ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Add your Article

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