Staying healthy while traveling

The benefits of travel are enumerable, and I’m seeing many social media posts from friends and family who are venturing back onto planes and trains this summer. However, as anyone who has traveled in the past 10 years knows, travel has always had its downsides, even pre-pandemic.

Read more: Glendale Register – Staying healthy while traveling

What increases the risk of catching a virus or infection during air and train travel?

Surprisingly, it’s not what you may think. Most people tend to focus on the air quality. While it’s true that infections can be spread through air droplets, a plane’s air is actually filtered more than a movie theater’s or sporting event venue’s.

According to a study in 2007 by Charles Gerba, professor of environment microbiology at the University of Arizona, it’s the surfaces on the airplane that create the greatest risk of picking up bacteria and viruses. The surfaces that harbor the most microbial pathogens are tray tables, bathrooms, and seats – especially arm rests.

Read more: Glendale Register – Staying healthy while traveling

If you could avoid contact with your face after touching the surfaces on an airplane, you could significantly reduce transmission. However, it is almost impossible not to touch your face.

In medical school, during one lab, the professor put a powder that could only be seen with UV lighting on our books. At the end of class, the professor used an ultraviolet light and confirmed that everyone had touched their face at least once – and most of us repeatedly.

Preventing viruses and infections

The most reasonable approach is to carry antimicrobial wipes to clean the surfaces of the hand rests and tray tables. Wash your hands after using the bathroom. Use hand sanitizers before you eat. You might also put a napkin over the tray table to avoid touching the surface.

Fortunately, most infections are not life-threatening, but rather a short-term inconvenience.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) risks

More serious is a DVT, which is also referred to as “economy class syndrome,” because it occurs most often when sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces. The risk of a DVT is increased by as much as two to four times on long-haul flights.

DVTs are more likely for travelers who have other risk factors, such as obesity, heart failure, cancer, increased age or recent major surgery. A 2001 New England Journal of Medicine study found that flights greater than 3600 miles cause increased risk of a DVT and PE. This limits the risk to mostly international flights and those traveling from the east coast to Hawaii. Unfortunately, DVTs and PEs can be life-threatening, if untreated.

Prevention of DVTs

When on a flight of more than five hours, make sure you walk or move around every one to two hours. Hydration is also critical to decrease clot risk. Another easy solution is below the knee compression stockings, which have been shown to decrease risk dramatically.

What about the role of stress?

Travel increases stress for many. Acute stress tends to increase the risk of hypercoagulability, or clots, and thus the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Chronic stress may also cause people to be more susceptible to infection, including the common cold.

Biofeedback, which involves deep breathing and meditation, is a great way to reduce both chronic and acute stress while traveling.

Though there are no guarantees, take these precautions to minimize the risks of infection, DVT/PE and increased stress. Also, take it to heart the next time you hear the captain and flight attendants tell you to sit back, relax and enjoy the trip.

Read more: Glendale Register – Staying healthy while traveling

EMU Health Helping to Raise Awareness About HPV and Cervical Cancer

By Burlington Tifa

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and EMU Health of Glendale is working to insure that those who may be susceptible know the preventative measures that can be taken. 

Cervical cancer has become increasingly preventable through vaccinations for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and screening tests for HPV and pap smears.

Yet, there is still increased awareness and action needed to fight this very common virus. 

In fact, 45 percent of men ages 18 to 59, and 40 percent of women ages 18 to 59 are infected with HPV – some 79 million Americans.  

“About 70% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV but the majority of those infected won’t develop cancer,” says Dr. Zoya Gavrilman, an obstetrician and gynecologist at EMU Health in Glendale,Queens. 

When you schedule your pap smear at EMU Health, your gynecologist will take a sample of your cervical cells to facilitate the screening. Testing for HPV doesn’t require a separate appointment. 

Vaccination, regular women’s health screenings, quitting smoking and practicing safe sex are among the preventative measures that can be taken against HPV.  

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Gavrilman, or any of the other practices based out of EMU Health, call (929) 264-7733 or visit

A message from EMU Health Gynecologist: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Cancer Society, by the end of 2020, an estimated 239,190 new cases of invasive breast cancer will have been diagnosed in women, and about 65,960 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS – non-invasive and the earliest form of breast cancer) will have been diagnosed. With these estimates in mind, a woman currently has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. These statistics continue to make breast cancer the most common cancer among women, second only to skin cancer.

As October ushers in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time to take stock of our knowledge of this disease and its risks and symptoms. But at EMU Health in Glendale, Queens, we also believe that awareness is more than just a month. It’s about staying informed and helping you take the right steps to fight breast cancer, including early detection through annual mammograms. But first, let’s have a quick refresher on the basics of breast cancer. 

How does it start?
Put simply, breast cancer is caused by a genetic abnormality. Only a very small percentage (5-10 percent) of breast cancers come from an abnormality that you inherit from your mother or father. The vast majority are caused by abnormalities that come from general aging and wear and tear on the body. In fact, aging is probably the largest risk factor for breast cancer, with most breast cancers found in women age 50 and up. Other risks include a family history of breast cancer, a lack of physical activity and excess weight or obesity after menopause. Most women have some risk factors, including younger women (women under 45 account for roughly 11 percent of all new breast cancer cases in the U.S.).

How do I know if I have it?
Breast cancer symptoms can vary from person to person. Warning signs include:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin on the breast
  • Pain or pulling in of the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

It’s important to remember that these symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than cancer, and some people diagnosed with breast cancer have no symptoms at all. That’s why early detection is so essential to fighting the disease as effectively as possible.

Annual mammograms and reducing your risk
Early detection is key to fighting breast cancer, and can lead to an easier treatment plan. And one of the best methods of early detection is an annual mammogram. A mammogram is a simple, routine screening that helps detect breast cancer earlier than waiting for symptoms to appear. Regular mammograms are recommended for women 40 years of age and older. If you are at higher risk for breast cancer, you may need to begin regular mammograms sooner. It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about your risks and the most appropriate time for you to get started with mammograms.

In addition to annual mammograms for early detection, there are proactive things you can do to help lower your risk for breast cancer, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating, limited alcohol intake and avoidance of chemicals that can cause cancer.

While breast cancer can be a scary proposition, scheduling an annual mammogram to aid in early detection and living a healthy lifestyle to help reduce your risk can give you the peace of mind that comes from staying on top of your breast health.

If you would like to schedule a mammogram or talk with a doctor about your breast health, EMU Health can help. Call (718) 850-4368 and EMU will connect you with their featured provider, Dr. Zoya Gavrilman.

Dr. Zoya Gavrilman is a dedicated obstetrician and gynecologist, practicing at EMU Health in Glendale,Queens. Patients visit her for a variety of reasons including pelvic pain, dyspareunia, and hysteroscopy. During her consultations, she actively invests in providing her patients with the necessary information regarding healthcare.

Dr. Gavrilman earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She obtained her medical degree from Wayne State University. She completed a residency in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai West. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and a junior fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Help is in our backyard

We understand that New York City’s hospitals are overwhelmed with growing cases of patients testing positive for COVID-19. What we don’t comprehend is how the government is refusing the assistance of empty neighborhood health facilities volunteering to help those hospitals with their overflow of patients that need urgent medical care.

As confirmed coronavirus cases In New York City soar past 75,000, Queens continues to account for around a third of the city’s coronavirus patients. In data released earlier this week, the Health Department reported 21,781 cases in Queens and leads the city in coronavirus deaths with 771.

Most Queens hospitals have been turned into entirely COVID-19 hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital and Queens Hospital; and these hospitals are now beginning to find themselves overwhelmed by virus cases, many of which require intense and long-term critical care to treat respiratory failure.

According to press reports, Elmhurst Hospital has reported a doubling in cases coming into the emergency room, a refrigerated truck for bodies of patients who have died, and limited ventilators on hand to care for patients,

“Everyday we have hundreds and hundreds of people walking in. It’s unbelievable,” stated one worker at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced that 250 extra ambulances are en route to NYC. He’s also requested 45K additional health care workers to combat the coronavirus outbreak. 

While this will drastically help the frontline battle, The Glendale Register asks how the city will help solve the problem of overcrowding in Queens hospitals. Our hospitals are running out of beds, and putting tents outside is the best we can do?

Northwell’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital in Queens has been “inundated” with cases and has been forced to move patients to larger hospitals nearby.

“Non-COVID-19 patients are shipped to other hospitals that aren’t as busy as them,” said one hospital representative when asked what happens to patients who don’t have COVID-19, but need immediate attention.

Some hospitals, such as St. John’s Episcopal in Rockaway, have set up medical tents to accommodate patients that they don’t have beds for. These outside tents can’t be the best option that the city can offer our hospitals… so why not think outside the box. 

There are medical centers in Queens that are not currently being used and should be utilized for patients who do not have beds at other Queens hospitals.

One such facility is EMU Health on Woodhaven Blvd. in Glendale, Queens. This 22,000 sq facility has 15 treatment rooms, 5 class c operating rooms,15 pacu bays, 5 pre-op bays and a parking lot with over 40 spaces. EMU is a 9-minute drive from Elmhurst.

The government has set up auxiliary facilities at the USTA Tennis Center in Flushing, and at the Aqueduct Racetrack. While this is a step in the right direction, these auxiliary facilities are further away from the Epicenter than Glendale is, and these aux facilities are also makeshift compared to the elite facility that Glendale’s EMU has to offer.

Frankly, the city isn’t asking the right questions, and are blaming the federal government for a lack of resources when they should be looking in its own backyard for those willing to help.

“When hospitals become much more crowded, literally stretched beyond capacity, if I have a heart attack, will I be able to get care? If I have an auto accident, will I get care? How do we triage that? We can’t approach this like I approach a game of checkers with my 10-year-old grandson, we to approach this like a chess master thinking 10 to 15 moves down the board.” – Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

If Minnesota is playing chess, why is New York City content to play checkers when the stakes are life and death? 

Help is in our backyard

We understand that New York City’s hospitals are overwhelmed with growing cases of patients testing positive for COVID-19. What we don’t comprehend is how the government is refusing the assistance of empty neighborhood health facilities volunteering to help those hospitals with their overflow of patients that need urgent medical care.

EMU Health adds top Physiatrist to doctor roster in Queens

EMU Health, a multi-specialty medical center in Glendale, Queens, recently announced that Dr. Diana Barayeva, DO, has joined their medical team.

Barayeva is a Physiatrist, specializing in helping patients with disabilities. She treats a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.  

According to one of her patients, The New York College Of Osteo Medicine Of New York Institute Of Technology graduate is “warm, friendly, professional, and very knowledgeable.”

New EMU Health Doctor, Barayeva focuses on “rehabilitation, restoration of function, and a return to a high quality of life for her patients.”

Here are some facts about Dr. Barayeva’s role as a Physiatrist at EMU Health:

  • Treats patients of all ages
  • Focuses treatment on function
  • Has a broad medical expertise that allows her to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime
  • Diagnoses and treats pain as a result of an injury, illness, or disabling condition
  • Determines and leads a treatment/prevention plan
  • Leads a team of medical professionals, which may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physician extenders to optimize patient care
  • Works with other physicians, which may include primary care physicians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and many others.
  • Treats the whole person, not just the problem area 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Barayeva at EMU Health, call 718.849.8700 or email

EMU Orthopedist in Glendale named Top Doctor in 2019

NYTopDocs just published their list of Top Doctors in 2019, and on that list is an Orthopedist who practices at EMU Health right here in Glendale, Queens.

Dr. Richard Seldes is an expert in arthroscopic surgery and total joint replacement of the hip, knee and shoulder. He is well known in his industry for being an expert in his practice, and for having a warm, caring personality.

Since Seldes practices at EMU Health (83-40 Woodhaven Blvd) in Glendale, he is easily accessible to residents in Middle Village, Maspeth, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, and surrounding Queens communities.

He completed his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University (Biology) and then his M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
Seldes also completed a fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery for total joint replacements of the hip, knee,and shoulder and does a high volume of total joint replacement surgery.

It is also noted that he gives lectures on the anatomy of the hip labrum and does a high volume of hip arthroscopic surgery.  

“Besides being one of the most knowledgeable doctors in his industry, Dr. Seldes treats every patient like family,” said EMU Founder and CEO, Daniel Lowy.

“Thanks to the partnership between Seldes’ practice and EMU’s state-of-the-art facility, patients in Queens can now receive the best care imaginable,” added Lowy.

You can call EMU Health at 718.849.4700 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Seldes, or visit the EMU Health website and fill out an online appointment form.

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