Enjoying Reptiles and Amphibians while Avoiding Salmonella

Children love to explore the great outdoors.  Spotting turtles, frogs, lizards and snakes in the wild is fun and can help build an appreciation of the wonders of wildlife.  To help keep the experience healthy, parents and guardians should be aware that reptiles and amphibians can harbor Salmonella bacteria that are easily transmitted to people

Hantavirus in North America: Rare but Deadly

Spring cleaning time is here, and chores may include sweeping out garages, basements, sheds, cottages and cabins.  Keep in mind that these environments may contain rodent droppings, which can present a rare but deadly health risk from hantavirus.  Hantavirus was first recognized in North America in May, 1993 in The Four Corners area of Arizona,

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance at Home and Globally

We all have a stake in the outcome of the battle against antimicrobial resistance. Everyone, from the global public health expert to the ordinary citizen, can play a role in reversing a dangerous trend in the balance of power between humans and pathogens.

Superbugs and the 2016 Summer Olympics

An antimicrobial resistant “superbug” could give sailors and windsurfers competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics more to worry about than their athletic performance. Evidence of superbugs–bacteria resistant to common antibiotics—have been found in the sewage-laden Carioca River, which flows into Guanabara Bay, the planned site of Olympic sailing and windsurfing events.

Foregoing Childhood Immunizations: Fear and Consequences

Parents can use this CDC “button” to create a personalized vaccination schedule for children 6 years old or younger Childhood immunizations protect against a wide variety of diseases, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and smallpox.  Yet, some parents reject these immunizations as unsafe, citing a fear of potential

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

Naegleria in Louisiana: Fighting the Right Fight

The identification of the “brain-eating amoeba,” Naegleria fowleri, in some Louisiana drinking water and three tragic deaths from this organism since 2011 has prompted an aggressive response to rid state water systems of the amoeba. This article examines the strategy being used to combat Naegleria in Louisiana, and reinforces the importance of staying the present

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,

Cleaning up Safely after Flooding

Torrential rainfall in the Midwest and Northeast US this week led to flash flooding, filling basements with water and sewage, which can contain hundreds of pathogens. Residents should assume flood waters are contaminated and that exposure to these waters may raise the risk of diarrhea, dysentery, even hepatitis, skin and eye infections and respiratory disorders.

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 –