Tips to Help Prevent Your Toothbrush from Making You Sick

Brushing teeth is a no-brainer for dental health, as any dentist will attest, but can tooth-brushing have a down side?  First, most of us have been taught how to use a toothbrush correctly, e.g., don’t brush too hard, brush up-and-down, not side-to-side, and avoid damaging gum tissue.  But there is another aspect of dental hygiene


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.


Staying Hydrated All Year Long

Humans are water-based life forms, and as such we require H2O to function. Most North Americans benefit from an abundance of safe drinking water to keep our bodies hydrated.  We normally associate the risk of dehydration with hot weather, but a recent article from CNN Health highlights the fact that it is just as easy


State Says Chlorine Controlling Naegleria in Louisiana

A focused effort to rid a Louisiana water system of a rare but deadly amoeba by raising the minimum chlorine disinfectant level is paying off.  The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals announced recently that 22 water samples taken in St. Bernard Parish in late January tested negative for the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.  A new


Providing Food and Water: The Great Balancing Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week announced it has awarded nearly $9 million in grants to four institutionsi to fund research to help protect the quality of the nation’s waters by managing nutrient pollution.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy characterized nutrient pollution as “one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems.” Inherent in


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


Five Steps to a Healthier Home

Do you know that by making a few changes to your household habits you can dramatically reduce your family’s risk of disease?  The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that just seven pathogens are responsible for about 90 percent of gastrointestinal illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths.  These pathogens can cause fever, nausea, vomiting


After the Flood: Tips for Safe Cleanup

In addition to wiping out roads and buildings, massive flooding such as that seen in Colorado this summer can result in unanticipated hazards from tainted floodwaters.  The problem arises when pathogen-laden wastewater and fecal material from animals mingles with floodwater.  Disease risks from exposure to waterborne germs carried by floodwater include dysentery and hepatitis as


Naegleria Death in Louisiana

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the rare “brain-eating” parasite, Naegleria fowleri, killed four-year-old Drake Smith, Jr. this summer in St. Bernard Parish, near New Orleans. The boy is thought to have inhaled Naegleria-contaminated water while playing on a backyard water slide.  The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals confirmed the


A Disappointing Show of Hands in New Hand-washing Study

Hand-washing among the public is not what it should be, according to a Michigan State University research group.  Their new study found only five percent of individuals observed in restrooms throughout a college town exhibit hand-washing behavior that conforms with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to wash with clean, running water and