The family trip to see our children play in a sports tournament has become almost as American as apple pie. Yet recent news reports demonstrate the fun of these events can be destroyed by the infamous norovirus (aka stomach bug). A recent youth football tournament in Las Vegas, for example, was marred by a visit from the stomach bug, sending some players to hospital emergency rooms instead of onto the playing field. A news report indicated 28 people went to the hospital and 90 to 100 players, coaches and parents exhibited symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea during the four-day event. One of the football games had to be forfeited due to illness; tournament organizers even dispensed with end-of-the-game handshakes between opposing teams to help prevent the spread of infection. A tournament spokesperson speculated in the news report that “some people might have caught the sickness before coming to … READ MORE >>
Don’t Let the Stomach Bug Ruin Your Sports Tournament
By Bruce Bernard, PhD
When Flu Comes a-Knockin’ at Your Door: Ten Steps to Prevent Flu Spreading through Your Household
Ralph Morris, MD
Flu season is here again, and although “influenza activity”–to use the language of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—is low right now, it is expected to increase in the coming weeks. So, what steps should you take when flu comes a-knockin’ at your door? How can you reduce the risk of infection to the rest of your family when one family member gets the flu?
- BE PROACTIVE: GET THE ANNUAL FLU VACCINE: CDC says getting the flu vaccine is the single most important thing that everyone six months old and older can do to reduce their risk of flu. According to CDC, flu is more dangerous for children than the common cold; it can lead to severe complications, especially in children under the age of two, and in children with chronic health problems. Other people at high risk for flu-related complications are adults 65 years old and
The Thanksgiving Cook’s Quiz
Calling all cooks: As Thanksgiving approaches, you are invited to test your knowledge of safe food handling with this quiz:
1. Which of the following should all Thanksgiving cooks assume as they begin dinner preparations?
a. All guests will arrive on time.
b. The raw turkey is contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria.
c. The mashed potatoes will be lumpy.
d. There will be no leftovers.
2. Turkeys should be refrigerated
a. While defrosting.
b. No later than two hours after serving.
c. All of the above.
3. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, stuffing should be
a. Removed from the turkey cavity as soon as the turkey is fully cooked and out of the oven.
b. Smothered in gravy.
c. Made with oysters.
d. All of the above.
4. Kitchen work surfaces that contact raw foods should be
a. Washed with hot, soapy water, then disinfected with a bleach … READ MORE >>
Combating Antibiotic Resistance with Surface Disinfection
Barbara Soule, RN, MPA, CIC
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 those in the general population, but deaths from these infections occur most frequently in hospital patients and nursing home residents. The CDC report takes stock of the threat of antibiotic resistant infections and describes four core strategies to combat them:
- Improving the use of antibiotics1
- Tracking resistant bacteria
- Promoting the development of new antibiotics and new diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria
- Preventing infections and preventing the spread of resistance
This article focuses on preventing infection by targeted environmental surface disinfection with the goal of avoiding the use of antibiotics in the first place. … READ MORE >>
Five Steps to a Healthier Home
Ralph Morris, MD
Image from CDC Website
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 Centers 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 and diarrhea, and in some cases, even death. A recent CNN article lists strategies that can help reduce household exposure to pathogens, thereby reducing your family’s risk of illness:
- Close the toilet lid before you flush. Flushing agitates the toilet contents, forcing a fine spray of contaminated water into the air that can settle on surfaces such as toothbrushes and hand towels. Closing the lid helps confine the spray, reducing the family’s exposure to germs like norovirus.
- Double-bag raw meats and store them on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. The