Out of the Jungle: Yellow Fever on the Rise

Yellow fever, a deadly scourge transmitted by mosquitoes that has impacted the course of human history time and time again, is on the rise in Latin America. The first yellow fever death in Brazil in 17 years occurred in January 2017, when a young person who worked in the jungle succumbed to the disease. A


Fancy Meeting You Here! Targeting Household Germs in Unexpected Places

When the weather warms up after a long winter, I get the urge to throw open windows and tackle spring cleaning chores. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to complete these chores, but I recently learned from WebMD that some of the germiest places in homes are not even on most people’s radar.

The table below, based on information from WebMD, lists the most unexpected hiding places for household germs, the reasons why they thrive in those places, and how you can reduce their unwanted presence.


Preventing Infection with Environmental Controls: A “Broad-spectrum” Approach

As reports of the dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and “superbug” infections continue to make headlines, we think the time is right to consider the environmental controls at our disposal for fighting the spread of infectious illness. Environmental controls lower the risk of infection by taking the fight against pathogens into the environment. Once implemented, environmental


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


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


Your Norovirus Season Survival Guide

Norovirus, the dreaded “stomach flu” or “winter vomiting disease,” is spreading misery far and wide this winter. The Wall Street Journal (January 24) reported on multiple school closures across the US and unhappy households in which family members are falling sick in succession like a line of dominoes. Meet the Virus Not a flu but


The Secret Life of Bleach

Chlorine bleach – that household staple usually parked in the laundry – has additional uses besides “whitening your whites.” During cold and flu season, dilute bleach solutions can be used to wipe down frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of viruses and other pathogens (disease-spreading germs) among family members. Bleach solutions also destroy


A Fun Holiday Hand-washing Activity for Kids

As our families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, we look forward to enjoying good company, delicious food and exchanging gifts.  One aspect of the holidays we don’t enjoy, however, is exchanging the germ du jour. Many adults are aware that frequent hand-washing—and hand sanitizer use in a pinch–can help avoid the “re-gifted” germs


Handkerchief or Tissues? That is the Question!

Ah-choo! How do you handle sneezes and a runny nose? Do you reach for a handkerchief or tissues? Which option is more sanitary? Which option is most environmentally responsible? How do affordability, comfort and convenience factor into your decision? More men than women may prefer handkerchiefs, but that may be changing. Rather than endorse one


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