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    Housecall: Are immunizations on your back-to-school list?

a multiracial group of four children, girls and boys, walking arm-in-arm in a schoolyard

Vaccines: Keep your child's shots on track
Along with new pencils and notebooks, your children or grandchildren may need certain shots before heading back to school. Childhood vaccines offer protection from serious or potentially fatal diseases. But it can be challenging to understand which vaccines your child needs and when. Here's what you need to know to make sure your child's immunizations are up to date.

Ebola transmission
The Ebola outbreak in Congo was declared a public health emergency of international concern in July. Ebola is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who is sick with the virus. Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. The illness is marked by severe bleeding, organ failure, and, in many cases, death. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.

Hepatitis C: What happens in end-stage liver disease?
With end-stage hepatitis C or end-stage liver disease, the liver has been severely damaged by the hepatitis C virus. Often people have no signs or symptoms of liver disease, or have only mild symptoms for years or even decades. The only effective treatment for people with end-stage liver disease is a liver transplant. Chronic hepatitis C virus is the most frequent cause of liver transplantation in the U.S. Learn more from Dr. Michael Picco, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.

Will a vegetarian diet help you lose weight?
A vegetarian diet is not inherently a weight-loss diet but rather a lifestyle choice. It is true, however, that adults and children who follow a vegetarian diet generally are leaner than those who follow a nonvegetarian diet. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

Ingrown toenails
Sprain: First aid
Slideshow: Sun damage

Yellow pear and cherry tomato salad
Avocado salad with ginger-miso dressing
Bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Chicken and coleslaw wrap

Want to avoid cold sores? Use sunblock
No one likes cold sores. The tingling, red lip blisters are tough to hide, and sometimes they're slow to heal. You can help prevent them by applying sunblock on your lips and face year-round. Avoid kissing anyone who has a cold sore, and don't share utensils, lip balm, towels or other personal items.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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