throat of an infected person. Pertussis can occur at any age. In Oregon, from 2000 through 2010, approximately 60 percent of the pertussis patients were 10 years of age or older. Hospitalization and death from pertussis (4 in the past 5 years) have been limited to those under 1 year of age.

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If you have had the chickenpox or received your childhood immunizations prior to 1995, when the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in the United States, you are at risk of developing shingles. It is a painful condition with potentially long-lasting consequences.

What is shingles? 
Shingles is a rash made up of small fluid-filled blisters that usually appear on one side of the torso or face. It is caused by the herpes-zoster virus, which lingers dormant in the body for life after having had chickenpox. Any suppression of the immune system or other factors, such as stress, can cause reactivation of the virus decades later. Since shingles affects the body's sensory nerves, it is extremely painful, and is the leading cause of chronic nerve pain in America.

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Tagged in: Shingles Vaccines

Posted by on in Primary Care

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. But lo and behold, flu season is upon us. Vaccination is still the tried-and-true way to prevent both sickness and death from influenza. This vaccine will protect against both the seasonal influenza virus as well as the 2009 H1N1 virus.

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Tagged in: Vaccines