ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
CANCER
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
FITNESS
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Football Can Shrink Players
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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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