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Did You Know ?

Heart disease is nondiscriminatory.  While heart attack and stroke ("brain attack") have long been epidemic for African Americans, particularly women, heart disease is now being recognized as a plague for women in general.  Consider these facts:
*Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25.
*Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills nearly half a million women a year, about one per minute.
*One in four females and one in four males in the U.S. suffers from a form of Coronary Vascular Disease (CVD) (e.g. 25% of both genders).
*Only 13% of women are aware that heart disease is their #1 health threat.
*Stroke is the #3 cause of death for American women.  Stroke kills more women than men.  In 2002, females represented nearly 62% of stroke deaths.
*African American and Mexican-American women have higher CVD risk factors than Anglo women of comparable socioeconomic status.
Since 1924, the American Heart Association has worked to bring good health to communities nationwide.  The AHA is a voluntary (non-profit 501 ( c ) 3) health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from CVD and stroke.  Their goal is to help people learn to reduce the risk of CVD and improve their chances of living longer, stronger lives.
"Go red in your own fashion: it's a gift from your heart"  was an initial slogan for the AHA Go Red For Women campaign.  The campaign is resounded all across the country in preparation for National Wear Red Day in February annually.  On that day the AHA has a goal of raising both monetary and public interest to support vital research and education programs to prevent and treat heart disease. 
As a part of the ECC Health Center’s yearly  February  Close To The Heart celebration, we promote attention to this AHA event.  We continue encouraging everyone interested in the prevention and treatment of heart disease to step out in red on the designated national event day.
Contact us in the health center at 214.860.2111 or call AHA at (888)-My-Heart or check out the web site at for more information.

Yes.  H1N1, HIV/AIDS and Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea are not the only pain and misery inducers we are ALL tasked with fighting,…and winning the good fight.
In recent news (e.g. The Dallas Morning News, ‘briefing’ of 01/23/14,, President Barack H. Obama is cited for beginning the amplification and problem solving efforts to combat this very inhumane scourge afflicting the nation’s college/university campuses.
From the report by the White House Council on Women and Girls there are these 2014 findings to consider:
*”Nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes.
*The effects of rape include depression, substance abuse and a wide range of physical ailments…
*Campus sexual assaults are fueled by drinking and drug use that can incapacitate victims, often at student parties at the hands of someone they know.
*Perpetrators often are serial offenders…7 percent of college men admitted to attempting rape, and 63 percent of those averaged 6 rapes each.
*Low arrest rates for military sex crimes, (sic, and presumably campus life as well), are a result of bias and a lack of training to investigate and prosecute them.”
The WH report highlights  a stunning prevalence of rape on college campuses, with 1 in 5 female students assaulted, while only 1 in 8 student victims report it.
The President said that he was speaking out as a father of two daughters, and that men must express outrage to stop the crime.
Mr. Obama called the crime, “an affront on our basic decency and humanity”.  Moreover, he signed a memorandum creating a task force to respond to campus rapes.  The task force has 90 days to establish solution focused recommendations for colleges to prevent and respond to the crime, increase public awareness of each school’s track record and enhance coordination among federal agencies for accountability.
For our ECC community, we are reminded that our prevention efforts begin with CHECK (Chaparrals Helping Eliminate Crime Kindly), and moves quickly to being astutely observant and assertively reporting immediately. 
More information on Crime prevention is available through our campus Community Policing Officer, Cpl. A. Colon.
“Let’s be safe out there”. J
Ken Johnson
College Nurse
El Centro College

As we rush headlong into this wondrous season of merry making and celebration, those of us on the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Education Committee, being constrained by the Spirit of El Centro, want to soberly draw our attention to a less brighter side of our holiday routine: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

In a report from the Fall 2005 edition of the Journal of American College Health, we are reminded that "Drinking and driving is perhaps the most serious problem associated with heavy drinking amount college students in the United States".

In the study being cited we see that "among college students at high risk for drinking and driving, the vast majority of drinking prior to impaired driving takes place either at a bar or a friend's house. However, both number of drinks consumed and estimated BAC (blood alcohol content) levels prior to driving were highest when drinking at parties".

Each year this season of celebration is marred by statistics regarding 'holiday highway death tolls'. And each year these numbers appear to be going up rather than down. The tragedies are significant for all of us.

Like to live a good long time? Like to live a good long time and look and feel good while you are at it? As we closely monitor our media sources for current trends in lifestyle enhancements for looking good and feeling good, we discover quite a lot being made of rather fadish fountains of youth and elixirs of health and vitality. The Botox fad is a good example.

Yet, we have at our literal finger tips some tried and proven ways of living that if followed, with some measure of self discipline, will greatly improve ones health and wellness without significant pain or discomfort.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service in 2005 have issued new Dietary Guidelines for Americans that form the basis for Federal nutrition policy. For the first time in nearly a decade, there is a concerted effort aimed at educating consumers on basic healthy eating habits. The current campaign is The My Pyramid Food Guidance System which utilizes dietary reference data from the National Academy of Sciences, while taking into account current consumption patterns of Americans. My Pyramid translates the guidelines into a total diet that meets nutrient needs from food sources and aims to moderate or limit dietary components often consumed in excess. It seeks to provide recommendations that cover four (4) important areas relative to healthy eating: Variety, Proportionality, Moderation and Activity.

The Seasonal Flu
This is a group of common flu strains that go around every year.  A yearly vaccine (such as a shot) can help prevent it.

A flu pandemic (Spanish, Hong Kong, SARS, Swine, Novel H1N1 or other)
This infrequent world-wide event can result when a new flu strain* develops that:

  • spreads easily between people
  • few people (if any) are immune to
  • severely sickens and kills millions of people
  • interferes with the normal supply of food, goods and services
  • imposes a delayed time period to create a new effective vaccine
*A new flu strain could evolve from a flu virus in humans, birds (avian flu), pigs (swine flu) or other animals-or a mixture of these viruses.*
*A flu pandemic could happen at anytime.  No one can say when or how severe it will be.  There were 3 pandemics in the 1900’s.  They killed tens of millions worldwide.  Flu viruses are always changing.  With modern travel, across unrestricted borders, new viruses can spread quickly.  Preparation is ongoing.  Steps are being taken to prevent a pandemic, slow or minimize the effects as one occurs and develop new and effective treatments.

You can help too
One should know about flu germs:
  • Viruses spread mainly through coughs and sneezes.  These can spread droplets through the air and into the mouth or nose of people nearby and onto surfaces that people touch before touching their nose, mouth or eyes.
  • In rare cases, humans can also catch flu germs from an infected bird, pig or other animal.  This could happen through contact with feces, saliva, mucus, raw meat or raw eggs from the animal.
One should know about symptoms:
  • Different flu strains may cause similar symptoms (low grade fever, headache, body aches, dry cough, sore throat, weakness, etc).  But a pandemic flu may be more severe.  So, unless a pandemic has begun and been declared by the CDC and WHO, symptoms most likely mean seasonal flu or another “flu-like” illness.
  • Symptoms generally start within 1-4 days (but up to 10 days) after exposure.
One should know how to prevent flu germ spread:
*Wash your hands often and well using soap and water while scrubbing all surfaces for 20 seconds.  You can also use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.  *Cover coughs and sneezes using a tissue, but avoiding using your hands.  Then wash your hands.  *Try to stay away from others.  *Act responsibly and call your health-care provider, clinic or health department.  *Stay home as needed or advised, and avoid unnecessary travel into or out of certain areas!!!  *Get the yearly flu vaccine and the pandemic vaccine as indicated!!!

Notwithstanding the prominence that the disease of HIV/AIDS has attained in the collective awareness of our world-wide culture and society, there are yet many myths and misconceptions surrounding this affliction. Here are some clarifications from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HIV transmission can occur when blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk from an infected person enter the body of an uninfected person. The virus can enter the body through a vein, the anus or rectum, the vagina, the penis, the mouth, other mucous membranes, or cuts or sores. The virus can also be passed from mother-to-child during pregnancy. There are other low-risk means of transmission such as open-mouth kissing or oral sex.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) notes that at the end of 2003 we saw an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 persons in the U.S. living with the infection.

Of the above numbers, there were an estimated 24-27% undiagnosed and unaware of their HIV infection.

In 2003 alone, there were an estimated 43,171 new diagnoses of AIDS in the U.S. Of this number, adult and teenage cases totaled 43,112 with 31,614 in males and 11,498 in females. Through 2003, the cumulative number of estimated clinically diagnosed AIDS cases totaled 929,985. By a significant margin the larger percentage of these were male at >80%, with females being 15-20%.

In 2003, the estimated number of U.S. deaths from AIDS was 18,017. And cumulatively since the initiation of careful surveillance through 2003 we have witnessed the deaths of and estimated 524,060 persons from AIDS.

Means of Exposure has continued to be a factor in the continuing epidemic. In 2003, newly diagnosed Heterosexual contacts totaled 13,260 compared to Injection drug use at 9,449 and Male-to-male sexual contacts at 17,969. Of interest we find an alarming trend in observing that clearly 67% (2/3) of new adult/teen AIDS cases occurring in females do so via heterosexual contact.

Race or ethnicity as well is taking a more prominent place in the epidemiology of this disease. Of the total number of new AIDS cases seen in 2003, slightly less than 50% were Black, >20% White and 10-15% were Hispanic.

In an interesting combination of the last two factors, we are realizing that African American (Black) females have the fastest growing rate of occurrence among all groups.

AIDS was first identified by scientists in the U.S. in 1981. Today, twenty four years later, the epidemic has spread throughout the globe, and has currently infected a total of 36 million people (men, women and children) worldwide. As of this time, 22 million+ people have lost their lives to the disease.