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 …

Hot Flashes from Hell!

In Blog, Gynecology, Menopause by Dr. Gary Goldman

“OMG – not another Hot Flash! Will they ever stop? Please – help me make them stop!” This is the beginning of a very common conversation in my office. Until about 10 years ago, many women used post-menopausal estrogens, which really helped, so this was a less common complaint. Then came the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative in 2003, which pointed out the increased rate of heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer in women who used estrogens. While there are valid criticisms of this study, the fact remains that many women have chosen not to use estrogens – and …

Libido: Easy Come, Easy Go.

In Blog, Gynecology, Integrative Medicine, Menopause, Sexuality by Dr. Gary Goldman

“Where did my libido go? I used to be horny, but now, not so much.” This is a very common concern in my office, and is sometimes associated with pregnancy, early parenting, or menopause… and sometimes with any other time of your life. Rodent libido is directly tied to circulating levels of testosterone, both in males and females. But humans are far more complex; testosterone levels in women do not clearly correlate with sex drive. Our brains can directly get us all revved up, or all revved down. Many of my patients are seeking an easy answer, a magic supplement …

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, …

Organic Food Recall

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

The FDA announced a voluntary recall of multiple products from the commonly found organic food company, Amy’s Kitchen. The manufacturer has found that some spinach they had used in the production of various foods may contain Listeria, which can make any of us ill, and in particular can be problematic in pregnancy. I have seen these products for sale in Whole Foods as well as elsewhere. Fortunately, no one has reported an illness attributable to ingestion of Amy’s Kitchen products to date; the recall has been issued “out of an abundance of caution.” If you have recently purchased any of …

Zika Virus- What You Need to Know

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

Fast Take The Zika virus has recently become more prevalent in certain regions, particularly in Central and South America and the Caribbean. When pregnant women catch this virus, their fetus can develop microcephaly, which is an abnormally small head and brain, and is associated with significant neurologic impairment and occasionally death. The virus is transmitted by certain species of mosquitoes; thus prevention of mosquito exposure is paramount in preventing the disease. In men and non-pregnant women, a Zika infection is usually mild and self-limited. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment. We are currently recommending avoiding travel to regions …

Zika Update #1: Important New Information

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

‘ Fast Track: There are several more countries that have been added to the CDC’s list of places where Zika transmission has been reported, and to where you should not travel. Zika has been reported transmitted by sex, rather than by mosquitoes, in one case in Texas; this prompts new recommendations for disease prevention. Testing is now allowed for any individuals, not just for pregnant women, who have travelled to endemic regions within the last two weeks and have at least two symptoms. Today Governor Cuomo announced free testing for pregnant women in New York who have travelled to endemic …