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

Chlorine Bleach: A Trusted Ally in the Battle against Ebola

A group of San Diego women with close ties to the West African nation of Liberia is raising funds to help fight the Ebola outbreak in that country. Their chosen weapon:  buckets of bleach.  In a recent video, Deborah Lindholm, the founder of the group, Foundation for Women, describes life today in Liberia:  “There are

Enterovirus 68: The New Respiratory Virus on Our Radar

  A previously uncommon respiratory virus has shown up on our radar:  Enterovirus 68 (EV-D68), a non-polio enterovirus.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, from mid-August to October 1 of this year, 500 people in 42 states and the District of Columbia were confirmed to have EV-D68 infections, but these

Chikungunya in the States

Have you heard about the Chikungunya virus? Although it is rarely fatal, its symptoms include fever and severe joint pain. Originally only present in countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, it is gaining a presence in the United States after being carried to the Caribbean.  Starting in late 2013, a few Carribbean vacationers contracted Chikungunya,

Ebola: What You Should Know

The deadly Ebola virus is on the move in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria (see outbreak map.) As of August 7, CDC reports the outbreak has infected over 1,700 people and claimed the lives of more than 900. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever – the formal name of the disease –

Avoiding Chikungunya and Other Mosquitoborne Illnesses

A pediatrician returned home to Minnesota recently after providing voluntary medical service in Haiti. She arrived with “crushing joint pain” from chikungunya (pronounced: \chik-en-gun-ye), a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. The exotic-sounding disease can cause high fever in addition to joint and muscle pain. These symptoms are similar to those of dengue, another mosquitoborne illness

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.

Typhoid Fever: Modus Operandi Revealed

Although it once exacted a toll of hundreds of thousands of cases of illness and death in North America every year, most of us rarely say the words “typhoid fever”, or give the disease much thought.  Drinking water treatment, including filtration and chlorination, and good food safety standards have virtually eliminated typhoid fever from our

Foodborne Illness Outbreak: Cyclospora

Federal and state agencies are working together to determine which foods are responsible for an outbreak of diarrheal illness that has affected almost 400 people in 11 states. Prepackaged salad mix has been identified as responsible for outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska, but it is not known whether outbreaks in other states are also linked

Staying One Step Ahead of Legionnaires’ Disease

Two large Quebec City buildings and a Chicago hotel are reported sites of exposure to Legionella bacteria that resulted in over 100 recent cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 13 deaths. In Quebec City, officials suspect building cooling systems became colonized with high numbers of the bacteria (CNN Health report), causing ten deaths and 165 cases