If you've ever had chickenpox, the virus still lives in your body and it can be reactivated to become a case of shingles — a painful rash that occurs in a band on one side of your face or body. A new study has shown that people who get shingles have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The risk was highest in people under 40 years old, people who usually aren't at risk for heart disease.
All fields of study have their own language. For people interested in learning about microbes, the language can sometimes be downright difficult — but it doesn't need to be. From antibiotics to xerophiles, we have you covered in an easy-to-understand glossary.
Yes, bubonic plague—the Black Death that killed millions in the Middle Ages— is still out there. It even infects and kills people in the United States. Without treatment, half the people infected die, but the Food and Drug Administration approved ciprofloxacin in 2015 to treat plague, and it has just successfully been used to stop the infection in five people.
Twelve-year old Rory Staunton took a dive for a basketball during gym class and came up with a cut on his arm. The school nurse applied a couple of band-aids, without cleaning the cut, and off he went. In approximately three days, hospital physicians told his parents there was nothing else that they could do for their son; he was dead.
You probably don't give much thought to buying yogurt in the store. You have your favorite brand, or maybe you like trying new varieties each week; either way, you just grab it and go.
Foodborne infections often occur through the contamination of equipment, food-prep tools, and unsanitary surfaces. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that breast pump parts are part of the food-delivery chain — and they can become contaminated too.
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause devastating complications for infected newborns whose mothers have genital herpes. Understanding risk and research can help you, and your baby, when the time comes.
As the fish farming industry struggles to become more environmentally friendly, it just gained another problem. Fish food loaded with antibiotic-resistant genes.
When a stuffy nose hits, it feels like breathing clearly and easily may never come again. Allergies, colds, and even changes in weather can leave our sinuses blocked, with medicine seeming like the only option. But don't break out the medication just yet — relieving the pressure of a stuffy nose, a stuffy head, and stuffy ears can be as easy as touching a pressure point.
With warm weather comes bugs, and with bugs come bites, and with bites come itches. From ticks and spiders to mosquitoes and bees, insect bites come in sundry shapes and sizes, but they all commonly pull an itchy, red reaction out of our bodies.
Once we recover from the respiratory infection pneumonia, our lungs are better equipped to deal with the next infection — thanks to some special cells that take up residence there.
Lack of appetite often signals a cold or flu. Eating can be the last thing we want to do when we have a sore throat or are too fatigued or achy to even get out of bed. When hungry, we don't feel as strong as when we are well fed—and we more than likely aren't as strong.
Montezuma's revenge, the runs, the trots, or just diarrhea — everyone gets it sooner or later. What exactly is diarrhea good for, if anything?
It's always the snack you're most looking forward to that ends up being moldy when you open the fridge to grab it. Always. That slice of leftover pizza or chunk of cheese you've been thinking about all day? We've all been there. What separates us is how we choose to deal with it. Personally, I toss anything that has even the slightest hint of mold, but not everyone errs on the side of caution. Some people don't mind the risk and just cut off the green or fuzzy parts and eat the rest.
The next time you suffer a cut or abrasion, think twice before you reach for the Neosporin. It's time, and mom, tested — you get a cut, you wash it carefully, then apply some triple-threat antimicrobial ointment. You may or may not slap on a band-aid. We won't cover it here, but so that you know, covering the wound with a sterile dressing or band-aid is a good idea.
A young child becomes very thirsty very often and seems tired all the time. A visit to the pediatrician determines she has type 1 diabetes. The onset of type 1 diabetes may seem sudden, and it can be, but the disease may actually have been triggered by common childhood viruses years earlier.
News: Coffee Isn't the Only Thing Brewing in Your Nespresso—Extremophiles Could Be Living in Your Drip Tray
You just sat down, coffee in hand, and the day is ready to start. Now that you have taken a few sips, let me pose a question: What is living in that coffeemaker of yours? The answer might make you dump that coffee down the drain pronto.
People infected with HIV take many different types of pills every day to decrease the amount of virus in their body, live a longer and healthier life, and to help prevent them from infecting others. That could all be in the past as new clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of a new type of treatment — injections given every four or eight weeks — look to be equally effective at keeping the virus at bay.
The squiggly guys in this article's cover image are Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria live in low-oxygen conditions at the base of hair follicles all over your body. They mind their own business, eating cellular debris and sebum, the oily stuff secreted by sebaceous glands that help keep things moisturized. Everybody has P. acnes bacteria—which are commonly blamed for causing acne—but researchers took a bigger view and discovered P. acnes may also play a part in keeping your skin clear.
What do Leo Tolstoy (writer), Beethoven (composer), Paul Gaugin (artist), and Adolf Hitler (politician) have in common? They are all considered to have suffered from the sexually transmitted disease syphilis.
Yogurt is more than an excellent source of protein, calcium, and gut-healthy probiotic bacteria. A protein isolated from probiotic lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt is capable of inhibiting drug-resistant bacteria.
News: Heart-Damaging 'Kissing Bug' Parasite Infects Thousands a Year in the US — & You May Not Know Until It's Too Late
Take a close look at the image above. These bugs spread a deadly parasite that infects thousands of people each year. They also live in the US, and it's important to know where they are and whether you need to worry that they're carrying a dangerous infection.
Joe McKenna died when he was 30 years old. A young married man with his future ahead of him, he was cleaning up the station where he worked as a fireman. Struck by a piece of equipment fallen from a shelf, Joe complained of a sore shoulder. Over the next week, Joe worsened and ended up in the hospital. Chilled, feverish, and delirious, his organs shut down from an infection we'd now call septic shock.
Phuket, the island in Thailand typically associated with paradise and most recently, illegally-run hotels, now has a different problem—a stray cat with the claws of death.
Like humans, cats can suffer infections caused by ticks, and too often, the disease is fatal. Learn about tickborne diseases that affect cats and what you can do to protect Fluffy from an untimely demise.
More than one in ten people in the US have type 2 diabetes — that's over 29 million people. It's characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the development of resistance to insulin, the hormone that normally metabolizes glucose.
News: Hospital Floors May Look Clean, but They're Teeming with Deadly Superbugs—Including MRSA, VRE & C. Diff
Hospitals are places we go to get well, and we don't expect to get sick or sicker there. But a study from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio found that hospital floors in patient rooms were frequently contaminated with healthcare-associated pathogens—often dangerous multi-drug resistant bacteria.
The story of Helicobacter pylori is a real testament to the tenacity of medical researchers to prove their hypothesis. It took decades before the scientific world would accept that the bacteria H. pylori caused ulcers.
The growing list of dangerous antibiotic resistant organisms has just acquired three new members. Researchers have discovered three new species of Klebsiella bacteria, all of which can cause life-threatening infections and have genes that make them resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
How do I get rid of these zits?! Whether its pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads, the name is the same, and the name is acne.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) drive over eight million people to seek medical attention every year. Almost all — as many as 90% — of those infections are caused by Escherichia coli. Copper can kill bacteria, but E. coli has found a way to capture the copper, preventing its antibacterial action. Now, researchers have found that, in a cruel irony, the bacteria use the copper it grabs as a nutrient to feed its growth.
Have the sniffles? Yes. Does your head hurt? Yes. Coughing? Yes. Could you have influenza? Yes. How do you know the difference? With these symptoms, you could also have a cold.
Think of the coolest, most unique way to create art that you can. Got it? Now think about creating that art out of living things.
With summer just ahead, you, or your children, may be looking forward to some pool time or the water park. When planning water-based fun this year, keep a heads-up for microbes.
Soy sauce is a sushi essential for most Americans and we don't often consider its exact origins whilst chowing down on that tuna roll.
A terrifying antibiotic-resistant superbug, one thought to only infect hospital patients, has made its debut in the real world. For the first time ever, the superbug carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infected six people who hadn't been in or around a hospital in at least a year, and researchers aren't sure how they got infected.
Most females have had at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetimes. Recurrent UTIs are particularly problematic in young, sexually active women, where about 80% of the infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli.
Primarily caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is the most common tickborne disease in the US. By all predictions, 2017 is expected to be a banner tick year in several regions. If you have children, it is important to know what to expect.
For some, drinking raw milk is a way to get back to nature, improve family nutrition, and hedge against asthma and allergies. However, according to public health authorities, drinking raw or unpasteurized milk is a big mistake—even fatal. So what's the story?
Have you ever had the stomach flu, aka the 24-hour flu? Well, chances are high that you never had influenza, but an intestinal infection called gastroenteritis.