EMA Care Blog

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

Holiday Medical Care in Israel

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Medical Care during the Holidays can be tricky in Israel especially if you do not speak Hebrew. 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. Shabbat mode effects hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, pharmacies, clinics, and private medical offices. Medical offices have fewer operational hours (or none), so they are typically overbooked the limited hours they are open. Don’t forget that Medical Care during the Holidays includes the eve of holidays! The...
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Eating Disorders in Israel

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Eating disorders are common among teens and young adults.  Seminary students in Israel are not exempt from these dangerous conditions.  Awareness, recognizing the signs, and early intervention are essential to prevent these conditions from causing permanent damage to suffering students. Ten million people in the U.S. have an eating disorder.  It is the third most common and chronic illness in the U.S.  More women than men suffer from this illness, and while the numbers are climbing in the Jewish population, the exact number of Jewish people with eating disorders is unknown. Most people know about two eating disorders:  anorexia and bulimia. ...
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Tips on Avoiding the Coronavirus

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  With the spread of COVID-19 throughout the globe, people are looking for the best ways to protect themselves and their families. Between masks and avoiding air travel, there are any number of tips floating around the internet that may not actually be as useful as they seem. So, what are the best ways to keep your family healthy? And which online tips have merit, and which do not? Wash Your Hands This one sounds obvious, but when breaking it down it actually becomes a little more complicated than it seems. It turns out that most people do not adhere to...
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Coronavirus vs. the Flu

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Over the past few weeks, the media has exploded with news on the Covid-19/ Novel Coronavirus. There have been many reports of outbreaks in 73 countries worldwide (as of February 29, 2020). Many more people have been panicking about the possibility of getting infected. During the peak of seasonal flu season in the Northern hemisphere, this outbreak has occurred, making identifying Covid-19 vs. flu very challenging as they share the same symptoms. So far, the new coronavirus (Covid-19) has led to more than 79,000 cases and 2800 deaths in China and more than 7000 cases, and 150 deaths worldwide. The overall...
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Purim Safety

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We would all like to hope that our children will behave responsibly throughout their year in Israel. However, it is important to educate your children on alcohol consumption, especially with Purim coming soon. The day after Purim, people who overindulge in drinking will feel the effects. Hangovers are awful.  What happens when a person knows he/she will be drinking? Are there ways to prevent a hangover? What are hangover remedies? A hangover is defined as disagreeable physical effects following a disproportionate amount of drinking. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty concentrating. It can take 8-24 hours for symptoms to...
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Traveling to Israel with an allergy?

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Allergy-free baked goods Every Jew dreams of vacationing in Israel with their family and friends. When you go on vacation, you want to have a stress-free vacation, and not have to worry about having any medical problems or allergic reactions. Sadly, Israel is very bad with labeling products for allergens, especially since all of the spices are processed in the same machine as nuts and sesame. Until now, allergy-free baked goods were simply a dream in Israel. Unless you take precautions, Israel may not be a great place to visit if you have food allergies.  Depending on what you are allergic...
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Flu Vaccine shortage 2019

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The Health Ministry released a report on Tuesday (24/12/19) showing a decrease of 1.5% in citizens getting flu shots. According to the Ynet news site report from Saturday, some 1.8 million people have been vaccinated so far this season in Israel, as the country’s four healthcare organizations are estimated to have just 150,000 vaccines remaining.  The shortage of flu vaccines is because last year, Israel health clinics had to throw away many flu vaccines, and this year, the production of flu vaccines started later than last year. This has resulted in a huge shortage of flu vaccines. Israel is expecting more...
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Eating Disorders during the gap year

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Eating Disorders 10 million people in the U.S. have an eating disorder.  It is the third most common and chronic illness in the U.S.  More women than men suffer from this illness, and while the numbers are climbing in the Jewish population, the exact number of Jewish people with eating disorders is unknown. Most people know about two eating disorders:  anorexia and bulimia.  Not known to most people, the most common eating disorder is actually EDNOS –  or “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.”  Here is a short description of the three: Anorexia- A disorder in which an individual refuses to maintain...
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Ingrown Toenails

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Ingrown toenails occur when your nails' edges or corners grow into the skin next to the nail. Your big toe is most likely to get an ingrown toenail, but any toenail or even fingernail can be affected. This condition is prevalent among people with sweaty feet, like teenagers and students, particularly those who wear fitted closed shoes for long periods of time. An ingrown toenail's causes include cutting your toenails incorrectly, particularly nails with jagged edges when you have irregular toenails when you drop something heavy on your toe. Sometimes, there can be a genetic predisposition to this condition. An ingrown...
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Constipation During the Gap Year

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  Have you ever traveled to a new place and experienced constipation? Over the past few years, we have had many gap year students complain about constipation – usually within the first 2 months of being in the country. We had a vegetarian student who was eating only tofu- no vegetables, fruits, and definitely not a balanced diet.  Another student was eating only potato chips and soda because they were too tired to cook or even go out at the end of the long day.  This student ended up gaining weight and developing skin problems! Constipation refers to bowel movements that...
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Donating Blood

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Donating Blood Donating blood is an amazing thing. According to the Red Cross, one donation of blood can save three lives. Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There’s no risk of contracting the disease. New, sterile equipment is used for each donor. Donating blood helps people who go through disasters or emergencies, loss of blood during surgery. It can also help women who have at-risk pregnancies. It’s not only the blood receiver that benefits from a blood donation. Donator has many benefits, as well. In order to donate blood, one must go through a health checkup. This test checks blood...
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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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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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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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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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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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Dehydration and Israel Gap Year Students

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Gap year students and dehydration have been a bad mix for decades. Unfortunately, with springtime heat waves in Israel, EMA Care has been called in recently to assist gap year students experiencing serious medical conditions stemming from dehydration. Dehydration can set it quickly in otherwise healthy people when the weather gets dry or hot – but heatwaves in Israel magnify the problem with both heat and dry winds. Student #1- Complained of serious back pain urinary tract infection symptoms. She believed her back pain was due to tossing and turning all night. Her urine test showed that she was severely dehydrated...
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6 Medical Nightmares for Gap Year Parents

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This past year, EMA Care has assisted hundreds of gap year students in all different types of medical crises. What happens when your child is far away and experiencing poor health or, G-d forbid, in an accident? The following are medical nightmares that became medical success stories because of EMA Care involvement. 1.  Allergic anaphylactic shock – A student with a dairy allergy was promised the sherbet he bought was dairy-free. It may have been, but the spoon used was cross-contaminated ice cream on it. The student went into shock immediately; his friend did not know how to use his epi-pen....
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Purim Hangover Remedies

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Our previous blog here encourages parents to talk to their children about appropriate alcohol use during the holiday of Purim (or anytime!). The day after Purim, people who overindulge will feel the effects – hangovers are awful. What happens when a person knows he/she will be drinking? Are there ways to prevent a hangover? What are hangover remedies? A hangover is defined as disagreeable physical effects following a disproportionate amount of drinking. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty concentrating. It can take 8-24 hours for symptoms to go away. Tips for Avoiding a Hangover 1. Before you go out...
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How to Speak to Your Child About Drinking on Purim

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The custom of drinking alcohol on Purim stems from a quotation in the Talmud attributed to a fourth-century rabbi, Rava: “One must drink on Purim until that person cannot distinguish between cursing Haman and blessing Mordechai” (Megillah 7). This custom has become a green light for people, especially students in Israel, to drink lots of alcohol on Purim. Unfortunately, many gap year students drink until they are sick, passed out, or exhibiting dangerous or inappropriate behavior (such as vomiting in your rabbi’s yard). Although alcohol consumption in the US is illegal for people under the age of 21, in Israel, it...
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More About Food Allergies

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There are common misconceptions about food allergies.  Click here to read about certain misconceptions and what the true facts are about food allergies. Food Allergy Concierge is your expert service for traveling with food allergies. Our food allergy travel experts separate facts from misconceptions. We understand food allergy dangers, we understand how one sesame seed can be life threatening, and we are experienced in preventing cross contact in hotel and restaurant kitchens.

Marijuana (Cannabis) Induced Psychosis

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Marijuana-induced psychosis is real and dangerous. This is perhaps most important to remember when gap year students are away from home for the first time. The average cannabis user, seller, and manufacturer want you to believe that marijuana is an innocent, harmless drug. It is mainly described as a relaxing way to unwind. As marijuana usage becomes legal and more popular, people need to know the facts about marijuana and its possible side effect. While there are some medical benefits to medical cannabis, which medical cannabis can take under the auspices of a physician for specific conditions, there are lesser-known adverse...
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How to Really Understand Lice

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Head lice. It’s a subject nearly no one wants to admit exists, let alone think or talk about. However, head lice have reached epidemic proportions all around the world. It’s difficult to get statistics, but an estimated 7% of children between ages 3-11 experience lice infestation each year in the United States. No statistics are available for adults with lice. In Israel, it’s 15% among children! Experts believe the higher number in Israel is because of larger families with siblings passing around lice. EMA Care spoke with Penina Neustadter, a very busy “lice lady” in Israel. Penina became a lice lady...
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Bacterial vs. Viral Infections

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Winter is THE season for both bacterial and viral infections. Understanding the difference between bacterial and viral infections can help manage expectations regarding treatments available. Viral infections include the common cold, flu, most coughs, bronchitis, and chickenpox. Bacterial infections include pneumonia, strep throat, urinary tract infections, and most sinus infections. Bacterial and viral infections have many things in common: 1. They are microbes too small to be seen2. They can cause both acute or chronic infections3. Both cause mild, moderate, or severe disease4. Both may have similar symptoms such as fever, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, and vomiting – although a good health...
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Eating Healthy on Vacation

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  If you are one of the hundreds of visitors coming to Israel for the holidays, EMA Care offers you tips on eating healthy on vacation!! In Israel, eating healthy when on vacation can be a double whammy……on vacation plus Jewish holidays!! Vacation is a time to relax, to not be at home, and to enjoy a different culture and foods. Some people look at a vacation as a time to indulge. Jewish holidays are based on lots of time praying in the synagogue and lots of time eating large, delicious holiday meals. This combination can result in an indulgent holiday...
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Medical Checklist for Gap Year Students

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It's probably safe to say that the Gap year packing list your child received did not include a medical checklist. There are many reasons to give your kids some medical supplies and medicines before they leave. First of all, many over-the-counter medications in the US are available by prescription only in Israel!  Medical supplies are only...
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It's HOT Outside

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Here in Israel we are experiencing extremely hot weather. High of 40 C, that’s 104 Fahrenheit!! When I walk outside it’s as if I am in a sauna. Hot weather usually just makes people feel HOT, but it can also lead to serious and alarming health problems. Experts say that when night time temperatures do not drop much lower than daytime temperatures, there is added stress on the body. It’s important to follow some simple rules to stay healthy during these high temperatures. 1. Drink lots and lots of cool water. You should have water with you at all times.2. Wear...
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Organizing Medical Files

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Organizing medical records at home can be a daunting task. While more and more processes may be done online, there is still a substantial amount of paperwork for each medical procedure. The cumulation of years of paperwork can make finding the document you do need - more difficult. Organizing your medical records can save you time, money and can he...
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Should Students With a Pre-Existing Health Condition Come to Israel?

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Sending students with a pre-existing health condition to Israel for a gap-year program is difficult for many parents.   The young adult population can experience many varied health conditions.  Some of the more common ailments are: Severe Allergies Autoimmune conditions  Type 1 Diabetes  Depression  Crohn’s Disease  Anxiety  Asthma  Eating Disorders  Physical disabilities    It’s not easy to send your child thousands of miles away, knowing his/her illness could experience a flare-up.  A student with allergies could go into anaphylactic shock. Your child with a gastrointestinal disorder or diabetes needs to be sure he/she is receiving the proper treatment in a foreign country.  Mental...
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Flu Treatment in Israel

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Hopefully, you paid attention to our blog here and received the flu shot.  However, for those who did not get the vaccine, the influenza season is in full swing in Israel.  Knowing what treatment is best may help you feel better sooner and can prevent others from becoming sick. The flu is highly contagious!! It’s important to take precautions!  Common flu symptoms are: Fever higher than 38 C (100 F) Muscle aches Feeling tired or weak. Runny nose Sore throat Influenza is a virus, and distinguishing it from other viral illnesses can be tricky.  The flu vaccine is considered 60% effective, as defined by the CDC. Still,...
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Prescription Medication in Israel

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Prescription medications in Israel can oftentimes be different than in other countries.  Whether planning a trip or sending a child for a Gap Year, understanding the availability of medication locally can help guide decision making and planning for health needs. Here are 10 rules about prescription medication in Israel: Some medications are not available here.  Medications in Israel must be approved through a lengthy bureaucratic and often political process.  Some medications, deemed either unnecessary or too expensive, or too rarely needed – are simply not available.Medications may come in different doses.  For example, thyroid medication is not available in 25mcg increments. ...
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Students with Food Allergies

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If you are a student with food allergies and living in a dorm, you must take precautions to assure you live in a safe environment.  It’s very important to realize that people who don’t have any exposure to anaphylactic allergies often don’t understand how dangerous they can be. For example, an allergy sufferer meets his roommate for the first time, he says I am allergic to peanuts. The roommate enjoys peanut butter and he says he will be very careful whenever he eats peanut butter in the room. “The peanut butter won’t go anywhere. How dangerous can it be?”. This is...
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Flu Vaccine in Israel

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The Flu vaccine in Israel is available now!!  It’s important that you go now while flu vaccine supply lasts!! In previous years, there have been shortages of the vaccine.  Why should people get the flu vaccine? Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.Between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths occur in people 65 years and older. So the vaccine is a must for seniors! Other people at risk include people of all ages with pre-existing chronic health conditions, children, and pregnant women.Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread...
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Holiday Medical Care

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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 are cut to a minimum staffing, many clinics are not operational, and routine, non-emergency health services are not provided.  These hours can include hospitals, emergency and urgent care centers, pharmacies, clinics, and private medical offices.  Medical offices have less operational hours (or none), so the few hours they are open, they are typically overbooked. Don’t forget that Medical Care during the Holidays includes the eve of holidays!  The eve of a...
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Guidelines for Fasting in Israel

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Fasting in Israel can be a different experience from fasting in other countries.  It’s hard to recall a Yom Kippur in Israel that did not include hearing someone fainting from dehydration. Even though this year Yom Kippur falls late on October 12, and we hope for cooler weather, the dry, hot weather in Israel puts fasters at 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 replaced in the course of...
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Parental Stress and Gap Year Students

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There may be parental stress as your child leaves for his gap year in Israel. The gap year is an extraordinary time for young adults to grow spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. However, it can be a bittersweet experience for many parents.  You are excited for your child but missing and worrying about your child may be inevitable. EMA Care provides some guidance for parents to cope with their own stress… and make it easier for their children to have a successful year. You are nervous about your child being so far away, constantly scanning the news for anything going on in...
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Managing Medicine in Israel

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Managing  medicine in Israel can be challenging for anyone.  Medication in Israel is not the same as medication in other countries, especially if you are from the United States.  Managing medicine in Israel is an important consideration if you are here for a longer stay, whether a tourist, resident, volunteer, or diplomat.   You will need to do research before you arrive, as not every medication is the same when traveling to foreign countries.   If you are coming to Israel for a short stay, be sure to bring your medication with you.  For example, common medications may have different names in Israel. ...
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Health Care for Israel Gap Year, Yeshiva, Seminary, and College Students

Parents of Gap Year Students in Israel: Did you know that most Gap Year Programs have no medical personnel?  Health Care for Israel Gap Year students is complicated. Nearly every program requires that students have health insurance, but this coverage leaves parents and Gap Year Programs wanting. Health Insurance does not cover pre-existing conditionsFor pre-existing conditions, parents and students must fend for themselves and find providers and solutions to the student’s needs Health Insurance pays for health coverage, but no one monitors the quality of service provided. If your child gets sick or suffers an acute injury (like a sprained ankle), he or...
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Why Do Gap Year Students Need EMA Care?

People have been asking “why do gap year students need EMA Care??” The answer is: Student health plans do not cover essential health needs that parents want for their child.  EMA Care provides those services and fills in the gaps left by local insurance programs.  Each year thousands of students come to Israel to work, study, and have fun!  After high school, it has become a rite of passage for Jewish youth from all over the world to spend 1-12 months in Israel.  The programs are varied from yeshiva/seminary or university study to volunteering in the Negev desert. These varied programs have...
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How To Avoid Food Poisoning in Israel

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Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, or chemicals. Typical symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea. In Israel, during the long hot summer, the possibility of food being contaminated is greater due to food exposure to extreme temperatures, or food that does not have sufficient refrigeration.  Many food vendors display their products on the street, and it’s important to be cautious!! This year EMA Care has assisted scores of students hit by food poisoning after food served by the schools was contaminated. Food poisoning has been known to...
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The Reality of Alcohol and Students in Israel

The hushed fact is that many teens spending a gap year in Israel will be drinking alcohol.   Another hushed fact is that tens of gap year students will be treated for alcohol poisoning or other alcohol related injuries and illnesses during their time in Israel. In past years, gap year students have even died because of alcohol poisoning.  The legal drinking age in Israel is 18 years old.  For American youth in particular, this is an exciting novelty and it is tempting to enter pubs and drink. Do the math: The availability of alcohol + the absence of parents + the...
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Cultural Differences May Affect Your Medical Care in Israel

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There are many cultural differences between Israel and other countries.  Anyone who has had any business interaction here will vouch for that! But did you know that culture also affects your health care? We are not only talking about a language barrier. A visitor to Israel who ends up in the emergency room will undergo an overwhelming, disorienting, truly foreign experience. The three ways cultural differences may affect your healthcare in Israel:   1.Chutzpah- Israeli chutzpah is world famous. It is how the commandos raided Entebbe and freed the hijacked passengers 40 years ago this week. It is also why other people...
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Emergency Room Visits in Israel

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It’s inevitable that somewhere, somehow, a teen from one of the many Israeli summer programs, could be in a hospital emergency room this summer.  There are hundreds of teens here and the sad, but true fact is that someone is going to get hurt or sick.  The program director, a counselor, or an ambulance will take the teen to the hospital. What happens when the teen arrives in the ER? Emergency rooms in Israeli hospitals follow typical ER protocol.  However, hospitals are even more crowded here. Hospitals in remote locations may offer sub-optimal care.  Patients are treated based on the severity...
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Jellyfish Season in Israel

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The warm Mediterranean Sea on Israel’s coast may be fun to swim in, but jellyfish season is upon us!  Every summer, Israeli beaches suffer from jellyfish for a number of weeks.  Whether in the water or washed up ashore, jellyfish pose a (potentially life threatening) hazard.  EMA Care gives you tips on what to do if you get stung by a floating cell or jellyfish tentacle. Fact: Jellyfish is one of the most intimidating creatures of the sea. In Hebrew the word for jellyfish is “medusa”. In classic Greek mythology Medusa is a monster (gorgon) in the form of a woman with snakes...
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Allergy Cards for Allergic Kids Visiting Israel

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Any person with food allergies traveling to a foreign country knows how dangerous it can be. If your child with allergies is arriving in Israel for a summer program or in the fall for a yearlong program, it’s time to take action NOW. The lack of knowledge of the local language, local cuisine, and local customs can be frustrating and life threatening.  EMA Care provides a customized allergy card (in Hebrew) to our clients with food allergies. EMA Care’s allergy cards include: Customized Allergy Information about your childKnowledge of Israeli food products as it pertains to your child’s allergiesDirections on how...
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Gluten Free in Israel

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People with gluten-free diets often struggle with traveling and touring, as their diets can be challenging. Good news:  Israel is becoming more aware of the need for gluten free food. In this article, EMA Care gives guidance to gluten-free eating in Israel. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which gluten damages the small intestine.   The number of people diagnosed with the disease is 1 out of 133, or a little under 1% of the USA’s population.  HOWEVER, it is estimated that 83% of the people with celiac are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed!!  Research shows celiac disease is also on the rise in young adults...
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Traveling in Israel with Food Allergies

Traveling in Israel with Food Allergies is challenging! Did you know that 15 million Americans have food allergies, and 1 out of 13 children have life threatening food allergies? Whether you are allergic to nuts, sesame, chocolate, certain cooking oils or fruit, the very real fear of allergic reactions may hinder your travel plans to Israel. In fact, there were several cases of severe allergic reactions this year in Gap-Year student in Israel. A client’s child had such a reaction at a social event when a child across the room opened a package of Bamba, a favored Israeli snack with air-popped peanuts. Indeed,...
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Pessach, Matzah, and... Constipation

Did you hear about the new matzoh?  It’s made with whole wheat and bran and it’s fortified with Metamucil.  It’s called "Let My People Go".  LOL!  Actually, there are many people that would love this matzoh to become a reality. A well-known but rarely talked about complication during this time of year is constipation.  Constipation is defined as having difficulty passing or infrequent bowel movements. Matzoh is very low in fiber and during Pessach we eat matzoh, we bake and cook with matzoh meal, and we tend to eat a lot of cookies and cakes with high sugar content and potato starch. ...
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Celebrating Purim Safely - Advice for Gap Year Students in Israel

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Purim is a fun holiday universally celebrated by all walks of life in Israel… but there are dangers involved… especially to teens who find themselves easy access to Alcohol and frivolity. Alcohol toxicity can lead to brain damage, neurological damage, and even death. Dozens of Gap Year students in the past have been injured or even killed as a result of this phenomenon. Purim is an excuse for excesses in alcohol, but caution is needed. It is a tradition, some even say a Mitzvah, to drink alcohol on Purim. But balance is needed between student’s health and well-being and alcohol moderation.  A...
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Value Added EMA Care services for Gap Year students

What are the value-added services EMA Care adds compared to current services and medical insurance alone? See our chart below to compare current practice with the value of EMA Care service...     ITEMCurrent Practice – Foreign StudentsEMA Care PracticeAttending emergencies or appointmentsStudent goes alone or the school sends a madrich/ counselor.  Some schools send non-medical faculty members.  Neither option has health knowledge to know if optimal care is being received.Health professional attends emergency or appointment, ensures optimal, US level services are being provided.CommunicationsParents call administrators regarding their child’s health situation.  Administrators are not medical professionals and cannot answer to quality and...
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Dealing with Stress: A Guide for Parents of Students in Israel

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  How should you deal with stress?  Here is a guide for parents of students  in Israel. When you read the news and hear about rockets destroying homes in Israel, you are understandably worried about your child in Israel.  SO you call your son or daughter and you ask them how they are… and if people are pulling their kids out of school… and if they are NOT going out… and if they are worried…  THIS IS A MISTAKE. News Flash: Israel is chock full of people who have lived through many security situations, wars, intifadas etc.  Many of them are...
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Dealing With Stress During Your Year in Israel

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As parents of kids in Israel, it is nerve-wracking enough having your child so far away, much more so when the internet, news, and even the students have continuous reports of terror and violence in Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. Here is some advice on how to help your child cope with the  stress.   Safety First. There is no health without safety. If you see something that makes you uncomfortable – LEAVE.  Trust your instincts: The best defense is not to be there. During Succot, I met a seminary student in Jerusalem who had just seen  a violent protest. Lots of...
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Health of Yeshiva/ Seminary students in Israel - Q&A from parents

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After the holidays, students are returning to Yeshiva and Seminary.  The long stretch begins.  Over the last few weeks, parents have posed questions to us; EMA Care has answers... Q: My son called me because he isn’t feeling well.  I am 7500 miles away.  What can I do? Q: Can I send my daughter to Israel if she has a chronic health condition? Q: If there is an urgent medical issue during the year, how can I be sure my child is getting appropriate care? Q: My son called me because he isn’t feeling well.  I am 7500 miles away.  What can I do?...
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Caring for a chronic illness or sudden health need when studying in Israel

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My daughter is diabetic, what precautions will she need to take when on a school trip? My son is in the emergency room with a broken leg, can you make sure he gets good care and understands what’s going on? Can you arrange for a gastroenterologist to evaluate my son? I don’t understand what the treatment plan is for my child, could you help us?  Help for student dealing with chronic illness Our augmented health liaison services are available as an additional service for students studying in Israel.If your child is signed up for our student package, we offer more intensive management in personal evaluation...
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Heath care coordination for gap year students

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I am not feeling well, what can I do?   I am dehydrated, what can I do to rehydrate at home/ dorm?   Where can I go to get a flu shot?” In Israel, community physicians are not “on call,” so without a medical appointment, access to your health care provider is limited. EMA Care provides “on call” services at specific times each day, in which you can get answers for your questions and receive health information and referrals.   Health care guidance for your year in Israel EMA Care provides yearly and semester-long student packages for students studying in Israel. You can relax...
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5 Facts About Over the Counter Medications in Israel

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Over the Counter (OTC) medications in Israel are different than in the US or other countries.  Names and availability differ from country to country, and having a basic understanding of what to expect can help you figure out what to purchase when you are sick.  Here are 5 rules about OTC medications in Israel: Not everything available OTC in the US and Europe is available OTC in Israel.   Some medications for yeast infections, heartburn, pain, allergies, and some skin conditions (like acne) are prescription only..Some OTC medications are available in Israel that aren’t available in the US, such as dipyrone pain...
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Health Care for Israel Gap Year Programs

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Delivering and coordinating medical care for Israel Gap Year Programs create challenges for Yeshiva, Seminary, and other Gap Year programs and for the parents of Gap Year students. Gap Year program administrators struggle to get the best health care for their students while communicating with worried parents at home.  Some programs are more involved, some less – but any administrator will name health problems as a major issue they encounter throughout the year. Frequently, concerned parents ask gap year administrators, teachers, Rabbis, counselors and even dorm mothers if their student-child is getting the best care, seeing the best specialist, following the instructions, and getting...
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Our Latest Blogs

19 September 2021
Tishri is a very special month. Sukkot occurs during this time and many people take time to reconnect with themselves and with their family. There are many activities that allow for people to rediscover each other and enjoy moments with people to mat...
12 September 2021
It’s hard to recall a Yom Kippur in Israel that did not include hearing of someone fainting from dehydration.  This year Yom Kippur will be a little different. The Coronavirus pandemic is the cause for a lot of changes in society with the most s...
05 September 2021
Medical Care during the Holidays can be tricky in Israel especially if you do not speak Hebrew. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode. Shabbat mode means that personnel is cut to minimum staffing, many ...

EMA Care in the News

05 September 2021
Medical Care during the Holidays can be tricky in Israel especially if you do not speak Hebrew. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode. Shabbat mode means that personnel is cut to minimum staffing, many ...
19 July 2021
Over the years, we've been approached by people who've asked us about different kinds of diets and food plans. Intermittent fasting has become very popular over the last few years. It is a method of dieting that restricts the amount of time you are a...
11 July 2021
 Telemedicine is a great option for caring for geriatric populations in Israel. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the years, we’ve had many clients who care for their older, dependent parents. Take our clients, the A fam...

What Our Clients Say

Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

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Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

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Entry to Israel services

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Interview with Dr. Mobeen & Dr. Eliana Aaron

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

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WhatsApp groups

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Ema Care WhatsApp groups

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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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