Archive | August 2022


“International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized globally on August 31 to raise awareness about the risks of overdose, honor the individuals whose lives have been lost, and acknowledge the grief felt by families, friends and the community; and,in 2020, the rate of opioid overdose deaths was highest for people aged 35-44 (46.6 per 100,000), while people aged 15-24 experienced the largest percentage increase in opioid overdose death rates between 2019 and 2020.  African Americans have historically lower rates of opioid misuse and opioid involved overdose deaths, growth in opioid overdose deaths among this population now outpaces that of white Americans in the United States.”

Opioid Misuse Prevention Day is August 31st

Opioid addiction remains one of the primary public health crises in the nation. In order to fight it, everyone needs to do their part. The medical community is taking steps to address the frequency with which they prescribe opioid-based pain medications. Law enforcement has stepped up their efforts to reduce the influx of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl. Unison Health has increased its capacity to treat substance abuse disorders through its Sub-Acute Detox facility and Recovery Housing.


One of the best ways to prevent you or the people around you from misusing opioids is to not have any around in the first place! If you’ve been prescribed opioid-based prescription pain medications in the past, check your medicine cabinet to make sure you don’t have any leftovers. Over half of all people with a history of opioid misuse report having gotten or stolen them from a friend or family member.

The best way to dispose of extra medications is through a program in your community. In the meantime, there are places throughout the greater Toledo area where you can deposit unwanted prescription medications safely and easily or check out what places are nearer to you in your county online.

Recognizing the Signs of Opioid Misuse:

According to the AMA, 45% of people who use heroin started with an addiction to prescription opioids. Because people usually receive their initial prescriptions from honest doctors trying to alleviate legitimate pain, some individuals labor under the misconception that these medications are safer than illegal drugs. The fact of the matter is that the potential for abuse and even addiction is very real, and addiction has been known to take hold after just one week of regular use.

For people who are concerned that their child, loved one or friend is misusing opioids, look for the signs. Mood swings or constant irritability may describe the majority of teenagers, but in their extreme form it could indicate a more serious problem. Losing a job or failing in school can also be a red flag, as can disappearing for long periods of time, stealing money or frequent flu-like symptoms. Of course, be on the lookout for more obvious signs such as puncture marks on the arms or excessively lethargic behavior.

Stage 3: Getting Help for People Fighting Opioid Addiction

The AMA also offers pointers on what to do when you’re dealing with someone contending with serious opioid misuse, including knowing the signs of an overdose. These may include:

  • Slowed or no breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures

If someone you know is misusing opioids, it may be a good idea to keep Naloxone – Narcon (a narcotic antidote) on hand. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids and can help preventing death from an overdose until healthcare professionals can arrive. Naloxone is available at a number of pharmacies throughout the U.S. without a prescription, and is recommend you confer with your doctor to see if Naloxone is right for your loved one.



“Millions of households in the United States have one or more pets.However, animals can sometimes carry harmful germs that can spread to people and cause illness – these are known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial, parasites, and fungi. These germs can cause many different types of illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illness and even death. Animals can sometimes appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick, depending on the zoonotic disease.

Zoonotic diseases are very common, both in the United States and around the world. Scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.”.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

To all animal lovers we do have to be concern with zoonotic diseases!

A further 33 diseases have featured in the World Health Organization’s Disease Outbreak News since its inception in 1996. Of the “big eight”now, six are known zoonotic diseases (diseases from animals) – and the remaining two hepatitis C and Chikungunya are assumed to be so, although the animal reservoir remains undiscovered. Whatever the explanation, hepatitis C (1989), West Nile virus (1999), SARS (2003), Chikungunya (2005), swine flu (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014) and Zika (2015) have all since had their time in the media spotlight.

Since then, emerging diseases have been appearing at an accelerating rate. Part of the explanation for this may simply be that we are much better at detecting them now. On the other hand, population pressure, climate change and ecological degradation may be contributing to a situation where zoonosis – the movement of a disease from a vertebrate animal to a human host – is more common.

A zoonosis (zoonotic disease or zoonoses -plural) is an infectious disease that is transmitted between species from animals to humans (or from humans to animals).

Illnesses Associated with Animal Contact:

1-Rabies Rabies is a disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is caused by a virus and is typically spread by an infected animal biting another animal or person. Rabies is a fatal disease; it cannot be treated once symptoms appear. Luckily, rabies can be effectively prevented by vaccination.

2-Blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitidisBlastomycosis is a rare fungal infection usually acquired by inhaling the spores of a fungus (Blastomyces dermatitidis) that can be found in wood and soil.  Blastomycosis occurs most often in people living in Ontario, Manitoba, and the south-central, south-eastern, and mid-western United States. In Minnesota, blastomycosis is most common in St. Louis, Itasca, Cass, Beltrami, Washington, and Chisago counties.   The time between exposure to the spores and when symptoms develop varies widely, ranging from 21 to 100 days. The signs and symptoms of blastomycosis vary among individuals. About 50% of infections are asymptomatic (person does not develop any symptoms or disease) or are mild and resolve without treatment.  Some patients develop a chronic lung infection or the disease can spread to other areas of the body (skin, bones, genitourinary system, or central nervous system).

3-Psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci, Chlamydia psittaci)
Infection with Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly known as Chlamydia psittaci) is cause of systemic illness in companion birds (birds kept by humans as pets) and poultry. This illness is often referred to as avian chlamydiosis (also known as psittacosis, ornithosis, and parrot fever) in birds.

C. psittaci infection can be transmitted from infected birds to humans. The disease resulting from C. psittaci infection in humans is called psittacosis (also known as parrot disease, parrot fever, and chlamydiosis). Most infections are typically acquired from exposure to pet psittacine (parrots, macaws, parakeets) birds.

Infection with C. psittaci usually occurs when a person inhales organisms that have been aerosolized from dried feces or respiratory tract secretions of infected birds. Other means of exposure include mouth-to-beak contact and handling infected birds’ plumage and tissues.

Psittacosis can result in serious health problems including fatal pneumonia. Diagnosis of psittacosis can be difficult. Antibiotic treatment is recommended.

4-Trichinosis (Trichinella spiralisPeople can become infected with Trichinosis from eating raw or undercooked meat that contains the roundworm larvae. It is most commonly found in wild game meat (such as bear, wild feline, fox, dog, wolf, horse, seal, and walrus) and less commonly, pork. After the meat with the parasite larvae is eaten, the larvae grow into worms in the intestines, which reproduce and make larvae that go into the bloodstream and travel to the skeletal muscle and embed.A few days after eating the roundworm larvae they mature and begin reproducing; during this time symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and abdominal pain. As the larvae go into the bloodstream and embed in the muscle; symptoms can include headaches, fevers, chills, weakness, cough, muscle pain, achy joints, pain/swelling around the face and eyes, light sensitivity, pink eye, itchy skin, extreme thirst, and sometimes incoordination and heart/lung problems. Symptoms can last a few months, to many months in severe cases. The severity depends on how many larvae were ingested.

What is the treatment for Trichinosis?

A mild case may not be noticed. Trichinosis is treated with anti-parasitic drugs, and can be fatal if severe cases are not treated. There is no treatment once the larvae embed in the muscles, pain relievers can help.

5-Cat Scratch Disease-CSD (Bartonella henselae)

Generally people who get CSD are bitten, scratched, or licked by a cat before they get sick.  Fleas are responsible for transmitting B. henselae between cats.  Because kittens are more likely to be infected than adult cats, they are more likely to transmit cat scratch disease to humans.  Cats are the natural reservoir for the bacteria that causes CSD, and generally do not show any signs of illness. Therefore it is impossible to know which cats can spread CSD to you.  It is believed that transmission to humans occurs through contamination of bites or scratches with flea excrement.             There is no human-to-human transmission of CSD.

The duration of illness caused by B. henselae is usually 2 to 4 months with spontaneous recovery. TREATMENT-Supportive treatment & Antibiotics may be used for severely ill patients to speed recovery

6-Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)-it is an infection caused by a fungus called Histoplasma. The fungus lives in the environment, particularly in soil that contains large amounts of bird or bat droppings. In the United States, Histoplasma mainly lives in the central and eastern states, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The fungus also lives in parts of Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

People can get histoplasmosis after breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air. Although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick, those who do may have a fever, cough, and fatigue. Many people who get histoplasmosis will get better on their own without medication, but in some people, such as those who have weakened immune systems, the infection can become severe.

6-Coccidiomycosis (Valley Fever)-Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides. The fungus is known to live in the soil in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. The fungus was also recently found in south-central Washington. People can get Valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air, although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick. Usually, people who get sick with Valley fever will get better on their own within weeks to months, but some people will need antifungal medication.

7-Intestinal Illness Acquired From Animals
Including E. coli , Cryptosporidium parvum, Campylobacter, and Salmonella.

People usually get intestinal illnesses (foodborne illnesses like E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium) from food and water. But, you can also get any of these from contact with animals or their environments.

In recent years, intestinal diseases associated with places where the public has contact with farm animals (e.g., petting zoos, state or county fairs, educational farms) have been identified with increasing frequency. Minnesota is no exception to this trend.

Keeping Backyard Poultry-An increasing number of people around the country are choosing to keep poultry, such as chickens or ducks, as part of a greener, healthier lifestyle. While you enjoy the benefits of backyard chickens and other poultry, it is important to consider the risk of illnesses, especially in children, that can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they are kept.

Staying safe at pet zoos or animal fairs-From mid-June to Labor Day is fair season in Minnesota. Each year, fairs across the state provide opportunities to eat deep fried delicacies and interact with livestock and poultry. But these interactions aren’t without risk — animals can carry germs that can make people sick. The risk can be minimized with careful handwashing and taking a few simple precautions.

Spotlight on particular home animal pets:

8-Salmonella- Some Reptiles and Amphibians-They can make cool pets, but they can also be a source of illness. Reptiles (e.g., Iguanas, turtles, snakes) and amphibians (e.g., frogs and toads) carry Salmonella.

Always wash hands after handling reptiles and/or amphibians.   Reptiles and amphibians should not be kept as pets in households with young children (i.e. less than 5 years old) or other high risk individuals, including pregnant women, older persons and the immune-compromised.  Reptiles and amphibians should not be kept in child care centers, schools, or other facilities with children younger than 5 years old.

Salmonella-Chicks and Ducklings:
Those cute little chicks and ducklings can be a great attraction for children this time of year, but they can also be a source of illness, so it’s important for those who handle them to take steps to prevent infection.



Fields’ disease: an extremely rare neuromuscular disease that causes muscular degeneration. The condition affects the nerves causing involuntary muscle movements. There are only two diagnosed cases, in twins Kirstie and Catherine Fields. It is believed to be congenital and appears to be progressive. There are no apparent effects on cognitive or intellectual abilities. The condition is still being studied.”

RxList (


In the top 5 rare diseases is “Fields Condition”.


Llanelli (St Elli‘s Parish“; Welsh pronunciation: [ɬaˈnɛɬi]) is the largest town in the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed, Wales. Located on the Loughor estuary, some 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Swansea and 12 miles (19 km) south-east of the county town, Carmarthen, Llanelli is famous for its rugby tradition and as a centre of tinplate production.  Several communities nearby the town are often included colloquially in Llanelli.

Fields’ disease is considered to be one of the rarest known diseases in the world, with only two diagnosed cases. The frequency of this disease is therefore 1 in approximately 3.75 billion (although since the disease manifested in identical twins, the actual frequency is 1 in approximately 7.5 billion).   It is named after Welsh twins Catherine and Kirstie Fields, of Llanelli. Fields’ disease is a neuromuscular disease, causing muscular degeneration.

The disease was first noticed when the twins were four. Doctors have been unable to identify it and have not been able to match it to any known diseases. As a result, the Fields sisters have undergone numerous tests, but no treatment has yet been found. No definitive cause has been determined, and doctors have generally concluded that they were born with it.

We’re definitely getting into the nitty-gritty of the world’s rarest diseases when we’re talking about Fields Condition, a progressive muscle disorder that affects two sisters (Kirstie & Catherine Fields) and can cause painful muscle spasms up to 100 times each day. The disease is still predominantly a mystery to doctors, but in its wake it’s paralyzed both sisters and cut off their ability to speak, with the two now relying on electronic speech machines to communicate.

The extent of this disease is still not very well known. This very disease has had not shown any effect on their brains or personalities up to now. There is still the uncertainty of not knowing that whether the disease is fatal or not or what is the life expectancy with this kind of disease. If the cause of this disease is considered to be somewhat genetic, then there are possibilities of the twins passing this disease to their offspring’s.

However, it is made clear that this disease is definitely not communicable. However, due to the rarity of this disease, there is still uncertainty and lack of any form or equipment for the cure of this disease.

Regarding the twins alive, the twins require the use of wheelchairs for mobility and are unable to speak without the assistance of electronic speaking aids. They experience persistent and painful muscle spasms which are worsened by emotional distress. They are currently living with their parents, with the assistance of hospice workers. Doctors continue to administer tests to the twins in search of a treatment.

At this point this is all we know about the fields’ disease as the doctors are still researching on it and have not been able to find much on it.


Building healthy bones is extremely important.

Minerals are incorporated into your bones during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass.

If not enough bone mass is created during this time or bone loss occurs later in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones that break easily.

Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age.

The key to Healthy BONES!

Image result for skeletal bones     Image result for bones              Image result for skeletal bones

The infrastructure of the human body that allows us to perform our daily activities from standing, to sitting, to walking, or even climbing is our skeletal system. The major pillar or beam in the skeletal system is the vertebral column (spinal column). This bone structure allows us to bend, stand upright, twist, to dancing up a storm down the happy trail of life, if taken care of properly. If not, you may not be considering your life a happy tune, during that time of injury that can be a short or long haul before resolved, if ever. This infrastructure is so vital in our activities of our daily life. Many of us don’t realize that until the injury or damage sets in. There is one way you can bypass this disaster, don’t have it become a part of your life which is taking preventative measures; especially if you do heavy lifting in your life; like in my job as a nurse. One major ingredient to preventative measures is proper body mechanics but the trick here is never lift heavy items from below your waist level without bending your legs or even better without a second person helping you or some form of support but there is more to it than just that. There are more factors involved in helping you keep your back with all other bones strong. That would be healthy dieting, maintaining a good weight for your height (body mass index), and good exercise (not necessarily work out but if that is what you enjoy doing, it’s even better and don’t stop). All these ingredients to a better development and maintenance of your skeletal system=HEALTHY HABITS. A plus and benefit that many choose to do is going regularly to a chiropractor who can keep your spine in alignment (see one before injury starts). Recommended in Rockland County, NY is Dr. Diane Gregory, who I go to for my back and who has done both prevention & Rx;

The key is to be living a healthy life. This consists of diet, exercise, activity and healthy habits learned and practiced in your routine of daily living that will help prevent or assist you in treating bone and back injuries; even problems caused by the inactivity with doing heavy lifting (Ex. lack of any muscle tone or muscle knots), which can inflict bone or back injuries. The better we treat ourselves EVERYDAY regarding health the higher the odds we will live a longer life. One common problem in America that can occur if not living healthy and/or using improper body mechanics with heavy lifting, especially frequently, can increase the risk of sciatica nerve damage. The pain of sciatica is typically felt from the low back (lumbar area) to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. The sciatica nerve is the largest nerve in the body that begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock to send the nerve ending down the lower limb to the foot. Depending on the precise cause of the sciatica symptoms with the duration, the outlook for recovery from sciatica ranges from excellent to having long term chronic symptoms. This can be prevented to some extent by avoiding low back trauma injuries. Thinking before lifting is the one of the best ideas. Osteoporosis is a common bone problem that is a abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones attributable to a lack of calcium, most common in postmenopausal women. This progressive bone disease that’s characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density leads to an increased risk of a fracture. The causes of this disease that are modifiable (can be changed) would be: Vitamin D deficiency, menopause, excess alcohol, tobacco smoking, malnutrition (identified risk factors include low dietary calcium and/or phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, boron, iron, fluoride, copper, vitamins A,K,E, and C; also D where skin exposure to sunlight provides an inadequate supply. Excess sodium is a risk factor. High blood acidity may be diet related, and is a known antagonist to the bone. Some have identified low protein intake as associated with lower peak bone mass during adolescence and lower bone mineral density in elderly populations. Other risk factors are inactive, underweight, heavy leads-a strong association between cadmium and lead with bone disease has been established. Low-level exposure to cadmium is associated with an increased loss of bone mineral density readily in both genders. Some studies even show soft drinks can increase the risk of osteoporosis related to high phosphoric acid. Others suggest soft drinks may displace calcium containing drinks from the diet rather than causing osteoporosis.

Another bone disorder is osteomalacia that is a softening of the bones caused by defective bone mineralization secondary to inadequate amounts of available phosphorus and calcium. The most common cause of the disease is a deficiency in vitamin D, which is normally obtained from the diet and/or from sunlight exposure. We can help our bones in many ways. There is not just one food to eat or one type of exercise to do or one healthy habit to practice to keep you healthy with strong bones, there are choices.   Wouldn’t you want less risk of bone or back injury or disease for yourself and for others throughout the nation including the future generations? Than join me and others. If you like what you see spread the good cheer. Let’s build a stronger foundation regarding HEALTH in America.

Adults need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

Foods healthy for bones and Good sources of calcium include::

  • milk, cheese and other dairy foods.
  • green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach.
  • soya beans.
  • tofu.
  • plant-based drinks (such as soya drink) with added calcium.
  • nuts.
  • bread and anything made with fortified flour.
  • fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards.


“After receiving the test results, a specialist will help you decide on a treatment plan. The goal of treatment is remission, meaning that the condition is no longer causing any complications. Many patients require no treatment at all but should be followed by a specialist regardless.

If you do need treatment, specialists often use medications that turn down your immune system’s activity. Several different medications can be prescribed to treat sarcoidosis. If your sarcoidosis of the lungs progresses to pulmonary fibrosis, your doctor may recommend additional treatments such as respiratory medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and in severe enough cases may consider you a candidate for a lung transplant.

American Lung Association

Part III Sarcoidosis

Definition: Idiopathic systemic disorder characterized by accumulation of lymphocytes and monocytes in many organs forming noncaseating, epitheloid granuloma and subsequent conformational changes in the involved organs. Etiology: unknown. Extent of involvement : systemic. Clinical course : variable from asymptomatic disease with spontaneous resolution to progressive disease with organ system failure. Symptoms: dependent on site of involvement. 1.


How Sarcoidosis can be diagnosed:

  • biopsy of the lungs, liver, skin, or other affected organs to check for granulomas
  • Blood tests, including complete blood counts, to check hormone levels and to test for other conditions that may cause sarcoidosis
  • Bronchoscopy, which may include rinsing an area of the lung to get cells or using a needle to take cells from the lymph nodes in the chest
  • Chest X-ray to look for granulomas in the lungs and heart and determine the stage of the disease. Often, sarcoidosis is found because a chest X-ray is performed for another reason.
  • Neurological tests, such as electromyography, evoked potentials, spinal taps, or nerve conduction tests, to detect problems with the nervous system caused by sarcoidosis
  • Eye exam to look for eye damage, which can occur without symptoms in a person with sarcoidosis
  • Gallium scan external link , which uses a radioactive material called gallium to look for inflammation, usually in the eyes or lymph nodes.
  • High-resolution computed tomography (CT) scan to look for granulomas
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help find granulomas. Learn more in our Chest MRI Health Topic.
  • Positron electron tomography (PET) scan, a type of imaging that can help find granulomas
  • Pulmonary function tests to check whether you have breathing problems
  • Ultrasound to look for granulomas

There is a staging to Sarcoidosis:

Doctors use stages to describe the various imaging findings of sarcoidosis of the lung or lymph nodes of the chest. There are four stages of sarcoidosis, and they indicate where the granulomas are located. In each of the first three stages, sarcoidosis can range from mild to severe. This helps the doctor in deciding treatment for the patient.  Stage IV is the most severe and indicates permanent scarring in the lungs.

  • Stage I: Granulomas are located only in the lymph nodes.
  • Stage II: Granulomas are located in the lungs and lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: Granulomas are located in the lungs only.
  • Stage IV: Pulmonary fibrosis.

Treatment for Sarcoidosis:

Remember there is no cure.  The goal of treatment is remission, a state in which the condition is not causing problems. Not everyone who is diagnosed with sarcoidosis needs treatment. Sometimes the condition goes away on its own. Whether you need treatment—and what type you need—will depend on your signs and symptoms, which organs are affected, and whether those organs are working well; this is also where staging of the disease comes into play. Some people do not respond to treatment.