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How to Stay Out of the ER This Thanksgiving

Posted 1 day 2 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – Taking some simple precautions can help keep you and your family healthy over the Thanksgiving holiday, says an emergency medicine expert. "A few simple steps to avoid preventable injury or illness can go a long way toward making sure you safely enjoy the holiday," Dr. Paul Kivela, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in news release from the organization. First, follow food safety guidelines. This means washing your hands thoroughly after handling uncooked meat and keeping it separate from other foods. Sanitize any surface that touches raw food. Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours. If you have allergies and did not cook the meal yourself, ask about the ingredients and how the food was prepared. Drink in moderation, the doctors' group advises. And, do not drink and drive. In addition, carefully plan and prepare meals so you ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Burns - External, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Spread Joy, Not Foodborne Illness, for Thanksgiving

Posted 1 day 23 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 – Though foodborne illness can put a quick end to Thanksgiving festivities, that need not be the case, food safety experts say. That's because ensuring that homemade holiday meals are not only delicious but germ-free is within the grasp of not just experienced chefs, but rookie cooks as well. Food safety starts while you're grocery shopping for ingredients, said Brian Ulshafer, executive chef at Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. For instance, "keep any raw meat or seafood away from other foods in the cart," Ulshafer said in a medical center news release. "You don't want to put a raw turkey on top of your lunchmeat." Keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot is also essential when it comes to preventing foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Bacteria grow quickly at temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Cook Your Turkey Safely

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

-- No one wants the Thanksgiving holiday ruined by a nasty case of food poisoning that stems from the guest of honor – the turkey. FoodSafety.gov offers these turkey safe-preparation suggestions: If you'll serve a fresh turkey, buy it no more than two days before Thanksgiving. On the other hand. frozen turkey needs time to thaw properly in the refrigerator. Rely on a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the turkey is stored at 40 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check that the cooking temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Climate Change May Bring 'Browner' Waters, More Disease

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 – A surge of diseases could become a consequence of climate change, scientists warn. Extreme rainfall and melting permafrost associated with a warming climate are causing more organic matter to wash into lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This so-called "browning" of the world's waters reduces the ability of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays to disinfect them effectively, and could lead to an increase in diseases caused by waterborne germs, the researchers said. The finding stems from a study that analyzed water samples collected from lakes around the world, from Pennsylvania to New Zealand. Using a model from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, the investigators calculated the ability of UV radiation from the sun to destroy pathogens in the water of each lake, known as the solar inactivation potential. The researchers determined how much UV light ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Keeping Home-Delivered Food Safe

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

--Whether you have a new baby, a sick family member or are simply ordering take-out, you are probably having food delivered to you at home. Foodsafety.gov suggests how to keep delivered meals safe: Refrigerate delivered food at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below if you don't eat it immediately. If you don't think you'll eat all the food at once, divide it into portions and refrigerate or freeze what you don't plan to eat now. Remove any stuffing from whole cooked poultry before refrigerating. Foods delivered cold should be eaten within 2 hours, or refrigerated or frozen. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea Prophylaxis

How Would Your Family Weather a Disaster?

Posted 24 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Sept. 23, 2017 – News coverage of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have made one thing abundantly clear: Planning for disasters could save your life. "The biggest issue that we as first responders run into is that people fail to plan. Then things that could have been simple issues become big problems," said Scott Buchle, program manager for Penn State Health Life Lion EMS. The emergency service operates throughout south central Pennsylvania. Countless Americans live in areas prone to blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. And don't discount severe thunderstorms that bring flash floods or ice storms that cause widespread power outages. People should have enough water, non-perishable food, medication, battery backups and other supplies to get through 48 to 72 hours, Buchle said in a Penn State news release. When reviewing preparedness lists from state and federal agencies, ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Dehydration

Heath Tip: 10 Mistakes People Make in Food Preparation

Posted 19 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Homemade food should be nutritious and safe. But experts at the foodsafety.org website cite 10 common food-preparation mistakes: Tasting older food to see if it's still good. It's better to be safe and just throw it out. Putting cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat. At the very least, the plate should be washed with hot water and soap. Better yet, use a different plate. Thawing food on the counter. Washing meat or poultry. This actually may contaminate your sink and counters. Letting food cool before putting it in the fridge. Eating raw dough, cookie dough, cake batter or other foods with uncooked eggs or uncooked flour Marinating meat or seafood on the counter. Using raw meat marinade on cooked food. Undercooking meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Not washing your hands. When in doubt, wash your hands often and with lots of soapy hot water. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Leading Causes of Food Poisoning

Posted 12 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

-- More than a million Americans each year suffer the symptoms of food poisoning, including nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and dehydration. Here are leading causes of food poisoning, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella, norovirus, campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, clostridium and perfringens. Parasites, such as protozoa or roundworms. Mold, toxins and contaminants, both natural and chemical. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

People Picking Up Infection From Pet Store Puppies' Poop: CDC

Posted 11 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017 – Bacterial infections that have sickened 39 people in seven states have been linked to puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain, U.S. health officials say. Campylobacter infections have been reported between September 2016 and August 2017 in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. "Evidence suggests that puppies sold through Petland are a likely source of this outbreak," according to a CDC news release. "Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak." Campylobacter is a bacteria that causes people to develop diarrhea (sometimes bloody), cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days of exposure to the organism, said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis

Health Tip: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

-- More than 400,000 Americans get sick every year from antibiotic-resistant foodborne bacteria, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. These infections, which resist the effects of antibiotics, are harder to treat and often lead to more severe illness. The CDC suggests how to protect yourself and your family from bacteria: Take antibiotics only when needed. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145 degrees F for whole beef, pork, lamb, and veal; 160 degrees F for ground meats; and 165 degrees F for all poultry. Wash your hands after touching raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Also wash your work surfaces, cutting boards, utensils, and grill before and after cooking. Keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees F, and refrigerate foods within one hour of cooking. Germs from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread to ... Read more

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

Harvey's Wrath Still Poses Risks to Children

Posted 6 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – Safety measures must be a priority for children returning to Houston and other communities affected by flooding from Hurricane Harvey, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. For starters, environmental hazards pose greater risks to children than to adults. "Children are more susceptible to toxic exposures that can impact their development, both before birth and during early childhood," Dr. Jennifer Lowry, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health, said Tuesday in an academy news release. "Children are naturally curious, so they often come into direct contact with materials that adults would avoid. Before children return to any area impacted by flooding, it's important that the area be cleaned. Children and teens should be the last group to return," she advised. Priorities in restoring flood-affected areas include rehabilitating drinking water ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Gastroenteritis, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Health Tip: Food Safety for College Students

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

-- As college kids head back to campus, it's important to keep them aware of food safety. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers these suggestions to thwart food-borne illness: Wash hands and surfaces often. Travel with hand sanitizer to outdoor events, such as tailgates, when you'll be eating outside. Don't combine foods or use the same plates with raw meat, poultry, eggs or seafood and other foods. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that foods susceptible to contamination are cooked to the right temperature. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours. Use an insulated thermos if you're taking raw or cooked food on the go. Read more

Related support groups: Gastroenteritis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Harvey's Health Hazards Will Continue During Cleanup

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 1, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey is finally winding down, but residents and volunteers in the Houston area must remain on guard against health hazards that will continue during the cleanup effort, public health officials say. Floodwater contamination will be the first and foremost problem people face as they return to their homes and businesses, said Cleveland Clinic infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper. The water that entered their homes was loaded with bacteria from raw sewage, and likely also included chemicals and toxins from businesses and industrial sites, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Esper warned that "even after the floodwaters have receded, the bacteria will remain a threat to health. You need to make sure you are cleaning anything that could have been contaminated by these floodwaters." Alcohol-based ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Gastroenteritis, Poisoning, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Harvey's Floodwaters Harbor Many Health Hazards

Posted 30 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30, 2017 – Texans trapped in the unprecedented flooding wrought by Hurricane Harvey now face untold health hazards, officials say. The filthy water that has inundated the city of Houston poses the most immediate danger, said Cleveland Clinic infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper. "Those floodwaters are being contaminated with sewage, because the sewers themselves are completely flooded and are backing up through the drains into the standing bodies of water that are around and in people's homes," Esper said. "Every time a person is wading across the street to get from one place to another, or down the road to get to higher ground, they are encountering much, much higher loads of bacteria." But beyond that short-term threat, other hazards and medical problems will crop up due to the lack of modern amenities in Harvey's aftermath, experts said. Dr. Bruce Farber is ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Tetanus Toxoid, Twinrix, Kinrix, Boostrix (Tdap), Zika Virus Infection, Diphtheria Toxoid/Pertussis, Acellular/Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed, Tetanus Prophylaxis, Havrix, Wound Infection, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Hepatitis A Adult Vaccine, Hepatitis A Adult Vaccine/hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Tetramune, Diphtheria Toxoid/Haemophilus B Conjugate (Hboc) Vaccine/Pertussis, Whole Cell/Tetanus Toxoid

How Safe Is Your Drinking Water? Take a Look

Posted 23 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017 – Even if local health officials say it's safe, cloudy drinking water may have the potential to cause vomiting and diarrhea, a new research review finds. Researchers looked at past North American and European studies exploring the link between water cloudiness, or turbidity, and tummy troubles. "More than 10 studies found a link between water turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness incidence," said researcher Anneclaire De Roos. "These results suggest that exposures through drinking water caused a low but detectable number of acute gastrointestinal illness cases in the regions and time periods studied," added De Roos, an associate professor at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. While the study doesn't establish a causal relationship, there's no clear alternative explanation for the patterns of associations seen in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Giardiasis, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Cryptosporidiosis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

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