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"Prepare. Respond. Recover. It's time to get Ready LA" - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
It would be great if staying healthy were as simple as opening your mouth and saying “ahh.” Modern medicine has, in fact, given us many excellent cures or diseases that previously were considered dangerous, even deadly But even today epidemics of AIDS, SARS, West Nile Virus, new strains of influenza viruses, food-borne disease outbreaks and other maladies can prove life-threatening if not treated quickly and proper y Here are some facts worth noting.

Public Health

Did you know?
little girl getting her temperature taken
  • Infants and young children, the elderly and people already in poor health are most at risk for catching deadly diseases.
  • Pandemics are disease events that sweep an entire country, continent, or the whole world.
  • Bioterrorism in today's world increases the threat of deadly diseases such as anthrax brucellosis and plague, to name just a few.
  • The most common illnesses treated in the United States include colds and coughs, influenza, sore throat, bladder infection and, on a more serious note, cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Keeping germs away
woman wiping nose
You can’t see them, you can’t hear them… you can’t even feel them, but you know that germs are all around you. Easily spread from person to person, they can cause a variety of illnesses and infections. Now here are some ways to avoid catching them or spreading them to others.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Never share food, eating utensils or beverage containers with others.
  • Keep your distance from people who are coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.
  • Stay home if you have a cough or fever.
  • Discard used Kleenex tissues in the trash as soon as possible.

Food-borne diseases
Eating. We do it for pleasure, we do it for survival. But in some instances, the food we eat can actually make us sick. This could mean something as common as an upset stomach or diarrhea or, in some rare instances, diseases that can even cause death. In recent years, there have been many news reports of disease outbreaks from tainted food. So take a moment to digest this helpful information.

  • Some of the most common food-borne diseases are E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Calicivirus.
  • The rare, but deadly botulism disease occurs when a certain bacteria grows and produces a powerful paralytic toxin in the food.
  • Sometimes meat and poultry can become contaminated during the slaughtering process if it comes in contact with small amounts of intestinal content. Likewise, vegetables washed or irrigated in water tainted by animal manure or human sewage can become contaminated.
  • An outbreak occurs when a group of people consume the same contaminated food and two or more of them contract the same illness.
  • Approximately 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur in the U.S. annually, with 325,000 resulting hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths reported each year.
  • Common signs of foodborne disease include high fever, prolonged vomiting, a decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up and diarrhea or bloody stools.
  • If you think you have a foodborne illness, contact your doctor. If you suspect the source of your sickness, you may also want to contact the restaurant or store where you purchased that particular food item.

Two joggers
We can’t control everything in our lives… including our health. But we can reduce our chances of getting sick by practicing good health routines. Here are some important things to remember:
  • Avoid stress; this is a leading cause of poor health.
  • Follow a daily exercise routine.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat more fiber and vegetables, and consume less fats and sugar.
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly.
  • Go to your doctor for an annual physical check-up.
  • Get required vaccines to avoid illnesses such as influenza and smallpox.

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