Friday, November 21, 2014

Knowing the signs of depression:

With life’s ups and downs everyone feels sad from time to time. Sadness can be a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. But, if sadness or feelings of despair begin to consume your life you could be clinically depressed.

Depression varies for each person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. Understanding these signs, symptoms and causes can be the first step to overcoming the problem.

Signs and symptoms of depression can include:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Sleep changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Loss of energy
  • Self-loathing
  • Reckless behavior
  • Concentration problems
  • Unexplained aches and pains

“Many depressed people seek help from illicit substances and or alcohol to mitigate the pain only to find out that this not a solution,” said Ronald Brenner, MD, chief of Behavioral Health Service Line for Catholic Health Services. “On the contrary, it is at best a short lived measure and can lead to worsening of symptoms. CHS Behavioral Health Service Line offers help for individuals showing signs of depression.”

Speak to a physician if you are having health issues. Visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500 to find one near you.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lately there have been many reports about Enteroviruses in the news. What is Enterovirus, and how may it affect you?

Every year, millions of children become sick, exhibiting cough and cold symptoms, and experiencing body and muscle aches.  These are often caused by non-polio enteroviruses, which result in approximately 10 million infections in the United States each year.  In general, a variety of enteroviruses circulate annually, and different types of enteroviruses can be common each year.  In previous years, small numbers of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) have been reported.  However, this year the number of people with confirmed EV-D68 infection is much greater than that reported in previous years.*

Enterovirus D68 was first identified in California in 1962.  People are more likely to become infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall.  Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be discovered in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva.  EV-D68 likely spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches a surface that is then touched by others.  This is why handwashing and personal hand hygiene is so important.*

How is Enterovirus D68 diagnosed?
EV-D68 can only be diagnosed by doing lab tests on specimens from a person’s nose and throat.  Specific diagnosis of EV-D68 is often made by some state departments and the CDC.*

Who is at risk of acquiring this disease?
“In general, the illness more likely affects the pediatric population, possibly because they have not yet developed immunity to the virus,” said Jason Golbin, DO, , vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer for St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. “Adults can become infected as well, but are more likely to have mild disease.”  Children with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.*

What is the treatment for EVD68?
There is no specific treatment for patients infected with EV-D68.  Speak with your physician about the best way to control you or your loved one’s symptoms.  If there is severe respiratory illness, those patients may need to be hospitalized.  There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.*

What should children with asthma do?
Children with asthma are at increased risk of more severe disease with infection by EV-D68.  These children’s treatment should follow CDC’s guidance.

CDC recommends:
  • Discuss and update your child’s asthma action plan with your pediatrician.
  • Ensure your child takes any prescribed asthma medications as directed, especially       long-term control medication(s).
  • Be sure your child has his/her acute reliever medication available.
  • Make sure your child gets a flu vaccine (as long as there is no contraindication).
  • If new or worsening asthma symptoms develop, follow the steps of the asthma action plan. If your child’s symptoms do not go away, call your pediatrician..
  • Parents should make sure their child’s caregiver and/or teacher is aware of his/her condition, and they know how to help if the child experiences any symptoms related to asthma.*

* All information from