Virus that threatens infants up in county
Respiratory synctial virus (RSV), which can be fatal, is up 98 percent in Arizona this season compared with its last season. RSV season is typically October through March in Tucson.
As of Feb. 13, 354 cases had been confirmed in Pima County. The disease hits infants particularly hard.
Dr. Moira Richards, a neonatologist and medical director of TMC for Children, offers the following tips to prevent RSV infection and other diseases in newborns:
• Get good prenatal care during pregnancy.
• Get screened for group B strep in the third trimester of pregnancy. Group B streptococcal (strep) infection is a serious bacterial infection that is a leading cause of death and disability in newborns. Having a baby by cesarean section does not prevent the transmission of group B strep bacteria.
• Breastfeed. Breast milk gives mom's antibodies to the baby, protecting from infections. Formula does not offer this protection.
• Limit exposure of your newborn to people, especially now because it's RSV and flu season.
• Limit a newborn's exposure to the outside world for the first two months, especially during RSV season. RSV is passed very easily, by contact.
• Wash hands with soap and water; limit antibacterial cleaner use.
Diabetes conference at TCC on Saturday
A Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference will be held Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.
Registration is set for 7:30 a.m., and the conference and health fair run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The cost is $15 per person if registration is made before 1 p.m. on Wednesday, or $10 per person when registering two or more people. The cost is $20 per person on the day of the conference. Financial aid is available for those in need. Parking is available at the convention center for $8.
The conference is organized by the nonprofit TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes).
Call 1-800-998-2693 for more information or to register. Register online at http://tcoyd.org/national-conferences/tucson-az-2013.html
Among other things, the conference will include foot screenings and fitness classes.
The Diabetic You mobile tour will be on site with interactive activities, including healthy cooking demonstrations, and question-and-answer sessions with diabetes educators, including Dr. David G. Armstrong, a University of Arizona podiatric surgeon and researcher.
Conference organizers say that what many people don't know is that, if not managed properly, diabetes can result in serious health complications over time, such as high blood pressure, stroke, retinopathy and neuropathy.
Alzheimer's seminar at JCC on March 13
The 19th annual Southern Arizona Alzheimer's Education Conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 13 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road.
The Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will host the event, which is an all-day education seminar designed to provide the latest Alzheimer's information and skill building.
Costs for the event are $35 for families, students and individuals and $75 for professionals (includes continuing education credits). A continental breakfast, boxed lunch and afternoon snacks will be provided.
Registration is required. For more information about the conference or to register, contact Kelly Raach at 322-6601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local schools invited to log Walk Fit miles
UnitedHealthcare and World Fit, a youth walking and exercise program, are inviting local elementary and middle school students to participate in a 40-day national walking challenge.
Teachers and students at participating schools will create an organized group to walk on a measured path or track on campus every school day for six weeks beginning after spring break.
Students will log their miles on the World Fit website to compete for the fittest school in their community, state and nation.
During the challenge, each school will be paired with a local Olympian or Special Olympian. The athletes will serve as mentors and role models, teaching students the importance of lifelong fitness and the Olympic values of perseverance, respect, and fair play.
Students will compete for gold, silver or bronze World Fit medals. In addition, each school will compete for the national championship trophy, awarded to the school whose students log the most miles.
The deadline to register is March 1. Arizona schools interested in participating in this year's challenge can register at www.worldfit.org
Contact medical reporter Stephanie Innes at email@example.com or 573-4134.