Measles makes in appearance in Orange County

The Orange County Register reported that the forth case of the measles in Orange County has been confirmed. So far there have been 21 reported cases in California and 54 reported cases nation wide.

Measles is extremely contagious as it can be transmitted through the air and does not require direct contact with an infected person.

The symptoms usually start between 10-12 days after a person is exposed to the virus but on rare occasions can appear up to 3 weeks later. Symptoms usually present themselves with an incredibly high fever, typically around 105 degrease, feelings of discomfort or weakness, runny nose and pink eye.  A few days later a rash will develop, typically around the ears and hairline. It often spreads to the face and arms.

If you believe you have the measles call your doctor ahead of time and let them know you are coming in, OR instruct the ER nurse right away so they can keep you away from the other patients.

As always, it is suggested that you get vaccinated. According to doctors getting the vaccine will prevent contracting the disease 99% of the time.

How to Prevent Foodborne illness

  1. Clean: Wash produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime. Remove and discard the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage. Because bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of fruit or vegetable, be careful not to contaminate these foods while slicing them up on the cutting board, and avoid leaving cut produce at room temperature for many hours.
  2.  SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate one food with another. Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands, utensils, and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, rather than back on one that held the raw meat.
  3. COOK: meat, poultry, and eggs thoroughly. Using a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat is a good way to be sure that it is cooked sufficiently to kill bacteria: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 158°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry. Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.
  4. CHILL: Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate leftover foods if they are not going to be eaten within 4 hours. Large volumes of food will cool more quickly if they are divided into several shallow containers for refrigeration.

Norovirus: What it is and how to keep yourself from getting infected.

Norovirus is extremely contagious and affects 21 million Americans a year. Often referred to at the “stomach flu” it is responsible for 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths a year according to the San Bernardino County Health Department. It causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Due to the many strains of the virus you can become infected multiple times in your life. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Norovirus, so prevention is crucial.

You can become infected with the virus if you have contact with someone who has the virus. This can happen in various ways including sharing food or drinks with someone who has the virus (they could have it and not be showing any symptoms yet and still pass along the virus), public areas can harbor the virus if not disinfected and cleaned properly.

In order to prevent yourself from picking up this terrible virus make sure to wash your hands before touching your mouth for any reason including, eating or putting on lipstick. Wash your food, as you do not know who was handling it before you bought it at the store. Most importantly if someone in your home gets the virus make sure to wash all laundry thoroughly and wash your hands each time you come into contact with the infected person.

Click here for more information on prevention and treatment of Norovirus.