In conclusion, when traveling or thrift-shopping, change your practices and be very
diligent in bedbug detection. If they somehow
do get into your home, seek professional
extermination help. Also, check out the website
www.bedbugregistry.com to see if a hotel
has ever had a bedbug issue.
continued FRoM page 41
Q: What are effective methods to prevent urinary tract infections?
A: Cranberry juice and cranberry tablets may
decrease the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women who develop recurrent UTIs. (Recurring UTIs are defined as
two or more symptomatic infections within a
12-month period that are subsequently cured
Daily low-dose antibiotics prescribed by a
healthcare provider also help to prevent UTIs.
Antibiotics taken after sexual activity (within
two hours) are also preventive. Use of a probiotic (such as lactobacillus) is presently being
studied, but may also have a role in preventing UTIs.
Other suggestions that may help prevent
UTIs, although there is no good scientific
data, are urinating after intercourse, drinking
plenty of fluids throughout the day and, for
postmenopausal women, the use of topical
Finally, it is always a good idea to check in
with your healthcare provider to make sure
no underlying medical issue is causing the
Q: Who should get the “shingles vaccine”?
A: Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster
virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a case of chickenpox, the virus
remains dormant in nerve cells. It then can
reactivate years later and cause shingles.
Shingles is most common in people 50 and
older, but can develop at any age.
Shingles usually manifests itself as a rash
or blisters on the skin. It can be excruciatingly
painful. One of the major concerns with shingles is the complication called postherpetic
neuralgia, a debilitating pain over the rash site
that can last months or even years. Shingles
can recur in about 1 to 5 percent of patients.
In 2006 the Food and Drug Administration approved a new shingles vaccine
called Zostavax. The Centers for Disease
Control recommends anyone age 60 or older
should receive the vaccine, even if they’ve had
shingles in the past. C
In private practice for 13 years, Costco member Dr. Phyllis Ritchie (http://drphyllisritchie.
com) is a Board Certified Infectious Disease
specialist whose medical interests include sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, resistant staph infections, orthopedic-related
infections and travel medicine. She also writes
a medical column for The Oregonian and
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APRIL 2011 The Costco Connection 43