Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2013, 9:51 am

Health digest for Jan. 22, 2013

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Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: McClatchy Newspapers
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CHECK IT OUT
Flu myths
Myth 1: I waited too long to get the flu shot.
Fact: Flu season typically runs December through March. Getting a flu shot now will protect you for the rest of the season.
Myth 2: I already had the flu this season, so I don't need a flu shot.
Fact: If you've had the flu, you'll be protected from that strain, but several other strains abound. The flu shot protects against three.
Myth 3: My kid stayed home sick with the flu today, so I got a flu shot.
Fact: The flu vaccine takes two weeks to reach maximum effectiveness for the season.
Myth 4: I didn't get the flu shot, because it could give me the flu.
Fact: The flu shot does not give you the flu. The vaccine has a dead — inactive — virus, so it can't make you sick.
Myth 5I'm too scared to get the flu shot.
Fact: Needle-fearing healthy folks ages 2 to 50 can get a nasal spray vaccine, which has a weakened virus. The virus is so weak, you can't get sick from it either.
Myth 6: If I wear a scarf or a mask, I probably won't get the flu.
Fact: This generally will not prevent you from getting the flu.
Myth 7: I got the vaccine, so I won't get the flu.
Fact: You could still get the flu, but you're a lot less likely to get it though.
Myth 8: I got the flu vaccine, so I don't need to do anything else.
Fact: You still should be washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, coughing into an elbow, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, eating healthfully and regularly exercising.
And even then, you still might get it.
Source: Chicago Department of Public Health, Medical Director Dr. Julie Morita


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TRY THIS
Women: Eat strawberries and blueberries! Study shows they ward off heart disease
Younger women who ate at least three servings per week of strawberries or blueberries reduced their likelihood of suffering a heart attack by one-third compared with women who didn't, a new study said.
The benefit was so strong it held even after researchers adjusted for age, high blood pressure, family history, body-mass index, exercise, smoking and caffeine or alcohol intake. Researchers suggested a group of dietary flavenoids called anthocyanins, which give blueberries and strawberries their jewel-like colors, may be responsible for the health benefits seen in the study.
Anthocyanins are known to dilate arteries and counter the buildup of plaque that causes atherosclerosis.
The latest finding, published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation, comes from the Nurses' Health Study II where about 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 were surveyed about their diets every four years for 18 years.
During that period, 405 heart attacks occurred — a rate that is predictably low because participating women had not yet reached the age at which heart disease is most likely to show up in women.
But study subjects who ate three or more servings of strawberries and blueberries were 32 percent less likely to be among the group that suffered early heart attacks than the women who ate fewer berries — even women whose diets were otherwise rich in fruits and vegetables.
Authors said they looked specifically at strawberries and blueberries because they are the most commonly consumed berries in the United States. But other berries, including raspberries, may have similar effects, they said.
-- McClatchy Newspapers


IN THE Q-C
Organ donation information event to be held in Rock Island

The Quad Cities chapter of Hadassah will sponsor "To Save a Life" at 1 p.m. March 10 at the Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island.
The event is free and open to the public.
A nurse coordinator from the University of Iowa will speak on organ donations and what makes a patient eligible for a transplant, according to a news release. Other speakers will discuss the causes and different stages of kidney failure, what dialysis does for the patient and what is in that machine.
A donor also will talk about her experience of giving up a kidney for a family member. A recipient will tell his experience of receiving a kidney and pancreas and another recipient will share her experience of being on five transplant lists, the release states.
For more information, call Janet at (563) 332-9760.