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Flu information

As you hear more about flu impacting our community, you may wonder what you can do. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the flu from King County Public Health.

Also, during the month of January, Public Health – Seattle & King County is offering free flu vaccinations for people without insurance or who cannot afford to pay. For dates, times, locations and more information, click here.

Flu prevention

  • Flu vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu. Health experts recommend flu vaccine for all people 6 months and older, especially for pregnant women and other high-risk persons.  Make sure everyone who lives with or cares for an infant younger than 6 months and with pregnant women gets vaccinated to protect the infant from getting flu.
  • You can also take these everyday steps to protect yourself against the flu:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching these areas spreads germs.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Help stop the spread of flu:
    • Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Stay home from work and school if you are sick until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, and avoid close contact with others.

How to get flu vaccine

  • Flu vaccine (shots and nasal spray) is available at many healthcare provider offices and pharmacies. You can use http://flushot.healthmap.org to help locate it near you.
     

  • To find free or low-cost flu vaccine in King County call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit www.parenthelp123.org.

Flu illness and symptoms

  • For the majority ...

Eczema season

"It's eczema season" is an often repeated phrase for me lately.

This time of year, I always find myself seeing more patients with eczema. The common presenting complaint is a persistent rash that itches so much that it disturbs sleep. The dry, itchy patches of skin are commonly seen on the back, sides of the torso, arms and legs, but can happen almost anywhere. People with a history of allergies, asthma, or childhood eczema are even more likely to develop eczema in the fall or winter.

There are a number of contributing factors to the increased incidence of eczema in the winter:

Furnaces run more, drying out the air inside homes and buildings. We wear more clothing, increasing the friction on our skin. Hot water feels better, so we tend to spend more time in the shower or bath.

That last one sounds counter-intuitive, but ...

What is the Utility of Serum Tumor Markers in Lung Cancer?

Should serum tumor markers be used to guide treatment decisions for lung cancer?

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Why you should have your hernia repaired

Do you have a groin bulge that seems to come and go, often absent upon waking in the morning? Or perhaps you already know you have a hernia? Hernias are very common and occur in approximately 1 in 4 males (less common in women), so chances are you or someone you know has or has had an inguinal hernia. The main question I always get asked is "should it be fixed?"  

As a general surgeon, I see 4-5 patients every week with a newly diagnosed inguinal hernia. Many are self-referred after discovering a lump in the groin, while many others are referred from their primary care provider after the hernia is discovered during the physical exam. After verifying that a hernia is the correct diagnosis (other possibilities are a groin strain, swollen lymph node, etc.), I have a discussion which addresses the aforementioned question. As an aside, these are very common and also found in the pediatric population (see a similar discussion by one of our pediatric surgeons)

To understand hernias...

Does it make sense to use two or more drugs in second line therapy for lung cancer?

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Two key questions to answer in a suspected cancer workup

There are two questions to be answered if cancer is suspected:

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What patients should know about small cell lung cancer

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