Tag Archives: infections

Would You Know If You Had Vibrio Vulnificus?

Vibrio Vulnificus – Would You Know If You Had It?

If you love walking in the oceanwater on a warm day or evening you may want to read on. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that lives in warm seawater. An infection from V. vulnificus is a rare cause of disease. It also has been underreported over the years. It was little known until 2007. But just recently 31 in Florida has been infected from this disease. 9 people died in 2012 from vibrio vulnificus and 13 died from it in 2011.

Vibrio vulnificus

  Continue reading

New Sars Like Virus Appears To Spread Between Humans

The New Sars Like Virus

The New Sars like virus in the UK has spread to another family member. It is looking more and more like this new sars like virus can spread between people. Of 12 people in the UK that have contracted this virus, 5 have died to date.

new sars like virus


History of the New Sars Like Virus

You have may remembered back in November when this new sars like virus in Saudi Arabia killed 2 people. It first emerged in China back in 2002 in Hong Kong. It then nearly become a pandemic. There was over 8200 cases throughout the world in 2002. 50% of the people that died from sars were over the age of 65.

Originally the researchers throught this virus was spread via animals. Animals such as birds, mammals, livestock and even your beloved pets are known to have carried this new sars like virus. In the case of the bats they did not show any signs of the virus but were carriers of the virus.
Some of the Sars patients that did survive back in 2002 showed long-time effects of the disease. Some effects included: pulmonary fibrosis, osteoporosis, and femoral necrosis, which have led to the complete loss of working ability or even the ability to self-care for oneself. As a result some of the post-SARS patients suffered from major depressive disorder.

The Latest New Sars Like Virus Cases

The patients in the UK had also travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan. But the latest case with the relative did not travel. One of the 3 family members did have an existing medical conditon that may have made them more susceptible to catching the new sars like virus.

British health officials still believe the person to person transmission is rare. They did recommend isolation of the confirmed cases in the UK.

Have you know anyone to have the new sars like virus? Are you concerned if it travels from person to person? 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Can A Dog Sniff Out C-Difficile Infection?

Can a Dog Sniff Out a C-Difficile Infection?

c-difficile infection

Dogs in the Netherlands were able to detect c-difficile infection in patients and stool samples via their noses. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? A 2 year old beagle was trained to identify the smell of this infection and was it tested on 300 patients. (30 with the infection and 270 without it) The dog was trained to either lay down or sit when he detected the c difficile infection on a patient. The beagle was able to detect between 95-99% of the cases correctly! It only took 2 months to train this dog. Imagine if they could train hundreds of dogs and disperse them throughout many healthcare facilities.

C-difficile is short for Clostridium difficile infection and is common, particularly in people in healthcare facilities who have received antimicrobials. Patients can contact this infection via contact with people or items containing the bacterium. Large outbreaks of this type of infection have incurred since 2000. This infection has become at an all time high, with 14,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Symptoms of C-Difficile to Be Aware of:

  • Significant amount of diarrhea.
  • Antibiotic exposure.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Fever.
  • Foul odor from stool.
Read our previous post on c-difficile to see how you can prevent it from happening to you or your loved ones in a healthcare facility. It’s all about infection control.

What Treatments Are Being Used to Fight C-Difficile?

  • Probiotics are thought to help but there is not significant evidence yet to prove it.
  • Stool Transplant – Not a pleasant procedure for patients but has a 90% success rate.
  • Drugs – The most common treatment includes use of antibiotics specifically used to fight c-difficile.
  • Colectomy – Used as a last resort.

Imagine the patients faces when they see a cute beagle entering their room to sniff out the c-difficile infection? Not only will the dog help clear up the infections in healthcare facilities but he or she will probably cheer up the patients too!

Would you mind having a dog in your healthcare facility to sniff out infections?


How Safe Is Your Hospital Now?

Would you know if your local hospital is safe? Approximately 2700 hospitals across the United States have just been graded from A-F . There are around 180,000 deaths due to hospital infections and/or errors each year in the United States. There is now a way you can check the score of your hospital.

hospital safety

Check out this website for your hospital's grade! Click on the image above.


To create this state-by-state report, which issued grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals, analysts gathered information from Leapfrog surveys sent to each hospital, and also from publicly available data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Analysts for this report based half of each hospital’s score on outcome data or problems that patients actually experienced, such as a hospital-acquired infection or having foreign objects left in their bodies after surgery. The other half of the score captured procedures hospitals have in place to prevent problems, such as hand hygiene and timely administration of antibiotics to prevent infections.

What are some things that hospitals could do better for the next grading?

  • Insure hand washing is done properly and consistently
  • Make sure cleaning and disinfecting is done throughout the hospital
  • Sterilize operating rooms at all times
  • Preventing medication mix-ups
  • Preventing surgery mix-ups – marking which sides are to be operated on and check points in place

We would also add wearing fluid repelling scrubs that can actually DECREASE the risk of MRSA according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study. Many medical professionals spread bacteria through the medical uniforms that they wear to patients as they make their way around the hospital, nursing home or medical facility.

Hospitals will be graded again in a year so if you are in charge of any of the above be sure to work on your hospital getting an A next time if your hospital doesn’t already have one.

Have you checked out your hospital’s grade?