Page 1 | September 2012 |

San Diego County Health and Family info Options




Serving our communities since 2001

August - September 2012



What You Need to Know About Food Safety


New Food Truck Regulation


Snacks and Sports


Want a Gold Medal Baby?


Maximize the Joy in Sports

13 14 15



Fresh Faves for Feeling Fit Club

Take or Not to Take and Aspirin a Day


Falls are a Real Danger


Memory Care


Influenza and Older Adults


A Prescription Drug Disaster?

Safety Precautions Around the water

New Threat!

Bath Salts. They sound harmless. They are not.

30 20

Are you Prepared For the Fire Season?

Mosquitoes Continue to threaten California

Get the Facts and Join the Conversation



SALUD+HEALTH INFO is designed for informative and educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned about your health or that of a child,please consult your family’s physician or health provider immediately and do not try to diagnose yourself.

Contact us:

619- 427- 4111 • Mailing Address: P.O.BOX# 3150 Chula Vista, CA 91909

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SALUD+HEALTH INFO is published and distributed free of charge by Info Option Network (ION) Publishing Co. All rights reserved. ION Reserves the right to edit all information provided to the publisher as it deems necessary with regard to all legal, public health , State, Federal, International and other standards for the proper publishing of this periodical. We reserve the right to refuse any article and advertising at any time . No reproduction of this magazine by any means is permitted without the written consent of ION Publishing Company. ION has no affiliation with any health organization or political group. ION is not responsable for the claims of advertisers, not for the verity of submitted written articles.


| | September 2012


Public is Urged to Prevent, Protect and Report Mosquitoes are small and most often seen as little more than a nuisance – but they are much more dangerous than that. West Nile virus (WNV), a disease transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes, caused the death of nine Californians in 2011 alone, more than any other state in the U.S. It is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the country. There were a total of 712 cases and 43 deaths nationwide last year. There is no cure or vaccine for WNV. Symptoms of WNV typically develop within three to 14 days of a bite from an infected mosquito. The vast majority of human cases exhibit little to no symptoms of the disease – only 20 percent of those who contract the virus show flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue and muscle soreness. However, for individuals with weak immune systems, particularly the young and elderly, the disease can trigger life-threatening conditions such as encephalitis (the inflammation of the brain), which causes high fever, disorientation, convulsions and even death. Risk of WNV contraction is highest during dawn to dusk; therefore, precautions should be taken to avoid mosquito bites if you spend extended periods of time outside.

For information about West Nile virus and how to protect yourself, call 858-694-2888 or visit:

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 | September 2012 |


What You Need to Know About

Food Safety Although many people are not aware of it, food safety can mean the difference between life and death. Got leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer? How long will they keep? A food may be spoiled with disease-causing bacteria and not have smell bad. Many people think food is spoiled only when it turns colors or it begins to stink. Spoiled food can contain bacteria that can cause illness, yet not smell bad; on the other hand, food that does smell ‘off’ might not make us sick at all. The reason is that diseasecausing bacteria often do not affect the taste, odor or appearance of food. The reality is that leftovers should not be kept for more than 3-4 days refrigerated or frozen. If you are not sure how long leftovers have been in the refrigerator, don’t take the risk - if in doubt, throw it out! A good idea is to mark it with the date you put it in the fridge.

Be Prepared For a Power Outage With potential electricity shortages facing San Diego County, the County Department of Environmental Health offers the following food safety tips to prevent food-borne illness in the event of power outages: • If you have advance warning of a power outage and if the outage is anticipated to last more than 4 hours move foods that must be refrigerated to the freezer as space will allow. • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Keep potentially hazardous foods, such as meat or poultry, chilled to 41°F or less.

• Do not place hot or unrefrigerated foods in the refrigerator once the power has gone out. It will raise the temperature inside the unit. Chill food with ice baths as needed. Any foods that were prepared prior to the power outage that were not rapidly cooled should be discarded.

When in doubt,

throw it out!

• Keep meat and poultry items separated from other foods so if they begin to thaw, their juices will not drip on to other foods. • Discard any thawed food that has risen to room temperature and remained there for two (2) hours or more.

• If the freezer is not full, group packages together so they will retain the cold more effectively. Without power, a full freezer will keep everything frozen for about 2 days. A halffull freezer will keep food frozen 1 day.

Bacteria can multiply rapidly on potentially hazardous foods that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours. • Thawed foods that are at 41°F or below should be used as soon as possible. Do not refreeze thawed foods. • When the power comes back on, all potentially hazardous foods must be evaluated for proper temperatures. • Cook foods to proper temperatures to ensure food safety.

For more information on food handling, call the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555, or • Permitted food facilities with questions regarding food safety should contact the Environmental Health Specialist information desk at (858) 505-6900, or visit: County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division web site at


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The New A, B & Cs Of Food Truck Regulation The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a program for assigning “A-B-C” food safety letter grades to the region’s expanding fleet of food trucks and other mobile food operators. Supervisor Ron Roberts, who is serving as board chairman in 2012, first brought the idea of letter grades to his colleagues in February. At that time, the board unanimously directed the county’s Department of Environmental Health, the agency that regulates restaurants and mobile food operators, to develop an inspection program that included letter grades. It was this program, in the shape of an ordinance, that the board approved. San Diego is a hotbed of food trucks and the trend shows no signs of slowing. Of the 1,100 mobile food operations that San Diego County now inspects through its Department of Environmental Health, 550 are in the business of preparing food for sale to the public. While the inspections ensure that operators comply with the highest levels of food safety, especially when it comes to refrigeration and preparation, the results were not prominently displayed for customers. Supervisor Ron Roberts, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, said the time was right for change to the same A-B-C system the public relies on for restaurant safety. “With the growing culture of gourmet food trucks, now is the time to beef up the reporting by translating the inspection results into a grading system that consumers can easily access,” said Roberts. “Everyone deserves to know that the food they order is stored, prepared and presented in a manner that assures public health no matter if the restaurant has wheels or not. We want everybody safe in San Diego. That's all about” San Diego County requires all restaurants to post an "A", "B" or "C" card in the front window. The grade reflects the food safety and sanitation level during the last inspection. An "A" grade means the facility earned a score of 90 to 100 percent and is in satisfactory compliance with state law; a "B" means the facility earned a score of 80 to 89 percent and needs improvement in operations and/or structure; a "C" means the facility earned a score of 79 percent or less and is a failing grade. The County Department of Environmental Health worked closely with food industry representatives on developing the new procedures. Following board approval of the food truck ordinance, Roberts was met outside the County Administration Building by the operators of three food trucks: Deborah Scott with Patty Melt, Chicho Casillas with Chubby’s Food Truck and Rich Huarte and Jay Margolin with New York on Rye. Roberts and others toured the trucks and spoke with the operators, and DEH officials, about how the new regulations would be put in place.

San Diego County's approximately 12,000 retail food establishments are inspected on a routine basis to monitor compliance with state and local laws, such as the California Retail Food Code (CalCode). Unannounced inspections are performed by a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS). The REHS provides the facility with a signed copy of the food facility inspection report at the end of the inspection. Under state law each food facility must maintain a copy of the most recent environmental health inspection report onsite, and must make the report available for review by interested parties upon request. The REHS inspection methodology prioritizes inspections based on relative risk and ensures the focus of inspections is on food preparation practices and public health interventions. For a detailed explanation of the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health's Food inspection program, please call: (858) 505-6614 | September 2012 |


Snacks for Before, During, and After Sports Games and Practice


Carbohydrates provide the fuel muscles need for sports activities. One or two hours before the game choose a food from the cereals group which could be their cereal of choice, bread, rice, or pasta. If the game or practice lasts 60 minutes or less, the group with whole grains and oats will also provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Teaching our children about proper nutrition is fundamental to keeping them healthy and strong, especially if they are physically active. Whether it be for a formal soccer match or to do drills during practice, kids' sports performance and healthy growth will depend on eating the right foods. Good nutrition is essential for healthy growth and development, as well as sports performance, for children and teens who participate in sports activities in addition to the daily hour of physical activity. Sadly, many children, especially those in critical stages of development, such as during the years prior to puberty, have inadequate eating habits like skipping breakfast or having too many sugary drinks. As a result, their teeth don't have the necessary nutrients for growth and this can affect not only their sports performance but can also put them at risk for sports injuries and affect their school performance and their health. Variety is important. Foods eaten each day should be enough to satisfy the nutritional needs that the body needs in terms of energy and the necessary substance for organ and tissue maintenance and growth. Eating well means every day eating a balanced diet made up of healthy foods. An easy way to accomplish a balance between nutrition and variety is to take advantage of the food pyramid groups. In it foods are grouped according to the nutrients they provide and the portions that should be consumed. Larger amounts should be consumed of the foods at the base and less of the ones close to the tip of the pyramid.

During a longer game, exercise session, or practice, it is convenient to add proteins or fiber to slow down digestion and maintain energy. Choose fruits, dairy products, and foods low in fat or protein, such as milk, yogurt, or turkey.

Pre-game snacks: • Whole-grain bread, crackers, tortillas, or pretzels • Cereal (as long as it's not high in sugar) • Enriched pasta or brown rice • Plain popcorn • Low-fat cheese, yogurt, pudding or milk • Turkey, chicken, tofu • Apples, bananas, pears, oranges • Carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers


For Half-Time > Refueling

Children should eat from all of the food groups. The type of foods offered as snacks at the right time to those who participate in sports is important. Adequate snacks and hydration are the two main elements of sports nutrition because that is how the necessary energy is provided for maximum performance and recovery.

Eat 1 to 4 hours before training or competition. Allows enough time for food to empty the stomach. Exercising with a nearly full stomach can cause indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.


Avoid fatty foods, such as many popular breakfast foods (bacon, sausage and cheese).These foods slow emptying of stomach, which may make your child feel sluggish and heavy.

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Before the game or practice

Avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea and some sodas) that can cause agitation, nausea, muscle tremors, palpitations and headaches that can impair performance and, because caffeine is a diuretic, can contribute to dehydration, reduced endurance and put them at risk of feeling sick in hot weather .

During a game, it's most important to stay hydrated, so keep the water flowing.It is extremely important to be hydrated in order to hydrate muscles and replenish liquids.

Avoid extra-sweet foods such as soda, candy, sports and energy drinks. These cause a spike in blood sugar. If sugar levels then drop quickly during a game, your child could become sluggish or even dizzy.

During this recess it is necessary to eat something easy to grab, eat and digest.Avoid salty foods, since they dehydrate instead of re-hydrating. Fruits are the best choice since it contains lots of water; they are rich in carbohydrates which provide energy, and their nutrients include vitamins and minerals to ensure proper growth, development, and overall body functioning.

Half-time snacks: • Bananas (cut in half for younger kids so they can peel and eat more quickly) • Orange slices • Tangerines • Grapes • Small slices or chunks of melon or watermelon • Apple wedges (sprinkle with orange juice to prevent browning)


After a Game or Workout

Immediately after an intense game, it is necessary to replace the liquids lost by sweating. Water, either plain milk or chocolate milk, and fruit juices are good options. But for activities lasting 60 minutes or longer, or to recover from heavy perspiration, sports drinks are recommended because, in addition to liquids, they provide carbohydrates and minerals and replace the electrolytes lost through sweat.


Post-game It is important to replace the nutrients that the body used during physical activity. To replace them, a snack should be eaten thirty minutes after the activity. Carbohydrates and proteins help recover energy. A little bit of sugar is fine, but not in excess. It is not convenient to reinforce the notion that something sweet is a good way of rewarding oneself for being active.

Snack ideas for recovery after training, the game, or practice • Fresh fruit (see list above) or applesauce • Fruit frozen into kabobs or pops • Dried fruit, including leathers or roll-ups made with 100% fruit

• Fruit-flavored gelatin • Granola bars, but watch out for high calorie, fat, and sugar content • Cookies: Best choices are fig bars, oatmeal cookies, animal crackers • Crackers or bagels: Opt for whole-grain versions if you can; top with peanut butter, cheese or cream cheese • Yogurt • Pudding • String cheese • Popcorn, pretzels, baked chips • Muffins (low-fat) • Trail mix (with dried fruit instead of candy; beware nut allergies) If it is your turn to take snacks and beverages for a team, find out if the children have any food allergies to avoid taking dangerous foods. Examples are allergies to nuts, walnuts, and peanuts. Just as drinking water is extremely important to stay hydrated and recover, there are also two nutrients that are particularly important for active people to monitor. Iron is important for oxygen transport in the blood. Low iron content causes fatigue and diminished performance. Iron is found in red meats and enriched grains. Calcium is important for bones and muscular contraction. Calcium deficiency can raise the risk of fractures because the body uses calcium from bones for muscular contraction. Three to four portions of dairy products daily will help provide an adequate amount of calcium.Three to four portions of dairy products daily will help provide an adequate amount of calcium. Taking a multivitamin daily can help also. Be sure to choose a vitamin appropiate fpr age.Children should never take adult vitamins. Good nutrition can generally be achieved by consuming a variety of foods from different food groups throughout the day. For all kids, listening to the body's hunger and fullness cues will help ensure adequate nutrition. Choose healthy foods, eat when you're hungry, and stop when you're full!

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt - provide carbohydrates, protein, and important vitamins and minerals. Calcium and vitamin D are very important for athletes because they build strong bones and are involved in muscle contraction. | September 2012 |


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Want a gold medal baby? Give your baby’s body a boost with breast milk!

When an emergency occurs, Breastfeeding can save lives

Babies who are breastfed grow strong, healthy and happy. When the mother breastfeds her baby, she is offering the best nutrition possible with food that is easy to digest and that contains antibodies protecting the baby against infections caused by viruses and bacteria, but is also giving the attention and care that her baby needs to feel loved and protected. Just what he needs for good physical and mental health.

Breastfeeding benefits more than just babies! For most women, breastfeeding is possible.Both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Also, research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers, Type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. Life can be easier for nursing mothers. Breastfeeding can make life easier once the mother and the baby settle into a good routine. When breastfeeding, there is no need to sterilize, to buy, measure, and mix. Mothers can satisfy their baby’s hunger and thirst right away when breastfeeding. Breastfed babies need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. The nation benefits overall when mothers breastfeed. Research studies show that if 90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. The United States would also save $13 billion per year — medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. Additionally, breastfeeding is better for the environment. There is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.

Breast milk is the safest and most effective food to ensure proper and adequate child nutrition and hydration which is especially important during any emergency situation. According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), in the aftermath of emergencies like hurricanes Katrina and Rita, helping mothers successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding is even more crucial. In vulnerable situations babies and children have special needs for infection-fighting factors, optimal nutrition, reliable food sources, and the comfort provided by breastfeeding. In contrast to powdered formula, which may not be available, and will need to be mixed with water (which may be contaminated), and provided in bottles that probably can not be sterilized. Human milk provides ample hydration and spares infants exposure to water contaminated during the destruction caused by natural disasters. In summary, breastmilk is key in situations of natural disasters: • Breastfeeding keeps babies well hydrated and safe from the risks of a contaminated water supply. In fact, babies do not need any other liquid until four to six months. • Breastfeeding can help protect against respiratory illnesses and diarrhea. These diseases can be fatal in populations displaced by disaster. • Breast milk is the right temperature for babies and helps to prevent hypothermia, when the body temperature drops too low. • Breast milk is readily available without needing other supplies, and it’s free. | September 2012 |


Aerial applications of mosquito larvicide throughout the county For the last two years, San Diego County mosquito-control programs have included larvicide drops on local waterways and working with Sheriff’s officials to find and treat neglected, “green” swimming pools that can become mosquito-breeding grounds. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 200 eggs at a time in the still water found in wetlands. These eggs hatch into larvae which feed on organic material. Larvicides are made from bacteria that are specific to mosquito larvae and will not harm other wildlife. This results in the efficient elimination of larvae before they can develop into biting adults. The County of San Diego Vector Control Program contractor applies mosquito larvicide by helicopter to wetlands in an effort to reduce mosquito populations and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile Virus (WNV). August 8TH was the fifth aerial drop of mosquito larvicide for the 2012 mosquito breeding season. Mosquito populations are monitored and tested for the presence of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases throughout the county during the mosquito season. Applications have been conducted at four week intervals or as needed. Controlling the mosquito population is essential in preventing the spread of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. To grow to adulthood and bite the young mosquitoes, or larvae, need water. All they need is ½ inch of water, so getting of containers that hold water around homes, yards, schools and businesses is key. The public must help by turning over and emptying anything that has potential to hold water such as buckets, toys, clogged rain gutters, old tires, plant saucers, pots, and pet dishes.

For information about West Nile virus and how to protect yourself, call 858-694-2888 or visit:



| | September 2012

Reduce the risk of injuries to maximize the


in Sports

Every year, over 38 million children in the United States enjoy the benefits of participating in organized athletic programs. All of these children are acquiring, and developing social and leadership skills that will help them throughout their lives. They will also develop an enjoyment of sports that will be carried into adulthood. Although sports participation provides numerous physical, mental, and social benefits, it also involves the risk of sports-related injuries. Every year, hundreds of thousands children suffer injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to serious injuries of the spinal cord, or in the head, wich are also called concussions. These type of injuries occur if the head or neck hits the ground, equipment, or another athlete. Four-Sporting-Boys by Norman Rockwell

A concussion is any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. All concussions are serious, and all athletes with suspected concussions should not return to play until they see a doctor. The signs and symptoms of a concussion range from subtle to obvious, and usually happen right after the injury but may take hours to days to show up. If a child appears confused, dizzy, sleepy, has a headache or is vomiting, he or she may have suffered a concussion and should be removed from play, and taken to the emergency room.

Since it is not possible to prevent every one of these injuries, there are several preventive measures that can significantly minimize the risk of being hurt.

Medical checkups and preventive measures are key to minimizing sports injuries. The first step is to have the child examined by a physician. The purpose of this examination is to identify pre-existing medical problems that could increase the risk of injury when the child is active. Parents can discuss proper training techniques and good nutrition with their child's doctor . If a child is out of shape, a conditioning program should be started well before the scheduled sports activities. Poorly conditioned children are more likely to hurt themselves than those who are physically fit. For example, a musclestrengthening program that focuses on the shoulders and back can help prevent some injuries related to competitive swimming. Stretching the muscles of the hips, and legs can prevent some injuries associated with running, and gymnastics.

Winning certainly adds to the fun and ex-citement of sports, but it should not be a primary goal. Children who suffer a sportsrelated injury should not return to active play until the injury has completely healed. Trying to "play through" a supposedly minor injury can cause more extensive damage. If there is any question about wheter the child ready to return to play, a sports medicine doctor should be consulted. | September 2012 |


Reduce the risk of injuries Properly designed protective equipment can also prevent many sports-related injuries. Proper headgear and padding are specially important for children involved in contact sports such as football and martial arts, or high-velocity sports such as skiing, cycling, and inline skating.

The body shuts down when it gets too warm In hot weather, children are more likely than adults to become overheated, and develop heat-related illness. To prevent problems, vigorous activity should be limited on very hot days to the early morning or late afternoon, when temperatures are cooler. Keep children safe from heat related illness by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.(Temperatures of 80°F (about 27°C) or above)

Plain cool water is the best choice for activities lasting less than one hour. Drinks such as fruit juice and soda, contain too much sugar and can cause cramping. Sports drinks containing sugar, and various electrolytes, are a better choice for activities that last longer.

Lemonade by Norman Rockwell

• Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and more frequent water/hydration breaks should be instituted. Children should seek cooler environments if they feel excessively hot or fatigued.


For the first hour of exercise, water alone can be used. Kids should have water or a sports drink always available and drink every 20 minutes while exercising in the heat. Excessively hot and humid environments, more prolonged and strenuous exercise, and copious sweating should be reasons for children to substantially increase their fluid intake. After an hour of exercise, children need to drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage to replace electrolytes lost in sweat and provide carbohydrates for energy. Children should be encouraged to consume lots of fluids.

• At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 7 to 14 days to acclimatize to the heat, particularly if it is very humid. • Clothing should be lightcolored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.

Before prolonged physical activity, children should be well-hydrated and should not feel thirsty

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Call 911 immediately. Confusion, irrational behavior, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and a dangerously high temperature (104°F and above) may be signs of heat stroke. This is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires rapid cooling by immersion in an ice bath. Ice bags on the neck and groin may help if a bath is unavailable.

A child with fever or severe diarrhea is more susceptible to overheating and dehydration, and should avoid excessive physical activity, especially in the hottest weather. Although heat-related illness usually causes only mild symptoms, it can be life-threatening in severe cases. If there is any concern that a child may be developing a heat-related illness, a physician should be consulted.

Safety Precautions Around the

Water When the weather heats up, everyone wants to be near, or in the water. The fun of walking on the beach, and the countless hours of swimming at pools with family and friends provide many opportunities for physical activity with family and friends, and happy memories. What a great way to beat the heat! When most of us are enjoying time at the pool or beach, injuries aren’t the first thing on our minds. Everyone needs to be alert for the dangers of being around the water. Drowing is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between ages 5 and 24. For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care from near-drowning incidents. Whether it is a puddle, bucket, swiming pool, beach, or tub children are drawn to water like bees to flowers. Many accidents happens because no one saw the impending danger.

Children and toddlers are at risk from even small amounts of water • As little as two inches of water is enough. • It only takes 20 seconds for a small child to drown. • Could happen when the child is missing from sight for less than five minutes. • Drowning can happen quickly and silently.

Toys left around the pool can attract young children

No child is “drown-proof”, and the ability to swim doesn’t prevent drowing. A drowning child often sinks quietly without screaming for help or thrashing in the water. According to the American Heart Association, even fluid-filled containers with small amounts of water such as in toilets, bath tubs, buckets of water, kiddie pools, or ice chests (coolers) are hazardous, because they may be unable to escape after falling in.

“Diving from Diving board” by Norman Rockwell

Most of the drowning cases of children 5 to 12 years of age are because their parents and caretakers have overestimated their swimming ability and their knowledge of water survival skills, so to keep all children safe in and near the water, even the child who knows how to swim needs to be watched constantly. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that adults always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children at any time they are around water, swimming, playing or even when they are bathing. Drownings have occurred when parents left "for just a minute" to answer the phone or door. The best thing you can do to help your family stay safe is to take steps to say safe around water and to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons. Even if you and the children already know how to swim, practicing water safety is always important.

Toys left around the pool can attract young children. Adults are not safe from the risk of drowning. People who have seizure disorders are also at risk in the water. Alcohol is involved in approximately 25-50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water-related activities. Never drink alcohol before participating in any water activity. | September 2012 |


Are you Prepared for Fire Season? The grasses and plants in San Diego County are so dry, fire officials are warning residents to take precautions around their homes, and to create defensible space and a family disaster plan now. To a firefighter, dry grasses and plants in the backcountry, city canyons and open spaces are considered fuel that help spread wildfires. Right now, those plants are as dry as they normally are in September and October, said San Diego-Fire Rescue Fire Chief Javier Mainar at a news event held at the site of a burned-out pinery lot in Rancho Bernardo. The pinery office building burned to the ground in the 2007 wildfires leaving behind a concrete slab. Rebuilt homes also dot the hillside above and behind the pinery lot. “It’s just a matter of time. We live in a fire-prone community,” Mainar said of the potential for another wildfire. “We need your help … There are not enough firefighters to protect every home.”

In the event of a wildfire, a firefighter is going to look for a home with 100 feet of defensible space to protect. Defensible space is created by removing dead trees or plants, clutter, discarded furniture and belongings, and thinning or cutting back live plants so that they don’t touch roofs or are too close to windows. Fallen leaves or needles should also be cleared from roofs, gutters, and yards. Often, a fire comes too fast for fire crews to create a defensible space for a home. Instead, they will move on to another home that stands a better chance.


UNSAFE! “We rely on the public to provide a defensible zone around their home and it could save their home in the event of a wildfire,” said Chief Thom Porter, San Diego County Fire Authority and CAL FIRE Unit Chief.


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Roger Pierce, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service office in San Diego said the weather outlook is not positive in terms of lowering the fire risk. It’s going to be very hot during August and September, and that usually results in more Santa Ana winds like those that caused the 2003 and 2007 wildfires to spread so fast and so far. Pierce said the weather service wants to help firefighters get the word out to residents that the risk is very real this summer and fall. For many residents the memories of the 2003 and 2007 wildfires have faded and maybe now they are not keeping their yard and roof clear of debris like they did in the first year or so after the devastating fires, Pierce said. That’s not a good strategy. “With hot, dry weather, especially prolonged hot, dry weather, dead vegetation becomes dry like tinder,” said Porter. “(It) becomes more receptive to fire and it takes a lot less of an ignition source, spark or very minor heat source to get a fire started.” In fact, all of Southern California has a higher potential for a large fire in the mountains, foothills and inland valleys compared to the last two seasons, according to a fire predictive services group based in Riverside. The potential for extreme fire danger is due to lower rainfall in the spring, which deprived plants of water during a critical maturation period. The higher risk for wildfire in the mountains is also due to more trees and plant life that can serve as “fuel” for a fire and a drier climate up there as well, Pierce said. “We’re fully staffed and ready to respond to a wildfire when it occurs. CAL FIRE resources are completely staffed including all engines, bulldozers, aircraft and chief officers,” Porter said. “If the winds, topography and fuels line up and we have a fire ignition, we could have a large and damaging fire any time of year.” To learn more about creating defensible space and creating a family disaster plan, please visit and visit the Wildfire Public Awareness Campaign. To create a family disaster plan, click on the Family tab.

New Threat! The Asian Tiger Mosquito was recently identified in an El Monte neighborhood. This aggressive day-biting mosquito is not native to California and has not been seen in the San Gabriel Valley since 2001, when they were accidentally imported in shipments of “Lucky Bamboo” plants.

This mosquito • is very small (approx. ¼ inch), with distinctive black and white bands on its thorax, abdomen, and legs. They are aggressive biters and are active during daylight hours as well as dusk and dawn.

• is a container breeder and prefers to lay its eggs onto the inside of water-filled containers or on stems of aquatic plants. When flooded, the eggs hatch and larvae emerge, maturing to biting adults in 7-12 days. • is a native of tropical and subtropical Southeast Asia but has invaded other countries through international transport and travel. When established, they become a significant pest and are able to transmit many serious diseases including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, encephalitis-causing viruses and the parasite responsible for heartworm in dogs and cats. The Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are responsible for recent outbreaks of dengue virus in Florida, Hawai’i, and Texas. If this mosquito becomes permanently established in California, residents will have to live with an even greater risk of mosquitotransmitted diseases.

To protect yourself from WNV and other mosquito borne diseases: • Report mosquito breeding areas • Report dead birds, particularly crows, hawks and jays to be tested for WNV • Report green swimming pools and other standing water. You can report anonymously and the County will treat the pool for mosquitoes free of charge • Dump and drain all standing water around your home • Discard or put away any containers, cans, buckets and old tires around the home • Use a mosquito repellant from dusk to dawn • Wear long sleeves and long pants outside from dusk to dawn

For information about West Nile virus and how to protect yourself, call 858-694-2888 or visit:

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE | September 2012 |


Mosquitoes Continue to Threaten California A dramatic upswing in West Nile virus human cases is reported nationwide. More serious illnesses from West Nile virus have been reported this year. The increased cases we are seeing are a strong reminder that West Nile Virus is a serious disease, and a confirmation of how bad it can be. West Nile Virus is severe, and can potentially be fatal to the most vulnerable in our population. The Health Department is warning residents of how dangerous it is, and urging all to take the necessary precautions. The first human case and the first death in California were both in Kern County. The first human case was a woman of 70 years old who was hospitalized and released, and the first fatality was an 88 yr-old woman, but people of all ages can become sick. A 6-year-old Stanislaus girl sickened with the West Nile virus was the third case in California this year. The young girl first presented symptoms on July 6 with weakness in her right arm, difficulty speaking, and the inability to walk, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. The West Nile Virus is still a dangerous threat not only in California, but throughout the United States. As of August 10th, California alone has had 648 dead birds, and 1136 mosquito pools in 32 counties that have tested positive for WNV, and 10 counties with 26 human cases. Of the 26 human cases, 9 had neuro-invasive illness. Nationwide, the number of deaths continues to grow, especially in the most affected states which are Arizona, Mississippi, and Texas, where the West Nile Virus West has already been declared an emergency. Although the infection rate for West Nile Virus West reaches its peak during the months of August and September, and we still cannot tell if it could worsen, but the figures do not yet suggest that the situation can improve. Parents are advised to have their children and teenagers wear protective clothing and use insect repellents when outdoors in the morning or early evening, when mosquitoes are most active. Environmental Health officials urge the public to help protect itself by remembering and acting upon the phrase: “Prevent, Protect, Report.”

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites:

Prevent Mosquito Breeding: Backyard water sources are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents should dump or remove anything that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys, old spare tires and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs. You can get free mosquito fish from the Vector Control Program, 858-694-2888.

Protect yourself from the virus by staying inside when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn, and by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Use insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR 3535 when you are outdoors. Make sure window and door screens are in good condition and are secured.

For information about West Nile virus and how to protect yourself, call 858-694-2888 or visit: | | September 2012

Report dead birds and green swimming pools: Please report green swimming pools to the Vector Control Program for treatment. The County provides free mosquito fish to control mosquitoes in backyard water sources including green swimming pools. Also report dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks, and owls to be tested for the virus. Contact the County at 858-694-2888. | September 2012 |

Nicotine Addiction

The most common addictions are substance abuse and repetitive, damaging behaviors. Substance abuse is a dependence. Addiction and dependence are characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, even in the face of negative consequences, and tobacco use certainly fits the description.

How addictive is nicotine? Nicotine it is highly addictive. It is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Over time, a person becomes physically dependent on, and emotionally addicted to nicotine. The physical dependence causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the person is trying to quit. Emotional and mental dependence (addiction) make it hard to stay away from nicotine after quitting.


| | September 2012

The release from nicotine addiction comes gradually. Symptoms usually start within a few hours of the last cigarette and peak about 2 to 3 days later when most of the nicotine and its by-products are out of the body. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to up to several weeks, and improve with every smoke-free day. Studies have shown that smokers must deal with both the physical and mental dependence in order to quit and stay smoke-free. Most smokers report that one reason they smoke is to handle stress. When they're stressed, the urge to smoke can be intense. In fact, smoking creates more stress which makes it harder to stop smoking. But you can quit! More than 48 million people in the United States have quit smoking for good. This means more people have quit than are still smoking. Many organizations offer information, counseling, and other services to help you quit, as well as information on where to go for help. The release from nicotine addiction comes gradually, as old associations and habits are erased and replacing them with new, healthier choices.

1-800 -NO- BUTTS

Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine.

Cigarette smoking produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain. This inhaled nicotine moves from the lungs into the bloodstream and up to the smoker's brain within 7 to 10 seconds. Once there, nicotine triggers a number of chemical reactions that create temporary feelings of pleasure for the smoker, but these sensations are short-lived. As the nicotine level drops in the blood, smokers feel edgy, irritated and agitated -- the start of nicotine withdrawal. So, in order to relieve the discomforts, smokers light up another cigarette, and continue the vicious cycle of addiction.

free Free call. Free service. Freedom from cigarettes.

Even though most people know smoking is a bad habit and they can quit whenever they desired to, most of them are surprised to know that they are addicted to Nicotine.

How does nicotine hook smokers?

Call now ... for yourself and your family !

Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause an estimated average of 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these premature deaths, about 40 percent are from cancer, 35 percent are from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent are from lung disease.

California Smokers’ Helpline

This material was made possible by funds received from the Tobacco Tax Health Protection Act of 1988Proposition 99, through the California Department of Public Health, under Contract # TCP-10-37. Tobacco Control Resource Program, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency .

“For the first time ever in 2011, “bath salts” was linked to local deaths” said Dr. Jonathan Lucas, Deputy Medical Examiner.

A Growing and Deadly Addiction:

Bath Salts They sound harmless. They are not. Bath salts captured national attention recently after the gruesome incident in Miami where a man, believed to be under their influence, ate most of a homeless man’s face. The incident placed bath salts on the spotlight making people wonder what exactly these drugs are. Bath salts are not the traditional cosmetic bath salts, which are packaged and sold for adding to bath water for soaking and cleaning.These synthetic drugs contain manmade chemicals and mimic the effects of potent stimulants such as cocaine, LSD, and meth. The drugs, which are ingested, inhaled, or injected, are highly addictive and known to cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, extreme paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and violent behavior, leading some users to harm themselves or others.These products can contain stimulant compounds such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and methylone. “The chemicals in synthetic drugs known as bath salts have no legitimate use and are solely intended for substance abuse. Like most emerging drugs, we often don’t see them in treatment as a primary issue for quite some time after they get noticed in the community,” said Susan Bower, behavioral health operations director for the County Health and Human Services Agency. County treatment centers have not seen an influx of clients coming in for help because of bath salts. However, she indicated, this does not mean people are not abusing them. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 304 calls were received in 2010. By last year, the number had increased by 20 times, reaching 6,138. Where these synthetic drugs have appeared is at emergency rooms and poison control centers across the country and, in the worst cases, at Medical Examiners’ offices. The County Medical Examiner’s Officer routine screening for drugs of abuse can detect the most common types of bath salts.

Bath salt products appear to originate overseas and are being manufactured without quality controls or oversight. They are sold as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Bliss” and called plant food, jewelry cleaner, or potpourri. Federal, state and local governments have adopted or are working on policies and legislation to combat this threat, and to educate people about the dangers associated with bath salts and other new, manmade drugs, including spice or synthetic marijuana. In California, the sale of bath salts and spice became illegal in October of 2011. Locally, the County adopted an ordinance declaring these types of drugs a public nuisance and making stores that sell them in unincorporated areas subject to civil abatement actions. However, some smoke shops, convenience stores and gas stations continued to sell them. People can also get them online. “We must continue to be vigilant about this growing and dangerous problem,” Bower concluded. People suffering from a substance abuse problem can get help by calling the Access and Crisis Line:

1 800 479 3339 | September 2012 |


ToTake or Not to take an ASPIRIN a day? Aspirin, once mostly used on an occasional basis for fever, aches and pains, is now, for many, taken daily like a vitamin pill. Should you be taking an aspirin daily?

Who should take aspirin? Aspirin’s ability to reduce the risk of a second heart attack or stroke has been known for quite a while, and doctors have long advised people who have previously had a heart attack, an ischemic stroke (one caused by a clot) or TIAs (so-called “mini-strokes”) to take a daily aspirin. Patients with unstable angina, who are at very high risk for a heart attack, are also treated with aspirin in the hospital. There is also enough evidence of aspirin’s benefits in reducing heart attack and stroke risk that doctors are increasingly recommending a daily aspirin for many healthy people. This includes all men over age 50 and all women over age 60, especially if they have even one risk factor for heart disease. Risk factors include a personal or family history of heart disease, having hypertension, being overweight, not exercising, smoking, having high cholesterol or being diabetic.

Who should NOT have daily aspirin? For some individuals, the risks of aspirin therapy itself are greater than the potential benefits. A significant percentage of people develop stomach irritation from aspirin. For many it is mild, but for others who develop ulcers or internal bleeding, the health consequences can be major. Gastric problems can often be avoided by taking the lowest recommended daily dosage or using enteric, or coated aspirin.

High blood pressure greatly increases the risk for hemorrhagic strokes, the type caused by rupture of a small blood vessel and resultant blood leakage into the brain. The anticoagulant properties of aspirin can exacerbate this kind of stroke. Daily aspirin therapy can be a lifesaver for many, but because of the risks, do not start a program without consulting your physician. Also discuss the best daily dosage for you, which can safely range from 50 mg to 325 mg a day. Even if you decide not to take a daily aspirin, keep a bottle of chewable baby aspirin in your car and in your medicine cabinet. It’s important to have one on hand in case of a heart attack. Take two 81-mg tablets as soon as any heart attack symptom, such as chest pain or tightness, arises. Then go to a hospital emergency room or call 911 at once.

Children under age 19 are never given aspirin because of the concern about Reye's Syndrome, a potentially deadly disease. Reye's syndrome is a disorder principally affecting the liver and brain, marked by rapid development of life-threatening neurological symptoms.

Aspirin, however, should not be taken at the time of a stroke. Symptoms may include sudden severe headache, dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, weakness or trouble speaking or understanding speech. Before a medical evaluation, it is impossible to determine if a stroke is hemorrhagic, which may worsen with aspirin.

People who suffer from severe liver or kidney disease should also avoid aspirin, as should those who consume three or more alcoholic drinks each day. People who are allergic to aspirin, as evidenced by facial swelling or an asthma attack, also must not take aspirin.

Some over-the-counter medications that contain aspirin are: Alka Seltzer®, Kaopectate® , Pamprin®, Pepto-Bismol® and Sine-Off®


| | September 2012

Memory Care Should Be Part of Your Lifestyle How many times have you searched the house for lost car keys? or your glasses? You remember the movie title, but the actor's name was on the tip of your tongue, and what did you just come into the kitchen to get? There are different causes for memory glitches, and several studies have tried to explain why “healthy” people forget things, because it happen to almost all of us. Slowed recall of information from time to time is normal, and may be caused by several factors, so it's always a good idea to consider what else is going on in your life before you get too worried about a fuzzy brain. If you think about memory as a file cabinet, it should not surprise you that, over time, this file cabinet will be stuffed with all the folders that have accumulated; and this is what, in a way, explains why it is more difficult for people with excess work, with stress, and older adults to recap,learn or intake new information.

Research studies on aging have found why some persons suffer memory problems, and the findings indicate that age is only one of the factors. Here are nine reasons for memory relapses:

Stress A pace of life with too many tasks keeps people under an excess of stimuli, causing memory gaps and distraction since all their circuits are busy. Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress over long periods of time can hinder brain function in a major way. With the overload, the stress will become chronic and will affect the ability to think straight, or to remember things. Sufferers may experience loss of concentration at work and home, so they may become accident-prone. Furthermore, in the long run, stress will not just eat at your memory but also at your physical and mental health. “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer” William S. Burroughs | September 2012 |


Lack of sleep Sleep is a biological necessity that we need in order to survive. A good night's sleep not only gives your body time to rest and recharge, it may also be crucial to your brain's ability to learn and remember. During sleep, while your body rests, your brain is busy processing information from the day and forming memories. Without adequate sleep, your brain becomes foggy, your judgment poor, and your fine motor skills hindered. Insufficient sleep is another common brain stressor.Few hours of sleep means lack of rest, which, when it accumulates, produces a state of chronic fatigue. If you are sleep deprived, you are at risk of developing a number of serious health problems, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, and your ability to learn and retain new information may be impaired.

It is no secret that a good night's sleep makes you feel better and happier! “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book” Irish Proverb

Experts recommend adults get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Although this may not be attainable every night, it should be the goal.

Medications According to Johns Hopkins Medicine the most common cause of memory loss in older adults is an adverse reaction to drugs. Seniors take an average of five prescription medications and three overthe-counter (OTC) drugs. In fact, in February, the Food and Drug Administration began requiring labels for statin drugs (including Zocor and Plavix) to advise consumers and health professionals that some who take them have reported various forms cognitive impairment, including memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion.

Some of the medications known to cause short-term memory loss include: • Sleep and anxiety medications, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, antianxiety drugs and sedatives (Xanax, Valium, Ambien), • Heartburn drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid), • Incontinence drugs (Detrol or Ditropan), • Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor) and • Some statins for high cholesterol, and antidepressants. In some people, hypertension medications can also affect memory and may cause depression. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


| | September 2012

A range of medications and treatments can cause memory loss as well as other psychological changes. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you've recently started a new treatment such as chemotherapy, a new prescription or have had the dosage changed.

Poor nutrition The brain needs essential micronutrients. Not counting on these can seriously affect the learning process and memory. A healthy diet serves many purposes and provides numerous benefits, and one benefit is to the memory. As people age, their brain cells don’t talk to each other as much and this makes it difficult to process thoughts and retain short-term memories. A diet rich in antioxidants can help minimize oxidation and inflammation and improve the communication between the brain cells. . There is a considerable amount of data to support the relationship between our diet and memory. The most important meal of the day may be so because it can improve your memory. According to studies, having a breakfast with a high-protein food (eggs, meat, dairy, beans) and a high-fiber starch (whole wheat bread or high fiber cereal) can improve memory and enhance attention. Antioxidants are critical for your cell protection. Studies have shown that essential brain-boosting nutrients found in brightly colored produce and cruciferous vegetables, such as quercetin and anthocyanin, may reverse memory loss. These compounds can be find in vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage, as well as in leafy greens, including kale, spinach, swiss chard and brightly colored produce such as berries, blue berries, strawberries, red apples, eggplant, grapes and pomegranates. Their bright hue is an indication of their anti-aging and brainboosting antioxidants!

Fresh colorful foods are loaded with the nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants that are important brain food.

Lack of physical activity Recent study shows that daily physical and mental lifestyle have a great impact on memory care throughout your life and can interfere with memory decline and the ability to learn. Staying active as an older adult may keep both the body and the brain in shape. Not exercising and having minimal physical activity deteriorates the body and, in consequence, overall health. Exercise opens up the arteries, increasing circulation, which improves oxygen levels in the bloodstream and which will naturally increase oxygen levels to the brain, leading to better functioning. Exercise also makes a huge difference in managing stress and alleviating anxiety and depression—all of which leads to a healthier brain. According to the National Institue of Health, a new study suggests moderate aerobic exercise may slow or even reverse age-related memory loss in older adults by increasing the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that assists in forming memories. The results of the study are particularly interesting in that they suggest that even modest amounts of exercise by sedentary older adults can lead to substantial improvements in memory and brain health. | September 2012 |


Dehydration If we are what we eat, then wouldn't we be what we drink as well? Our bodies are 60% water, and our brain is about 75% water, so it's obvious that water can impact our health. Lack of water has an immediate effect on memory. Just a 2% loss of body water can cause trouble focusing, fuzziness, and short term memory loss. Insufficient energy is the first sign that the blood, tissues, and organs are not getting enough water, and your liver and brain are the least tolerant of a lack of water. Lack of water produces confusion and difficulty in thinking. It also causes fatigue and diminishes alertness.In other words, don't put off getting a drink of water. The elderly are at greater risk because they cannot perceive their thirst level, which itself should not be considered an indicator of needing water, since, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already in need of liquids. Be particularly vigilant if you take diuretics or laxatives or suffer from diabetes, high blood sugar, or diarrhea.

Disease Slowed recall of information from time to time is normal, and may be caused by several factors. Normal is not to be able to follow written/spoken directions or forget something that often remembers later. But what's not normal is when memory impairment interferes with your ability to get through the day and is gradually unable to care for self. With time, of an undiagnosed diseases such as tumors, trauma, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, untreated diabetes, dementia, or other diseases and brain lesions can cause serious memory loss. Anyone with serious memory loss should be evaluated by a doctor.

Isolation People who don’t have social contact with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Stay social. Social interaction helps brain function in several ways: it often involves activities that challenge the mind, and it helps ward off stress and depression. So join a book club, reconnect with old friends, or visit the local senior and community centers.

Being with other people will help keep you happier and sharper! Problems can become opportunities and dreams can become a reality when the right people come together.


| | September 2012

Will you face a...

PRESCRIPTION DRUG DISASTER? If you were to flee your home in the midst of a natural disaster, what would you think to grab? Jewelry and cash, photo albums, the family dog? Would your prescription drugs make the list? With little time for evacuees to prepare, life-saving medications can often be left behind. You might not know the name or exact dose of all your medications, and your paper medical records can be lost to flooding, fire, or other catastrophes. You need your prescription drugs in order to keep your medical conditions under control, but without the prescription number or other information, it is very difficult to get refills. You cannot just walk into any pharmacy and ask for your medicine; they won’t know what you are taking.Furthermore, in a disaster, pharmacies may ...

Continued on page 29 The information contained in this article is real and was excerted from variety of documents and resources including: Lessons from a disaster, Remembering Katrina, Preparednes information by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and The American Red Cross.Translated to Spanish by Salud+Health info. | September 2012 |


When it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare, elected leaders are usually talking to each other — not to people who depend on these benefits to survive every month. That’s not right. Without the voice of those who earned these protections through years of hard work, closed-door conversations taking place in Washington are meaningless. America needs to strengthen the important safety nets of Social Security and Medicare, but it can’t happen without hearing from older North Americans; those who know their value better than anyone. AARP is committed to keeping Social Security and Medicare strong so future generations can count on the benefits that have proved critical for so many years. To make sure older Americans have a voice, You’ve Earned a Say has enlisted a broad range of experts from all political views to share their ideas (in plain language), about what’s on the table in Washington. Social Security and Medicare are not simply numbers in a budget. Reforms will affect people’s lives, and facts are often glossed over in the political debate: • 28 percent of California’s 65-plus population would fall below the poverty level if they did not receive Social Security. • Social Security accounted for 52 percent of the typical older Californian’s income in 2011. • Social Security pumps more than $66 billion into the state’s economy. • Social Security and Medicare are increasingly important at a time when employer pensions and retiree health benefits grow scarce, savings rates remain meager and home values stay low. We need to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for today’s retirees and for our children and grandchildren. These facts don’t mean that the programs must remain 100 percent untouchable, but we should consider any changes with great care. The debate is beginning, and the stakes are high. You’ve earned a right to weigh in, and AARP wants to help. We urge residents of San Diego to share their views — and our elected leaders to listen. You can weigh in and get the straightforward facts about proposals being debated in Congress by visiting:


| | September 2012

“Politicians may not like straight talk, but I do.”

When it comes to the future of your Medicare and Social Security, you’ve earned the facts. Now with AARP’s online tools, fact kits, and community conversations across the country, it’s easy to get the facts and get involved. While Washington talks behind closed doors, we’re bringing the conversation to you, because you’ve earned a say.

Get the facts and join the conversation at | September 2012 |


isn’t Marijuana an FDA-Approved Medicine


National Institues of Health & NIDA explain: The use of marijuana to treat various medical conditions—or “medical marijuana”—is a controversial topic and has been for some time.Some people have argued that marijuana’s reported beneficial effects on a variety of symptoms justify its legalization as a medicine for certain patients.Often the potential harm of marijuana use is not considered in these arguments, although risk is part of what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assesses when deciding whether to approve a medicine. Many of marijuana’s effects (including its psychoactive or mind-altering properties) stem from an ingredient called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which resembles a chemical that the body and brain make naturally. When someone smokes marijuana, THC stimulates the CBRs artificially, disrupting function of the natural cannabinoids. An overstimulation of these receptors in key brain areas produces the marijuana effects on mental processes.

Studies show that individuals smoking five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as a full pack of cigarettes every day.

Why isn’t marijuana an FDA-approved medicine? The scientific evidence to date is not sufficient for the marijuana plant to gain FDA approval, and there are a number of reasons:

One marijuana cigarette can cause more damage to the lungs than many tobacco cigarettes because marijuana has more tar and is usually smoked without filters.

First, there have not been enough clinical trials showing that marijuana’s benefits outweigh its risks in patients with the symptoms it is meant to treat. The FDA requires carefully conducted studies in large numbers of patients (hundreds to thousands) to accurately assess the benefits and risks of a potential medication.

Marijuana users also usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers, which increases the lungs' exposure to cancer-causing smoke.

Second, to be considered a legitimate medicine, a substance must have well-defined and measureable ingredients that are consistent from one unit (such as a pill or injection) to the next. This consistency allows doctors to determine the dose and frequency. Along with THC, the marijuana plant contains over 400 other chemical compounds, including other cannabinoids that may be biologically active and vary from plant to plant. This makes it difficult to consider its use as a medicine even though some of marijuana’s specific ingredients may offer benefits.

Finally, marijuana has certain adverse health effects that also must be taken into account. It impairs short-term memory and motor coordination; slows reaction time; alters mood, judgment, and decision-making; and in some people can cause severe anxiety (paranoia) or psychosis (loss of touch with reality). And marijuana is addictive—about 4.5 million people in this country meet clinical criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence.

Marijuana smoke contains 50 to70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. It may also accelerate the changes that ultimately produce malignant cells. Marijuana smoking has been known to double or triple the risk of developing cancer of the head or neck, and also has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract. NIDA's mission is to bring the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The NIDA website includes a vast array of educational materials about specific drugs as well as the consequences, prevention and treatment of drug abuse. NIDA’s site includes resources for young people, parents, teachers, researchers, physicians and other health professionals.


| | September 2012

National Institutes of Health 6001 Executive Boulevard Room 5213 Bethesda, MD 20892-9561 Tel: 301-443-1124


CVS Pharmacy under water

Continued from page 25 Furthermore, in a disaster, pharmacies may not be available.This was the challenge that faced patients in September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, and thousands of Americans were forced from their homes by storms and flooding, without their prescription drugs. BACKGROUND. On Friday afternoon, August 26, 2005, the path of Hurricane Katrina made a dramatic westward shift. New Orleans became the projected target for a direct hit by a then-Category 5 hurricane. Over 1.3 million people evacuated the southeastern region of Louisiana within 36 hours. By August 29, 2005, 80% of the City of New Orleans was inundated with floodwater. Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana suffered a second catastrophic event, when Hurricane Rita struck the southwestern part of Louisiana. Katrina and Rita involved the largest ever deployment of state resources through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Several lessons were learned from Hurricane Katrina where the destruction of medical records for an estimated 1 million Gulf Coast residents is, after 5 years, still causing problems. LESSONS FROM A CATASTROPHE A survey was done at a New Orleans hospital following Katrina. Ten percent of patients did not take any medication with them when they evacuated. Another thirty-two percent did not take enough medicine with them and quickly ran out. Hospital officials learned a great deal as a result of Hurricane Katrina about the importance of pre-disaster plan-

ning in addressing the unique challenges a hospital will face in a catastrophe. These challenges include ensuring that there are enough medications in stock to meet patient needs until a hospital pharmacy can be re-supplied, and other challenges related to decisions associated with evacuations and how to effectively manage an evacuation with enough medications on hand. One Louisiana nurse wrote about her patients after the hurricane hit and said: “Most…included patients who had diabetes without medication, people with hypertension and no blood pressure medication, and mental health patients who had not taken medication in days.” After missing doses of their medications, these people’s lives were in danger. WHAT CAN YOU DO? The Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross recommend: • Keeping a 7 to 14 day supply of all your medications as part of your emergency kit. • You need to keep several things in mind: Insurance plans will not pay for extra medication. You must pay out of pocket if you want an emergency supply. • Some people skip doses of their medication in order to create an extra supply of drugs. Skipping

doses is not safe; you need the exact amount of medicine prescribed by your doctor to keep you healthy. • Store an extra supply of your medicine in your emergency kit. • Be sure to check expiration dates often if you are keeping prescription or over-the-counter drugs in your emergency kit. • An alternative is to carry your prescriptions with you at all times, but you cannot carry medicines that need to be refrigerated (such as insulin) or that have other special storage needs. • Do not store medications in your car’s glove box; your car gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, which can change how your drugs work. • Keep copies of your prescriptions in your wallet or emergency kit; although pharmacists cannot fill photocopies of prescriptions, they can be used to get vital information about your medicines, and your doctor. If you are concerned about the efficacy or safety of a particular product, contact your pharmacist, healthcare provider or the manufacturer’s customer service department. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a list with important advices about Lifesaving Drugs in a Disaster. • Replace all lifesaving drugs you think may have been damaged in a disaster as soon as possible. • In an emergency, you can take lifesaving drugs that were stored properly in their containers if they look normal and dry. Remember to stop taking them as soon as replacement medication becomes available. Throw out any pills that appear wet or look and smell different. People interested in going on vacation should include in their plans having extra medications, and an emergency kit. They have to plan in advance since, in the face of an unpredictable disaster, there isn’t that kind of time to plan. | September 2012 |


Fresh Faves for:

It’s a wrap for the latest tapings of the Feeling Fit Club show and devotees of the program couldn’t be happier. For the uninitiated, the television program is an extension of the free Feeling Fit Club exercise classes offered by the County’s Aging and Independence Services (AIS). The five 1-hour long programs air on the County Television Network (CTN) and allow seniors who can’t get out to an actual class to do their workouts at home. The exercises focus on how to gain better balance, better flexibility and greater muscle strength to improve their quality of life.For the older adults who take part in them, they’re life-changers. One woman lost over 100 pounds taking part in the Feeling Fit Club. “She came in with a walker, she moved to a cane, she moved to no cane, she moved to the walking program at the Escondido mall, she was able to go to Zion and Bryce (canyons) with her family and do some hiking,” said Vurbeff. The new workouts in the TV series incorporate different warm-up routines and more range-of-motion exercises to help older adults safely and effectively work their muscles. The goal is the same; practical exercises that allow them to carry out the tasks that most take for granted. Some examples involve getting up from a chair, lifting laundry and grocery bags or looking over your shoulder while driving to make sure you can safely change lanes. Vurbeff says another problem as we age, is foot clearance. We don’t raise our feet like we should over throw rugs, clutter on the floor or for stairs. That in turn leads to falls. In fact, the number one place for falls is in the home. “If you come to a pothole or a crack in the sidewalk or you have to take a step unexpectedly, if you never train yourself to do that (foot clearance), that’s when a fall will take place,” said Vurbeff. The new routines allow participants to practice gait patterns and as a result, they gain confidence and may get out more.


| | September 2012

“We’ve had testimonials from people who are able to put deodorant on again, who can comb their own hair, who can get to a zipper better because they can move that shoulder better and have upper body flexibility,” said exercise physiologist Gretchen Vurbeff. “Exercise is the one thing you have to do for yourself; no one else can do it for you. You will feel better, and sleep better and digest your food better and be more regular. You will have a better mood, have more strength to do things, you will be able to go up those steps! …It’s all positive!” Said VickiVelasco, who is certified mobility specia list, and a familiar face to long-term viewers of the Feeling Fit Club TV series.

“You’re the boss of your body and if your muscles are all flabby, they will tune up. Not only that, but you’ll have a good time too.”

Information provided by: HHSA County of San Diego health and Human Services Spanish translation made by: Salud+Health info Photos: 1- Gretchen Vurbeff 2- Vicky Velasco 3- Feeling Fit Club in Chula Vista By Salud+Health info

Vicki Velasco took part in the first Feeling Fit Club TV series shot back in 2001. At the time, she was a manager at Aging and Independence Services. Vicki retired in 2003 and is now 73 years old but she is still going strong. She teaches classes at four sites in the South County, one of them in Spanish. Vicki has lung disease but the exercises have allowed her to build the muscles around her lungs and help her breathing. Through regular exercise, Vicki has also lost two pant sizes, is what she says. The Feeling Fit Club show is one of the most popular programs on CTN. Phones ring off the hook whenever they’re pre-empted. Some viewers want the luxury of getting their workouts whenever they want. AIS sends out free DVD sets along with a stretch band to County residents. The new series are available now . Viewers can get a free DVD set, Feeling Fit Club classes locations and more information by calling (858) 495-5500 or the AIS call center at (800) 510-2020. “I’ve always felt that this program should be fun, said Velasco. “That’s why we call it the Feeling Fit Club so that people feel a friendship and camaraderie.”

Falls are a Very Real Danger but Most of Them are Preventable Older persons, often with multiple medical problems, move through their daily routine exposed to many environmental risk factors such as grass, curbs, steps, slippery surfaces and more. Among the intrinsic risk factors that elders face are changes in vision and hearing, use of medications, and declining strength in bones and muscles.As the number of risk factors present increases, so does the risk for falls.

Four things YOU can do to prevent falls: 1- Begin a regular exercise program Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances of falling.It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Ask your doctor or health care provider about the best type of exercise program for you.

2- Have your health care provider review your medicines Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-thecounter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. 3- Have your vision checked Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. 4- Make your home safer About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer: • Remove things you can trip over. • Remove small throw rugs. • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool. • Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower. • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare. • Have handrails and lights put in on all staircases. • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers. | September 2012 |


CAREGIVING: ONE STEP AT A TIME Are you providing care for a family member or friend? Are you concerned for the well being of a parent? Are you interested in learning more about the care options available for your loved one? If so, then this is the event for you! Join other family caregivers at this FREE event Find current resources, programs and discounts that can help with the task of caregiving.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. St. Paul’s PACE 630 L. Street Chula Vista, 91911 Breakfast provided by: InTouch At Home Pre-register for free care for your loved one provided by: At Your Home Familycare


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Seating is limited, please call

877-926-8300 or visit to register.



vision, lighting, home safety, use of mobility devices and home exercises for strength and balance. There will also be a light breakfast. Free respite care provided upon request. To RSVP for the Sept. 28 event: (800) 827-4277.


One third of people age 65 and older fall each year. Some 40 percent of older adults admitted to hospitals for a fall do not return to independent living, and 25 percent of those seniors die within a year. These falls can be avoided. Fall Prevention Awareness Month is a reminder about the physical and emotional cost of falling and how to minimize the risk. The San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force has been leading the way locally in education and resources to keep older adults from this type of harm. There’s now a Fall Prevention Task Force in North County. Both groups are involved in events planned for Fall Prevention Awareness Week (Sept. 22 to 28). Sept. 27: “Fall Prevention Awareness Faire” will be held from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave., Carlsbad 92008. There will be speakers and resources. No registration required. Free balance screenings will be offered prior to the Faire at various times and locations. To learn more details about the screenings, visit Sept. 28: “Standing Together to Prevent Falls” will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.) at the First United Methodist Church, 2111 Camino Del Rio South San Diego 92108. Also sponsored by the Caregiver Coalition, the organizers encourage family caregivers to attend, as well. Topics will include

To learn about other assistance, such as help with your past-due bill or special rates for people with qualifying medical equipment, call (800) 411-7343


YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR ENERGY SAVINGS More than 290,000 households in San Diego are receiving up to 35 percent off their SDG&E bill every month with the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. Eligibility for CARE depends on your gross annual income.

The YMCA is offering free regional support groups for older adults who are raising their grandchildren or other relatives, known as “kinship” families or “grandfamilies.” Support groups not only provide emotional and social support, but give resources and training.

Either way, you could receive services to help keep out the heat and cold, plus access energy-efficient items, such as lights, a microwave or a refrigerator – all free and designed to help lower your bill and enhance your comfort at home.

Here is the listing of groups: • North Inland: Mondays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Palomar YMCA, 1050 N. Broadway, Escondido 92026 • North Coastal: Tuesdays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mottino YMCA, 4701 Mesa Dr., Oceanside 92056 • Central: Wednesdays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the YMCA Youth Center, 2929 Meade Ave., San Diego 92116 • East County: Thursdays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the McGrath YMCA, 12006 Campo Rd., Spring Valley 91978 • South Bay (Spanish): Fridays 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Trolley Trestle, 750 Ada St., Chula Vista 91911

To apply for CARE, call (877) 6465525 or go to apply for Energy Savings Assistance program, call (866) 597-0597 or go to

For more information, call YMCA Kinship at (619) 543- 9850, ext. 140 or email You can also visit the Web site at

If you’re living alone, you would qualify if your yearly income is $22,340 or less. For each additional person in the household, add $7,920 to determine eligibility. So for two people, the household income needs to be $30,260 or less. If you’re eligible for CARE, you can also get free services from SDG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance program if you have never had that help before. It doesn’t matter if you rent an apartment or live in a house. | September 2012 |


istration requested; AARP Registration Line, (877) 926-8300, or http:// For more information, visit

TRACK YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY ONLINE The Social Security Administration now offers a My Social Security account online, providing an easy, secure way to estimate your potential benefits. To access your online Statement, you must be at least 18, have a Social Security number, have a valid email address and a U.S. mailing address. To learn more and to create your own account, go to mystatement.

SAVE THE DATE FOR TECHNOLOGY FAIR A Get Connected! Internet Fair for 50+ will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, in the Markstein Hall at Cal State University San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos 92096. Enjoy a range of free talks on the Internet and technology, including Facebook, smart phones, Google, ereaders, Skype and more. There will also be tech-related exhibitors and one-on-one information at the Ask the Experts tables. Sponsors include AIS, AARP, FirstMile.US, Cox Communications, the Technology & Aging Coalition of San Diego and Cal State University San Marcos. Reg-


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MOM SERVING HOMEBOUND SENIORS Some 200 of the most in-need homebound seniors are now recipients of the More on the Menu (MOM) program, which provides a regular delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables. MOM recipients reside in all regions of the county: Central, East, North Inland, North Coastal and South. Home-delivered meal providers contracted with the County have stepped up to the plate to add this additional bag of produce with their deliveries to the older adults they feel are least likely to be able to buy fresh produce for themselves. Providers include the Senior Community Centers, Carlsbad Senior Center, Salvation Army - Metro, Oceanside Senior Citizens Center and Fallbrook Senior Center. The funding for MOM is entirely from community donations. AIS raised $50,000 last year, which was generously matched by the Gary and Mary West Foundation. The goal is to expand the program as funding allows. MOM is making a difference in the lives of seniors who grew up eating fresh fruits and vegetables but may now need assistance with meeting this nutritional need at a time in their lives when their financial resources are limited. For more information, including how to donate to MOM, visit

A leader training for the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (aka “Healthier Living”) will be held in mid-October. More specifics on the date and location to come later. This will be a rewarding volunteer opportunity, during which leaders-to-be will be trained to facilitate a structured workshop with a group of 10 to 16 people who have a chronic health condition. Workshop participants learn tools to manage their condition. People interested in becoming a workshop leader should first complete the workshop as a participant. Each workshop meets for 2.5 hours a week for 6 weeks. Former participants will be given priority in the limited slots in the leader training. Here’s a listing of upcoming workshops for beginning participants: Sept. 10 to Oct. 15 (Mondays) 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. at the San Diego LGBT Community Center/55 and Better Program, 3903 Centre St., San Diego 92103. Contact LaRue Fields, (619) 692-2077, ext. 205. Oct. 16 to Nov. 20 (Tuesdays) 9:30 a.m. to noon at Gary and Mary West Wellness Center, 1525 Fourth St., San Diego 92101. Contact Mary Mazyck: (619) 487-0617. For any additional information about these workshops or leadership training, contact Charlotte Tenney at (858) 495-5230 or email:

Influenza Is a Serious and Potentially Life-Threatening Disease, Especially for Older Adults • Influenza, often called the flu, is a common respiratory infection caused by several related viruses. • Influenza is easily passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing or through contact with fluids from an infected person’s mouth or nose. • Symptoms of influenza often include high fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. • No matter how healthy or youthful we feel or appear, as we age, our immune system weakens and our ability to fight illness decreases.  As a result, older adults are more vulnerable to influenza and its related complications, making influenza vaccination extremely important. • Each year in the United States more than nine out of 10 flu-related deaths and more than six out of 10 flu-related hospital stays occur in people over the age of 65.

Vaccination Is Safe and Effective and the Best Way to Help Protect against Influenza • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expanded their recommendations for annual influenza vaccination to include everyone 6 months of age and older.  For adults over the age of 65 it is still critically important to get an influenza vaccine each and every year.  Despite these recommendations, immunization rates among adults 65 and older are still far below public health goals. • Receiving an influenza vaccination each and every year is important to help protect yourself, as well as those around you, such as family members and friends.

There Are Vaccination Options Made Specifically for Adults 65 Years of Age and Older • Adults aged 65 and older have two vaccine options available—the traditional flu shot, as well as a higher dose flu vaccine designed specifically to address the age-related decline of the immune system. • Both vaccine options are covered by Medicare Part B with no copay. Talk to your health care provider today about the dangers of the flu, the benefits of vaccination and the best vaccine option to meet the needs of your age group.

To learn more, visit: | September 2012 |


First Human Case with West Nile Virus in San Diego West Nile Virus (WNV) has been spreading rapidly across the United States.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning the public to take steps to protect themselves. Meanwhile, California announced the first reported fatality from West Nile virus, health officials in San Diego County confirmed the first human case. A 19 year-old Escondido man who didn't report any symptoms; however, the virus was detected during a routine screening test of blood he donated in late July. The man did not recall any mosquito bites in the 30 days prior to donating blood and said he did not travel out of the county during this period. HHSA and the County’s Department of Environmental Health Vector Control are inspecting the man’s home and surrounding areas for potential mosquito breeding locations, and setting up traps. “This year, this is an indication that the West Nile virus is here. It’s important for the public to know West Nile virus is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County Public Health Officer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that more cases of WNV have been diagnosed so far this season than at any time since 2004. The normal “season” for WNV is August and September. People of all ages can become sick, and of those individuals who become infected with WNV, 80 percent will have no symptoms. Most of those who do fall ill have a mild illness of headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands. Severe illness can develop and sometimes the illness can be life threatening. The risk of complications increases for those over age 50, and people with weakened immune systems. If you think you have symptoms consistent with WNV, contact your healthcare provider.

For information about West Nile virus call 858-694-2888 or visit:

SD com Get the latest West Nile Virus updates via mobile telephone by texting the word PEST to the number 75309 on your cell phone. | | September 2012

Salud+HEALTH info • No 44  
Salud+HEALTH info • No 44  

•Maximize the joy in sports • Falls are a real danger •Alert! The West Nile virus is in San Diego • Influenza in older adults • You've Earn...