ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
CAREGIVING
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Eating Free Range
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
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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