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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
April 2017
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Decoding symptoms: Sore throat versus strep throat

If your child suffers from a sore throat, it can be difficult to determine whether it is just that – a sore throat or a sign of something more serious, like strep throat. The guidelines below can help determine treatment and whether you should see a doctor.

Sore throat

  • Causes: Viral infections are the most frequent cause of sore throats and are often a common symptom of colds. Seasonal allergies or drainage from a runny nose cause also cause sore throats.
  • Symptoms: Sore throat symptoms include discomfort, pain or a scratchy feeling in the throat, and difficulty swallowing.  
  • Diagnosis: Your child’s pediatrician will conduct a patient history and examine your child’s throat.
  • Treatment: Because viruses cause most sore throats, antibiotics cannot be prescribed.
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Celebrating National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week, which runs Saturday, April 22, to Saturday, April 29, highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Children in the United States routinely get vaccines that protect them from more than a dozen diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Most of these diseases are now at their lowest levels in history, thanks to years of immunization. In the 1950’s, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles. It's easy to think of these as diseases of the past, but the truth is they still exist, which is why vaccines are so important.

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Mount Nittany Physician Group Provider Spotlight of the Year: Caryl Waite, PA-C
From left: Kathleen Rhine, president and CEO, Mount Nittany Health; Caryl Waite, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group; Craig Collison, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Mount Nittany Health is proud to announce Caryl Waite, PA-C, Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics, as the recipient of the 2016 Mount Nittany Physician Group Provider Spotlight of the Year award. Caryl was selected by her Physician Group provider peers among all of the recipients of the 2016 Spotlight Providers of the Month, each of who embodies the guiding principles of Mount Nittany Physician Group’s core values. According to her peers, Caryl has distinguished herself as someone who is dedicated to both her patients and co-workers. From the first patient in the morning to the last patient of the day, Caryl’s co-workers say that she is forever upbeat and smiling.

Caryl has been caring for our community for more than 18 years.

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The role of a Children’s Advocacy Center
Written by Kristina Taylor-Porter, MA, executive director, Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health

The Children's Advocacy of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health, has provided a valuable a service to children and families in our area for the past three years, yet many people not familiar with the center’s model may wonder exactly how one operates.

The primary goal of any Children’s Advocacy Center is to coordinate investigative and intervention services by bringing together representatives from multiple disciplines working collaboratively on behalf of children who have experienced or witnessed abuse, neglect or other serious crimes.

Referrals to the Children’s Advocacy Center are typically made by an investigative entity such as law enforcement or child protective services. The Children’s Advocacy Center is a child-focused and child-friendly facility, welcoming the child to feel safe and secure during an emotional and confusing time.

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What to know about mumps

Editor’s note: Mount Nittany Health continues to evaluate patients for the mumps (Penn State University Health Services recently reported  approximately 55 probable or confirmed mumps cases). We would like to remind the community to be aware of the symptoms, treatment and prevention of the mumps (please see the article below to learn more). 

About mumps

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It is spread by direct contact with or by inhaling droplets that contain the virus. Although mumps virus has been found in saliva from seven days before onset of salivary gland swelling to nine days afterwards, a person is most infectious between two days before and five days after swelling. People with mumps virus infection may not have any symptoms, but may still be able to spread the disease to others. Mumps can be spread by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or talking,
  • Sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
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Recent product recalls

Here are recent product recalls announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For the most up-to-date recall information, please visit and click on the Recalls tab from the home page.


Name of product: Vecaro self-balancing scooters/hoverboards

Hazard: The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.

Incidents/Injuries: Vecaro has received three reported incidents of hoverboards smoking. No injuries or property damage have been reported.

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