News

26/Aug/2017

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Huffington Post
By Sarah Elizabeth Richards
August 24, 2017

On March 31, 2013, the Chinese health ministry quietly notified the World Heath Organization of three mysterious deaths. After developing coughing and sneezing symptoms, the victims’  lungs had filled with fluid, and they died gasping for air. The only thing they had in common was being around live chickens. One victim worked at a poultry market, and the other two recently had shopped at one.

Tests revealed what global health officials had feared for decades: There was a new form of avian influenza. “This strain usually caused mild symptoms like redness of the eyes or low-grade respiratory problems in humans,” said Daniel Jernigan, head of the influenza division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “ We knew it was different and much more severe when it killed three people.”

More than four years later, the virus has spread across southern China and sickened nearly  1,560 people, nearly 40 percent of whom have died. In May, the CDC ranked the influenza strain H7N9 the highest possible threat for viruses at risk of causing a worldwide pandemic ― just a year shy of the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu outbreak that claimed nearly 50 million lives in 1918.

Although reports of new infections stopped in March, health officials are worried about the virus changing into a form that’s easily transmitted between humans. A new paper published this summer forecast the virus being three mutations away from such a reality.

Read full article >>


14/Aug/2017

FUNGAL AWARENESS WEEK Facebook

August 14–18, 2017, is the first Fungal Disease Awareness Week. CDC and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment.

Some fungal diseases go undiagnosed and cause serious infections in people in the United States and around the world, leading to illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. A key clue to when a sick person may have a fungal infection is that he or she is being treated with medications for other types of infection but does not get better.

We encourage healthcare providers and their patients to “Think Fungus” when symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment.

Join us in sharing information to increase awareness in your community about fungal diseases. The quicker doctors can diagnose the right illness, the quicker a patient can be treated the right way.

Types of fungal diseases >>


07/Aug/2017

Drought is a natural phenomenon in which rainfall is lower than average for an extended period of time. Periods of drought can result in inadequate water supply and can lead to public health problems. Take action and learn how drought can impact your health and the health of your family.

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Overview

Cycles of drought have affected North America for the last 10,000 years. Droughts can last from a single season to many decades and can affect from a few hundred to millions of square miles.

Drought can affect areas or communities differently depending on several additional variables. These variables include:

  • the structure and capacity of existing water systems,
  • local governance of water use,
  • economic development,
  • the at-risk populations living within the affected area, and
  • other societal factors, such as the presence of local social networks.

Severe drought conditions can negatively affect air quality. During drought, there is an increased risk for wildfires and dust storms. Particulate matter suspended in the air from these events can irritate the bronchial passages and lungs. This can make chronic respiratory illnesses worse and increase the risk for respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Public Health Implications

The health implications of drought are numerous and far reaching. Some drought-related health effects are experienced in the short-term and can be directly observed and measured. However, the slow rise or chronic nature of drought can result in longer term, indirect health implications that are not always easy to anticipate or monitor.

The possible public health implications of drought include:

  • compromised quantity and quality of drinking water;
  • increased recreational risks;
  • effects on air quality;
  • diminished living conditions related to energy, air quality, and sanitation and hygiene;
  • compromised food and nutrition; and
  • increased incidence of illness and disease.

MORE INFORMATION ON DROUGHT AND YOUR HEALTH FROM CDC >>


02/Aug/2017

From the CDC:

Use Insect Repellent

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

CDC-insect-repellent-ingredients-GRAPHIC

*See EPA’s search tool here.

Tips for Everyone

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

Tips for Babies & Children

  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

Natural insect repellents (repellents not registered with EPA)

  • We do not know the effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents, including some natural repellents.
  • To protect yourself against diseases spread by mosquitoes, CDC and EPA recommend using an EPA-registered insect repellent.
  • Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness.
  • Visit the EPA website to learn more.

Protect your baby or child

  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.

More tips from the CDC >>


01/Aug/2017

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Skipping or delaying vaccinations can harm your health—and maybe your grades

If you’re a college student—or soon to be one—making sure you’re fully vaccinated is critically important, especially if you’ll be living in a dorm or other shared space. That’s because large groups of people in close proximity provide the ideal conditions for spreading diseases, including those that are vaccine-preventable.

“Vaccines can keep students from contracting serious illnesses and keep them from missing classes,” says Sarah Van Orman, M.D., the head of university health services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Keep in mind that your school’s vaccination requirements may not be enough to protect you. Many universities—especially public institutions—follow their state’s requirements, which may not include the full list of vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis
  • HPV
  • Flu

READ FULL ARTICLE >>


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Shepard Medical Products has been an industry leader in the field of Infection Protection for the medical and food industries since 1986. Throughout the company’s history, Shepard has enjoyed progressive, steady growth by providing the highest quality, infection control solutions to our customers.

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