Thursday, September 18, 2014

EV-D68 Crosses the Border Into Canada

The growing concern over the enterovirus D68 has now gone north into Canada. This article mentions three cases that have been confirmed. In the Seattle area 60 cases have been reported at Children's Hospital according to Coastwide Labs a company specializing in cleaning products.

Again the best defense is constant hand washing and wiping down surfaces to keep them clean so that the virus is not spread.

Friday, September 12, 2014

EV-D68 May Have Reached Washington State

The Midwest meets the Northwest? Seems as if the enterovirus that has been plaguing the Midwest may now have reached our state. According to this Seattle Times article today, 15 cases of some enterovirus, which may be the D68 strain, have arrived at Children's Hospital. The article explains more, but the implications are that this is spreading as many of these kinds of viruses do this time of year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As If Concerns Over Ebola and EV-D68 Weren't Enough

Check out this article that the Department of Homeland Security probably doesn't have enough medicine, supplies and other vital necessities in case of a pandemic in the U.S. Is your emergency kit ready?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It Always Comes Down to Handwashing

Every year we are hit with sickness whether it be the flu, a cold or something worse. This year is no exception. My last few posts have dealt with an outbreak of a virus known as EV-D68 which is spreading throughout the Midwest.

According to the article What Is the Midwest Enterovirus - 6 Things to Know, one of the best ways to slow or minimize the spread of this virus or any other is handwashing. It cannot be overstated. Handwashing will reduce the spread of disease and people will stay healthier. Unfortunately, many don't give heed to this simple measure.

I don't know how many times I've been in the restroom and I watch men and boys use the urinal or toilet stall and when they finish they walk right out. It baffles me that they just don't get that a few simple seconds in front of the sink with soap and water could limit their illnesses and those of others.

In fact, why are so many restrooms now using "hands free" dispensers? To LIMIT the spread of disease. All we can do as custodians, janitors, cleaners, parents and people is continue to wash our hands and remind others to do so too!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ebola is Raging Out-of-Hand

Here's a quick update on the Ebola situation in Africa. Liberia is getting slammed as well as other countries. It's not only sickening people but is wreaking havoc on the countries themselves. Good health care seems to be helping those who can get it.

EV-D68 Update

Here's an update on the last post about the EV-D68 virus affecting mainly children.

Polios Distant Cousin - EV-D68 Hits the Midwest

Just hearing the word "polio" is enough to make shivers run down your spine.  The physical effects of this disease are devastating. Yet, here we are again. This time a distant cousin of the polio virus is making children sick in 10 states. Doctors are concerned and wonder what can be done to limit its spread. Hopefully this enterovirus will wane shortly. Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ebola - Relentless!

Over the past few months the outbreak of the Ebola virus has captured the attention of the world. In less developed countries this outbreak has wreaked havoc. In other countries like the U.S., fears loom of an impending outbreak of this disease within their borders.

In this article concerns are raised about the battle to contain this disease which almost always proves fatal. Good hygiene, common sense and caution can all help limit contracting diseases of any kind.

Friday, August 29, 2014

An Olfactory Highway of Death

Tiny amoebas swimming in your brain and eating brain cells! Something out of a science fiction or horror movie? Not at all. It's very real!

The amoeba has been around for decades and rarely infects anyone. But every now and then it decides to rear its ugly head and wreak havoc on humans. Now, in Louisiana, there is another outbreak of this amoeba in swimming holes, lakes and elsewhere. I've pasted the article below so you can get the full story.

The announcement early Thursday that a rare but potentially deadly brain-destroying amoeba was found in a parish water supply in Louisiana has put a community on edge and stoked fears straight out of zombie fiction.
The microscopic menace, Naegleria fowleri, craves warm freshwater and thrives in hot springs, swimming holes, lakes and even neti pots used to flush out sinuses. Officials say drinking water that it's in is safe, but if it slips into your nostrils, it could crawl up holes in the base of your skull and wage an all-out assault on your frontal lobe.

"If it gets in your brain, then you're hosed," said Dr. Clayton Wiley, director of the division of neuropathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Fortunately, medical professionals and disease experts say infections with this bug are exceedingly rare: It's been reported in just 132 people in the U.S. since 1962. And yet cases are nearly always fatal: Only three of those people survived.
Accordingly, officials in Louisiana are sounding the alarm about the tiny terrors swimming in a water system that serves 12,577 people.
Here's what we know about the amoeba:

Why is amoeba-tainted water safe to drink?

It’s probably not a great idea to sip on a Naegleria cocktail, but if you unwittingly do, don't fret: The acid in your stomach kills it, according to CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson. But if tainted water gets up your nose, the amoeba can latch on to nasal mucosa and creep up the olfactory nerve, which carries smell signals to the brain.
"They can literally travel up these nerve cells like they're on a highway and get into the brain," said Dr. Nicole Iovine, an infectious disease doctor and director of Antimicrobial Management Program at the University of Florida. "That's really where they do the most significant damage."

Does the amoeba really 'eat' your brain?

The organism — roughly 10 micrometers in diameter — slinks up the olfactory nerve to the brain before reproducing exponentially. By the time the immune system reacts, the bug has already built up its defense against white blood cells.
"If you had it live under a microscope, you can watch it wander around and absolutely destroy cells," said Dr. Wiley. "It's extremely aggressive. It ravages brain tissue, and that's why it's earned the very graphic name 'brain-eating.' It's just a bad situation all around."
The infection caused by N. fowleri is called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis — PAM for short. It’s a severe inflammation of the brain — and there’s not an easy treatment. The early symptoms resemble a cold or flu, so diagnosis doesn't come quickly. And all the while, the amoeba feasts on brain cells.
“PAM is difficult to detect because the disease progresses rapidly so that diagnosis is usually made after death,” according to the CDC.

Who is most susceptible to infection — or worse?

If you've sustained a face injury — especially a fracture to your nasal passage — you're more likely to be vulnerable to infection, according to Iovine.
"If the bones that are supposed to separate the nasal cavity from the brain are broken or cracked, your face is essentially a wide-open gate" to the amoeba, Iovine said.
And while it's not entirely clear if children are more susceptible to Naegleria than adults, the statistics are stark: 84 percent of the 132 infections documented in the U.S. between 1962 and 2013 occurred in children under age 18, according to data from the CDC.
"The simple fact is that kids, especially little boys, are going to come into contact with the organism because of where they play and how they play," Iovine said. "They're going to be excited about dumping their heads in muddy, brackish water, where the amoeba thrives."

What can you do to protect yourself?

If you choose to take a dip in warm freshwater, the CDC recommends holding your nose shut, using nose clips, and keeping your head above water so you don't end up ingesting the gnarly bug.

But it's probably safest to stay out of the lakes and rivers brimming with amoebae, anyway. "I'm not a fear-mongerer," Wiley said, "but I tell you this: I wouldn't go swimming in the water after you've found something like that."

Image: Naegleria fowleri
A wet mount of Naegleria fowleri trophozoites cultured from the CSF of a patient with primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) viewed using phase contrast microscopy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

From Rags to Pitches

Should I use rags, whether color-coded for specific areas or not, or should I use disposable wipes that I can just pitch in the garbage when I'm done?

This question is examined in the article in the current August issue of entitled Toss Away the Germs. Cross-contamination, better health, avoiding staph infections and other concerns are all pondered in this article. What are you using when you clean?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Ebola Games

No, this is not some sick, twisted adventure on a deadly and devastating disease.  It is scientists using the minds of video gamers to try and find a cure for Ebola.  Scientists at the University of Washington are using these unusual thinking methods of gaming individuals to study ways to prevent or cure Ebola.  This article goes into more detail on how this is being done and the studies involved.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Custodial World App for Android Devices

Are you looking to have quick access to Custodial World information via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and more? Download this app to your Android smartphone and all the links via icons will be at your fingertips!

Or scan this QR code for quick access. 

Custodial World App