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Our Skin: A Protective Barrier, But Home to Germs


our skin

Many germs, especially bacteria, normally live and grow on healthy skin and usually do not cause harm. In fact, our skin is a reservoir for germs – a place where germs live and thrive. However, some germs on your skin, such as certain types of Strep and Staph bacteria, can cause bad infections if they enter the body. Because germs are everywhere, it’s important to understand the ways that germs can spread from our skin and cause infections. Germs Spread Through Touch Your skin interacts with the environment around you every day, mostly through your hands, because we use them so much. Germs on your skin, especially on your hands, can spread to surfaces and patients through touch. In the same way, you can pick up germs from contaminated surfaces and patients and spread ...

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Gen Z and Millennials Are Stressed “Basically at All Times”


millenials gen z stressed

It seems that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been living in stressful, uncertain times. COVID-19 variants continue to emerge, and other infectious diseases, such as monkeypox, are also wreaking havoc on populations. In summer 2022, inflation reached record-high levels not seen since 1981, and the housing market continues to see rising interest rates that push many buyers, including Gen Z and Millennials, out of the market. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also sent shock waves of worry through countries all over the world. With so much going on, where do Gen Z and Millennials’ wellbeing stand? What is their greatest concern? A recent global report by Deloitte provides some answers. Who Are Gen Z and Millennials? As defined in the report, Gen Z ...

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Report: Maternal Healthcare Runs Dry in Maternity Care Deserts


maternity care desert

Maternity care deserts make up 36% of all US counties, according a 2022 March of Dimes report. These maternity care deserts contribute to the US having the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, as they make it significantly harder for women to get the care they need. Let’s explore how maternity care deserts affect women’s health, especially for Latinas, who already face inequities that limit healthcare access. Defining Access to Maternity Care The March of Dimes report defines a maternity care desert as any county without a hospital or birth cen­ter offering obstetric (OB) care and without any OB providers, such as obstetrician/gynecol­ogists and certified nurse midwives/certified midwives. Report’s Key Findings on Maternity Care Deserts As mentioned ...

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Oprah Chooses Dr. Amelie Ramirez as a ‘Cycle Breaker’ for Latino Health



TV personality Oprah Winfrey has selected Dr. Amelie Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio as a "Cycle Breaker" for her groundbreaking work to build health equity in the Latino community. Cycle Breakers is a video series from the Smithsonian Channel that spotlights leaders who are solving health disparities in marginalized communities. Each Cycle Breaker is chosen by Oprah to augment her documentary, The Color of Care, which chronicles how people of color suffer from systemically substandard US healthcare and how COVID-19 exposed the tragic consequences of this inequity. Ramirez's episode, released Oct. 3, 2022, features her life's work to break the cycles of inequities that worsen health for Latinos. "Cycles are tough to break. Amelie Ramirez is the driving force behind an ...

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Tell Your Story: An Opportunity to Record with StoryCorps



Storytelling can be important within a family or community. The passing down of stories from people groups and generations can also have a significant cultural impact. Are there stories in your community that should be heard? Those in the San Antonio area now have the opportunity to share them with StoryCorps! What is StoryCorps? StoryCorps serves as a non-profit that aims to give people across the country the opportunity to record meaningful conversations. StoryCorps was founded by Dave Isay. In October 2003, he set up the first story recording booth in New York City at Grand Central Station. “We can learn so much about the people all around us, even about the people you already know, just by taking the time to have a conversation. And if you pay just a little attention, ...

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Blood and Guts – How Germs Can Spread from Your Blood and Gastrointestinal System


germs in GI system

Two reservoirs where germs can live and thrive in the human body are your blood and gastrointestinal (GI) system. When germs spread from these reservoirs in or outside your body, it can cause harm and make you or others sick. What is the Gastrointestinal System? The gastrointestinal system or “the gut” usually refers to the lower intestine, rectum, and anus. It is part of the digestive system. The upper GI tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, is also part of the digestive system. It has different types of bacteria and fungi that we usually think about separately from the gut. The intestines are filled with bacteria and some yeasts that are an important part of a healthy immune system. Most gut bacteria don’t cause problems in healthy people, but ...

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The Results Are In: How Nutritious Is Food in the US?


Healthy Food

The nation’s largest food and drink companies are “not making adequate progress” on their promises to make, market, and sell healthy food and drinks, according to the the U.S. Access to Nutrition Index 2022. The index, published by the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), evaluates the companies’ on the healthiness of their products and their nutrition-related commitments, policies, and disclosures. None of the 11 largest companies had more than 49% of sales from healthier products. “While all companies have placed a greater focus on nutrition in their corporate strategies since the first index was released in 2018, their actual products have not become healthier, and they are not making sufficient efforts to safeguard children from the marketing of unhealthy ...

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Do You Know Where Germs Live?


germs

Did you know that germs are everywhere? The world is covered in germs! Everything has germs – every surface, material, and object, including your body. You read that right – your body is covered in germs, including viruses, bacteria, and some funguses. However, we’re often not aware of the germs around us and on our bodies because they’re too small to see and don’t usually cause harm to healthy people. In fact, many of those germs are good for us – they protect us and can keep other germs that could harm us from growing. Reservoirs: A Natural Habitat for Germs Whether germs are healthy or harmful to us, it’s important to know where they live and thrive – places called “reservoirs.” There are many reservoirs in the human body, such as our skin; ...

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Baby It’s COVID Outside


latino hispanic couple mask cold winter coronavirus covid-19

What’s the deal with COVID-19? Is the pandemic really over? Or should we brace for another wave of the coronavirus as winter approaches? While the number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations from the virus are currently trending downward, there are still more than 100,00 new cases being reported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on some days. There are also days where more than 700 people have died from the virus. So, it’s still “COVID” out there, even though the “weather” has generally improved since the initial outbreak, which took a heavy toll on Latinos. There’s no crystal ball that can tell us the future, but public health leaders and data provide some insight as to just how “COVID” it will be this winter. Yes, There Could Be ...

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