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Health

New study: Deadly 'superbug' is spreading in US hospitals

superbug CRE
© www.kevinmd.com
CRE bacteria invades U.S. hospitals
Cases of the contagious and deadly "superbug" known as CRE increased five-fold in community hospitals from 2008 to 2012 in the Southeastern U.S., according to a new study.

And while the actual number of patients discovered was low - 305 - the worry is that CRE infections are under-reported and threaten health care facilities nationwide, said one of the report's authors. CRE is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that usually strikes people in hospitals, nursing homes and other health centers.

"This is a wakeup call for hospitals on how to detect the disease," said Dr. Joshua Thaden, one of the leading authors for the study published in the August issue of the medical journal, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

"And the reason this is very serious is because of the high mortality rate (50 percent) of CRE," Thaden explained. "The fact that we're seeing an increase is concerning."The study was conducted at 25 community hospitals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia from January 2008 through December 2012.

MRSA found in firehouses

Adding to the concern is a report published last month that found another superbug, MRSA, at firehouses in Washington state.

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health tested 33 firehouses for the presence of MRSA. The bug was found at 19 of those firehouses on ambulances, trucks and on kitchen surfaces.Twelve crews reported having at least one member who had gotten an infection requiring medical care. No deaths have been reported.

Comment: We are what we eat. Pay attention to those labels!

Health

Mood, Food and Bipolar Disorder

© listener.co.nz
How eating the right nutritious foods can help with mood swings and depression.

If you're one of the estimated 5.7 million U.S. adults dealing with bipolar disorder, you know the potent control it can have on your moods, energy and emotions. What you may not know is how much power you have to control it.

Thanks to an emerging science called epigenetics, researchers have learned that DNA is no longer destiny and that each of us has the ability to influence how our genes express themselves to the rest of the body. With healthy lifestyle choices and environmental changes, we can actually alter our own destiny.

For those with bipolar disorder, it's an empowering message: No longer are you a prisoner of your genetics, thought to play a key role in the disorder. And through healthier lifestyle choices, you may be able to decrease your reliance on medication to manage your illness, although this remains a critical part of the overall treatment equation. By taking a holistic and integrative lifestyle approach that includes the practice of mindfulness and stress reduction, using nutrition based on whole foods, and adding a more active lifestyle - what I like to call my Mind, Mouth and Muscle blueprint - you can reduce the effects of the bipolar condition and improve the quality of your life.
Video

The movie: Cereal Killers

© ernestoburden.com
The persistent myth that dietary fat causes obesity and promotes heart disease has undoubtedly ruined the health of millions of people. It's difficult to know just how many people have succumbed to chronic poor health from following conventional low-fat, high-carb recommendations, but I'm sure the number is significant.

In the featured documentary, Cereal Killers, 41-year-old Donal O'Neill turns the American food pyramid upside-down - eliminating sugars and grains, and dramatically boosting his fat intake. In so doing, he improves his health to the point of reducing his hereditary risk factors for heart disease to nil.

Watching people's reactions to his diet brings home just how brainwashed we've all become when it comes to dietary fat. Most fear it. Yet they will consume sugar in amounts that virtually guarantee they'll suffer all the devastating health consequences they're trying to prevent by avoiding fat, and then some!

Comment: Learn more on WHY Saturated Fat is Good for You:

Alarm Clock

Chinese lock down city of 30,000 after man dies of Bubonic Plague

plague causing bacteria Y. pestis
© National Institutes of Health (NIH), via Wikimedia Commons
Scanning electron micrograph of plague causing bacteria Y. pestis
As a precautionary measure after a man died of bubonic plague last week, a small city in China is in lockdown and 151 individuals have been placed in quarantine, the Guardian reports.

According to China Central Television (CCTV), the 38-year-old man died from the disease last Wednesday which was likely the result of contact with a dead marmot, a large ground squirrel usually found in mountainous areas.

In an attempt to prevent further cases, CCTV said that the 30,000 residents of Yumen, located in the north-western province of Gansu, are not allowed to leave and police have set up roadblocks around the city in order to prevent motorists from entering. Furthermore, four quarantine sectors have been set up in the city for individuals that have been in contact with the man that died, but so far no other cases have been reported.

"The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month," CCTV said. "Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition."

Comment: New Light on the Black Death The Cosmic Connection

Attention

Two-thirds of UK chickens contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria - major supermarkets launch inquiries

chicken
© Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic
Two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK could be contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria.
A Guardian investigation has revealed alleged widespread hygiene failings in Britain's poultry industry, prompting three major UK supermarkets to launch emergency inquiries into their chicken suppliers.

Undercover film footage, photographic evidence, and allegations from whistleblowers indicate the UK's strict hygiene standards to avoid the contamination of chicken by a potentially lethal "campylobacter" bug can be easily flouted on British factory floors and farms.

In the last month, an array of hygiene breaches were uncovered that could contribute to the spread of this dangerous bug - including a factory floor littered with chicken guts and instances of chicken carcasses being ferried to factory production lines by workers' footwear. Other worrying practices concerning the processing of retail chicken and increased risks of contamination were also revealed by the investigation.

Comment: Whether it's the FSA or the FDA, they're both so far into the pockets of big business you couldn't pry them out with a greased crowbar. Buy local whenever possible.

Health

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher suffering symptoms of Chikungunya virus

© J. Meric/Getty Images
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta is suffering from symptoms that resemble those of the Chikungunya virus and expects the team to put him on the disabled list.

Peralta went home to the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break and explained that he began feeling sick on Friday.

"I've had a fever and pain in my joints," Peralta said by telephone on Monday to MLB.com. "Feels like all my joints are sore. That's how I feel."

The Chikungunya virus has become more common in Caribbean countries and is spread through mosquitoes. The veteran reliever shared that he remembers coming into contact with some while he was in the Dominican Republic.

"I think so," Peralta told MLB.com. "I kind of remember getting bit by a mosquito. One or two times."

He explained that the only treatment has been Advil and Tylenol for his fever.
Alarm Clock

Seven hours of sleep is the optimum - and more than eight is 'hazardous' to health'


Rest: Seven hours of sleep is the best amount for your health - and more could be harmful, a sleep expert has declared
* 'Lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours', says sleep expert

* Those who sleep more than eight have memory and decision problems

* People who slept in Stone Age-like conditions only got 7.2 hours on average

In an age where we're busier than ever and bombarded with information 24/7, many of us complain we don't get enough sleep.

But getting too much shut-eye could actually be bad for your health, an expert has warned.

'The lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours,' says Shawn Youngstedt, a professor at Arizona State University Phoenix who studies sleep duration.
Nuke

China seals off city and sets up quarantines after inhabitant dies of bubonic plague

© MichaelTaylor/Shutterstock
30,000 residents of Yumen are not being allowed to leave and 151 people have been placed in quarantine after man's death

A Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said.

The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said.

A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday, the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported.
Health

Ebola spreads to health workers as Liberian nurses contract the virus

Ebola nurses
© AFP/WHO
Nurses take care of a patient with Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
Four Liberian health workers have been admitted after contracting the Ebola virus while treating patients.

The health workers, all nurses, were working at Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County when they contracted the virus.

This comes three weeks after a Ugandan senior surgeon succumbed to the Ebola in Liberia where he had been working for three years as a specialist.

Dr. Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro died at the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre, Liberia's biggest hospital in Monrovia where he was being treated.

The West Africa countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are currently battling an outbreak of Ebola which is highly contagious with a high fatality rate.

Comment: See also:

Battling Ebola in West Africa
Ebola outbreak killed at least 337 people in Africa this year
Fear of the ebola virus: outbreak or epidemic?

Health

Mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya found in Kentucky; 9 possible cases

© Wkyufm.org
The Kentucky Department for Public Health recently provided local health departments with the following media confirming Kentucky's first case of mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, also called CHIKV.

Although this illness is not a concern for most Kentuckians at the present time, it is always a wise decision to stay abreast of public health occurrences.

The department has received lab results confirming the first case of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus in an Anderson County resident who recently traveled to Haiti. Results for nine possible cases in other individuals who recently traveled to the same region are still pending, but are expected to be positive.

"We have been testing our first potential cases of Chikungunya virus in Kentucky residents who recently traveled to areas where the disease is present, and have received confirmation of one positive result so far," said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, state epidemiologist and DPH deputy commissioner.

Comment:
  • Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe
  • 4,600 affected by untreatable virus spreading through Caribbean islands
  • Incurable mosquito-borne chikungunya virus now found in six US states
  • Reports of individuals contracting mosquito virus chikungunya confirmed by health officials in Florida
  • Malaysia: Health ministry keeping a tab on Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean virus infections climb in Mauritius
  • Puerto Rico declares epidemic of mosquito-borne virus chikungunya; 200 confirmed cases


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