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Pass the Potato Salad

It's Gameday. You have everything ready for your tailgate. Crackers, cheese, beer, pickles, meat for the barbeque, baked beans, stuffed squash, broccoli cheddar balls, potato chip cups, dip, wings, and good old potato salad. Potato salad -- that delicious mixture of eggs, potatoes, pickles, and mayonnaise all served up to make the day. Of course, you have to be careful that the potato salad doesn't become a foodborne illness villain. Potato Salad and Foodborne Illness One of the first assignments in my graduate school epidemiology course was identifying the culprit of a foodborne illness outbreak from a picnic. The ultimate perpetrator....potato salad. Mayonnaise is often blamed for causing outbreaks, but that is not the case. Potato salad is a combination of many different ingredients (see my recipe below), and those ingredients put together create an environment for bacteria to grow. Many of the ingredients in potato salad have low pH. The pH registers the acidity level of di

The Rise in Healthcare Cybersecurity Risks, and How to Combat Them

  Guest post by Brad Smith Image from   The problem of cyber-attacks against the healthcare sector is not new. Over the past year, though, there has been a massive spike in the rate of attacks happening against this sector. This calls for serious concern from healthcare players and regulators lest they fall to this new wave of cyber pandemics coursing through their ranks.   What’s the Problem? Hackers going after the healthcare sector know that they can score a lot of good data and money at the same time. Data theft exposes sensitive details such as patient name, social status, social security number, credit card details, insurance information, and more. Selling such data in whole or parts on the black market can fetch a pretty sum for the hacker who lands it. In some other instances, ransomware attacks are the preferred mode. While hacks against this sector have been going on for a long time, the pandemic brought out the worst in these hackers. I

Two Tips for Summertime Skin Cancer Prevention

Guest post by Reyzan Shali, MD   It’s summertime, and for most people, that means fun in the sun. Now I’m all for having fun, but I wanted to share some important information about how exposure to the sun can ruin the fun. In my years as a friend, sister, mother, and family care doctor, I have heard a lot of comments about the sun, and more specifically, about getting tan.  Stories people have told me I used to rub olive oil all over my skin and then go sit in the sun. I used to apply baby oil before I lay in the sun and had a shinier tan as a result. I grew up in Southern California and baked myself for years from lying on the beach. I went to the beach whenever I could, and who remembered to apply sunscreen? What? You’ve never gone to get a tan before? I don’t like tanning; I love tanning! Things I have been told about my tan (or lack thereof) Please cover your legs, or get a tan. You know, you would look better tanned. The impact of the sun, and artificial sun in the form of a tanni

Stretch to Keep Moving

 I woke up at 5:00 am this morning before my alarm even went off. I rolled over, checked my phone, took a drink of water, and stretched as I got out of bed. My little dog stretched, too. She stretches as she begins every day. It's her way of telling me she is ready to get moving.  I took my dog for a walk around the apartment complex, and then we both came back in and ate breakfast. I drank a bottle of water (from a reusable water bottle) that I had cooled over night, and I dressed and headed for the trail. I arrived at the trail at 6:15 am.  We have been having a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures have been hovering around the 100 degrees mark for weeks now. During that time, it's been important to stay hydrated. I drink a 24 ounces bottle of water at every meal time and at least one or two more bottles of water the same size during the day.  Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison, MPH Drinking water allows your body to function properly. Your body has something call

Get Your Pap Smear, Girl

  I'm about to say something shocking. Are you ready? I'm a big fan of pap smears. You may be thinking, "What? Why?" Because getting a pap smear may prevent cervical cancer and may save your life. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 14,480 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2021 and of those cases, 4,290 women will die of cervical cancer.  What Is A Pap Smear? A pap smear is a test that checks for early changes in the epithelial cells in the cervix. Epithelial cells are all over the body, and the cervix is one of those places. The cervix contains squamous epithelial cells and columnar epithelial cells. The cells have similar functions but have different locations within the cervix. Their names come from how they look under a microscope. They may be remembered as squamous epithelial cells look "squashed" and columnar epithelial cells look like columns.  Pap smears usually occur at the time of the pelvic exam. Many times p

Keep Moving to Sleep Better

 After a long day on the trail, I find it pretty easy to fall asleep. I used to walk into my house, get a glass of water, hop in the tub, and take a long bath before going to bed. It helped relax my muscles, my mind, and my body. I usually tried to read a book while I was in the tub, also, so I could stay alert and not fall asleep. I find showering after exercising relaxing, too, and it prepares me to go to sleep. The days that I exercise, I have no problem whatsoever going to sleep. How Exercise and Sleeping are Related The Centers for Disease Control recommends that the average adult exercises for 30 minutes a day and sleeps for 7 hours a night. Exercise and sleep are directly correlated to one another. Exercising even 30 minutes a day can provide a better night's sleep. Exercise improves sleep at night, and reduces daytime tiredness.  Image by  PublicDomainPictures  from  Pixabay   How Exercise Improves Sleep Individuals with insomnia benefit from exercising because of the horm

Keep Moving with Good Posture

When I was a young girl, my grandmother would always praise me for sitting up straight and having good posture. She paid attention to things like that because her brother and his wife were osteopaths. My mom further promoted good posture at home and even walking. We were those kids that practiced walking with books on our heads on the carpets and even tried it going up and downstairs. In high school, I was in the marching band, and posture is incredibly important while playing an instrument and marching. I have to confess that walking isn't nearly as strenuous on my body as marching. Standing at attention and holding your shoulders for several minutes at a time or high-stepping while playing actually takes some serious muscle coordination and muscle development. This is one of the reasons I am a strong advocate for marching band students to receive school physicals. Walking alone strengthens your body's muscles. I notice a considerable difference in my leg and hip muscles, and