Search Results for: index.html

  1. Avoiding Salmonella from Backyard Poultry

    BackyardPoultryBackyard poultry farming is an increasingly popular trend in urban and suburban areas that permit it, giving families a fun way to raise food while learning to care for animals. Assuming roosters are banned in the neighborhood for their earsplitting “cock-a-doodle-doo,” what could be the downside of raising poultry in the backyard? The answer is illness. Unfortunately, outbreaks of Salmonella infection linked to backyard poultry are on the rise. We have described this type of disease in a previous article as a “zoonotic disease,” which is one that can spread between animals and humans under natural conditions, e.g., in your own backyard.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella bacteria reside in poultry droppings and on the feathers, feet and beaks of poultry, even though the chicks and ducklings may appear clean and healthy. Any human contact, whether through handling poultry directly or … READ MORE >>

  2. Superbugs and Sewage at the Beach

    We seem to be reading and writing a lot about superbugs—antibiotic resistant bacteria that are responsible for at least 2 million infections (including healthcare-associated infections acquired while receiving medical treatment in a hospital) and 23,000 deaths each year in the US.1 But the recent discovery of the “superbug enzyme” NDM2 in bathing seawaters in Ireland impacted by untreated sewage/wastewater3 brings this global public health issue even closer to home. After all, unless you work in the healthcare field, most of us avoid hospitals but go out of our way to spend a day at the beach!

    READ MORE >>

  3. Color-coded Tips for Treating Algae in the Swimming Pool

    Algae Swimming PoolAlgae in the swimming pool is an unwelcome sight, but one that usually can be dealt with effectively. The following “color-coded” tips can help you or your pool service professional identify and eliminate, or at least control, the most common types of algae. It is important to follow manufacturers’ directions for using and storing all pool chemicals.

    Green Algae

    Green algae usually appears when pool sanitizer levels are low or water circulation is poor; green algae turns pool water cloudy and murky. It is the easiest type of algae to remediate, but left unaddressed, green algae can worsen to the point of obscuring the floor and steps of the pool and potentially even a struggling bather, raising the drowning risk. Eradicate green algae by raising the chlorine level or adding an algaecide. Following treatment, it is important to run the filtration system continuously to clear the water by trapping the READ MORE >>

  4. Superbugs: Rising from Hospital Drainpipes

    SuperbugsSuperbugs are sneaky creatures. A new University of Virginia (UVA) study reveals how these microbes, once washed down the drains of hospital sinks, colonize the drainpipe and rise up slowly along the sides of the pipe, eventually reaching the sink strainer. The researchers hypothesize that when the sink faucet is operated, the potential pathogens and superbugs may be splashed from the strainer over a distance of more than two feet, presenting an infection risk to vulnerable hospital patients.

    A Significant Issue

    Superbugs are multidrug resistant bacteria that are responsible for two million cases of illness and some 23,000 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. A CDC report notes that over 720,000 infections were contracted in hospitals in 2011 and that 75,000 of those patients died. The UVA researchers found over 32 recent reports describing the spread of bacteria resistant to the … READ MORE >>

  5. Indicators of Drinking Water Quality

    Providing safe drinking water requires a multi-barrier approach that includes protecting source water from contamination, physically and/or chemically treating (including chlorine disinfection) the raw surface- and groundwater, and storing and delivering the treated water in a manner that prevents re-contamination. Every day, more than a billion glasses of tap water are consumed from over 150,000 public drinking water systems across the US, and it is often taken for granted that the water is safe and wholesome.1

     

    Many types of pathogenic (disease-causing) germs can be found in contaminated drinking water, including bacteria, viruses and parasites like Cryptosporidium—the cause of the largest documented waterborne disease outbreak in recent US history.

    READ MORE >>

  6. What Cooking Shows Don’t Teach

    Want to know how to prepare a delicious recipe? Tune in to a TV cooking show. Just don’t expect to view some of the most important cooking steps! According to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (abstract), today’s cooking shows are missing “an opportunity to model and teach good food safety practices for millions of viewers.” In fact, the researchers found in 39 episodes from 10 television cooking shows, the majority of episodes failed to demonstrate:

    • Proper use of utensils and gloves
    • Protection from contamination
    • Maintaining time and temperature rules

    Foodborne Illness: Learn from “Maria”

    Each year there are 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the US, including 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Foodborne illnesses, most of which are infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, can even have long-term health consequences, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ... READ MORE >>

  7. Why Cryptosporidium is Responsible for over 80% of Swimming Pool Illness Outbreaks, and What Can be Done about It

    Causes of recreational water illness outbreaks

    Causes of recreational water illness outbreaks, 2005-2006 (CDC MMWR Report, Sept. 12 2008)

    Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that is responsible for the majority of swimming pool illness outbreaks in the US with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to death.  An outbreak this summer in Ohio sickened hundreds of swimmers. With that level of notoriety, it should come as no surprise that “Crypto” was the subject of much discussion at the recent National Swimming Pool Foundation’s annual World Aquatic Health Conference in Nashville (October 19-21).  The figure at right illustrates the dominant role of “Crypto” in 35 reported recreational water illness outbreaks between 2005 and 2006.

    Crypto lives in the intestines of mammals and is what is known as an enteric pathogen, spread through the feces of infected people and animals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Crypto can cause … READ MORE >>

  8. Crypto Outbreaks in Aquatic Facilities

    Left to right: Cryptosporidium in the oocyst stage; emerging from its resistant shell; fully emerged
    Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

     

    Over 250 people in central Ohio and over 100 in Arizona have been sickened in summer outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cryptosporidium, or “Crypto.”   These parasites are found throughout the US and abroad, and settle in the intestines of infected humans and animals, making Crypto one of the most well-known zoonotic diseases.  According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), millions can be released in the feces of an infected person.  Only 10 to 30 are needed, however, to cause infection in a healthy person, according to Yoder and Beach (2010).1

    Crypto spreads in aquatic facilities when people inadvertently swallow water contaminated with the feces of infected individuals. Understanding Crypto and how to … READ MORE >>

  9. What Are Zoonotic Diseases?

    If you guessed that ZOOnotic diseases have something to do with animals, you are right.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a zoonotic disease is one that can spread between animals and humans under natural conditions—such as in homes, on farms, and at county fairs and petting zoos—and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi.  Ironically, animals that can transmit zoonotic pathogens (disease-causing germs) to people often have no symptoms of disease and simply act as carriers.

    Zoonotic, Emerging, and Waterborne Diseases

    Zoonotic diseases are also very common:  At least six out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are thought to be spread from animals.  Wildlife serves as a “reservoir” for many diseases common to domestic animals and humans.  Moreover, zoonotic pathogens are closely tied to so-called emerging (or reemerging) infectious diseases, and up to 75% of emerging pathogens are thought to … READ MORE >>

  10. The Truth about Chlorine in Swimming Pools

    This summer when you don your bathing suit and walk out onto the pool deck, you may be in for a sensory experience that conjures up happy memories of summers past—warm sunshine, sparkling pool water and the smell of chlorine.  If the chlorine smell is very strong, however, you may soon spot “red-eyed” swimmers emerging from the pool.  That’s when the pool water is assumed to have “too much chlorine” in it.  Ironically, a strong chemical smell around the pool and “swimmer red eye” may be signs that there is not enough chlorine in the water.  Sound confusing?  It’s time to set the record straight about chlorine and swimming pools.

    Chlorine helps protect swimmers from waterborne germs

    Most swimmers understand that chlorine is added to pools to kill germs that can make swimmers sick.  Chlorine-based pool sanitizers help reduce swimmers’ risk of waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea, swimmer’s ear, and … READ MORE >>

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