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October 10, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 10, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 10 - October 16, 1997 - 39 HEALTH & FITNESS Walktoberfest on path to defeating diabetes By Rosanne Pack Infants in strollers, dogs on leashes and even some crossovers from MS Bike to the Bay were part of more than 185 volunteers who stepped off a 10K walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association (ADA) last Sunday The Sussex County contingent of walkers raised $10,481 in what is annually the largest single fundraiser for ADA. Don Post, special events coordinator for the ADA Sussex chapter, said that the num- ber of walkers was up from last year, and the amount of money raised is a great increase over last year. "We are so pleased," Post said. "Walkers, money pledged and sponsorships were all way up from last year." He said the money raised for the event does not include food, raffle items and sup- plies donated by area businesses, restau- rants, markets and gift shops. There were three $500 sponsorships that provided rest stops stocked with water, fruit, soda and juices. Walkers received a Walktoberfest T- shirt and a lunch that included subs donated by SUBWAY of Rehoboth Beach. All ages were represented in the group that made a circuit from Cape Henlopen through Lewes and back to the school. There were teams from area businesses and organiza- tions, groups of teenagers and many families who gave a Sunday morning to help raise money for research and education for the disease that affects one in every 17 Ameri- cans. Walkers were greeted and sent off by Lt. Governor Ruth Ann Minner. She is a diabet- ic as are several members of her family. She said support for research, treatment, ed- ucation and eventually a cure are of the ut- most importance. Of the walkers, the team from Perdue Farms Inc. in Georgetown collected the most pledges, turning in more than $1,000. Team captain Ruth Barkley said that she was ex- tremely proud, and even a little surprised, when her team members started to sign in on Sunday morning. She knew that more than a dozen team members had collected approxi- mately $1,000 in total pledges by the week- end, but there were uncounted pledges that showed up and boosted the total as the mem- bers registered. The top money-raising team members were easy to spot in their bright blue shirts provided by Perdue. With 16 walkers (and a few youngsters who were pushed or carried most of the way), the team from BayHealth Milford Memorial Hospital took the honors for the most walkers on a team. Team captain and Certified Diabetes Edu- cator Patt Wagner, R.N., rallied co-workers and friends to join her, and they in turn got friends and family to sign their hand-de- signed team shirts with words of encourage- ment. The eight team members from Bell At- lantic Mobile came in matching shirts and equipped with the most unusual contribution of the day. The employees of the Dover of- fice provided five mobile phones for volun- teer coordinators to monitor the walk, and all walkers were offered a free call before or af- ter the walk. Employees of the Dover Bell Atlantic of- fice joined the march to help out a fellow employee who has a diabetic relative. Only after they made the commitment did they find out that Bell Atlantic is a major sponsor of Walktoberfest and that hundreds of other employees were also walking in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Ten members of the First State Webfoot- ers Walking Club also participated. The sea- soned walkers doubted that the course was a full 10K since they stepped it off so rapidly, but they welcomed the experience and glad- ly collected money for ADA. Included in sponsors of Walktoberfest are Casapulla South, Lazy Susan's, SUBWAY downtown Rehoboth, Edgehill Pharmacy, Beebe Medical Center, Intervet, Perdue Farms, Bayhealth and Sussex County Coun- cil. Other sponsors are Nanticoke Health Services, McDonalds, WJBR 99.5, Goffs IGA, J&F Bagels, Mystic, TS Smiths Or- chards, TCBY, Herrs, Pepsi, Canadian Na- turelle, Doughnut & Bagel Express, Dunkin Doughnuts, Bell Atlantic Nynex, Wound Care Center, Advantage Healthcare, Ice Plant Inc and Principal Health Care. Nation- al sponsors are Equal Sweetner, Health Magazine, Luden's, Kraft, People Maga- zine, Estee foods and YAHOO? For information on ADA programs and activities call the Sussex chapter office, 684- 8404. fl; ....... ....... t I I 00+,ii/i i' Rosanne Pack photo More than 180 volunteers step off from Cape Henlopen High School in the annual American Diabetes Association Walktoberfest on Sunday, Oct. 5. The benefit 10K walk raised $10,481 for research, education and informational services for diabetics and their families. International travelers need shot in the arm The academic calendar makes summer the official vacation time for most of America; but for the large percentage of people not gov- erned by the school year, autumn is a perfect time to travel abroad. And the school calendar leaves plenty of time for families to join others in winter escapes to tropical foreign shores. Unfortunately, too many travel- ers don't make adequate prepara- tions to maintain their health while staying away from home. Accord- ing to Scott D. Olewiter, vaccina- tions are only a small part of stay- ing healthy while traveling. Oiewiler, a specialist in infec- tious disease affiliated with Beebe Medical Center, is the only Travel Medicine doctor in Kent and Sus- sex Counties. Most people aren't even aware such a specialty exists and that a pretravel consultation with a doctor can actually decrease the risk of contracting disease while abroad. "People think it's only a matter of getting the right vaccinations, ibut it's much more," said Olewiler. "The advice I can give is a lot more ihelpful than vaccines. They need !to come in for an office visit." i "People sometimes get angry and say, "Just tell me what vacci- nations I need," but it's more com- plicated than that. I want to know their complete medical history and all they'll be doing." As a specialist in infectious dis- ease, Olewiler has extensive knowledge about avoiding disease and infection when traveling in foreign countries. Heavily traveled tourist areas and established touring companies are generally safe, said Olewiler, as long as travelers are aware that the two biggest threats to their health are mosquitoes and local food and water. Deter foreign mos- quitoes with the same insect repel- lents used to prevent attack by home-grown varieties. Remain alert to the hazards of eating raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid local water, even when brushing teeth and using ice. An important consideration that people often overlook, said Olewiler, is the type of activities planned. People often underesti- mate the risks involved in contact with the native population, local animals, and even the soil and plant life of a foreign country. By shaking someone's hand, petting a dog, or picking flowers a tourist risks infection, simply because of exposure to microorganisms unfa- miliar to his immune system. Olewiler explained the reason few travelers escape "Montezu- ma's Revenge" is because diarrhea is caused by so many different bac- teria that it is virtually impossible to avoid all sources of contamina- tion. He said that when travelers move out of "tourist" areas and in- to regions with inadequate plumb- ing, water purification procedures, and different standards of personal hygiene, the chances of diarrhea and the danger of infection increas- es dramatically. "For example, in Mexico, people routinely go into tourist areas and about half may get diarrhea, but rarely will they get malaria," he said. "But people traveling just 50 miles from those tourist areas will get malaria. The countries most traveled don't seem to be in Africa or Southeast Asia, which are the riskiest places, but there are a few vaccines people should get even if they're just going to Mexico." So how does a traveler know which, if any, vaccinations are rec- omme.nded for his destination? Most travel agencies can provide a list of vaccines for a particular country. "But there are two sets of rules," cautioned Olewiler. "One is the vaccine required to get into the country. The other is determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as to what you need to remain healthy." Insurance does not cover vac- cines required for vacation trips to foreign countries, since such travel is considered a luxury item. Tourists should be aware of the costs involved. "Vaccines are expensive. Yel- low fever is the one vaccine re- quired for most places, and it costs $60," Olewiler. "For travel to Africa, you can expect to pay in the area of $275 for all the vac- cines you need." The doctor said travelers also need to be aware that, despite vac- cinations and precautions, some disease organisms might "hitch- hike" back home. Outbreaks of diphtheria and typhoid have been linked to returning tourists. Olewiler said it is not unusual for travelers to contract malaria and other diseases, but not show any of the symptoms until three months or more after their return. Vaccinations and a consultation with a travel doctor should be an early part of pretravel arrange- ments. Olewiler suggested sched- uling a consultation one month be- fore departure. He said most vaccines are not ef- fective for at least two weeks, and travelers will need time to assem- ble the supplies he recommends they take along. "I tell people to go to the drug- store and look at everything they might possibly need - antacids, bandaids, pain relief, whatever. Don't leave it to chance that you'll find what you need and that the Continued on page 42 HEALTH TOPICS Scott Olewiler, M.D. Scott Olewiler, M.D., board certified in infectious disease and internal medicine, is em- ployed by Beebe Medical Center.