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Infections News

Climate Change May Be Pushing 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba to Northern Lakes

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 – A deadly "brain-eating" amoeba that lives in freshwater sources may be surviving in more northern areas of the United States thanks to climate change, health experts suggest. Minnesota health officials are still trying to confirm if the death of a Minnesota teen this summer was caused by the single-celled organism Naegleria fowleri. If confirmed, it would be the northernmost infection of Naegleria fowleri ever reported, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The amoeba normally lives in warmer waters in the southern United States. But since climate change is generally making summers hotter, the amoeba now seems to be in northern waters, said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. "Climate change may be playing a role," he said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention referred to ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Amebiasis, Dientamoeba fragilis

Antibiotic May Lower Effect of Some Blood Thinners

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – The antibiotic dicloxacillin may lessen the effects of some blood-thinning medications, new research shows. "The surprise in the study was just how much of an impact dicloxacillin had," said study author Anton Pottegard, a pharmacist and research fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense. "Often, the effects in these kinds of studies are quite small. But this was very pronounced: Six out of 10 patients dropped so much in their level of blood-thinning that they were no longer sufficiently protected against clotting and stroke," Pottegard said. Coumadin (warfarin) and similar blood thinners lower the risk of blood clots, a potential cause of strokes and heart attacks, by thinning the blood so blockages don't form in vessels, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Patients with irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Metronidazole, Bacterial Infection, Ischemic Stroke, Bactrim, Atrial Fibrillation, Flagyl, Bactrim DS, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Polymyxin B, Xifaxan, Septra, Zyvox, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Rifaximin, Bacitracin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Beach Sand, Not Water, More Likely to Make You Sick

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 – Heading to the beach this weekend? A new study finds that when it comes to germs, beachgoers may have more to fear from the sand they sit on than the water they swim in. Studies done with water and sand from Hawaiian beaches found a "higher abundance" of bacteria indicating fecal contamination – bugs such a E. coli, for example – in the sand than in the water. In fact, "wastewater-contaminated marine beach sand may act as a chronic source of wastewater bacteria to the beach seawater," writes a team led by Tao Yan of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Public health experts have long known that wastewater from sewage and other sources can contaminate seawater, some days necessitating beach closures. Swimmers who come into contact with or accidentally swallow fecal-contaminated water can suffer stomach ache, diarrhea and rashes, Yan's team noted. However, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Infection Prophylaxis, Traveler's Diarrhea Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Take Care of Your Pierced Ears

Posted 8 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Pierced ears may become infected if you don't care for them properly. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends: Don't touch newly pierced ears unless you have just washed your hands. When ears are newly pierced, don't remove earrings for at least six weeks to prevent holes from closing up. A few times each day, gently twist earrings to help keep holes in ear lobes open. Use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently clean ears a few times daily. Apply a light coat of petroleum jelly on the pierced lobes. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Skin Infection

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

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Bacterial Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Herpes Zoster, Clostridial Infection, Giardiasis, Bone Infection, Osteomyelitis, Amebiasis, view more... Lyme Disease, Infection Prophylaxis, Malaria, Mononucleosis, Babesiosis, Joint Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Infectious Mononucleosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Chancroid, Post-Polio Syndrome, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy, Postoperative Infection, Salmonella Extraintestinal Infection, Leishmaniasis, Blastocystis Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Balantidium coli, Viral Infection, Microsporidiosis, Lymphadenopathy, Mediastinal Infection, Trypanosomiasis, Worms and Flukes, Helminthic Infection