While not the direct cause, anxiety can lead to quite a few physical health problems. Here’s a list of some of the ones you should be careful of.
It should come as no surprise that extreme stress levels are not healthy for a person’s mental well-being. However, one thing you might not know is that anxiety can also affect the body physically. While it doesn’t directly cause these issues, anxiety can trigger some physical health conditions. Knowing about them will make them easier to spot if you feel overwhelmed. We’ll go over some of these conditions below.
While occasional stress isn’t a bad thing, constant anxiety can lead to heart problems. This is because your body starts pumping blood through your veins faster when you’re stressed. If it continues to operate at an elevated level on a regular basis, your heart will eventually become overworked, making you more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke.
Rapid breathing is a common response when experiencing an anxiety attack. Regular anxiety attacks can cause breathing problems down the line, including asthma. Even though asthma isn’t a common problem for adults to develop later in life, constant anxiety will increase the likelihood.
Stress and anxiety can affect your digestive system too. Nausea is one of the more common symptoms, but stomach pain and diarrhea can also occur. If these issues persist, you can develop irritable bowel syndrome or even stomach ulcers.
Another system that is affected by stress is your urinary tract. Incontinence occurs when you lose control of your bladder. Under extreme stress, some people experience incontinence. To make matters worse, thepsychological impact of urinary incontinence can lead to even more stress, exacerbating the issue. Once this happens, it can be difficult to regain control.
The final notable physical health condition that can occur from anxiety is insomnia. This issue is a bit more well-known, but not everyone knows that extreme stress is one of the biggest triggers for sleeplessness. Chronic anxiety can lead to multiple sleepless nights, which can lower your immune system and cause other health conditions.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/04163057/2-Image.jpg10801920Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2023-01-04 16:41:542023-01-04 16:42:02Here Are Five Physical Health Conditions Caused by Anxiety
Needing more sleep is one thing all people can agree on. However, some things we do impede getting a good night’s rest. These factors that disrupt your sleep cyclemay be unavoidable for some and simple to manage for others.
Dramatic Change in Diet
Being conscious of the food you put in your body is the main cog of a healthy life. Although you will reap the long-term benefits from a change in your diet, the short-term ramifications may be frustrating. One side effect of a dramatic diet change is the lack of good sleep.
Many individuals may not notice their lack of sleep until lunchtime, realizing their eyes are feeling heavy, and it isn’t easy to keep them open. You should change your diet slowly rather than immediately cutting calories or fasting. Your body will thank you for making the slow adjustments.
Too Much To Drink
Food isn’t the only thing you consume that can impair your sleep cycle. If you have too many alcoholic beverages or drink a caffeinated beverage before bedtime, you could have trouble falling and staying asleep.
The best strategy is limiting yourself to the number of drinks you indulge in and cutting yourself off at a specific time. No soda or coffee after lunch, and one glass of wine at dinner should help you recalibrate your sleep cycle.
Different Sleeping Environment
Where you sleep plays a huge factor in your sleep cycle. Even if you are off in dreamland, your body subconsciously wants the same environment every night. That includes the same temperature, noises, and darkness. Any deviation from that can confuse your circadian rhythm, preventing you from falling into a deep sleep.
If you travel constantly for work, consider the changes in climate and time zonebefore departing and adjust accordingly. Otherwise, you will have a restless night of sleep ahead of you.
When your sleep cycle gets interrupted every night, it might be because your mind refuses to shut off, dwelling on the day ahead. Anxiety and stress are a nuisance when you’re awake throughout the day, and bringing them to the bedroom isn’t helping you snooze.
The adage of not taking your work home with you is a wonderful credo to live by; otherwise, the inner struggle between your ears may be never-ending. Let your future self deal with tomorrow. For now, relax—you deserve it!
Undiagnosed Sleeping Disorder
Sleep problems can be frustrating if you eat well, don’t drink, sleep in the same bed every night, and have a positive outlook on life. If you fall into this category, you might have an undiagnosed sleeping disorder. You don’t need a pre-existing condition for a sleep disorder to affect you. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy can inflict anyone, so see a specialist if you fear the worst.
Recognizing these factors that disrupt your sleep cyclekeeps you aware of what you can do to fix your current situation. While some things are beyond your control, there are aspects you can control that better your well-being.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/04162057/Sleep.png6241116Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2022-08-04 16:26:572022-08-04 16:28:39Health: The Factors That Are Disrupting Your Sleep Cycle
Vancouver, WA — New research has found an association between early-onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). EO-CRC is defined as being diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 50. The Nurses’ Health Study 2, a prospective study followed roughly 95,000 female nurses between 1991-2015. The participants who consumed 2 or more SSBs per day in adulthood had a more than doubled risk of EO-CRC when compared with those who consumed less than 1 serving per week. This risk rose by 16% for each additional SSB serving per day. SSBs, which include sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, make up almost 40% of added sugar in diets in the US and 12% of Americans consume 3 or more of these daily. A cola has about 39 grams of sugar, which is approximately 10 tsp of sugar per can. That’s a lot of sugar. 200 years ago, the average American consumed 2 pounds of sugar per year. Today the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar annually. My goodness, that is 30 five-pound bags of sugar per year.
Consumption of added sugar has become a real problem for the United States. In 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a study attributing 25,000 deaths in the United States to added sugar. In 2019, the AHA published a study that found consuming more than two sweetened drinks per day increased their risk of death by 21%. Excess sugar intake can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes, all of which can contribute to inflammation and cancer. Additionally, tumor cells take up more sugar (glucose) than healthy cells. In a presentation by Dr. Johannes Czernin from UCLA, he states that tumor cells take up 30 times more glucose than healthy cells. This increased glucose uptake is used diagnostically for cancer patients. For Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, patients must fast for at least 6 hours before their imaging and no carbs/s. for at least 24 hours to starve the cancer cells. Then they are injected with a sugar that has a radioactive tracer tagged onto it. The PET scan tracks the uptake of sugar/radioactive tracer throughout the body and identifies the areas with the highest consumption. These areas with high consumption of high sugar/tracer, show up as hot spots on imaging indicate the presence of cancer because cancer loves sugar.
Not only is the cancer being fed with the sugar, but the sugar also increases insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). As the name suggests, growth factors make cancer grow. Insulin also increases inflammation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to inflammation. We tell our patients that inflammation is the cause of all disease and it is a common thread we see in our cancer patients. Short-term inflammation can be beneficial for things like wound healing or your body fighting off an infection like influenza. But chronic inflammation is the villain here. Symptoms of inflammation can be vague like joint pain, allergies, fatigue, or poor digestion. These symptoms are like your car’s check engine light and they’re telling you that something isn’t right. When your check engine light is on, you take your car to the mechanic so they can diagnose the problem. The same should be true for your body; you should be working with a Naturopathic physician who can connect the dots to determine why your body’s check engine light is on.
Dr. Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO, is a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO), the only FABNO located in southwest Washington, she did a residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of American, and she has been working in cancer care for 20 years. There are less than 150 Naturopathic doctors in the United States and Canada that have been board certified as FABNO. She works with you to figure out why your check engine light is on. Through a full review of the system, head to toe she connects the dots as to why it’s on. She works with you to teach you how to take care of yourself. To create lasting lifestyle changes and turn off the “check engine light”.
Each person and each cancer are different, and Dr. Bye utilizes individualized therapies based on your needs. The goal is to work with cancer patients to identify causative factors that cause inflammation. Many things cause inflammation. Dr. Bye supports cancer patients as they go through their treatments with well-researched protocols to reduce side effects without interfering with the treatment, tie up circulating tumor cells to reduce the risk of metastasis, and help cancer patients recover from their treatments. Once treatment is finished, she works with patients to help them recover from radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery using protocols to decrease recurrence risk if they no longer have evidence of disease. For patients with residual disease after treatment, we support their recovery, improve their quality of life, and work to slow down the cancer process.
Even though signs of chronic inflammation are like a check engine light, your body is not like a car. If your car breaks down, you buy a new one….. You only get one body, and it is the vehicle through which you experience your life. When your “light” comes on, being proactive by changing your lifestyle, and taking charge of your health is the best investment you can make. An easy way to start is by taking the sugar out of your life. Dr. Bye, works with cancer patients, family members of cancer patients, and individuals looking to reduce their risk of cancer.
Hur J, Otegbeye E, Joh H, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adulthood and adolescence and risk of early-onset colorectal cancer among women. Gut. Published Online First: 06 May 2021. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323450
Malik, V. S., Li, Y., Pan, A., De Koning, L., Schernhammer, E., Willett, W. C., & Hu, F. B. (2019). Long-Term consumption of Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages and risk of mortality in us adults. Circulation,139(18), 2113-2125. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.118.037401
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/23204003/Head-sugar-1.jpg6001600Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2021-06-23 20:45:562021-06-23 20:46:02Dr. Cynthia Bye: Do You Love Sugar? … So Do All Cancers
Camas, WA — Clover Podiatry, owned and operated by Dr. Tek Fish, a foot and ankle surgeon, recently opened it doors in downtown Camas.
A foot and ankle surgeon, as well as a foot and general physician, Dr. Fish treats any issues and ailments from the knee down, which includes skin, muscles, bones, and tendons.
“We’re happy to be here,” said Dr. Fish. “Clover Podiatry treats ingrown toenails, warts, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, and diabetic foot care.”
He said heel pain is the same as plantar fasciitis — it’s an overuse injury of the heel, usually from tight calf muscles.
“It happens when you puts too much stress on the tissue on the bottom of your foot,” he said. “It comes from being on your feet too much and not having the right support. Orthotics and stretching are some of the best ways to prevent it. Shockwave therapy is one way to treat it.”
His clinic also treat ailments that require surgery, such as ankle fractures, bunions, hammer toes, wound care, and trauma. Hammer toes is an imbalance in your foot muscles and results in your toes curling up. People with diabetes get it, too, and it’s corrected through surgery.
“It’s a fairly simple surgery,” he said “Almost all surgeries I perform are at PeaceHealth.”
He also treats sports injuries like turf toe or ankle sprains, fractures, and shin splints, “which we try to manage with conservative care.”
Most of the time Clover Podiatry doesn’t require referrals. The clinic accepts most insurances: Medicare, Medicaid, Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Regence, United Health Care, Lifewise, Molina Healthcare, etc.
Dr. Fish also encourages patients to wear medical grade orthotics, which are pre-fabricated and available at his practice for 1/3 of the price.
The move back to the Pacific Northwest in July with is wife Kimberly Fish, a Physician’s Assistant, and his toddler daughter, Devri, was a homecoming for Fish, who grew up in Hockinson.
“We moved back to the Pacific Northwest in July, bought the building on September 1 and spent a couple months renovating it. I grew up in Hockinson, went to Heritage High School, attended BYU (competed on their track team and studied landscape management), then I went to podiatry school at Kent State U, College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated in 2017.”
Dr. Fish stayed in Cleveland for three years of surgical training, and then decided plant roots once again in the Pacific Northwest.
“We plan to be active in the community, and we’re just really happy to be here,” he said.
Event will cover testing, vaccines, federal relief, local COVID updates; Jaime will take resident questions about all topics
VANCOUVER, WA – Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler will be hosting a live telephone town hall on Monday, February 8 at 5:25 pm Pacific Standard Time. This telephone town hall with feature Clark County Public Health Officer, Dr. Alan Melnick to provide an update on resources and information related to COVID-19. As usual, she will also answer questions and hear feedback from residents about whatever is on their mind.
Any Southwest Washington resident can call in to join the live telephone town hall at any point during the event by calling 1-877-229-8493 and using the passcode 116365.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/25004916/8DD69F53-2656-4556-9898-99C5F202CEC3-e1603612419974.jpeg6521280Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2021-02-02 20:06:392021-02-02 20:06:46Rep. Herrera Beutler to Host Telephone Town Hall w/ Health Director Feb 8
Vancouver, WA — Under Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington reopening plan the state is divided into eight regions. Clark County, which is joined by Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties forms the new Southwest Region.
Based on the latest Washington Department of Health (DOH) data, the Southwest Region is in COVID-19 Phase 1 and is meeting two of the four metrics necessary for moving to Phase 2. The state will update the data again this Friday.
According to Clark County Public Health, the Southwest Region is meeting the metrics for decreasing trend in COVID-19 case rate and ICU occupancy. And in a statement on Friday, the health department said: “We are not meeting the metrics for decreasing trend in COVID-19 hospital admissions or percentage of COVID tests coming back positive.”
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/07072944/8508C89C-55ED-40CF-8779-479BB93A07F1.jpeg11731920Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2021-01-11 17:29:492021-01-11 17:29:58Clark County Public Health Provides Update on New State Reopening Metrics
As practitioners of naturopathic oncology, we know that the vast majority of cancer diagnoses occur within 5 years of a major trauma. These include the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, to name a few. However, even early childhood trauma can have negative health outcomes many years after the fact. ACEs, or “Adverse Childhood Experiences” are recognized by the CDC as contributing to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer. When I did my residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, all patients had the option of seeing a Psychoneuroimmunologist (PNI). Big word, but basically their job was to ferret out the traumas that impacted the patient’s psychology that impacted the nervous system which ultimately impacted the immune system.
The underlying issue is “toxic stress.” This is a prolonged period of stress in which the body is responding physiologically without ever being given a chance to recover. This leads to immune suppression, increased blood sugar, and changes in brain chemistry that predispose people toward anxiety and depression. As many know, toxic stress can lead to stress eating and poor nutritional choices. Ironically, sugar and carbs can increase serotonin transiently which makes you feel better short term until the blood sugar drops and that is another stressor. Stress also tends to reduce our exercise and can lead many times to substance use like alcohol, marijuana, and other recreational drugs. The consequence of these stress behaviors results in increased blood sugar, insulin, obesity, insomnia. All of which increases inflammation and reduce immune function and thus increasing the probability of major disease such as cancer.
As naturopathic physicians who specialize in oncology, we take a detailed look at all aspects of every patient’s health. This includes mental and emotional health. Everyone experiences stressors in their lives. Some people have more trauma than others. What matters is how each person copes with these major stressors. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes lifestyle and nutritional medicine as a first-line approach to health and healing. For example, studies show the simple act of meditating for 15 minutes daily can make an enormous difference in brain function and levels of stress hormones in the body. Making sure to eat whole foods instead of processed “frankenfoods” gives the body what it needs to heal and remain healthy. We also have other tools to address toxic stress such as botanical medicine, targeted supplementation, and homeopathy. When appropriate we will refer our patients for additional counseling.
If you have experienced a major trauma and are struggling with your health, call our office today to make an appointment. We take a whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and healing. No stone will be left unturned.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/15135324/CB6EDE00-5B35-4F9C-B23B-975DC9FDD046.jpeg385770Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-12-15 14:03:002020-12-15 14:03:06How Trauma Impacts Your Health — by Dr. Cynthia Bye
Camas, WA — Grains of Wrath and Fuel Medical are organizing a fundraiser this Thursday to benefit Mariah Corbin, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
All day Thursday (11 am-10 pm) Grains of Wrath will donate 10 percent of the day’s revenue to benefit Corbin and her family.
“On top of that, Fuel will donate three times that amount to help out the Corbin family,” said Brendan Ford, Co-Founder of Fuel. “This is a great Camas family and we need to do all we can to support them.”
Mariah’s father, Derrill, said the the official diagnosis — Anaplastic Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma Grade 3 — came September 16, and they were told that scientifically recovery is not likely.
“We do have good insurance, but there are so many other expenses, such as travel to research hospitals in either California or Boston for treatment,” Derril said. “Support of community is making this work. We are so grateful.”
There is also the additional cost of remedies, alternate treatments, and clinical trials.
Mariah is currently studying theology and is diligently working toward finishing her degree in the midst of this cancer battle.
Brendan Greenen, managing partner at GOW, said Dollar For will have donation stations on Thursday for card donations that will go directly to the family.
Derrill said while the prognosis is hard to bear, they are buoyed by their spiritual faith.
Local friends set up a GoFundMe campaign to assist the Corbin family, and they ask for the community to support this cause. Here is that link: http://gofundme.com/f/mariahmiracle
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/27194715/E6380F84-38DE-45CD-AF5C-C4F9817EAEEE.jpeg434640Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-10-27 20:28:282020-10-27 22:19:05Fighting Cancer: Grains of Wrath to Hold Fundraiser for Mariah Corbin
Naturopathic physicians (NDs) go to medical school like their MD colleagues. The first two years of school follow the same track, with classes in basic science. Biochemistry, anatomy (including cadaver lab…ughh), physiology, and so on. You can’t change basic science no matter what medical philosophy you study. The last two years are where we diverge. Yes, we learn Pharmacology and all the other ologies, and we can prescribe drugs in licensed states. However, in their last 2 years, MD students enter a series of hospital-based specialty rotations (trauma surgery, emergency med, pediatrics, etc) while ND students rotate through outpatient primary care settings. The last two years of ND education also include time spent learning the modalities that set us apart: botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, nutrition, motivational counseling, and so on. During this time, we are also honing our skills as primary care providers, managing patients under the supervision of licensed and experienced NDs. In the primary care setting, we learn continuity of care as we see patients multiple times and see the outcome of our treatments. MD training in hospital and specialty rotations, for the most part, do not follow their patients. It is usually a one and done. When ND’s graduate, we pass our clinical boards, we are fully licensable as primary care provider physicians. But just like your MD, we are not oncologists without further training.
Becoming a naturopathic oncologist is a rigorous process. In order to qualify to sit for the naturopathic oncology boards, one must complete a two-year hospital-based residency or be in practice for at least 5 years, with the last two years consisting of an 80% or greater load of cancer patients. At this time, I am in year 4 of supervising and training Dr. Jessica Campbell so she can sit for the Oncology board exam. I did my residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa Ok. As part of approval process, a number of case studies must be submitted and approved by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO) which is the regulatory board. These case submissions are a screening process to be sure you are following safe and well-studied protocols. Once you have been approved by ABNO, then you may sit for the board exam. Dr. Campbell will be sitting for the oncology boards in 2021. The board exam itself is extremely demanding and requires that the applicant know the minutia of all the standard of care treatments for cancer and how they interact with the tools of naturopathic medicine. This is important because different cancer treatments work through different biochemistry and physiologic pathways, have different half-life, and different sided effect profiles. It is important to understand these intricacies of standard of care before using herbs and supplements, as many can interfere with these pathways, delay or speed up clearance of the drugs and make side effects worse. This is why it is absolutely critical that cancer patients seek out naturopathic doctors who are specifically trained, and ideally board certified, in naturopathic oncology. Again, NDs emerge from medical school trained for primary care. Cancer patients need to work with a specialist. Just as you would not rely on your primary care MD to prescribe your chemotherapy, radiation or perform surgery, you should not rely on a general practice ND to co-manage your cancer care. Training matters.
At our clinic, we specialize in oncology. While we do see some patients who do not have cancer, especially family members of cancer patients, the vast majority of our patients are either recently diagnosed and in treatment or have a history of cancer. They may or may not be in remission. We are equipped to help all cancer patients, working collaboratively with their conventional oncology team, at any stage of the journey. We follow a three pronged approach. (see blog on the three-pronged approach) If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, or have a family hx of cancer and are seeking extra support, please call our clinic today to make an appointment. We have many tools in our toolbox, and we teach our patients how to regain control as they navigate their illness. No one wants a diagnosis of cancer, but once the diagnosis has happened, one can choose to be part of the process and take control of their situation. Naturopathic oncology is about taking back control of your health, guided by experts who have dedicated their lives to helping cancer patients thrive. It is vitally important if you are going to uses supplements and herbs during your cancer care that you get guidance from those of us that are formally trained in interactions, and short- and long-term side effects. It is very dangerous to go to Dr. Google and self-prescribe and not tell your oncologist what you are doing. We are trained to help you to help yourself. At this time there are 123 ND’s in the United States and Canada that have passed the Naturopathic Oncology board exams and are Fellows of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO).
Written by Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO Board certified in Naturopathic Medicine
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/22184224/A5054F2E-789A-453C-8F4C-918A43777C7B.jpeg400600Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-10-22 18:52:292020-10-22 18:52:35Health: What is a Naturopathic Oncologist? Dr. Cynthia Bye Explains
This is the first part of a two-part Question and Answer session with Dr. Alan Melnick, MD, MPH, CPH, Director of Clark County Public Health, as he and his team manage the complexities and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Question 1: How is COVID-19 test data gathered daily?
We get data and test results in a variety of ways: From local providers within 24 hours (clinics, hospitals, labs, all of them) rolling in throughout the day and most send data electronically, some send via FAX, and those are rolling in throughout the day. We have a big team of nurses who do the investigating. The data comes in and we go through all of that daily. We are staffed seven days per week. We have about 24 nurses and five office assistants working each day. The nurses are calling cases to interview them and identify close contacts, and working on facility investigations (if we have multiple cases in a workplace, health care setting, long-term care facility, school, etc.). The office assistants are supporting the nurses.
In addition to those folks, we have teams that do contact notification. These are the people who call everyone who is identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, notify them of their exposure and give them instructions on quarantine. They also monitor those individuals who test positive during their isolation and close contacts during quarantine, by calling and/or texting every day. We contract with an organization, Public Health Institute, to provide these services. They are working seven days a week and have five teams with eight contact notifiers on each team.
We also have staff coordinating wraparound services (such as seeing if cases need rental assistance, groceries, etc.), epidemiologists and data analysts compiling our data, among others.
Question 2: Does Clark County track cases by ethnicity?
Yes, we do. There are disparities by ethnicity. Some are impacted more than others.
Question 3: With the current cases per 100,000 that are in place do you foresee the possibility that we should look more at hospitalizations per 100,000? As the numbers currently stand getting kids back in the classroom appears nearly impossible.
We do look at hospitalizations and capacity. When COVID-19 activity increases in the community there is a lag time and there is a long incubation period. It can be as long as 14 days. So one of the things I’ve shown to our Board of Health is that kids are less likely to get sick than adults, so why are we concerned about schools? Not all kids do so well. Certainly kids can get sick, but number two the schools are not an island and kids have a congregate setting in a school. They take the infection home to their parents and grandparents. Schools are part of the community, and that will bleed out into transmissions. We see more of the disease in young adults. There are reports in Florida that the older population is in jeopardy. We had some cases involving young adults who are partying with each other and not practicing physical distancing or masking. The incubation lag time is 14 days. Then there could be more lag time before that and when they visit grandpa and grandma, after several weeks you can start seeing cases in older people. Once you get to that point, it’s the point of no return.
We look at hospital utilization, but the number is creeping up slowly a bit. You also have to look at capacity in the nursing homes, and we are approaching capacity there. The hospitals have no place to discharge those patients if that happens. I’m concerned about that. We are entering the Fall where more people will be exposed indoors. I’ve got data on where people are exposed. I’m really concerned about nursing home facilities. I will want to take a look at nursing home capacity. This will be a new metric. We haven’t published it. These are the things that keep me awake at night. This is horrible. It’s all horrible. I’m speaking as a public official and physician, and there’s an incredible amount of logic applied to it, and it’s become political. It’s a recipe for disaster. When you go into a business and the masks use has become a statement of political stance. It’s similar to what we went through with the measles outbreak. Dealing with anti-science makes this political. The virus doesn’t care about our politics. COVID-19 is a top cause of death in the United States.
Question 4: After a person tests positive and then they go back in for subsequent tests so that they can go back to work, if those tests are positive also are they considered new positive cases?
A person is counted as a case once. They can have 10 positive lab results.
Question 5: How is Mead School District near Spokane able to open up yet they’ve had more than double the COVID cases?
I listen to all perspectives also. Everyone who lives in Clark County is our constituent. So we have to listen to their perspectives. I can’t answer why Spokane is doing what they are doing. These state guidelines are recommendations. We have looked at the data, schools are not an island. We’ve looked at the metrics of not only cases per 100,000. We have considered the impact of the holidays. We decided as a group to delay to make sure the metrics are post three weeks Labor Day. We don’t want to open up to have to close again. They are bringing back special needs kids in small groups. The other thing is that we’ve had some cases in staff at some of the schools. We are putting out a dashboard about what is going on in the schools. We want to be proactive with parents. We have a vocal group pushing for reopening. It’s a complex discussion. We are trying to be as thoughtful as possible.
Question 6: Is the 25 cases per 100,000 metric that allows schools to open as normal even attainable before Spring 2020?
It depends. If people practice physical distancing and masking we can do it. We have it in our power to do something about this, but the poltical nature of this has inhibited us. We were there. The idea is to protect everyone else around us. COVID-19 is a disaster but it’s an opportunity for us to see what we can do to look out for our neighbors and co-workers, our kids. We have it in our power to protect us, and listen to the science, and make this less political. It’s a cloth, it’s a mask. Wear it.
Question 7: What is the COVID-19 recovery rate in Clark County?
For us, we’re not really tracking or categorizing cases as recovered because we interview cases and then we monitor those cases during the isolation period. We check in with them during the 14-day quarantine period. Beyond that we don’t have the bandwidth to verify recovery. We don’t follow up at the end of that isolation period.
Question 8: When you submitted your application for Phase 3 you were confident the County was ready for that. Then we had an outbreak at a local business that derailed that and then the Governor put a pause on any variances statewide. Do you think the Governor’s approach is too draconian? Is his approach the correct one?
It’s the right approach. We wouldn’t be in this position if people would physically distance and use masks. Other countries are opening up. We need to be concerned about doing our share. The best answer to improve mental health is to mask up and social distance. We were in the moderate range and now we’re a 95.6 cases per 100,000. We were at 19.45 cases per 100,000 when we submitted that application in June, over 14 days. Take a look at our website https://clark.wa.gov/public-health and look at epi-curve. July 4 and Labor Day did us in.
The remaining questions and answers will appear in Part 2. We will likely have more interviews with Dr. Melnick. Do you have any questions you’d like us to ask?
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/07072944/8508C89C-55ED-40CF-8779-479BB93A07F1.jpeg11731920Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-10-12 16:18:482020-10-12 16:18:58Q&A w/ Dr. Alan Melnick: Using Nursing Home Capacity As New COVID-19 Metric