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08 Oct

Good Oral Hygiene May Lower Risk of Severe COVID

Brushing your teeth and gums may lower the risk of severe COVID-19, researchers say

Health News Results - 81

Old Spice, Secret Antiperspirants Recalled Due to Benzene

Several Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants and hygiene products have been voluntarily recalled in the United States due to the presence of the cancer-causing chemical benzene, Proctor & Gamble says.

Benzene exposure can occur by inhalation, orally and through the skin. It can lead to cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as potentially lif...

Physics Shows Why 20 Seconds Is Right for Hand-Washing

Twenty seconds.

That's how long you need to wash your hands to remove germs, a new physics study confirms.

Typical hand-washing guidelines -- including those from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- advise scrubbing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

To assess that recommendation, researchers used a mathematical model to examine the key mechanics of han...

Don't Linger: 'Aerosolized Droplets' Hang in the Air After Toilet Flush

If you're in a public restroom, you may not want to hang around too long, because lots of airborne pathogens are hanging around, too.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science conducted flush tests in a public restroom with both a toilet and a urinal.

"After about three hours of tests involving more than 100 flushes, we found a substa...

Got Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Stop Being Cautious, Experts Say

Just because you've had your COVID-19 vaccination doesn't mean you can stop taking steps to protect yourself and others, experts say.

So far, only about 16% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, and on March 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 6.7% increase in the seven-day average number of daily cases, compared to the prior week.

About 60,000 peo...

Have to Travel During Spring Break? Here's How to Stay Safe

If you must travel during the spring break, be sure to follow recommended COVID-19 pandemic safety measures, an emergency medicine doctor advises.

Millions of people are packing airports, while only one-quarter of the U.S. population has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, noted Dr. Lewis Nelson, director of the department of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical ...

Another Study Finds COVID Doesn't Spread in Schools With Proper Safeguards

COVID-19 transmission is rare in schools that follow precautions such as mandatory masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing, a new study finds.

And that's true even among close school contacts of people who test positive for the new coronavirus, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Schools can operate safely during a pandemic ...

Spring Cleaning Can Sweep Away Allergens From Your Home

If seasonal allergies get you down, try tackling them with a good spring cleaning.

This can not only ease some of those spring symptoms, but also get rid of allergens you've been living with for a while, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

"If you aren't someone who regularly undertakes spring cleaning, consider tackling it this year," said D...

Assistance Dogs in Hospitals? New Study Gives Paws for Thought

Could the paws of assistance dogs be cleaner than the soles of your shoes?

Yes, claims a new study that calls for allowing assistance dogs to accompany their owners in all public places.

To prove their point, Dutch researchers tested the paws of 25 assistance dogs and the soles on the shoes of their owners for two types of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and a diarrheal bacter...

Masks Vital to Stopping COVID at Gyms, Studies Show

If you think you can safely exercise without your mask in a gym during the pandemic, two new government reports show you are mistaken.

Coronavirus outbreaks at fitness centers in Chicago and Honolulu last summer were likely the result of exercisers and instructors not wearing masks, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered.

In the Chicago study...

COVID & Elevators: A Dangerous Mix, But Here's How to Make It Safer

As the new coronavirus vaccine rollout gathers speed, elevators will likely become a flash point for businesses hoping to reopen offices while sticking to social distancing.

And a new computer simulation suggests that the usual "first-come, first-served" elevator routine is neither safe nor practical.

"Now that vaccines are within reach, many buildings are slated for phased re-openi...

Health Care After COVID: A New Focus on Infectious Diseases

When New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic last spring in the United States, nearby Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital was treating more than 400 COVID-19 patients at one time, remembers Dr. Aaron Glatt.

Infectious disease experts had warned for years about the potential for another pandemic, yet the scale of this pandemic was unprecedented according to Glatt, wh...

Pandemic Has People Cleaning, and That Means More Asthma Attacks

The coronavirus pandemic has turned many people into clean freaks, but new research suggests that deploying all those extra household disinfectants might be triggering asthma flare-ups.

"We became concerned with increased cleaning and disinfecting related to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with people spending more time indoors may expose people with asthma to more environmental triggers ...

Most Americans May Keep Wearing Masks, Distancing Even After Pandemic: Survey

Wearing masks, frequent hand-washing and avoiding large crowds may not have been part of the American culture before the coronavirus pandemic began, but those habits are likely to stick around for a while, new research suggests.

A national survey from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center of more than 2,000 Americans shows that a majority of people don't plan to return to their ol...

The Germs on Your Toothbrush Can Reveal Your Health

The microbes on your toothbrush mostly come from your mouth -- not your toilet -- and provide insight into your oral health, researchers say.

Their study was inspired by people's concerns that flushing a toilet might create a cloud of aerosol particles that end up on toothbrushes and other bathroom surfaces.

The researchers asked people to mail in their used toothbrushes so they cou...

Study Shows Young COVID Survivors Can Get Reinfected

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay) -- Being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is not a foolproof shield against reinfection, a small preliminary study warns.

The finding stems from tracking nearly 3,250 young U.S. Marine recruits between May and October. Of those, 189 had previously tested positive for the SAR-CoV-2 virus. During the six-week study itself, 10% of those who had ...

Dental Practices Rebound as U.S. Dentists Look Forward to COVID Vaccine

The coronavirus pandemic hit dental practices hard early in 2020, as COVID-19 fears kept millions of Americans from seeking routine oral health care.

But as dental offices have ratcheted up their safety measures, more patients have steadily been returning for checkups and more, according to recent polls conducted by the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI).

In f...

One Big Reason Women May Be Less Prone to COVID-19

One of the reasons women may be less vulnerable to COVID-19 is because they're more likely to adhere to social distancing policies, a new survey suggests.

A survey conducted in eight countries in March and April found substantial gender differences both in numbers of people who considered COVID-19 to be a serious health crisis and who agreed with public policies to help fight the pand...

Newborns of Moms With COVID-19 Face Little Infection Risk: Study

In some reassuring news on the coronavirus front, a new study finds that pregnant women with COVID-19 rarely infect their newborn.

That finding suggests that it may not be necessary to separate infected mothers from their infants and that moms can continue to breastfeed, the researchers added.

"Our findings should reassure expectant mothers with COVID-19 that basic infectio...

Your Guide to a Safe and Happy Halloween

The truly scary thing about Halloween this year is that it's occurring during a pandemic, but there are safe ways to celebrate, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says.

Suggestions include: virtual costume parties; physically distant, outdoor costume parades; Halloween-themed craft making; movie nights at home; decorating pumpkins; and making favorite treats.

"Many kid...

New Coronavirus Can Infect Your Eyes as Well as Your Lungs

COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory infection, but experts have suspected the virus can also infiltrate the eyes. Now, scientists have more direct evidence of it.

The findings are based on a patient in China who developed an acute glaucoma attack soon after recovering from COVID-19. Her doctors had to perform surgery to treat the condition, and tests of her eye tissue showed evidence ...

Joe Biden Tests Negative for COVID-19

Shortly after President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he and his wife, Melania, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that he and his wife, Jill, have tested negative for the coronavirus.

Both Bidens had attended Tuesday's presidential debate between Trump and Biden, the Washington Post reported.

"I'm happy to repo...

How One Hospital Kept COVID Transmissions at Nearly Zero

Infection control measures implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic kept transmission of the virus to patients within a Boston hospital at nearly zero, according to a new study.

The measures at Brigham and Women's Hospital included: masking of all patients, staff and visitors; dedicated COVID-19 units with airborne infection isolation rooms; personal protective equipment in...

COVID-19 Precautions Extend to Car Seats, Seat Belts

Face masks and hand-washing are a good start, but to protect your kids from the coronavirus you'll need to up your game on the road, too, a leading pediatricians' group says.

There are a number of things parents should do to protect children from COVID-19 infection when they're traveling in cars or using other types of transportation, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (A...

Cancer Radiation Can Safely Proceed During COVID-19 Pandemic: Study

Cancer patients who need radiation therapy shouldn't let fear of COVID-19 delay their treatment, one hospital study suggests.

Over six days in May, during the height of the pandemic in New Jersey, surfaces in the radiation oncology department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., were tested for COVID-19 before cleaning.

Of 128 samples taken in...

AHA News: Need Another Reason Not to Vape? Your Oral Health Is at Risk

The warnings about vaping – inhaling the vapor of electronic cigarettes – tend to focus on the potential dangers to the heart and lungs.

But an increasing amount of research shows the chemicals in e-cigarettes start to inflict damage right where they enter the body: your mouth.

Because e-cigarettes are a recent phenomenon, said Dr. Crystal Stinson, assistant professo...

Beware of Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has issued a warning on hand sanitizers that contain methanol (methyl alcohol).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already warned that some hand sanitizers are contaminated with methanol.

Methanol is very toxic and can make you "blind drunk" because of its ability to damage the optic nerve, poison experts say.

...

Scientists Sniff Out the True Cause of 'BO'

British scientists have discovered what makes people stink.

Blame an enzyme that hides in specific bacteria that colonize the human armpit.

"Solving the structure of this 'BO enzyme' has allowed us to pinpoint the molecular step inside certain bacteria that makes the odor molecules," said co-author Michelle Rudden. She's a postdoctoral research associate in biology at the ...

Skip the 'Maskne,' Not the Mask

For most people, wearing a face mask is a harmless inconvenience, but wearing the coverings may cause skin problems for some, one dermatologist explains.

It's been called mask-acne, or "maskne."

Dermatologist Dr. Allison Truong, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Los Angeles, said that she is seeing many patients with this problem.

Patients are complaining of thre...

How to Counter the Anti-Mask Backlash? Empathy.

In the midst of a pandemic, many Americans still view face mask mandates as an assault on their personal freedoms, rather than a means of protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.

But a group of researchers out of Duke University say the mask backlash can be turned around -- as long as efforts to do so are grounded in empathy, not judgment.

As coronavirus cases in the...

Major Medical Groups Urge Americans to Wear Face Masks

Three major medical groups are urging Americans to wear face masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States.

In an open letter to the public released Monday, the groups noted that stay-at-home orders and other social distancing policies curbed the spread of COVID-19 in the spring.

"But in the weeks since st...

Should You Send Your Kid to Summer Camp? Expert Offers Advice

Summer camps are an annual ritual for millions of children, but one expert offers advice on how to determine whether it's safe to send your kids to one during the coronavirus pandemic.

First, your children need to understand the importance of regular hand-washing, according to Dr. Cynthia Roldan, medical director, from Carroll Hospital's pediatrics department, in Westminster, Md.

...

Most Americans, Plus the CDC, Say Vigilance Needed Against Coronavirus

Americans need to stay on their guard against COVID-19 even as their communities reopen, health officials warned Friday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released two documents posing considerations that people should take into account when deciding whether to go out to eat, hit the gym or attend a friend's barbecue.

"I know people are eager to return to n...

There's Another Benefit to Hand-Washing During Pandemic

Washing your hands more often may do more than slow the spread of COVID-19: New research suggests it also lowers your exposure to toxic flame retardants.

How? Scientists found that halogenated flame retardants used in plastic TV cases can travel from the TV to indoor air and dust, then to hands, and then to electronic devices such as cellphones.

That means that you can be ex...

Worried About Catching Coronavirus From Surfaces? The City You Live in May Matter

When someone infected with the new coronavirus talks, coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing virus land on surfaces nearby.

If touched by someone else, those contaminated surfaces are a means of COVID-19 transmission. But new research shows that surface-based infections are far more likely in some cities than others.

Climate is the key, according to researchers from the...

As Demand for Hand Sanitizer Soars, FDA Warns of Makers' Bogus Claims

Some companies are selling hand sanitizers with unproven claims that they'll protect you from the new coronavirus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Last week, the agency issued its first warning letter for a hand sanitizer marketed with unproven COVID-19-related claims that violated federal law.

The letter was issued to Prefense LLC for making misleading statemen...

Navigating the Grocery Store Safely

Grocery shopping has become a daunting endeavor during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and others, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Prepare a shopping list in advance and buy just one to two weeks' worth of groceries at a time. Buying more than you need can create temporary shortages, the FDA said in a news release.

We...

Do Your Keys, Phone, Money Need Disinfecting When You Return Home?

In the brave new world of COVID-19, home is your sanctuary, the one place you want to be sure is virus-free.

But if you have to head outdoors, what are the best practices for decontaminating your things when you return home? Does everything -- smartphones, wallets, money and keys -- need to be washed down with hot water and soap?

"We are all swimming through an invisible swa...

Paper Towels Beat Air Dryers Against Viruses, Small Study Finds

Frequent hand-washing with soap and water is key to preventing the spread of coronavirus, but what's the best way to dry your hands afterward?

In a new, small study, British researchers found paper towels were better than the air dryers often found in public restrooms at getting rid of germs that are still on your hands after you wash them.

"Good hand-washing practice shou...

Laser Process May Kill Bacteria on Metal Surfaces

Researchers have come up with a new twist on antibacterial technology.

By giving a metal surface a different texture, the team at Purdue University in Indiana said it may be possible to turn that surface into an immediate bacteria killer.

The technique won't kill viruses like the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are much smaller than bacteria, the res...

Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping

You're in lockdown, yet you still have to go grocery shopping, but how do you stay safe and avoid catching the coronavirus?

The American Medical Association has some timely tips.

When you go to the store:

  • Stay at least six-feet away from other shoppers.
  • Don't shake hands, hug or have any physical contact.
  • Wipe down grocery carts or b...

Handle DIY Cleaning Products With Care During Coronavirus Pandemic

If you're one of the many people making your own cleaning products at home because you can't find them in stores, you need to be sure what you make is safe and effective, an environmental medicine expert says.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) cleaning products made from ingredients such as vinegar, essential oils and baking soda are safe, but they haven't been shown to kill viruses or bacteria, s...

Can You Catch Coronavirus From Your Clothes?

While most Americans are hunkered down in their homes as coronavirus sweeps across the country, essential workers still have to go to their jobs, and trips to the grocery store and pharmacy remain necessary. But can the clothing people wear out spread COVID-19?

If so, what is the best way to handle clothes on your return?

That may depend on exactly what you do when you leave...

Touching Your Face Is a Coronavirus Danger: Tips to Help You Stop

You've been told over and over not to touch your face during the coronavirus pandemic, but that's easier said than done.

Most people touch their face up to 23 times an hour and don't even realize they're doing it, a psychologist says.

"Typically, we'll do something like shaking someone's hand and then failing to wash our hands properly, followed by touching our faces and t...

With Coronavirus a Threat, Stop Wearing Contact Lenses

Even if you're already wearing a face mask to cover your mouth and nose, taking steps to protect your eyes might also help guard against coronavirus infection, eye health experts say.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO):

  • Don't wear contact lenses -- switch to glasses. People who wear contact lenses tend to touch their eyes more than the ...

Mission Possible: Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has turned grocery shopping into a mission filled with anxiety, but a food science expert's advice can make it a safe one.

The first thing to consider is whether you should go to the store at all, said Donald Schaffner. He's a professor in the department of food science in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University in New Brunswi...

White House to Advise Face Mask Use: What's the Evidence They Are Protective?

The Trump Administration is expected to announce guidelines that will recommend many Americans wear face masks when out in public, to curb transmission of the novel coronavirus.

The recommendation will apply to those living in hard-hit areas only, and it is not mandatory, the Associated Press reported.

Experts say there's emerging -- but still inconclusive -- evidence...

Can Food From an Infected Cook Give You COVID-19?

Even if your takeout dinner was prepared by a cook who has COVID-19, there's little need to worry about your risk of infection, according to an expert in viruses.

"Restaurant kitchens can be one of the safest places in this coronavirus outbreak because they already practice strict hygiene protocols to avoid foodborne illness," said Paula Cannon, a professor of molecular microbiology ...

Parents, Arm Your Kids Against COVID-19 With Good Hand-Washing Habits

What's the best thing you can teach your kid as the new coronavirus races around the globe? Proper hand-washing habits, a leading pediatricians' group says.

As early in life as possible, you should get your children into the habit of washing their hands often and thoroughly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends. All day long, children are exposed to bacteria and viruses...

Hand Sanitizer: Is More Coming? What Can You Do in the Meantime?

Trying to find hand sanitizer to ward off coronavirus? You're not alone.

Hand sanitizer has been selling out across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic moves into more and more U.S. communities.

People have rushed to stores looking for alcohol-based sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol, the type recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to...

Standard Methods Rid Hospital Rooms of Coronavirus, Slashing Transmission Rates

Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Don't grab that door handle. Put the toilet seat lid down before you flush.

COVID-19 has prompted a mountain of advice about how to protect yourself against coronavirus infection, and now a trio of studies of infected patients offer very encouraging news on what works.

The bad news first -- people infected with the new coronavirus appe...

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