13
Sep
2019
Public Health

Shameful Scam: Drinking Sodium Chlorite Products as a Cure for Autism


06
Sep
2019
Public Health
by Barbara M. Soule, RN, MPA, CIC

Back to School: How to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs in the Classroom

As students return to the classroom with brand-new backpacks and high hopes for a good academic year, an invisible army of microbes is preparing an attack on the little learners. Legions of cold and flu viruses are determined to circulate through the “student body” in a show of force that will make school PTA newsletter... Read More »

09
Aug
2019
Food Safety
by Linda Golodner, Guest Author Michéle Samarya-Timm, MA, HO, MCHES, REHS, Guest Author Francelli Lugo, MPH, and Guest Author Kaitlin Greenberg, MPH

Sanitizing Food-contact Surfaces with Bleach Solutions in Restaurants and Institutions

Although the U.S. food supply is generally considered to be safe, foodborne illnesses continue to take a toll in our country. Nearly every month we hear of a food-related illness outbreak or recall, prompting a mental check of whether we might have purchased the offending product, consumed it, or stored it in our kitchens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Outbreak Reporting System, in the 17-year period from 2000 to 2017, over 18,000 foodborne outbreaks were reported, involving more than 350,000 cases (approximately one per 1,000 people in the U.S.) of illness, over 15,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 350 deaths from consuming unsafe foods. Moreover, these numbers likely underreport the actual U.S. statistics as CDC estimates that each year, 48 million people experience foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. ... Read More »

19
Jul
2019
Disinfect for Health
by Water Quality & Health Council

Honoring Water Quality & Health Member Barbara M. Soule

Our friend and colleague, Ms. Barbara M. Soule, was recognized for her extraordinary career in infection prevention and control during the 2019 Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) annual meeting in Philadelphia. The Liberty View Event Center, with its perfect view of Independence Hall, was the special setting for the June 13, 2019 festivities. The event marked Ms. Soule’s upcoming retirement at the end of 2019 as a consultant for Joint Commission Resources and Joint Commission International. As part of the evening program, Ms. Soule was interviewed on topics including highlights of her career, lessons learned, and the future of the field of infection prevention and control.... Read More »

05
Jul
2019
Preventing Infection
by Sabrina Jacobson, Guest Author

Health Tips for Summer Vacationers: How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

While the colder months are more known as the time when contagious illnesses like the flu and norovirus are widespread, summer travel can lead to sickness if you’re not careful! Thousands of people visit rest stops or take planes or trains for vacation - it takes just one infected person to turn these spots into breeding zones for pathogens (disease-causing germs). So what do you need to know about summer illnesses? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22-64% of travelers to developing countries report travel-related health problems. Thankfully most illnesses are mild- but many of the infections travelers report only become apparent after their return home. Whether you get sick at the beginning or end of a trip, or sometime in between, illness can put a damper on the entire experience. ... Read More »

21
Jun
2019
Public Health
by Barbara M. Soule, RN, MPA, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC

Candida auris Infections: What You Need to Know about This Growing Global Health Threat

A drug-resistant fungus originally identified in the ear of an elderly woman in Japan in 2009 is raising global health concerns. Candida auris, or “C. auris” (“auris” is Latin for “ear”), is a yeast that is considered an “emerging” pathogen because of rising numbers of infections reported around the globe. C. auris infections are common in medical centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities among people who are already ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly half of all people who contract the fungal disease die within 90 days. CDC tracks C. auris cases reported in the U.S.... Read More »

10
May
2019
Public Health
by Barbara M. Soule, RN, MPA, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC

Choosing Cleaners, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants: What Schools and Other Institutions Should Consider

We are all familiar with cleaners, those handy products that help us remove visible debris, dirt, and dust from surfaces. Cleaners play an important role in building maintenance, but they cannot consistently eliminate disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens), such as bacteria and viruses on surfaces. Sanitizers and disinfectants are the antimicrobial products made to destroy those. Disinfectants are used to help halt the spread of infectious illnesses, such as colds, flu, norovirus, and resistant organisms such as MRSA. These infectious illnesses and outbreaks can devastate student or worker attendance and productivity in any institution.... Read More »

26
Apr
2019
Child Care
by Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

How to Sanitize Ball Pit Balls to Help Prevent the Spread of Infection

Children love to play in ball pits whether for fun or as part of a physical therapy. When I see them gleefully navigating those tubs of colorful spheres, it occurs to me they are engaging in a form of “dry swimming.” In place of water, they “swim” through a medium of lightweight plastic balls. Unlike swimming pool water, however, there is no standard method to treat ball pit balls to help prevent the spread of infectious illness. Based on recent research that identified a host of pathogens in pediatric therapy ball pits, I suggest the time to evaluate the need for such guidance is now.... Read More »

12
Apr
2019
Food Safety
by Linda Golodner

Promoting Food Safety Tips in Recipes

I enjoy cooking, and I have several dog-eared cookbooks and food-stained index cards featuring the recipes for many of my family’s favorite dishes. I also enjoy trying out recipes I find in magazines, newspapers, or online. Recipes are an indispensable tool for cooks, helping us perform the “kitchen chemistry” that transforms ingredients into delicious, “table-ready” meals. But implicit in most recipes is the notion that cooks know how to handle raw products, including produce, poultry, fish, and meat, safely. Based on data on foodborne illness outbreaks from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of us may not actually be that savvy about food safety.... Read More »

05
Apr
2019
Preventing Infection
by Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Measles Outbreak of 2019: Symptoms, Transmission, and Vaccines

 Measles Returns In 2000, measles was declared eradicated from the U.S. Unfortunately, it is back. Measles outbreaks have been on the rise since 2008, and currently several states, including New York, Washington, Texas, Illinois, and California, are experiencing outbreaks. Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious illness including death. According to... Read More »