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EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

Is the Celiac treatment right around the corner?

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A new treatment for celiac: Celiac disease is an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. About 1 in 100 people suffer from Celiac disease (1% of the world). The only way to avoid inflammation is to be on a strict gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Therefore, people who suffer from Celiac can’t eat foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, or any food that contains gluten. In Israel, there are laws regarding labeling food for gluten. There are sections in supermarkets that are gluten free and...
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The Flu Shot Myths and Guidance

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The Flu Shot Myths and Guidance for Dorms Influenza or “flu” is a dangerous, highly contagious virus that can cause high fevers, fatigue, achy muscles, chills, sweats, and headaches. The last flu season (2018-2019) was the longest in 21 years. According to the CDC, millions of people were hospitalized, and 61,000 people died in the US alone. To avoid this debilitating illness, we recommend getting the flu shot. The flu shot is a vaccine with weakened antibodies that stimulate normal immunity processes and protect people from the flu. The formulation changes every year and is different in the Northern and Southern...
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Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent Fasting Diets Over the years, we've been approached by students who've asked us about different kinds of diets and food plans. The newest trend is the intermittent fasting diet. Intermittent fasting is a method of dieting that restricts the amount of time you are allowed to eat. The diet has shown in some cases to help people lose weight and lower heart disease. However, the diet also tends to lower your lean muscle by 5%. This is likely to decrease bone density and make you more prone to injury. These diets don't last long – you're more likely to gain...
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Holiday Medical Care in Israel

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Medical Care during the Holidays can get a little tricky in Israel. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode.  Shabbat mode means that personnel is cut to minimum staffing, many clinics are not operational, and routine, non-emergency health services are not provided.  These hours can include hospitals, emergency, urgent care centers, pharmacies, clinics, and private medical offices. Medical offices have fewer operational hours (or none), so they are typically overbooked the few hours they are open. Don’t forget that Medical Care during the Holidays includes the eve of holidays!  The eve of a holiday (Erev...
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Yom Kippur Hydration

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Fasting in Israel It’s hard to recall a Yom Kippur in Israel that did not include hearing someone fainting from dehydration.  Fasting in Israel can be a different experience from fasting in other countries. Even though this year Yom Kippur falls late on October 9th, and we hope for cooler weather, the dry, hot weather in Israel puts fasters at a higher risk of dehydration. Preparing for Yom Kippur a few days in advance is a sure way to fast safely on this High Holiday. When a person fasts, everyday behavior results in a loss of fluid that is not being...
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Vaping Among Gap Year Students

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Vaping is a common trend among college students and young adults. 34% of college students use E-cigarettes.  Smoking and vaping are a social habit with poor health consequences. Most people have a preconceived notion that vaping, or E-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. This is false. Vaping is a relatively new trend, therefore there isn’t a lot of information about the negative side effects that it can have. Vaping is very popular because it is (slightly) healthier than cigarettes, and you can choose whatever flavor you want. The smoke from vaping doesn’t have a smell, therefore you can vape inside a...
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Bug Bites in Israel

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Summertime is here, and bug bites in Israel can be a bit unique due to being in the Middle East and a part of Asia's continent. Here are some common bug bites, how to identify and treat them, and when to get help. 1.Mosquitos – In the hot, humid areas of Israel, mosquitos are everywhere. Mosquitos are usually present in the early morning and late afternoon to evening hours. Mosquito bites are identified as a single bite surrounded by localized inflammation (a red bump) The vast majority of mosquitos in Israel are just annoying. However, Culex and Asian tiger mosquitoes are...
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Israel : Vaccination Update

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Dr. Eliana Aaron contributed to the international epidemiological reporting system for proMed -,mail. ProMED-mail is a program of theInternational Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org. An Israeli expert panel sub-committee recommended vaccinating children withMMR at age 1 and age 2 years to provide an additional booster to thisvulnerable age-group. Children ages 1 to 4 years remain the most affected bythe measles epidemic.Routine vaccinations of 6-year-olds will continue in school-based clinics.This is in light of an ongoing epidemic in Israel affecting primarilyultra-orthodox Jewish populations and sporadic communities of anti-vaxxers.This epidemic has spread to other ultra-orthodox communitiesinternationally.The recommendation is that the Ministry of Health has nobudget...
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Water Safety in the Summer

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Early in the summer, and there have already been numerous drownings and near-drownings of (mostly) children and babies in Israel. Children drown in pools, at beaches, and even in buckets of water. Adults usually drown because of poor judgment – jumping into rapids or going deep into the sea without swimming skills. “Near drownings” oftentimes cause irreversible brain damage due to prolonged lack of oxygen. Contrary to popular belief and Hollywood imaginations, drowning is almost always a silent process. If someone can call for help and wave their arms, they may be in trouble, but they are not drowning. Dangers of...
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Mental health during your gap year in Israel

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The gap year program is a great experience. It allows young adults to become independent, mature, and expand their education. However, this year is also a major transition for most students, which can lead to anxiety amongst themselves and their parents. Some students develop temporary anxiety during their year because they are in a foreign country by themselves for the first time. Others come to Israel with pre-existing conditions that are being managed by medication or a therapist. These conditions should not prevent young adults from coming to Israel because they are very manageable. Over the years, we have seen many...
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Dental Care in Israel for Gap Year Students

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Dental care in Israel for gap year students is not covered under most student health insurance policies.  Some policies do cover up to $300 of emergency dental care for specific insurance dentists. These dentists are excellent professionals and usually speak English fluently. This is for emergency care only, however! It does not include checku...
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The Jerusalem Marathon

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The Jerusalem Marathon 2019 The marathon has become a rite of passage for many gap year students in Israel. It is a beautiful route, complete with running past the Old City walls and into modern Jerusalem. Many students are using the Jerusalem Marathon to run for different chessed (charitable) organizations. Whether they are running the full 42 km, 21 km, 10 km, or 5 km, we wish all the runners stamina and luck! There are important medical guidelines to follow as per the Jerusalem Marathon organizers: The Ministry of Health recommends that a family or sports physician examine runners before running...
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The Israeli Health System for Students

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The Israeli health system for students is based on a national, socialist healthcare system.There is excellent medical care available in Israel. However, the student needs to learn how to access the care. This means that there are two tiers to the system. 1st tier – health care through national insurance (or tourist insurance). 2nd tier – private medicine. There is also a serious shortage of specialists throughout the country, especially outside major cities. When specialists are needed is when the health system gets complicated for the average tourist. Examples of Specialist Medical Care Dermatologist – new onset acne. The family doctor...
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Israeli Health Insurance for Students

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Explaining Israeli health insurance for gap year students keeps EMA Care staff busy. EMA Care currently assists several hundred gap year students studying in Israel plus several hundred more in clinics managed by EMA Care. Almost all students are on tourist or student visas, which mean each student has health insurance especially designed for students and tourists. Israeli health insurance for students usually covers 100% cost of doctor visits, tests, and medication for routine, new issues. It does not cover any appointments, treatments, tests, or medication for a preexisting health condition. Some plans will allow a student with a preexisting condition...
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Panic Attacks in Gap Year Students

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Recently, several gap-year students experienced sudden onset panic attacks, and they reached out to EMA Care. Panic attacks can be frightening and disorienting to any adult! When an 18-19-year-old is far from home, living in a dormitory with many other people, it’s even more frightening, especially when it is the first time having a panic attack. When a person has a real phobia, such as fear of flying or fear of heights, the brain perceives a real danger. The brain is designed with a flight or fight response when the brain perceives danger. The brain triggers adrenaline and other hormones to...
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Measles Management in Gap Year Dorms

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Unfortunately, we have gotten to the point of managing measles in student dorms of gap year programs. As most of you know, there is currently a measles outbreak in Israel (and concurrently in Jewish communities in the New York area). According to the Israel Ministry of Health, as of December 10th, 2018, there were 2400 reported measles cases in Israel, but many more cases go unreported. Most cases have been in Jerusalem (1200+), Tzfat, Tel Aviv, and Petach Tikva, although almost every region has been affected. Since August, the number of people with Measles has doubled every month from 116 cases...
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Mononucleosis in Israel – Prevention & Management

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We have noticed a significant uptick in the number of gap year students diagnosed with mononucleosis (“mono”) in the last few weeks. This affects many gap year programs – both yeshivas and seminaries – and lots of misunderstandings about mono are going around from parents and program administrators. We want to educate the public about this condition. Mononucleosis is a contagious illness caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). It is spread through saliva, and in Israel, it is actually called the “kissing disease.” Spreading by saliva can include sharing utensils, drinking glasses, toothbrushes, or eating implements (think about a family dinner...
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West Nile Virus Outbreak in Israel

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In recent weeks there has been a surge of West Nile Virus in Israel. A few hundred people have been infected, and several people (elderly or immunocompromised) have died in recent weeks. West Nile Virus is a virus spread by mosquitoes that have fed off of infected birds. The incubation period is 5-21 days on average. The virus peak activity, according to the Israel Ministry of Health, is from mid-August to mid-October. According to the CDC, 80% of people infected have no noticeable symptoms. West Nile Virus's symptoms for the remaining 20% of infected individuals are usually mild flu-like symptoms, including...
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FAQ about Leptospirosis in Israel

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Yes, there has been an outbreak of leptospirosis in Israel, particularly in those who have been on water hikes and locations with rivers. What does this mean for your child? How will this affect your child? Here are some simple answers which will answer frequently asked questions about this. 1) What is leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect people and animals. People can get leptospirosis through exposure to infected animal urine (or soil/water contaminated with infected urine). 2) Where was leptospirosis found? In Israel, leptospirosis was found in several rivers in the Golan heights that include popular hiking...
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Medical Concierge in Israel for Older Adults

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Medical concierge stands for personalized, caring, inclusive health care case management for both tourists and residents in Israel. EMA Care is one of the few medical concierge companies in Israel. The only service managed and run by the highest level of experienced health care professionals and clinical experts. For residents in Israel, EMA Care offers the total package of medical case management and health care supervision and guidance in Israel. Each client has a customized service packaged based on their individual and family needs. This tailored package can include: 1. Case management for chronic health conditions. EMA Care will pull all...
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Our Latest Blogs

11 May 2021
On April 30th, thousands of people arrived at Har Meron to celebrate Lag B’Omer. Due to the overload of people, 45 people were crushed to death, and 150 people were injured.  The natural landscape of Har Meron is extremely steep. Additionally, t...
09 May 2021
Over 32 million Americans have food allergies, and the numbers have been growing over the last few years. Each year, we celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week. This week, the allergy community has a unique opportunity to raise awareness of their food ...
06 May 2021
A lot of confusion exists among people regarding the difference between all the tests relating to COVID-19. Here is the difference between a rapid antigen test and a PCR test: Rapid antigen test (RAT): Rapid antigen test (RAT) detects specific viral ...

EMA Care in the News

27 April 2021
In April 2021, after a long year with a strict non-entry policy, the Israeli government decided to allow visitors to enter Israel under certain circumstances. The Israeli government was reluctant about opening its borders. Therefore, they haven't mad...
18 June 2020
The following article was published in the English addition of Hamodia. Written by Joel Rebibo...
14 June 2020
What will be the 'new normal' for Israel's gap year programs? According to EMA Care, an estimated 80% of programs will close down permanently if they are not able to reopen in the fall. By TZVI JOFFRE    JUNE 4, 2020 11:58  &...

What Our Clients Say

Interview with Dr. Mobeen & Dr. Eliana Aaron

Many thanks for your hour-long session on Dr. Syed's YouTube channel. This is the best Hasbara Israel could wish for!

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional.  Bravo to both of you ladies!! 

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thanks so much for your time and attention! It was excellent! Thank you guys so much for organizing.

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you! Very helpful and comprehensive.

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Ema Care WhatsApp groups

I have been following your updates closely and I really appreciate your posts and I know that I am reading accurate information 

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Recommended by an Infectious Disease Specialist

My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of

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Pandemic Planning

I would like to also add my compliments, you exceeded my already very high expectations. You can certainly send other schools our way for a recommendation. 

-Mr. E. Naiman

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Emacares Youtube Channel

"I recently discovered your channel and all i can say is that this is just brilliant"

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A Wonderful and Patient Resource

Dear Dr. Eliana words simply cannot express how much you have done for all of us and so many others in keeping us informed, calming anxieties, and being such a wonderful and patient resource through such a difficult time. Wishing you much bracha and hatzlacha in the merit of all the countless mitzvot u have done to help so many through these trying times; mikol halev, ein milim and thanks so so much .

Gap Year Program Staff

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A True Tzadikah

Hello Dr. Aaron. I cannot thank you enough for providing not only crucial information but a framework that gave us stability and allowed us to function (instead of descending into chaos, which undoubtedly would have happened, if not for you). At the risk of waxing dramatic, I will tell you that when I think of what you've done these past couple of months, what comes to mind is Rav Yohanan Ben Zakai asking Vespasian to give him Yavneh ve-Hakhameha, thus saving the entire enterprise of Talmud

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