Posts

September 02, 2014

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8:00 PM | Young Children can Benefit from Multi-Vitamin-Mineral Supplementation
Scientific progress is much slower than news the news cycle. So it is surprising when scientific studies create a media frenzy. After all, assembling the totality of the evidence isn’t  a matter of immediacy. The creation of regulations is even slower. Last January, Madden, DeBias & Cook published a market analysis of vitamin supplements in JAMA Pediatrics.  
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3:50 PM | A Doctor’s Passion and Influence: From Haiti to Einstein and Beyond
There are certain people who enrich lives, shape careers and inspire excellence. Einstein’s Dr. Roger Duvivier is one of those people. From his upbringing in Haiti, Duvivier grew from a young man with a dream—who knew almost no English when he came to the U.S. at age 18—into an accomplished obstetrician/gynecologist, mentor and global health [...]
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12:05 PM | A Labor Day look at state and local actions for worker health
As we were putting together 2014 edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety (which she introduced yesterday), we noticed that a lot of the good news about workers winning better conditions was coming from cities and states.
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12:00 PM | Sex Workers Horrified over Witchcraft Killing in South Africa
Arrests over the decapitation murder of a South African sex worker has sparked fears of further killings due to news that a traditional healer was among the six arrestees. The body of 39-year old Desiree Murugan was discovered two weeks...            Related StoriesSacrificing Edith (Part 2 of 2)These Clues Help Identify a Mentally Ill 'Lone Gunman' Before Tragedy StrikesFighting Poverty with Cash 
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11:45 AM | Gloves: Another reason to love them (and wear them)
It's pretty easy to hate on gloves. They're certainly annoying to put on and wear. Yet, much of what we do in medicine is difficult yet worth it, if what we do is effective. Now if we really could get hand hygiene compliance beyond 90%, I think a narrow focus on hand rub utilization would be OK. But, irrespective of what facilities are reporting, when you really look, their compliance is closer to 50% (if they're lucky). That's why I continue to (a) encourage investment in hand hygiene research […]
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11:00 AM | Illustrations of the 1896-1897 Influenza Epidemic in Paris
This image has been used here at Contagions in various cropped versions as the header and avatar for several years now. I found a couple more related illustrations that are worth sharing and put the illustration in better context. This is an emergency tent hospital erected to handle the epidemic of 1897.  It certainly looks […]
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5:01 AM | Paucity of high-quality evaluations of the relative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of dental auxiliaries
This new Cochrane review looks at studies assessing the effectiveness, costs and cost effectiveness of dental auxiliaries in providing care traditionally provided by dentists. Only 5 studies, the majority conducted more than 20 years ago could be included so no firm conclusions can be made. The post Paucity of high-quality evaluations of the relative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of dental auxiliaries appeared first on The Dental Elf.

September 01, 2014

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11:26 PM | Ebola perspectives from a BSL-4 virologist
Our colleague Tara Smith just posted an interview with Dr. Heather Lander, a virologist who works with hemorrhagic fever viruses. From this interesting interview I linked to her new blog, “Pathogen Perspectives”. She addresses some of the Ebola transmission issues we’ve touched upon, and more. Check it out!
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10:34 PM | THE PLAN – HOW SHIT HAPPENS
There was a great comment recently made on this article (are-you-creating-an-obeyience-culture) about the problem of safety programs designed to satisfy the board or make it look like they are doing something  but really not being practical or effective when implemented and probably only perpetuating a culture of blame shifting, hiding incidents and fear. I thought this little poem, published years ago, portrays that notion perfectly and should be resurrected (I have it on my office […]
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7:02 PM | A Labor Day look back at the year in worker health and safety
Our Labor Day tradition continues with the third edition of "The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2013 - Summer 2014." Section I of the report recaps happenings over the last 12 months at the federal level.
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4:19 PM | Dominican Republic resort visitor awarded five-figure settlement following salmonellosis
In 2004 I visited the Dominican Republic, a popular Caribbean destination for Canadians attempting to escape the winter cold, wet and grey.  Dani and I took advantage of her spring break and Millennium Scholarship (probably not what they were meant for) and … Continue reading →
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4:09 PM | Reflecting
One of the more awesome and fun parts of running this blog for so long is watching you all progress in your lives and careers. Many of you started commenting in stages far removed from your current places. I've seen struggling grad students achieve the PhD, (dis)gruntled postdocs win a tenure track job...or go do […]
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1:14 PM | Can Media Use Cause ADHD Symptoms in Children?
Can there be a link between the rising rate of ADHD diagnoses in children and adolescents and the proliferation in fast-paced media aimed at children? Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by symptoms such as attention problems, hyperactive behaviour, and impulsivity...            Related StoriesDoes Walking Speed Predict Dementia?Can Online Training Help Prevent Sex Assaults?Naming That Tune 
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8:26 AM | Care plans and care planning: a rare event?
Have you seen a care plan recently? Despite a massive effort, we didn't see many in our national evaluation of care plans and care planning. Our new paper reports the findings of this work, summarised here.
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4:59 AM | Can treating periodontitis help prevent heart disease?
Periodontal disease is associated with cardiovascular disease. This Cochrane review looks at whether treating periodontal disease can prevent further heart disease. Unfortunately the available evidence is limited to a single trial at high risk of bias. The post Can treating periodontitis help prevent heart disease? appeared first on The Dental Elf.
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3:54 AM | Reading in August
Just a little update on my reading in August. I’ve been jumping around a bit reading on the history of malaria and wetlands.  Lots of interesting bits and pieces! Books John Aberth. An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: The Crucible of Nature, 2013. Gregory of Tours (d. 594): Glory of the Confessors  Gregory of Tours (d. 594): […]

August 31, 2014

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10:52 PM | Public Health in the News – August 31, 2014
Global To fight the outbreak of Ebola, we need developed countries to assist with basic healthcare, public health officials are arguing. Scientists have now sequenced the genome of Ebola, which may help lead to better treatments and vaccines. An article in Aeon explores the history of infectious disease outbreaks and argues that the next pandemic […]
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7:57 PM | Should kids be allowed to wash hands at school? Or is sanitizer enough?
Someone wrote me this morning and said at their U.S. elementary school, the 5th graders are not permitted to wash hands after mandatory bathroom times and the teacher stands outside of the bathroom with hand sanitizer squirting it as each … Continue reading →
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7:13 PM | Bacterial occurrence in kitchen hand towels
People don’t use dryers much in Brisbane. It hardly rains, so people use clotheslines, and electricity is expensive. And it’s so natural. My clothsline can usually be found with an abundance of hand (or tea) towels. I use them all … Continue reading →
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6:37 PM | Raw and risky, sprout food porn sandwich edition
Raw sprouts: it’s the stealth ingredient in this California chicken and avocado sandwich with bacon. No thanks.
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6:29 PM | Raw and risky, crypto with your raw milk
As raw goats milk from a Treasured Sunrise Acres in Parma tested positive for cryptosporidium and has been put on hold by the Idaho Department of Agriculture, others continue to hucksterize the safety of raw milk. Enjoy that crypto, and other … Continue reading →
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6:14 PM | Raw and risky: do rewards outweigh risks?
U.S. President Obama may want to think again about those burger outings he does. Obama likes Five Brothers Burgers and Fries, where, “kitchen rules include no timers in the kitchen (because good cooks know when food is done).” Maybe use a … Continue reading →
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5:47 PM | China arrests six from OSI unit in food scandal
Chinese authorities have formally arrested six employees from a unit of US food supplier OSI Group, the parent company over a scandal involving expired meat sold to fast food giants. Authorities have previously announced the detention by police of six … Continue reading →
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3:59 PM | Writing Process
I start a paper draft very early in the process. Sometimes it is started before even a single bit of data has been collected. It starts, often, with some literature that I am reading that starts to gel an idea. So I'll jot down the author/date and some words related to my thinking at the […]
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12:00 PM | The Rumour Watchers (Part 2 of 2)
Continued from Part 1 Through a weekly column published in the Boston Herald, Robert Knapp and the other staff members at the Boston Rumor Clinic would tackle various prominent rumors for in-depth analysis and refute them based on available information....            Related StoriesVideo Games ReduxThe Rumour Watchers (Part 1 of 2)Family Left Homeless After Sorcery Claim 
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8:39 AM | Sprouts still suck, even with social amplification
I know lots about the social amplification of risk as promoted by Kasperson, et al., but I’m not sure the author a new paper examining that theory in Germany’s 2011 E. coli O104 outbreak involving sprouts does. Lots of risk … Continue reading →
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5:39 AM | 41 sickened with Salmonella at Michigan festival
Reading Summer Festival Days lasted from July 31 to Aug. 3, but the outbreak came from one event. “There were eight laboratory-confirmed cases and 33 probable cases” among the more than 250 people who attended an alumni reunion dinner Aug. … Continue reading →
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5:34 AM | The Power of Pyramids
The Power of Pyramids: How Using Outmoded Thinking about Hazards Can Be Deadly I really enjoyed this recent blog by Phil LaDuke. Its been excepted by thinking safety people that most injuries are not caused by unsafe acts and that reducing the frequency of injuries will not automatically reduce the severity of injuries. So, why do people still vehemently defend this 80 year old premise? Phil discusses why we still hold Heinrich’s work so dearly, why it is so dangerous to do so and what […]

August 30, 2014

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8:47 PM | Fail: Frozen food trucks in Taiwan
The Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) under the Executive Yuan said yesterday that 73 percent of frozen food trucks failed to meet standards based on the result of random inspections of logistics companies. This situation was first discovered in July, when … Continue reading →
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2:08 PM | MRSA search & destroy: It's time to surrender
Over the past five years, we've blogged many times about active detection and isolation for MRSA (ADI, aka "search and destroy"), focusing on our doubts about its effectiveness and the stupidity of legislative mandates for this practice. Nonetheless, there remain some diehard believers. A new perspective piece in The Lancet takes another stab at analyzing the available evidence in order to guide practice. The authors focus on the large studies with the strongest designs. In a nutshell, they […]
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