Disease Prevention for Occupier Protestors

Since mid-September, demonstrators from the international Occupy movement have inhabited US city parks to protest social and economic inequality. As the weeks pass, outdoor temperatures decline and sanitation conditions worsen, health officials are concerned that camps have become breeding grounds for disease. Protesters should heed basic principles of sanitation and take precautions to avoid spreading


Superbugs and the Road to Antimicrobial Resistance: A Case Study from Ecuador

There’s more to developing drug resistant bacteria than simply taking antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide that needs to be addressed on multiple fronts including human and veterinary medicine. Research recently concluded in Ecuador suggests that environment and social context may play a major role in the development and spread of antibiotic drug


Chloroform: A Profile in Risk Management

In Scotland’s St. Giles Cathedral, there hangs a peculiar plaque praising the discovery of the anesthetic properties of the chemical compound chloroform. Scottish obstetrician Dr. James Simpson is widely credited with this 1847 medical milestone. Chloroform, a simple compound consisting of carbon, chlorine and hydrogen, has more recently been in the news as a byproduct


Sensing Potential Problems with Electronic Eye Faucets

The public bathroom scene is changing.  Increasingly, manual faucets and soap dispensers are being replaced by hands-free electronic eye faucets that conserve water and need only sense a pair of hands to start running water of a perfect temperature. This is a positive development because those who wash their hands don’t have to touch the


Hand Drying: Here’s the Rub

It’s no secret that hand washing is critically important to reducing the transmission of pathogens.  We in the healthcare profession strive to remain vigilant about hand washing and we advise our patients to do the same, especially before and after handling food, using the bathroom, or when we or others are in contact with sick


Reducing Deaths from Hospital Infections

How effective are check lists?  Pilots know they are effective and now medical experts do too, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.  A refreshing culture change in Michigan hospitals, including adherence to a simple, five-part check list is associated with reduced infections and a 10 percent reduction in infection-related deaths


Good Health Starts with Clean Hands

A guest blog written by Nancy Bock, American Cleaning Institute® Frequent and proper hand hygiene can stop germs and illness in their tracks.  Why are clean hands important?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others


Health Risks Associated with Body Art

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, tattooing and body piercing are becoming increasingly popular, but these procedures can increase the risk of contracting a number of serious blood-borne diseases. A 2001 survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 51 percent of college students had piercings and 23 percent had


Disinfecting Tips to Help Keep Pets Healthy

According to a 2008 analysis, about 63 percent of all U.S. households–71.1 million–are proud pet owners, and more than half of these households have more than one animal. That means American animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and breeding, boarding and grooming facilities are busy places! The daily influx of animals in and out of animal shelters,


Waterborne Diseases Cost US $500 Million a Year

According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitalizations from three common and preventable waterborne diseases – Legionnaire’s disease, cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis – could cost the U.S an estimated $539 million dollars each year. These figures represent only a fraction of all waterborne disease costs. They underscore the large and hidden