08
Feb
2019
Public Health

Tracking Seasonal Flu in Real Time


25
Jan
2019
Public Health
by Bruce K. Bernard, PhD

Quarantine, Isolation, and an Escape from a Little Rock Yellow Fever Epidemic

Family lore has it that during a yellow fever epidemic in Little Rock in the 1890s, my maternal grandmother’s family escaped the quarantined city via a flat boat, probably along the Arkansas River to the Mississippi River. The story goes that under the cover of darkness, great grandfather Nathan slipped the boat under a blockading chain across the Mississippi and spirited his wife Jennie, their children, and the rest of the family away from the outbreak. The family returned to Little Rock when the epidemic was over, and Nathan and Jennie’s daughter, Gida, my grandmother, went on to graduate from college in 1911, a rare feat for a woman in those days. ... Read More »

04
Jan
2019
Public Health
by Water Quality & Health Council

Paper Towel vs. Electric Hand Dryers in Public Restrooms: Which is Best?

Consider the public restroom. We may be a bit concerned about how sanitary it is, but when nature calls while we are out and about, the facility is a welcome sight. But how do we utilize public restrooms with minimum risk to our health? Automatic flush toilets, no-touch water faucets, electric hand dryers, and automatic... Read More »

07
Dec
2018
Public Health
by Joan B. Rose, PhD, and Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Virus-Associated Mystery Syndrome on the Rise: Acute Flaccid Myelitis

Named for its symptoms, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a polio-like, paralyzing neurological condition that primarily afflicts young children aged 2 to 8 years. Although very rare, confirmed cases of AFM have spiked sharply since 2014, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first noted the increase (see box). Available clinical, laboratory, and other evidence all suggest a viral association, and over 90% of confirmed cases had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM. CDC is working closely with healthcare providers as well as state and local health departments to investigate and confirm AFM cases, including possible causes, risk factors, and potential treatment options. Yet because much about AFM remains a mystery—including why a small but growing number of people develop AFM after a viral infection while most others recover—some parents and doctors have grown impatient with CDC.... Read More »

30
Nov
2018
Public Health
by Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Flu Season: What You Need to Know to Stay Healthy

Flu season has arrived. Although we can’t predict how severe it will be, we know that last season was deadlier than many of the recent past. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website reports annual flu deaths in the U.S. range between approximately 12,000 and 56,000 people. During the 2017-2018 flu season, however,... Read More »

23
Nov
2018
Public Health
by Stephen A. Hubbs, PE

The Great 1918 Flu Pandemic and its Impact on Louisville

Sisters who served in the emergency hospitals, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, KY, with Father Regis Barrett Photo courtesy of University of Louisville Photo Archives This year marks the centenary of the Great 1918 Flu Pandemic, a period of worldwide illness and death that overlapped and intertwined with the terror of World War I. The flu... Read More »

01
Jun
2018
Public Health
by Water Quality & Health Council

Good Hand Hygiene Reduces the Spread of Beach Bacteria

Good hand hygiene, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the single most important thing we can do to reduce the spread of bacteria and infectious illness. With that in mind, what happens to hand hygiene at the beach? A day at the beach usually includes hand contact with sunscreen, sand... Read More »

27
Apr
2018
Public Health
by Andrew Robertson, PE

An Engineer’s Mission to Combat Mold and Disease Transmission in Puerto Rico

Hurricanes Irma and Maria, now distant memories for most Americans, remain top of mind for Puerto Ricans who are still laboring to recover from those historic storms. As an engineer-volunteer for Water Engineers for the Americas (WEFTA), I traveled with my 13-year old daughter, Kati, to Puerto Rico this spring to lend a helping hand.... Read More »