Weekly health news roundup: Tetanus shot schedule, norovirus outbreak, rheumatoid arthritis, and MS pruritus

Bel Marra Health’s weekly health news roundup has stories about norovirus outbreak, tetanus shot, rheumatoid arthritis, viral gastroenteritis, and multiple sclerosis. We discussed the new links found between rheumatoid arthritis and mood disorders, multiple sclerosis itchiness symptom known as pruritus, and explained the causes, symptoms, and treatment for viral gastroenteritis so it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Tetanus shot not needed every 10 years, says new studyTetanus shot not needed every 10 years

A new study has found that receiving a tetanus shot every 10 years is not necessary and, in fact, it can be delayed for every 30 years. Researcher Mark Slifka said, “We have always been told to get a tetanus shot every 10 years, but actually, there is very little data to prove or disprove that timeline.”


Furthermore, increasing the timeline over which a person receives the tetanus shot can help save the healthcare system millions of dollars annually.

To conduct their study, researchers examined immunity levels of over 500 adults. The researchers found that after receiving the standard five-dose vaccinations in the childhood, adults still remained protected against tetanus and diphtheria for at least 30 years, which is when another vaccine would be required. To simplify vaccination, an adult would only require a vaccine at age 30 and again at 60. Continue reading…

Norovirus 2016 outbreak update stomach flu restaurant michigan memphisNorovirus 2016 outbreak update: Stomach flu reported in Michigan and Tennessee

Norovirus 2016 update: stomach flu affects Applebee’s restaurant in Corunna, Michigan and a senior living facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
Another restaurant has been temporarily shut down due to norovirus and it’s not another Chipotle location. This time around, it is the Applebee’s restaurant in Corunna, Michigan, where a person reported being sick after eating at this establishment. The Shiawassee County Health Department has confirmed norovirus as the cause. Unfortunately, the transmission source has yet to be identified.

A statement from the Personal Health Services Division read, “As of start of business day on March 22, 2016, a total of 30 people experienced similar symptoms and have contacted the Shiawassee County Health Department.”

Although the restaurant management has yet to comment on the outbreak, they are working closely with the health department in order to get the facility properly sanitized.

It is recommended that those who have fallen ill keep a food diary to report when the illness took place and what or where they were eating.

Nicole Greenway, director of personal community health for the Shiawassee County Health Department, said, “Unfortunately, it goes around, it’s very contagious,” said Greenway, referencing a recent norovirus outbreak at the University of Michigan that led to more than 100 people getting ill. “You can get it from touching a door handle or something like that. One public health message is to watch your hands. That’s a good prevention (tip).” Continue reading…

Rheumatoid arthritis tied to mood disorder symptomsRheumatoid arthritis tied to mood disorder symptoms, cognitive impairment

Rheumatoid arthritis is tied to mood disorder symptoms and cognitive impairment. The findings were uncovered through a thorough review of published research, which revealed that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only affects the joints and causes pain, but it can also affect the central nervous system, spine, and brain as well.

Lead author Dr. Andrei Joaquim said, “Neuropsychiatric manifestations — especially mood disorders and headache — are frequently observed in RA. It is of paramount importance for neurologists and rheumatologists to understand the nuances of neurological symptoms in RA patients for a proper diagnosis and an adequate treatment.”

The researchers suggest that neurological manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis could include nerve pain, migraine headache, brain fog, cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and seizures.

Some research has shown connections between rheumatoid arthritis and autism spectrum disorder. Other studies looked at the prevalence of bipolar disorder in rheumatoid arthritis.

Headaches were the most common condition in rheumatoid arthritis, but it is still unknown if the headaches were a manifestation of the disease, part of coexisting health problems, or side effects of medications taken to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading…

Multiple sclerosis itching symptoms pruritus burning painKey multiple sclerosis itching symptom (pruritus) can cause burning pain

A key multiple sclerosis itching symptom (pruritus) can cause burning pain. Pruritus is part of the abnormal sensations experienced in multiple sclerosis (MS) which can feel like pains and needles, burning, stabbing, or tearing pain. This type of pain is neurological in origin.

Pruritus can come on suddenly and intensely, but it only lasts for brief moments. It can affect any part of the body, including the face. It is different than an itching sensation, which may follow an allergy, as it does not result in a rash or skin irritation. Additionally, common corticosteroids applied topically do not offer relief from this sensation, but there are other medications that can aid in treatment.

Multiple sclerosis patients aren’t the only ones to experience pruritus. Individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies, hay fever, asthma, eczema, diabetics, HIV/AIDS patients, some cancer patients, pregnant women, and the elderly can all experience pruritus as well. Continue reading…

Viral gastroenteritis stomach flu causes symtpoms treatment home remediesViral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) causes, symptoms, treatment, and home remedies


Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is an infection of the intestines that causes diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and even fever. Viral gastroenteritis is often referred to as the stomach flu and is commonly transmitted by coming into contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

A healthy person who contracts viral gastroenteritis will recover easily without complications, but for infants, seniors, and those with impaired immune system the risk of complications – even death – is much greater.

There is no cure for viral gastroenteritis, so your best mode of treatment is actually prevention. There are things you can do to ease symptoms and aid in recovery which we will explain in further detail. Continue reading…