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Educational health information to improve your well-being.

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Tips for Virtual Holiday Celebrations

November 24, 2020

Everyone enjoys gathering together for holiday celebrations. This year, though, the gatherings may have a different look and feel. Because eating together is a higher risk activity—especially when eating with those who live outside your immediate household—virtual gatherings are encouraged this year. But can a virtual gathering be fun? According to our colleagues at Duke Health they absolutely can be! Here are some of their suggestions for events to help all relax and reconnect safely during the holidays: Host virtual holiday trivia A quick round of trivia is a familiar way to encourage... Continue Reading

Man talking with a nutritionist at a kitchen table

Diabetes Myths and Facts

November 23, 2020

There is a lot of information about diabetes—many conflicting claims on the internet, advice from friends and family, and plethora of opinions from “health experts.” It's often challenging for individuals with diabetes to navigate this world of information (or misinformation), whether they are newly diagnosed, starting a new medication or simply trying to manage their blood sugar better. Today we're going to dispel a few myths to clear up the water. Myth: “If I have diabetes I can’t eat carbs.” Fact: Evidence suggests that a balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat can help... Continue Reading

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Everything You Need to Know about Diabetes

November 20, 2020

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It's the perfect time to review the most common types of diabetes, general statistics, and current research surrounding the growing prevalence of early onset Type 2 Diabetes. What is Diabetes? Diabetes the one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Did you know one in 10 individuals have diabetes in the United States? Additionally, one in five individuals does not even know they have diabetes. Normally, when you eat a meal, it is broken down into glucose (sugar). That glucose enters your blood, and this signals the pancreas to release... Continue Reading

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Reduce your risk of spreading COVID-19 at Thanksgiving

November 18, 2020

It’s Thanksgiving! Many will be traveling to celebrate with families. Travel and family gatherings, though, can increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home. If you are sick—with COVID-19, flu or any other contagious disease—you should not attend any in-person holiday celebration. Those with medical conditions that increase risk for severe illness should also avoid in-person gatherings. If you do decide to celebrate with others, different activities carry different levels of risk for COVID-19. Here, from the CDC, are... Continue Reading

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Gatherings & Get-Togethers During a Pandemic: Tips for Staying Safe & Healthy

November 16, 2020

As the temperatures nudge colder and the days grow shorter, a bright spot of the fall and winter seasons each year is the holiday gatherings. But the celebrations—Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years—usually include indoor gatherings of friends and families, crowded parties, and travel. All of these activities increase the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. So how do we reduce risk for our own parties and the ones we attend? Here, from the Augusta Health Infection Prevention specialists and the CDC, are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. First... Continue Reading

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Traveling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 3, 2020

As the fall and winter holidays approach, families begin to plan traditional gatherings to celebrate. Most of these celebrations involve travel of some family members. Thanksgiving is the often the busiest travel weekend of the year. This year, though, is the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's impacted travel and holiday plans. Planning is more complex and includes additional safety considerations. Here are some facts and tips to incorporate into your holiday travel plans. First, a fact to remember: Staying home is the very best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You can... Continue Reading

Man with diabetes checking his blood sugar

Complications from Diabetes and COVID-19

October 26, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, more research has been published regarding devastating outcomes for diabetic patients who get the disease. As of October 26, 2020, there have been 6,710 reported cases of COVID-19 in our local Central Shenandoah Health District, which includes Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Staunton. Information on how many of those cases were in diabetic patients is not currently available. What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It spreads from person-to-person through droplets of... Continue Reading

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Working to prevent breast cancer in high risk patients at Augusta Health

October 23, 2020

Perhaps the best way to treat or cure breast cancer is to prevent it from occurring at all. Called a "preventive oncology strategy", breast cancer prevention is the goal of the High Risk Program at Augusta Health's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. For those at high risk of developing breast cancer, the program provides a framework to reduce that risk and prevent cancer from occurring. "Through our community genetic screening program, and with referrals from radiologists who identified patients through mammograms, we realized we'd discovered a fairly sizeable pool of people who were at... Continue Reading

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Halloween Safety: How to celebrate the holiday that has always had masks!

October 21, 2020

As summer fades into fall, the leaves change, the weather cools and we begin a season with many traditional holidays. One of the first of these is Halloween. Each community will probably determine its own official Halloween activities, but it's important to remember that many traditional Halloween activities could present a high-risk for spreading the virus. So the first consideration is: If you or anyone in your family is suspected of having COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not participate in any Halloween activities—including passing out treats to trick-or-... Continue Reading

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COVID-19 & Seasonal Flu: What are the Similarities and Differences?

October 6, 2020

As the flu season begins and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the community faces the possibility of a 'twindemic'. Both are respiratory illnesses that are contagious, but because they are caused by different viruses, it is possible to have both at the same time. They share some symptoms, so telling them apart based on symptoms alone is difficult. Testing might be required to confirm a diagnosis. COVID-19 is still very new, and researchers learn more about it every week. According to the CDC, this is the best information available to compare flu and COVID-19: What are the symptoms? The... Continue Reading