Pediatrics Archives - Altus Emergency Centers

Surviving the Flu Epidemic – Complications & Signs of Alert

Surviving the Flu Epidemic - Complications & Signs of Alert

How to Fight the Flu Epidemic!

The flu epidemic this year is hitting the United States harder than predicted, as some circulating strands of the influenza virus were not included in the annual recommendations report, this means these strands were not contemplated when creating the flu vaccines for this year.

The state of Texas is one of several experiencing a higher than normal rate of influenza virus contagions, for this reason, Altus Emergency Centers is sounding the alarm for residents of Texas to take extra precautions to avoid being infected and to reduce the risk of complications which could lead to death.  View the most recent Study of Influenza Cases in Texas released by the Texas Human and Health Services.


Avoiding Infections During a Flu Epidemic

The vaccines that are made available to the public each year may not prevent a person from being infected with the influenza virus, but it can help diminish the effects of the illness and aid in a speedier healing process.

Because of this, it is recommended that individuals constantly wash their hands, especially before eating, we recommend you carry a small container of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when washing your hands with soap and water is not possible.

Clean your workspace with antibacterial towels, make sure the label says it has been tested to kill the flu virus.

Eating right and getting plenty of rest is a good way to keep your immune system healthy, consider taking a vitamin C supplement this time of year, to help keep your defenses up.

Get to Know the Dangers of a Flu Epidemic

When Things Take Turn for The Worse

As awful as the flu symptoms can be, most of us are able to fight the infection on our own and make a full recovery within a few days or weeks, some individuals, however, are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, some of these complications are extremely severe can lead to death if not treated properly.

Patients with increased risk factors include:

  • Individuals over the age of 65

  • Young children under the age of 5, especially infants and toddlers

  • Pregnant women and women two weeks postpartum

Patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, heart disease, kidney, or liver disorders, obesity, and anyone with a weakened immune system.


Complications from the Flu

The flu virus is extremely aggressive and reproduces very fast, this results in a strong response from the immune system, in most healthy adults this response is enough to combat the virus, this, however, can tax the immune system and lead to secondary infections.

Secondary infections range from mild-moderate to more severe which if left untreated can result in the death of the patient.

Mild to Moderate Complications of the Flu

  • Ear Infections

  • Sinus Infections

  • Dehydration

Severe Complications from the Flu

These can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated on time.

  • Pneumonia: A lung infection most commonly caused by bacteria, but it can also be caused by viruses or fungi.

  • Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart

  • Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain

  • Myositis or Rhabdomyolysis: Inflammation of the muscle tissue

  • Overwhelming Immune Response: In some patients, the immune system response can be so severe it can damage too much tissue in the lungs, making it difficult to deliver oxygen to the blood, resulting in hypoxia and death.

Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore


Anyone is susceptible to flu and its complications if you suspect you may have been infected with the flu virus visit your neighborhood Altus Emergency Centers where we can apply one of our rapid flu tests, the results are available within minutes and receiving early treatment can prevent deadly complications.

If you or a loved one show any of the following symptoms head to the nearest emergency center for diagnoses and treatment:

  • Trouble breathing

  • High fevers, sweats, or chills

  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

  • Sudden dizziness

  • Elevated blood pressure

  • Symptoms that show no improvement within 3-4 days

  • Symptoms that seem to improve but later worsen

  • If your child’s skin turns a grayish or bluish color

  • Intense or persistent vomiting

  • Trouble swallowing

  • If your child seems lethargic or has trouble responding to stimuli

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Ready to Fight the Flu Epidemic 24/7


In Texas, Altus Emergency Centers are ready to help you fight the flu, our centers are open 24/7/365, we guarantee no lines and our facilities are equipped to diagnose and treat any complication from the flu before it escalates to life-threatening symptoms. We urge the population to be aware of the symptoms of possible flu complications and to immediately head to one of our facilities if you suspect you may have fallen victim to one of them.

Together, we can help end this flu epidemic and begin 2018 off right.

Fun Handwashing Tips for Kids

Fun Handwashing Tips for Kids

Tricks to Show Your Kids How to Wash Their Hands Correctly

This is the final day of National Handwashing Awareness Week. For adults who don’t spend a lot of time with children, this celebration might seem a little unnecessary, but to parents who are constantly trying to get their kids to wash their hands before eating, after going to the restroom and when they come inside from playing, this is an extremely important event.

As always, we at Altus ER have some effective tricks up our sleeve to help you parents instill good hygiene habits onto your kids, handwashing can seem a boring chore for kids, but we are here to help you make it less of a chore and more of a fun activity.


Why Should You Teach Your Kids Proper Handwashing Techniques?

Proper handwashing is the best way to prevent children from becoming sick and spreading germs. Teaching your kids to wash their hands with soap and water will help prevent them from contracting the following illnesses:

  • The common cold and flu virus

  • Hepatitis A

  • Meningitis

  • Bronchiolitis

  • And many types of diarrhea

What is the proper way to wash your hands?


Are your Hands Really Clean?

A study conducted by researchers at the Michigan State University in 2013, revealed that an alarming 95% of people do not properly wash their hands.

The CDC’s guidelines for washing hands include the following steps:

  • Wet your hands with water (temperature does not matter).

  • Lather your hands with soap, make sure you apply soap to the back of your hands as well.

  • Scrub your hands for 20 seconds or more, make sure to scrub the back of your hands, wrists, in between fingers and under the fingernails.

  • Rinse with plenty of water.

  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer.

Fun Ways to Get Your Child to Wash Their Hands


Sing a Song

The CDC recommends you sing happy birthday twice when you are scrubbing your hands to ensure you do it for at least 20 seconds, it’s probably not the best song to have your kids sing every day as they might expect a birthday present and cake.

You can create your own song about washing hands, or you can use a popular one that is sung to the tune of “Row your Boat” it goes like this: “wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them nice and clean. Scrub the fronts and scrub the backs and scrub the in-between” You will need to sing this at least twice.

Buy Fun Soaps

Kids love to play, so why not let them play with soap? Buying fun shape soap bars or liquid soap that have their favorite characters on the label is a good way to get kids to want to wash their hands.

Get Creative

Here are some more fun and creative ideas to get your kids to want to wash their hands:

  • Mix some glitter with water in a spray bottle, spray their hands with this mixture then have them wash it off, if you have more than one kid turn it into a friendly competition to see who can get the glitter off first.

  • Teach your kids how to blow soap bubbles, have them later and scrub their hands properly and then show them how they can make a circle with their thumb and forefinger and blow bubbles.

  • Buy them a water safe toy and have them give it a proper wash.

  • Make a game where you task your kids to get rid of pesky germs by scrubbing their hands, make funny noises and in the end, say bye, bye germs.

When Should You Pay Altus Emergency Centers a Visit?


Teaching your children to properly wash their hands is something that will safeguard them for life, however, regardless of how careful you are with their hygiene, there will be times when they will get sick, and that is when Altus Emergency Centers will be there to take care of your little ones.

Altus Emergency Centers is here for you during the worst of the flu season and the rest of year 24/7.  We hope you don’t fall victim to the flu virus this year, but if you do, and you show any of the above signs, visit your nearest Altus ER.  We will be here to nurse you and your loved ones back to health and enjoying the December holidays.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Trick–or–Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is by far the most fun filled night of the year for children and yes, for adults too, let’s face it, what can be better than dressing up, staying up late and eating a ton of yummy treats?

But, there is a scary side to Halloween that tops any ghost, goblin, ghouls, or things that go bump in the night, we are of course referring to accidents. Sadly, we at Altus Emergency Centers know all too well how devastating these can be.  This year, we would like to ensure that all enjoy the fun of Halloween without the dangers by practicing good trick-or-treating safety tips.

Horrifying Halloween Facts

  • Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a motor vehicle and sustain serious injury or even death on Halloween night than any other night of the year.

  • Kids with severe food allergies are especially vulnerable during a trick-or-treat run.  As much as they can’t wait to enjoy a bite of delicious candy, please remember that food safety is an important part of trick-or-treating safety.

  • Elaborate costumes especially those that include long or loose-fitting clothing, masks, or props such as swords, can impair vision and make it difficult for a child to move, increasing their risk of falling and injuring themselves.

  • Carving a pumpkin is a dangerous affair, especially for small kids, deep cuts that require stitching are common this time of year.

  • Severe burns from a candle lit Jack O’ Lanterns are all too common.

Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

As frightening as these facts are, you need not worry, the heroic staff of Altus Emergency Centers is here to help you avert the terrors of the night, follow our trick-or-treating safety tips, and enjoy a fun night with your family.

  • Our first trick-or-treating safety tip is important at all times, not only on Halloween.  Never let kids under 12-years of age go trick-or-treating alone if you cannot accompany them, make sure a trusted adult is with them.

  • If you have older kids that will be going out on their own, make sure they are traveling in a group, and follow their route with the use of the GPS tracking system on their phones. Agree on a specific time they should return home.

  • Plan your route in advance, if possible avoid heavy traffic areas. Stick to a route you and your kids are familiar with.

  • Choose costumes that are bright or attach some reflective tape to the costume and trick-or-treat bags to increase visibility and help motorists spot your kids from a distance.

  • Make sure shoes are comfy and well fitted, trick-or-treating could take you several blocks away from home, comfy shoes are necessary to prevent blisters.

  • Masks can block or limit eyesight, making it difficult for your child to navigate and increasing their risk of injury, to avoid this consider using non-toxic makeup and well-fitted hats instead.

  • Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no allergic reactions, if your child suffers one, take him/her immediately to the nearest Altus ER Center for treatment.

  • Remove all makeup before your kids go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.

  • When out shopping for costumes, wigs, and other accessories, make sure the label clearly states they are flame resistant.

  • The next trick-or-treating safety tip begins with costume selection to avoid potential injuries associated with falling.  Ensure your child’s costume is the appropriate length, long costumes increase the chances of your child tripping and hurting themselves.

  • If possible avoid costumes with weapons, but, if your child won’t have it any other way, make sure swords, knives, guns, etc. are short, soft, and flexible.

  • Never use over-the-counter decorative contact lenses, as these can cause pain, inflammation, infections, and other serious eye disorders which may lead to permanent vision loss. All contact lenses should be prescribed by an eye care professional.

  • Teach your kids how to call 911 or any other emergency number if they get lost or feel they may be in any sort of danger.

  • Instruct your kids to never get into a stranger’s car.

  • Tell your kids not to eat any treats until they return home, especially if they have food allergies. Inspect all treats before allowing your children to consume them.

  • Limit the number of sweets your kids can eat at once, hide the candy and allow them to consume it a little at a time over the next few days or weeks.

  • Never let small children carve a pumpkin, instead have them draw a scary face on it with a marker.

  • Choose to light up your Jack O’ Lantern with a flashlight, battery operated led light, or glow stick instead of a candle.


No Need to Fear When Altus ER is Here

Have a Fun & Safe Halloween!

Altus Emergency Centers wants you to have a fun and safe Halloween, follow our trick-or-treat safety tips but know that accidents can happen even when you are being careful, which is why we will be here to take care of you and your loved ones on the scariest night of the year and every other night too.

Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances.  Give yourself the best possibility to get well.  If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistance, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

Find an Altus ER Near You.

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

Time to Get Ready for Kindergarten! Preparing for Your Child’s First Academic Milestone

August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

This is an emotional time in the life of parents and kids alike, the first day of kindergarten can be stressful and scary, but, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s not too late to make sure that you and your child are ready for kindergarten.  Let the adventure begin!

Altus Emergency Centers strongly supports every child’s right to an education, and we believe every kid has the potential to change the world for the better, which is why we have put together a list of school safety tips, to ensure your child is well equipped and ready for kindergarten.  Let’s make sure that their first step in their academic career is both fun and safe.


A Safe Ride to School


Getting Ready for Kindergarten Transportation

Depending on how far you live from your child’s school they could be traveling by bus, car, or walking. Here are some important safety tips to teach your child to make sure that they arrive back home safe and sound.

On the Bus

Riding the bus to school provides kids with a level of independence previously unknown to them and this can be both scary and confusing for first time riders. Make sure you get them ready for kindergarten transportation by the following:

  • Introduce your child to the bus driver and give them a little tour of the bus, so they become familiarized.

  • Teach your child not to step onto the street while waiting for the bus.

  • Children should use the bus’s handrail to get on and off the bus.

  • If your child needs to cross a street to get home, teach them they should wait for the bus driver to signal them it is safe to do so.

  • Instruct your child to stay seated during the entire bus ride.

Walking to School

Ready for a kindergartener walking to school?  Not only is it important to not allow your child to walk to school unaccompanied, it’s important to consider the following:

  • If you cannot walk to school with your child every day, make sure you have practiced the route with them at least for a couple of weeks before you let them go accompanied with a responsible older child or adult.

  • It is advisable that young students travel in groups preferably accompanied by older students such as siblings or neighbors.

  • Instruct your kids to stick to the route you practiced with them, they should avoid detours or shortcuts.

  • Tell them not to play around when they are walking to or from school, they should not push, shove when they are close to the street.

  • Dress your child in brightly colored or reflective clothing.

  • Teach them how to safely cross a street and to respect traffic signals.

Eating and Snacking Safely at School


Ready for Kindergarten Snack Time!

Another very important factor to ensure that your child is ready for kindergarten is food safety.  All parents worry about what their children are eating when they are not around, but, this concern is greater for parents of children with severe food allergies that could endanger the child’s life.

Most common food allergies in children include: peanuts and other nuts, dairy products, gluten, eggs, and soy.

If your child has food allergies, these are some tips on how to reduce of risk of exposure to the allergen:

  • Inform your child’s teacher and the school’s administrative staff of your kid’s condition and provide the school nurse with emergency treatment such as an EpiPen.

  • It is a good idea to have your child wear a medical ID bracelet.

  • Provide the school with your contact information and instructions to take your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment in case of an allergic reaction.

  • Although its a common practice to share snacks in kindergarten, it’s important to instruct your child to not try other foods in cases that they have very bad food allergies.  It is a good idea to provide the teachers with safe snacks for your child, to help steer them away from the temptation of trying unsuitable snacks.

Playground Safety


Recess will probably be the most fun part of your kindergartner’s day, but, as fun as the playground can be, it’s also where most injuries happen. During the get ready for kindergarten month, it’s especially important to learn about the risks of injuries and how to prevent them.

According to the CDC:

More than 200,000 children under the age of 14 need emergency care treatment for playground related injuries. Of these, children between the ages of 5 and 9 have higher rates of Emergency Center visits than any other age group, and most of their injuries happened on the school playground.

To minimize the risk of injury, we suggest:

  • You teach your kids to know their physical limitations, most injuries sustained by kindergarteners are from falls from swings, monkey bars, and other climbing activities.

  • Kids should only use playground equipment that is suitable to their age, they should avoid playing with older students who might cause unintentional harm to your child.

  • Demand that school officials provide a safe play environment for children, one where the playground equipment is in good working condition and free of obstructions such as tree stumps and rocks that might cause a child to fall.

The overall emergency center visits for playground related injuries especially traumatic brain injuries such as concussions has significantly increased in recent years. Please make sure the school’s administrative staff has your emergency contact information as well as instructions to how to get to them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.


Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones.


We Wish All Parents and Children a Safe and Fun Time Learning!

We wish all parents and children a wonderful school year filled with many great accomplishments.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency. Don’t drive far distances to receive proper care! Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center!

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

Find an Altus ER Near You.

Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears – Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017

Better Ways to Clean Children's Ears

We’ve All Heard About the Dangers of Cotton Swabs.  What are Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears?

Over the years there has been a lot of debate centered around what are better ways to clean children’s ears.   In honor of Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017 (EMSC), we think it is vital to shed light on this subject.  Despite the amount of information available these days, most parents still do not know that a human’s ear canal is designed to be self-cleaning.

The ear canal is lined by skin that slowly moves out of the canal pushing the wax out towards the pinna or outer ear where it will become dry and flaky and eventually fall out on its own.

Having self-cleaning ear canals is great, but as every parent knows, children have an uncanny ability to get dirt and small objects into tiny orifices, so, these must be checked and cleaned regularly. If when inspecting your child, you find that they have inserted a foreign object into their ear canal, it is crucial that you do not attempt to remove it on your own, as you may cause serious damage to your child, instead head out to the nearest Altus Emergency Center to have one of our expert ER doctors and nurses safely remove the object.  Below we list five better ways to clean children’s ears.

There Are Better Ways to Clean Children's Ears

Time to Move Away from the Cotton Swab Tradition and say, “Hello” to Altus Safety Tips!

Pediatricians have been warning parents about the hazards of using cotton swabs to clean a child’s ear for some time now, which prompts the question of which are the best ways to clean children’s ears on a routine basis.  We want to keep them safe!

The following are Five Alternative Ways to clean your child’s ears:

  • #1 Wash Cloth: Since only the outer ear needs to be cleaned, the safest way to do it is with the use of a soft wash cloth. This is best done after a bath or shower as the moisture will soften the wax and any dirt that may have lodged itself in the outer ear. Be gentle and never insert your finger or other object into the ear canal.

  • #2 Mineral Oil: If you suspect your child’s ear wax has hardened or that they may have a buildup, you can use a few drops of mineral oil or olive oil. The oil should be the warmed up to skin temperature, have your child lie on their side and use a dropper to apply the oil to affected ear. After a few minutes, have your child sit up and let the oil and buildup wax drip out.

  • #3 Hydrogen Peroxide: The use of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water in small children is not advisable, it may cause dizziness and vertigo not to mention it may scare and even traumatize the child.

  • #4 Ear Drops: For school age children, the use of over the counter ear drops like Debrox can be useful, but you should consult your pediatrician before applying them.

  • #5 Candling: This method is not recommended for several reasons. First there is a risk of burn injury to the child, inserting the candle in the ear canal may cause damage to the ear drum, not to mention there is no real evidence that candling has any real effect in ear wax removal.

Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Danger

Know the Signs – When to Visit an ER

The Following are Three Signs of Alert

  • #1 – If you notice any blood or pus oozing from your child’s ear,

  • #2 – If they are experiencing pain or discomfort in one of both ears,

  • #3 – Or have any change in their hearing.

Hearing is one of the five senses.  The fact that a child’s ears are fragile and are in development must be taken seriously.  You can prevent permanent damage.  If they experience any of the three symptoms listed above, visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

Pediatrics ER Altus

Happy Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs.  Saving Lives 24/7.  No Lines.


GET QUALITY & AFFORDABLE 24/7 ER CARE WITHOUT THE LINES. In the event of an emergency, stop and remain calm. At Altus ER Centers we’re open 24 hours, 7 days a week with zero lines. There’s no time to wait. You’re in good hands!

24 Hour ER Services - Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Eddie Rescue Storytime at Lufkin Tiny Treasures Preschool – Lufkin Community – Lufkin CHI ER

Eddie Rescue Presents...

Eddie Rescue livens up the Tiny Tots of Lufkin Tiny Treasures Preschool

We don’t know who had more fun, Eddie “the Healthy Teddy” Rescue or the children and staff of Lufkin Tiny Treasures Preschool. On this special occasion, Eddie Rescue brought StoryTime to the young bright minds of Lufkin Tiny Treasures Pre-School. Being able to help shape and influence a young mind is a great privilege. Eddie Rescue is a community role model working towards teaching children about health and safety in a fun and exciting way.


Smiles & Bears Everywhere!

The smiles from the Lufkin’s Tiny Treasures cuties say it all! Eddie Rescue and the CHI Emergency Staff enjoyed an amazing time during Storytime, coloring books, crayons and Mini Eddie Rescue Bears. A warm THANK YOU to all of Lufkin’s Tiny Treasures Staff for helping us make this activity possible.


At Lufkin CHI ER
We're Here Because We Care

Good Health Starts with a Bear Hug

It’s important to go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. It is vital to provide an introduction to health and safety at a tender age. The younger, the better. We implement lively interactions to help promote good health habits and prevent injuries or illness.

At CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial ER, we hope to advance a healthier and safer environment for young children. Our ultimate goal is to help set the foundation to a promote a healthier society. A warm THANK YOU to all of Lufkin’s Tiny Treasures Staff for helping us make the Eddie Rescue Storytime activity possible.

“It’s a privilege that brings us great joy to be a part of the Lufkin Community.”CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial – Emergency Center.

CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial

Emergency Center

We’re located near Sam’s and Walmart!

Always Here. Always Fast. Always Open.

501 N. Brentwood Drive
Lufkin, Texas

CALL US: 1 936-699-5900

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24 Hour ER Services - Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.


Ready for the Rodeo? Enjoy a safe, happy & healthy weekend everyone from all of us at #AltusERCenters. Remember that if you are in the need of immediate ER care, visit any of our @AltusEmergency in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie. Open 24/7, No Lines.

Happy International Women's Day! Brave, Strong, Beautiful, Wise, Funny & Simple Incredible. Women deserve to be respected & admired. A shout out to all of the fabulous ladies of @AltusEmergency , Thank You for Being So Awesome! #AltusERCenters Open 24/7, No Lines. #IWD2018


A COWBOY IS A TRUE GENTLEMAN. 🐎 Three Cheers for All Texas Cowboys! We wish you a Happy Week that's filled to the brim with Great Success from everyone from all of us at #AltusERCenters. Remember that if you are in the need of immediate ER care, visit any of our Altus Emergency Centers in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie. Open 24/7, No Lines. ... See MoreSee Less

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Happy International Women's Day! Brave, Strong, Beautiful, Wise, Funny & Simply Incredible. Women deserve to be respected & admired. A shout out to all of the fabulous ladies of Altus Emergency Centers, Thank You for Being So Awesome! #TeamAltusER #AltusERCenters Open 24/7, No Lines. #IWD2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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