Avoid Getting Sick at the Gym

Trying to get in shape? Gyms are breading grounds for germs, often left poorly cleaned. To keep your workouts healthy and germ free, try these tips:

  • Have a cut? Cover it and protect.
  • Wipe down machines before you use them. Don’t trust others to follow gym etiquette.
  • Use only side of the towel on your body, and let the other side touch the gym equipment. If you drop the towel, get a new one.
  • Avoid the water fountain. Bring your own water.

After your workout, avoid bringing germs back home with you. Place used gym clothes in a bag that you can easily drop in your washer. Don’t forget to wipe your phone and earphones, or better use a UV light, like PhoneSoap, to kill pathogens (we love to use it nightly).


Throw out your toothbrush immediately after a cold

Beaumont, Texas dentist Dave Carpenter recommends throwing out your toothbrush immediately after a cold.

“… A toothbrush should be replaced every three months especially after any upper respiratory infection,” Carpenter said. Beaumont said that a more a frugal alternative is to use a dishwasher to disinfect a toothbrush.

Germs like a cold virus can live on a toothbrush up to 48 hours. Studies have also found that a toilet flush can spray up to 6-feet, festering germs throughout the bathroom including on an exposed toothbrush.

(via Debunking the common cold with area experts – Beaumont Enterprise)

School Science Project Laced with E. Coli

A high school science project that involved hunting and butchering deer — including one road-kill capture — and turning the meat into kabobs backfired. The students — 29 in total — were sickened with a rare form of E. coli.

The E. Coli food poisoning incident was only recently reported in an infectious disease journal, although it originally happened in 2010.

(via msnbc.)

Bacteria Common in Unused Paper Towels

Think you’re avoiding germs by drying your hands with a paper towel? Think again.

An alarming study published in the American Journal of Infection Control notes that researchers found bacteria — including some that are known to make people sick — in unused paper towels that were transferred to hands through normal use.

Paper towels with recycled paper were the worst offenders. According to the researches, “In our study, the concentration of bacteria in the recycled paper was between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand.”

Researchers say the new paper towel finding aligns with other studies that have found high bacterial counts in other kinds of recycled paper products.

(via WebMD.)

Baby Dies, Walmart Recalls Formula

Walmart announced that it was removing 12.5-ounce cans Enfamil Newborn powder with lot number ZP1K7G from 3,000 stores in 49 states.

The cause of the baby’s infection is unknown, but there has been evidence from other cases of C. sakazakii that milk-based powdered infant formulas served as a source. “… Powdered infant formula is not a sterile product and may be contaminated,” warns World Health Organization guidelines.

(via Walmart Recalls Powdered Formula After Babys Death)

Disease Causing Fungi in Sink Drains

A Penn State study found the fungus Fusarium in bathroom sink drains, suggesting that plumbing systems may be a common source of human infections.

Researchers at the school’s College of Agricultural Sciences sampled nearly 500 sink drains from 131 buildings — businesses, homes, university dormitories and public facilities — in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and California.
They analyzed fungal DNA to compare the spectrum of Fusarium species and sequence types found in drains with those recovered from human infections.

“With about two-thirds of sinks found to harbor Fusarium, it’s clear that those buildings’ inhabitants are exposed to these fungi on a regular basis,” said lead investigator Dylan Short, who recently completed his doctorate in plant pathology. “This strongly supports the hypothesis that plumbing-surface biofilms serve as reservoirs for human pathogenic fusaria.”

In one high-profile case, Fusarium was found to have caused a widely publicized 2005-06 outbreak of fungal keratitis — infection of the cornea — among contact-lens wearers.

(via Penn State Live – Disease-causing fungi prevalent in sink drains, study finds.)

Stuck on the Tarmac? You’re Getting Sick.

According to FOX News, typically air is cleaned during flight through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture 99.97 percent of bacterial and viruses.

However, “One well-known study in 1979 found that when a plane sat three hours with its engines off and no air circulating, 72 percent of the 54 people on board got sick within two days. The flu strain they had was traced to one passenger. For that reason, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory in 2003 to airlines saying that passengers should be removed from planes within 30 minutes if there’s no air circulation, but compliance isn’t mandatory.”

With fuel prices high, most airlines turn off the engines while waiting on the tarmac. When planning your next trip, consider:
– looking at however the flight is delayed
– taking an early morning flight, around 6 or 7 am, which are rarely delayed
– avoid delay prone airports, such as NYC and Chicago
If you don’t feel any air from the vents, be prepared for sickness after your flight.

(via Fox News)

Drug-resistant bacteria shows up in Florida

A form of Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, that is resistant to the strongest of antibacterial medications is causing problems in Florida.

While doctors indicate that this bacteria is not lethal, like some super bugs found in hospitals, it is concerning.

Doctors and emergency rooms say they are seeing more cases and suggested people take precautions. The bacteria is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or through the sharing of fluids.

To protect yourself, regularly wash your hands, avoid sharing food or other items, and protect wounds or bare skin.

(via UPI.com)