ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Eat Light - Live Longer
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
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Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness

(HealthDay News) -- Poor cleaning of restrooms aboard cruise ships raises the risk of norovirus-caused gastrointestinal illness outbreaks, a new study finds.

Norovirus causes about 95 percent of acute gastroenteritis outbreaks that occur on cruise ships. Between 2003 and 2008, norovirus outbreaks occurred on 66 ships monitored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In this study, U.S. researchers checked 273 cruise-ship restrooms on 1,546 occasions and found that only 37 percent of them were cleaned daily. Overall, toilet seats were the best-cleaned objects in the restrooms, while baby changing tables were the least thoroughly cleaned objects. On three ships, none of the baby changing tables were cleaned during the study period.

The researchers also found that 19 restroom objects in 13 ships weren't cleaned at all during the entire five- to-seven-day monitoring period. Toilet area handholds were largely neglected and accounted for more than half of the uncleaned objects on 11 ships.

The thoroughness of restroom cleaning didn't differ by cruise line, the study said.

The findings are important because five of the six evaluated restroom objects are easily contaminated by pathogens during regular use.

"Although hand hygiene with soap after toileting may diminish the transmission of enteric pathogens via bathroom door knobs or pulls, hand washing is unlikely to mitigate the potential for any of the other toilet area contact surfaces to serve as a source of transmission of enteric pathogens," study author Dr. Philip Carling, a professor of clinical medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, said in a school news release.

"Furthermore, there was substantial potential for washed hands to become contaminated while the passenger was exiting the restroom, given that only 35 percent of restroom exit knobs or pulls were cleaned daily. Only disinfection cleaning by cruise ship staff can reasonably be expected to mitigate these risks," he said.

The Cruise Lines International Association on Friday issued a response to the findings.

"The cruising industry takes the sanitation of its vessels and the mitigation of all gastrointestinal illnesses, including norovirus, very seriously," the statement read. "Our comprehensive public health and sanitation procedures -- which go above and beyond this study's focus on public restrooms -- are highly effective in maintaining healthy settings for families on vacation. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vast majority of norovirus outbreaks take place at land-based locations, such as schools, daycare centers, hospitals and nursing homes."

The study appears in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

SOURCES: Boston University School of Medicine, news release, Nov. 2, 2009 Published on: November 06, 2009