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Infections News

Black Americans May Have Stronger Immune Response to Infections

Posted 4 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Researchers say that based on laboratory studies, the cells of black Americans mount a much stronger immune response to infection than those of European-Americans. That hearty response might have a downside, though. It could play a role in black Americans' higher risk for heart disease, stroke and autoimmune inflammatory diseases, the researchers said. The findings might lead to treatments that reduce chronic health risks for African-Americans, according to the researchers. The strength of the immune response was directly related to the percentage of genes derived from African ancestors, said senior researcher Luis Barreiro. He's an assistant professor at the University of Montreal's Department of Pediatrics and researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center in Montreal. "Basically, the more African you have in your genome, the stronger you're ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Immunosuppression, Diagnosis and Investigation

Health Tip: Using Kitchen Knives

Posted 6 days ago by

-- While you're tackling many tasks at once in the kitchen, a slip of a knife can lead to serious and permanent injury. The National Food Service Management Institute recommends: Avoiding any distractions and focusing solely on cutting food. Making sure blades are kept sharp. Choosing a knife that's an appropriate size for the job, and avoiding a kitchen knife for any reason other than cutting food. Avoiding holding food in your hand as you cut. Holding the knife only on top of the blade. Keeping knives away from the edge of a countertop or table. Promptly washing knives, drying them and storing them in a knife drawer or rack. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Minor Cuts

Health Tip: Keep Kids Healthy Around Classroom Pets

Posted 13 days ago by

-- Classroom pets provide great learning opportunities for children, but they also bring germs to the classroom. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends: After children touch the animals, a cage or their food, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Wash hands after touching shoes or clothing that have been near the animals. Always wash hands before eating or drinking. Young children should be supervised while they wash their hands. If a sink isn't available, use hand sanitizer. Wash hands as soon as there's access to soap and water. Never clean animal cages, tanks or supplies in a sink near where food is prepared or eaten. Read more

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

Concern About Dialysis Safety Spurs CDC Action

Posted 29 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 – Steps to reduce bloodstream infections in dialysis patients will be mapped out Thursday at a meeting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a coalition of kidney and dialysis groups. Dialysis treatment – either in a hospital, a dialysis unit or at home – is needed when the kidneys cannot filter wastes from the body sufficiently. Each year, about 37,000 dialysis patients in the United States develop potentially deadly bloodstream infections associated with their treatment, the CDC says. That number could be cut in half if dialysis facilities implemented CDC guidelines for dialysis safety, according to the agency. "Making evidence-based safety steps a routine part of patient care is a proven strategy to keep dialysis patients safe from bloodstream infections," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "We appreciate the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Renal Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Peritoneal dialysis, Hemodialysis

Farm Kids Get Fewer Allergies, International Study Finds

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Growing up on a farm may help ward off allergies later in life, a new study suggests. The study also found that women who spend their early years on a farm typically have stronger lungs than their suburban or city-dwelling peers. Other research has suggested that exposure to germs and potential allergens in early childhood could protect people against allergies later. A team led by the University of Melbourne's Shyamali Dharmage put this "hygiene hypothesis" to the test. Dharmage is a professor in the Center for Epidemiology & Biostatistics. The team analyzed data from a survey of more than 10,000 adults in 14 countries in Europe, Scandinavia and Australia. Nearly 64 percent said they spent their first five years of life in a rural village, small town or city suburb. About 27 percent lived in the city and about 9 percent grew up on a farm. Kids who spent their ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever, Asthma - Acute, Nasal Polyps, Allergic Asthma, Nasal Polyps - Prevention, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance, Oral Allergy Syndrome, Reversible Airways Disease

Smart City Planning Can Cut Deadly Diseases, Improve Air Quality

Posted 25 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – Cities that promote walking, bicycling and public transportation can expect a drop in chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, a new study suggests. The finding stems from an international study led by the University of Melbourne in Australia and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The goal: To see how city design – including street layout and access to shopping within walking distance – affects the environment and health in places like Boston; Copenhagen; Delhi, India; London and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Team members reported their findings Friday during a meeting at the U.N. General Assembly. The findings were also reported in the latest issue of The Lancet. "With the world's population estimated to reach 10 billion people by 2050, and three quarters of this population living in cities, city planning must be part of a comprehensive ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cough, Asthma, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease

Drug-Resistant Germs Thrive in America's Corroding Water Systems

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – The thousands of miles of aging, corroding pipes that bring water to Americans each day may be home to dangerous drug-resistant bacteria, a new report warns. These harmful bacteria include legionella, which causes Legionnaires' disease; pseudomonas, which can trigger pneumonia; and mycobacteria, which can cause tuberculosis and other illnesses, the researchers said. While these bacteria thrive in many environments, they "can [also] live in the pipes; they can survive on tiny amounts of nutrients found in water," explained lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Griffiths, a professor of public health and medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Overall, his team's analysis of 100 million Medicare records found that between 1991 and 2006, more than 617,000 older Americans were hospitalized after falling ill from infection with these three common bacteria ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Tuberculosis, Legionella Pneumonia

New MRSA Strain Found in Denmark

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – Researchers in Denmark have identified a new form of the superbug known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that they suspect may be spread through eating contaminated poultry. People who raise livestock are known to face a higher risk for MRSA, the researchers said. But, the new strain infected 10 urban-dwelling people who hadn't been working on a farm and had no direct contact with live farm animals. Instead, the researchers believe the MRSA patients were infected after eating or handling poultry that had been imported from other European countries. "This is one of the first studies providing compelling evidence that everyday consumers are also potentially at risk," study author Lance Price said in a news release from George Washington University (GWU), in Washington, D.C. Price serves as director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center ... Read more

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

Daily Baths Not a Must for Kids

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Here's welcome news for parents tired of forcing their kids to take a daily bath: Children may not need to bathe every day after all. That's the word from Dr. Robert Sidbury, an associate professor with the department of pediatrics and division chief of dermatology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis. "Depending on their age and activity level, most children only need a bath a few times a week," Sidbury said in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology. "For children, a few germs here and there are healthy, as this is how their bodies learn to fight off bacteria and build stronger immune systems." Sidbury provides these recommendations about bathing for kids: If a child is aged 6 to 11, only two or three baths a week may be needed, and shampooing is necessary just once or twice a week. Black children or kids of any ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

Cat Scratch Can Sometimes Lead to Serious Illness: CDC

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – If Fluffy the cat gets out of sorts and scratches you, it's possible you could get a bacterial infection called cat-scratch disease that might even land you in the hospital. An estimated 12,000 Americans are infected each year with cat-scratch disease, and around 500 must go to the hospital, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The disease is spread by infected fleas. Cats pick up the bacteria that causes the disease – Bartonella henselae – from scratching and grooming flea excrement on their fur. They can then transfer the bacteria by scratching someone. "When cats scratch themselves they get the bacteria on their claws, so when they scratch a person the bacteria can enter the skin and infect the person," said lead researcher Dr. Christina Nelson, a CDC medical officer. People also get the illness from cat bites or through a break in ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

More Must Be Done to Fight 'Superbugs': U.S. Gov't Report

Posted 20 Sep 2016 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" remain a major public health threat, and only a multipronged attack can address the problem, a new U.S. government report warns. The issue of antibiotic resistance isn't new, and experts have long called for measures to combat it. Still, more than 2 million Americans fall ill each year from infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and roughly 23,000 die, according to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). "We still face major challenges, and we still have a long way to go in addressing this problem," said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. He and his colleagues explained the scope of the issue in the Sept. 20 Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers also pointed to possible solutions – some of which are beginning to be implemented. Scientists have long known that ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

CDC: Too Many Antibiotics Still Being Prescribed in U.S.

Posted 19 Sep 2016 by

MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2016 – Despite growing concerns about creating drug-resistant bacteria, overprescribing of antibiotics in U.S. hospitals didn't drop between 2006 and 2012, according to a new federal report. Over that time period, 55 percent of patients received at least one dose of antibiotics during their hospital stay, whether it was needed or not, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "Antibiotic use remains common, and use of the most powerful antibiotics is rising," said lead researcher James Baggs, a CDC epidemiologist. Although the use of antibiotics remained about the same during the study period, a significant increase was seen in the use of newer antibiotics, Baggs said. "Because inappropriate antibiotic use increases the risk of antibiotic resistance and other side effects, continued monitoring of antibiotic use is critical to future ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole, Nitrofurantoin, Minocycline, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Levofloxacin, Macrobid, Clavulanate, Bactrim DS, Tetracycline

Scientists Debunk the '5-Second Rule'

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2016 – Most people have invoked the "five-second rule" after dropping something tasty on the ground at least once or twice in their lives. Is that food really safe to eat? Probably not, a new study says. After putting the five-second rule to the test, researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., found contamination with bacteria can occur in less than one second. "The five-second rule is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food," said study lead researcher Donald Schaffner, a professor and extension specialist in food science. "Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously," he said in a Rutgers news release. The scientists dropped foods of different textures, such as watermelon, bread and gummy candy, on a variety of surfaces including ceramic tile, stainless steel, wood and carpeting. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Gel Antibiotic: An Easier Ear Infection Treatment Someday?

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A single application of an antibiotic gel into the ear might one day offer kids and parents an easier way to treat bacterial ear infections, new animal research suggests. So far, this experimental therapy has been tested only in chinchillas. But it did cure 100 percent of the animals' ear infections. Whether the therapy will work in children is still unknown. Middle ear infections, known as otitis media, are an extremely common problem in kids, and parents often struggle getting their children to take the medicine. "Right now, the way otitis media is treated is with a three-times-a-day, 10-day antibiotic course, and it tends to be pretty much full-contact wrestling to get kids to take the antibiotics – that is one problem we set out to address," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Kohane. He's director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Otitis Media, Chronic Otitis Media, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum

Connecticut Toddler Latest U.S. Case of 'Superbug'

Posted 11 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016 – Scientists have identified a new patient who carried a type of bacteria that is resistant to an antibiotic of last resort, bringing the number of cases reported in the United States to four. All of the patients had E. coli with a gene called mcr-1, which makes the bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest case, a 2-year-old Connecticut girl, was diagnosed in June after she returned from a trip to the Caribbean, said senior researcher Maroya Spalding Walters, a CDC epidemiologist. "The girl had an illness that caused diarrhea, which began in mid-June while she was traveling overseas. Her diarrhea was not caused by the bacteria that had the mcr-1 gene – the cause has not been definitively diagnosed," she said. Although the mcr-1 gene was found, it wasn't producing toxins. When the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Diarrhea, Bacterial Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Diarrhea, Acute, Infectious Diarrhea

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