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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Measles

Many of you have heard that there has been a reported case of active Measles in Fairfax and Loundon County. This has been the first and so far only case reported in our area. However, over the past several years there has been reported outbreakes of several preventable disease in communities across the United States, including Measles, Mumps, Whooping cough, and meningitis.

The medical community has all been put on high alert to look for, screen for and report any suspicious cases. The Fairfax County Health Department, CDC, and local hopsitals have been fabulous in getting information out to the public and to the health care community. If you think you may have been exposed or have conerning symptoms, call our office for information or contact the Fairfax County Health department.

I would like to take this time to urge our patients and the general community to take advantage of the availabilty of vaccines for preventable diseases. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation out there about vaccine safety.  As a result some individuals have decided not to vaccinate themselves or their children. Vaccination in the United States is safe and effective. To date no studies have shown any link to vaccines being the cause of Autism or weakening the immune system. If you would like to read more indepth information on vaccine safety, I recommend www.cdc.gov.

 

Next time you are in the office for an appointment, please request that your provider review your immunization history to determine if you would benefit from any vaccinations.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Camp, Sport and School Year Physicals

It is that time of year to plan for summer camp, school entrance and sports physicals for the next academic year!

 

Many parents and children are just concered about getting "the form" completed so that their child can participate in a camp, athletic program or enter a school. Most children are healthy and the paperwork can be viewed as a hassel. Many urgent care centers and schools will preform very brief evaluations to get the forms completed in bulk. However, I would urge you to schedule your child's physical with your health care provider. We are concerned about much more than "the form".  This is an opportunity for a complete health evaluation including review of medical history, screening for health problems, physical exam, udating and discussing important immunizations. Maintaining a good relationship between a child and health care provider is also very important as children grow to become young adults.

 

Under our Pediatric Corner we have provided links to may of the required school forms. School entrance physicals are good for 1 year prior to the entrance of school. Athletic forms may be completed after May 1st for the following academic year. Summer camps, as well as, colleges have individual requirement for completion dates, so please check with your specific camp, college or university.

 

We look forward to seeing you and making sure your summer and next academic year is happy and healthy.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

The importance of the Tdap booster

In the October 15, 2013 edition of the American Family Physician Journal an article titled Pertussis: A Reemerging Infection highlighted an alarming trend in recent years. This trend is an increasing incidence of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

 

Whooping cough is an acute upper respiratory tract infection. Initially symptoms are very much like a common cold and include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, feeling run down and mild cough which can last for 1-2 weeks. The infection then progresses into a several week period of severe coughing fits, physicians refer to them as paroxysms.  The coughing fits involve a long series of continuous coughs during a single breath that ends with loud "whoop" sound (Hence the name whooping cough).  An example of the classic cough can be heard by audio clip at http://www.pkids.org/diseases/pertussis.html (link provided by authors of the article in the American Family Physician). The coughing fits can be quite distressing causing shortness of breath, watery eyes and even vomiting. The final recovery phase of the infection can last an additional 1-2 weeks. The entire infection lasts between 6-7 weeks. Infants are the most at risk for complications requiring hospitalization.

 

The key to preventing this disease is vaccination. Children should undergo a primary vaccination series by age 6. For older children who were not vaccinated, incompletely vaccinated or delayed in vaccination, standard catch up vaccination schedules are available from your physician. In 2006 the ACIP (CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recognized the problem of declining immunity in adults. Immunization guidelines now recommend adolescents age 11-18, adults age 18-64 and adults over the age of 65 who might be in contact with children under the age of 12 months receive a single booster of Tdap to prevent this disease.

 

Vaccinations are a very important part of everyone's health maintenance visit. Please be sure to discuss your immunization status during your next appointment.

 

For more information on this topic go to http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infections/common/bacterial/903.html

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Questions Regarding the Benefits of Mammograms

The article pulished on February 11, 2014 in the BMJ entitled Twenty-five Year Follow up for Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: a randomised Screening Trial has stirred confusion and concerns about the need for routine screeing mammograms in the fight against breast cancer.

 

This study was an update on the orginal study and was one that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cited in its 2009 guideline upadates.

 

This study's conclusion states that annual mammography for women between the ages of 40-59 does not reduce mortality beyond that of physical examination and usual care.

 

I am concerned that this conclusion that has been aired on many news casts will deter women in this age group from obtaining a life saving test.  There are several flaws in the study which brings into question the validity of the conclusion. The authors of the study admit and discuss some of these concerns including selection bias and the effects of the "usual care in the community."  Women should note that this article does further state that women with non-palpable breast cancer detected by mammography expierence superior long-term survival compared to those diagnosed with palpable breast cancer.  The authors state the reason for this is not clear and possibly due to lead time bias or overdiagnosis. I believe more study is definitely needed on this important health issues. However, in the interim the well known fact that earlier detection leads to a better prognosis will not alter my recommendations for screening mammography.

 

You may read the full article at http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g366

 

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

 

 

Capital Family Practice of Fairfax is all about Family.....Kids too!

Last week I announced that in the coming weeks we will be adding new features to our web site, including Pediatrics Corner. This page will be dedicated to our littlest patients, newborns, through our young adults, teenagers.  A few days later after reading this announcement one of my patients said to me, "I didn't know you saw kids."  My jaw about hit the floor. I was shocked that she, and possibly many more of our patients, were not aware of the full scope of our practice!  It was then that I realized the need to remind and discuss the importance of family medicine.

 

As Family Medicine providers we are trained in the full scope of medicine from infant care, pediatric, adolescent, adult to geriatric medicine.  In Family Medicine we enjoy and see the benefit of taking care of the whole family. During the time that I have been practicing I have had the opportunity to take care of up to four generations within one family. I have gotten to know and see children grow, go off to college, get married and have their own children.  This is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.  So, yes!....All of the providers here at Capital Family Practice of Fairfax see kids!

 

We do routine check ups/physicals, childhood immunizations, same day sick visits, sports physicals, college entrance exams and much more.  We also work closely with the pediatric specialists in the area and can refer for more specialized care when needed. 

 

If there are multiple family members who have become ill why go to two different offices, one for the kids and one for adults, when everything can be handled by your family physician? 

 

We would love to see all of you!

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD