An Apple a Day

Riverside County reports its first flu-related death

January 25, 2016

It’s never easy to lose a loved one. It’s even harder to lose a loved one to influenza, an illness that's highly preventable with a flu shot. Did you know there were 26 flu-related deaths in Riverside County during last year's flu season? That’s a tragedy no one should ever have to experience.

With the recent news that last week a 47-year-old Riverside County man was our first resident this season to succumb to flu-related illness, it’s important to remember we can all take steps to avoid the flu.

The first is to get vaccinated. Flu shots are plentiful and inexpensive and the best way to inoculate yourself against influenza’s devastating effects. While a few people will sometimes feel a little achy after, the flu shot can't give you the flu, and it's safe for nearly everyone.

Second, maintain your overall health. If you're healthy, stay healthy with a balanced diet, good hydration and an active exercise routine. Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

And if you are not feeling well, keep others from getting sick by staying home from work or school, and cover your coughs and sneezes to limit others’ possible exposure to illness.

The flu can sometimes be serious, and it's much better to never get it in the first place so you can't spread it either. This flu season and every season, stay healthy, get vaccinated and stay safe.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at

Be cancer free in 2016

January 12, 2016

The recent news of the death of David Bowie to cancer has left much of the world mourning the entertainer’s passing.

Sadly, millions of Americans know the pain of losing a friend or loved one to this horrible disease. And because you don’t want the same fate for you and your family, consider these important things you can do to prevent cancer.

Reduce your chances of skin cancer by applying sunscreen regularly.  Limit your exposure to the sun whenever possible by seeking shade and wearing hats and sleeves to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

A colonoscopy is a vital tool for detecting cancer of the colon and is recommended as a regular screening, beginning at the age of 50 and is key factor in preventing colorectal cancer.  

Consider mammograms, Pap tests and ultra sounds for a close look at possible tumor growth.

Vaccines (shots) can also help lower cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other kinds of cancer, and the hepatitis B vaccine can help lower liver cancer risk.


Maintain a healthy, balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and exercise daily for a lifestyle that is primed to ward off illness and disease.


"Finally, it's important to make sure your medical provider is aware of your history and health concerns you have to find the best way to keep you well. Being an informed patient about what works and what doesn't is the best thing you can do to stay cancer-free."


The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at

Stay dry, stay safe during the El Nino rain


January 5, 2016

For most of 2015, folks in Riverside County have readied themselves for the rain, wind and cold that will be part of El Nino. So, now the big question is – are you prepared?


Water safety is a vital aspect of life in Southern California because of our beautiful beaches and swimming pools. But, when the rain comes, it brings with it a whole new set of problems.


What can you do to stay safe in the rain? Consider the following:


Slow down. Whoever waits for you at your destination wants your best health and safety. So, limit your speed on the road while driving.


Turn on your headlights. By keeping your headlights on you allow yourself to see and be seen while driving.


Pull over. If the downpour is too much for you, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.


Stay informed. Watch your daily news for updates on the storm. If you are warned away from certain areas and roadways, take heed.


Dress appropriately. Ditch the flip flops in favor of sturdy, slip-resistant boots. Wear a warm coat and travel with an umbrella.


Stay indoors. So Cal will return to its sunny skies soon enough. Postpone outdoor activities until it is safe and dry.


Be smart. If you see a downed power line or exposed electrical wires, step away and call 911.

Take shelter. There are places throughout Riverside County designated as warm centers that offer shelter from extreme weather and temperatures. Click here to see where they are.


To learn more about how to protect your home and family when it rains, visit


The Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at