As long as we frequent public places—grocery stores, malls, plazas, restaurants, offices, schools, airports, train stations—it’s bound to happen. Someone walking toward us lets loose with a spontaneous sneeze. Can the germs suddenly floating in the air make us sick? To answer that question, let’s first address this one: How
Hand hygiene probably isn’t something you think about on a daily basis—it’s an automatic action for most us—but it’s an important part of keeping your body healthy. Practically everything we touch contains bacteria, viruses, and other harmful germs, which can transfer to our hands and cause any number of illnesses
For thousands of years, humans have used the aloe vera plant in various ways—as a wound and burn dressing, as an embalming fluid, and as a beauty aid to help keep the skin soft. And in the U.S., the plant, which is thought to have originated in Egypt and the
You’ve read about the toll a flu outbreak can take on those who come down with influenza, and you no doubt are aware of how easily flu germs can spread. But what’s it like for the medical community to keep pace when the number of influenza cases starts escalating? Consider
Romaine lettuce contaminated by E. coli caused dozens of illnesses and five deaths between November 2017 and June 2018. Just before Thanksgiving 2018, we received news of another E. coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce. No deaths resulted, but 43 people fell ill with a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E.
Let’s face it: Germs are everywhere. But the five items covered here are especially dirty and germ-infested—in some cases even more so than even your toilet seat! What’s worse, you probably use some of these common items multiple times every day. Go ahead—read through our list and see if you
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, a virus (such as the flu virus), or another infectious agent. The severity of pneumonia depends on several factors, including which germ is responsible, and the strength of the individual’s immune system.
When the immune system detects an infection,
Every year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the influenza virus, tens of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands die from flu-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefore, it’s critically important to recognize the first symptoms of flu—and seek medical attention quickly. Waiting for
This report covers obstructive lung diseases and lung infections. Obstructive lung diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and bronchiectasis. Because these diseases produce similar symptoms, making a correct diagnosis can be challenging. In addition, these conditions often overlap—for example, a person with asthma can acquire chronic bronchitis and/or
Regardless of skin type, we all have three main layers that comprise our skin—the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis—plus many more sublayers that have multiple functions. The obvious function of the skin is protection. But the skin also stores water and fat, and it interacts with sunlight to ensure the production