How a Norovirus Outbreak Ruined Summer Camp

Norovirus is notorious for spoiling a good time wherever it shows up, whether onboard a cruise ship1,2, in a restaurant3,4, or even at a musical performance5. In 2005, norovirus made fast work of a summer wrestling camp at a residential college. The camp closed early after over 100 people became sick.  A new scientific study6


Combating Antibiotic Resistance with Surface Disinfection

Antibiotic resistant microorganisms pose a serious threat to public health worldwide. According to a new report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 2,000,000 people in the US acquire antibiotic resistant infections every year, and at least 23,000 people die of these infections. Antibiotic resistant infections are most common among


Avoiding a Norovirus Nightmare on Your Cruise

Planning to take a cruise? Are you concerned that a tranquil voyage could turn nightmarish if norovirus spreads throughout the ship? Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea—truly an unwelcomed passenger on a cruise. Here are some helpful facts about cruise ships and norovirus. Norovirus is Not Limited to Cruises


Flu Vaccination Blitz Needed for Long-term Healthcare Workers

The flu vaccine represents the single best strategy for preventing the flu, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Many healthcare workers are vaccinated every year to help reduce their risk of contracting the flu and spreading it to their patients and families.  Long-term care patients in particular may be prone


For Disinfecting Sponges, Microwaving is a Simple Solution

Ah, the lowly kitchen sponge.  It is the seemingly perfect scrubbing tool that can take repeated use and abuse as it helps you scrub the dishes, wipe up food debris and even clean the kitchen sink.  However, as we all know, you don’t get something for nothing in this world!  From a microbiological point of


Doctor, Nurse: Have You Washed Your Hands?

It’s a well-known fact that hand-washing is one of the most important measures for reducing the spread of infection. Yet, healthcare workers, of all people, often fail to wash their hands!  One potential approach to this problem is to encourage patients, before submitting to treatment, to confirm verbally that doctors and nurses have indeed washed


Hand-washing and the Role of Feedback in Hygiene Strategies

Can video cameras be used to encourage health care workers to wash their hands? Yes, according to one study, but only if video-monitoring is combined with continuous feedback to workers. Feedback, that is, as in progress displayed on electronic boards mounted in hospital hallways! Are there other uses for the monitor and feedback approach? Hand-washing


Tackling C. diff

Here’s a troubling statistic: Over 165,000 patients will acquire Clostridium difficile (“C. diff’) infections while in US hospitals this year. This organism has become a top hospital-acquired pathogen in the US. “Clostridium difficile,” is a spore-forming bacterium that can live in the lower gastrointestinal tract of some humans and is shed in feces. Persons hosting


Neti Pots, Naegleria and Your Health

Naegleria fowleri Image used with permission of Dr. Francine Marciano-Cabral, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Neti pot1 use is being blamed for the deaths of two Louisiana residents who developed a rare fatal brain infection after using the device to clear their sinuses (The Advocate article). The infections are believed to have been caused