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MERS Outbreak in South Korea – Part 1
South Korea reported a 10th death from a MERS outbreak on Thursday, although officials say they believe the disease has peaked. The victim was a 65-year-old man who had been treated for lung cancer and was hospitalized in the same facility as another MERS patient, the Health Ministry said. The outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome has caused panic in South Korea. It has infected more than 120 people since the first case, a 68-year-old man who had traveled...

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The History of Measles-Straight From the CDC
Pre-vaccine Era In the 9th century, a Persian doctor published one of the first written accounts of measles disease. Francis Home, a Scottish physician, demonstrated in 1757 that measles is caused by an infectious agent in the blood of patients. In 1912, measles became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States, requiring U.S. healthcare providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases. In the first decade of reporting, an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year. In the decade...

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U.S. Thaw with Cuba, may help in the fight against Cancer
As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, one unexpected byproduct could be the introduction of a Cuban-developed vaccine to fight against cancer. A vaccine in the U.S. Called Cimavax, an innovative vaccine that was developed to help treat lung cancer patients in Cuba, where lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death. The immunotherapy treatment could be coming to the U.S. thanks in part to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, which is working with Cuba's...

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What is a Blood borne Pathogen?
What is a Blood borne Pathogen? Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needle-stick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Workers and employers are urged to take advantage of available engineering controls...

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Antibiotic Resistance Part 2
Are you aware of antibiotic resistance? Do you know what it is? Did you know? 80% of all antibiotic use in the United States are given to poultry and other livestock 29.9 Million pounds are used to give to livestock 7.7 million pounds are used to treat sick people The Poultry Case Study Americans today eat three times as much poultry as they did in 1960. Since most U.S. chickens are raised in large, crowded facilities, farmers feed them antibiotics to prevent disease as well...

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Antibiotic Resistance Part 1
In this month’s National Geographic, I came across a fascinating article about antibiotic resistance. The recent scare in California of a bacteria, spread in hospitals through a special type of scope used in the pancreas and bile ducts, is raising awareness. CRE is not only spread through medical devices, but through wounds and stool. The chronic overuse of antibiotics for every sniffle, bacterial or not, is to blame for the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. Patients with weak immune systems,...

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The History of Measles – Straight from the CDC
The Pre-Vaccine Era The history of measles dates back to the 9th century when a Persian doctor published one of the first written accounts of measles disease. Francis Home, a Scottish physician, demonstrated in 1757 that measles is caused by an infectious agent in the blood of patients. In 1912, measles became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States, requiring U.S. healthcare providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases. In the first decade of reporting, an average of 6,000...

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Ebola – Part III
Working with Deadly Pathogens Because Ebola is highly contagious, health care workers in the U.S. wear protective equipment (Personal Protective Equipment-PPE) to prevent transmission.  Items worn include: Mask: Prevents infectious agents from getting into mucus membranes inside the mouth nose or eyes. Gloves: Keep broken skin from contact with infectious fluids r needle sticks.  workers often wear two pairs in case one breaks. Full-body protective suit: Usually made of a fluid and air resistant, woven plastic fiber.  Suit prevents exposure to body fluids,...

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First Ebola, Now Marburg. What are the Chances?
Marburg, a virus similar to Ebola, has hit the radar in the African country of Uganda, raising concerns about another deadly outbreak. With two lethal viruses threatening public health, many are questioning why these contagions seem to be flaring up more often — and more important, what we can do to avoid them in the future. The current Ebola outbreak originated in West Africa and has killed more than 3,800 people, more than all other past outbreaks combined. The first Marburg death...

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