The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, September 19, 2015, SATURDAY EDITION, Page 6B, Image 16

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    6 B
SIUSLAW NEWS z SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015
TO YOUR
GOOD HEALTH
Tuberculosis
concerns put to
rest with test
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 22,
and I am a security guard at a local
store. Just recently, I detained a sus-
pect for shoplifting. We were in a
room no bigger than a small office,
and she was coughing up a storm. I
was in and out of the room for a
half-hour or so. When the local
police department showed up, she
revealed that she has active tubercu-
losis. I did my research, and it is
contagious when it’s airborne. How
much exposure is necessary to catch
it? What are the symptoms of TB? Is
it curable? Please, I’m in need of
answers. — E.A.M.
ANSWER: Tuberculosis is an
infection caused by the bacteria
Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The
most common body location is the
lungs, but tuberculosis can infect the
kidneys, lining of the brain, bones
SALOME’S STARS
ARIES (March 21 to April 19)
Although practical situations continue
to dominate this week, there’s time
for the Lamb to indulge in the fun
things in life — like maybe taking a
special someone out for a great
evening.
TAURUS (April 20 to May 20)
This week favors relationships. Take
time to renew old ones, and make
time to go where new friends can be
found. On a more practical note,
expect news about a business deal.
GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) You
should be seeing some progress on
that new workplace situation.
Meanwhile, family matters might
demand more attention, and you’ll
want to set aside time to deal with
them.
CANCER (June 21 to July 22) A
and lining of the heart, among oth-
ers. It is contagious by air only when
in the lungs, as you said. The major
symptom is cough, but weight loss
also is frequent in advanced stages,
giving TB its old name, consump-
tion.
The likelihood of getting infected
after exposure depends on many fac-
tors, including some things we don’t
know in this case, such as whether
she is being treated and whether she
has cavities in her lungs.
The good news is that you would
be considered a low-risk contact,
having been in a room with her only
for a relatively short period. The bad
news is that it is possible to have
acquired an infection. Your doctor or
a public health official should evalu-
ate you for evidence of prior infec-
tion with a skin test, which should
be repeated in eight to 10 weeks.
Tuberculosis is almost 100 per-
cent curable. People with active
infection usually are treated with
several medications for six months.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife
drinks in excess of 3 liters of diet
soda a day, sometimes even more.
She has colitis, for which she takes
Lialda, and on her last visit to her
primary care physician, her blood
work revealed borderline bad levels
in her liver. The doctor seems to
think she needs to stop “drinking
alcohol,” but I have been married to
her for more than 30 years, and I
know it’s not drinking that is caus-
ing this. We both consume only
moderate amounts of alcohol. Could
it be the chemicals in diet soda? —
F.J.R.
ANSWER: Three liters a day is a
lot of diet soda, and that much caf-
feine probably isn’t good for her.
However, I don’t think it is likely to
be affecting her liver. Mesalamine
(Lialda and others) rarely can cause
abnormal liver tests — specifically,
high levels of the same enzymes that
might lead a doctor to suspect alco-
hol use.
You didn’t tell me what kind of
colitis your wife has, but ulcerative
colitis, a form of inflammatory
bowel disease, is associated with
several kinds of liver problems,
including fatty liver and primary
sclerosing cholangitis, which is
potentially severe. I don’t think
either alcohol or diet soda should be
blamed until she has had a more
careful workup. I think a visit with
her gastroenterologist would be
wise.
relationship suddenly might present
some challenges you never expected.
After talking things out, you might
want to consider taking some time to
assess what you’ve learned.
LEO (July 23 to August 22) A dis-
appointing response to a request
might dampen the Lion’s spirits. But
you might want to ask the reasons
behind it. What you learn can be of
great importance in a future undertak-
ing.
VIRGO (August 23 to September
22) A once-volatile situation should
be settled by now, giving you a
chance to refocus on a project you’ve
been planning for. Look for an inter-
ested party to rally to your support.
LIBRA (September 23 to October
22) A business matter that unexpect-
edly turns into a personal situation
could create complications. Best to
resolve the matter now before too
much harm can be done.
SCORPIO (October 23 to
November 21) Emotions can run high
when they involve personal matters
that no one really wants to talk about.
But this could be a good time to cre-
ate the means to a workable outcome.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to
December 21) A positive response to
a workplace request could lead the
way to other long-sought changes.
Congratulations. A personal situation
also takes a welcome turn.
CAPRICORN (December 22 to
January 19) Patience pays off, as that
once-overwhelming work situation
continues to become easier to handle
on a one-by-one basis. Look for posi-
tive news from a colleague.
AQUARIUS (January 20 to
February 18) It might be a good idea
to take more time to reassess your
next move in working out a complex
situation. You could benefit from a
new perspective on the matter.
PISCES (February 19 to March 20)
You might want to consider making
time to discuss a change of plans with
everyone concerned. Be prepared to
explain your actions. Also be pre-
pared to listen to alternatives.
S iu s la w N e w s
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