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WASHINGTON — U.S. health advisers endorsed a booster of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday, citing concern that Americans who got the single-dose shot aren’t as protected as those given two-dose brands.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals have worked hard to develop treatments for patients, and they have learned to manage the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Read more

Q: There’s been a lot of dramatic weather in our area recently and it worries my kids. How do we prepare for flooding or a hurricane, and what should we do afterward?

A: After a hurricane or flood from other causes, families face a variety of challenges, but there are several steps you can take to help you protect and support your children during these times.

If your community might be hit by a hurricane, prepare. Create a disaster supplies list, and store extra food, water, cash and medications in a large bag or backpack you can grab if you need to flee. Secure your home (board up windows and put away patio furniture and other items outside the house) to reduce damage from the storm. Some storms are just too dangerous for sheltering in place, so evacuate if authorities tell you to do so.

If possible, do not return to your home after a storm until basic utilities are restored. It is hard to take care of children if there is no running water or electricity, or when sewage systems are not working. Hospitals, doctors' offices and pharmacies may be closed, or only able to offer limited services. Grocery stores and restaurants may also be closed.

Make sure your home and neighborhood are safe before bringing children home. Children and adolescents should not participate in clean-up efforts. Floodwaters can contain hazardous chemicals and water can be contaminated with sewage and germs, which can infect cuts or wounds.

Follow CDC tips about how to prevent mold growth and clean up safely. If you still do not have power and need to run a generator, make sure you keep the generator outside and at least 20 feet from your house.

Use caution because damaged structures and other debris may have sharp edges and points that can injure children and adults. There may be animals or spiders hiding in the debris. Keep in mind that children do better with routine and structure. If they are not able to return to school or child care, set routines within the home, such as a regular time for meals and bedtime. Try to limit the amount of time you are separated from your children. When you do have to leave children in someone else's care, be sure to let them know when you will return.

Talk to your children about what's happening and how they are feeling. Choosing not to talk about what has happened makes the event more frightening for children. Silence suggests that what happened is too horrible to speak about. Start by asking your children what they have heard about the events. Ask them how they feel about what is happening and whether they have any fears or concerns. Provide appropriate but honest reassurance. Remind children of the steps being taken to keep them safe and rebuild the community.

The amount of information that will be helpful to children depends on their age, developmental level, and typical coping style. In general, older children want, and will benefit from, more detailed information than younger children. Take cues from your children as to how much information to provide. For children of all ages, do not provide too many details or share graphic images or emotional coverage, such as TV interviews with crying victims.

Do not tell children they shouldn't be worried. Help them learn how to deal with distressing feelings rather than pretend that these feelings do not or should not exist.

Look for changes in behavior that suggest your child is having difficulty coping. It is common for children to experience changes in sleep or eating, such as decreased appetite or overeating. They may struggle with fears or anxiety, including a fear of returning to school, social withdrawal, sadness or depression, new hyperactivity or physical complaints (such as headache, stomachache or feeling tired).

In addition, future severe weather (or anniversaries of the event) may remind children of the disaster, which can increase feelings of distress. If these reactions continue over time, become severe, or affect your children's ability to learn and socialize, contact your pediatrician or another professional. Read more

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — When Dimeji Lawal rolled out of the Intensive Care Unit at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida — hospital staff cheering him in his wheelchair — he began to comprehend that he had survived COVID-19. More than two months on a ventilator, he had beat the disease and was… Read more

Having a healthy heart is always the goal, but sometimes you need some help to make sure everything is working just right. And that's where heart tests come in. Read more

Asthma is a lung condition that causes swelling of the airways. It can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It's the most common chronic disease among children, though it affects adults, as well. More than 262 million people globally are affected b… Read more

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My daughter is 7 and has been taking swim lessons this summer. She has been complaining about her ears hurting, and our pediatrician diagnosed her with otitis externa and prescribed eardrops. What is otitis externa, and how do I prevent it in the future? Read more

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 6-year-old son becomes anxious and agitated whenever it storms. I have noticed that this behavior has become more frequent since we had to evacuate last year for a few days due to a pending hurricane. What can I do to help my child overcome his fear of storms? He is alwa… Read more

Fever, upset stomach, diarrhea, sore throat, chills, coughing, sneezing and headache all can make you feel miserable. And when you're not feeling well, it sometimes can be hard to know exactly what's wrong and how you can help yourself feel better. Read more

Plant-based burgers have soared in popularity over the past couple of years. Are these meat alternatives healthier for you than the real thing? Introducing more plant-based foods in your diet is a good thing, says Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist, but pay a… Read more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months get a flu shot every season with rare exceptions. Read more

Having a back injury can put a person's life on hold. While most people can find relief through nonsurgical methods like physical therapy, steroid injections and medication management, some patients, including those with spine disorders, may need surgical intervention. Read more

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 10-year-old daughter spends hours in the bathroom daily. Every time I inquire, she tells me she is constipated. We do not eat out a lot, and we incorporate fruits or vegetables at each meal. She also drinks water most of the day. Is constipation normal at this age, and w… Read more

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Both of my parents have been vaccinated for COVID-19. The doctor told my mom she is eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but my dad is not eligible for a booster now. Can you explain who needs an additional vaccine now, and the differences between a booster and … Read more

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WEST BEND — The social and economic costs of the opioid crisis are too immense to ignore, Circuit Court Judge Todd Martens said, which is why he decided to be the presiding judge over Washington County’s drug court cases. While it will not completely solve the problem, he said, having an alt… Read more

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JACKSON — Almost everyone has either personally suffered from addiction or knows another who has, so one heroin survivor is speaking up about the crippling power of addiction and how a local nonprofit saved her life.After a decade of a traumatic relationship with heroin, it holds no control … Read more

WEST BEND — Almost 50 additional patients can receive opioid-related treatment next year and services will be expanding throughout Washington County, thanks to a state grant. The Human Services Department has been awarded the $293,000 grant through the State Opioid Response (SOR). Read more

WEST BEND — Each agency has its role in addressing methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs that persist and arguably grow in Washington County, some preventative and others more reactionary. With nonprofits like Elevate working on prevention, law enforcement ideally has fewer inci… Read more

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JACKSON — The Washington County Heroin Task Force and Elevate are hosting a roundtable breakfast discussion on tackling the opioid epidemic, with key actors from county agencies. Read more

WAUKESHA — An expanded fight against opioid abuse with an emphasis on women will launch in Waukesha County based on the success of its prescription drug overdose program, which has saved 88 lives since its inception in 2017. Read more

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MUSKEGO - Megan Murphy is a pretty, talkative 23-year-old from Muskego with long permed hair and a sobriety tattoo. Read more

WAUKESHA — If you wrote a novel about Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s exploits, no one would believe it. They might believe the gunfight that killed an archbishop at a Mexican airport, but you’d probably lose them when he escaped prison in a laundry cart. And they’d never believe the beginning o… Read more

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WAUKESHA — A lot’s been written about “heroin in the suburbs.” Many reports are episodic: This year’s deaths are increasing, authorities have busted a big ring or another promising young person has died. It’s left pressing questions: How did heroin become so prevalent here in Waukesha County… Read more