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COVID-19 and Kawasaki Disease: What Parents Need to Know

News coverage of COVID-19 and its impact on the world have dominated the headlines. Until recently, children were thought to be not significantly affected. This has changed after there were reports from the United Kingdom of a small number of cases of critically ill children presenting with unusual symptoms.

Within a few weeks, clusters of sick kids with, what is being called, “Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome” or PMIS, started to appear in New York City and several other states. Some of these cases resembled a rare inflammatory illness called Kawasaki Disease.

What Is Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki Disease is a rare inflammatory disease that causes blood vessels to become inflamed or swollen throughout the body. We do not know what causes Kawasaki Disease. More than 80% of the children who get it are younger than 5 years of age.

The hallmark of Kawasaki Disease is a persistent high fever (over 101°F) for at least 4 days in addition to rash, redness to eyes, lips/tongue, swelling and redness to hands/feet and neck swelling. Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome is a rare form of this disease characterized by severe inflammation resulting in a child becoming critically ill.

What Is Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) and Why Do Doctors Think This Is Related to COVID-19?

On April 27, 2020 the United Kingdom released a statement describing a number of children who were presenting critically ill. They had some clinical features of Kawasaki Disease and Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome.

Soon after, multiple reports of cases came from across Europe and in the United States. Some PMIS patients were found to carry the virus causing COVID-19 and some had proteins in their body showing that they previously had the infection. A significant number of patients were exposed to someone with COVID-19 infection.

A key finding of PMIS is evidence of severe inflammation, which is similar to Kawasaki Disease and like Kawasaki Disease, children with PMIS also have high fevers and can present with red eyes, and rash. However, PMIS patients tend to be older than typical Kawasaki Disease patients. Some of their blood tests, including markers of inflammation, are more abnormal than patients with Kawasaki disease.

Severe abdominal pain and diarrhea is another common complaint with PMIS. So far, we know the similarities between these two diseases, but we do not have sufficient information to fully understand the differences.

At this time, we do recommend seeking medical evaluation with your primary care doctor if your child has persistent fevers over 101°F as well as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or rash that could not be explained by another cause.

Call East Cary Family Physicians to seek an appointment. Also note that ECFP is providing Tele-Health option for health visits.

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Build Immunity by eating Right Foods

With coronavirus Covid-19 being the talk of the day, much is being said about staying as safe and healthy as possible. Eating immune-boosting foods is key to living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because, with every bite, you’re helping your body fight off viruses, infections, and diseases.

Ofcourse, hand-washing remains your best defense against picking up viruses, and sleep is a crucial component of a strong defense too.

It is believed that a good balance of right food can help you stay healthy. So, what you eat does play a role in your ability to ward off colds and flu. Though it doesn’t boil down to just one or two foods, the nutrients and other compounds found in your daily diet have an impact on how weak or strong your immunity is. Here are some eating habits that can help you stay fit and immune:

  • Eat fruits & vegetables every day: Produce contains key vitamins involved in the immune system.
    • Vitamin C in foods like strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and citrus, helps immune system cells function, including phagocytes (the kind that engulfs potentially harmful particles).
    • Vitamin A helps keep tissues in the mouth, intestines, and respiratory tract healthy and is found in sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe.
    • Vitamin E, which is found in nuts, especially almonds, is another cold-fighting vitamin that doesn’t get the attention it should. If you eat a half cup of them, about 46 almonds total, you will have 100% of your daily recommendation of vitamin E. Remember that eating the actual fruit or veggie is better than popping single-vitamin supplements since it’s likely that all the components in the food interact to offer protection.
  • Get plenty of protein: Getting too little protein can weaken your immune system. Protein-rich foods supply the amino acids you need to build essential proteins in the body, including antibodies. Animal foods like beef and pork also contain zinc, a mineral that your body uses to make t-cells (you can find zinc in cashews and chickpeas too). Asian Vegetarians can include a protein like dals, pulses (sprouted), paneer, curd, nuts and seeds.
  • Include fermented foods: These are foods that are naturally preserved by bacteria, and they’re good for the “microbiome”. That’s the name for the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut, where a lot of cells involved in immunity actually reside. Fermented foods like yogurt (look for the term “live and active cultures” on the label), kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi help beneficial bacteria flourish in the gut, leaving less room for harmful bugs.
  • Season your meals: The culinary cabinet has a variety of spices that have significant antibacterial and anti-fungal advantages — such as ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. They have all been researched for intriguing capabilities as anti-microbials, anti-inflammatories, and cell-protecting antioxidants. They’re not magic cure-alls, and popping them in the form of pills isn’t the same as eating the real deal. But adding flavor to foods with these ingredients means you’re getting even more beneficial compounds in the meals you eat every day.

Talk to a provider at ECFP if you have any questions regarding your immunity.

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HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE ALZHEIMER WITHOUT VISITING A DOCTOR?

This World Alzheimer’s Month, let’s spread awareness about Alzheimer, a disease that causes memory loss and other mental abilities. Here, in this article, we have mentioned five early symptoms of this progressive brain disorder which are described by best physicians in Cary.

1) Gradual Memory LossOne of the most common signs of this neurological disease is a slow decline in memory and reasoning skills. People suffering from this problem forget recently learned things, important dates, events, and also ask the same question over and over.
2) Problems while doing daily chores or tasks People in the early stage of this disease often find it difficult to complete their daily tasks or going to familiar locations. For example- they forget organizing a grocery list or where they have kept things in their home.
3) Trouble while writing or speaking words Finding it difficult to write or speak words during a conversation is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer. People living with this brain disorder may struggle with vocabulary or may stop in the middle of a conversation with no idea of what they were talking about.
4) Poor JudgmentThose who have Alzheimer may experience problems while making decisions. For instance, they may judge poorly while dealing with money. Some people living with this common type of dementia may also find it problematic to keep track of monthly bills. Concentrating or focusing on certain things is yet another issue with people having Alzheimer.
5) Confusion with time People living with Alzheimer can forget seasons, dates, or passage of time. Some even fail to recall where they are and how they reached there.
If you observe any of these symptoms, then schedule an appointment with East Cary Family Physicians, one of the prominent names in the healthcare industry.