Pisgah Family Health



July 2008






About the Newsletter


Kacey Cox joins Pisgah Family Health

Kacey (40K)

Please welcome Kacey Cox, who began in June as our new receptionist. Kacey has been in the medical field for 3 years, working as a medical receptionist and as a medical assistant in both family practice and pulmonary offices. She recently moved to North Carolina from Atlanta, Georgia.

Kacey loves Asheville. She is happily married to her wonderful husband Jeff and enjoys spending time with him and their dog Abby. She also enjoys going on cruises and going to the beach. She is a die-hard GEORGIA BULLDOG fan!

The Human Race

HumanRace (44K)

On Saturday, June 7, Dr Curran, Tami and Julie participated in The Human Race in Waynesville, NC. The Human Race was started in 2002 by the Haywood County Volunteer center as a source of financial support for the Center. The race is a very fast and flat 5K (3.1 mile) course near downtown Waynesville. Dr Curran raced the course in 16 minutes and 44 seconds, to place 4th overall. Tami and Julie pushed Megan in a jogger, completing the 5K in under an hour.

If you've never participated in a road race, consider starting with a 5K. This distance provides a challenge for the novice, and a fast race for experienced runners. There are races of this distance around Asheville almost every weekend, frequently for a charity benefit. You can find a list of local races at www.AshevilleTrackClub.org.

Office Hours

Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission/Saint Joseph hospitals ER.  Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners.

  • We will be closed Friday July 4th, for Independence Day.
  • We will be closed the week of July 7-11, for a medical conference.
  • We will be closed Friday August 15 for our 4th anniversary.
  • We will be closed the week of August 22-29, for Dr. Curran's vacation.
  • We will be closed Monday September 1st for Labor Day.
  • We will be closed Friday September 5th, for vacation.

Office Reminders

Each time you come in, please let us know if your contact information has changed. Please be sure we have your cell phone, as this is usually the best way to reach you quickly.

Now is the time to schedule your annual physical. During the summer months we are less busy, and more able to make time for routine care and physical exams. Please remember to schedule these extensive visits well in advance. You will avoid waiting, and avoid contact with sick patients by having your physical during these months.

Do you need paperwork completed at your physical exam? If you are scheduling a DOT, sport, camp, school or work physical, there is always paperwork to complete. Prior to your exam, be sure to the paperwork is entirely completed, leaving only the physician portion blank. If vaccinations are required, be sure to bring all your vaccination records with you.

Medical News

Prevent Children Drowning

Floater (9K)

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 14. Did you know that children can drown in as little as one inch of water?

Children can drown in a variety of circumstances - during water recreation (such as swimming and boating) or when a young child is left unsupervised for even seconds in the bathtub or around the home with access to pools and hot tubs.

A child can drown in as little as one inch of water, and drowning is usually quick and silent. A child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage occurring within four to six minutes.

Parents and caregivers should understand the risks of drowning and know the proper steps to protect children.

  • Adults should never leave children unattended near water.
  • Wading pools should be emptied when not in use.
  • If a child cannot swim, he or she must use a certified flotation device in the water.
  • Rafts are not safe for children, as they can easily fall off into deep water.
  • Do not trust older children to watch infants around water. The risks are too great.

More Information: www.usa.safekids.org

Salmonella Outbreak

Recently a national outbreak of Salmonella infections has made the news. To date, there have been no cases in North Carolina. The CDC is trying to identify the source of the bacteria, and has recently targeted tomatoes as a possible culprit. If you get ill, Salmonella is not the most likely cause. Rotovirus, Norwalk Virus, and other viruses are much more common, but Salmonella is potentially more serious. Here is a primer on Salmonella.

What is salmonellosis? What are the symptoms?

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by bacteria called Salmonella. Most people infected with Salmonella develop fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps 12 - 72 hours after exposure. Although illness usually lasts 4 - 7 days and most people recover without treatment, severe illness may occur that requires medical attention and hospitalization. In these patients, the Salmonella infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites. In this situation, the infection can cause death unless the patient is treated promptly with antibiotics. Infants, elderly people, and people with impaired immune systems are more likely than other people to become severely ill.

How do people get infected with Salmonella?

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of many animals, including food animals such as cattle and poultry, wild animals, and pets. Salmonella usually are transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with animal feces. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal. Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as poultry, eggs, pork, and raw milk. However, contaminated fruits and vegetables also cause many illnesses. Thorough cooking kills Salmonella. More information about cooking temperatures and food safety may be found at http://www.fightbac.org/content/view/172/2/*. The feces of some pets, especially reptiles, can contain Salmonella without causing illness in the animal. Birds commonly carry Salmonella, and outbreaks of illness among young children given baby chicks at Easter have prompted health authorities to advise against this practice. People should always wash hands after being in contact with any animal or its environment. Adults should assure that children practice proper handwashing techniques. More information on proper handwashing may be found at http://www.cdc.gov/cleanhands/. Food handlers and others can contaminate food by not washing hands with soap after handling raw poultry, eggs, or meat, or after using the bathroom.

Does Salmonella make foods taste or look different?

Most products contaminated with Salmonella do not taste or look any different than usual.

How is Salmonella infection diagnosed?

Salmonella infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. In severe illness, it can sometimes be detected in other parts of the body such as blood.

How can Salmonella infections be treated?

Salmonella infections usually resolve in 4 - 7 days and usually do not require treatment other than oral fluids. Persons with severe diarrhea may require rehydration with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin, are not usually necessary unless the infection spreads from the intestines.

Are there long term consequences to a Salmonella infection?

Persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of persons with Salmonella develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter's syndrome. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis which is difficult to treat. Antibiotic treatment does not make a difference in whether or not the person develops arthritis.

How common is salmonellosis?

In 2004, CDC estimated that there are about 1.4 million illnesses, 15,000 hospitalizations, and 400 deaths from Salmonella infection in the United States every year. Approximately 40,000 of those infections are confirmed each year by isolation of the Salmonella strain. Salmonellosis is more common in summer than in winter. Children are the more likely than adults to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is about five times higher than the rate in all other persons. Young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised are the most likely to have severe infections.

Health Links

For more health information, check out these links:

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

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