How to Clean and Sanitize Your Laundry to Help Prevent the Spread of Pathogens at Home

Laundry chores are a fact of life. From emptying the clothes hamper to sorting, washing, drying, (maybe ironing), and storing clothes and linens for later use, these chores comprise a seemingly endless cycle of mind-numbing activities. But researchers tell us there is good reason to give laundry some careful thought. Why Sanitize Laundry? Did you

How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Plane: An Air Traveler’s Guide

We’re flying more than ever. The US Department of Transportation reported US and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 965 million domestic and international passengers in 2017. Airlines do a very good job of delivering us to our destinations, but what are the risks of our contracting an infectious illness

Antimicrobial Resistance: Stopping “Nightmare Bacteria” in their Tracks

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a fundamental threat to human health, development and security,” stated Dr. Margaret Chan, former director-general of the World Health Organization at a UN meeting of world leaders in 2016. The issue remains a significant concern in both developed and developing countries in 2018. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Driving the C. diff Infection Rate in Hospitals to Zero

What is C. diff? Medical illustration of Clostridium difficile Image from CDC website Clostridium difficile bacteria, aka “C. diff,” is one of the notorious antibiotic resistant “superbugs” that afflict modern healthcare facilities. Nearly half a million C. diff infections (CDI) were reported in 2011, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Superbugs: Rising from Hospital Drainpipes

Superbugs are sneaky creatures. A new University of Virginia (UVA) study reveals how these microbes, once washed down the drains of hospital sinks, colonize the drainpipe and rise up slowly along the sides of the pipe, eventually reaching the sink strainer. The researchers hypothesize that when the sink faucet is operated, the potential pathogens and

What Cooking Shows Don’t Teach

Want to know how to prepare a delicious recipe? Tune in to a TV cooking show. Just don’t expect to view some of the most important cooking steps! According to a new study1 in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (abstract), today’s cooking shows are missing “an opportunity to model and teach good food

The Right Way to Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands! The parental command echoes in my memory. It is also the public health message we hear most often when the subject is preventing the spread of infectious illness. Hand washing may be one of the easiest things we can do to ward off sickness, but the casual observer in any public restroom

Elizabethkingia anophelis Outbreak in Wisconsin: A Mystery for CDC Disease Detectives

What causes a bacterium that is ubiquitous in soil, rivers, water reservoirs and the guts of mosquitoes to suddenly cause an outbreak of human infection? The bacterium is Elizabethkingia anophelis1, and the outbreak is affecting at least 12 Wisconsin counties. The common source of the outbreak remains a mystery at this time. According to the World