Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Miscellaneous

Hand Hygiene for Vets and Vet Students

Posted in Miscellaneous
Hand hygiene is an incredibly basic every-day infection control measure, and one of the most important means of preventing the spread of infectious pathogens.  Hand hygiene should be used at home, at work, and especially in healthcare environments where there may be more bugs and more susceptible individuals.  That includes veterinary clinics.  Also keep in… Continue Reading

Are we too clean?

Posted in Miscellaneous
A recent episode of the popular TVO current affairs show "The Agenda with Steve Paikin" explores the topic of “Our Relationship with Cleanliness" – an informative, yet fun look at the topic of germs. Panelists (including yours truly) take a cultural, historical, psychological and sociological look at the microorganisms on us and around us –… Continue Reading

Canadian human antimicrobial use report, 2012/2013

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has released the 2012/2013 Human Antimicrobial Drug Use Report. Why write about this on a site dedicated to zoonotic diseases and diseases of animals? For a few different reasons, actually. One is that we have to realize that antibiotics (and bacteria) don’t care if drugs are used on… Continue Reading

How to fix an iPad

Posted in Miscellaneous
Sorry… nothing to do with zoonotic diseases, but still entertaining. Our two iPads stopped working over one weekend last October. Figuring they were destined for recycling, I came across some internet posts that said “whack it.” I figured that I had nothing to lose and if nothing else, I’d get the satisfaction of beating on… Continue Reading

International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) symposium, 2014

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The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) and International Feline Retroviral Research Symposium have joined forces for a combined conference in 2014. This meeting, which would be of relevance to veterinary researchers and veterinary clinicians with an interest in infectious diseases, will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (Canada) Oct 19-22. More information can… Continue Reading

From the archives….the mysteries of the 100 acre wood

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Another popular post from the archives, and a nice light topic for the holidays! (Original post date 25-Nov-2010). Pardon my straying from the zoonotic disease realm, but here’s a little light reading… Medical Mysteries of the 100-Acre Wood Children around the world have been entertained by activities in the 100-acre-wood for decades. But at what… Continue Reading

Zoonoses for physicians

Posted in Miscellaneous
I just read a recent Medscape article entitled Human-Animal Interactions: a primer for clinicians. I assumed it would be one more relatively generic article about zoonoses, focusing on agriculture. Some of those aspects were there, but it had a lot more depth than I expected and went beyond the same old superficial talking points. The… Continue Reading

The Twelve Days of Zoonoses

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For the complete song lyrics, see below.  For the grand finale by the Worms&Germs singers (otherwise known as members of the Rainbow Chorus of Waterloo-Wellington – more details below!), click on the YouTube video. On the first day or Christmas, my true love gave to me, A dog with lepto in its pee. On the… Continue Reading

The Trouble With Gloves

Posted in Miscellaneous
When it comes to hand hygiene, there is an unfortunately all-too-common misconception that wearing gloves makes hand washing or using alcohol-based hand rub unnecessary. In veterinary and human medicine, gloves, like hand hygiene, are typically used for two reasons: to prevent spread of germs or chemicals from a patient/person/object/surface to a person’s hands, and/or to… Continue Reading

Mythbusters: Pandemics and new diseases

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I read an interesting article earlier this week that I felt was worth sharing. The article, which appeared in the Huffington Post, is entitled “7 common myths about pandemics and new diseases” written by Dr. William Karesh, executive VP for health and policy with the EcoHealth Alliance. It talks about several misconceptions a lot of… Continue Reading

Show me the paper…oh wait…

Posted in Miscellaneous
“Show me the peer-reviewed publication.” This is a common refrain used, particularly by the scientifically-minded, when talking to someone about the latest trendy diagnosis, treatment or other medical "discovery." It used to be relatively easy to use this method to assess the reliability of new information. If something was published in a peer-reviewed journal, it… Continue Reading

Antibiotics…time to close some loopholes

Posted in Miscellaneous
At a time when there’s much concern about antibiotic use and resistance, and when there’s talk about restricting antibiotic use in animals, it amazes me that some huge, illogical and easy-to-correct loopholes remain in the current system. The approach to access to antibiotics for animals varies greatly in different countries: In some, access to antibiotics… Continue Reading

UK crackdown on alternative medicine claims

Posted in Miscellaneous
The UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has taken the long-overdue step of requiring people selling alternative therapy products for prevention and treatment of diseases in animals to actually show that the products are safe and do what they claim. The effort includes products like homeopathic nosodes, nutraceuticals and herbal preparations. Historically, alternative medicines have received… Continue Reading

What is a probiotic?

Posted in Miscellaneous
Probiotics are widely available and increasingly popular as "alternative" or "natural" approaches to treatment and prevention of disease. When considering the use of probiotics, it’s important to think about what a probiotic really is. A widely used (and my favourite) definition is: Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when given in adequate doses, provide health effects… Continue Reading

World Hand Hygiene Day

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Today is World Hand Hygiene Day, an occasion being promoted by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign. This WHO initiative is aimed primarily at improving hand hygiene in healthcare facilities around the world, in order to help reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) (e.g. infections that people develop while in hospital). Also… Continue Reading

Antibiotic Awareness Day

Posted in Miscellaneous
European Antibiotic Awareness Day is an initiative of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.  This year it falls on November 18.  The aim of the Day is to provide an annual opportunity for raising awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and how to use antibiotics responsibly. Responsible use of… Continue Reading

All natural organic antibiotic?

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A recent press release from All Pet Naturals proclaims "First All Natural Organic Antibiotic for Pets Now Available." I know that "organic" and "all natural" are big catch-words for some people, and may be mistakenly perceived as indicators of safety or quality.  There are very good reasons why we used manufactured and tested pharmaceuticals. If… Continue Reading

Antibiotics: how about a dose of common sense

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Antibiotic resistance is a major problem. Anyone that denies that is delusional. Anyone who thinks that antibiotic use in veterinary AND human medicine don’t contribute to resistance are similarly clueless. Most people do understand these basic facts. However, what people feel should be done about the problem is quite variable, ranging from doing nothing to proposing… Continue Reading

Infection control best practices: French version

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A comprehensive infection control document entitled "Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Small Animal Veterinary Clinics" was released last fall. A French translation has been completed and it now available on the Worms & Germs Resources page, as well as by clicking here. This document is an excellent resource for small animal veterinary practices… Continue Reading

Buyer Beware – Scrutinizing New Products

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This post originally appeared on www.equIDblog.com, the sister site of Worms&Germs that covers topics on equine infectious diseases, on February 3, 2009. New animal health products are released on a daily basis. A great deal of time, effort and money is usually spent to market these products – sometimes more than was put into developing… Continue Reading