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Tell your kids: go out and play

Kids need a well-rounded diet of play to develop into well-rounded adults.

Kids need a well-rounded diet of play to develop into well-rounded adults.

(NAPS)—The next time you tell your children to stop playing and hit the books, you may want to think again. The Genius of Play, a movement to bring more play into kids’ lives, wants you to know that playtime is critical to healthy child development. Through play, kids build physical skills, improve cognitive abilities, learn communication and social skills, process and express emotions, and increase creativity.

Parenting expert and author Meredith Sinclair, M.Ed., offers four fun tips to help parents encourage more playtime every day.

  • Look for opportunities to make chores or activities you already do with your kids more playful. For example, grocery shopping can be a great chance to play “I Spy,” or you can make flash card drawings of items you want your child to help you find. When you’re doing the laundry, have your child roll the socks and make it a basketball -challenge.
  • Create a simple “Pops of Playfulness” jar for those moments when there’s “nothing to do.” Fill a mason jar with slips of paper that say such things as “tell us your best joke,” “pillow fight!” or “five-minute puppet show.” Whenever you need a spontaneous spark of playfulness, simply pull one from the jar and jump in.
  • Make a time for a playdate. Whether it’s playing with friends or family, playdates are an important part of childhood—a time when your children can learn to resolve problems and hone their social skills.
  • Check out nearby parks and playgrounds. They can be great places for your kids to make new friends and learn about other cultures. Don’t worry about language barriers. The language of play is universal.

Research shows that play is essential for kids to reach developmental milestones and learn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children spend 60 minutes daily engaged in open-ended, unstructured play.

Here are three amazing facts about play:

  1. Play enhances the progress of early development from 33 percent to 67 percent by improving language and reducing social and emotional problems.
  2. Children with access to a variety of toys were found to reach higher levels of intellectual achievement, regardless of the children’s sex, race or social class.
  3. Research points to a direct correlation between play and stress reduction.

It’s Child’s Play: Great Ideas and Resources for Parents

Parents and other caretakers can get expert advice, play tips and ideas based on their children’s ages and developmental stages from www.thegeniusofplay.org. Created with the mission to help raise happier, healthier and more successful generations through the power of play, the Genius of Play website and social media channels show how to help kids build confidence, creativity, critical thinking and other skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

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Gym-free fitness ideas anyone can do

HEA-Gym-free-fitness

(BPT) – Visiting a gym to lift weights or take a class is great for your health. However, busy schedules, tight budgets and simply not feeling like the gym environment is for you are reasons that frequently cause people to stop going. Fortunately, being fit doesn’t require the gym!

Tavis Piattoly, a sports dietitian, expert nutritionist and co-founder of My Sports Dietitian, offers some no-fuss ideas for staying healthy without the gym.

Inside the home
Stuck inside? No problem. Try some squats or, if mobility is an issue, squat to a chair. Push-ups are another classic, highly effective option. If regular push-ups aren’t an option, do them from your knees or against the wall. Other amazing exercises: lunges around the house, shoulder presses with dumbbells, jumping rope, jumping jacks, running in place, planks and sit-ups.

Outside in nature
Being out in the fresh air is a great escape that offers loads of fitness possibilities. Try hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, skiing, fishing, mountain biking or whatever else peaks your curiosity. Simply taking a walk around the yard or block is beneficial, too.

At the office
Overcome the sedentary office lifestyle by making time for fitness. Try taking the stairs every day and park far away so you walk to the door. Then, use a 5-minute break every hour to do something active such as chair squats or seated leg raises. Set an automated alert so you don’t forget.

Group fitness
Fitness can be more fun when you do it with friends or family. Play tag, organize relay races or create an obstacle course outside. Other enjoyable group fitness activities include hiking, swimming, basketball, soccer, Frisbee and bike rides.

When out and about
A busy schedule packed with errands still presents the opportunity for fitness. For example, walk or run the parking lot while kids are taking dance or music classes rather than passing the time on your smartphone.

Nutrients
A healthy balance of nutrients keeps blood sugar levels from crashing and gives you a steady source of energy. Piattoly especially recommends taking a Nordic Naturals supplement daily to get the omega-3s you need for optimal health. Extensive research has documented the health benefits of the two main omega-3s (EPA and DHA), which include not only support for a healthy heart, but also brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.

Balanced meals

To support fitness efforts, it’s important to eat well and regularly. The best foods for sustained energy are balanced meals of complex fiber carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean protein. Piattoly suggests eating every three to four hours. Some ideas to include in balanced meals: whole grain breads and crackers, chicken breast, legumes and fresh fruit and vegetables.

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PTSD: Not Just a Veteran’s Illness

HEA-PTSD-despairBy Mary Kuhlman, The Michigan News Connection

LANSING, Mich. Almost 25 million people in the United States are living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the support group PTSD United. That includes thousands of Michiganders who have suffered a traumatic event, from crimes or natural disasters to events surrounding military service.

The diagnosis is only part of seeking help, said Dr. Matthew Friedman, senior adviser at the Veterans Administration’s National Center for PTSD.

“On the one hand, there are resilient people who meet the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD, but they can cope with the symptoms,” he said. “Then, there are other people for whom PTSD is completely debilitating.”

Friedman said treatment has advanced to include cognitive behavior therapy and medication that can help people work through their illness. While it’s normal to experience stress after a traumatic event, Friedman said you should seek professional help if it lasts longer than three months, disrupts home or work life, or you find yourself reliving the event frequently and experiencing flashbacks.

“We really want people to recognize that they’ve got PTSD and, if they’re not sure, they should see a professional who can help them sort that out—and if they do, then we have treatments that work,” he said. “People who think they have PTSD, or their loved one has PTSD, should seek treatment.”

The annual cost of anxiety disorders to society is estimated to be significantly more than $42 billion, often due to misdiagnosis and undertreatment. This includes the costs of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medical treatment and prescription drugs, plus indirect workplace costs and mortality costs.

More information is online at ptsd.va.gov.

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State confirms case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever 

Residents reminded to protect against all tick-borne illness 

LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed a case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in a child in Cass County. This is the first confirmed case of RMSF contracted in Michigan since 2009.

RMSF is a tick-borne disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people. Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A characteristic rash may develop a few days later. The rash typically consists of small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots on the wrists, forearms, and ankles that spreads to include the trunk, and sometimes the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. However, some people never develop the rash, or the rash may have an atypical appearance.

“Like all tick-borne illnesses, the best way to protect yourself against Rocky Mountain spotted fever is to prevent tick bites,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the MDHHS. “Let your doctor know right away if you develop signs of illness such as fever, rash, or body aches in the days after a tick bite or potential exposure. Early detection and treatment are essential to preventing serious health complications.”

RMSF can be challenging to diagnose because it can mimic other common diseases. Early treatment is essential to preventing serious complications, including death. If RMSF if suspected, the antibiotic doxycycline is the first line treatment for both adults and children, and should be initiated immediately.

There are a number of ticks in the United States that can transmit RMSF including the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, which is the most common tick encountered in Michigan. Other ticks that transmit the disease outside of Michigan are the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, and the brown dog tick, Rhipecephalus sanguineus.

Residents can protect themselves by using the following tips to prevent tick bites:

• Avoiding tick-infested areas. This is especially important in the spring and summer in Michigan. If you are in tick infested areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges. Dogs and cats can come into contact with ticks outdoors and bring them into the home, so using tick prevention products on pets is recommended.

• Using insect repellent. Apply repellent containing DEET (20-30 percent) or Picaridin on exposed skin. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some RMSF Michigan Case camping gear. Do not use permethrin directly on skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying any repellents.

• Bathing or showering. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Ticks can get a ride indoors on your clothes. After being outdoors, dry clothing should be tumble-dried in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. The clothes should be warm and completely dry when finished.

• Performing daily tick checks. Always check for ticks on yourself and your animals after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Inspect all body surfaces carefully, and remove attached ticks with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

For more information about RMSF, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/index.html. Additional tips on tick bite prevention can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html.

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Report could be a wake-up call for antibiotic reform

HEA-Antibiotics-in-farming

By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

A new report calls for banning or restricting the use of antibiotics in farm animals to curb the global spread of infections.

Cameron Harsh, senior manager for organic and animal policy with the Center for Food Safety, explains continuously dosing animals creates stronger strains of bacteria, which makes antibiotics less effective at fighting infections in people.

He says the report is a wake-up call for policymakers to reform common factory farming practices.

“Producers can crowd animals, have higher stocking densities, and they’re getting animals to grow faster on less feed,” he explains. “So, in the long run, these have been misused as a tool to raise more meat and poultry products faster and more cheaply.”

According to the report from the Britain based review on Antimicrobial Resistance, some 700,000 people die each year worldwide from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that number could rise to 10 million per year by 2050.

Industry groups say they’re using antibiotics to keep animals healthy, and maintain the practice is necessary to keep costs down.

Harsh notes making sure animals have good feed, can access the outdoors and have enough space to lie down helps boost their natural immune systems.

And he says an increasing number of people are willing to pay more for drug-free meat, dairy and eggs.

“And you’re seeing a lot of companies make strong statements about antibiotic use in their supplies, and make strong commitments to reduce use,” he adds. “But transparency is going to be an important step moving forward, so that consumers can make informed food decisions in the marketplace.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has introduced guidelines that would require farmers to get antibiotics from licensed veterinarians, instead of over the counter at the local feed store, and has asked drug makers to voluntarily remove growth promotion claims from labels.

Harsh says those moves don’t go far enough.

The report can be accessed at

http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160518_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf

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A passion for hospice

As a former Hospice of Michigan CEO, Carolyn Cassin is a passionate advocate for hospice care. She continues to support the mission of nonprofit hospice through a legacy gift of $1 million to the Hospice of Michigan Foundation.

As a former Hospice of Michigan CEO, Carolyn Cassin is a passionate advocate for hospice care. She continues to support the mission of nonprofit hospice through a legacy gift of $1 million to the Hospice of Michigan Foundation.

When Carolyn Cassin lost her baby son, she went back to work the following Monday, devastated.

The year was 1976 and people didn’t talk openly about grief and loss. She remembers the platitudes: “you’re young, you’ll have other children,” and the silence. Cassin realized that nothing much had changed in the 10 years since the death of her father. She swallowed that loss, too, returning to high school a few days after the funeral.

“I never grieved for my father or my baby,” recalled Cassin, who now serves as president and CEO of the Michigan Women’s Foundation. “I remember thinking: If death is a natural part of life, why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we grieve? “I was confounded by this. I didn’t know what to do.”

So Cassin channeled her energy and sadness into education. A fellowship program through the Kellogg Foundation enabled her to study the concept of hospice, which was still taking root in America.

“I became unbelievably taken by this,” she remembered. “As I was sitting down and reading, the tears started to come.”

I thought, “Oh, this is what death should be like. You should be surrounded by friends and family. You should be able to talk about, prepare for it, say your goodbyes. “It touched something very deep in me and I knew this was what I needed to do.”

And so was born a passionate advocate for hospice. Cassin connected with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in the early 1980s, helping to bring standards of care to hospice providers throughout the country. She was tapped to join the National Hospice Education Project, which worked to create the Medicare hospice benefit in 1982. As the CEO of Hospice of Southeastern Michigan, hers was one of the first hospice programs in the country to be certified under those new guidelines.

But the career achievement she’s most proud of? Uniting 10 nonprofit hospice providers around the state under the umbrella of Hospice of Michigan, where she served as CEO for more than a decade.

“Sometimes it takes being at the right place at the right time,” Cassin said. “My sense was that hospice had two paths we could go down. We could each stay in our own community organization and fend for ourselves or we could start to band together as not-for-profit hospice providers and create the size, girth and expertise of a sophisticated organization that could compete with the for-profits.

That process continues today as Hospice of Michigan joined forces in January with Arbor Hospice. The affiliation of two like-minded, mission-driven, nonprofit organizations allows them to better serve patients and families while helping to strengthen and expand the future of nonprofit hospice in Michigan.

Cassin continues to support the mission of nonprofit hospice through a legacy gift of $1 million to the Hospice of Michigan Foundation in support of its Open Access program, which will bear her name. Open Access ensures that all patients, without regard to age, diagnosis or ability to pay, can receive compassionate care at the end of life.

Legacy gifts like Cassin’s are critical to supporting the mission of nonprofit organizations like Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice. Residents of Washtenaw County and beyond have a long history of supporting Arbor Hospice’s work through generous contributions to The Arbor Hospice Foundation.

That generosity is underscored by a recent legacy gift of $500,000, pledged anonymously by a donor who appreciates Arbor’s dedication to patients’ dignity, comfort and peace and the nonprofit model that enables Arbor to put patients’ needs first. While patients of both Hospice of Michigan and Arbor benefit from enhancements made possible through the affiliation, donors may continue directing their gifts to a specific organization.

“Uniting 10 organizations under the banner of nonprofit hospice was quite the feat to pull off,” said Marcie Hillary, who serves as vice president for Hospice of Michigan. “It is Carolyn that we have to thank for our platform that strengthens and supports nonprofit hospice. Her level of innovation and forethought set the stage for Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice to be recognized as leaders in end-of-life care.”

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Keep clear of the “Danger Zone” this summer

 

Summer cookouts are right around the corner and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is urging consumers to remember the four simple steps to food safety – Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill – and to steer clear of the ‘Danger Zone’ while cooking outdoors.

“I encourage families to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors and the variety of food America’s farmers are able to provide,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “It’s important to remember that bacteria grow faster in the same warm temperatures, so extra care should be taken to make sure perishable food doesn’t spend too long in the Danger Zone. That is temperatures between 40 and 140˚F when perishable food spoils rapidly. Foods that should be served hot or cold should not spend more than one hour in the Danger Zone when temperatures are above 90˚F, and two hours when temperatures are below 90˚F.”

Planning ahead is a key factor for ensuring food is safely handled and stored, and USDA’s FoodKeeper App can help. Developed by FSIS in partnership with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, this application informs users on how to store food and beverages to maximize their freshness and quality, helping to promote food safety while also reducing food waste. The FoodKeeper application offers users valuable storage advice about more than 400 food and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more. The app also links to FSIS’ other digital resources, such as AskKaren.

What is the Danger Zone?

The Danger Zone is the temperature range in which bacteria can grow faster. Bacteria can actually double in number in as little as 20 minutes when perishable food is kept in the Danger Zone. In order to steer clear of the Danger Zone, you should always:

  • Keep cold food, at or below 40°F, in the refrigerator, in coolers, or in containers on ice.
  • Limit the time coolers are open. Open and close the lid quickly. Do not leave coolers in direct sunlight.
  • Keep foods served hot at or above 140°F, in chafing dishes, warming trays, slow cookers or on the grill. You can keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the safe recommended temperatures.
  • Never leave food between 40 and 140˚F for more than two hours.  If the temperature is above 90°F, food should not be left out more than one hour.

As always, we remind consumers to follow the four steps to food safety when preparing dishes for a cookout:

Clean: Make sure to always wash your hands and surfaces with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before cooking and after handling raw meat or poultry during cooking. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and work spaces with soap and warm water too. If you plan to be away from the kitchen, pack clean cloths and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

Separate:  When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

Cook: Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of burgers, steaks, chicken, and foods containing meat or poultry.

Hamburgers, sausages and other ground meats should reach 160 °F.

All poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165 °F.

Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal, and of beef should be cooked to 145 °F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, and allowed to rest for three minutes before eating. A “rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens.

Fish should be cooked to 145°F.

Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside, and by using a food thermometer you can be sure items have reached a safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy any harmful bacteria that may be present.

Chill: After a cookout, place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate or freeze immediately. Discard food left in the Danger Zone too long. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

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Michigan residents urged to “Fight the Bite” 

OUT-Fight-the-Bite-mosquitoWith warmer weather upon us, it is important to take precautions against mosquito and tick bites.  The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services, Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development are reminding all residents to protect themselves from mosquito and tick-borne diseases in Michigan and while traveling out of state.

“As we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to remember that a single bite from an infected mosquito can have serious health consequences,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “The best way to protect yourself and your family against mosquito-borne illness is to prevent mosquito bites.”

Seasonal activity varies from year to year, but mosquitoes encountered in Michigan can carry illnesses such as West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and ticks can carry illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. International travelers may be at risk for exposure to other mosquito-transmitted diseases. People considering international travel, including Mexico, Central and South America, should consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travelers health page for specific health information about the country they are visiting.

“Horses and other animals can act as sentinels for mosquito-borne viruses such as EEE, which is why implementing preventive measures and vaccination is important,” said Dr. James Averill, MDARD’s State Veterinarian. “Additionally, dogs and domestic animals are susceptible to tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease. I encourage all animal owners to work with a licensed veterinarian to make sure your animals stay healthy.”

Mosquito and tick-borne diseases can cause mild symptoms, severe infections requiring hospitalization, and even death in some cases. Nationally in 2015, there were 2,060 WNV cases and 119 deaths reported to the CDC, including 18 cases and two deaths in Michigan. Those with the highest risk of illness caused by WNV are adults 50 years of age and older.

Michigan is considered “low risk” for mosquito transmission of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya virus, as the mosquitoes that spread the diseases have not been found in the state. Zika is a virus that is newly emerged in the western hemisphere, and while its symptoms are not considered severe, the virus can cause birth defects in fetuses of pregnant women exposed to the virus. To date in 2016, there have been four travel-related cases identified in Michigan. Protection against mosquito-borne disease is as easy as remembering to take these key steps:

• Avoid mosquito bites: Use insect repellent according to label directions when outdoors and mosquitoes are biting. Look for EPA-labeled products containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus). Re-apply as needed. Use nets or fans around outdoor eating areas to keep mosquitoes away. Start with a low-concentration product and reapply if necessary. Apply repellent on your hands and then rub it on the child and never apply repellent to children’s hands or their skin under clothing.

• Mosquito-proof homes: Fix or install window and door screens and cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

• Help your community: Report dead birds to Michigan’s Emerging Diseases website to help track WNV and support community-based mosquito control programs.

• Vaccinate horses against WNV and EEE virus and work with your veterinarian.

• Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission. If they must travel, they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Michigan is also home to a number of tick species that will bite people and are typically found in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter. The ticks mostly commonly encountered in Michigan can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other human illnesses. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease reported in the state with 148 human cases reported in 2015.

Many tick-borne diseases have similar symptoms. See your healthcare provider if you develop signs of illness such as a fever, body aches and/or rash in the days after receiving a tick bite or recreating in tick habitat. Early recognition and treatment can decrease the chance of serious complications. You can prevent tick bites by:

• Avoiding tick-infested areas. This is especially important in May, June, and July. If you are in tick infested areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges. Dogs and domestic animals can also be impacted, so using a tick preventative is recommended.

• Using insect repellent. Apply repellent containing DEET (20-30%) or Picaridin on clothes and on exposed skin. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some camping gear. Do not use permethrin directly on skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying any repellents.

• Bathing or showering. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Ticks can get a ride indoors on your clothes. After being outdoors, wash and dry clothing at a high temperature to kill any ticks that may remain on clothing.

• Performing daily tick checks. Always check for ticks after being outdoors, including your animals, even in your own yard. Because ticks must usually be attached for at least a day before they can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, early removal can reduce the risk of infection. Inspect all body surfaces carefully, and remove attached ticks with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

For more information about the diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases, or the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.

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State lab begins testing for Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses

Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services state laboratory began conducting diagnostic testing for Zika, dengue and chikungunya, which are mosquito-borne viruses.

This represents an expanded effort by the department to identify and monitor new cases of these viruses in Michigan travelers returning from areas where the viruses are currently circulating. These testing services are being provided to healthcare providers in Michigan through the department’s Bureau of Laboratories. It builds on the current testing the Bureau conducts for West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis viruses.

Michigan is considered “low risk” for mosquito transmission of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya virus, as the mosquitoes that spread the diseases are not present in the state. Zika is a virus that is newly emerged in the western hemisphere; while its symptoms are not considered severe, the virus can cause birth defects in fetuses of pregnant women exposed to the virus. To date, there have been three travel-related cases reported in Michigan; none in pregnant women.

Dengue and chikungunya viruses can also infect people who travel to areas where these viruses are present in mosquitoes. These areas include tropical and sub-tropical destinations. There were 14 cases of dengue and eight cases of chikungunya reported in Michigan in 2015. All cases of dengue and chikungunya were in travelers returning from areas with ongoing transmission.

Zika, dengue and chikungunya virus disease are reportable conditions in Michigan. Healthcare providers and laboratories must report suspect and confirmed cases of these viruses to a local public health department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising those traveling to foreign countries to exercise caution because of the Zika virus, particularly pregnant women. It recommends:

*Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission. If they must travel, they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

*For non-pregnant women and men who travel and experience no symptoms, it is recommended they avoid pregnancy for eight weeks.

*For men who return from travel and do have symptoms, it is recommended they use condoms for six months.

*Men who have a pregnant partner and have been in an area with Zika transmission should either use condoms the right way every time they have sex, or not have sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

For the most current information about Zika, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

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Quick beauty tricks for a busy morning

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features)

When you’re crunched for time, you may be tempted to ditch the pampering from your morning routine. No matter how quickly you have to dash out the door, you can always find shortcuts to your daily beauty regimen that let you look and feel your best.

These time-saving tips will let you give your body the TLC it deserves, even when you’re pressed for time.

Be a multi-tasker. You can do two things at once to save time, such as applying a face mask or wash before brushing your teeth or letting a deep-conditioning hair mask work while you shave your legs. Letting the face wash sit on your skin while you brush allows you to get more of the skin care benefits without the added time, and pinning up your hair in the deep-conditioning mask while shaving then rinsing it out will help your hair feel softer and more hydrated.

Keep up with conditioner. You may find it tedious, but hair care is no place to cut corners. Keeping your hair well-conditioned helps keep it healthier in the long run. Healthy strands are easier to detangle and style, which ultimately saves time. Have an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner on hand for days when you simply can’t do both and save detangling time by using a wide-tooth comb in the shower.

Use products that do double-duty in the shower. Using a multi-benefit body wash can give your skin and senses needed nourishment in the shower. One example is the new line of Softsoap Luminous Oils Body Washes, which contain a touch of luxurious oil, essence of peony or iris and an alluring fragrance. The sheer, non-greasy formula will leave your skin feeling radiant and soft.

Master a few simple hair styles. Whether your hair is long or short, experiment with a few go-to styles you can rely on when time is short. Sleek ponies and messy buns can disguise a hectic morning. For shorter cuts, look for a style that lets you air dry for a carefree tousled look.

Lighten up when it comes to cosmetics. You may be surprised by how pulled together you appear with a minimalist approach to makeup. Use a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen to even your skin tone, then use natural shades to enhance your best features. Save complex eye makeup for a less rushed day and stick to the basics: mascara, a dusting of blush for color and a pretty nude gloss.

Speed up those busy mornings with these time-saving beauty tips. For more information, visit softsoap.com.

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