Antimicrobial Resistance: “Nothing in Our Medicine Cabinet”

A “superbug” infection contracted in a hospital in India killed a Nevada woman in September 2016 as doctors stood by, powerless to intervene with an effective antibiotic drug. The woman in her 70’s had fractured her leg in India, leading to multiple hospitalizations in that country. She returned to the US in early August 2016

Sepsis Explained

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. Sepsis causes inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sepsis is a serious complication of septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Septicemia occurs when a

Aedes Mosquitoes: A Force in Human History

At the center of the current Zika virus epidemic is the humble insect vector, the Aedes mosquito, both aegypti and albopictus species.  The female Aedes 1acquires and transmits the virus by simply doing what she does—extracting blood from people, birds and other animals to obtain proteins needed to develop her eggs.  To many of us,

Understanding Norovirus in Less than Three Minutes

Norovirus:  It’s the leading cause of outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in the US.  The virus can spread like wildfire through homes, schools, healthcare facilities, sports teams, child care centers and nursing homes.  Norovirus causes an average of 20 million cases of illness each year, including tens of thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths,

Healthy Visits to Patients in Healthcare Facilities

Much of human life begins and ends in healthcare facilities.  These institutions are also places of treatment, healing and recovery.  It is natural, therefore, that visitors to patients in healthcare facilities can be so focused on the emotional aspects of connecting with their friends and loved ones that they forget to take precautions to avoid

US Shigella Infections: “A Troubling Trend”

A dramatic increase in the number of recent cases of shigellosis is being recorded in certain areas of the US, including Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and northern Kentucky. Shigellosis, also known as “bacillary dysentery” is an acute infection of the intestine caused by Shigella bacteria1. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within

Safe Fun in the Kiddie Pool

Kiddie pools can bring hours of delight to young children on a hot summer day. But unlike larger pools, small plastic and inflatable kiddie pools are normally not equipped with water filters or treated with chemicals that remove germs and balance pH. Add to this the fact that hygiene is not a strong suit of the kiddie pool set, and a few helpful tips are in order for safe fun in the kiddie pool:

CDC’s Message to Healthcare Workers: “Think Ebola, Care Carefully”

As the nation follows the progress of Ebola-infected healthcare workers being treated in US hospitals, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges all professionals on the front lines of the Ebola wars to exercise greater caution.  CDC released more stringent new guidance October 20 that highlights additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for

Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick at the Office

Office workers share more than reports and chit-chat when they show up for work each day. They also share germs, according to a new study by University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba.  A recent article in Mother Nature Network describes how Dr.  Gerba tracked the spread of a harmless virus across surfaces in offices,

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus: MERS-CoV

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, “MERS,” is a respiratory illness caused by an emerging coronavirus1. Although other coronaviruses are common, the MERS coronavirus (“MERS-CoV”) has only recently been reported to infect people. Symptoms of MERS include fever, cough and shortness of breath. MERS has proven fatal for approximately 30 percent of individuals infected. There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for MERS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Supportive therapy, such as assisted breathing devices may be provided to patients during the illness.