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Ask the Doctors

As delta variant surges, vaccines more important than ever

Dear Doctor: What’s the R-zero number that we’re hearing about with the delta variant, and why is it important? Also, I’m confused. If vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, why even bother to get vaccinated? Do the vaccines work or not? If they do, why would I still need a mask? Dear Reader: You’ve asked some…

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Fractures take time to heal, especially with Osteoporosis

Dear Doctor: I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and I currently have stress fractures in my feet. It’s been five months, and they still haven’t healed. I’m on a bone-building medicine and a med to prevent calcium loss in the urine. What could be preventing my bones from healing? Dear Reader: Let’s start with a recap…

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Pan-Resistant Fungus Identified in Texas, Washington, D.C.

Dear Doctor: I just saw on the TV news that there’s a new fungus¬†killing people in Texas, and that there’s no cure for it. They’re calling it a superbug, which sounds scary. What is it? Is it going to be everywhere, like COVID-19? Dear Reader: You’re referring to several instances of infection with a fungus…

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Medical-Grade Honey is Viable Tool in Wound Care

Dear Doctor: We used to tease our¬†grandmother for putting a dab of honey on our scraped knees when we were kids. But now I’m hearing about something called “medical- grade” honey. Does that actually exist? How does it work? Maybe our granny was right all along? Dear Reader: When your grandmother treated your injuries with…

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Proactive care is a more whole-person approach

Dear Doctor: I have painful bouts of dry eye, and my doctors have kept me bouncing between multiple medications for years with no explanation of why. I think you could help a lot of people by discussing dry eye and the things we can do on our own that will help. Dear Reader: You’ve described…

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No credible link between covid-19 vaccine and infertility

Dear Doctor: Is there any truth that the three current COVID-19 vaccines may cause infertility? I’ve been told that some of the OB-GYN doctors in my area are advising younger adults that this may be the case. Dear Reader: In all of the data that have been pouring in since the start of vaccination efforts,…

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Several options for relief from arthritis in ankles

Dear Doctor: My 75-year-old husband has had arthritis in his ankles for many years. It’s gotten to the point that the pain makes it unbearable for him to be on his feet for more than a few hours. What about surgery? Can you offer some insight as to what can be done? Dear Reader: Ankle…

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COVID-19 vaccination safe with other vaccine regimens

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to a mid-summer letters column. We hope you’re enjoying the extra daylight, playing things safe with your leisure activities and taking extra care as the delta variant of the coronavirus makes its unwelcome presence known. — Speaking of which, we’re still getting a lot of questions about the vaccine and…

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Relearning how to walk requires physi- cal and mental strength

Dear Doctor: Why is it so hard to relearn to walk? Our dad recently had a stroke, and getting back on his feet has been a long struggle. It’s like his body can’t remember what to do. What will happen with the physical therapy he started doing? It’s going slow, and he’s frustrated. Dear Reader:…

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Are figs good for you? Get the whole sweet story

Michael Merschel American Heart Association News The ancient world had a reverential affection for figs. They’re celebrated in both the Bible and in Islamic texts. In Egypt, they were offered to the gods, while the Greeks considered figs a gift from them. Today, scientists would consider the common fig, Ficus carica, to be slightly less…

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