Gardasil to Prevent HPV Infections & Cervical Cancer

In Blog, Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Gynecology, Infections, Preventative/Primary Care by Dr. Gary Goldman

Gardasil – the HPV vaccine, remains shrouded in controversy, for reasons I can’t fathom. I am a gynecologist. I’m the doctor who does the pap smears and calls with bad news: there’s an abnormality, caused by having sex, that could lead to cancer. Next comes fear, regrets, gynecologic procedures or surgery, sometimes a cancer diagnosis, and long-term follow-up care… and most of this could be avoided – with the effective and safe vaccine against HPV we already have. Modern medicine has created wonderful opportunities for better health, but the two most important factors in lowering rates of death and disease …

Annual Vaccine Guidelines

In Blog, Infections, Preventative/Primary Care, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

While we are on the subject of vaccines, here are the 2014 recommendations for vaccines for adults as per the CDC. There are many exceptions to these general rules based on confounding health conditions, so be sure to discuss with your doctor what is best for you. Influenza: yearly. For everyone. It should be coming out at the end of this month, and I recommend getting it as soon as it comes out. For pregnant women, I recommend the thimerosal-free, inactivated version – the only one I carry. I recommend it during pregnancy, regardless of trimester. TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and …

Ebola Overview

In Blog, Infections, Obstetrical Care, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

Ebola – a truly deadly and terrifying disease. The current outbreak in Africa has already claimed over 1,150 lives, and some believe this number is vastly underestimated. A patient in New York was recently admitted to Mt Sinai hospital for suspected Ebola after a recent trip to Africa – fortunately he did not have it. This outbreak has prompted quite a few inquiries in my office, so here are some facts: Ebola was first identified in 1976, in Africa. It is a virus spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, semen and even tears. It is not …

Listeria Contamination of Our Food

In Blog, Infections, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

Listeria contamination of fruit prompted a recent recall from Trader Joe’s and Costco, among other stores. While no illnesses have yet been reported from this outbreak, the news alarmed many of my patients who have called for advice. According to the New York State Department of Health, “routine screening or treatment of asymptomatic persons possibly exposed to recalled products is not recommended.” Symptoms can include: high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, particularly those patients with an exposure history of Wawona Packing Co.’s fresh whole peaches, plums, nectarines, and plots. If you should experience these symptoms you …

Your Annual Flu Vaccine – It’s Not Too Late!

In Blog, Infections, Preventative/Primary Care, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

It’s time for your annual flu vaccine! The vaccine is given each year, as the particular strains of circulating flu constantly change. This year’s vaccine is now available, and YOU should get one. There are many types of vaccine. The Hi-Dose vaccine is recommended for those 65 and older. The nasal spray is recommended for children between the ages of 2-8. Most of us will get the inactivated trivalent vaccine from multi-dose vials. This is dead viral particles that cannot transmit illness. It protects against 3 flu strains, and is packaged with small amounts of thimerosal preservative, which contains mercury. …

Enterovirus – the Illness That Takes Your Breath Away!

In Blog, Infections, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

It starts off like a simple cold – but then the kids can’t breathe! Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is currently making its way across our nation in a large outbreak across a dozen states. What can you do to prevent it? How will you recognize it? First reported in Kansas City and Chicago in August, EV-D68 has been marching its way across the mid-west. It has not yet been reported in New York – but we are closely monitoring for its arrival. Most of those affected are children, two-thirds of whom have a prior history of asthma. Many of those who …

The Tragedy of Ebola in Pregnancy

In Blog, Gynecology, Infections by Dr. Gary Goldman

The tragedy of Ebola in West Africa is particularly striking pregnant women. Due to the diminished activity of the immune system in pregnancy, these women may be even more susceptible to infection. As noted in the accompanying article, “during the H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States, seventeen percent of infected pregnant women died; the mortality rate for the rest of the population was only 0.02 percent.” In a prior Ebola outbreak in 1995, 14 of 15 pregnant women infected died. Because pregnant women are assumed to have no hope, they are currently at the bottom of the triage list; …

Does This Year’s Flu Vaccine Work?

In Blog, Infections, Preventative/Primary Care, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

Today the CDC announced that preliminary data from early flu virus surveillance has shown that about half of the flu present in the US currently is not directly covered by this year’s vaccine. What does this mean? – The types of flu covered by the annual vaccine are chosen 6 months before flu season, based on mapping flu strains around the world. In a typical year, about 70% of the strains of flu present are successfully anticipated by that year’s vaccine. Once the predominant strains are found, vaccine manufacturing begins, producing millions of doses in time for flu season. Over …

Gardasil 9 Approved for More Effective Prevention of Cancers

In Blog, Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Gynecology, Infections by Dr. Gary Goldman

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the new Gardasil 9 vaccine, for the prevention of various diseases caused by nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is not yet available for clinical use but should be over the next several months. The prior vaccine Gardasil, which was approved in 2006, covered four types of HPV: the two ‘low-risk’ types 6 and 11, which account for 90% of genital warts, and the two ‘high-risk’ types 16 and 18, which account for 70% of cervical and some additional cancers. Gardasil 9 affords the same protection against those same four types, …