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FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Every parent remembers the first time they bathed their newborn, terrified they might accidentally drop or harm their tiny bundle of joy.

But one dermatologist says the task is easy if parents follow some basic steps.

"While it may seem intimidating at first, bathing your baby is simple and only needs to happen two to three times a we...

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Is your toothbrush more than four months old? And how about your contact lens case? These and other everyday essentials need regular replacing, no matter how comfortable you are with them.

At the top of the list is your toothbrush. To benefit oral health, your toothbrush needs to be in tiptop form. The American Dental Association suggests repla...

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Simple steps can help you protect your home from health dangers big and small.

Here are four tips to get you started:

It can't be said often enough: Proactively change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Don't wait until you hear the chirping signal. Set a yearly reminder, such as on your birthday. Also, test the device...

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- They're gaining in popularity among women, and a new study finds menstrual cups to be just as safe and as effective as disposable pads or tampons.

British researchers looked at data on the cost-saving devices, gleaned from 43 studies involving more than 3,300 women and girls worldwide.

Reporting July 17 in The Lancet Public Hea...

TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Standard decontamination methods may not be enough to stop a dangerous hospital bug, known as Clostridium difficile.

In a new study, researchers followed recommended procedures but found that surgical gowns, stainless steel surfaces and vinyl floors in hospitals were still contaminated with the C. difficile bacteria.

"...

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Somewhere between the Mom who obsessively wipes down every knob and toy her child might touch, and the Dad who thinks rolling in the dirt is "good" for kids, there's a healthy medium, British experts say.

"We have to find a way to protect against infectious diseases and harmful microbes, whilst at the same time sustaining exposure to the ess...

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you or a family member has asthma, your doctor has most likely mapped out the steps you need to take to treat an asthma flare.

Creating a healthier home by minimizing your triggers can be as effective as medication for reducing symptoms and flares, according to a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Triggers include in...

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ten more cases of salmonella linked to pet hedgehogs have been reported in the United States, bringing the total to 27, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest cases were reported in six states: California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.

Forty-two percent of those sickened are ki...

MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials report that 177 cases of E. coli illness linked with tainted ground beef have now been reported across 10 states.

That's up from the 156 cases reported just last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

As the cases of illness rise, two meat packers have issued recalls in c...

WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Federal health officials say 156 cases of E. coli illness linked with tainted ground beef have now been spotted across 10 states.

That's up from the 109 cases reported from six states just two weeks ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

"Ill people in this outbreak report eating ground beef at...

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you weren't already worried enough about what germs lurk in hospitals, a new study shows 'superbugs' are common on patients and the things they touch.

Even worse, these bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics, the researchers added.

"Hand hygiene narrative has largely focused on physicians, nurses and other frontline staf...

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Danish researchers have sniffed out a potential new weapon to fight armpit odor.

It's zinc oxide, or ZnO. The strategy was inspired by hospital wound care. Because putting zinc oxide on open surgical wounds reduces corynebacteria and the bad smell it creates, researchers thought it might also make an effective deodorant.

The study a...

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of E. coli illness that's sickened more than a hundred people across six states appears linked to tainted ground beef, although no specific product has yet been identified, federal health officials said Friday.

"Ill people in this outbreak report eating ground beef at home and in restaurants," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control ...

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Privacy curtains in hospital rooms might offer patients some personal dignity, but they can also harbor dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.

That's the claim of a new study where researchers took more than 1,500 samples from privacy curtains in 625 rooms at six skilled nursing facilities in Michigan. The samples were collected from the parts ...

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials say an outbreak of E. coli illness from an unknown source has risen to 96 cases across five Eastern states, up from the 72 cases reported last Friday.

The origin of the food-borne illnesses remains unknown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday.

"The investigation is still ongo...

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials say they are investigating an outbreak of E. coli gastrointestinal illness that's already affected 72 people across five Eastern states.

The origin of the foodborne illnesses remains unknown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday.

"The investigation is still ongoing and a specific ...

TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Douching is the age-old practice of using a solution to attempt to clean the vagina, but there's only downsides to it.

Beyond having no proven benefits, douching can cause many health problems, including bacterial and yeast infections. And if you already have a vaginal infection, it can push bacteria up into your reproductive organs, causing...

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it's finally time to store away your winter coats and boots, it's also a good time to rid your home of the allergens that accumulated over the winter, an allergist suggests.

"If you aren't someone who regularly undertakes spring cleaning, consider tackling it this year," said Dr. Todd Mahr, president of the American College of Allergy, A...

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital germ detectives say the sinks next to toilets in patient rooms may harbor potentially dangerous bacteria.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin checked a large Wisconsin hospital for Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase. KPC is a type of bacteria that can cause health care-associated infections such as pneumonia, bloo...

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Paramedics have a "remarkably low" rate of compliance with hand hygiene standards, which could put patients at risk for deadly infections, according to a new report.

For the study, researchers observed 77 paramedics in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia as they dealt with 87 patients. The paramedics' compliance with basic hygiene was high: ...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you want breastfeeding to go smoothly, you might want to ask the hospital to delay that first bath for your newborn, new research suggests.

For decades, it's been standard procedure to give newborns a bath within the first few hours after birth, but the new finding suggests that waiting 12 or more hours before doing so may promote breast...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A study of nearly 200 poor women living in the St. Louis area found that two out of three had to go without feminine hygiene products at least once over the prior year, due to cost.

About one-fifth -- 21 percent -- said this happened on a monthly basis, and nearly half said they often had to make tough choices between buying food or period-...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Dangerous infections, blinding ulcers in the eyes: These are just some of the troubles that can come from wearing your contacts for too long.

Contact lenses are generally considered safe, but wearing them while asleep significantly raises the risk of developing serious complications that can cause permanent visual loss, the U.S. Centers fo...

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to chemicals found in a wide array of personal care products has been linked to early puberty among girls, a new investigation warns.

The issue centers on specific chemicals including phthalates, parabens and phenols. They're found in an array of products, including perfumes, soaps, shampoos, nail polish, cosmetics, toothpaste, lipsti...

SUNDAY, Nov. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If the last flu season is any indication, you need to take steps now to protect yourself against infection, an infectious diseases expert warns.

The 2017-2018 flu season in the United States was the worst since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking the severity of annual flu seasons. There were nearly 200 child de...

FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Even after a thorough cleaning, traces of diarrhea-causing bacteria can remain on hospital bed sheets, researchers report.

The new study suggests that linens could transmit Clostridium difficile infections between patients, and even between hospitals, according to the British researchers.

"The findings of this study may expla...

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In the flooding and devastation left by Hurricane Michael, Americans faced with the clean-up are facing a new health threat: mold.

Mold-related illnesses are a serious concern following severe flooding in the path of the storm, say experts from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

"Where there's dampness and water, ther...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your Mom told you not to do it, and new research confirms that nose-picking isn't healthy for you or those around you.

In a study involving 40 adults, British researchers found that the bacteria behind potentially lethal pneumonia could be spread by picking and rubbing the nose.

It was known that the pneumococcus bacteria that ca...

TUESDAY, Oct. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Privacy curtains in hospital rooms can collect dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, researchers report.

In a new study, investigators assessed the rate of bacterial contamination on 10 freshly laundered privacy curtains in the Regional Burns/Plastics Unit of the Health Services Center in Winnipeg, Canada.

Four curtains were place...

THURSDAY, Sept. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Puppies can be cute and cuddly, but they also carry germs that might make you very sick, a new government report warns.

An outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter infections in 2017 and 2018 that sickened 118 people in 18 states was traced to pet store puppies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

THURSDAY, Sept. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, residents of the Carolinas are facing a new health threat: mold.

Mold-related illnesses are a serious concern following severe flooding in North and South Carolina, say experts from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

"Where there's dampness and water, there's mold," said Paul...

MONDAY, Sept. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a clean freak, you could be inadvertently fattening your children, a new study suggests.

The research can't prove cause-and-effect, but suggests that household disinfectants might be promoting childhood obesity by altering the gut bacteria of infants.

Fecal samples showed that 3- and 4-month-old infants regularly exposed ...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially dangerous bacteria already resistant to antibiotics are now developing resistance to common alcohol-based hand gels, a new study reports.

A bacteria called Enterococcus faecium is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections, and it's been shrugging off antibiotics at an increasing rate, said senior researcher Timothy S...

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Afraid to raise your hand because of embarrassing body odor? Here's some good news for you: Scientists say they're one step closer to conquering smelly armpits.

Researchers in England say they've identified a protein that enables bacteria in your armpits to take up odorless compounds in sweat and make it stink.

According to the inv...

THURSDAY, June 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Is it safe to go in the water this summer? Not if microscopic germs like E. coli or cryptosporidium are swimming in the pool with you, U.S. health officials warn.

"These germs make people sick when they swallow water contaminated with poop," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated frankly in a news release on Thursday.

FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A number of infection control measures need to be taken when giving "kangaroo care" to premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, researchers say.

This approach -- which involves meaningful touch and skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies -- is increasingly encouraged in hospitals to aid the infant's development.

...

MONDAY, June 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Is your kitchen towel making you sick?

The answer could be yes if you use the towel for many purposes, have a large family and are not a vegetarian, according to a new study of germs lurking on towels.

Forty-nine percent of the kitchen towels collected for the study were laden with bacteria, and the bacter...

WEDNESDAY, May 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to triclosan -- a chemical in some shampoos and toothpastes -- might raise the risk for colon inflammation and colon cancer, at least in mice, researchers say.

New study results "suggest that triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health," said study leader Guodong Zhang, a food scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amhe...

THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds may be synonymous with summertime fun, but they also can be breeding grounds for dangerous germs that could make you violently ill.

In some cases, they can even lead to death, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

And of all the outbreaks from waterborne germs between 2000 and 2014, one-third...

FRIDAY, April 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Although still exceedingly rare, menstrual toxic shock syndrome can be dangerous and has been tied to the use of tampons.

And new research finds that the type of fibers used in manufacturing tampons doesn't seem to matter -- 100-percent cotton or synthetic-fiber varieties were each linked to toxic shock.

One alternative to tampons, ...

TUESDAY, April 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- House mice are ubiquitous in New York City, and those uninvited guests may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a new study finds.

Researchers found that mice had taken up residence in all of the city neighborhoods they studied -- from the wealthiest to the poorest. And some of the animals carried bacteria that cause gastrointestinal infect...

FRIDAY, April 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Breathe easy, Mom and Dad. Sending your young children to preschool or day care probably won't increase their risk of developing asthma.

In fact, researchers report, it may help protect your kids against the respiratory disease.

Investigators at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) based that conclusion on an analysis ...

MONDAY, April 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Oily skin isn't all bad. And there are a number of things you can do to control it, an expert says.

"There are many reasons for oily skin, including stress, humidity, genetics and fluctuating hormones," said Dr. Deirdre Hooper, a dermatologist in New Orleans.

"These factors can make oily skin difficult to manage; however, there are s...

MONDAY, March 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you worry about catching a nasty infection when you fly, a new study suggests your risk boils down to exactly how close you are to that sick passenger.

A row in front, a row in back, a couple of seats to the side, and your chances of getting sick jump, researchers report.

"Passengers should not, however, worry about getting sick ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Even though it's the end of February, it's still not too late to get a flu shot, doctors say.

This flu season is one of the worst seen in the United States in years. Flu-linked hospitalizations were still rising earlier this month, and 84 children have died from flu complications so far, according to government health officials.

"The...

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Long after you rid your home of unwelcome bedbugs, chemicals they leave behind in their droppings may continue to haunt you, a new study shows.

In people, the immune system releases histamines to protect the body. These chemicals help other immune system chemicals to repair damaged cells or fight off germs.

But histamines that bedbug...

FRIDAY, Jan. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Microbes -- from bacteria to viruses to fungi -- are everywhere, including within and on the human body. So it's no surprise, the researchers said, that a kitchen appliance would be hosting them.

So do people...

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A hectic holiday pace not only tires you out, it makes it easier to pick up an infection.

Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and healthy eating are among the things you can do to stay healthy if you're traveling over the holidays, one expert suggests.

Stress levels can rise at this time of year, so it's important to acknowledge an...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Good nail care is important, but it's possible to overdo it.

For instance, it turns out that too much clipping can actually be harmful. Trimming nails every day can create stress across the entire nail. Over time, it can change nail shape and even lead to conditions like ingrown toe nails.

It's fine to trim your nails with nail cli...

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Add one more reason to why you should brush and floss regularly: Gum disease bacteria are now tied to higher odds of esophageal cancer.

The study tracked the oral health of 122,000 Americans for 10 years. It found that the presence of two types of bacteria linked with gum disease may hike the risk of the cancer.

The presence of one or...