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Ebola, or Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), is a rare but deadly illness that is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. Ebola was first discovered in Africa in 1976, and the virus has emerged in several African counties over the years. Most recently, the Democratic Republic of Congo declared an Ebola outbreak in May of 2018.   

The CDC lists typical Ebola symptoms as fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

Ebola Symptoms Infographic

How To Protect Yourself from Ebola

While Ebola is very rare in the United States, Ebola is considered widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the CDC, if you are visiting or living in a place where Ebola is widespread, there are ways to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the virus. When in an area affected by Ebola:

  • Avoid contact with blood and bodily fluids
  • Avoid items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids
  • Avoid funeral rituals that require handling the body of someone who died from Ebola
  • Avoid contact with bats and primates or blood, fluids, or meat from those animals
  • Avoid meat from an unknown source
  • Avoid contact with semen from a man who had Ebola until you know the virus is gone from the semen

 

 

Travel Medicine at MUSC Health

Travelers from Charleston can stay healthy before, during, and after a trip with MUSC Health Travel Medicine services. Our infectious disease doctors specialize in protecting you against health risks you may face when traveling abroad. While an Ebola vaccine is not currently available, one of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to get vaccines for diseases that are common in the areas you are visiting. You can also schedule an appointment with an MUSC Health primary care doctor about your travel plans and schedule any necessary vaccinations.

MUSC Global Health

MUSC is also working toward creating healthier communities all over the world through the MUSC Center for Global Health. Our work includes research to find new solutions to global health problems, collaboration with experts around the globe, educating the next generation of global health leaders with hands-on clinical work in other countries, and improving care in developing countries through medical missions with MUSC doctors, nurses, and medical students.

Sources:

http://www.who.int/

https://www.cdc.gov/

By Stephanie Davey, MEd, ATC, PES
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine
www.MUSCHealth.org/Sports

The middle of July means that high school football is just a couple of weeks away. In South Carolina, most of our high schools start around July 27th. If your son is planning to play football and go through preseason, there are a few things they need to focus on off the field in order to be safe and productive on the field.

Hopefully, your son has already been working on his conditioning. This will go a long way to him being able to acclimate to the South Carolina heat. South Carolina High School League mandates an acclimatization practice plans that all high schools must follow. If you have questions about that plan you can find it on the South Carolina High School League website

Hydration is always the first thing that comes to mind when we think of preseason football. Your son must be hydrated prior to reporting to practice each day. There is no way to catch up if they are already dehydrated when they arrive. Two ways to tell if they are hydrated is monitoring the color and volume of their urine and making sure they weigh in and out of practices. Their urine should be a light yellow color and high in volume before they go to bed each night. Secondly, they should be weighing in prior to practice and out after practice. They can do this at home or with their athletic trainer. For every pound that they lost during practice, they need to drink 20-24 oz of fluid. If they do not regain the weight they’ve lost during the previous practice, they may need to be held out of practice until they’ve rehydrated. To rehydrate, they should consume water and a sports drink. Soda and beverages with a high caffeine content should be avoided. Energy drinks should not be consumed at all.

The next thing to focus on is proper nutrition. The body is just like a car, the better fuel you put in it the better it performs. Your son needs quality food that is high in nutrition volume with a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your son needs 40 – 50 kcals/kg of body weight. They should consume 4-8g/kg of carbohydrates and 2-3 g/kg of proteins.  Foods to focus on are lean meats, eggs, nut butters, protein shakes, pastas, and fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables with a high water content can also help to hydrate. Your son needs to eat prior to practice, even if it is an early morning practice. It shouldn’t be a big heavy meal, but they need to have some source of energy before practice.

The last thing to focus on is sleep. The National Institute of Health recommends that high school athletes get an average of 9-10 hours of sleep each night.  Proper sleeping habits with allow your son’s body the time it needs to recover after each practice.  It allows him to stay focused and think clearly during practice. Better recovery and better focus leads to better performance.

Taking these steps will go a long way towards protecting your son during preseason football, ensuring that he has a fun, productive and safe football season.

Sun Salutation in Moderation: How to protect your skin in sunny Charleston

The sun salutation which means “to adore” is a signature Yoga pose that pays homage to the sun. Throughout the summer many of us will become “sun worshippers,” offering up our own salutations on the beaches of Charleston, South Carolina. Making sure we protect our skin from sun damage while we enjoy the beach (or any outdoor activity) is the key to maintaining healthy skin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control there are a number of rituals we can adopt to protect ourselves from the sun’s damaging rays.

Sun Safety Rituals

Sun Safety Infographic from MUSC Health in Charleston, SC

Shade – Stay out of the sun by finding or creating a shady spot. Shade offers shelter from the harmful UV rays. It also reduces your risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

Hat – Block the sun from areas we often forget by covering your ears, face and neck with a wide-brim hat! Remember dark colors offer more UV protection.

Clothing – covering your skin with clothing that covers your arms and legs can block some of the UVA and UVB radiation. Look for long sleeve shirts and long pants with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor).

And of course – sunscreen. Sunscreen, or sunblock, is one of the simplest ways to reduce your risk for skin cancer, burns, and wrinkles. Be sure that you pay attention the SPF level and the expiration date for your sunscreen. An SPF of 15 or above is recommended. And expired sunscreen may not offer optimal protection.

Finally, be sure to practice your sun worship in moderation.

MUSC Health Dermatology in Charleston, SC

If you are interested in protecting your skin, getting your annual checkup, or improving your skin health and appearance, MUSC Health offers both cosmetic dermatology  and medical dermatology in 8 locations throughout the Lowcountry. Learn more about your skin health options by visiting MUSC Health Dermatology online or by calling 843-792-8282.

MUSC Health is committed to building healthy communities throughout the Lowcounty. This Fourth of July, keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy by staying safe around fireworks. Fireworks are a beautiful way to celebrate the season, but can be very dangerous. 

Did you know?

  • The hand is the most common site of injury caused by fireworks and accounts for approximately 36% of all injuries.*
  • The face and eyes each account for almost 20% of injuries.*
  • And more than 50% of all firework injuries are from burns exclusively or burns combined with blast injuries.*
  • Children under five using sparklers and other “safer” options accounted for more than 40% of the fireworks-related injuries in 2013.*
  • In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.**

*Data attributed to The Huffington Post (July 2, 2017) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-kontrick/july-fourth-holiday-is-one-of-the-deadliest-holiday-weekends----but-it-doesnt-have-to-be_b_10761002.html

**Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2015 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu.

Tips on How to Reduce Fireworks Injury

  • Always make sure to have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher in close proximity of fireworks.
  • If a firework does not go off or will not light, do not investigate the problem or stand close to it. Dose the firework with water immediately. Do not pick it up or stand over it. NEVER relight a dud.
  • Always stand several feet away from lit fireworks and never light fireworks indoors.
  • Avoid lighting fireworks near dry grass and always point them away from homes, other people, brush, leaves, etc.
  • Never hold a lit firework in your hand or attempt to set a firework off while holding it.
  • When handling fireworks, do not wear flammable materials or loose clothing.
  • Do not smoke or use flammable gases near fireworks.
  • Do not drink alcohol or be under the influence while lighting fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles when shooting fireworks.
  • Children should be closely supervised around fireworks at all times. Even sparklers can pose a danger to young children if not handled properly.
  • If you do handle fireworks, make sure that you use only legal fireworks. A good deal of today’s injuries is still caused by fireworks that have been outlawed. Check the labels and make sure to store all fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • The best way to prevent firework injuries this Fourth of July is to leave it to the professionals. Take your family to a public fireworks display and just enjoy the show!

If you receive an injury while handling fireworks this Fourth of July season, please remember the following:

  • Go immediately to the doctor or a hospital.
  • If there is an eye injury, do not rub or touch the eye area in order to minimize additional damage. Do not flush the eye out with water.
  • If there is a serious burn, call your doctor immediately and remove any clothing from the burned area.
  • For bleeding, apply pressure to control and go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.
  • For minor burns:
    • Cool the burn by running it under cool tap water or apply a cool compress
    • Remove rings or other tight jewelry from the injured extremity
    • Apply antibiotic ointment to any open wounds or ruptured blisters
    • Apply a loose nonstick sterile bandage or band aid.
    • Wash the wound with mild soap daily, and reapply antibiotic ointment and bandage
    • Take over the counter anti-inflammatory medications as directed until pain subsides, but consult with your doctor before starting any new medication
    • Seek medical attention for large burns, worsening swelling or pain, signs of inflection or any other concerns

Schedule Your Appointment at MUSC Health

For non-emergency appointments, talk with one of our many providers, including at the Musculoskeletal Institute and the Storm Eye Institute, to learn more about how to protect yourself and your family. Find a doctor near you with multiple locations throughout the Lowcountry!
 

By Michael J. Barr, PT, DPT, MSR
Sports Medicine Manager
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

MUSC Health Stadium

Major League Lacrosse is coming to Charleston and MUSC Health Stadium! MLL announced in April that the Charleston Battery will host the 2018 MLL Championship at MUSC Health Stadium on August 18. Luckily, we do not have to wait until August to see Major League Lacrosse in action, as the first-ever MLL game in the state of South Carolina is right around the corner on June 30 at MUSC Health Stadium. This inaugural game is a match between the Charlotte Hounds and the Atlanta Blaze.

The buzz around the Charleston lacrosse community is the excitement about the upcoming matches. Over the past 10 years, lacrosse has been one of the fastest-growing sports in the Lowcountry and throughout the United States. According to USA lacrosse’s 2016 survey, there are over 825,000 players participating in organized lacrosse throughout the country, which is an increase of over 225 percent compared to their first survey completed in 2001.

As the game grows in popularity and participation, the topic of injuries always comes up. Parents are concerned for their children’s well being, as they are with participation in all sports. A study completed by Xiang et al., and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2014, examined the number of high school lacrosse injuries (male and female) from 2008 to 2012. The top injury type was sprains/strains (38.3 percent) followed by concussions (22.2 percent) and abrasions/contusions (12.2 percent). The majority of the injuries were to the lower extremities (foot/ankle, knee, and thigh). In approximately 40 percent of the injuries that occurred, the players were able to return to play within 1 to 6 days and only 6.6 percent of the total injuries were serious enough to require surgical intervention.

So just like in all sports, injuries can occur in lacrosse, but there are also ways to minimize this risk through injury prevention techniques. Stop Sports Injuries has a full list of injury prevention guidelines for lacrosse players.

To prevent most prevalent injuries, sprains/strains, and concussions, here are my suggestions:

Sprains/Strains:

  1. Proper warm-up prior to play: This should include active movement in addition to both dynamic and static stretching.
  2. In season strengthening program: Focus on balance, dynamic stability, and core strengthening.
  3. Offseason training: Fitness training in the offseason can be the most important step to injury prevention. This should include a combination of cardiovascular training, strengthening and flexibility programs, plyometric training, and agility training.

Concussions:

  1. Know the rules and follow the rules: In boys’ lacrosse, when played correctly, unprotected hits should not occur, and in girls’ lacrosse there should be no head/face contact. Unfortunately, rules are not always followed or taught to players, so this is where experienced coaching comes into play.
  2. Wear the proper equipment: Lacrosse equipment is designed to be protective, but if helmets, facial equipment, and mouth guards are worn out or the wrong size, they may not be doing their job, which can lead to increased injuries.
  3. Know the signs and symptoms: If a hit occurs and there is a suspicion of a concussion, players should be held out of play until assessed by a health care professional trained in concussion management. Athletic trainers are your best resource for on-field management. If a concussion does occur, follow return-to-play guidelines to minimize the risk for escalated symptoms or future issues.

In lacrosse, just like in all other sports, there is a risk for injury, but the overall benefits of sports participation significantly outweigh the risks.

If you have read this far, you must be interested in the game, see how the elite do it, and come out to the game on June 30 and all of the festivities surrounding the Major League Lacrosse Championship at MUSC Health Stadium in August.

 

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