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What Is the Difference Between Measles And Chickenpox

Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish measles from chickenpox since they share some similarities. But it’s important to know that they are not the same thing. And by correctly diagnosing the illness, you will know what actions to take to treat it.

What Is Measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can be spread by an infected person coughing or sneezing. The virus also lives for up to two hours in the air, so someone can catch it by breathing the same air as someone who is sick.

If an unvaccinated person comes in contact with the airborne virus, they can develop the measles virus within four days. A person who gets the measles virus will start to develop symptoms between 10 to 14 days after contracting the virus.

The measles virus belongs to the paramyxovirus family of viruses. This type of virus is known for being highly contagious and causing a characteristic rash.

What Are the Symptoms of the Measles?

After coming in contact with the airborne measles virus, a person will develop the symptoms of measles within ten days. Most people will get measles if exposed to the virus unless they have been vaccinated.

The first symptoms of measles are usually fever and a watery, runny nose. But this first phase of the illness may last only a day or two. Other symptoms that follow may include small white spots inside the mouth (called Koplik’s spots) and a red, blotchy rash that spreads all over the body.

The rash usually begins on the face and spreads to the neck, the upper chest and back, and the rest of the body.

The measles rash usually starts two to four days after the other symptoms start. The rash usually lasts four days.

If you see the measles rash, contact your doctor as soon as possible. You may also see a cough, runny nose, white spots inside the mouth, bad headache, and a high fever.

What Is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that is spread by the airborne varicella-zoster virus. The virus causes an itchy rash that can lead to severe complications if it is not properly treated.

In most cases, the itchy rash will eventually go away without treatment. But since the virus spreads so quickly, it’s crucial to treat chickenpox immediately.

Chickenpox is a lot like the measles virus because they belong to the same family of viruses. Both viruses cause a similar rash and can be spread through the air.

However, chickenpox is not caused by the same virus that causes measles. The chickenpox virus belongs to the herpes family of viruses, called the varicella-zoster virus.

What Are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?

The rash of chickenpox usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash usually starts around two to three days after the first symptoms of chickenpox, lasting for five to seven days.

The chickenpox rash may appear as red marks that can turn into blisters. The blisters or spots may be filled with pus. They may also begin crusting over after a few days.

A person who gets chickenpox will usually get a fever, fatigue, and a nasty headache. They may also feel pain when swallowing or have a loss of appetite.

However, the most common symptom of chickenpox is the itching from the rash. This itchy sensation causes most people to scratch the blisters, leading to complications.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the symptoms of measles and chickenpox. Measles and chickenpox are similar because they both cause a red, blotchy rash. But there are several symptoms associated with these two viruses that set them apart. And knowing the difference between measles and chickenpox can help you better understand the illness and how to treat it. 

Protect yourself from viral illnesses by getting vaccinated at Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally owned outpatient medical clinic in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Call us now to schedule an appointment!

fire truck

Signs You Need to Call 911 for Someone Experiencing a Stroke

When it comes to dealing with strokes, time is of the essence. The longer one takes to get the treatment they need, the likelier they will end up with a life-long disability or even die. This thought isn’t a fun thing to think about, but that’s the reality of strokes. As such, if you notice anyone experiencing a stroke or is experiencing it yourself, getting immediate help is a must to maximize the chances of survival.

That said, are you here today to learn more about strokes? If so, keep on reading:

What Is a Stroke?

Stroke, also called a brain attack or cerebral attack, is a condition wherein a part of the brain gets damaged. This can either be due to lack of blood supply, bleeding, or a blood clot. How blood vessels supply the brain with blood is what separates strokes from other conditions like heart attack, heart failure, and aneurysm.

What Are the Signs of a Stroke?

A stroke may have varying symptoms but can vary depending on when it happens, its location, and what type of stroke it is. Every individual may have different symptoms, and this is why certain symptoms may not be enough to discern a stroke. If you notice any of the following symptoms, take note and learn what you need to do to keep yourself and other people safe.

1. Sudden headache

A sudden headache is one of the most obvious stroke symptoms. You can call 911 immediately if this happens, especially if the headache lasts for more than 5 minutes. Also, the pain isn’t just on one side but on both sides. It’s also severe and accompanied by vomiting.

2. Sudden vision loss

Sudden vision loss may be a sign of a stroke as well. Most people notice a sudden loss of vision in one eye. Some even see black spots, see double or experience blurry vision, or see a bright or flashing light. As soon as you notice any of these, get a glass of water and hold your head down. If the vision loss comes back after drinking water, call 911 immediately.

3. Disorientation

Another thing to look out for is instances where someone suffers from disorientation. They may seem confused, have difficulty in speaking or understanding, and have difficulty in coordinating the movement of their limbs and torso. If you notice this, again, call 911 immediately.

4. Weakness of the arm, hand, or leg

Weakness in the arms, hands, and legs can also be an indicator of a stroke. You might notice that someone suddenly feels weak when they’re trying to move their arms or legs. They may feel dizzy and even lose their balance when walking around. This is another sign that should definitely be taken seriously and if you notice it, call 911.

5. Confusion

If you notice someone acting confused, you should be extra cautious. They may be confused about what’s happening, where they are, or even their own identity. This is also a sign that should be reported to 911.

6. Nausea and vomiting

Two of the more common symptoms of a stroke are nausea and vomiting. Not only do they feel nauseous and vomit, but it also doesn’t stop. One of the reasons that the body feels nauseous and causes vomiting is due to the blood vessels in the brain becoming dilated. If you notice a person who feels nauseous and vomits, call 911 immediately and make sure they don’t drink anything.

Conclusion

If you notice someone having stroke symptoms, don’t wait. Dialing 911 can save a person’s life. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If you’re not sure if the symptoms you’re seeing are from a stroke, don’t panic. Just wait and call 911 if you think it’s serious. Only trained medical professionals can properly diagnose a stroke, so it’s better to be over-cautious than under-cautious.

Aspen Medical Center offers urgent and primary care to meet various medical needs. If you are looking for an urgent care center in Santa Fe, visit us today!

Journey to Nepal

I recently had the pleasure and privilege of working again with Himalayan HealthCare (HHC), www.himalayanhealthcare.org. HHC is a non-profit organization that has been working in Nepal for 25 years now. Their mission as stated on their website is “to create sustainable development programs in the remote areas of Nepal that will improve the quality of life for its people. Himalayan HealthCare achieves its mission by providing primary healthcare, community education, and income generation programs that enable people to be self-supporting in the long-term.” Founder, Anil Parajuli, and his wife Soni, and their wonderful family, are inspirational and a joy to work with.

 

My wife, Rachel, an acupuncturist, and our son and I were part of a team of seven international volunteers on the recent Spring 2017 Medical Service Trek. There was also a Nepali doctor, Dr. Trishna Chand Thakur, on the trek. The trek lasted for twelve days and we trekked to two villages, Shertung, and Lapa, and set up clinics there for a total of 5 days, treating hundreds of patients.

Nepal is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that occurred at 11:56 am local time on April 25, 2015 with a magnitude of 7.8 to 8.1 on the Richter scale. The earthquake killed 9000 people and injured another 22,000. The death toll likely would have been much higher except that it occurred in the middle of the day when many people were out of their homes. It triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest killing 21 people there making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. About three and a half million people were made homeless. In the villages we visited, 80% of the homes were destroyed
or made uninhabitable by the earthquake.
After the earthquake, there were multiple aftershocks as well, one of which killed at least another 200 people. There was an estimated $10 billion in damage done by the earthquake which is about 50% of Nepal’s nominal GDP. Needless to say, this has had an enormousimpact on the people of Nepal and two years later, recovery is still underway.

There was much evidence of infrastructure development and there are actually plans to build roads into the villages we visited which will make trekking there obsolete. Himalayan HealthCare has done over 65 Medical-Dental treks since 1992. HHC is involved in the rebuilding effort and over the years has built schools and libraries, served over 180,000 patients so far, improved sanitation, and contributed to education with literacy classes and scholarships for college students from these impoverished communities. There is a documentary on their work titled Hearts in the Himalayas, viewable on Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahAH9uyzq9g

On our trek, we treated patients with a range of medical problems, everything from hypertension and back pain to congestive heart failure and seizures. People were very appreciative and kind. I was struck by the resiliency, joy, and strength of these people who live in very remote mountainous areas. If you are looking for a charity to contribute to, I strongly encourage you donate to Himalayan HealthCare. Or if you are in the medical or dental fields, please consider joining a trek while they are still happening. HHC qualifies as a 501(c)(3) organization so donations are tax deductible. I can guarantee you that your money will be put to good use, as I have witnessed their work myself.

Get out and exercise

Get out and Exercise!

Regular exercise is one of the keys to living a healthy life. Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we are blessed with 300 sunny days per year. Although it can get cold at times in the winter, there are opportunities to stay physically active, whether indoors or outdoors, year-round.

There are multiple benefits to exercise. I have often joked that if I could put all the benefits of exercise into a pill and sell that pill, I would become an instant multi-millionaire! Unfortunately, at this time, no such pill has been developed so you actually need to get up off the couch and move your body to get the benefits.

What are these benefits? According to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,

physical activity can help:
Control Your Weight.
Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
Reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers.
Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles.
Improve Your Mental Health and Mood.
Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
Increase your chances of living longer
See this link for more details: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/

What kind of exercise is right for you? That is a complicated question. If you have any concerns about possible heart disease or a heart problem, you should consult your doctor or health care provider before starting any rigorous exercise program. If you like, call Aspen Medical Center Urgent Care & Primary Care for an appointment or just walk in.

I suggest finding some type of exercise you enjoy. Walking, for many people, is an easy and accessible form of exercise. I walk to work everyday. One common recommendation is to try to get 10,000 steps a day. There are many apps and devices to help achieve this goal or the goal can be individualized. You can join the Aspen Wellness Walkers, sponsored by Aspen Wellness, our acupuncture clinic and wellness center. We usually sponsor a walk somewhere in Santa Fe every weekend. For more information, go to https://www.meetup.com/Aspen-Wellness-Walkers/

Other types of exercise include rock climbing, hiking, swimming, biking, skiing, and jogging. Some people like to dance. Others play sports such as basketball, soccer, pickle ball, volleyball, softball, or tennis. Others like yoga, Tai Chi, or Zumba. I believe there is an appropriate exercise for everyone. All you have to do is start. Ideally try to work up to an average of at least 30 active minutes (e.g brisk walking) 5 days a week. This can do wonders for your mood and your overall health. Good luck!

The 100 Mile Challenge Has Begun!

April 4th – July 12th

Week 4 – Next Group Walk – Fort Marcy Park

Next Group Walk – Fort Marcy Park – Sunday, April 25th 8:30am (Click here for info)

Don’t worry, it is not too late to register! Whether you consider yourself a couch potato or a fitness expert…

…Imagine yourself doing something BIG this year to improve your body, brain, mood, and overall health. Imagine a bunch of other people in your community joining you in this endeavor and how the group motivation will help propel all of you to your goals. Imagine a big party to celebrate your achievement! Aspen Wellness invites you to join the 100 Mile Challenge – a challenge to walk, jog, or run 100 miles within a hundred days. People of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome to join.

Your Registration Includes

As a member of the 100 Mile Challenge you will receive a chart to log your miles, a list of great walking paths, a totebag, a t-shirt, a pedometer, and a 50% off coupon for an acupuncture treatment at Aspen Wellness. You will be invited to weekly walks in a variety of places around Santa Fe. You will have the option of receiving motivational emails with health and fitness tips. And finally, when our 100 days are up, we’ll have a party to celebrate our efforts and achievements. Join now and please forward this link to anyone you want to join you in the first annual 100 Mile Challenge!

*How can I reach the 100 Mile goal?

Customizing Your Challenge

You can join our weekend group walks, or just walk in your own neighborhood, on your own schedule.  You can customize the 100 Mile Challenge to suit your own needs and goals. You may not be able to walk one mile per day but would rather walk several miles during the week or on the weekend. You may want to swim, bike, or Zumba your way to the hundred miles. You may want to double the challenge or even triple the challenge. It’s all about getting active, setting a goal, and enjoying the camaraderie of others. Let’s challenge ourselves and let’s have fun!

Build a healthy habit
Get in better shape or lose some weight
Learn about the many great places to walk or run in Santa Fe
Make friends!
Registration Fees:

The 100 Mile Challenge began April 4th. Late registrations will be accepted anytime during the challenge. However, t-shirts are only guaranteed to those who register by May 1st.

Adults – $20 Children under 17 – $10

Click here for online Registration Form (You can also register in person at Aspen Medical Center or Aspen Wellness)

Take the 100 MILE CHALLENGE! April 4th – July 12th, 2015

Presented by Aspen Wellness

KICKOFF – Saturday, April 4th 9:00am

Click here for more information

Whether you consider yourself a couch potato or a fitness expert…

…Imagine yourself doing something BIG this year to improve your body, brain, mood, and overall health. Imagine a bunch of other people in your community joining you in this endeavor and how the group motivation will help propel all of you to your goals. Imagine a big party to celebrate your achievement! Aspen Wellness invites you to join the 100 Mile Challenge – a challenge to walk, jog, or run 100 miles within a hundred days. People of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome to join.

Your Registration Includes

As a member of the 100 Mile Challenge you will receive a chart to log your miles, a list of great walking paths, a totebag, a t-shirt, and a 50% off coupon for an acupuncture treatment at Aspen Wellness. You will be invited to weekly walks in a variety of places around Santa Fe. You will have the option of receiving motivational emails with health and fitness tips. And finally, when our 100 days are up, we’ll have a party to celebrate our efforts and achievements. Join now and please forward this link to anyone you want to join you in the first annual 100 Mile Challenge!

Customizing Your Challenge

You can customize the 100 Mile Challenge to suit your own needs and goals. You may not be able to walk one mile per day but would rather walk several miles during the week or on the weekend. You may want to swim, bike, or Zumba your way to the hundred miles.  You may want to double the challenge or even triple it if you are ambitious. It’s all about getting active, setting a goal, and enjoying the camaraderie of others. Let’s challenge ourselves and let’s have fun!

  • Build a healthy habit
  • Get in better shape or lose some weight
  • Learn about the many great places to walk or run in Santa Fe
  • Make friends!

Registration Fees:

The 100 mile Challenge will officially begin April 4th. Late registrations will be accepted anytime during the challenge. However, t-shirts are only guaranteed to those who register by May 15th.

Adults – $20   Children under 17 – $10

Click here for online Registration Form (You can also register in person at Aspen Medical Center or Aspen Wellness)

Introducing Aspen Wellness!

ASPEN-WellnessLOGFinal9-14 (3)

At the end of 2014, Aspen Medical Center expanded its mission of offering top quality urgent care and primary care by opening a complementary and alternative healthcare center. Aspen Wellness is located right beside Aspen Medical Center.  Acupuncture treatments are just $25 per session and both appointments and walk-ins are welcome.  Chinese herbs, bodywork, and a wide range of energywork and alternative healing modalities are also available. Aspen’s focus is on the prevention of disease and the promotion of health and wellbeing. With that in mind, Aspen Wellness offers a weekly Qi Gong class (Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00) and a walking club.  Classes on nutritious cooking, stretches for back pain, and the Aspen Wellness 100 Mile Club are currently being developed. 

What can acupuncture treat?

Try acupuncture for pain of any kind, stress, depression, anxiety, allergies, digestive issues, weight loss and more. For a more comprehensive list of conditions and information about other healthcare services and programs, visit the Aspen Wellness website at http://www.aspenwellness.care .

Call Aspen Wellness for an appointment or just walk in. The hours are 10am-2pm Monday through Thursday. Additional hours are available by appointment. Call 505-466-5887 to schedule.

Aspen Medical Center & Aspen Wellness…we’ve got you covered!