Thanksgiving Stress: What Rates High on Your Meter?
By the Water Quality & Health Council

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is meant to be a delightful day centered on family, friends, and food. Traditions play a big role on this day, whether it is a brisk pre-dinner hike, watching football on TV, or giving everyone at the table a chance to express what he or she has been most grateful for this year.

Thanksgiving is not necessarily a stress-free holiday, however:  Cooks feel pressure to produce a special feast; travelers are forced to deal with transportation and traffic delays; and increasingly, advertisers tempt us to shorten our Thanksgiving celebration and start our holiday shopping on Thanksgiving or in the wee hours of “Black Friday.”  A survey we conducted a few years ago found more than one-third of Americans polled were concerned about “being around an annoying relative” on Turkey Day.  In fact, more folks were concerned about sitting next to crazy Uncle Joe (37%) than they were about getting … READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

Foregoing Childhood Immunizations: Fear and Consequences
Fred Reiff, P.E.

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 adverse health effects such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Others express hope that their unvaccinated children will be protected from diseases as a result of the widespread immunity of their peers. The reality is that foregoing childhood immunizations is a dangerous practice that threatens the historic gains of modern disease control efforts. ... READ MORE >> READ MORE >>

Develop Your Flu Strategy
Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Flu season is approaching rapidly. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that US flu related deaths can vary from 3,000 to 49,000 people depending on the year. The CDC recommends the following flu prevention tips : Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccination Wash your hands frequently to help reduce the spread of flu Stay home if you are sick with the flu (CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone) ... READ MORE >> READ MORE >>

CDC’s Message to Healthcare Workers: “Think Ebola, Care Carefully”
Barbara Soule, RN., MPA, CIC, FSHEA

As the nation follows the progress of Ebola-infected healthcare workers being treated in US hospitals, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges all professionals on the front lines of the Ebola wars to exercise greater caution. CDC released more stringent new guidance October 20 that highlights additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for caregivers and the critical matter of properly donning and removing personal protective equipment. CDC notes: “Recent experience from safely treating patients with Ebola at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center are reflected in the guidance.” ... READ MORE >> READ MORE >>

Chlorinating Brainerd’s Drinking Water Can Save Lives
Bruce K. Bernard, PhD

There’s a controversy brewing in the Mississippi River city of Brainerd, Minnesota that is about to boil over.  On October 28, the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission will debate whether or not to chlorinate the city’s drinking water on a permanent basis.  The question for many in the municipality of nearly 14,000 is whether disinfecting is worth potentially changing the taste of water that has been called “the world’s best drink”.


The vast majority of US water systems add a residual level of chlorine disinfectant to protect water quality as it travels from the treatment plant to the tap. Not so in Brainerd.  According to an October 11 article in the Star Tribune, chlorine is added to Brainerd’s water only when bacterial contamination is detected.  Chlorination has had to be employed in Brainerd three times since 1987, including in September, when a water main break contaminated the supply, forcing residents … READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

Subscribe to receive the weekly "Water Quality & Health Council Perspectives"