February is Heart Healthy Month and the Langlade County Health Department wants you to be healthy! Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, either a heart attack or stroke. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year – that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths!
There are many risk factors you can control to lessen your chances of developing heart disease. Here are 10 ways to a healthier heart:
- Lower high blood pressure – high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and heart or kidney failure. Blood pressure clinics are held each month in a variety of locations. Call the Health Department for dates and times 715-627-6250.
- Reduce cholesterol – have your cholesterol checked! Do you know your numbers? Diet and exercise can help lower your cholesterol.
- Maintain a healthy weight – excess weight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and elevated levels of cholesterol which can cause heart disease.
- Manage diabetes – diabetics are twice as likely to develop heart disease. Have you been tested for diabetes? Talk with your care provider about how to manage diabetes and reduce other risk factors.
- Reduce stress – stress can raise your blood pressure, cause you to eat more, and exercise less. Find ways to decrease stress!
- Quit smoking – smoking greatly increases your risk of heart disease.
- Get regular checkups – Ask your health care provider about any screening tests that you may need to protect your heart.
- Limit your alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and cause extra weight gain.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet – Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, beans, fish, and lean meats. Avoid saturated and trans-fats. Limit foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition.
- Be physically active – Aim for 30-60 minutes of physical activity per day. Most any type of activity can help your heart. If you are out of shape and do not exercise regularly, contact your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced if you take steps to prevent and control risk factors in your life. For more information, talk to your health care provider or check out: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/ or http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
Measles and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent It
The best way to protect against measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (called the MMR shot). Doctors recommend that all children get the MMR shot.
Why should my child get the MMR shot?
The MMR shot:
- Protects your child from measles, a potentially serious disease (and also protects against mumps and rubella)
- Prevents your child from getting an uncomfortable rash and high fever from measles
- Keeps your child from missing school or childcare (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child)
Is the MMR shot safe?
Yes. The MMR shot is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles (as well as mumps and rubella). Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. But most children who get the MMR shot have no side effects.
What are the side effects?
Most children do not have any side effects from the shot. The side effects that do occur are usually very mild, such as a fever or rash. More serious side effects are rare. These may include high fever that could cause a seizure (in about 1 person out of every 3,000 who get the shot) and temporary pain and stiffness in joints (mostly in teens and adults).
Is there a link between the MMR shot and autism?
No. Scientists in the United States and other countries have carefully studied the MMR shot. None has found a link between autism and the MMR shot.
What is measles?
Measles is a serious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. In rare cases, it can be deadly.
What are the symptoms of measles?
Measles starts with a fever that can get very high. Some of the other symptoms that may occur are:
- Cough, runny nose, and red eyes
- Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body
- Ear infection
Doctors recommend that your child get 2 doses of the MMR shot for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages:
- 12 through 15 months
- 4 through 6 years Infants 6 months to 11 months old should have 1 dose of MMR shot before traveling abroad.
Is it serious?
Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. From 2001-2013, 28% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles had to be treated in the hospital.
For some children, measles can lead to:
- Pneumonia (a serious lung infection)
- Lifelong brain damage
How does measles spread?
Measles spreads when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It is very contagious. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash. Almost everyone who has not had the MMR shot will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus.
Where do measles cases in the United States come from?
Measles disease can come into this country when unvaccinated U.S. residents travel internationally or foreign visitors to the United States are exposed to measles in another country and travel into the United States. The risk of getting measles may be very high for unvaccinated U.S. residents who travel abroad. The reason for this high risk is because measles is common in other parts of the world, including countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, about 20 million people get measles each year. When people with measles travel into the United States, they can spread the disease to unvaccinated people including children too young to be vaccinated.
How many measles cases are there in the United States each year?
From 2001 to 2013, the number of measles cases reported in the United States ranged from 37 to 220. However, in some years like 2014, there were more measles cases than usual. In 2014, 644 people from 27 states were reported as having measles. Most of these people got measles in the United States after being exposed to someone who got measles while in another country. So far in 2015, more than 100 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html.
Where can I learn more about the MMR shot and my child?
To learn more about the MMR shot, talk to your child’s doctor, call 1-800-CDC-INFO, or visit www.cdc.gov/ vaccines/parents.