By: Terry Graedon March 8, 2017 0 Comments
    Severe Anemia After Treatment of Babesiosis

    One tick-borne disease, babesiosis, has been increasing its range dramatically in recent years. The same ticks that carry Lyme disease (Ixodes scapularis) also transmit babesiosis. That is why we are…

    By: Joe Graedon December 26, 2016 13 Comments
    High Prices for Generic Drugs: Are Companies Col…

    The Attorney General of Connecticut minced no words when he said that his office "has developed compelling evidence of collusion and anticompetitive conduct across many companies that manufacture and …

    By: Terry Graedon December 22, 2016 4 Comments
    How Does Sunlight Boost the Immune System?

    More than 100 years ago people with tuberculosis were treated in sanatoriums where they were supposed to receive plenty of sunlight. Physicians thought this would help control their infections. Back …

    By: Joe Graedon December 15, 2016 31 Comments
    Giant Generic Drug Scandal: Companies Accused of…

    We have long suspected that something was rotten within the generic drug industry. Put aside questions about substandard factories in China and India or fraudulent test results. The latest bombshell t…

    By: Joe Graedon November 3, 2016 30 Comments
    Are Doctors and Nurses Transporting Deadly Hospi…

    They used to be called "hospital-acquired infections" (HAIs). Now the CDC has softened that terminology to "healthcare-associated infections" (also HAIs). Perhaps it seems a little less scary if life-…

    By: Terry Graedon November 3, 2016 5 Comments
    What Is Causing Polio-Like Illness in Children?

    Over the last few years a mysterious polio-like illness has been striking children across the United States. California and Colorado have been especially hard hit. Reports of the Polio-Like Illness Ar…

    By: Terry Graedon September 22, 2016 9 Comments
    Why Should You Worry About Cat Scratch Fever?

    Cat scratch fever has public health officials concerned. You may never have heard of it, but it turns out to be more serious than most people realize. The Epidemiology of Cat Scratch Fever: Scientists…

    By: Terry Graedon September 22, 2016 5 Comments
    Is the Five-Second Rule Any Good?

    When people drop food on the floor, should they scoop it up quickly and eat it--or throw it away? In other words, does the five-second rule apply? What's the Five-Second Rule? In this popular belief, …

    By: Joe Graedon August 29, 2016 9 Comments
    A Medical Mistake Leads to Tragic Death

    In May, 2016 researchers at John Hopkins University ignited a firestorm of controversy with an article in the BMJ titled "Medical Error--The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US." They suggested tha…

    By: Terry Graedon August 4, 2016 3 Comments
    Can the Spread of Zika Virus in the US Be Halted…

    Zika virus created consternation early this year as it became clear that infection during pregnancy could lead to birth defects, including microcephaly. Health authorities advised pregnant women not t…

    By: Terry Graedon July 28, 2016 4 Comments
    How to Treat Infections with Less Antibiotics

    Taking antibiotics for relatively few days might work just as well as taking them for a week or two, at least for some cases of pneumonia. This would have the advantages of exposing patients to less …

    By: Joe Graedon July 21, 2016 20 Comments
    Are Rehab Hospitals Hazardous to Your Health?

    If you suffer a serious injury in an automobile accident, get a knee or hip replaced or suffer a stroke, there is a very good chance you will end up in a rehabilitation hospital. These facilities are …

    By: Terry Graedon June 16, 2016 3 Comments
    FDA Fails in its Job of Keeping Food Safe

    Over the last few years you have no doubt heard about numerous food recalls because of contamination. Usually the FDA works with the manufacturer or supplier to manage such a recall. But how well does…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 5, 2016 7 Comments
    One Third of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are Inappr…

    According to a joint report from the CDC and the Pew Charitable Trusts, as many as one third of antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate. When Are Antibiotic Prescriptions Inappropriate? Doctors c…

    By: Terry Graedon February 1, 2016 39 Comments
    How Should You Dry Your Hands in the Restroom?

    Who would have guessed that hand washing (or, actually, hand drying) could be a contentious topic? The techniques available in public restrooms to dry your hands have fierce champions on all sides. T…

    By: Terry Graedon January 21, 2016 4 Comments
    Will You Change Your Travel Plans to Avoid Zika …

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning pregnant Americans not to travel to Caribbean and South American regions where mosquitoes carry Zika virus. In addition to Puerto Rico, th…

    By: Joe Graedon January 7, 2016 40 Comments
    Is Your Doctor’s Tie and White Coat Making…

    Several years ago we learned that British health professionals were told that they could no longer wear ties or white coats. In 2008 the UK's National Health Service (NHS) banned ties and white coasts…

    By: Joe Graedon October 8, 2015 0 Comments
    Nobel Prize Highlights Natural Products

    When the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine was announced this week, there was no particular emphasis on the fact that both parts of the prize were for natural products research. Commentators focu…

    By: Joe Graedon September 24, 2015 32 Comments
    Public Finally Outraged At Extravagant Drug Pric…

    The CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals has caved under pressure and promised to reduce the price hike of a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis. Martin Shkreli encountered a great deal more outrage than he bar…

    By: Joe Graedon August 19, 2015 13 Comments
    Better Cleaning of Hospital Rooms Could Reduce I…

    The next time you have to go to the hospital you may want to ask how they clean their rooms. That's because there is a worrisome lack of data about the best cleaning techniques for patients' rooms. He…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2015 8 Comments
    Health Professionals Work Even When They Are Sic…

    Doctors often advise their patients to stay home when they are ill, so they don't spread their germs to healthy people. If only health professionals took their own advice! A study conducted at the Chi…

    By: Joe Graedon May 18, 2015 10 Comments
    Do Communion Wafers Spread Germs?

    Whenever people gather together, there is a potential for germs to spread from one to another. Some people have wondered whether the Communion chalice could be a way that colds could travel, while ot…

    By: Joe Graedon April 2, 2015 4 Comments
    NC Compounding Pharmacy Products to Be Pulled fr…

    The Food and Drug Administration is paying more attention to compounding pharmacies ever since the 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis around the country. That epidemic was traced to contamination of a…

    By: Joe Graedon December 22, 2014 8 Comments
    Hand Washing Is Crucial to Avoid Sharing Germs

    Q. I am outraged when people refuse to take reasonable precautions like washing their hands after using the restroom. I was hospitalized with norovirus and I can tell you that the diarrhea was dreadfu…

    By: Joe Graedon December 18, 2014 5 Comments
    Chewing Gum Fights Ear Infections

    Q. I was surprised when our pediatrician suggested I should be giving my five-year-old chewing gum to prevent repeated ear infections. He said to look for a brand with xylitol. Is there something spec…

    By: Joe Graedon November 26, 2014 6 Comments
    The Great Paper Towel Battle

    Hand washing is considered critical for infection control. There is no controversy here. But what is the most effective way to dry hands without spreading germs? That question has led to battles betwe…

    By: Terry Graedon July 21, 2014 11 Comments
    Doctor’s Dirty Hands Frighten Patient Away

    Q. I am a retired dental hygienist with years of infection control experience. I know of evidence that health care workers must wash their hands between patients to prevent the spread of infection. I …

    By: Joe Graedon December 10, 2007 6 Comments
    Handwashing Answer Gets Us In Hot Water

    Q. In your column you said that warm water is no more effective than cold for removing germs. You are way off the mark. We wash to remove germs, not kill them. Dirty hands are oily and oils are more s…