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Health News Results - 357

MONDAY, June 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Smartphones have become an essential part of modern medicine, but they might be exposing patients to potentially deadly staph infections, a new study suggests.

Tests of cellphones at a Brazilian medical school revealed that 40% carried Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital infections.

Worse, 85% of the bact...

SATURDAY, June 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the ocean, potentially increasing your risk of infection, researchers report.

They collected samples of skin bacteria from the legs of nine people before they took a 10-minute swim in the ocean, after they had air-dried completely following their swim, and then six and 24 hours...

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many flies and flying insects in hospitals carry bacteria that could pose an infection risk to patients, and more than half of them carry the types that resist antibiotics, a new study says.

British researchers used ultraviolet-light flytraps, electronic fly killers and sticky traps to collect nearly 20,000 flies, aphids, ants, wasps, bees and...

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You may want to check any frozen blackberries or mixed berries you bought recently: A Georgia-based distributor is recalling products sold at Walmart and Save-A-Lot stores due to potential contamination with norovirus.

In a company statement, Alma Pak of Alma, Ga., stressed that so far there have been no illnesses linked to the bags of frozen ...

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In the midst of the "anti-vaxxer" movement comes more scientific proof that vaccines help save children's lives.

Researchers report that since the 2006 introduction of a vaccine against rotavirus -- a common and potentially fatal cause of infant diarrhea -- U.S. cases have fallen dramatically.

What's more, the rotavirus "season" is now...

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

...

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Although no illnesses have yet been reported, the makers of Signature Select Avocado Chunks are issuing a product recall due to possible contamination with the listeria germ.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Nature's Touch Frozen Foods said the recall is "based on strict precautionary measures after the company was informed by the [U.S. Food ...

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Although illnesses have not yet been reported, the Sprouts Farmers Market chain says it is recalling frozen spinach sold nationwide, due to potential contamination with the listeria germ.

The recall involves Frozen Cut Leaf Spinach, in both conventional and organic 16-ounce bags, made by National Frozen Foods of Oregon. Sprouts announced the ...

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificus occurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, r...

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As Europe deals with its biggest measles outbreaks since the 1990s, U.S. health officials are urging travelers to be up-to-date on vaccination.

In 2018, European countries reported more than 83,500 measles cases, including 74 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A majority of cases were in the Ukraine, but Serbia, France, ...

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fecal transplants -- transferring fecal matter from a healthy person into an ill person with a compromised "microbiome" -- is an increasingly used new treatment for a variety of ills.

But on Thursday federal health officials announced that a patient died after such a procedure, highlighting the potential for severe infections linked to fecal t...

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccinating against the common infant infection rotavirus not only cuts a child's odds of getting sick, it might also prevent them from developing type 1 diabetes later in life, new research suggests.

Infants who got all of the recommended doses of the "stomach flu" virus vaccine had a 33% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes compared ...

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The United States is stepping up its response to a historic outbreak of Ebola in two African nations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its Emergency Operations Center Thursday to assist in the government's response to the second-largest outbreak of Ebola on record.

The announcement came as the deadly v...

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A daily pill that can block transmission of HIV should be prescribed to people at high risk of infection with the AIDS-causing virus, according to a highly influential panel of experts.

The treatment -- called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- has proven highly effective at preventing HIV spread in clinical trials, an evidence review by the...

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The waning effectiveness of a flawed whooping cough vaccine is the main culprit in recent outbreaks of the highly contagious bacterial infection, a new study reports.

More than four out of five confirmed whooping cough (pertussis) cases strike children who are fully vaccinated, the study authors said.

That's because the vaccine for w...

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Dentists tend to be overeager when it comes to prescribing antibiotics, new research suggests.

The study authors found that antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection during dental procedures weren't necessary 81% of the time. That's important because 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions come from dentists, the researchers said.

...

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...

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Superbugs" strike fear in the hearts of scientists who are racing to find new drugs to fight these dangerous infections, but British researchers now report they have developed a compound that could battle these antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an entirely new way.

The compound, a metal complex based on the element ruthenium, "works by bindi...

MONDAY, May 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Urinary tract infections are one of the indignities many women face as they age. One reason why is because their bladder walls can be invaded by several species of bacteria, a new study finds.

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are among the most common type of bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections. UTI ...

MONDAY, May 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Steering clear of folks who are coughing and sneezing is one way to prevent catching the flu. Avoiding e-cigarettes may be another, new research suggests.

In a small study including smokers, e-cigarette users and nonsmokers, researchers saw that both traditional cigarette smokers and "vapers" were more susceptible to flu.

But cigaret...

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As deer populations have exploded across America, moving from forests to suburbs to urban parks, they have brought the threat of Lyme disease to millions of city dwellers, a new study finds.

In fact, the deer tick that spreads Lyme disease is as prevalent in many New York City parks as it is in areas known to be endemic for the bacterial dis...

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of infections among women who undergo an assisted vaginal birth could be prevented by giving them a dose of antibiotics soon after delivery, a new study contends.

The preventive use of antibiotics in these cases could prevent about 5,000 infections in new mothers every year in the United States alone, and many more worldwide, the r...

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New York's ongoing measles epidemic alarmed midtown Manhattan resident Deb Ivanhoe, who couldn't remember whether she'd ever been vaccinated as a child.

So Ivanhoe, 60, sought out her long-time primary care doctor, who performed an antibody test to see whether she had any protection against measles.

To her surprise, the test reveale...

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease -- but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.

If this happens, new research suggests you need to see your doctor immediately, because you may be suffering from Fournier gangrene. Also known as a "flesh-eating" disea...

WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The Connecticut 9-year-old knew something was wrong. Three days after a routine day in the school playground, he felt something "foreign" in his right ear and persistent buzzing noises.

Doctors who examined the boy's ear at Yale-New Haven Hospital quickly ascertained the cause: An eight-legged visitor, a tick, had taken up residence on his ea...

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...

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty-four new illnesses linked to an outbreak involving packaged melon distributed across 16 states were reported by U.S. health officials Wednesday.

The outbreak now includes 117 cases of Salmonella Carrau illness, including 32 cases so severe the patients required hospitalization, although no deaths have been reported, the U.S. 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...

WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Injuries, heart attacks, lung infections, strokes and other medical emergencies caused about half of the world's 28 million deaths in 2015, a new study reports.

Such deaths are on the rise, and rates are much higher in poor countries than wealthy ones, the researchers said.

"We believe our study is among the first to identify the...

TUESDAY, April 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- What looked like a mild flu season in December has turned into the longest flu season in five years, U.S. health officials report.

The season is so prolonged because two waves of flu viruses hit one after the other, making it like two flu seasons in one.

"Those two waves together have made it a long season and a moderately severe s...

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...

THURSDAY, April 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A listeria outbreak that has sickened eight, including one death, has now been linked to deli meats and cheeses sold at stores in four states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The illnesses in the outbreak, which first began more than two years ago, have been reported in Michigan, New Jersey, New York and ...

THURSDAY, April 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- British researchers have pinpointed which factors put knee replacement patients at high risk for severe infection and repeat surgery.

"This information provides me with the strong evidence I need to discuss the risk of infection with my patients undergoing knee replacement and helps us identify strategies to minimize that risk," said study ...

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For women who deliver a baby by cesarean section, the risk of developing a surgical site infection is higher if she is covered by Medicaid versus private insurance, a new study finds.

Several factors may be at play, including a patient's living situation and social support after leaving the hospital, as well as differences in the type of c...

SATURDAY, April 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pre-cut, packaged melon distributed by major grocery chains across 16 states have been tied to an outbreak of salmonella illness, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Friday.

The outbreak has so far involved 93 cases of Salmonella Carrau illness, including 23 cases so severe the patients required h...

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...

TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A public health emergency has been declared in New York City as it grapples withone of the largest measles outbreaks in decades, whichis centered in theultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

Unvaccinated people living in certain ZIP codes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will have to get the measles vaccine, and those who do not comply will b...

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Experts are sounding the alarm about a cluster of four New York City hospital patients carrying an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" form of E. coli.

The E. coli harbored by the patients has an antibiotic resistance gene called mcr-1, which gives the bacteria resistance to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort against some multidrug-resistant i...

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 ...

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You now have an excuse to skip cutting the grass every weekend -- it's beneficial for the bees.

And mowing your lawn less often to provide native bees a better habitat won't lead to an increase in disease-carrying ticks, experts say.

When research ecologist Susannah Lerman began urging friends and colleagues to leave lawns a bit long...

TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Does being at high risk for HIV mean you're less likely to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

New research suggests that's so.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, while HPV can cause cervical, anal and other cancers.

HPV infection is common, and healthy people often clear it from the body without developing cancer....

TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As if having the exhausting "kissing disease" -- also known as mononucleosis, or "mono" -- isn't bad enough, about 1 in 10 people with this infection will develop chronic fatigue syndrome in six months, researchers report.

To better predict which people with mono might end up with debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome, investigators at Luri...

MONDAY, April 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists are looking to an unexpected source in the battle against drug-resistant bacteria: fish slime.

The researchers said that microbes in the protective mucus that coats young fish holds promise in fighting multidrug-resistant bacteria. These include the so-called "superbug" microbes that cause methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus au...

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- They're tiny, furry and cute, but hedgehogs as pets can bring salmonella dangers, U.S. health officials warned on Friday.

There have been 17 cases of the serious gastrointestinal infection across 11 states -- all linked to contact with hedgehogs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Hedgehogs can carry ...

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If the cacophony of children screaming and throwing tiny plastic balls everywhere hasn't prompted you to forgo ball pits, a new study may just send you scurrying for the door.

The research found that ball pits in physical therapy clinics -- and undoubtedly in public ball pits, too -- were awash in microbes, some potentially quite dangerous. ...

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Not drinking enough water is a common but under-recognized problem among American seniors that puts their health at risk, researchers say.

"So many health issues are related to inadequate hydration," including urinary tract and respiratory infections, frequent falls and other problems, said study author Janet Mentes. She's a professor of nu...

SUNDAY, March 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tucking a pacemaker inside an antibiotic-soaked mesh envelope before implanting it inside your body can drastically reduce your risk of a dangerous infection, a new study shows.

About 1.7 million patients receive cardiac implants like pacemakers or defibrillators every year worldwide, and doctors use preoperative a...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Amid outbreaks of preventable childhood illnesses, one unvaccinated Oregon boy's nightmarish encounter with tetanus should serve as a cautionary tale for "anti-vaxxer" parents, doctors say.

A team led by Dr. Judith Guzman-Cottrill, a pediatrician at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, related the harrowing story of a preventable ...

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Wellness Library Results - 65

What is amebiasis? As the name suggests, amebiasis is a disease caused by an amoeba. In this case, the culprit is Entamoeba histolytica, a one-celled, protozoan parasite that often lurks in food and water contaminated with human feces. In approximately 90 percent of all cases, E. histolytica doesn't cause any problems. But if conditions are right, the parasite can start eating away at the walls ...

What is campylobacteriosis? Most store-bought chicken comes with a bonus: Campylobacter, the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this bacterium was found on 20 to 100 percent of raw chicken breasts the agency tested in various food surveys. And if you're not careful, you'll get infected, too. Campylobacter infections don't seem...

Dysentery is not a disease but a symptom of a potentially deadly illness. The term refers to any case of infectious bloody diarrhea, a scourge that kills as many as 700,000 people worldwide every year. Most of the victims live in developing areas with poor sanitation, but sporadic cases can pop up anywhere in the world. What causes dysentery? Dysentery is the body's response to an unwanted visit...

There's a reason why veteran hikers and campers never drink directly from lakes or streams, no matter how clean and pure the water may look. It's the same reason why getting a mouthful of water from a swimming pool or a hot tub isn't such a great idea, either. Water that isn't intended for drinking can harbor a nasty surprise: A single-celled protozoan parasite called Giardia. This microscopic c...

Germs have gotten a bad rap. Some of them are actually good for us, like the ones in our intestines that help us break down food. But we're also surrounded by potentially harmful germs. They lurk everywhere, from the surface of public phones to bottles of unrefrigerated garlic paste. Disease-causing germs, in fact, are always looking for their chance to invade a new host. All it takes is a cut or ...

What are clinical trials? Clinical trials are the means by which new drugs and treatments are tested to determine if they work. They are the engine that drives progress in medicine. For patients who have run out of other options, clinical trials offer a last chance at a potentially effective therapy. In some cases, they provide access to research treatments before they are made widely available. ...

Adults usually don't spend much time worrying about fevers -- unless they happen to have a sick child. But children aren't the only ones who get overheated. At one time or another, adults eventually have to face fevers of their own. As with childhood fevers, most fevers that strike adults are short-lived and harmless. Occasionally, however, a prolonged fever may be a symptom of a serious illness. ...

If you've been diagnosed with hepatitis C, your doctor has probably advised you to give up alcoholic beverages. For some people, this can be one of the most difficult lifestyle adjustments to make. But it's also one of the most important. Several studies have shown that among people with hepatitis C, regular drinkers have higher levels of virus than nondrinkers, according to a report in the journ...

Unlike cold or flu viruses, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) does not spread easily. It is transmitted by direct contact with blood that carries the virus. Before screening donated blood for hepatitis C became mandatory in 1991, most transmission occurred through blood transfusions. Now that the blood supply is tested for the hepatitis C virus, this kind of transmission is extremely rare: It occurs le...

The rules are simple at Monday's lunchtime hepatitis C support group in the Oasis Clinic: Only one person speaks at a time, people's stories don't leave the room, and you can't have more than two slices of pizza. Larry Galindo, a 51-year-old former injection drug user, tells the group he's nervous about his upcoming yearlong course of treatment for hepatitis C. "Some people breeze through the tre...

Many people have heard of the type of hepatitis that is spread by water or food contaminated with the hepatitis A virus. A diagnosis of hepatitis C, however, is often more puzzling. Your doctor has probably given you some basic facts about hepatitis C, and these articles are designed to help you learn more. "Hepatitis" -- a term that means inflammation of the liver -- can have many causes. At lea...

Very understandably, almost everyone diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus asks the same question: "What's going to happen to me?" Unfortunately, with HCV infection, it's very hard for doctors to offer an answer. More than with most diseases, the course of HCV infection varies widely from person to person. In about 15 to 25 percent of people infected with the virus, their immune systems attack the...

Who gets hepatitis C? Anyone can get hepatitis C virus. But unlike a cold or flu virus, HCV isn't easy to catch. The virus is transmitted only by direct contact with human blood that contains the virus. There are several ways infection can occur. Those at risk of being infected with hepatitis C virus include:

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a disease that should be rare by now. We've had an effective vaccine against whooping cough for decades, but the illness continues to thrive. In 2009, 17,000 cases were reported in the United States among people of all ages, and many more cases go unreported. In fact, an unusual whooping cough outbreak in California in 2010 sickened more than 6,000 infants and kille...

It's natural for everyone to feel stress, but people with hepatitis C have additional concerns. There's the prospect of medical tests and procedures, worry over medical bills, and the fear of infecting others to name a few. Some people feel angry either at themselves or at someone else -- or simply at the rotten blow that life has handed them. That anger can lead to depression, which only adds to ...

Most people know him as bad guy JR Ewing on the TV show "Dallas." But lately the actor who played the part, Larry Hagman, has adopted a different role: champion for the cause of organ transplants. In 1995, Hagman, who had advanced cirrhosis, received a life-saving liver transplant. Since then, he has gone on to become honorary chairman of the U.S. Transplant Games, an Olympics-style competition h...

During two years in the 20th century, a deadly strain of influenza , known as the "Spanish flu," spread across the globe, killing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of people. It's been many decades since that outbreak. According to some experts, the world is overdue for another. Though it seems to have stabilized at the moment, some experts believe that bird flu, or avian flu, might...

In 1968 Haight-Ashbury, in the afterglow of the Summer of Love, Steve Cochran* shot up heroin for the first time. He was 16, one of thousands of teens who poured into the symbolic center of the '60s to search for utopia and to sample free love and drugs. "I was hanging out in the most intense place in the most intense of times," he says. "I thought of myself as a drug adventurer. I experimented wi...

The word hepatitis is derived from Greek -- "hepar" meaning liver, and "-itis" meaning inflamed or diseased. The causes of hepatitis range from chronic alcoholism to chemical toxins. In addition, at least six different viruses that cause the disease have been identified. The most prevalent chronic infection in the United States is due to hepatitis C. Why do certain viruses target the liver? To be...

Dramatic advances have been made in the treatment of hepatitis C since the virus that caused it was first identified in 1989. The current treatment for most patients is a combination of two drugs: pegylated alpha interferon and ribavirin. Together, these two drugs have been shown to slow or stop the progress of hepatitis C in some, but not all, patients. Although far from perfect treatments, they ...

Hepatitis C has been called a silent epidemic for its stealthy progress and -- until recently -- incognito status. Though it's the most common cause of chronic hepatitis in the United States, many people -- including some health care professionals -- still connect hepatitis with type A, the treatable virus contracted by ingesting feces-tainted food or water. Some Americans first heard of hepatitis...

While outcomes with hepatitis C are uncertain, there's no doubt about transmission. Direct blood exposure is the most efficient mode. Fortunately, the advent of highly sensitive blood-screening tests in 1992 has pretty much eliminated the risk involved in blood transfusion. Health care workers still face some risk, but actual transmission of HCV is small. About 1 percent of health care workers ex...

Kaye Wellborn* will never forget her first -- and last -- abscessed tooth. The San Francisco 49ers had just won the Superbowl, and a huge, exuberant crowd was celebrating in the street where she was house-sitting. "I was already in so much pain, I had tears running down my face," she says. "People were honking horns and beating drums, and with every drumbeat the throbbing pain in my tooth became m...

What is strep throat? Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection marked by swelling and extreme soreness of the back of the throat, or pharynx. It can hurt so much your child doesn't want to swallow. (The name "strep throat" is a shorthand term for the throat infection, which is caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria.) Other symptoms of strep are fever (often above 101 degrees), chills, decre...

Most of us have been there: What starts as a dull ache or uncomfortable jolt when you sip your ice tea signals the onset of tooth decay. Soon the pain becomes so unbearable that you can't call the dentist fast enough. The good news is that you can prevent this all-too-common ailment with regular checkups and good oral hygiene. What causes toothache? Tooth decay is the most likely cause. Bacter...

More than 90,000 Americans contract potentially life-threatening infections every year from drug-resistant staph bacteria, according to the first federal study of invasive disease caused by such infections. The study estimates suggest that drug-resistant staph may kill more than 18,000 people a year in the United States, which would exceed the number of annual deaths caused by AIDS, according to t...

Like many people, Anthony Passaro Jr., a 60-year-old retired postal worker from Wantagh, New York, harbors a strong fear of hospitals. His fear just happens to run deeper than most. Stays in the hospital nearly killed both of his parents. In 1993, his mother, Eleanor, barely survived a botched laser surgery for gallstones. The surgeon accidentally nicked her bile duct with the laser, setting off c...

In 2001, a series of anthrax attacks through the mail on media and federal government offices killed five people and sickened 17. Government buildings in Washington D.C. were shut down; government agencies issued advisories on how to handle suspicious-looking packages; news and mailroom employees across the country began donning latex gloves to sort mail; Americans stockpiled antibiotics against ...

How do I know if my baby has a cold? A cold is just the common name for an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. In other words, if your baby is sniffling, stuffed up, or sneezing a lot, it's probably a cold. Doctors often suggest that moms check the color of their baby's mucus. If it changes from watery to yellow or greenish, it's almost certainly a cold. What's the differenc...

What is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease? Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFM) is a common childhood illness caused by a virus and marked by painful mouth sores. Symptoms may include blisters in the mouth and small, grayish red blisters on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and sometimes on the buttocks. Rashes on the palms and soles are unusual and are one of the things that distinguish ...

What is heat rash? Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is a red pimply skin eruption that can appear when your child overheats. It shows up most often in folds of the skin and on parts of the body where clothing fits snugly. These places include the chest, stomach, neck, crotch, and buttocks; if your child wears hats, the rash may even spread across his scalp or forehead. Heat rash most frequ...

What is chicken pox? Chicken pox is a disease marked by an itchy rash that starts out as multiple small red bumps that quickly change into thin-walled water blisters. These blisters develop into cloudy sores, which finally become dry brown crusts. New waves of rashes often spring up over the next two to four days. The disease typically makes children tired and slightly feverish. A germ called th...

What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)? Although few people have heard of cytomegalovirus, or CMV, many of us are carrying it at this very moment. It's a common virus that's spread during sex, or in blood, urine, saliva, or breast milk; babies can also be infected with it before or during birth. Fifty to 80 percent of American adults have CMV by age 40, but the majority doesn't even know it. The reason is...

For all of the progress made against HIV/AIDS over the years, the push for still better treatments is far from over. Until a cure is discovered, doctors and researchers will continue to look for new and more effective ways to control the disease and save lives. While HIV medications can attack the virus and keep the disease in check for several years or more, the side effects can be severe, the me...

If you think you might have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS, you need to find out for sure. Fortunately, there's a quick, reliable, and completely confidential way to know whether or not you carry the virus. You don't have to schedule a doctor's appointment or get a referral from a clinic. You don't even have to leave your house. You can buy a Home Access HIV-1 Test...

Among chronic diseases, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) poses challenges to those struck with it that others can barely imagine, says Cheryl Gore-Felton, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. Not only is HIV incurable and life-threatening, she says, it's one of the few chronic diseases that can make a person feel shunned...

Getting infected with HIV -- the human immunodeficiency virus -- is a life-changing event. With access to treatment, that's life-changing -- not life-ending. If you get the right treatment and take care of yourself, you can look forward to years or even decades of good living. As recently as the late 1980s, infection with HIV usually meant an early death. Within a few years or even a few months o...

It may come as a surprise to know that of the roughly 11 million Mexican-born migrant workers currently living in the United States, recent immigrants -- though poorer -- are healthier in several ways than the average American. But the longer they "acculturate" here, the worse their health gets. For migrant workers who have a chronic disease, this is a particular problem. Not only are they unlikel...

What are cold sores? Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small red sores that occur occasionally on or near your lips or in your mouth. They actually have nothing to do with colds or with fevers; they're caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). How do you get cold sores? Nearly nine out of 10 Americans are infected with the cold sore virus at some point in their liv...

What is toxic shock syndrome? Toxic shock syndrome, or TSS, is a rare, life-threatening bacterial illness marked by high fever, lower blood pressure, rash and the shut-down of multiple organ systems. It became a household word only in the 1980s, after an epidemic of the disease was linked to tampon use. What causes it? The illness is caused by common staph bacteria that include Staphylococcus aure...

You wouldn't think that a can of "hot dog chili sauce" would be particularly dangerous. Unappetizing, maybe, but not dangerous. Yet in the summer of 2007, at least eight people in Texas, Indiana, and Ohio became extremely ill after eating sauce made by Castleberry's Food Company. Tests showed that the condiment contained botulinum toxin, a nerve poison produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulin...

In its natural habitat -- the digestive tracts of humans and other animals -- Escherichia coli is just another bacterium in a sea of mostly harmless germs. There are actually hundreds of strains of this bacterium, and the vast majority are not dangerous. But when the disease-causing version O157:H7 shows up in our food supply, E. coli becomes a huge threat. According to the Centers for Disease Co...

In an ideal world, you'd never have to worry about your food becoming contaminated by animal waste. But unfortunately, conditions in factories and on farms can be less than sanitary, and we all have to live with the consequences -- including the threat of salmonella bacteria. These germs, found in the intestines of infected humans and animals (and spread through the fecal matter of many animals), ...

What is shigellosis? There are some types of germs that you definitely don't want to find in your next meal or glass of water. Add Shigella bacteria to the list. These highly contagious germs cause shigellosis, an illness marked by severe bouts of diarrhea. Shigellosis is a major threat -- especially in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, the disease strikes about 12...

Should I get a flu shot? In general, there's no good reason not to. The flu hits millions of Americans catch the flu, and more than 200,000 wind up in the hospital. Not only can a flu shot protect you from the illness, it will also keep you from spreading the virus to people around you. Still, a flu shot doesn't guarantee that you won't get sick. If you're young and healthy, the vaccine reduces...

Ever since the arrival of penicillin in the early 1940s, bacteria have been evolving defenses against some of our strongest medicines. As bacteria become increasingly resistant to antibiotic drugs, some experts worry that we could once again find ourselves in the dark ages where common infections are difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Experts say we can regain the upper hand over dangerous ge...

What are cold sores? Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small red blisters that crop up near the lips or on them. More rarely, they sprout on the roof of the mouth. (Some people confuse them with canker sores, which are painful crater-like sores that appear on the tongue or on the inside of the cheeks.) Despite their name, cold sores actually have nothing to do with colds; they're caus...

What is pneumonia? If the air around us were perfectly sterile, we wouldn't have to worry much about pneumonia. In the real world, the 3,000 gallons of air that move through our lungs each day contain all sorts of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other potential intruders. The body goes to great lengths to protect the lungs, but some germs still manage to get through. Once inside their new home, cer...

You go to the hospital when you are sick or injured and need care. The last thing you expect is that the hospital will make you sicker. But for up to 10 percent of hospital patients, that's exactly what happens. It turns out that hospitals are a breeding ground for infections -- many of which are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estim...

There is only one disease with such a horrific history that its name is still used hundreds of years later to describe terrible illness. "He avoided her like the plague" is a common expression even though the disease itself is fortunately quite uncommon today. During the Middle Ages, plague was called the Black Death because of the flesh-blackening gangrene it caused in victims. In Europe, anywhe...

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