Have you heard it on the news? Last year it was Ebola, this year it's Zika. But what does it mean for us?
Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted illness that is running rampant through South and Central America. The virus produces a flu-like illness in 1 out of 5 people infected and can cause rash, pink eye, and joint aches as well. 4 out of 5 people are unaware they have the illness.
The big risk comes not to healthy adults but to unborn fetuses. Pregnant women who develop the viral illness during pregnancy seem to have an extremely high risk of having a fetal loss or having their baby born with microcephaly (small head and therefore under-developed brain). This can lead to very serious long-term consequences of mental disabilities throughout life.
So, the CDC warns that any pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women avoid travel to countries in warm climate zones like South & Central America. Puerto Rico has recently been added to this list as well.
For adults and children, the best prevention from illness is avoiding a mosquito bite when traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
For more information....
Dr. Hedde shares this week's Direct Doctors' tip on one change you can make now that will have a lasting health impact! See video...
Today's release of the summary of the latest US nutritional guidelines reveal mostly things we already know:
- Limit sugar (innate sugar in fruits, veggies, and milk are the exception)
- Eat good fats (fish, healthy oils), not bad (saturated fats found mostly in fatty animal meats, butter, whole milk)
- Cutting back on salt makes sense (but is much harder than we realize)
A few debated items have come out as winners:
- Eggs ARE a good protein source
- Coffee, in moderation, is healthy
Controversy still remains over:
- The lack of a big push toward plant-based diets
For more, here's the WebMD summary:
Liberty Direct is a government approved healthcare cost sharing program that is exempt from the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") mandate to purchase health insurance (so, if you choose this for yourself you will not be subject to any IRS penalties). Health conscious individuals and families can save an average of 40-60%.
Regain Control of Your Healthcare
Medical cost sharing is a rapidly growing movement built on the time-tested Christian tradition of sharing the burden of healthcare costs within a community (please note Direct Doctors does not align with any religious affiliation in particular). Liberty Direct members share the commitment to value, prioritize, and take personal responsibility for their health. In return, members are able to share medical costs together.
With Liberty Direct, individuals and families have the opportunity to lower their expenses AND improve the quality of their healthcare. Liberty Direct members invest in their health and pay less for health care.
This program is designed to safeguard the doctor-patient relationship. As a Liberty Direct member, in addition to your visits here at Direct Doctors, you may see any doctor or hospital you choose. We are thrilled that with Liberty Direct, we don't have to fight with administrative bureaucracy in order to care for you.
How it Works:
Liberty Direct is Easy
Liberty Direct members share healthcare expenses through a well-established program administered by Liberty HealthShare, a national leader in healthcare cost sharing for over 20 years. When you join Liberty Direct, you pay an annual fee of $125, then only $75 each year thereafter. Instead of being overwhelmed by ballooning monthly costs, Liberty Direct members pay a low "Monthly Share Amount." In fact, Liberty Monthly Share Amounts have remained the same for the last 4 years.
Your Annual Unshared Amount
With Liberty Direct, the amount of money you are responsible for paying directly to your provider for your medical expenses is easy to understand. This amount is called an “Annual Unshared Amount”. After you reach this amount, 100% of your eligible medical needs are shared up to $1 million per incident with no lifetime limit.
Liberty Direct Pays Part of Direct Doctors' Monthly Membership Fee
Liberty Direct recognizes the positive impact our approach to primary care provides. When you join Direct Doctors, Liberty will pay up to $100/month toward our monthly Direct Primary Care membership fees based on the following fee schedule.
Get Started with Liberty Direct!
You can apply for enrollment with Liberty Direct at anytime and can even designate the exact date you would like to begin with them. The Liberty Direct website contains all of the information you need including a FAQ and their Healthsharing Guidelines. You can contact them with questions by emailing support@LibertyDirect.org or through live chat at www.libertydirect.org.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.