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Infections Blog

Contaminated Pet Food, Treats Can Harm People, Too

Posted 10 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 – Tainted pet foods and treats may make more than your dog or cat sick, new data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests. Harmful bacteria can also make owners ill if they handle contaminated pet products improperly, and bacteria such as salmonella can spread from pets to people, the agency said. "Ultimately, we're hoping to learn ways FDA can help minimize the incidence of foodborne illness associated with pet foods and treats," Renate Reimschuessel, head of the FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, said in an agency news release. To collect the new data, the FDA worked with 11 veterinary labs across the United States to investigate pet infections reported by pet owners. One of the main focuses was salmonella infections. Of almost 3,000 dogs and cats tested so far, fewer than 100 have tested positive for salmonella, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Infection Prophylaxis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Leaky Pipes May Mean Tainted Tap Water: Study

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – It's long been thought that leaks in water pipes wouldn't pose a health threat to the water supply. But a new study suggests otherwise. As explained by the British researchers, the pressure in water mains typically forces water out through any leak – preventing any contaminants from getting in. However, their study finds that if the damage leads to a significant pressure drop in a pipe, dirty water surrounding the pipe can then get sucked in through breaks. It was believed that only clean water from the leak would be sucked into a broken pipe, and that even if contaminants were also sucked in, they would be expelled once water pressure in the pipe returned to normal. However, a team led by engineer Joby Boxall of the University of Sheffield discovered that groundwater from around the pipe – which is often contaminated – can be sucked into and remain in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea

Tattoos May Pose Health Risks, Researchers Report

Posted 28 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 – Getting a tattoo may put you at risk for long-term skin problems, a new study warns. "We were rather alarmed at the high rate of reported chronic complications tied to getting a tattoo," said senior investigator Dr. Marie Leger, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Given the growing popularity of tattoos, physicians, public health officials and consumers need to be aware of the risks involved," Leger said in a Langone news release. For the study, researchers surveyed about 300 New York City adults, aged 18 to 69, with tattoos. Most of them had no more than five tattoos, and the arm was the most popular tattoo site (67 percent). Up to 6 percent of the study participants experienced some form of tattoo-related rash, infection, severe itching or swelling that sometimes lasted longer than four months. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Skin Infection, Eczema, Dermatitis, Bacterial Skin Infection, Contact Dermatitis, Skin and Structure Infection, Atopic Dermatitis, Secondary Cutaneous Bacterial Infections

Pet Geckos May Pose Health Risk

Posted 21 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 21, 2015 – Your pet gecko might make you sick, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed fecal samples from Indonesian tokay geckos – an imported species popular as pets in the United States. They found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the intestines that may pose a health threat to owners. "The study shows how importing animals can introduce bacteria into households," study co-author Sonia Hernandez, an associate professor of wildlife diseases at the University of Georgia, said in a university news release. "In general, it's a good idea to know what bacteria an animal is bringing in. Any new animal, especially one imported from another country, could introduce new bacteria into a pet owner's household," she added. The geckos had high rates of resistance to antibiotics commonly used in the United States, such as cephalosporins and penicillins, the investigators found. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

Health Tip: Swimming Pools Can Harbor Germs

Posted 18 May 2015 by Drugs.com

-- While most swimming pools contain chemicals to help kill germs, these germ-destroyers may not be 100 percent effective all the time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends: Shower to help rinse off germs before you get into the water. Never urinate or pass a bowel movement in swimming water. If you have diarrhea, don't go swimming. Never drink pool water. Every hour, have kids get out of the pool for a bathroom break or diaper change. Make sure chlorine and pH levels are safe before anyone gets in the water. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Diarrhea, Diarrhea, Chronic, Infectious Diarrhea, Diarrhea, Acute

Researchers Hone in on Genes Linked to Serious Blood Infection

Posted 13 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 – It might be possible to develop a blood test that would diagnose severe blood infections (sepsis) at an earlier stage than can be done currently, new research suggests. Stanford University researchers have identified a pattern of gene activity associated specifically with sepsis. Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital deaths in the United States, according to the researchers. The condition is associated with the early deaths of at least 750,000 Americans a year and costs the health care system more than $24 billion annually. "It's critical for clinicians to diagnose sepsis accurately and quickly, because the risk of death from this condition increases with every passing hour it goes untreated," study senior author Purvesh Khatri, an assistant professor of biomedical informatics research, said in a university news release. However, it can be difficult to ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Sepsis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Septicemia

Pig Farmers at Greater Risk for Drug-Resistant Staph Infections: Study

Posted 7 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 – Pig farm workers are at increased risk for multidrug-resistant staph infections, new research indicates. Most infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are minor, but this strain of the bacteria can sometimes cause serious infections, and drug-resistant strains are becoming more common. Researchers followed more than 1,300 people who lived in rural areas or small towns in Iowa for 17 months. Overall, 26 percent of the people in the study carried Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a rate slightly lower than the national average of 30 percent. But pig farm workers were six times more likely to carry multidrug-resistant S. aureus than people who were weren't exposed to pigs, and they were also more likely to become infected, according to the study published recently online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. "S. aureus does not typically make pigs sick, but ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Nasal Carriage of Staphylococcus Aureus

'Cruise Ship' Norovirus Bug Can Spread by Air, Study Finds

Posted 6 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – Noroviruses – those notorious stomach bugs that have infected scores of people and ruined countless cruise ship vacations – can spread through the air and infect people several feet away, according to new research. These findings suggest that current safety precautions implemented to control noroviruses may not be enough. The study also helps explain why outbreaks of the illness are difficult to contain, the researchers said. "The measures applied in hospital settings are only designed to limit direct contact with infected patients," the study's leader, Caroline Duchaine, a professor at Universite Laval's Faculty of Science and Engineering in Quebec, Canada, said in a university news release. "In light of our results, these rules need to be reviewed to take into account the possibility of airborne transmission of noroviruses. Use of mobile air-filtration ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Infection Prophylaxis

Outbreaks of Gut 'Superbug' More Common in Northeast: Study

Posted 5 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 – Infections with the superbug known as Clostridium difficile have been the most prevalent in the Northeast during the past decade, new U.S. research shows. University of Texas researchers looked at slightly more than 2 million cases of infection with the germ, which causes colon inflammation and life-threatening diarrhea. The bug causes more health care-related infections in U.S. hospitals than any other, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings were published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. C. difficile costs as much as $4.8 billion in estimated extra health care costs per year, according to CDC estimates. Roughly half a million infections occurred in 2011, killing 29,000 patients within a month of their diagnosis, according to the agency. The University of Texas researchers found the Northeast ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Clostridial Infection

Half of U.S. Hospitals Could Do More to Prevent Serious Infections, Study Finds

Posted 29 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015 – Too few hospitals in the United States are doing everything they can to protect patients from a potentially deadly intestinal infection, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed almost 400 hospitals nationwide to determine what measures they had taken to prevent Clostridium difficile infections, which kill nearly 30,000 Americans a year and cause illness in hundreds of thousands more. Hospital patients are at high risk for C. difficile infections and for suffering serious effects, especially if they have taken antibiotics, which disrupt the normal community of bacteria in their digestive systems. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, nausea and loss of appetite. "C. difficile infection over the last decade has emerged as a threat to patients, especially the most vulnerable and the elderly, and has increased in incidence and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Metronidazole, Bactrim, Flagyl, Bactrim DS, Polymyxin B, Xifaxan, Septra, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Zyvox, Rifaximin, Bacitracin, Metro, Septra DS, Cotrimoxazole, Chloramphenicol, Sulfatrim, SMZ-TMP DS, Flagyl IV, Flagyl IV RTU

As the Weather Warms, Avoid Gardening's Pitfalls

Posted 7 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 – Exercise and fresh food are among the benefits of gardening, but there are also potential hazards that you can take steps to avoid, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Proper clothing and safety gear is essential. Wear gloves to protect your hands from skin irritants, cuts and contaminants. Guard against ticks and mosquitoes by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants tucked into your socks. High rubber boots are a good idea because ticks usually lurk close to the ground. Use an insect repellant with DEET, the CDC recommends. When using power tools and equipment, wear safety goggles, hearing protection, sturdy shoes and long pants. Be sure the equipment is working properly. Keep tools, equipment and harmful chemicals out of children's reach. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing long sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Tetanus

Tobacco Smoke Strengthens 'Superbug,' Lab Research Finds

Posted 6 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 6, 2015 – Cigarette smoke appears to strengthen a dreaded "superbug," new research in mice shows. Exposure to tobacco smoke prompts methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria to become even more aggressive, and makes it harder for the immune system to fight off the infection, researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found. "We already know that smoking cigarettes harms human respiratory and immune cells, and now we've shown that, on the flipside, smoke can also stress out invasive bacteria and make them more aggressive," study senior author Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego, said in a university news release. However, it's important to note that the results of animal and laboratory experiments don't necessarily hold in humans. MRSA infection is caused by a ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Augmentin, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Clavulanate, Amoxicillin/Clavulanate, Cloxacillin, Dicloxacillin, Methicillin, Amoclan, Nafcillin, Augmentin XR, Zosyn, Unasyn, Oxacillin, Augmentin ES-600, Timentin, Tazobactam, Dycill, Nallpen, Piperacillin/Tazobactam

When to Keep Kids Home From School

Posted 20 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 – Trying to determine whether to keep a child home from school due to illness can be difficult for parents, but a pediatrician offers some advice on how to make that call. "Being a parent is a juggling act, but throw in a child being home sick from school and the delicate balance topples. Many parents ask: When is it important to keep my child home from school and when should I send them?" Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson, a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., said in a university news release. "There are times when it's best for the child and his or her classmates to just remain at home," said Chow-Johnson, who's also an assistant professor in the pediatrics department at Loyola's School of Medicine. One common problem is pinkeye – conjunctivitis. "Your child is contagious with bacterial or viral conjunctivitis until the redness and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections

FDA Tightens Rules on Endoscopes Tied to 'Superbug' Outbreaks

Posted 12 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued final recommendations for the cleaning and sterilization of medical devices used in invasive procedures. The updated rules, first proposed in 2011, were released in response to last month's reports of seven serious infections and two deaths at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, which were caused by duodenoscopes contaminated with a "superbug." On March 4, four similar "superbug" infections were reported at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Duodenoscopes are devices used to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "have been devoting a great deal of effort to understand the circumstances and reasons for the episodes of drug-resistant bacterial infections associated with duodenoscopes," Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Common Antiseptic Can Prevent Infant Deaths, Study Says

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Using a low-cost antiseptic to clean the umbilical cords of babies born outside of a hospital lowers infant infection and death rates in developing countries, researchers say. "Based on our review, using chlorhexidine to clean the umbilical cord saves newborn babies lives," said lead researcher Anju Sinha of the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi. The findings were based on 12 clinical trials, some of them conducted in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. The results were published March 5 in the Cochrane Library. "The greatest benefits were seen in the Southeast Asian studies," Sinha said in a journal news release. "The results from African studies are less convincing, so we would like to see whether the results from ongoing trials in Zambia and Tanzania can substantiate this evidence," Sinha added. The review concluded that cleaning umbilical ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Chlorhexidine, Hibiclens, Peridex, Periogard, Betasept, Perisol, Dyna-Hex, Hibistat Towelette, Denti-Rinse, PerioChip, Chlorostat, Hibistat, Biopatch, Bactoshield, Exidine, Calgon Vesta, Chlorostat 4, Spectrum-4

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