Stay-at-home orders, how the virus that causes COVID-19 behaves, and specific surfaces the virus lives on make up some of the many questions that Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group recently answered.

Wow! Lots have changed in the last week. I think people are finally taking the advice to adhere to social distancing. Even most of the bigger businesses in our area are limiting how many people are cramming through their doors. Going to the grocery stores can just be eerie.

As information and anecdotal evidence is collected from around the world, more symptoms associated with COVID-19 have come to light. For example, if you’ve recently lost your sense of smell or taste, it could be a symptom of the novel coronavirus. Up to now, we’ve only heard the alarm sound …

This week, we are all concerned about proper precautions for avoiding contracting the coranavirus. Naturally, we want to take precautions — like washing hands thoroughly, sanitizing door handles and surfaces, and avoiding crowds. But, there are also psychological effects that need to be cons…

Between social distancing and self-quarantining, grocery store shelves are stocked with limited supplies as many people try to stock up knowing they can’t leave the house for 14 days. Debra Silverman, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, says that shopping for 14 days at home doesn’t have to become stressful.

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NEW YORK — A nurse with asthma, a grandfather with cancer and a homeless man with no known family are wracked with coronavirus-induced fevers. They are struggling to breathe, and a ventilator could save their lives. But who gets one when there aren’t enough to go around?

Children are not immune to COVID-19. They are getting infected with the disease and can spread it, but they do not get as sick as adults. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist, offers some insight as to why.

NEW YORK — Doctors and nurses pleaded for supplies such as masks and ventilators that are critical in their battle to treat a surging number of coronavirus patients, while governments on Tuesday continued to roll out measures that have put more than one-fifth of the world’s population under …

Good news: There is no evidence that dogs and cats can get coronavirus! The AJC website says, “It is always a good idea to wash your hands before and after petting or feeding the dog, according to veterinarians.”

Everybody hanging in there? Hopefully when this goes into print there are still no cases in Highlands County. Praying this coronavirus will just dissipate. Hopefully none of our seniors are having any unexpected health issues.

Did you know that aspirin can cause hearing loss? Aspirin is one of many ototoxic drugs, drugs that are toxic to the ear, specifically the cochlea, the auditory nerve and occasionally the vestibular system, or the inner ear and balance.

Older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, are at higher risk of developing serious complications if infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Lake Placid Men’s Senior Softball league ended their 2020 season on Monday, March 16, having played 20 games of the 23 game schedule. Highlands County closed the softball sports complex in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak. Players were disappointed at the abrupt end to the season…

The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second half of the fourth week of March gives anglers the end of the new moon phase and an ideal fishing weather forecast.

With attention diverted to coronavirus social distancing and the imminent travel required of many Canadian members, the Golf Hammock ladies maintained excellent focus to finish two 18-hole League Championship rounds. With plenty of virus-friendly “elbow bumps” and encouragement, these ladies…

Recruitment refers to a person’s sensitivity to sound. It also has to do with the speed in which the sound becomes uncomfortable. Recruitment is when sounds rapidly become too loud. In other words, not gradually.

It might be closer to spring than winter, but it’s still flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there will be 34 million flu illnesses and 350,000 hospitalizations, as well as 20,000 deaths from the flu for the 2019-2020 season. The number of deaths include…

In February 2000, President Clinton designated March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, in growing numbers, patients, survivors, physicians, and other advocates work together to heighten the awareness of the prevalence and the preventable nature of the disease.

Nearly three of every 1.000 babies are born with some form of hearing loss. In most cases, hearing issues aren’t discovered in children until they are at least 2 years old.

Vegan Raw Food Group (Heartland Vegan Society) — meets the second Thursday each month. Learn to prepare healthy, plant-based dishes free of gluten and added oils. Call Bren at 863-385-5413.

SEBRING — Highlands Regional Medical Center, owned by HCA Healthcare, is proud to announce that it has acquired the latest da Vinci Xi Surgical System, bringing to the region the most innovative minimally invasive technology in the world. The Xi system has broader capabilities than prior gen…

There are several herbs that I’d like to talk to you about today because they are known to have some benefits for your immune system. This isn’t to discount Vitamin D or Vitamin C, two vitamins that can support your immune system, but rather to enhance what those nutrients can do.

Nearly 7 million people in the San Francisco area were all but confined to their homes Tuesday in the nation’s most sweeping lockdown against the coronavirus, even as spring break crowds partied in Florida and tourists lined up to pose for pictures in front of the world-famous “Welcome to La…

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. — A Pennsylvania distillery owner who grew increasingly angry as he saw the skyrocketing price of hand sanitizer has decided to do something about it: He’s temporarily converting his operation into a production line for the suddenly hard-to-find, gooey, alcohol-based disinfectant.

Life offers many choices. That is the beauty of life. We all have different needs and desires. I think most people desire to be the best that they can be. Whether it is working out at the gym, eating healthy, taking some classes, getting a new outfit or hairstyle. We do what we need to do to…

One important way to relieve an aching back is to stimulate blood flow through the spine. Sitting for long periods with bent knees at a desk or in a chair, restricts the flow of oxygenated blood into the legs and extremities often resulting in constriction of muscles and pain. Side bends and…

Vegan Raw Food Group (Heartland Vegan Society) — meets the second Thursday each month. Learn to prepare healthy, plant-based dishes free of gluten and added oils. Call Bren at 863-385-5413.

Smoking, diet and exercise are well-known for their role in affecting one’s risk for heart disease. While stress also is known to play a role, recent research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions found that for women, certain occupations are associated with a hig…

The difficulty in preparing for a coronavirus outbreak is in the not knowing. We don’t know if it will come to a city near us, and if so, we don’t know how to create an effective treatment plan, and furthermore we don’t know what the risk factors are that lead to deadly lung-related complica…

Battery hearing aids or rechargeable aids? Let’s break this down. Until last Thursday the only hearing instruments on the market that were rechargeable were instruments that fit over or on your ears. So that made things pretty simple and clear cut. If you wanted an instrument that you didn’t…