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expert-perspectives

Players pass more than the puck as mumps spreads through the NHL

Photo: Rowan Peter/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/9jimKy

A fever is spreading through hockey nation, but this one isn’t about fan frenzy. It’s mumps, and at least a dozen National Hockey League (NHL) players have been diagnosed.

According to the Associated Press, mumps has spread through the locker rooms of the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Minnesota Wild – where five players are reportedly ill. It isn’t clear if the teams passed the disease along with the puck during matchups or caught it in other ways.

Mumps is a disease most common among children. It is highly contagious and symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and swelling in the salivary glands. In some cases, it can have serious effects, including encephalitis, hearing loss, or even sterility in young men.

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: More can be done to improve Minnesota’s health ranking

Photo: Steve/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/dcVwFr

The United Health Foundation recently released the 2014 edition of America’s Health Rankings and Minnesota ranks sixth overall. That’s good news, right? Well, if you consider Minnesota was the top ranked state six out of seven years from 2000-2006 and that Minnesota was ranked third in 2012 and 2013, the latest figures could be rather disappointing.

According to the report, Minnesota is doing well in many areas including:

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: The importance of contact lens care

Roosh, CC, changes made, https://flic.kr/p/6MiMrV

Everyone skimps on hygiene now and then – contact lenses included. People are too lazy to buy new contact solution, too busy to clean them properly or too forgetful to take them out before bed.

But each time these cleaning steps are skipped or forgotten, it exposes eyes to bacteria that could lead to keratitis, the inflammation of the cornea.

The cornea is the eye’s clear, dome-shaped, outermost layer, which protects the eyes and acts as the primary focusing power in vision. It’s also one of the most sensitive parts of the body, said Sara Downes, O.D., an instructor of ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota and provider at the Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic.

“The main risk factor for keratitis is wearing contact lenses and having poor contact lens hygiene,” Downes said.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: Sharable, comparable nurse data lacking in electronic health records

Photo: Public Domain

Sharable, comparable nurse data is lacking in the nation’s electronic health records, according to Bonnie Westra, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor and director of the Center for Nursing Informatics at the University of Minnesota.

But it’s not for lack of nurses entering patient health information into the record. There’s arguably, in fact, too much patient data being entered.

“What we’re faced with is a challenge of how do we better streamline data, standardize terms used, and standardize documentation to better reuse the data coming in?” said Westra.

In other words, usability of the data has room to grow.

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expert-perspectives

The Expert Is In: Liver damage from dietary supplements

Photo: Public Domain

Liver damage is a well-established risk of many prescription drugs. However, recent research out of the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia reveals herbal and dietary supplements may be causing liver damage in some U.S. regions as well. Bodybuilding and non-bodybuilding herbal supplements alike were implicated in the find, which spotlighted a small slice of one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

The findings came as no surprise to Chengguo Xing, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Xing is investigating how to reduce liver damage associated with a kava dietary supplement, which was found earlier this year to prevent tobacco-smoke induced lung cancer in a mouse model.

Here’s what Xing had to say:

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expert-perspectives

Health food movement stops short of vending machines

Photo courtesy Flickr user tkraska

Hungry and seeking a nutritious snack, vending consumers often find themselves struggling to locate a suitable selection. The lack of healthy options in vending machines has raised concerns among schools, public interest groups and public health researchers.

According to a recent article published in the Star Tribune, the health food movement stopped short of vending machines in public facilities. About 75 percent of items found in vending machines analyzed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest consisted of candy, cookies and chips. Similar trends are seen in beverage vending machines as 56 percent of the drinks are soda, and an additional 20 percent of drinks are energy or artificial fruit drinks.

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