It’s hard to keep up with all the recent news about where germs are lurking and the new studies about them. We tried to combine the most pertinent news into one place to keep it clean and make your life a little easier.
Don’t throw your toothbrush away after you get strep throat
Hard to believe this is true, but it is. A study took a group of children, some with the strep throat virus and the others without, and tested their toothbrushes for the strep throat virus. They found that the toothbrushes that belonged to the infected children were not contaminated and no bacteria grew on them. The one brush that was contaminated with A Streptococcus, the bacteria that causes strep throat, was from a child who did not have strep throat. But, the most surprising find was when they tested two brand-new toothbrushes. One toothbrush tested positive for staphylococcus, a more common form of bacteria, while the other tested positive for a bacillus, similar to the E. coli germ. So, the next time your child has strep throat, forgo the trip to the drugstore for a new toothbrush and stick with the old one. You may be better off that way.
The China Bird Flu
The H7N9 virus, more commonly known as the ‘bird flu’, has continued to spread. China reported earlier this week that the total number of infected people rose to 130 while the death toll is 35. There is no current evidence that human-to-human transmission is possible and Xinhua, a major Chinese news source, has said that 57 of those infected have recovered. The only case cited outside of China is an individual who is in Taiwan, but recently traveled to China. The U.S. government is wasting no time and looking into developing a vaccine for the virus. If it starts to spread at a rapid rate, they want to be ready.
If you or someone you know is traveling to the region soon, public health officials advise to practice common hygiene and limited contact with birds. This is especially important because the infected birds do not necessarily display symptoms and do not look sick. If you know someone who just returned from the region and feels ill, they should see a doctor and immediately tested for the flu.
Sucking on your baby’s pacifier may help protect them from allergies & more
Parents understand it’s a minor catastrophe when their baby’s pacifier falls to the floor and there’s nowhere nearby to sanitize it. Instead of putting the pacifier in boiling water or washing it in the sink, studies are finding that parents should consider sucking it ‘clean’ in their own mouths. A study done in Sweden showed that babies whose parents sucked on their pacifiers were three times less likely to get eczema than those whose parents washed or boiled their pacifiers. The study also showed that these babies are less likely to get asthma later in life. It’s a small study, but could lead to greater discoveries in the future. It also provides an alternative to cleaning pacifiers when the normal methods are not available. What are your thoughts? Would you suck your baby’s pacifier clean?