Know Your Measles Facts: Are You Immune?

(January 2015)- Unfortunately, the current outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland in California has now spread to the Phoenix, Arizona area. Will Humble, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, has stated that the outbreak has reached a “critical point” and that he suspects the number of cases will continue to increase throughout the United States as more unknown, asymptomatic infected people travel. As the virus becomes a reality in our neighborhoods, it’s important to be educated regarding the facts.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that, according to The Center for Disease Control, has the ability to affect 90% of the unimmune people in close proximity to an infected person. Infected people can spread the virus to others from four days before to four days after the rash symptom appears.

The virus typically begins to show with a fever, red and watery eyes, a cough, and a runny nose. Three to five days after the person becomes symptomatic, a red, raised, and blotchy rash that usually begins at the hairline and spreads downwards to the lower extremities appears. Keep in mind that the symptoms of measles generally show about seven to 14 days after a person has been infected.

As for immunity against this virus, a vaccine is administered via the MMR vaccine, which is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. In the United States, two doses are recommended for children, with the first dose recommended at 12-15 months of age.

If you are unsure if you have had the MMR vaccine or the measles, or are planning to travel internationally where there is an even higher incidence of measles, please contact your local Any Lab Test Now® for a simple recommended blood test. Any Lab Test Now® offers the “measles titer” to see if you are immune to measles. It is a quick blood test that measures your antibody levelsto this disease to get a sense for whether your immune system has the capability to respond to the infection. Don’t wait to gain peace of mind — get tested at your local Any Lab Test Now® today!

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Cervical Cancer: Risk Factors & Prevention Tips

Every year in the United States, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and close to 4,000 die from it. Are you at risk? Are you doing what you can to prevent it from happening to you?

You may be at risk if you… 

  • Are living with HIV/AIDS or any other condition that weakens your immune system.

  • Smoke regularly.

  • Are overweight.

  • Maintain a diet low in fruits and vegetables.

  • Have been infected with HPV or chlamydia.

  • Have used oral contraceptives for over 5 years.

  • Have had 3 or more full-term pregnancies.

  • Had your first full-term pregnancy under the age of 17.

  • Have a family history of cervical cancer.

You can prevent cervical cancer by…

Receiving a regular cervical cancer screening by your gynecologist, starting at age 21. Women aged 21-29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. At age 30, women should be screened with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. This “co-testing” should continue until age 65.

Due to the effectiveness of routine Pap test screening, the cervical cancer death rate in the United States has declined by more than 50% over the last 30 years. If you have not been screened for cervical cancer, Any Lab Test Now® encourages you to Take Control of Your Health® and contact your gynecologist today.

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National Drug Facts Week 2015: Shatter the Myths!

 

 

Monitoring the Future Study is an annual survey conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse as an effort to shed light on the average American teen’s attitude towards drugs and tobacco use. Out of the 40,000 teens who participate every year, almost a third of high school seniors admit to having used an illicit drug at some point in the past year. Over 10% report to nonmedical use of prescription painkillers and more than 20% claim to have smoked marijuana at least once during a given month’s time. Numbers like these prove that teenagers need to be receiving a better education on the dangers associated with drug use and substance addiction.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse noticed this need and have worked to meet it by sponsoring the National Drug Facts Week. First launched in 2010, this week has served as a chance to crush the myths about drug abuse and addiction that so many teens develop through the things they hear on TV, in movies, music on the Internet or from friends. This year, National Drug Facts Week will be recognized the week of Jan. 26th through February 1st. Throughout these days, organizations across the country (including hospitals, schools, sports clubs, etc.) will be hosting events where teens can come with their questions on drug use and have them answered by professional addiction scientists and highly educated health experts.

Want to get involved? Visit the NDFW website to see what events will be taking place in your community and test your knowledge about drugs by taking the National Drug IQ Challenge. For questions regarding teen drug abuse, substance addiction, or teen drug testing, contact us at Any Lab Test Now® today.

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Are You a Blood Donor?

As you begin to recover from the holiday hustle and bustle that December brought, the idea of getting stuck with an IV is probably not at the top of your January to-do list, right? Out of all the times of the year, now marks the season where blood donations drop to their lowest amount, which is why January is being recognized as National Blood Donor Month. We at Any Lab Test Now® encourage you to fight the urge of staying inside and find your local donation center to give the gift of life! Take a look at these quick facts to help you understand the need for blood donations, how it works, and how you can help.

The Need:

  • Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs some sort of blood transfusion.

  • One unit of blood can support up to three lives.

  • Each year, 4.5 million Americans would die without blood transfusions.

  • If compatible blood is not available to support a transplant, a patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ.

How It Works:

  • Donating blood involves four easy steps: a medical history review, a quick physical, blood donation and snacks.

  • The actual blood donation part only takes around 10 minutes. The entire process from the time you sign in to the time you leave takes only an hour.

  • After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and red blood cells within four weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.

  • You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious diseases by donating and your strength will not decrease.

How You Can Help:

  • Find a blood drive being hosted in your community and go donate!

  • Register to host your own blood drive at your local school or place of work.

  • Volunteer your time with your neighborhood’s American Red Cross center.

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January is National Thyroid Awareness Month!

Although relatively small in size, the thyroid gland plays a very large role in the human body. The thyroid gland is a small gland located at the base of the neck and is responsible for manufacturing thyroid hormones, necessary for the body to run smoothly and effectively.

There are an estimated 15 million Americans living with undiagnosed thyroid issues. Some people have either an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), sending the body into overdrive, or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), slowing down bodily functions.

There are other conditions as well, including: 

In this month of January, all of us at Any Lab Test Now® aim to raise thyroid awareness to the general public because it is estimated that up to 50% those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.

Before heading to a physician, you can perform a simple neck check in the comfort of your own home. Should you have any concerns, be proactive with your health in 2015 and let your local Any Lab Test Now® help! We offer an array of thyroid tests, including a comprehensive thyroid panel. Call us today to make an appointment!

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Make Health Screenings Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions

At the end of every year, nearly half of all Americans commit to one or more New Year’s resolutions. Among the most popular resolution choices are losing weight and staying healthy. As hopeful as those goals may sound, as each month goes by, many wishful “resolution makers” fail to follow through with their commitment and end up “dropping off the wagon” before summer even rolls around. That is because making a resolution and sticking to it for the long run are two completely different things. When a person decides to pursue better health, they need to first access useful resources that will support them along their journey. They need to understand what kind of shape their body is currently in and what areas of their health could be improved upon.

Health screenings are perfect resources for those looking to take control of their health. These vital tools help identify any problems early, prevent diseases, and give a person a clear understanding of their current health state. It is important to know that they are different screening tests needed at different ages. Some are needed once a year and others less often. The most common health screenings check for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. To know which screenings are right for you, speak with your doctor.

Any Lab Test Now ® offers thousands of clinical lab tests to support your health and well being as you work to achieve your health-focused new year’s resolution. For affordable testing in a comfortable, friendly environment, call an Any Lab Test Now ® near you to schedule your appointment.

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Women, Don’t Let Your Holiday Season Turn into a Stressful Season

Whether it’s preparing a platter full of baked goodies for the end-of-the-year party at your child’s school or cleaning and decorating the living room in time for your Christmas family dinner, the never-ending list of holiday “to-dos” can easily become a hassle instead of a pleasure. It is important during the hustle and bustle that women especially, sit back and avoid the stress that is so often associated with this time of year. It could do more for your health than you may think.

In a study performed by Dr. Wei Jiang of Duke University’s School of Medicine, researchers noticed that stress, including mental stress, may be more taxing on women’s hearts than compared to men’s. Jiang’s team analyzed the data of more than 300 Americans that encountered a series of stressful tasks. Researchers found that when stress levels rose, women were far more likely to have an ischemic episode than men. Ischemia is known as a dramatic reduction in blood flow to the heart and a major contributor to mortality from heart disease. The study concluded that 57% of women experienced ischemia compared to 41% of men.

So now the question is how can one destress? According to this list published by Harvard Medical School, some ways to destress include focusing on self nurturing via eating healthy food, reading amusing books, or committing to slow down your schedule just once a week.

At Any Lab Test Now®, we encourage all of our readers to manage their stress in a healthy manner, especially during the busy season of the holidays. To evaluate your overall heart health, schedule to have a Heart Health Panel done at an Any Lab Test Now ® near you. This panel will provide you with a clear picture of how well you’re heart is working and if you may be at risk for heart disease.

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National Influenza Week: December 7th- 13th, 2014

This year, the Center for Disease Control has declared the week of December 7th-13th as National Influenza Week. During this week, the goal is to inform and educate the general public about influenza and highlight the importance of continuing the influenza vaccination.

There are many benefits to getting the vaccine. Along with it being a great preventative measure to avoid infection, it is especially helpful for those with chronic health conditions who could become more seriously ill if they were to contract the virus. If a person has already become sick with the flu, the vaccine can still help suppress the symptoms of the flu and lower the severity of sickness.

The CDC suggests the public to take 3 actions to fight the flu.

  1. Take time to get the flu vaccine early. It takes approximately two weeks after being vaccinated for your body to develop the antibodies it needs to fight the flu effectively.

  2. Take everyday preventive actions to avoid spreading germs like washing your hands frequently and keeping sanitizer nearby.

  3. If you do contract the virus, take flu antiviral medication if a physician prescribes.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. By getting vaccinated today, you can help protect yourself and those around you who are more vulnerable to a serious flu illness. Not all Any Lab Test Now® locations provide flu vaccines. Call your local clinic today to see if your particular location offers this service.

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December 1 is World AIDS Day: Know your facts!

With more than 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV today and almost 1 in 6 people currently unaware of their diagnosis, it is imperative that people take time to educate themselves on the virus and determine if they are at risk. This is why, today, Any Lab Test Now ® stands together to recognize December 1 as World AIDS Day. First held in 1988, this day marks an opportunity where people across the globe can unite in the fight against HIV, support friends and family who are living with this disease, and/or honor loved ones who have passed from AIDS.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is passed via infected bodily fluids and attacks the body’s immune system, making it extremely difficult for those infected to fight off viruses and other illnesses. Ultimately, this virus can progress into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the final stage of the HIV infection.

The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the individual and what stage of the disease the patient is in. Often times, those infected notice flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after HIV exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever (the most common symptom)

  • Swollen glands

  • Sore throat

  • Rash

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle and joint aches, pains

  • Headache

Although these symptoms are helpful detectors, the only way to truly determine if you are infected is to get tested. Any Lab Test Now® is proud to take part in the fight against HIV and AIDS by providing quick, easy and affordable testing. If you think you may be at risk, call us to schedule an appointment where one of our trained professionals can provide you with quality testing in a confidential and friendly environment.

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The ABC’s of Diabetes

If you are a diabetic, knowing your Diabetes ABC’s is one of the most important steps you can take in managing your health and lower your chances of having other diabetic problems like a heart attack or stroke.

A is for the A1C Test.

This blood test measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If continuous high blood sugar is not monitored, you can be at risk of damaging your blood vessels, kidneys, feet, eyes and heart. For most diabetics, their A1C goal is below 7.

B is for Blood Pressure.

Your blood pressure is the level of force your blood uses to push against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, blood is pumped into your blood vessels. The higher the blood pressure, the harder your heart is working. This scenario can also cause heart attacks, strokes and severe damage to your kidneys and eyes. The blood pressure goal for most diabetics is below 140/90.

C is for Cholesterol.

LDL and HDL are the two kinds of cholesterol in your blood. LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol because of it’s ability to build up and clog your blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove your HDL. Goals for cholesterol numbers vary among all diabetics.

Take control of your diabetes by learning what your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are now. Visit an Any Lab Test Now ® nearest you to get started. Our trained medical professionals will administer the tests you need and provide you with clear, quality results for you and your doctor to review. Based on your diabetic history and your current lab tested numbers, your doctor will then be able to determine what ABC goals are reachable for you.

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