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expert-perspectives

From tick to sick: the search for a Lyme disease diagnosis

Photo: CC, USDA k8002-1, https://flic.kr/p/dTiUdh

A blacklegged tick, just the size of a poppy seed, perches on the tip of a leaf. It stands poised with its limbs outstretched, ready to latch onto its next prey.

It’s barely noticeable, but looks essentially harmless; just another tiny bug that will leave itchy red bumps up and down your legs. But that bite carries a greater threat: Lyme disease.

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expert-perspectives

Ouch! 6 steps to avoid sunburns

Photo courtesy of Aikawa Ke, CC, https://flic.kr/p/oLF683

Come this August, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Vanicream and the Minnesota State Fair will have fair-goers covered for a long day under the sun. The partnership aims to keep Minnesotans protected from damaging sun rays by providing free Vanicream sunscreen at all 11 booths throughout the grounds.

While just one sunburn may seem harmless, long-term effects of multiple burns are enough to consider lathering (and re-lathering) the sunblock at this year’s ‘Great Minnesota Get-Together’. Health Talk turned to Megan Wood, M.D., from the University of Minnesota Medical School, to find out how taking advantage of sunscreen can help avoid these risks.

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expert-perspectives

Coming to a beach near you: The ‘dad bod’

Photo: Don Johnson 395/cc 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/5xw4JX

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how or why some trends ever gain momentum or become popular. The selfie stick? Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge? #YOLO?

Now, a new body image trend known as the ‘dad bod’ is making its way around the Internet and social media. What makes up this unique physical trait?

According to this MSN article, the dad bod is “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out.” And while this trend seems relatively harmless and all in good fun, a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine found 67.6 million American adults aged 25 and older are obese and an additional 65.2 million are overweight.

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expert-perspectives

Decrease your risk of heat stroke this Fourth of July

Photo courtesy Flickr user Eric Lynch

The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is usually grounds for lounging in the sun, hanging out with friends and family and enjoying a good barbecue. However, when the heat rises it’s important to protect yourself from heat and sun related illnesses such as heat stroke.

William Roberts, M.D., professor in the Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health says heat stroke is a rise in the core body temperature to a level, usually greater than 104º-106º. This causes organs to lose function and fail and can also affect the brain.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: CDC decides on permissive recommendation for strain B meningococcal vaccination

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) chose not to mandate a newly-developed vaccine for a meningitis substrain Neisseria meningitidis, but to leave the decision to vaccinate up to parents and children with physician recommendations. Meningococcal meningitis is a serious condition which can be incredibly dangerous if not treated quickly. Vaccines for the strains A, C, Y and W-135 have been a part of vaccination requirements for over 10 years, while the vaccine for the serogroup B strain, Neisseria meningitidis, was developed last year. Questions about the vaccination requirements were raised amidst growing concerns linked to recent B-strain outbreaks.

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expert-perspectives

UMN expert: Cancer screenings are best tool we have to lower cancer deaths

Photo: Stephen Dickter/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/6qW8Qh

According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million people in the United States get cancer each year. Furthermore, two in three people diagnosed with cancer survive at least five years, due in large part to early detection through cancer screening.

Cancer screenings are the best tool we have right now to lower the rates of death from cancer says Timothy Church, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and a member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Church is also currently a member of the American Cancer Society’s Guideline Development Group.

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