What is shingles? Shingles is a painful skin rash. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Shingles usually appears in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body. It is also called herpes zoster. Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak […]

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What Is a Staph Infection? A staph infection is caused by a Staphylococcus (or “staph”) bacteria. Actually, about 25% of people normally carry staph in the nose, mouth, genitals, or anal area. The foot is also very prone to picking up bacteria from the floor. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets […]

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Causes & Risk Factors What causes colds and the flu? Viruses cause colds and the flu. More than 200 different viruses can cause colds. Not as many viruses cause the flu. That’s why there’s a shot available for the flu and not for colds. Treatment What can I do to feel better? There’s no cure […]

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Colds and the Flu Overview What is the common cold and the flu? The common cold and the flu are viral infections of the respiratory tract, which includes the throat, nose, airways and lungs. Symptoms How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu? Although the common cold and the flu share […]

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What are antibiotics? Antibiotics are strong medicines used to treat infections, including life-threatening contagious diseases. But antibiotics can cause more harm than good when they aren’t used the right way. You can protect yourself and your family by knowing when you should use antibiotics and when you should not. Do antibiotics work against all infections? […]

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What comes to mind when you think of taking risks with your health—driving recklessly, or maybe abusing alcohol or illegal drugs? Those behaviors are certainly risky. However, many people have less dramatic behaviors that are just as dangerous in the long run. Tobacco use, unbalanced nutrition (too many calories and/or too much of one food […]

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Why is healthy eating important? When combined with exercise, a healthy diet can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol level and improve the way your body functions on a daily basis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid divides food into 6 basic food groups, consisting of 1) grains, 2) fruits, 3) vegetables, 4) […]

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Added Sugar: What You Need To Know What is sugar? Sugar is a sweetener that provides calories and is added to food and drinks to give them a sweet taste as well as texture, body and bulk. It is also sometimes called a caloric sweetener. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that your body uses for […]

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How much sleep do older adults need? Most adults need 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night to feel fully alert during the day. This is usually also true for people age 65 or older. But as we get older, we might have more trouble sleeping. Many things can get in the way of […]

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Overview What is croup? Croup is an infection usually caused by a virus. It causes the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box) to swell, which results in the harsh “barking” cough. Croup usually lasts 5 to 6 days and is more common during the winter months and early spring. Children who are 5 years old […]

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